Archive for the ‘Entertainment’ Category

Three cheers for the hippies!!

So, I started taking percussive dance at the Old Town School of Folk Music. Man. Not only is Old Town totally awesome, the class is amazing!

There is no required skill level for my class, so it’s very diverse and fun. From novice to professional dancers, to hobbyists like myself. I had to dust off my old tap shoes in order to, well, percuss, and it was sooooo much fun. it’s like STOMP!, but I’m the one stomping!

I had so much fun that I didn’t realize how sore I was until a day later! My body is definitely mad at me – I haven’t danced for sport in, ohhhh, a decade or so. Mild pain and discomfort aside, I love this class.

I love Old Town.

Best (comedy) week ever!

The DC Comedy Fest is in town checking out Chicago’s talent which gives us two great FREE shows.

Tuesday, go see the free show over at the Beat Kitchen (2100 W. Belmont) as The Chicago Underground Comedy folks present Chicago’s best stand-ups. The action starts at 9:30, but get there earlier to make sure you have a seat to check out: Nick Vatterott, Adam Burke, Brendan McGowan, Dan Telfer, Carrie Callahan, Brady Novak, Fay Canale, Steve O. Harvey, and Chad Briggs.

Wednesday, The Playground Theater (3209 N. Halsted) is hosting the sketch portion of the DC Comedy Fest auditions. This one is also FREE (what a beautiful word) and starts at 7pm. The amazing acts performing will be: The Puterbaugh Sisters, Seeder & Lee, Turbo, Hey You Millionaires, Ken Barnard, and Money Kids.

Thursday, local stand-up favorite Prescott Tolk will perform at The Lakeshore Theater (3175 N. Broadway) at 8pm. Tickets are $10, but if you missed him on Comedy Central then fork over the dough. He’ll be recording his live comedy album I Can Complain. Your laughs could be famous.

Friday (and Thursday too), Chicago’s best stand-up prankster Ken Barnard will be doing his “three-in-one man” show titled Get Into It. This will take place at The Lincoln Lodge (4009 N. Lincoln) at 9pm. As someone who is constantly entertained by Ken’s shenanigans (such as protesting the filling of the Montrose hole), I will gladly pay the $10 to see what he’ll do next.

Finally, on Saturday, sketch group Schadenfreude will be hosting one of their famous rent parties. These are always a blast of the best sketch, stand-up, music, and what ever else happens on the stage. This will be at Silvie’s Lounge (1902 W. Irving Park Rd) and feature Annoyance comedy goddess Susan Messing and music from Lola Balatro. Fun starts at 9pm and is another measly $10 for hours of raucous goodness.

Give it a Whirl, Chicago

Recently I tagged along with a large group of friends for a birthday celebration involving the “insanity, grit, and excitement” of WhirlyBall at 1880 West Fullerton Avenue here in Chicago. For around $200 an hour, you can rent a court with your besties, and flit around in little whirring one-seaters that look like lawnmowers on steroids, while scooping madly for an uncooperative little ball.

But be warned — by the time you figure out the one-handed steering and actually wrangle possession of the elusive ball, you realize the goal’s hoop is so sunken and crazily designed that you have about a one-in-a-hundred chance of actually hitting the sweet spot.

Not to mention the fact that the most likely way to score is steaming straight down the court full-speed to the goal, and, since there are no brakes on the Whirlyball cars, crashing head-on into the wall. After seeing that strategy implemented once or twice, I was convinced that my fun would be had cheering and documenting the night’s delights. My chronic neck pain endorsed this decision.

And in case you’re thinking “Well, duh, it’s also a bar, so everyone’s too drunk to play well,” let me assure you that that it is the adrenaline reward associated with Whirlyball that’s powerfully addictive — most of my group let their unattended beers grow warm on the table of the spectators’ lounge rather than miss another chance to play.

Enjoy this brief video clip I put together and remember, Whirlyball isn’t just for rambunctious 30 year olds and Bar Mitzvahs, it’s also the suggested setting for corporate team-building events, which only makes sense. Nothing will help you the trust of your underlings quite like repeatedly ramming into them with amped-up bumper cars and then sharing a basket of conciliatory chicken fingers.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G1bJpdDgzN0[/youtube]

Ellen is coming to Chicago!!!

Holy crap! Ellen is coming to Chicago in like, three weeks!!! I love Ellen! She’s on my “people I want to meet” list! I’ve made three attempts to go to l.a. to see Ellen, but plans always fell through. And now……SHE’S COMING TO CHICAGO!!!!

The Best Free Stand-up Comedy Show in April

Jared Logan is a Chicago stand-up comedian who has been rocking the Chicago stand-up scene since 2003. Like all great Chicago stand-up comedians, though, he is moving to New York City at the end of this month. Before he runs off, he is hitting as many stand-up venues as he can. Tomorrow, he is doing a 45 minute set at the Chicago Underground Comedy at 9:30, and best of all it’s FREE. Hosting will be Carrie Callahan, and opening will be Adam Burke, and Chad Briggs. If you can’t make it tomorrow then check him out now in this video about Dungeons and Dragons.

If I had more (read: any) money, I’d go to shows…..

But I don’t.

So I can’t.

And my inbox is constantly filling up with news of upcoming shows and gigs, and right now I can barely afford to get on the bus (moving will do that to you)!

So, I figured I’d share some of them. At least somebody will get to go….

Eddie Izzard!! – Eddie is playing the Chicago Theatre  on May 15th – 17th.

Spoon  is coming to the Vic on April 4th

 Rilo Kiley is coming to the Riviera on May 24th

Jim Gaffigan is playing the Genesee Theatre on August 22nd. Yeah, I realize that’s not “technically” in Chicago. And yeah, I realize that one is pretty far out – I got excited!

And last, but not least, THE KIDS IN THE HALL!!!!! This one I may actually try to go to, but I figured it was worth mentioning (again). They’re going to be at the Chicago Theatre on May 29th!!!

There you have it, folks. Five random gigs, plucked from my inbox, just for you. If anyone plans on going to any of these shows and you happen to have an extra ticket, lemme know…

Hip Hop Hooray

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Despite the fact that my roommate had rented the entire first season of Tell Me You Love Me and pizza was on the way, I still managed to peel my rear off the couch last Thursday in time to check out an open mic in Humboldt Park. And despite the fact that I have an unhealthy obsession with Tell Me You Love Me (and pizza, if we’re talking openly here), goddamn am I glad I ditched both in favor of catching the brilliant lyrical stylings of Phillip Morris.
Political and complex with a touch of blistering wit thrown in for good measure, Morris’ brand of hip hop will have you bobbin’ your head on the dance floor…and giving some serious thought to the social injustices featured in his rhymes. Don’t miss his upcoming show, April 4 at Betty’s Blue Star Lounge, where he’ll be taking to the stage with cellist and Tomorrow Music Orchestra member, Lilianna Zofia.

It’s Time to Laugh Chicago…..

My favorite comedy troop ever, and I do mean EVER is coming to Chicago. Lets all get excited to seeThe Kids in the Hall. They are so funny and cute and I love Bruce!! They are playing at the Chicago Theatre. So you can purchase tickets at their box office or at Ticket Master. And if you have an extra ticket…give me a call……

Chic-A-Go-Go: The Movie

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I’m a long-time fan of Chic-A-Go-Go, the world’s best cable-access dance party hosted by a rat puppet and a hottie, so I’m looking forward to Chic-A-Go-Go: The Movie, which is world-premiering with a free showing this Sunday (March 2) at 3 pm. The plot (I’m guessing that word should be probably be in quotes) is ripped straight from schlocky rock band movies of the 1950s and features a slew of Chicago musicians. Kelly Hogan AND Sharkula? — awesome-pants.

Portage Theater
4050 N Milwaukee

Puppet Bike 5th Anniversary

Puppet Bike

As big of a fan of the Puppet Bike as I am, I certainly don’t want to stand around in this kind of weather watching happy dancing cats. So it’s fortunate that the Puppet Bike’s Fifth Anniversary is being celebrated inside with 5 days of activities — art work from the puppeteers, bands, speeches, and puppet performances.

Wednesday, Feb 20 – Sunday, Feb 24 at the Peter Jones Gallery, 1806 West Cuyler, 2nd floor, Chicago.

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