Chicago Improv Festival Recommended The Short List (Theater)

When: 2009

With more than 85 ensembles on 11 stages, this top-notch annual showcase is a great opportunity to check out the cutting edge of improvisation. The fest kicks off with Chicago’s ribald GayCo Productions, followed by Dyke-Prov and headliner GayMondo featuring guest monologuist and diva extraordinaire Honey West (Mon 4/13, 7:30 PM, Lakeshore Theater, 3175 N. Broadway, $20). Other highlights: Rob Huebel and Paul Scheer from MTV’s Human Giant team up with three buddies in Facebook (Tue 4/14, 7:30 PM, Lakeshore, $20) to spin out improvs inspired by profiles from the social networking Web site. The same bill includes Siblings of Doctors, featuring Rasika Mathur (MTV’s Wild-n-Out) and Cupid Players funnyman Ranjit Souri. The California-based group Iceworm (Wed 4/15, 8 PM, Gorilla Tango Theatre, 1919 N. Milwaukee, $12) improvises entirely in American Sign Language. MADtv alums Ike Barinholtz and Jordan Peele headline Thursday (4/16, 7:30 PM, Lakeshore, $20), but may get upstaged by their opening act, Barinholtz and Belushi: Ike’s brother Jon, a gifted local rising star, and Jim Belushi’s son Rob. Full schedule at chicagoimprovfestival.org

Price: $5-$20

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