Chicago comedy spotlight for Monday, January 1-Sunday, January 7, 2018

In town: Jeremy Hotz and Preacher Lawson are at The Improv. Jamie Lissow and Eliot Chang are at Zanies along with Chicagoans Dwayne Kennedy and Mike Toomey.

Ticket alerts:

January 12-March 18 (Sundays): Julia Sweeney: Older & Wider at Second City

January 12-14: Dave Attell at The Improv

January 25: The Kates at The Improv

Following is this week’s new shorter version of the Spotlight. Please confirm all details! Going forward, I’ll be highlighting up to ten events per week. Weekly and monthly shows will appear in a (soon-to-be-posted) calendar of  recurring events.

Too cold to go out? I received word that Chris Fleming’s special is available to stream for free for a limited time. How long? We don’t know! Showpig was recorded at Thalia Hall last month before a sold-out crowd and online audience of 20,000!  But you won’t have to go out into Chicago’s record-setting New Year’s freezing to see it.  Check out Showpig here (while you can)! If you’re not yet convinced, this will do it:



Improv All Stars at Second City’s UP Comedy Club, 230 W. North Ave., 8:00 p.m. Directed by one of improv’s most legendary performers and teachers, Mick Napier (founder and artistic director of The Annoyance).



Comedy Cocktail at House of Blues, 329 N. Dearborn, 6:00 p.m. Produced by James Allen Kamp, creator of the most excellent DJ Tone-Knee kicks off the evening at 6:00 p.m. Stand-up showcases at 7:30 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. RSVP for free admission. Early arrival recommended. Seats go fast! Always a great, diverse line-up of Chicago’s top comedians and surprise drop-ins.

7:30 p.m. Hosted by Jonah Jurkens. Featuring Sabeen Sadiq and Chris Trani. Headliner: Erica Clark

9:00 p.m. Hosted by Doc Love. Featuring Meg Indurti and Ed Towns. Headliner: Joe Kilgallon.



Comedians You Should Know at Timothy O’Toole’s, 622 N. Fairbanks Ct., 9:30 p.m. Ricky Gonzalez hosts Blake Burhart, Meg Indurti, Joe Kilgallon, Alex Kumin, Mike O’Keefe, and Joey Villagomez.



Congrats on Your Success at Uncharted Books, 2620 N. Milwaukee, 7:00 p.m. Free stand-up showcase. Bill Bullock hosts Adrienne Brandyburg, Geoffrey Thomas Asmus, and Sohrab Foroozesh with headliner Xavier Lamont.

Messing with a Friend at The Annoyance Theatre, 851 W. Belmont, 10:30 p.m. This is a show where the improvisers morph from character to character before your eyes. Believable and magical at the same time. A little bit dangerous, too. Anything can happen. Susan Messing was named “Best Improviser” by the Reader and “Improviser of the Year” at the Chicago Improv Festival. This week’s friend is Michael Clayton McCarthy.



Shark Tank: The Musical at The Annoyance Theatre, 851 W. Belmont, 8:00 p.m. Note to audience: this show is not FCC-compliant.



The Customer is Always Right? at The Annnoyance Theatre, 851 W. Belmont, 7:00 p.m. Actual customer service reps disclose their worst customer interactions. Improv team will show how that customer’s behavior plays out in the rest of the world. I’m usually the angry customer, so I felt defensive just writing this, but it sounds like a fascinating, funny and cathartic evening for anyone who’s ever experienced work stress or customer-service hell from either side.

Funny4Real at The Comedy Shrine, 4034 Fox Valley Center Drive, Aurora, 8:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. Headliner: Kimberly Marion. Featuring Katie Meiners and Alexes Elizabeth. Hosted by Tree Sanchez.

Classy Comedy Cabaret at The Den Theatre, 1331 N. Milwaukee, 10:00 p.m. John McCombs hosts Shira Mizel, Brandon Kieffer, Alex Seligsohn, Billy Diangelo and headliner Andrew Frank.



Jimmy and Johnnie Present TWO UP! at Second City’s Judy’s Beat Lounge, 230 W. North Ave., 7:00 p.m. Three pairs of audience members will be chosen to get on stage with two of improv’s best: Improv Nerd’s Jimmy Carrane and Second City’s John Hildreth.

Preacher Lawson at The Improv, Woodfield Mall, Schaumburg, 7:00 p.m. Preacher Lawson is finally here! He is the upbeat break-out star from America’s Got Talent 2017.


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