As of January 1, 2016, Gapers Block has ceased publication. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
 Thank you for your readership and contributions over the past 12-plus years. 

TODAY

Monday, October 21

Gapers Block
Search

Gapers Block on Facebook Gapers Block on Flickr Gapers Block on Twitter The Gapers Block Tumblr


A/C
« People's Temple at American Theatre Company "Big Stories, Up Close" Indeed »

Stand-up Mon Sep 22 2008

Blewtenanny @ Strawdog Theater

From Blewt!, the folks who brought you four years of the brilliant comedy game show Don't Spit the Water and Impress These Apes (season three starts tonight at the Lakeshore Theater, oh yes it does) comes Blewtenanny, the stand-up showcase that's evolving into a sort of "quirky playful post-modern" variety show, according to producer and host Bryan Bowden. Though it began as strictly a stand-up showcase, the format now includes two stand-ups, a musical comedy act, and a "crazy weird-ass wild card" act. Local faves Robert Buscemi and Chad Briggs are booked for the stand-up slots for the next show, on October 3.

Bryan Bowden:
Bryan Bowden Hosting Blewtenanny

"The new format is a chance to bring in a variety of audiences as well as performers," Bowden explained. "That last slot especially is for some of the amazing performers who are engaging and entertaining but hard to book in a normal comedy/music setting. I've seen some really cool acts that are really difficult to classify, and I'm hoping to give those performers a chance at Blewtenanny."

Blewtenanny has been going strong since March, and beginning October 3 will be settling into its new home at The Strawdog Theater (3829 N. Broadway), and its new schedule of the first Friday of every month at 11pm. Admission is $5 and anything you buy at the bar benefits Strawdog itself, which is a non-profit artistic enterprise.

Blewtenanny is a great night of raucous fun for audiences partly because it's one of the comedians' favorite shows to perform at. The earliest shows were at midnight at the BYOB Playground Theater, and caught the leftover audience members from the previous show, the now-retired Don't Spit the Water. That meant a warmed-up, tipsy crowd sometimes ready to get loud and interact with the performers. Bowden, a CPS 8th grade teacher by day, applied a gently authoritative hand, keeping the rowdy crowds engaged but under control.

Alyson Lyon and Sarah King:
Sarah King and Allison

Sarah King, fresh off her well-received one woman show "Good Crazy/Bad Crazy," has performed at Bowden's show twice and said "I think Bryan's room is very welcoming because he's such a nice guy and he makes the comics and audience feel comfortable. He runs it in a casual but professional way that encourages performers to take more chances with their material, so you never know what you're going to see, which I love."

Neil Arsenty, a seasoned improv and sketch vet who recently began exploring stand-up, said "Bryan's show is a great experience. I'm totally grateful to him for giving me a shot as the very first comic in the very first Blewtenanny. I had never done stand-up before but I felt very comfortable. We had drunk people right in the front row who talked to me during my set, and they were the nicest drunk people you could ask for."

Andrew DeWitt, another sketch and comedy video vet who began doing stand-up earlier this year after joining the circle of friends in Bowden's stand-up writing workshop, went from open mics to headlining slots in a scant few months, and openly credits Bowden and other friends for his rapid ascent. DeWitt, who is moving to Los Angeles this week to delve into comedy there, said "I love performing at Blewtenanny. It's always a great time and has a relaxed, laid-back vibe. We get to hang out with all of our comedy friends and stick around afterwards for a while and booze it up with the audience and our pals. Things can get out of hand but only in a good way."

Lincoln Lodge cast member and Fourth Fridays producer Cameron Esposito agrees. "Blewtenanny is one of only a few shows in the city where I feel I can test out really strange and outlandish material," she said. "The crowd may be rowdy and they may be drunk, but it's that rare brand of smart drunk that digs my weirdest comedic thoughts."

More pictures and a video highlight reel of a recent Blewtenanny after the jump.

Amanda Rountree:
Amanda Rountree

Ken Barnard:
Ken Barnard

Andrew DeWitt:
Andrew DeWitt

Highlights from the rowdiest Blewtenanny thus far, on July 12, 2008 -- featuring Bryan Bowden, Sarah King, Your Sunday Best producer and Chicago Underground Comedy cast member James Fritz, longtime Chicago favorite Mike Wiley and Lincoln Lodge castmember Bill Cruz:

(**The fact that the author of this post is inextricably intertwined with Chicago comedy, edited the above video clip and most of the video clips linked to in this post, and probably couldn't be objective about any of this no matter how hard she tried does nothing to negate the awesomeness of all the above-mentioned comedians.)

 
GB store
GB store

Architecture Tue Nov 03 2015

Paul Goldberger Describes the "Pragmatism and Poetry" of Frank Gehry's Architecture in His New Book

By Nancy Bishop

Architecture critic Paul Goldberger talks about Frank Gehry's life and work in a new book.
Read this feature »

Steve at the Movies Fri Jan 01 2016

Best Feature Films & Documentaries of 2015

By Steve Prokopy

Read this column »

Blogroll

ACRE
An Angry White Guy
Antena
AREA Chicago
ArchitectureChicago Plus
Arts Engagement Exchange
The Art Letter
Art or Idiocy?
Art Slant Chicago
Art Talk Chicago
Bad at Sports
Bite and Smile
Brian Dickie of COT
Bridgeport International
Carrie Secrist Gallery
Chainsaw Calligraphy
Chicago Art Blog
Chicago Art Department
Chicago Art Examiner
Chicago Art Journal
Chicago Artists Resource
Chicago Art Map
Chicago Art Review
Chicago Classical Music
Chicago Comedy Examiner
Chicago Cultural Center
Chicago Daily Views
Chicago Film Examiner
Chicago Film Archives
Chicago Gallery News
Chicago Uncommon
Collaboraction
Contemporary Art Space
Co-op Image Group
Co-Prosperity Sphere
Chicago Urban Art Society
Creative Control
Defibrillator
Devening Projects
Digressions
DIY Film
ebersmoore
The Exhibition Agency
The Flatiron Project
F newsmagazine
The Gallery Crawl...
Galerie F
The Gaudy God
Happy Dog Gallery
HollywoodChicago
Homeroom Chicago
I, Homunculus
Hyde Park Artcenter Blog
InCUBATE
Joyce Owens: Artist on Art
J-Pointe
Julius Caesar
Kasia Kay Gallery
Kavi Gupta Gallery
Rob Kozlowski
Lookingglass Theatre Blog
Lumpen Blog
Marquee
Mess Hall
N'DIGO
Neoteric Art
NewcityArt
NewcityFilm
NewcityStage
Not If But When
Noun and Verb
On Film
On the Make
Onstage
Peanut Gallery
Peregrine Program
Performink
The Poor Choices Show
Pop Up Art Loop
The Post Family
The Recycled Film
Reversible Eye
Rhona Hoffman Gallery
Roots & Culture Gallery
SAIC Blog
The Seen
Sharkforum
Sisterman Vintage
Site of Big Shoulders
Sixty Inches From Center
Soleil's To-Do's
Sometimes Store
Steppenwolf.blog
Stop Go Stop
Storefront Rebellion
TOC Blog
Theater for the Future
Theatre in Chicago
The Franklin
The Mission
The Theater Loop
Thomas Robertello Gallery
threewalls
Time Tells Tony Wight Gallery
Uncommon Photographers
The Unscene Chicago
The Visualist
Vocalo
Western Exhibitions
What's Going On?
What to Wear During an Orange Alert?
You, Me, Them, Everybody
Zg Gallery

GB store

 

Events


A/C on Flickr

Join the A/C Flickr Pool.



About A/C

A/C is the arts and culture section of Gapers Block, covering the many forms of expression on display in Chicago. More...
Please see our submission guidelines.

Editor: Nancy Bishop, nancy@gapersblock.com
A/C staff inbox: ac@gapersblock.com

Archives

 

A/C Flickr Pool
 Subscribe in a reader.

GB store

GB Store

GB Buttons $1.50

GB T-Shirt $12

I ✶ Chi T-Shirts $15