You searched for:

Start over

Search for…

Narrow Search

27 total results

The Greatest Story Never Told

Through 5/30: Sat 1:30 PM

The philosophy behind this children's improv show comes from Brazilian theater artist Augusto Boal's belief that all citizens are actors simply unaware of the play. In The Greatest Story Never Told, kids from the audience make up the story and act it out with a troupe of iO professionals. The day I attended, the kids chose a forest setting; each found a costume and became an animal (most memorably a vegetarian wolf and a flying cat). The iO actors were up for anything and cheerfully followed various kid-logic plot convolutions; what might have been a chaotic affair somehow felt coherent and organized. A writer and illustrator attend each performance, then turn the day's improvisation into a story book—that includes each kid's byline—parents can buy and take home. —Suzanne Scanlon $15

iO Theater (map)
1501 N. Kingsbury
Other North

Tools

Tales of Stage 4 Cancer

5/2-5/30: Sat 7 PM

Judy Fabjance and her new wife, Kelly Beeman, explore the nuances—and comic potential—of everyday life during Fabjance's battle with breast cancer. $10

iO Theater (map)
1501 N. Kingsbury
Other North

Tools

Bri-Ko

Open run: Sat 2 PM

How many bumbling buddies does it take to screw in a lightbulb? Or juggle? Or deliver a meal in a water balloon? On Saturday afternoons at Stage 773, the answer is three—specifically the three members of Bri-Ko. The sketch-comedy troupe Rube Goldberg would've created if Rube Goldberg had created sketch-comedy troupes, Bri-Ko puts on a silent clown show for the sort of kid who'd appreciate British humor. The name suggests bricolage—i.e., art improvised from materials found at hand. But the many kooky props at hand here (Nerf darts, ping-pong balls, various foodstuffs) are used to make a great, big mess. Tim Soszko, Brian Peterlin, and Chicago Sketch Fest founder Brian Posen bop happily about like Beaker the Muppet, contriving difficult ways to accomplish routine tasks. High art it's not, but the slapstick is practiced and the dumb smiles on these bozos' faces are contagious. —Asher Klein $10-$20

Stage 773 (map)
1225 W. Belmont Ave.
Lakeview
phone 773-327-5252

Cupid Has a Heart On

Open run: Sat 8 PM

In the hands of Cupid Players creative director Brian Posen, this long-running musical sketch comedy—now in its tenth year, with nine new cast members—portrays a host of relatable situations: passionate postbreakup relationships with cake, selective hearing between spouses, the strategic use of the bathroom as a refuge from the demands of everyday life. Its depiction of the challenges of romance remains relevant, even after all this time; if you've ever been in a relationship, you'll probably find some part of it ably parodied here. Plus, what other show advises you in song to "publicize your privates"? —Jillian Sandler $18

Stage 773 (map)
1225 W. Belmont Ave.
Lakeview
phone 773-327-5252

Tools

The iO Musical Featuring the Deltones

Open run: Sat 8 PM

Like the Cupid Players, another musical comedy act that performs at iO, the Deltones have a penchant for the nasty and the absurd. But unlike the Players, the Deltones improvise. Accompanied by veteran iO keyboardist Dave Asher, they create varied song structures and impressively catchy lyrics, and demonstrate a good feel for when to turn scenes into tunes, capitalizing on fortuitous openings in plot or character development. At the show I saw, the suggestion of "couch" led to an authentic long-form piece with intertwining characters--including a hilarious couch potato who fell onto a plumber, prompting her husband to beg, "Aw, don't pull tools out of your folds, hon!" —Ryan Hubbard $14

http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewprofile&friendID=125002385
Buy from TicketWeb
iO Theater (map)
1501 N. Kingsbury
Other North

Whirled News Tonight

Open run: Sat 8 PM

The fact that this fully improvised show has lasted ten years is impressive enough—most improv troupes are good for a season or two at most. Even more impressive, though, is how well the ensemble functions under the direction of creator Jason Chin. They listen to each other, play well together, and never resort to the kind of cheap, quick laughs that can wreck a scene. Instead, as the best improvisers do, they build slowly, adding to one another's improvisations and in the process creating fascinating, funny scenes with the ease of an ace jazz ensemble. The improv bits here are loosely based on items taken at random from the newspaper, as well as on questions submitted by the audience. —Jack Helbig $14

http://chicago.ioimprov.com
iO Theater (map)
1501 N. Kingsbury
Other North

Tools

CIC Comedy Showcase

Open run: Sat 10:30 PM

Rainbow Deli headlines a rotating lineup of comedy teams. $10

CIC Theater (map)
1422 W. Irving Park Rd.
Wrigleyville
phone 773-865-7731

Tools

Heraldo

Open run: Sat 8:30 PM

A Spanish-language Harold. $14

iO Theater (map)
1501 N. Kingsbury
Other North

Tools

Improv Match Game

Open run: Sat 11 PM

Audience members can play the classic game show with a panel of local improvisers including TJ Jagodowski, Noah Gregoropoulos, Beth Melewski, and Tim Ryder. $10

MCL Chicago (map)
3110 N. Sheffield
Lakeview

Tools

Improvised Sondheim Project

Open run: Sat 9 PM
,

Stephen Sondheim isn't an easy composer to imitate, much less off-the-cuff. His music isn't your typical high-kicking Broadway fare, and his lyrics aren't the sort you come up with off the top of your head (we’re talking about a man who managed to rhyme "personable" and "coercin' a bull"). Yet imitating Sondheim off-the-cuff is precisely the objective of this improvised one-act musical. On the night I saw the show, the five-member cast and their piano accompanist (Stephanie McCullough Vlcek) did occasionally create a mood of disenchantment and urbanity vaguely reminiscent of the master. But their muted, muddled efforts lacked the sort of devotion, derision, or blend of both that makes for a successful homage, takedown, or affectionate parody. —Zac Thompson $20

MCL Chicago (map)
3110 N. Sheffield
Lakeview Improvised Sondheim Project

Tools

Midnight Blue

Open run: Sat midnight

A late-night improv show with no subject off limits. $10

ComedySportz Theatre (map)
929 W. Belmont Ave.
Lakeview
phone 773-549-8080 or 312-559-1212

Tools

Blackout Diaries

Open run: Sat 8 PM

Comedians tell their most embarrassing drinking stories. $10

High-Hat Club (map)
1920 W. Irving Park
North Center
phone 773-697-8660

Tools

Bastards of the Underground

Open run: Sat 11:55 PM

Improv veterans come together to put on a show that breaks all the rules of improvisation. $5

iO Theater (map)
1501 N. Kingsbury
Other North

Tools

Undressed

Open run: Fri-Sat 8 PM
,

In a city awash in improv and sketch comedy, it's heartening to find there are still performers out there eager and able to produce new variations within these well-worn genres. Not all of the pieces in this revue directed by improv virtuosos TJ Jagodowski and David Pasquesi are laugh-out-loud funny—though most are—but even when bits miss their mark it's because the actors are trying something difficult or new—an eccentric character, a divergent point of view. The title refers to what sets this show apart most: the performers are undressed metaphorically, displaying a vulnerability that's too rarely seen in contemporary comedy, where feelings are more often cloaked or beside the point entirely. The result is a show that not only entertains and edifies, but leaves the audience feeling lighter and less burdened. —Jack Helbig $20, $12 students

Tools

What the Tour Guide Didn't Tell You: A Chicago Revue

Open run: Tue 8 PM, Sat-Sun 4 PM

There's more to Chicago than Italian beef and the Magnificent Mile, as illustrated by this sketch show. $28

Up Comedy Club (map)
230 W. North Ave.
Old Town
phone 312-337-3992

Tools

Showing 1-15 of 27 total results in this search.