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Tuesday, September 27

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Comedy Fri Jun 14 2013

Russell Brand: TBS Just for Laughs Festival

Thumbnail image for Russell_Brand_Photo_Chi13.jpg

From the moment Russell Brand hit the Chicago Theatre stage, the enthusiastic [largely female] crowd greeted him with applause befitting a rock star. The British comedic actor, who became a U.S. household name after roles in box office hits like Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Get Him to the Greek and Rock of Ages, served as a headliner Wednesday night at this year's TBS Just for Laughs Festival.

Brand, much to the crowd's delight, began the evening by acknowledging the Chicago Blackhawks' run for the Stanley Cup; from there, he continued his set, in an "everywhere-and-all-over-the-place" fashion, on subjects that included the Chicago Theatre's architecture (certain structures were "phallic" while others resembled female genitalia), the reciprocal relationship of "sexting," his "internet death" (snowboarding incident), his admiration of the late Michael Jackson (sans the "Jesus juice pajama parties"), weird State of Illinois laws--and even civil rights.

Through the maze of his performance, Brand seemed mostly in his zone when he spoke about his passion for women. "I worship women," he said. "I see them as my way back to God. There is power in the elegance of female sexuality." That profession later gave way to Brand's vivid demonstration, complete with hand and finger movements of his, well, "technique," whenever he enjoys the company of a woman.

The show wasn't your typical "stand-up" fare and was certainly geared towards a specific audience, probably, fans of his movies or his recently-cancelled F/X show, "Brand X"; however, Brand's lack of a real, organized platform (the on-screen childhood photo of Hitler notwithstanding), despite the intermittent laughter, made the show difficult to follow, proving once again that perhaps "comedic actor" doesn't always successfully translate well on a live stage.

Russell Brand photo courtesy of TBS Just for Laughs.

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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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