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Comedy Mon Mar 18 2013

Queer Comedy at Zanies Presents James Adomian

ADOMIAN2.jpg
James Adomian

Queer Comedy at Zanies, now in its third season, is a comedy show that brings Chicago's best queer comedians to the stage at Zanies, the famous Chicago comedy club at the corner of North and Wells. Presented by OutLoud Chicago, which was created by Adam Guerino to bring queer entertainment to mainstream Chicago venues, each show strives to prove that queer comedy belongs with mainstream comedy. By getting the best and brightest queer comics onto one of the most historic comedy stages, packing the house night after night and making it erupt with laughter, Guerino is showing that being funny has nothing to do with your sexuality. This month, Guerino is especially proud to present James Adomian, who was a finalist on "Last Comic Standing," has headlined SXSW and opened for the great Joan Rivers, and made appearances on everything from "Comedy Bang Bang" to "Conan." The March 26th show will be opened by Guerino and hosted by one of Chicago's favorites, Candy Lawrence. Guerino and Lawrence talk about why Queer Comedy at Zanies is important, whether or not they actually like each other (they do), and why they are so excited to work with James Adomian.

Queer Comedy at Zanies is now in its third season. How has it evolved since you started in 2011?

Guerino: I think I originally wanted to have queer comedy next to mainstream comedy. It was important to me that there wasn't a difference between the two so to have a show at a historic comedy club was the only original goal. Then it grew. The queer community in Chicago grew and Queer Comedy at Zanies became a place for queer comedians all across the country to perform.

guerino.jpg
Adam Guerino

Who have been some of your out of town headliners in the past?

Guerino: Chris Doucette was our first headliner and he hails from New York, he did our very first show. By the second season, we had amazing comedians from Helen Hong to Brad Loekle. In our third season, we strive to have an out of town comedian in every show. We've had Carey Callahan, Jami Smith, Matteo Lane and this month we're having James Adomian.

What is the most exciting thing, for you, about having James Adomian headline?

Guerino: He's doing with his solo career exactly what I'm trying to do with Queer Comedy at Zanies. He's hysterical and he happens to be gay. He has had a terrific career doing everything from Conan to Comedy Bang Bang to opening for Joan Rivers. It's an honor to have Queer Comedy at Zanies become successful enough to intersect with his success.

How did you pick the rest of the lineup?

Guerino: Would you believe that I just thought Candy Lawrence and James would get along really well? Like, not just on stage, but they remind me a lot of each other. They both have this over the top quirky energy that I admire and I knew having her host the show and James headline would be electric. And I'm opening for him because, come on, I get to open for James Adomian, that's an amazing accomplishment!

Candy, Have you worked with James Adomian before? Are you a fan?

Lawrence: Big, big fan. I opened up for him at The Lincoln Lodge. He probably remembers me and put me on his résumé as well.

Have you seen the effects of Queer Comedy at Zanies yet? Do you think it has made the scene more queer-friendly?

Guerino: I've seen more queer comedians doing mainstream shows, for sure. And I've seen some queer shows pop up in bars that have a lot of straight comedians. I wouldn't take credit for it but I hope that I helped give queer comedians a confidence from doing a mainstream show that they'll approach other mainstream shows.

Candy, what do you think makes Queer Comedy at Zanies different from other shows in Chicago?

Lawrence: They definitely laugh at my lesbian cargo skorts jokes harder than any other audience.

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Candy Lawrence

What are your plans for the future of the show? Where do you see it going next?

Guerino: Later this season, September will be the season 3 contest. True to season 3's promise of becoming a more national show, the prizes will hopefully entice talent from across the country with feature stories, over $2,000 and more for winners.

Are there any moments from past shows that stand out to you as especially memorable?

Guerino: I've said this before but I stand by its awesomeness. I met Rosie O'Donnell once and was proud to tell her I ran the only mainstream queer comedy show in Chicago. She was very kind and charming, asking me if she could perform in it. We've exchanged emails since but maybe someday we'll have her headline a show.

So Candy, how do you really feel about Adam Guerino?

Lawrence: Adam Guerino is a beautiful gem. He got me drunk at John Barleycorn one night and then asked me to do stand-up. If it weren't for him I may not have gone after my dreams of being the next Jeff Foxworthy.

QQUEER.jpgJames Adomian will be headlining Queer Comedy at Zanies (1548 N. Wells St.) on March 26 for $10 advance tickets. If you miss him that night, he will be playing Zanies Chicago March 27-30 for $25.

 
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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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