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Improv/Sketch Search – Agenda

6 total results

The Kates

Last Saturday of every month, 8 p.m.

Stories, monologues, and more by this all-female comedy troupe and recent Best of Chicago winners. $10 suggested donation

http://bookcellarinc.com
Book Cellar (map)
4736 N. Lincoln Ave.
Ravenswood
phone 773-293-2665
The Kates

Tools

Shame That Tune

Open run: the second Fri of each month, 6:30 PM

A monthly musical-comedy game show devised by Reader contributor and Outer Minds drummer Brian Costello and former Baby Teeth front man Abraham Levitan. Each episode features three local contestants telling embarrassing stories, being interviewed by Costello, and then standing helplessly by while Levitan turns their stories into warped covers of popular songs—and the audience gets to judge the whole thing. Costello is intentionally awkward, his straight-faced sarcasm shutting down anxious contestants hoping to yuk it up (which makes the whole thing even funnier), and the supremely talented Levitan uses the interview time to write his lyrics, which he sets to a piano rendition of a tune he's just been assigned by a spin of the great Wheel of Fortune-like "shame wheel." As if that weren't enough, Costello and Levitan also provide their own off-kilter commercials during the breaks between stories. The four-member cast also includes a bumbling intern (Jeanine O'Toole of Bare Mutants) and a stoic life coach (comedian and former Loose Dudes front man Nick Rouley), and they operate like a well-oiled circus sideshow, making quick work of diary-toting contestants who've been, say, devastated by a high school crush, who felt pretty OK stealing and wearing girls' panties, or who made out with Ke$ha. —Kevin Warwick $5

Hideout (map)
1354 W. Wabansia Ave.
West Town/Noble Square
phone 773-227-4433
Shame That Tune

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3033

Open run: Sun 10:30 PM

A comedy supergroup consisting mainly of former members of People of Earth, 3033 creates some of the liveliest, most consistently solid improv around. Members Andy St. Clair and Alex Fendrich have been highlights of recent Second City E.T.C. shows; Rush Howell, a lawyer by day, is one of the scene's wittiest performers; and Bill Arnett and Danny Mora are personable comedians with off-beat senses of humor. Unlike most troupes at iO, 3033 doesn't stick with the Harold improv format. Instead, they play it loose, letting an audience suggestion and Jason Chin's playful music and light effects steer them. At a recent show the topic of gangs inspired a hilarious 70s-era game show. --Ryan Hubbard $5

http://chicago.ioimprov.com/
iO (map)
3541 N. Clark St.
Wrigleyville
phone 773-880-0199
3033

Tools

Dummy

Open run: Tue 8 PM
,

Colleen Doyle and Jason Shotts, no strangers to the Chicago improv scene, continue to cook up subtle, spontaneous scenes to order in their new Tuesday-evening slot at iO. The night I went they played out the story of a recently married couple enjoying a brief, romantic stay at a bed-and-breakfast. Both actors played two characters—a honeymooner as well as an inkeeper—and both had an excellent sense for navigating their constantly shifting roles. The performance was slow to start, but ended up being unexpectedly elegant; a plot emerged that was as tidily made as a hotel bed. The production managed to find laughs in minute details and dark discoveries. —Hannah Gold $12

iO (map)
3541 N. Clark St.
Wrigleyville
phone 773-880-0199
Dummy

Tools

Felt

Open run: Wed 8 PM

There's just something about cussing puppets--and this improvised puppet show by the Atticus Finch ensemble suggests bitter, rejected prototypes of Elmo, Chewbacca, McGruff the Crime Dog, and Crank Yankers/Muppets characters ganging up in a dark alley off Sesame Street. But the troupe's nine members exceed the old, easy laugh of vulgar-talking innocents: after tutorials from professional puppeteers and a few months of practice, they display sophisticated physical control as they wield the puppets from behind the curtains of a bilevel ministage. Seamlessly creating gestures and quick takes (hilariously deadpan on the perfectly blank cartoonish faces), they also smoothly execute difficult maneuvers like sliding a quarter across a bar or crossing the stage via motorized scooter. Sharp timing and self-mockery point to the performers' long experience together, though the motley mob of puppets takes center stage: Felt is improv cut from new cloth. --Ryan Hubbard $5

http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewprofile&friendid=74868973
iO (map)
3541 N. Clark St.
Wrigleyville
phone 773-880-0199
Felt

The Social Takeover

Open run: Last Wednesday of the month, 8 PM

Willing audience members log into their Facebooks and have them projected on giant screens. Then they get to watch as comedians take over their pages for the rest of the show. $17

Laugh Factory (map)
3175 N. Broadway St.
Lakeview
phone 773-327-3175

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