This two-month showcase of Chicago sketch comedy features more than 30 local ensembles--some well established, some new to the scene--representing a remarkable range of styles and viewpoints, with two to four groups sharing the bill at each performance. Participating troupes include Annoyance Productions, Weaselicious, Brick, Salsation!, GayCo Productions, the WNEP Theater, and many others; the festival is presented by Posin' at the Bar.
Sketch Fest runs through March 2 at the Theatre Building, 1225 W. Belmont. Performances are Thursdays at 7 PM, Fridays-Saturdays at 7 and 9:30 PM, and Sundays at 6 and 8:30 PM. Admission is $18 per show, $26 for a double bill, and $75 for a festival pass. For reservations, call 773-327-5252.
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 14
Eclectic Muse Productions, Weaselicious, and Giants in the Sky
Eclectic Muse Productions seeks to present character-driven comedy from a female perspective in Explosive Diary. Also on the bill are Giants in the Sky in Ass Junkie Monkeys and Weaselicious in Weaselicious V: Anti-Kamadie. 7 PM.
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 15
Ruling Theatre Company and Brick
The Ruling Theatre Company presents Super Punk, a two-man effort directed by John Lutz. "Inflecting straightforward scene work with clever inversions and non sequiturs, writer-performers Mike Betette and Phillip Mottaz gently confound expectations, steering clear of blue, shock, and idiot humor. Onstage they have a wry, relaxed rapport, garnering laughs strictly from the internal logic of the pieces; and while there are quite a few misfires, the tweaks needed to correct them are generally just steps away," says Reader critic Brian Nemtusak. Also on the program is Brick, which says it's "dedicated to the fusion of sketch comedy and theatrical presentation." 7 PM.
Honeyslide and Teenage Sports Parade
The improv team Honeyslide makes its sketch show debut with a program of vignettes inspired by musical selections; also on the program is Teenage Sports Parade, an all-male ensemble presented by Annoyance Productions. 9:30 PM.
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 16
Salsation! and Galileo Players
The all-Latino ensemble ÁSalsation! presents Crouching Wetback, Hidden Migrant. The Galileo Players' An Evening With Galileo features comedy on themes of science and philosophy. 7 PM.
Cupid Productions and GayCo Productions
Cupid Productions, which presents Homilies and Insecurities, claims to be "Chicago's only group dedicated to musical sketch comedy." The gay- and lesbian-oriented GayCo Productions presents a program of favorite selections from the past five years. 9:30 PM.
SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 17
Bootlicking Toady Productions and Harris & Harris
Harris & Harris presents Mistakes Were Made, described as "an examination of the pain and humiliation of adolescence." Also on the bill is Bootlicking Toady Productions in Cubicles, a satire on corporate culture. 6 PM.
El Salat Dubioso and 4 Letter Productions
4 Letter Productions presents Thirty-Percent Fate; El Salat Dubioso's show is titled Thole of One Oar. 8:30 PM.
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 21
Si, Mi Gusta, Short Bus Scholars, and Giants in the Sky
Si, Mi Gusta performs Charlie's Hells Angels and the Short Bus Scholars present 50 Miles From Nowhere; see listing for Thursday, February 14, for information on Giants in the Sky. 7 PM.
Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Kathleen O'Mary.