It’s time once again to buckle up for three days of nerdy performance fun at Stage 773 tonight as the sixth annual Chicago Nerd Comedy Festival begins. This year’s lineup has a few of our favorites from last year peppered in with other nerdy groups we’ve seen in and around the city for a four day lineup that’s sure to get you laughing. This festival remains one of my favorites, as though it’s grown each year, it’s managed to still keep feeling homespun and tight-knit while delivering more and more great acts from the city’s finest sketch groups, theater types, standup comedians and more.
Here’s a little peek at some highlights. If you’d like to attend, the festival kicks off tonight at Stage 773 and it starts strong at 7. Thursday’s lineup includes the live-taping of Never Tell Me The Pods, a Star Wars discussion podcast that’ll likely have lots to talk about given Solo’s arrival, and the return of the Wig Bullies, an LGBTQ themed group that was hands down one of the most hilarious performances we saw at last year’s festival. Then there’s some fantastic nerdy bellydance, fire and flow art coming with Raks Geek’s special performance at 9, which in our book is a can’t-miss.
Friday, check out Nerd Comedy Festival staple ‘Tis: A Dungeons and Dragons Improv Show, Kumate, a one man improvised kung-fu movie by Ryan Williams that sounds like it’ll be gold one way or another, and a cabaret feature with the PS…Burlesque troupe.
Saturday, some performances we’re excited to see include the Comedy Dance Collective, which promises “sketch comedy and sketchier dancing” and sounds odd, yet intriguing, as well as favorite Improvised Jane Austen. Being less than a fan of Austen, I wasn’t prepared for how funny this show would be last year, and it comes highly recommended by me after seeing them last year. Then, get some laughs with standup comedian Vik Pandya, who was a standout at last year’s show. As always, Plan 9 Burlesque brings their wonderfully weird burlesque to the main stage for Saturday night at 11 PM, and it’s worth the wait.
Rounding out the festival is Sunday’s lineup, and you can get better acquainted with comics by attending the FREE “Comics Are for Everybody” talk with Caitlin Rosberg, which will look at the changes in the industry and how creators, fans, librarians and publishers can make comics more accessible to the general public. Close out your time at the Nerd Comedy Fest with a FREE taping of “You Simply Must,” a comedy podcast that’s been doing weekly episodes since 2016, where hosts Landree Fleming and Drew Johnson try something new–anything, each week and see what they’ve got cooked up for Sunday.
One of my favorite parts of the setup of the Chicago Nerd Comedy Festival is that you can sign up for as much or as little of it as you like. Attend one show one evening or stick around for everything all four days. A pass for the full festival runs $100 and is a great deal considering the admission price of all the amazing shows individually–and it allows you, like us, to discover great new nerdy things to enjoy in and around Chicago. Click this link to check out the show times, schedule and ticket prices, and we’ll see you there!