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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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Friday, March 1

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Theater Fri May 22 2015

Based on a True Story @ Under the Gun Theater

Based on A True Story2.jpg

Based on a True Story is an entertaining slice of improv on Saturday nights. Under the Gun Theater hosts the show at 956 W. Newport Ave. in Wrigleyville. It's a little hidden oasis tucked among a roiling sea of zombielike frat boys roaming the sidewalk looking for a way in to any establishment that sells liquor. Busting through the drunken crowd to the haven of the second floor, everything becomes fun and light again, with the rotating cast of around 30-plus members making up for your travails.

At the top of the show, the host introduced the guest of the week, Zach Zimmerman, a new ensemble member at Under the Gun. He is an actor, writer, improviser and good sport when it comes to having his life cheerfully dissected by his colleagues. Each week the show starts with a casual interview between the host and someone from the Chicago arts community. The host delves into the guest's background, with the attentive ensemble nearby looking for a good occasion to break out into an improvised set, drawing inspiration from the guest's stories. Although they rarely depicted the literal facts of what Zimmerman described in his interview, they were quite adept at catching on to the funny and interesting bits of his tale and expanding upon them. Perhaps one of the funniest permutations of Zimmerman's interview was when the ensemble re-enacted a traditional alum parade at Princeton University, headed up by the oldest white man who avoided arrest for public intoxication by getting drunk in a box.

Director Kevin Mullaney has struck on an improv format that keeps the material fresh and the cast hopping, which makes it a great night out with friends. Upcoming guests are Susan Messing tomorrow and Ric Walker on May 30.

Based on a True Story runs through summer. Tickets can be purchased for $12 here.

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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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