Archive for the ‘Events’ Category


I shaved my beard. Why would I part with something that I have described as “my sideburns giving my face a hug”? I did so because now I am growing a mustache for charity.

826CHI is a non-profit org that gives free tutoring and writing classes to students from 6-18. As a teacher and lover of writing, I have to lend all my support to this organization. In this case, all of my support involves growing a mustache till March 29th. I’m aiming for a Sheriff Bullock from the TV show Deadwood look. If it goes really well I could end up looking like the historical Sheriff Bullock. If it goes real bad, I could end up looking like Sandra Bullock.

If you want to support writing classes for Chicago’s youth or you want to support my hirsute march toward uber-masculinity, then click on this link to take you to the Mustache-a-thon’s page. Then click on the link under Bryan Bowden’s loverly visage. BAM! You just donated.

Tell your friends, tell your enemies, tell your employer (who might match your donation), tell everyone to donate to this wonderful organization and the creation of a more mustached world.

Yuck It Up

Bundle up and head out to The Lincoln Lodge at 9 p.m. tonight for chuckles and beer–what more could you ask for on a Wednesday evening? That’s right, nothing. So, don’t miss out on ten of Chicago’s top comedians dishing out their best material for a special Comcast On-demand taping.

The evening is hosted by the lovely Allison Leber and features Ryan Budds, Julianna Forlano, Nick Vatterott, Dave Odd, Fay Canale, Dustin White, Elizabeth McQuern, and James Lee. Did I mention that tickets are only five dollars (or a mere $3 if purchased online)?

Chicago Sketchfest 2008

The Seventh Annual Chicago Sketchfest opens tonight at The Theater Building (1225 W. Belmont). Since there are over one hundred shows going on during the eight day festival, I like to look to the comedy experts to sort out where I should spend my time and money. Time Out Chicago has a wonderful hour by hour list of best bets compiled by Steve Heisler. And The Bastion has a nice rundown of their favorites as well.

If you are really nerdy, like me, then you will want to go inside the sketch writers minds. To do that, you can head over to Don Hall’s blog. There you can read about the show him and Joe Janes are performing twice during the festival. Or you can read the very funny article that sketch group Team Submarine wrote for Time Out Chicago explaining their writing process.

Because we all could use some free stand-up comedy…

Many people go to Schubas for the music, and they should. However, I’ve been going to this music hot spot most Sunday evenings not for music, but for stand-up comedy. At 9pm (roughly), comedians Prescott Tolk and James Fritz host Your Sunday Best in the upstairs bar. It starts off with a showcase of some of Chicago’s finest stand-up talent followed by an open mic. Best of all, it’s totally FREE. That’s right you can sit, drink beer, and watch comedians who have appeared or will appear on late night TV. You drink enough beer then you might even sign up and try some of those funny ideas you got ruminating. As a special bonus you might catch myself or fellow metroblogger Dan Telfer making with the ha ha’s. Tell you what I’ll even give you a sample filmed by The Bastion editor Elizabeth McQuern:

Critical Mass

The 10th Anniversary Critical Mass ride took place on Friday, preceeded by much discussion of whether 10 years was enough and whether it was time to call the whole thing off. I already see a poster for next month’s ride, so I guess that answers that. First time CM rider Bella Rossa put together the video above and other ride reports exist on the CM site.

2007 Chicago Book Festival

So, with the start of the new month, the Chicago Book Festival is in full swing. (Happy October.) There’s a lot of cool things happening all over town (I’ll describe the events through Wednesday after the jump). And, most of them are free.Try and get to a couple of these in between innings. (more…)

Art of Play

Art of Play

There’s so much going on in Chicago that sometimes even a big festival might escape your notice until, say, your wife is performing as part of it. At least, that’s my excuse.

Art of Play is a “citywide celebration” of games and play that’s been going on since June 1 and will continue until September 30. The centerpieces of the celebration are the Niki in the Garden sculpture exhibit at the Garfield Park Conservatory, the Come In and Play center at 72 E Randolph St, and over 150 different events around the city.

Erica is performing tonight in the Improv Game Show series at Donny’s Skybox at The Second City (1608 N Wells) with Don’t Spit the Water, the crazy live game show that challenges you not to spit the water. The series will continue on the last Wednesday of the month with ComedySportz on August 29 and the Improv Match Game on September 26.

Edward Tufte one-day course

Information and interface design guru Edward Tufte will be teaching a one-day course in Chicago on August 23 and 24. Tufte has written extensively on effective presentation of information — notably about how terrible PowerPoint is — and the course will cover a wide array of topics. The course is $380, but that includes copies of all four of his books, a $185 value.

Skrebneski Seduced

portrait_14.jpgWorld-renowned Chicago Photographer Victor Skrebneski will be presenting a film-version of his upcoming book Skrebneski Seduced this Friday, July 13th at 6:00pm at the North Michigan Avenue Apple Store. Having seen a great deal of his work, this should be an amazing event. If you can’t make it, however, you can always catch his 2008 summer exhibit in the City Gallery of the Historic Water Tower, in which he was the landscape designer and a partial funder.

Sandra Cisneros Live at the Library

As part of the Chicago Public Library’s City of Big Readers program, author Sandra Cisneros will be speaking in the Cindy Pritzker Auditorium at the Harold Washington Library (400 S. State) tonight at 6pm.In addition to talking about her work, she’ll discuss her connection to Chicago. There’s also a book signing.

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