WBEZ | Just for Laughs Chicago http://www.wbez.org/tags/just-laughs-chicago Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Daily Rehearsal: Chicago theater 6/21 http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-06-20/daily-rehearsal-chicago-theater-621-88054 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/photo/2011-June/2011-06-20/seth3.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>1. Stephen Colbert's commencement speech at Northwestern is on Youtube, and its a winner.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="312" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/m6tiaooiIo0" width="500"></iframe></p><p>2. Just for Laughs wrapped up this weekend, and which means that The A.V. Club can finally get some sleep. Their <a href="http://www.avclub.com/chicago/articles/just-for-laughs-chicago-riffing-on-the-best-of-the,56802/">original piece of best-bets</a>&nbsp;included big names like Demetri Martin (whose set they were <a href="http://www.avclub.com/chicago/articles/demetri-martin-special-guests-who-are-also-comedia,57702/">definitely impressed wit</a>h) and Louis C.K., but they also paid tribute to local talent;&nbsp;Cameron Esposito,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.avclub.com/artists/chris-condren,88475/" target="_blank">Chris Condren</a>,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.avclub.com/artists/dj-douggpound,39822/" target="_blank">DJ Douggpound</a>,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.avclub.com/artists/lord-of-the-yum-yum,2782/" target="_blank">Lord Of The Yum Yum</a>,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.avclub.com/artists/mary-mack,28059/" target="_blank">Mary Mack</a>, MC Mr. Napkins, and Mike O’Connell, who were at the Lincoln Lodge on Friday and Saturday nights in an evening entitled <em>Sounds: Comedy + Music.</em></p><p>3. A Chicagoan (Bob Bullen) was so committed to seeing the New York Philharmonic's <em>Company </em>that he drove to Rosemont to see the filmed version of it. I was unaware people actually went to the theaters to see theater (though River East has tried to convince me that it's worth my time/money), but I digress. Bullen mentions that Patti LaPone's Joanne <a href="http://chitheatreaddict.com/2011/06/20/some-thoughts-after-watching-sondheims-company-in-the-movie-theatre/">throws a drink on the audience</a>, so perhaps if you were lucky enough to get tickets to <em>Company</em>, you weren't actually that lucky.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="caption" height="320" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-January/2011-01-26/seth3.jpg" title="(Julie Coe)" width="240"></p><p>4. Everyone's all about Seth Meyers; <a href="http://leisureblogs.chicagotribune.com/the_theater_loop/2011/06/seth-meyers-returns-to-chicago.html">Chris Jones</a> proclaims that Meyers has "groupies" here in Chicago and bound for his own talk show,&nbsp;while TimeOut's&nbsp;Jason A. Heidemann believes he should have made more political jokes. Unfortunately for Jeffrey Ross, <a href="http://leisureblogs.chicagotribune.com/the_theater_loop/2011/06/roastmater-jeffrey-ross-mauls-ryan-dempster-at-just-for-laughs.html">neither</a> found his Friday roast of Chicago (yes, he roasted the city)&nbsp;<a href="http://timeoutchicago.com/arts-culture/comedy/14818113/live-review-jeffrey-ross-roasts-chicago">particularly </a>revelatory.</p><p>5. <a href="http://www.chicagoreader.com/chicago/theater-review-steppenwolf-next-up/Content?oid=4064151">Zac Thompson is calling</a> Steppenwolf's <i>Where We're Born </i>(part of Next Up)<i>&nbsp;</i>a throwback to the work the company has done in the past: "Akin's production is visceral, volatile, violent—a throwback to the sort of work that earned Steppenwolf a reputation more than 30 years ago. If this is the future, it looks a lot like the past." The question remains: was Thompson alive to have seen that work? I guess he's going on lore alone.</p><p>Questions? Tips? Email kdries@wbez.org.</p></p> Mon, 20 Jun 2011 14:22:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-06-20/daily-rehearsal-chicago-theater-621-88054 Comedian Steve Mazan battles cancer during years'-long quest to be on David Letterman http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-06-16/comedian-steve-mazan-battles-cancer-during-years-long-quest-be-david-let <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/segment/photo/2011-June/2011-06-16/NewHead1.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>A death sentence no doubt provokes many reactions, and laughter is normally not one of them!<br> <br> When comedian <a href="http://www.stevemazan.com/" target="_blank">Steve Mazan</a> was first diagnosed with cancer and told he could be dead in five years, he didn’t find it very funny. But eventually, inoperable liver cancer gave Mazan something better than a fit of the giggles – it gave him a reason to live. He had dreamed of being on <em>The Late Show with David Letterman</em> since he was a kid, but after his diagnosis, the quest was number one on his bucket list. How he lived the dream is chronicled in the new documentary <a href="http://www.dyingtodoletterman.com/tag/steve-mazan" target="_blank"><em>Dying to do Letterman</em></a>.<br> <br> The film premieres in Chicago Friday, June 17, as part of the <a href="http://www.justforlaughschicago.com/?SR=sr3_597339_go" target="_blank">TBS Just For Laughs Chicago</a> comedy fest. But first, Mazan stopped by <em>Eight Forty-Eight </em>to discuss his journey.</p><p><strong>Spoiler-Edition Web Extra:</strong><br> Did Steve Mazan ever achieve his dream of making it on <em>The Late Show With David Letterman</em>, or is he still in pursuit of it? To find out, listen to more of Alison Cuddy's conversation with Mazan.</p><p><audio class="mejs mediaelement-formatter-identified-1332483522-1" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/sites/default/files/web extra--Mazan Letterman.mp3">&nbsp;</audio></p></p> Thu, 16 Jun 2011 14:01:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-06-16/comedian-steve-mazan-battles-cancer-during-years-long-quest-be-david-let Comedian Cameron Esposito brings back the mullet at this year’s Just For Laughs Fest http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-06-08/comedian-cameron-esposito-brings-back-mullet-year%E2%80%99s-just-laughs-fest-875 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/segment/photo/2011-June/2011-06-08/jfl11_cameronEsposito_617x367_051620111039.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>The <a href="http://www.justforlaughschicago.com/justforlaughschicago/schedule.jsp" target="_blank">2011 Just for Laughs Chicago</a> comedy fest has some big talent, from Seth Meyers to Whitney Cummings. The event takes place at venues across the city, and features acts from all corners of the comedy world.<br> <br> While the big names are a draw, so too are the hometown talent, like <a href="http://therealcameronesposito.com" target="_blank">Cameron Esposito</a>. It’s her third year at Chicago’s Just for Laughs. On June 15 at the <a href="http://www.the-playground.com/" target="_blank">Playground Theater</a> in Lakeview, she’ll debut her one-hour show: <em><a href="http://justforlaughschicago.com/justforlaughschicago/stories/story/0,,252051,00.html" target="_blank">Side Mullet Nation</a></em>. She joined <em>Eight Forty-Eight</em> to talk about the show, as well as the much-maligned '80s hairstyle.</p><p>The TBS Just for Laughs Chicago comedy festival runs June 14 -19.</p></p> Wed, 08 Jun 2011 13:57:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-06-08/comedian-cameron-esposito-brings-back-mullet-year%E2%80%99s-just-laughs-fest-875 Morning Rehearsal: Chicago theater 4/27 http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-04-27/morning-rehearsal-chicago-theater-427-85740 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/photo/2011-April/2011-04-27/Tracy Letts and Amy Morton.jpg" alt="" /><p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="caption" height="300" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-April/2011-04-27/Tracy Letts and Amy Morton.jpg" title="Tracy Letts &amp; Amy Morton (Michael Brosilow)" width="426"></p><p>1.&nbsp;Steppenwolf's&nbsp;<em>Whose Afraid of Virginia Woolf?</em>&nbsp;<a href="http://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/04/26/whos-afraid-of-virginia-wolf-returning-to-broadway/?partner=rss&amp;emc=rss" style="color: rgb(2, 122, 198); text-decoration: none; ">is moving to Broadway</a>, a relatively surprising move, considering the show was revived on Broadway seven years ago. But it is timely; the show will open on the 50th anniversary of its original opening night. It's adding producers as well, in the form of the dream team&nbsp;Jeffrey Richards and Jerry Frankel, who also helmed&nbsp;<em>August: Orange County</em>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<em>Superior Donuts</em>.&nbsp;<em>Virginia Woolf</em>'s move to New York is not a throughly surprising move however; the show has been one of the best reviewed in recent Chicago history.</p><p>2. The New Leaf's Treehouse Reading series will be performing <a href="http://newleaftheatre.org/treehouse.php"><em>How We Got On</em></a> at 7 pm tonight. The play is written by&nbsp;Idris Goodwin, and narrated by a DJ, who "samples and loops us through the lvies of three Midwestern teen rappers." Admission is free, and there should be an interesting discussion afterwards. Goodwin is currently a member ofmember of the Playwrights Workshop at the University of Iowa.&nbsp;</p><p>3.&nbsp;The Chicago Improv Festival will be long over, but <a href="http://www.justforlaughschicago.com/">TBS's Just for Laughs Chicago</a> will create its own, less off-the-beaten track lineup from June 14 to 19. Highlights include Demetri Martin &amp; Special Guests Who Are Also Comedians And Are Friends Of His (one of whom is apparently Kristen Schaal), Joel McHale &amp; Friends and Acquantices, Louis CK &amp; Three Very Special Guests (I'm sensing a theme here...), Seth Meyers, Steve Martin and Martin Short in a Very Stupid Conversation and, if it's your thing, George Lopez. So TBS is...very funny? (Clip below is from Ellen DeGeneres at Just for Laughs a few years back, and she is indeed, very funny.)</p><p style="text-align: center;"><object height="349" style="height: 349px; width: 560px;" width="560"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/FESSoL-iWv8?version=3"><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"><param name="allowScriptAccess" value="always"><embed allowfullscreen="true" allowscriptaccess="always" height="349" src="http://www.youtube.com/v/FESSoL-iWv8?version=3" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="560"></object></p><p>4. <a href="http://www.broadwayinchicago.com/shows_dyn.php?cmd=display_current&amp;display_showtag=working11"><em>Working</em> </a>is <a href="http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-03-11/dueling-critics-studs-terkel%E2%80%99s-classic-tome-working-gets-musical-treatme#">still running</a> at the Broadway Playhouse, but will be wrapping up in June which means that if April ever ends, your opportunity to see it is slipping away. The musical is based on Studs Terkel's book&nbsp;<em><span>Working: People Talk About What They Do all Day and How They Feel About What They Do.</span></em></p><p style="text-align: center; "><img alt="" class="caption" height="395" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-April/2011-04-27/Picture.jpg" title="" width="250"></p><p>5.&nbsp;Tomorrow is the last Thursday of the month, so The Town Hall Pub will host&nbsp;<a href="http://www.laurenmaul.org/connies-corner.html" style="color: rgb(2, 122, 198); text-decoration: none; ">The Connie Howe Showe &amp; Open Mic</a>&nbsp;at 10 pm. Or, if you can't make the event, just subscribe to comedian&nbsp;<a href="http://twitter.com/#%21/TheConnieHowe" style="color: rgb(2, 122, 198); text-decoration: none; ">Lauren Maul's twitter</a>, because it's funnnnnny.</p></p> Wed, 27 Apr 2011 14:40:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-04-27/morning-rehearsal-chicago-theater-427-85740