The second annual edition of this showcase of sketch comedy, presented by Posin' at the Bar, features more than 50 local and out-of-town ensembles--some well established, some new to the scene--representing a remarkable range of styles and viewpoints, with two groups sharing the bill at each performance. The festival runs January 3-25 at Theatre Building Chicago, 1225 W. Belmont. Performances are Wednesdays-Thursdays at 7:30 and 9 PM, Fridays-Saturdays at 7 and 9 PM, and Sundays at 4, 5:30, 7, and 8:30 PM. Admission is $12.50 per show. For reservations, call 773-327-5252. Following is the schedule through January 9; a complete schedule is available on-line at www.chicagoreader.com.
FRIDAY, JANUARY 3
Brick and The Class Project
The Class Project, a trio, hail from Los Angeles. They're preceded by the Chicago ensemble Brick. 7 PM.
Hoskins & Breen and Red Neck Surfers
New Yorkers John Breen and Loren Hoskins are paired with the local troupe Red Neck Surfers. The performance is followed at 10:45 PM by a video segment from the Seattle TV show All Filler. 9 PM.
SATURDAY, JANUARY 4
Galileo Players and Hoskins & Breen
The Galileo Players perform sketch comedy based on scientific, philosophical, and intellectual themes. "This five-person ensemble provides smart, distinctive comedy inspired by the practices and personalities of science," says Reader critic Jenn Goddu. See listing for Friday, January 3, 9 PM, for information on Hoskins & Breen. 7 PM.
The Class Project and Superpunk
Superpunk's rock 'n' roll sketch revue, Superpunk II: Son of Superpunk, is directed by Craig Cackowski. See listing for Friday, January 3, 7 PM, for information on the Class Project. The performance is followed at 10:45 PM by a video segment from the Seattle TV show All Filler. 9 PM.
SUNDAY, JANUARY 5
Some Assembly Required and The Beavers
This program features two new local groups. 4 PM.
The Short Bus Scholars and Big Kids Comedy Hour
The Short Bus Scholars present their new show, Thirty Minute Field Trip. Big Kids Comedy Hour, featuring the ventriloquist act John Baptista Jr. & the Amazing Luggah, is described as "the childhood variety show . . . your parents wouldn't have let you watch." 5:30 PM.
Old Man McGinty and Quagmire
See Critic's Choice for Old Man McGinty. Also on the bill is a local group, Quagmire. 7 PM.
True Pilsner and Flambango
The 11-person ensemble True Pilsner promises "an arsenal of sketches and songs that are sometimes smart, sometimes silly, sometimes absurd, sometimes realistic, and always entertaining and funny." Flambango, founded two years ago, says it "strives to target the political and religious misfortunes of our time without neglecting the poor and needy." 8:30 PM.
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 8
Big Kids Comedy Hour and Level Four Productions
Level Four Productions is a trio of ImprovOlympic alums. See listing for Sunday, January 5, 5:30 PM, for information on Big Kids Comedy Hour. 7:30 PM.
Old Man McGinty and Tales From Waterloo
Tales From Waterloo, written and performed by Katie Nahnsen under the direction of David Gilley, is inspired by "the legends and lore of yesteryear in the booming metropolis of Waterloo, Iowa." See Critic's Choice for Old Man McGinty. 9 PM.
THURSDAY, JANUARY 9
Salsation! and Stir-Friday Night!
The all-Latino comedy group ÁSalsation! shares a bill with the Asian-American troupe Stir-Friday Night! 7:30 PM.
Galileo Players and Giants in the Sky
Giants in the Sky, founded by Jason and Nancy Flowers, presents its seventh production, Over the River and Through Tiger Woods. See listing for Saturday, January 4, 7 PM, for information on Galileo Players. 9 PM.