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.
 Thank you for your readership and contributions. 


Monday, April 22

Gapers Block

Gapers Block on Facebook Gapers Block on Flickr Gapers Block on Twitter The Gapers Block Tumblr

« 2 Guns, Blue Jasmine & The Hunt Borders, 26 Icelandic Sculptures, to Land in Grant Park »

Comedy Mon Aug 05 2013

The Comedic Chops of (long pause)

Long Pause Press.JPG
Tucked beyond the parades of gleefully drunk Cubs fans, just on the outskirts of Wrigleyville, sitting in humble solidarity is The Public House Theatre. I've walked past it on many occasions with questioning curiosity of what may be going on inside...

This cozy theatre is where a group of veteran sketch artists and improv actors known as (long pause) perform their zany Chicago version of "Saturday Night Live." One-half pre-recorded film segments and one-half sketch comedy in front of a live audience, the group of actors, writers, and improvisers have garnered some national attention with their ongoing sketch comedy series. The sixth installment of the show is being performed every Thursday at the Public House Theatre.

Cast member Chris Bragg mentions the influence of Mr. Show and Mighty Python, which are surely present, but the group brings some Chicago twang and local flavor to the mix. If you've been to any shows at Second City, iO or The Playground Theatre in the past eight years, chances are you've seen something written or performed by a member of this talented bunch.

After months of preparation, their sixth episode, 'The Reception', snakes the audience through an emotional trip, taking young men down the road of awkward goodbyes with their dads and brings women to a place of commitments, marriage, babies and all the awkward bits in between, including "cousin lovers," miscarriages, and "mom sex."

Despite the episode's humorous past, the sixth installment brought some very touching and real moments. It carried tension, sadness and compassion to the stage, but this is comedy after all, and the group brings the viewer back down to earth with humor. Like all good comedians, the actors grapple with reality the only way they can, by looking at it honestly and making a big joke out of it.

In one of the past bits, members Chris Bragg and Matt Lovin bond as alcoholic co-workers who cope with the lonely, traveling life of an airplane pilot. Previously in the Chicago Sketch Comedy Festival, the two were members of Grandma June's Sewing Circle, along with member Christopher McConnell. Likewise, most of the members bounced around the likes of Second City and iO with their comfortable chemistry apparent.

(long pause) Episode 01: Trav'lin' Light from Long Pause Comedy on Vimeo.

"For (long pause), I probably had the least amount of adjustment for anything I've done yet," comments cast member Chris Bragg. "I knew everybody pretty well right from the start. But more and more, you can definitely see it in the performances in this episode. People are feeling really comfortable together and are working on pretty emotionally connected and sometimes intimate stuff."

The female cast members are an essential part of the group. With Erin Breen (now a L.A. transplant), Erin Johnson, and the charismatic new member Brigid Marshall, the ladies hold it down comically and dramatically.

Ms. Johnson and fellow (long pause) member Joel Wiersema share an interesting relationship in the new episode as blood-related lovers. It isn't until after the two date and share some intimate moments does it dawn on them that they are cousins, as they attend a family wedding where the two are uncertain how to portray their relationship.

The couple plays with the idea of a somewhat incestuous relationship, and those nagging, dirty thoughts of having a cute cousin. The episode chronicles the couple's loving, hateful, and maybe inappropriate relationship.

The happy bride-to-be at the wedding is portrayed by Marshall. "Brigid is an interesting case," notes Bragg. "Not only did she come in later, but crazily about a week after she was hit by a car and spent some time in the hospital having fractured her pelvis." Getting up to speed, Marshall has become a noticeable fixture on stage.

Bragg bluntly mentions, "She's become a major part of this thing--I, for one, am very glad she didn't die when she was hit by that car."

The process of creating a (long pause) episode is a lot of work. With months of preparation, writing, and filming, some of the themes are loosely written to give the improvisers some wiggle room to play with. "We like to use the improv talents of the guys in our group--and this group has some of the best and most underrated improvisers I have ever worked with," said Bragg. "We intentionally carved out some time to shoot very, very, loose ideas. A lot of that stuff turned into some of the funniest stuff in the episode."


Full episodes of (long pause) are online and I am assured that the fifth and sixth episodes will be online shortly; however, I highly suggest catching the most recent episode, 'The Reception', Thursdays at 9:30pm throughout August, at the Public House Theatre, 3914 N. Clark St. Tickets are $10; for more information, call 773--904-8777.

GB store
GB store

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 »


An Angry White Guy
AREA Chicago
ArchitectureChicago Plus
Arts Engagement Exchange
The Art Letter
Art or Idiocy?
Art Slant Chicago
Art Talk Chicago
Bad at Sports
Bite and Smile
Brian Dickie of COT
Bridgeport International
Carrie Secrist Gallery
Chainsaw Calligraphy
Chicago Art Blog
Chicago Art Department
Chicago Art Examiner
Chicago Art Journal
Chicago Artists Resource
Chicago Art Map
Chicago Art Review
Chicago Classical Music
Chicago Comedy Examiner
Chicago Cultural Center
Chicago Daily Views
Chicago Film Examiner
Chicago Film Archives
Chicago Gallery News
Chicago Uncommon
Contemporary Art Space
Co-op Image Group
Co-Prosperity Sphere
Chicago Urban Art Society
Creative Control
Devening Projects
DIY Film
The Exhibition Agency
The Flatiron Project
F newsmagazine
The Gallery Crawl...
Galerie F
The Gaudy God
Happy Dog Gallery
Homeroom Chicago
I, Homunculus
Hyde Park Artcenter Blog
Joyce Owens: Artist on Art
Julius Caesar
Kasia Kay Gallery
Kavi Gupta Gallery
Rob Kozlowski
Lookingglass Theatre Blog
Lumpen Blog
Mess Hall
Neoteric Art
Not If But When
Noun and Verb
On Film
On the Make
Peanut Gallery
Peregrine Program
The Poor Choices Show
Pop Up Art Loop
The Post Family
The Recycled Film
Reversible Eye
Rhona Hoffman Gallery
Roots & Culture Gallery
The Seen
Sisterman Vintage
Site of Big Shoulders
Sixty Inches From Center
Soleil's To-Do's
Sometimes Store
Stop Go Stop
Storefront Rebellion
TOC Blog
Theater for the Future
Theatre in Chicago
The Franklin
The Mission
The Theater Loop
Thomas Robertello Gallery
Time Tells Tony Wight Gallery
Uncommon Photographers
The Unscene Chicago
The Visualist
Western Exhibitions
What's Going On?
What to Wear During an Orange Alert?
You, Me, Them, Everybody
Zg Gallery

GB store



A/C on Flickr

Join the A/C Flickr Pool.

About A/C

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

Editor: Nancy Bishop,
A/C staff inbox:



A/C Flickr Pool
 Subscribe in a reader.

GB store

GB Store

GB Buttons $1.50

GB T-Shirt $12

I ✶ Chi T-Shirts $15