The People Under the Stares | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

The People Under the Stares 

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This one-year anniversary show of Drag City's monthly comedy series, known for its indie vibe and strong, eclectic programming of national and local acts, is also its last. It might go out with a bang: headliner and Saturday Night Live player Fred Armisen will perform, possibly as Jens Hannemann, an ambiguously German drummer and unambiguously incompetent music instructor. (In October Drag City will release Armisen's comedy DVD Complicated Drumming Technique, in which the ponytailed Hannemann gets way too into his bad sound and offers confusing advice on playing 4,027 beats per minute or in a 9/21 time signature.) But the onetime Chicagoan says he may also perform as a gray-haired political comedian in camouflage. In any case he'll be in character: "I'm not big on writing jokes and punch lines," Armisen says. Paul F. Tompkins, Heather Lawless, and Ron Lynch--also on the bill--are. Tompkins, a stand-up since the late 80s and a frequent VH1 talking head, has his own following; his credits include writing and performing on Mr. Show. a Mon 7/30, 8 PM, Hideout, 1354 W. Wabansia, 773-227-4433, $10, 21+. --Ryan Hubbard

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): Fred Armisen as Jens Hannemann.

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