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Theatre Fri Sep 26 2008

Impress These Apes @ the Lakeshore Theater

Season three has begun! Impress These Apes is an eight week talent competition cruelly masterminded by three hyperintelligent apes from the future (long story). It's no big deal, really -- it's just the future of humanity at stake. Each week eight contestants (drawn from Chicago's rich pool of improv, sketch, and stand-up talent) must rise to the occasion of a new talent challenge.

In seasons past, those talents have included short film projects, favorite movie scene re-enactments, biographical songs, music videos, and stand-up with puppets. (Yeah, puppets.) The show's winner waltzes off with $500, a grab bag of prizes, and the distinction of being called "least pitiful human."

Season one winner Jamie Buell has nothing but great things to say about his experience as a contestant. "Apes was great. It was one of the most rewarding things I've done creatively. Plus it was exciting to have to be so focused to get each challenge done, it didn't leave any room to doubt or second guess." Was it weird to be judged by three giant simians in a comedy context? Yes. "I was surprised by how hard I took it the first time I didn't get a good score from the Apes," Buell said. "Even though the judging aspect is totally ridiculous - three guys in ape masks - it still stung when they didn't like something I'd done."

Season two winner Kristen Studard agrees that Apes was a great experience. What was her favorite week? "Stand-up with a puppet. It was a lot of work making the puppet and I had no idea how my act would go over, but it was really fun to perform. Someone told me after the show that week, 'I've never seen someone sexually harass themselves.' I'll take that as a compliment."

Impress These Apes is a production of Chicago's own Blewt! Productions, who capped off a four year run of the comedy game show Don't Spit the Water with a trip to Los Angeles, where they pitched that show and other ideas to execs at Comedy Central, Nickelodeon, and other networks.

Impress These Apes season three continues for the next seven Mondays at 8:30 at the Lakeshore Theater. Tickets are $15.

Cruel ape overlords Steve Gadlin, Paul Luikart, Tyler Lansdown:
Steve Gadlin, Paul Luikart, Tyler Lansdown

Season three contestants:
Impress These Apes Season Three Contestants

More photos and videos from last Monday's season opening show after the jump.

Last Monday's winner, Seth Dodson, kicks off his stand-up set, fulfilling his required use of insult comedy by telling the entire Lakeshore Theater that the author of this post is so nasty, she pours salt down her pants to keep her crabs fresh:

Show host, enslaved "Beauty Pageant Host," (note the shock collar) portrayed by Ken Barnard, and hapless human contestant Alan Metoskie:
Ken Barnard, Alan Metoskie

Contestant Becky Eldridge:
Becky Eldridge

Contestant Danielle Puterbaugh:
Danielle Puterbaugh

Contestant Seth Dodson:
Seth Dodson

Host Ken Barnard, contestant Leigh Vandiver, co-host "Future Human" Jim Fath:
Ken Barnard, Leigh Vandiver, Jim Fath

Seasons one and two hosts Jared Logan and Dan Telfer, communicating through transmissions from the future:
Jared Logan and Dan Telfer

Ken Barnard, Jim Fath:
Ken Barnard, Jim Fath

Steve Gadlin, Paul Luikart, Tyler Lansdown, Ken Barnard, Alan Metoskie, Jim Fath:
Steve Gadlin, Paul Luikart, Tyler Lansdown, Ken Barnard, Alan Metoskie, Jim Fath

 
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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 »

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