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106 total results

39th Revue

Open run: Thu 8 PM, Fri 8 and 11 PM, Sat 8 and 11 PM, Sun 7 PM

The Second City E.T.C.'s 39th revue featuring all new material. Prices vary

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Second City (map)
1616 N. Wells St.
Old Town
phone 312-337-3992

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Antic's Roadshow With Devon Meyers

Through 6/25: Thu 10 PM
,

A musical send-up of Antiques Roadshow. $10

MCL Chicago (map)
3110 N. Sheffield
Lakeview

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Apes of Wrath

Open run: Tue-Thu 8 PM, Fri-Sat 8 and 11 PM, Sun 7 PM

The six spritely, mercurial, wholly engaging performers behind Second City E.T.C.'s Apes of Wrath work overtime to make their show appear to be about something. But just what remains a mystery. And an unnecessary one at that. Press materials describe the two-hour sketch comedy review in vaguely dystopic terms. "In the world of high stakes, we become a more heightened version of ourselves," the PR asserts, "which can sometimes resemble more simian behavior than human." Despite the syntactical tangle, the point seems clear: this will be a series of skits about our baser selves, in which "the dark and light sides of our human devolution" will be showcased. Except for the most part, they're not. Unitard-clad performance artists improvise poetry about the World Cup and cigarettes for inmates at Louisiana State Prison. The Andromeda and Milky Way galaxies, on a collision course, seduce each other by singing about their impending billion-night stand. The attention-span-challenged BuzzFeed staff try to concoct daily lists with social significance, like "The 15 Vegetables That Don't Make Me Greenhouse Gassy." Continue reading >> $23

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Second City E.T.C. (map)
Piper's Alley, 1608 N. Wells St.
Old Town
phone 312-337-3992
Apes of Wrath

Arguments and Grievances

Open run: first Sun of each month, 8 PM

As the country faces deep, divisive questions about the nature and direction of our shared society, some issues are in perilous danger of falling through the cracks. Phish vs. Insane Clown Posse. Friend Zone vs. Bone Zone. Star Trek vs. Star Wars. Curated by Zach Peterson, this excellent debate series enlists some of the city's funniest underground comedians to hash out the overlooked questions of our day. The lineup and topics rotate each week, but on opening night the comics came doubly armed with hard facts and potent bits. Politicians take note: Showing up to a debate in ICP greasepaint is one sure way to polarize a crowd. On the Juggalo question, there can be no middle ground. —Keith Griffith

Schubas (map)
3159 N. Southport Ave.
Lakeview
phone 773-525-2508

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The Armando Diaz Theatrical Experience & Hootennany

Open run: Mon 8 PM

An old standby, this weekly show originated by David Koechner, Adam McKay, and, yes, Armando Diaz during the trio’s heyday at iO Theater remains as entertaining as ever, using performer monologues as inspiration for a night of masterful long-form improv. $12

iO Theater (map)
1501 N. Kingsbury
Other North

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Baby Wants Candy: The Rock Musical

Open run: Fri 10:30 PM

Baby Wants Candy—a tight troupe now famous for its improvised musicals—began in 1997 as one of the dozens of ImprovOlympic teams formed every year. Somehow they've avoided the usual dissolution of such groups. More impressive, they've never experienced the artistic conservatism that paralyzes improvisers eager to "do it right"—and reap the reward, presumably, of a career in NYC or LA. Instead the troupe has become the very model of smart, physical, quick-thinking, and just plain silly long-form improvisers; they still play well together and manage to entertain. Inspired by the improbable suggestion "So this is it" at the show I saw, nine actors (backed by the five-member Yes Band) improvised a complicated, hilarious, tongue-in-cheek tale of three partnerships on the rocks--two marriages and a professional relationship--and the narrator who helps bring the couples back together. —Jack Helbig $15

Apollo Theater (map)
2540 N. Lincoln Ave.
Lincoln Park
phone 773-935-6100

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Baby Wine

Open run: Fri 8:30 PM

Improv from an all-gay cast. $14

iO Theater (map)
1501 N. Kingsbury
Other North

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Bastards of the Underground

Open run: Sat 11:55 PM

Improv veterans come together to put on a show that breaks all the rules of improvisation. $5

iO Theater (map)
1501 N. Kingsbury
Other North

Tools

The Best of Kill All Comedy

Last Friday of the month, 6:30 PM

Kill All Comedy's Joey Dundale made a good observation: the Wicker Park and Bucktown areas are "strangely devoid" of sketch comedy, and particularly the experimental kind that's his collective's specialty. With a new monthly show at the Hideout, Kill All hopes to fill the void—with fake blood, real dildos, etc. —Gwynedd Stuart, 2013 $5

Hideout (map)
1354 W. Wabansia Ave.
West Town/Noble Square
phone 773-227-4433

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The Best of Second City

Open run: Sat 4 PM, Mon 8 PM

The finest sketches, songs, and improvisations from the company's 50-year history. Prices vary

Buy Tickets
Second City (map)
1616 N. Wells St.
Old Town
phone 312-337-3992

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The Big Yellow Bus

Open run: Sun 9:15 PM

A core cast performs a different type of long-form improv each week, with guests. The actors meet once just before going on, which gives a frenetic unpredictability to their bits and leads to prankish pushing and pulling, but it also produces occasional fumbling to discover others' sensibilities. —Ryan Hubbard donation requested

Playground Theater (map)
3209 N. Halsted St.
Lakeview
phone 773-871-3793

Blackout Diaries

Open run: Sat 8 PM

Comedians tell their most embarrassing drinking stories. $10

High-Hat Club (map)
1920 W. Irving Park
North Center
phone 773-697-8660

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Blessing

Open run: Tue 10:30 PM

Blaine Swen and Susan Messing's two-person show. $5

iO Theater (map)
1501 N. Kingsbury
Other North

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The Blue Show

Open run: Fri 10 PM

Late-night improv where no suggestion is turned down and the performers don't hold back. $15

ComedySportz Theatre (map)
929 W. Belmont Ave.
Lakeview
phone 773-549-8080 or 312-559-1212

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Bri-Ko

Open run: Sat 2 PM

How many bumbling buddies does it take to screw in a lightbulb? Or juggle? Or deliver a meal in a water balloon? On Saturday afternoons at Stage 773, the answer is three—specifically the three members of Bri-Ko. The sketch-comedy troupe Rube Goldberg would've created if Rube Goldberg had created sketch-comedy troupes, Bri-Ko puts on a silent clown show for the sort of kid who'd appreciate British humor. The name suggests bricolage—i.e., art improvised from materials found at hand. But the many kooky props at hand here (Nerf darts, ping-pong balls, various foodstuffs) are used to make a great, big mess. Tim Soszko, Brian Peterlin, and Chicago Sketch Fest founder Brian Posen bop happily about like Beaker the Muppet, contriving difficult ways to accomplish routine tasks. High art it's not, but the slapstick is practiced and the dumb smiles on these bozos' faces are contagious. —Asher Klein $10-$20

Stage 773 (map)
1225 W. Belmont Ave.
Lakeview
phone 773-327-5252
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