Culture Magazine

It’s Here – the Chicago Sketch Comedy Fest! (Stage 773)

By Chicagotheaterbeat @chitheaterbeat

Upset Triangle   
  
Chicago Sketch Fest 

at Stage 773, 1225 W. Belmont (map)
thru Jan 15  |  tickets: $14-$15   |  more info
  
Check out the complete schedule
Check for
half-price tickets 
  
  
   Read entire article
  


     

     

Chicago Sketch Fest: It’s that funny time of year again!

     

Other Other Guys

  

Chicago Sketch Fest presents

  

The Chicago Sketch Comedy Festival

Written by Lauren Whalen 

A duo in puff-sleeved dresses croon sweetly about the perils of drunk dialing. A motley crew of astronauts are killed off one by one, thwarting dreams of simian sexual encounters and a Starbucks in space. A portly teenager fights for the right to dirty dance at her birthday party, and an old man enthusiastically anticipates the newest episode of “Glee” with his dogs (who resemble well-dressed humans). A friendly gentleman in a funny hat peddles Pabst Blue Ribbon in cans, while a man in a wig observes the action from a rocking chair on high.

Reformed Whores
Just another night at the 11th Annual Chicago Sketch Comedy Festival.

The nation’s largest sketch comedy festival, Chicago Sketch Fest – as it is informally known – runs through Sunday, January 15th. Founded in October 2001 by writer and performer Brian Posen to fulfill a seven-day rental commitment, this year’s festival features 162 performances from over 138 local, national and international groups. Simultaneous performances in all four theatres of Stage 773 (formerly the Theatre Building of Chicago) guarantee something for everybody, from delighted giggles to loud belly laughs.

According to the Sketch Fest website, sketch consists of scripted short scenes (unlike its comedy cousin improvisation, which is made up as the actors go along). Sketch comedy is often penned by those who perform it, and strong writing is just as essential as funny faces and exaggerated gestures. Think “Saturday Night Live” instead of “Whose Line Is It, Anyway?”.  Like improv, however, in sketch anything can happen – it’s just planned a little more carefully.

And everyone wants to play. According to a Windy City Times interview with Posen, in past years any group interested in performing was given a slot in the schedule. However, enthusiasm for Sketch Fest got so high that a submission process became necessary. Over 250 sketch comedy troupes applied to perform in the 2012 festival – the highest number yet. All Sketch Fest performers are allowed to watch each others’ shows for free, so they may learn and grow from one another’s experiences – something Posen has insisted upon even as the festival grows more popular with paying comedy fans.

As always, the troupes in the 2012 Sketch Fest are diverse in group structure, sense of humor and theatricality. Stir Friday Night, an all-Asian group with a 16-year history, boasts alums such as Danny Pudi (who plays Abed on the NBC sitcom Community). Gretchen and Regina are a faux-folk duo who specialize in Lilith Fair-esque parody. Sherra: Secret of the Ooze is a snarky solo artist, while Pangea 3000 simply describe their act as “fart humor.” The Sketch Fest program is a handy-dandy guide, including the festival’s complete schedule broken down by date, time and theatre, and blurbs about each troupe so every audience member can get exactly the laughs they crave.

Charlies

A word about seating: it’s first-come, first-serve and often takes place in a 10- or 15-minute window between shows. If you are with a larger group, remember to be polite and flexible if you aren’t all able to sit together. You’ll laugh just as hard even if you’re not sitting next to your very best friend, and you’ll have even more to talk about when you grab a beer after the show.


You Might Also Like :

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog

These articles might interest you :

  • Lipoprotein (a) Used to Be the Forgotten Lipid. Not Anymore.

    Lipoprotein Used Forgotten Lipid. Anymore.

    Lipoprotein (a) - or its abbreviation, Lp(a), pronounced "el-pee-little-a" - is emerging from obscurity. And for good reason. Among them, Bob Harper, the TV... Read more

    6 hours, 10 minutes ago by   Dietdoctor
    DIET & WEIGHT, HEALTH, HEALTHY LIVING, MEDICINE
  • How to Avoid an Identity Crisis.

    Avoid Identity Crisis.

    The secrets of a branding identity review - and when to ask for help. Quick quiz: Which of the following items are part of your company's brand identity? ... Read more

    6 hours, 37 minutes ago by   Marketingtango
    BUSINESS, MARKETING & ADVERTISING
  • Wake Up You Sleepy Head!!

    So how are your mornings?? Is your teen a member of the "I'm getting up!!! Leave me alone club!! Do you dread getting out of bed, knowing that your early mornin... Read more

    6 hours, 45 minutes ago by   Joanigeltman
    FAMILY, PARENTING
  • Rothy’s Shoes Review

    Rothy’s Shoes Review

    A year ago, I purchased my first pair of Rothy's flats. After giving them a real beating through the streets of New York, I wrote my first Rothy's flats... Read more

    7 hours, 7 minutes ago by   Wardrobeoxygen
    FASHION, SELF EXPRESSION, SHOPPING
  • This Week’s Meal Plan: Egg-free Meals!

    Our popular keto meal-plan tool gives you everything you need to succeed on a keto low-carb diet. Meal plans, recipes and shopping lists - no planning... Read more

    7 hours, 21 minutes ago by   Dietdoctor
    DIET & WEIGHT, HEALTH, HEALTHY LIVING, MEDICINE
  • ExWeb Interviews Controversial Mountaineer Denis Urubko

    ExWeb Interviews Controversial Mountaineer Denis Urubko

    If you're looking for some interesting reading today, check out Explorers Web's great interview with climber Denis Urubko, an extremely talented mountaineer... Read more

    8 hours, 8 minutes ago by   Kungfujedi
    OUTDOORS
  • AAU Acceptance And School Fees Registration Procedure – 2018/2019

    The Ambrose Alli University (AAU) Acceptance fee payment and registration procedure for newly admitted candidates in the 2018/2019 academic session have been... Read more

    8 hours, 46 minutes ago by   Naijapary
    SOCIETY, A-CLASSER