Daily Rehearsal: Sketchfest marches on

January 10, 2012

1. The Chicago early premiere of Smash was last night, with executive producers Neil Meron and Craig Zadan and our favorite Bryan d’Arcy James in attendance. 

2. You could argue that Sketchfest feels like it has been given a fresh coat of paint (literally) in its new Stage 773 location. But even if you personally couldn't, because you haven't been there, I will. Reviews from this past weekend are in, and they're consistent: Nina Metz at the Trib and Jason Heidemann at TimeOut agree that Philadelphia's Camp Woods gets a pass. They also both praised Portland's Sweat; Metz writes effusively about Shelley McLendon, who she notes is the younger sister of Wendi McLendon-Covey, the disgruntled mother in Bridesmaids. And Heidemann calls new group The Business "[a]mong the bigger surprises of the weekend" -- and though I'm a very biased friend of the group, I did see their show on Sunday and loved it. Sketchfest continues this weekend, starting up again Thursday.

3. Improv helps you make friends, says author Rachel Bertsche, who moved to Chicago and found that she didn't really have any. She spoke with Chicagoist about her new book MWF Seeking BFF: My Yearlong Search for a New Best Friend. Read her other suggestions over there and/or see her at the Book Cellar and the Highland Park Library this Thursday and next Wednesday, respectively.

4. Matt Damon will be at Metro on January 31 as part of Voices of a People's History Presents Howard Zinn's The People Speak, Live! -- but online ticketing is sold out. If you'd like to hear a hilarious story about Matt Damon potentially coming to Chicago and meeting with the producers of Wait Wait instead, go over here and listen to this episode of their podcast How to Do Everything.

5. Broadway in Chicago profiled the Chicago chapter of 20% Theatre Company, who put up The House of Yes in November at the Think Tank and is planning their 1st Annual Variety Show for February.

Questions? Tips? Email kdries@wbez.org.