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David Lissner
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New club brings comedy to downtown Chicago

They call it the Red Bar Comedy Club, but the humor can be decidedly blue.

Limbaugh lampoon easier to take than the original

“Does Fox News have a theater critic?” I wondered, after viewing Second City Theatricals’ “Rush Limbaugh! The Musical.” Probably not. Live theater may be deemed too effete for their NASCAR- and gun sports-loving audiences. If they had, I’m sure he’d have panned this show. As a card-carrying member of the Big-City, Blue-State, Liberal Press, though, […]

Night out: ‘Massive Obama-esque post-racial night of colorblind humor’

“Holla, Hola, Heeey (Oy Vey!),” brings together Chicago’s gay, Latina, African-American and Jewish comedy communities for a one-night, cross-cultural show celebrating the city’s diversity at 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 5 at iO’s Cabaret Theater in Wrigleyville. Tickets are $14. This one-of-a-kind, major minority evening features: BlackOut, a variety show by African-American improvisers Sherman Edwards, Darwin […]

Night out: Chase the post-holiday blues with a free show

Don’t stay home hibernating! Connect with the people you didn’t see over the holidays. “What better way to do that than a free show that includes music and laughter and two fat guys eating nasty food!” says Mary Czerwinski, coordinator of the “n.u.f.a.n. nights” series at the Holiday Club in Uptown. The n.u.f.a.n. ensemble has […]

21 cheap dates for New Year’s Eve in Chicago

‘The Mystery of Irma Vep’ a rollicking gothic spoof

Charles Ludlam’s most famous campy comedy, “The Mystery of Irma Vep,” gets a first-rate revival at Court Theatre in Hyde Park under the direction of Sean Graney. The play exhibits two of this straitened season’s theatrical themes, the “comfort-theater,” sure-thing revival, and the limited cast. But you don’t get more for your money than with […]

Night out: Kvell with Don Byron and the music of Mickey Katz

The early show is already sold out, bubelehs, so sign up quick so you shouldn’t miss the late show: Don Byron: The Music of Mickey Katz at 9:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 14, at the Museum of Contemporary Art Theater in Streeterville. Tickets are $20. A great African-American jazz musician channeling one of the finest Yiddish […]

Depression-era’s ‘You Can’t Take It With You’ still very funny

I’ve noted before that hard times evoke nostalgia in theater directors, but George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart’s “You Can’t Take It With You” needs no such impetus to be worth a revival. Although this 1937 Pulitzer Prize winner certainly shows its origins in the Great Depression, “You Can’t Take It With You” is one […]

‘Animal Crackers’ and ‘Wonderettes’: Hard times spark nostalgia shows

During hard times, people seek the warmth of the well-known, the solace of childhood memory. In dining, that means comfort food (perhaps explaining local food media’s recent burger fixation. The stage equivalent — comfort theater, if you will — arises in low-risk revivals and shows that look back at happier days. So, the Goodman Theatre […]

The Second City celebrates 50 years of laughs

  Chicago’s landmark comedy troupe, The Second City, is gearing up celebrate its 50th anniversary this December with the launch of a new commemorative Web site featuring historic photos, videos and more. Evolving from the Compass Players, a cabaret revue show started by University of Chicago theater students, The Second City premiered in an Old […]