Best Comedian to Enjoy in Chicago Now, Before We Inevitably Lose Her to LA

Candy Lawrence

Critics' Picks

To call comedian Candy Lawrence a stand-up would be a misnomer. She's more like a run-and-jump-and-dance-up. In a bit about her loud upstairs neighbors, she viciously stomps across the stage; when clueing in the audience on how she spells her middle name (not Jasmine, JAZZMAN!), she scats and dances with unparalleled energy; and at any given moment she might roll across the stage, skillfully avoiding getting tangled in the mike cord. Lawrence's joke delivery—spastic, yet controlled—matches her physical energy, and what results is something close to the absurdist character work of Maria Bamford. In fact, in a match made in heaven, Lawrence will open for Bamford on the road next month, adding to the long list of established comedians with whom Lawrence has connections, among them her former sketch partner Lauren Lapkus. But make no mistake, Lawrence doesn't need the help: she's a rising star in her own right, and before we know it, her antic, infectious stage presence will take her right out of the Windy City and west to the coast.