Chicago comedy spotlight for Monday, January 8-Sunday, January 14, 2018

Visitors in town: Felipe Esparza is here. Dave Attell is at The Improv. Eliot Chang, Amir K., and Tony Hinchcliffe are at Zanies. Returning Chicagoans: Faith Soloway and Vanessa Fraction!

The 17th Annual Chicago Sketch Comedy Festival begins on January 11 at Stage 773, 1225 W. Belmont Ave. CSCF averages twenty shows a night and features comedians from around the globe. It is the largest and best known sketch comedy festival in the world.

The Fillet of Solo Festival begins on January 12 at Lifeline Theatre and Heartland Studio Theatre, both in Rogers Park.

Pete Holmes’ Crashing begins its second season this Sunday on HBO. Pete plays a stand-up struggling to jump-start his life and career after his wife’s infidelity. Lots of Chicago roots in this excellent and hilarious show: Pete got his start in Chicago as did Lauren Lapkus and writer Beth Stelling.

Ticket alert:

January 17-20: Richard Lewis at Zanies.

February 7-10: Marsha Warfield at Zanies.

This is a great week in Chicago comedy with opportunities to see some of the city’s best comedians more than once, including The Kates, Taneshia Rice and Susan Messing.

Please confirm all details!



Manic Music Mondays at Frances’, 307 E. 75th St., 8:00 p.m. Live music and comedy hosted by Marilee and Just Nesh (Kevin Hart’s Hart of the City and The Next Level and HBO’s All Def Comedy). Special guest tonight: Vanessa Fraction.



The Heartbreak Kid at The Music Box Theatre, 3733 N. Southport, 7:00 p.m. Director and writer Joe Swanberg (Hannah Takes the Stairs, Happy Christmas, Easy) will introduce this classic Elaine May comedy. Elaine May is one of his heroes and inspirations.



Some Like it Hot at The Music Box Theatre, 3733 N. Southport, 7:00 p.m. This is the last installment of the “Is it still funny?” series. The American Film Institute said that Some Like it Hot by the ingenious Billy Wilder is the funniest American movie of all time. Do you agree? Discussion after the film. (The film’s first scenes take place in Chicago not far from The Music Box!)



Corny Comedy Capricorn Celebration at Harold Washington Cultural Center, 4701 S. King Dr., 6:00 p.m. Featuring Taneshia (Just Nesh) Rice, Mike Samp and Hot Sauce. Hosted by Korporate and Jai Slaughter. Includes food and drink specials, music, surprise guests and pop-up performances.

This is For You Presents: Nostalgia at The Promontory, 5311 S. Lake Park Ave. West, 7:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m.

7:00 p.m. Hosted by Marvin Phipps. Featuring Eli Hamilton with headliner Taneshia (Just Nesh) Rice.

9:00 p.m. Hosted by Marvin Phipps. Featuring Eli Hamilton with headliner T. Murph

Tuxedo Cat Comedy at Beauty Bar, 1444 W. Chicago Ave., 8:00 p.m. Free stand-up showcase with Adam Burke, Molly Kearney, Sammy Arechar, Sonal Aggarwal, Tim McLaughlin, and TCC producer Brittany Meyer. Hosted by TCC producer Rebecca Fass.

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 comedian Rashawn Scott.



The Kates at the Book Cellar, 4736 N. Lincoln Ave., 7:00 p.m. Always a diverse, unforgettable, hilarious evening with this stand-up showcase created and produced by Kelsie Huff. Arrive early for seats! Featuring Mary Zee, Edith Lulu, KT Spelzen, Valerie Jencks, Whitney Wasson, Kristin Lytie, and Amy Nico Schwartz. Hosted By Elizabeth Gomez.

Felipe Esparza at The Vic, 3145 N. Sheffield, 8:00 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. The “Bad Decisions Tour.”


Julia Sweeney at Second City, 1616 N. Wells, 9:00 p.m. The SNL star, comedian, author and actor opens her “Older and Wider” show tonight. Follow link for show times through March 18. Julia Sweeney’s TED talk has nearly 4 million views.



Just Nesh Comedy Date Night at Red Night Club, 5415 W. Irving Park Rd., 7:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m.

A Night of Self Care with the Therapy Players at Skokie Theatre, 7924 Lincoln Ave., Skokie, 8:00 p.m. The only award-winning all-therapist improv group. The evening may not be covered by insurance, but it should be!

Eddie B’s: Teachers Only comedy Tour at The Chicago Theatre, 175 N. State, 8:00 p.m. Eddie B. is a nationally touring headliner from Houston who has a unique look at life in the classroom.

The Kates at the Filet of Solo Festival, Lifeline Theatre, 6912 N. Glenwood, 8:30 p.m. The first of three kates appearances at the Festival (also 1/19 and 1/26).



Faith Soloway’s Jesus Has Two Mommies at The Annoyance Theatre, 851 W. Belmont, 3:30 p.m. A special screening of Faith Soloway’s musical satire about marriage and commitment, Jesus Has Two Mommies, featuring a rare in-person curtain-raiser with Faith and Susan Messing! One afternoon only! Faith and Susan are two of the Annoyance’s most acclaimed improvisers. Faith currently is a writer on Amazon’s award-winning series Transparent.  Tonight is a fundraiser benefiting Equality Illinois, an organization working “to build a better Illinois by advancing equal treatment and social justice through education, advocacy, and protection of the rights of the LGBTQ community.”

Blanket Fort at The Storefront in the Flat Iron Building, 1579 N. Milwaukee Ave., 7:00 p.m. This new monthly comedy variety show takes place in the most comfortable space ever: a blanket fort! Tonight: Stand-Up from Steve Gerard & Megan Statler, Kristen Lundberg, Bill Schmitt, and David Melendez. Alex Collyard doing whatever he wants. Musical Comedy from Groovebox. Improv from Full Modo. Polka Music from Polka Face. Sketch from Teen Cudi.

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