Chicago Improv Festival 2011

Check out your guide to this year’s fest.

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Promotional photograph for improv comedy group Sid Viscous.

Promotional photograph for improv comedy group Sid Viscous. Photo: Jeremy Bales


Thursday 28
Annoyance Theatre
* Messing with a Friend 10:30pm; $15 Susan Messing improvises with Michael McCarthy, a Second City alum who wrote early-’90s favorites such as Economy of Errors.

iO Cabaret
Die Gorillas + ImproTOP 8pm; $12

Playground Theater
THEMS + ButchMAX 7pm; $15 
Reset List + Electric Lunchbox 9pm; $15
Eux Compagnie d’Improvisation + Chaos Theory 10:30pm; $10

Friday 29
Apollo Theater
* Baby Wants Candy 10:30pm; $15 This group improvises a two-act musical with giddy, goofy abandon.

Athenaeum Theatre
Dead Parrots Society + Counter-Productive Lover 7pm; $15
Improv-Abilities + The Cascade 7pm; $15
Karate Van + The Movement 8:30pm; $15
Wonderbat + USS Rock N Roll 8:30pm; $15
* Jake + Chet Watkins 10pm; $10 Loose and limber NYC troupe Chet Watkins goes for the gusto with fearless, fast-paced scenework.
SidViscous! + 2-Man No-Show 10pm; $10

Chemically Imbalanced Theater
International Stinger + Simply Coney 10:30pm; $10

Donny’s Skybox
Eux Compagnie d’Improvisation + On the Spot 7pm; $15
* Parallelogramophonograph + So Gross 9pm; $15
FACE Theatre + SCRAM 11pm; $10

iO Cabaret
The DelTones + ImproTOP 8pm; $14

Laugh Out Loud Theater
Improvisation & Co. + Istanbulimpro + Laugh Out Loud 7:30, 9:30pm; $12–$18

Playground Theater
Revils: Improv…FROM THE FUTURE + The HITMEN 7pm; $15
* Kowardly Lion + Boom Chicago Alumni 9pm; $15 It’s fun to see short-form at the fest, and Boom Chicago employs it with zesty aplomb.
Hip.Bang! + Keep Your Socks On 10:30pm; $10

Second Stage Theatre
Edge Series 11pm; $10

Saturday 30
Annoyance Theatre
Claymore and Friends present Welts + Skinprov Midnight, $6

Athenaeum Theatre
Captain Donkeyface and Mr. Ponytail + Computer 7pm; $15
Mayor Karen + Firth&Arjet 7pm; $15
BillyHawk + Pimprov 8:30pm; $15
* Matt& + Die Gorillas 8:30pm; $15 Philly’s Matt Holmes has a playful and winning form on his hands as he performs each week with an unwitting audience member.
Rapid Fire Theatre + The Late 90s 10pm; $10
* Sand + Skinesthesia: Body Painting Improv 10pm; $10 Chicago’s Sand uses the documentary-film format to create long-form that speaks directly to the audience while Baltimore’s Skinesthesia creates “puppets” by painting lips and eyes onto the bodies of its performers (no kidding).

Chemically Imbalanced Theater
* The Katydids + Face Off Unlimited 10:30pm; $10 New York’s Face Off mixes live music, improvised poetry, audience interaction and short-form.

de Maat Theatre
* Improvisation & Co. + Hello Laser 7:30pm; $15 New York’s Hello Laser is akin to our own Cook County Social Club: intelligent, energetic and awesome.
The Stuntmen + Now? with Annie & Levin 9:30pm; $15
* The Amie and Kristen Show + 3033 11:30pm; $10 The improvising pros who make up 3033 (Bill Arnett, Alex Fendrich, Rush Howell, Danny Mora and Andy St. Clair) are simply hilarious.

Donny’s Skybox
Twinprov + Parallelogramophonograph 7pm; $15
Improvisation & Co. + BASSPROV 9pm; $15
Improvolution + On The Spot 11pm; $15

Gorilla Tango Theatre
Dead Parrots Society + Hyccup 12:30am; $10

Laugh Out Loud Theater
ImproTOP + Boom Chicago Alumni + Laugh Out Loud 7:30, 9:30pm; $12–$18

The Playground Theater
Improvised Jane Austen + Hell Buffalo 7pm; $15
Instanbulimpro + We’re From Here 9pm; $15
Spite + Comedy Queue 10:30pm; $10

The Second Stage
* Happy Karaoke Fun Time + Eleanor + The Hamiltons 11pm; $10 Stay out late for the smart, character-driven work of Eleanor and the Hamiltons.

Sunday 1
The ComedySportz Theatre
* Jessica + 1, 2, 3…Fag! + Octavarius 7pm; $10 Three troupes we love come together for a night of homegrown improv.

Gorilla Tango Theatre
Apprentice Teams 1pm; $7

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