Food For Thought–A Kill Your Darlings 3CR Night of Improv & Live Lit

The Kill Your Darlings Crew. Photo by Karin McKie.

Last Wednesday night was the second Kill Your Darling evening, a time for laughs, improv, free pizza (thanks to the theme of food night and Giordano’s) and a big helping of food stories as presented by Third Coast Review and friends.

I was fortunate enough to host the evening and experience the thrills of backstage pep talks, stage fright and the joy of collaboration as things all came together. Connections were made and comedy happened, inspired by our stories and the audience was pulled in to the mix with a little improv and audience participation.

It all started with Emily Drevets’ salacious description of cooking and eating a chicken. This was followed by Emma Terhaar’s startling realization that her mother did appreciate her cooking even though she discouraged her from pursuing it as a career. Mishell Livio explained the deprived relationship models have with food, and Marielle Shaw showed us how love can blossom along with a couple’s growing cooking skills in 52 Weeks of Relationships.

Each week Kill Your Darlings has a celebrity guest and on food week we had Monica Eng, the co-host of  the podcast Chewing and a food and culture reporter at WBEZ. She told a hilarious story about our first food, mother’s milk, and how not all people are keen to accept it unbidden.

Potato pancakes with applesauce.

Tracie Bedell explained how being on Guy Fieri’s show with her food truck put her right off of celebrity cooking and on to catering for the sheer love of it. Nancy Bishop dug up some family history to explain why her potato pancakes include bacon and Karin McKie dove deep into the anthropology files to compare her food hangups with one particular mummy’s lack thereof. Mmmm…tamari sauce! Last up, with the dessert course, was Aaron Sanchez who described the particular agony of being a waiter while a couple breaks up at your table.

In between each story were the Darlings, a group of three talented improv actors (Dan Oliver, Lou Leonardo and Paula Skaggs) who wove food in to their comedic highjinks while also keeping the tone light and the pace lively.

The real charm of each Wednesday of Kill Your Darlings is that we will plow through the topics headers of Third Coast Review, mowing down every distinct cultural influence Chicago has on us, from food, to theater and beyond (Beyond being the highly entertaining catch all). And of course music, who can forget music? Tomorrow, August 17, will be full of tales of music–with live music and improv to tie it all together. The show will feature David Yontz on keyboards and Steve Brod on tenor saxophone.

Third Coast Review and Tree Falls Productions continue with their evenings of “live-lit/improv mashups” on Wednesday evenings through September 14. For more details pop by Nancy’s post.

Kim Campbell
Kim Campbell

Kim Campbell (they/them) is a freelance editor, podcaster and creative writer who has spent a career focusing on the arts, particularly literature, theater and circus. Former editor of CircusTalk News, they have written about theater and circus for Third Coast Review since its very beginning. Kim is a member of the American Theatre Critics Association and the International Network of Circus Arts Magazines. In 2019, they were on the jury of FIRCO in Madrid (Circus Festival Iberoamericano) and in 2021 they were on the voting committee for the International Circus Awards. See their tweets at @kimzyn or follow them on Instagram.