Baron Vaughn | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Since graduating in 2003 from Boston University, where he studied acting, Las Vegas native Baron Vaughn has appeared on Broadway (Drowning Crow) and VH1 (Awesomely Oversexed) and made the rounds of the New York stand-up scene. With a rabid theatricality a la Chris Tucker, Vaughn sings, creates sound effects, and jumps in and out of characters in unpredictable bits--about Billy Ocean, landlocked countries, the "ethnic needs" aisle at Rite Aid. He can be straightforward too: after asking who in an audience owned an iPod, he noted the volume of applause and replied, "Very nice to hear. Uh, how can I put this? ... Fuck you." Vaughn, who cites Paul Sills and Philip Glass among his influences, seems to want to establish that he can riff on anything--"Constantine the Great, what's the deal with that Roman emperor?" he asks apropos of nothing. And that doesn't exclude race. His Web site identifies him as "Actor. Comedian. Negro," and in his routine he'll often offer that he's "Negro shade 13, to be exact." Vaughn says that when white women date him they must be thinking, "I'd like to go black, but I'd still like to go back." a 7/5-7/8: Thu 8:30 PM, Fri 8:30 and 10:30 PM, Sat 7, 9, and 11:15 PM, Sun 8:30 PM, Zanies, 1548 N. Wells, 312-337-4027, $21. All shows two-drink minimum. --Ryan Hubbard

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo by Michael Sofronski.

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