Brain fathered by Brian Posen—whose other brainchildren include Stage 773 and Street Tempo Theatre—the Chicago Sketchfest heads into its twelfth year promising the "largest sketch comedy festival America has ever seen." Stretched over two consecutive weekends, the fest will roll some 130 troupes through Stage 773's four theaters. Two of those troupes are musical improv ensemble Cupid Players (Sat 1/5 and 1/12, 8 PM) and silent improv trio Bri-Ko (Sat 1/5 and 1/12, 11 PM), both of which feature—you guessed it—Posen.
Among the locals on the roster are comedy duos the Puterbaugh Sisterz (Fri 1/4, 11 PM) and Rabbit Rabbit (Sat 1/5, 10 PM); also Off Off Broadzway (Sat 1/12, 11 PM), a homegrown "burlesque parody troupe" appearing, appropriately, on 773's Thrust Stage. Likely highlights from out of town: New Orleans's Stupid Time Machine (Fri-Sat 1/4-1/5, 9 PM), LA's Heavyweight (Fri-Sat 1/11-1/12, 9 PM), and a frequent guest of the fest, New York's FUCT (Fri 1/11, 10 PM). Then there's the company with the cleverest name, Chloe Sevigny's Fanny Pack (Sun 1/13, 4 PM).