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. The festival runs through January 25 at Theatre Building Chicago, 1225 W. Belmont. Performances are Wednesdays-Thursdays at 7:30 and 9 PM, Fridays-Saturdays at 7, 8, 9, and 10 PM, and Sundays at 4, 5:30, 7, and 8:30 PM. (A free video screening follows the last shows Fridays-Saturdays at 10:45 PM.) Admission is $12.50 per show; a festival pass costs $60. For reservations, call 773-327-5252; for more information, call 773-868-0226.
Following is the schedule through January 16; a complete schedule is available on-line at www.chicagoreader.com.
THURSDAY, JANUARY 9
ÁSalsation! 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. The Galileo Players perform sketch comedy based on scientific and philosophical themes. "This five-person ensemble provides smart, distinctive comedy inspired by the practices and personalities of science," says Reader critic Jenn Goddu. 9 PM.
FRIDAY, JANUARY 10
The local group Weaselicious seeks "to create audience-pleasing havoc through what has come to be termed 'anti-comedy.'" 7 PM.
This comedy duo hails from New York. 8 PM.
The 3rd Floor
Founded in 1996, the 3rd Floor is based in Portland, Oregon. 9 PM.
Anton Chekhov's Bastard Child
Anton Chekhov's Bastard Child features onstage collaboration by four writers and four improvisers--all current or former students at the Second City Training Center. 10 PM.
The evening is capped by a free screening of a video segment from the Seattle TV show. 10:45 PM.
SATURDAY, JANUARY 11
Superpunk's rock 'n' roll sketch revue, Superpunk II: Son of Superpunk, is directed by Craig Cackowski. 7 PM.
The 3rd Floor
See listing for 9 PM Friday, January 10. 8 PM.
See listing for 8 PM Friday, January 10. 9 PM.
Leopold! "is a fast-paced hodgepodge of absurdist comedy sketches. . . . The individual scenes can be hit-and-miss, but overall this is an evening of self-aware, challenging theater," said Reader critic Jenn Goddu when she reviewed the show's earlier run at the WNEP Theater. 10 PM.
See listing for 10:45 PM Friday, January 10. 10:45 PM.
SUNDAY, JANUARY 12
Chemically Imbalanced Comedy
and Off the Radar
Chemically Imbalanced Comedy presents Judy in Disguise (With Glasses), an interactive one-woman show starring Angela Farruggia as a famous writer facilitating a motivational seminar for young authors with low self-esteem. Mark Gagne directs. "The concept is overflowing with possibilities. . . . The script, however, feels awkwardly adolescent in its development," said Reader critic Kim Wilson when she reviewed the show's earlier run at Frankie J's MethaDome Theatre. Off the Radar presents Liz's Troupe in Super Sized. 4 PM.
Four Letter Productions and The Backrow
The Backrow features ten performers with backgrounds in sketch comedy, improv, and "straight" theater. Also on the agenda is the local group Four Letter Productions in 2 Out of 3 Still Can't Find It. 5:30 PM.
Eclectic Muse Productions and AfterTaste
Eclectic Muse Productions' show Girls on Guys tackles such themes as "gender, identity, self-analysis, body image, relationships, sex, and yes, chocolate." The performance also features "character-based, satirical vignettes" by AfterTaste. 7 PM.
Strictly Sketch and Johann & Svet Present
The Chicago-based Strictly Sketch features comedy written and directed by Don Regal. Johann & Svet Present consists of Aaron Caponigro and Eddie Pina. 8:30 PM.
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 15
Superpunk and Giants in the Sky
See listing for 7 PM Saturday, January 11, for information on Superpunk; see listing for 9 PM Thursday, January 9,
for information on Giants in the Sky. 7:30 PM.
Stir-Friday Night! and ÁSalsation!
See listing for 7:30 PM Thursday, January 9. 9 PM.
THURSDAY, JANUARY 16
Monsters From the Id and Brick
Monsters From the Id is a collective of actors, writers, and filmmakers who studied at the Second City Training Center. They're paired with the Chicago ensemble Brick. 7:30 PM.
Maximum Party Zone and Cupid Players
The Cupid Players specialize in musical sketch comedy; they're joined by the local trio Maximum Party Zone in Cowboys and Indians and Vampires. 9 PM.