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Comedy Tue Oct 09 2012

Comedy Seen: The Undead and The Undecided

Comedy Seen.jpgThe first sign of fall isn't the changing leaves, it's when all your friends get sick. We all know that laughter is the best cure for everything, from the common cold to hypothermia. Fight off your impeding flu by seeing some shows.

Here's what got me laughing last week...

Monday (10. 01)
The Armando Diaz Theatrical Experience & Hootenanny (iO)

Tuesday (10.02)
Lethal Action Force (Playground Theater)

Wednesday (10.03)
Zombie Genius (Annoyance Theatre)

Thursday (10.04)
Night of the Un-Dead Forms!!!!!! (Upstairs Gallery)

Saturday (10.06)
44 Plays for 44 Presidents (The Neo-Futurists)

Here are my bite-sized reviews ...

Monday (10. 01)
The Armando Diaz Theatrical Experience & Hootenanny (iO)

The Armando Diaz Experience focuses on one person (different each week) who gives an improvised monologue from a crowd suggestion. The rest of the team improvises off the narrative. The monologist will tell their story and leave the stage, coming back throughout to tell more of the story, intertwining the show and structuring the improv.

Patrick Rowland gave the monologue and he talked about his favorite season (fall), what he's most scared of (spiders) and life-changing events. Rowland did a great job of letting his monologue dip into very personal anecdotes while still making the crowd laugh.

The show is composed of veteran improvisers -- T.J. Jagodowski played the night I went -- and is a sure bet for a good show.

You can catch the show every Monday at 8:30 PM in the Del Close Theater - tickets are $12 (free for iO students).

Tuesday (10.02)
Lethal Action Force (Playground Theatre)

Seeing Lethal Action Force perform is like watching an Arnold Schwarzenegger movie but with better acting. Throughout the set, team members call out different camera angles -- like, "close up" or "from his crotch's perspective" -- and the team adjusts the point-of-view for the audience. It might seem confusing, but the team does a really good job of just rolling with it, and a few minutes into the set I was right there with them.

The suggestion for the night was something like "Boystown in the Hood," which come on, is kind of perfect. The team had really great energy and the narrative -- which centered on Rahm Emanuel and some boys -- was strong. You definitely have to check them out when you can.

Wednesday (10.03)
Zombie Genius (Annoyance Theatre)

Zombies (well the mutated, talking kind) want love too, and we shouldn't deny them that -- or their rights. In Zombie Genius, the zombie apocalypse started a revolution. The show follows Albert, a social-justice-y zombie (or Deceased American, as he prefers to be called). Albert is fighting for equal rights until he meets -- you guessed it -- the girl of his decaying dreams.

With Halloween at the end of this month, I know you (non-Deceased American) want to see a show about zombies and you should make this one it. Check out my full write-up here.

Zombie Genius runs every Wed. at 10pm through Oct. 31 at the Annoyance Theater, 4830 N. Broadway. You can buy tickets for $10 or $8 with student ID (presented at the box office). Buy Here.

Thursday (10.04)
Night of the Un-Dead Forms!!!!!! (Upstairs Gallery)

Every Thursday during this Halloween-month, the Upstairs Gallery is doing the "rarely performed" -- or undead -- improv forms "living room" and "bat."

"Living Room" was really cool; the team was kicking it, telling stories and improvising based off personal anecdotes like someone's tattooed body, dogs, and listening to your pre-pubescent voice.

For the "bat" they turned off all the lights. It was the first show I'd ever seen that intentionally performed in the dark. The "bat" took me a little bit to adjust to the darkness and to get over the fear that someone was going to strangle me or something, but after I did, I really enjoyed it. With the lights off, the show becomes a different sensory experience, and I hope this improv form doesn't stay just "rarely performed."

Check it out, if you dare: Thursdays, October 11, 18, 25 - 8pm, Free (Donations Accepted) BYOB.

Saturday (10.06)
44 Plays for 44 Presidents (The Neo-Futurists)

Some people call it fall, others call it election season. The new show from the Neo-Futurists chronicles every US president. The show is a really interesting take on US history, but I'm not going to be too liberal with my opinions just yet -- I'm doing a full write-up this week, so check back. Let's just say, I definitely vote for this show.

44 Plays for 44 Presidents is running October 4 through November 10 Thursday, Friday, and Saturday at 7:30pm. There will also be select Sunday shows at 3:00 PM.


Jasper / October 10, 2012 4:50 PM

I have never "seen" a show in the dark, ever, and I must say it was an amazing experience. Only having the actor's voices to focus on made it surreal, intense, not to mention hilarious.

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Theater Wed Aug 13 2014

An Epic, Tragic Win: All Our Tragic

By Benjamin Cannon & Mike Ewing

What then is to be made of the Hypocrites' new stage production, All Our Tragic? This massive opus, comprising all 32 surviving Greek tragedy plays re-written and directed by Sean Graney, lasts a staggering 12 hours, including intermissions and meal breaks. Ben and Mike go the distance.
Read this feature »

Steve at the Movies Sat Aug 23 2014

Sin City: A Dame to Kill For, If I Stay, When the Game Stands Tall, The Trip to Italy, The One I Love, Land Ho! & The Possession of Michael King

By Steve Prokopy

Read this column »


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Thu Aug 28 2014
Adam Burke Show @ Hideout

Fri Aug 29 2014
The Cooke Book @ Lincoln Hall

Fri Aug 29 2014
Noir City Film Festival @ Music Box

Sat Aug 30 2014
The Cooke Book @ Lincoln Hall

Sat Aug 30 2014
Recombinant Stare Opening @ Spudnik Press

Sat Aug 30 2014
Noir City Film Festival @ Music Box

Sat Aug 30 2014
Remix Chicago @ Logan Square

Sat Aug 30 2014
All Our Tragic @ The Den Theatre

Sun Aug 31 2014
Oddball Comedy Festival

Sun Aug 31 2014
Noir City Film Festival @ Music Box

Sun Aug 31 2014
Remix Chicago @ Logan Square

Mon Sep 1 2014
Impress These Apes @ ComedySportz

Mon Sep 1 2014
The Unauthorized "Saved by the Bell" Story @ East Room

Mon Sep 1 2014
Noir City Film Festival @ Music Box

Tue Sep 2 2014
Noir City Film Festival @ Music Box

Wed Sep 3 2014
Noir City Film Festival @ Music Box

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