Gapers Block has ceased publication.

Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
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Thursday, January 26

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Comedy Wed Mar 13 2013

Congrats On Your Success: Free Comedy Showcase in Logan Square

decaudienceflyersmall.jpgLast Thursday, I trekked through early-March slush to watch local standups perform in Congrats On Your Success, a BYOB showcase held every first Thursday of the month at Uncharted Books in Logan Square. At first read, standup in a used bookstore might seem strange -- wait, aren't standups confined to dark dive bars, you say -- but that's the great thing about Chicago comedy right now, it's happening all over the city, anywhere people can get a microphone and a crowd.

With its mismatched chairs and exposed brick, Uncharted Books feels like the basement of your friend's cool parents. The unconventional comedy space is a little more accessible for people who might not see many shows and conversely a change of pace for people who see comedy/perform every night.

Hosted by Bill Bullock, the CoYS lineup featured five smart comics who gave us a mix of storytelling, observations, and solid jokes. All the performers seemed really relaxed, which was nice because we got to hear jokes that felt natural -- anything from Rebecca O'Neal talking about a Venn diagram of her love life to Nicholas Rouley's feelings on having children.

The show opener is always really important -- they set the tone -- and O'Neal was smart about warming up the crowd. I like when a comic can take an event that recently happened to them -- in O'Neal's case riding the CTA -- and turn it into a bonding moment for the audience; everyone's like yeah, that thing happens to me too. She did a confessional style of standup that really worked for her.

Ian Abramson probably had the tightest set of the night. His jokes were really well-paced and his timing was on point. His bit about a Target t-shirt got a "large" response from the audience.

Nicholas Rouley (Kind of Blue Comedy) and Davey Boy Helem both did their thing. Rouley was funny in this cool, observational way -- his material about marriage and children was especially funny to me. He knew how to interact with the crowd and at some points would check-in with us about his jokes. I really like Helem -- who hadn't "been that far North" in a while. He was just kinckin it with the crowd and his jokes had some of the strongest punchlines.

Candy Lawrence closed out the night. I vibed a lot with her set, because she admitted she hadn't showered in a few days and what if I just floated away right now. Lawrence had this ease with the audience and had a really smart way of interacting with us -- like she'd tell a story, finish, and then go into an impersonation. Her Rose from the Titanic could get any crowd to laugh (even frat boys, apparently).

Congrats On Your Success has a party feel to it -- I think there was a keg toward the back, but I didn't go check it out -- and feels unique to Logan Square. Go check it out next month.

Produced by Bill Bullock, Justin Covington, Sonia Denis, Odinaka Ezeokoli, Rebecca O'Neal, and Charlie Rohrer, CoYS is a free comedy show that happens the first Thursday of every month from 7-9pm at Uncharted Books, 2630 N. Milwaukee Ave. For more information, check out the show's Facebook page.

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Davey Boy Helem / March 15, 2013 11:35 AM

Thanks for the love, guys...

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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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