Comedy, Music, Stages, Theater

Review: Tech Glow-Up for Chicago’s Long-Running Blue Man Group

Blue Man Group started as outsider art, railing against the machine of corporate commodification and end-stage capitalism. Now it’s become a perfect performance entrée for kids and their families, which […]

Karin McKie /
Comedy, Food, Review, Stages

Review: You’ve Heard of Dinner Theater, Now Make Way for Brunch Theater—With Clowns

The article and photos are by Bruce Kong. Brunch continues to play a dominant role in the daily meal system, as a combined breakfast and lunch, it’s a blend of […]

Guest Author /
Chicago history, Comedy, Lit, Nonfiction, Theater

Review: Jeffrey Sweet Updates His Second City History—Now With That Elusive Viola Spolin Interview

Forty-five years ago, Jeffrey Sweet wrote a book—the story of Second City, which was then only about a decade old. But Chicago’s preeminent comedy theater had a much longer history, […]

Nancy S Bishop /
Comedy, Stages

Review: Satirical Race Theory at iO Theater Gets Better As It Goes

Improv comedy is the performative art closest in energy to a sporting event. No one—not the audience, not the performers—knows the outcome at the beginning, and both can expect successes […]

Adam Kaz /
Comedy, Stages

Review: An Abundance of Black Joy in Second City’s Dance Like There Are Black People Watching 

“After a meeting with several Black alumni and current Second City employees, we have come to the conclusion that the erasure, racial discrimination, manipulation, pay inequity, tokenism, monetization of Black […]

Karin McKie /
Comedy, Stages

Review: Lower Wacker Book Club Does Improv With the Right Amount of Controlled Chaos

Before I start my review, I just want to make something clear: unlike most reviews, I wasn’t there because the venue or the performance group offered me a comp ticket […]

James Brod /
Comedy, Review, Stages

Review: Straight Outta Harvey: Kellye Howard’s Crazy or Nah?! Is a Perfect Storm of in Your Face Grief and Comedy

There have been some really great one-woman performances and standup comics over the years. My favorite ones have told stories that are personal and off-kilter funny. Kellye Howard is yet […]

Kathy D. Hey /
Comedy, Stages

Review: Get a Cortisol Correction from Second City’s New Mainstage Revue, Do the Right Thing, But No Worries If Not 

Politics are exhausting, but inevitable and important. People are exhausted, but continue to seek normalcy via social interactions. The Second City’s 110th mainstage show’s bifurcated title reflects those two realities: Do […]

Karin McKie /
Comedy, Stages

Review: Glad to Have the Time Together—Carol Burnett at the Chicago Theatre

Back in 2020, comedy icon Carol Burnett was scheduled to bring her one-woman show, “An Evening of Reflection and Laughter,” to the equally iconic Chicago Theatre. Then a global pandemic […]

Doug Mose /
Comedy, Stages, Talk show

Review: Rage Against the Cell Phone Machine With Fran Lebowitz

In the midst of war and plague, a good dose of literate snark is required. Noted curmudgeon and raconteur Fran Lebowitz visited the Auditorium Theatre in Chicago, one of only […]

Karin McKie /
Circus, Comedy, Dance, Stages, Theater, Theater Festival

Preview: Chicago Circus and Performing Arts Festival Premieres April 21-24

Life’s been a circus over the last two years, so we might as well lean into it. Welcome to the Chicago Circus & Performing Arts Festival, the Windy City’s newest multidisciplinary […]

Karin McKie /
Comedy, Review, Stages, Video

Review: Midwestern Sensibilities Drive Jim Gaffigan’s The Fun Tour

Full disclosure: I listen to standup to help me sleep. During these dystopian times, when I’m frequently unable to catch some ZZZs, I’ll play a comedy special on the bedroom […]

Karin McKie /