I’ve got a lot of amazing news to announce for the Summer in regard to Chicago queer shows. I wanted to wait until today to announce it out of respect for my show that ended last night but now I’m going to tell you all about. First, this Summer is going to be epic as I start two new series of shows–a concert series and a stand-up comedy show.
Last night, my weekly comedy show Laugh Track ended with one of our best shows yet featuring Brad Loekle and Beth Stelling. It was a sad and joyous moment for me because I had put a lot of hard work into concepting and building the night for over nine months but I know it was the right decision for everyone involved to take a break.
I proposed the show over three years ago on Sidetrack’s roof after interviewing a manager for a web show. “Have you ever considered adding live programming to the show?” I asked. I emailed him a follow-up with names and clips for a line-up including Bill Cruz and Cameron Esposito. Last Summer, my co-producer Bradley Thomas and I had a meeting with Sidetrack about actualizing a show. We thought maybe, at best, we’d get to have a show there. Then there were talks about it being ongoing. And by the last meeting, it was decided that it would be a weekly showcase every Thursday before the comedy video night. Our opening night, Thursday September 16th, had my original proposed line-up with the addition of my co-producer Bradley Thomas.
I really couldn’t be happier about how the show turned out. I put on a lot of amazing shows and helped expand both the comedy and queer community. There are a lot of unique challenges with putting on a comedy show at a bar and we put on a pretty damn good one, growing pains and all. What better feeling than a happy ending? Er…
In regard to happy beginnings, I have some stellar shows on the horizon. First, for all those queer comedians and queer audiences that enjoyed Laugh Track, there’s plenty more where it came from. And what better excuse than Pride month? So on Friday June 10th at 7:30pm, I’m throwing a huge party for queer comedy at Mary’s Attic. We’re bringing in Chris Doucette from NYC to headline. Doucette is an amazing queer comedian who has played the best of New York comedy clubs (Gotham, Comix and more) and toured all across the country. Comic legend and Mexi-queer phenom Bill Cruz is representing with a feature set, and we’re bringing in two amazingly talented up and comers from Laugh Track, Meredith Kachel and Matteo Lane. Hosting the event is Laugh Track favorite and my Beauty Parlour: Comedy Never Looked So Gorgeous co-conspirator, Ever Mainard! Oh, and I’ll probably do a set too. It’s going to be an epic and amazing queer comedy show and it’s only $5.
Later in July, I’m starting a new queer concert series called OutLoud Chicago and the first show is at The Hideout on July 12th. The amazingly talented Diva Kai is going to be our headliner. Teen heartthrob Manny Capozzi is going to open for us. Our premier show is called “Barefoot Ballad” and it will be a fun, folky return to simple yet soulful music. Imagine music that goes best on a porch while drinking wine out of a box except sharing it at a legendary venue with friends.
The Hideout is a Chicago institution known for underground music and counter culture. What better fit for a concert series that focuses on queer musicians? Some trivia about The Hideout that I love, (this is a direct excerpt from their site) : “where Jack White threw up in the alley, due to a terrible flu, taped up a black and white bed sheet behind Meg’s drum set, put on some red polyester pants, and then flew onstage and played his pants off” “Where Billy Corgan spends nine Mondays in a row creating a new band Zwan and invites everyone from Rick Nielsen to Neko Case to perform in between. It is the place where bands play their first shows ever. It is where they come back, in another band later. It is where they play in nine different bands in ten years. It is a community where every bartender, door person and sound tech is in a band. Where no one quits, they just go on tour.” “Where bands like the Flaming Lips and Wilco choose to have their CD listening parties. And everyone dresses up like robots, or sings Wilco karaoke.”
Later in July, I’m putting together a queer comedy show for Chicago’s premier comedy club since 1978 (and now the only stand-up comedy club on the North Side)… Zanies! This legendary comedy club has hosted comic greats such as Jerry Seinfeld, Jay Leno, Mitch Hedberg, Chelsea Handler and so many more. I’m honored to be able to do a show with the club and can’t wait to finalize dates and line-ups.
I’ve been a busy boy and if you’ve liked my previous shows The Sarcastic Squad, Art Haus, Nightcaps and Laugh Track… you’re going to love these upcoming shows. And you ain’t seen nothing yet.