Category Archives: Event Review

Top Ten Moments at Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey Presents Out of This World at the United Center (November 17, 2016)

There’s a reason they call it The Greatest Show on Earth. It will make you feel like a kid again with awe and excitement. Here are 10 of them:

 

  1. Contortionists bending in ways that seem impossible.146_20160613_00636_Edit

 

  1. Goats balancing on a spinning wheel.

 

  1. Lions standing on their two hind legs.

 

  1. Performers doing front flips off trampolines wearing ice skates.

 

  1. A tiger walking on its two hind legs.ootw_contortion

 

  1. Dirt bikes circling around a steel sphere narrowly avoiding collisions.

 

  1. The perfect timing of trapeze artists flipping through the air and then being caught by another person swinging.

 

  1. Many impressive feats were done on horses as they run quickly around in a circle in the center of the floor. One lady does the splits while being held up by two men riding horses.

 

  1. The most impressive was a woman who went around the horse’s neck with a look of complete concentration on her face.

 

  1. She then immediately tops herself by going around by passing underneath the horse and risking being trampled.

 

Get your tickets now for the United Center shows through November 27th!

 

 

Quinn Delaney

Chicago Dancemakers Forum’s 2016 Lab Artist Awards Celebration at Arts Club Chicago (July 15, 2016)

The Chicago Dancemakers Forum’s 2016 Lab Artist Awards Celebration takes place tonight at the Arts Club of Chicago. Upon entering, you see a woman lying on the stairs is visible. Someone asks her if she is alright. She responds, yes, she is a performer (Jessica Cornish – RDDI Chicago), and then continues to slowly fall with grace down the stairs. After you grab a cocktail upstairs, you then notice a group of three men sweeping. This is odd time to be cleaning up.  But wait, where are the dust pans? It’s another performance piece by Jamal “Litebulb” Oliver and the Era (CDF 2015). They sweep everyone into a circle and perform a very interesting dance number with the brooms.

Next, the 2016 Lab Artist Award Recipients are honored. This year’s winners are Chicago-based dance artists Pranita Jain, Carole McCurdy, Onye Ozuzu and Catherine Sullivan. Each will each receive $15,000 and additional support for the research and creation of new works. See videos about them here.

For more information about the Chicago Dancemakers Forum, visit their website.

Quinn Delaney

Fabulous! Paris je t’aime (Paris I Love You) at La Nouvelle Eve (May 5, 2016)

La Nouvelle Eve presents Paris je t’aime which translates to English as Paris, I love you. It truly is a love letter to Paris. The show begins with a fantastic cabaret dance with beautiful costumes.  Both the women and men are extraordinarily talented. A few of the women slide into splits and the crowd cheers. Then, one of the men slams down to a full split and the audience is amazed.

The performance continues as the dancers clear the stage and a pair of jugglers come on to the stage.   For their greatest trick, they invite an audience member on stage. The unknowing volunteer is from Australia.  The crowd is geographically diverse as there are people from New Zealand, USA, Turkey, and the UK in the audience. They sit their new assistant down and put a pair of glasses on his face, a cigarette in his mouth, and a hat on his head. The jugglers proceed to juggle bowling pins back and forth to each other. They knock out the cigarette, then the hat, then the glasses with a pin that bumps him on the nose! The Aussie wasn’t very pleased with the “accidental bump” but he played along and the audience loved it! The jugglers were very charming and their entire performance was fun and entertaining.

Most of the songs are in French, but all the performers address the audience in English. After another amazing dance performance with even more fanciful costumes, the next entertainer on stage is an “acrobat”.  This whimsical and quirky entertainer impresses his audience by balancing on a bunch of cylinders on their side and standing on them. The cylinders are very wobbly and he looks like he is going to fall the entire time.  The audience is delighted!

One of the best parts of the night was the dancing contest. The lead singer invites three men on stage to teach them a dance move. After a brief lesson, they dance one at a time for about 20 seconds each. It’s hilarious as they try to perform the dance move and then just improvise.

This is a must-see, English friendly, Parisian show. The balance of comedy and dance is perfect. Get your tickets now!

Quinn Delaney

Mission #69 Field Report – The House Theatre Presents The Last Defender at Chopin Theatre (March 11, 2016)

Our goal is to avoid nuclear war and achieve world peace. The engineering team must complete 20 tests in 20 minutes. These tests include flipping switches, pushing buttons, rearranging cords, and other tasks on a giant control wall. It’s very similar to the game Spaceteam in that you must shout technobabble to each other quickly. The hardest part of this task is that all 20 tests must be done in about one 1 minute. Only 2 two teams out of 69 have completed this task to date.

Another puzzle involves converting clock times to letters which spell out another instruction. Once this instruction is completed, a door opens to reveal another task. It’s a very exciting and challenging adventure with a burst of adrenaline each time a task is completed. Tonight’s team was well suited for the adventure with a great mix of leaders and followers. World Peace was achieved for only the 14th time out of 69 attempts. Smiles were on everyone’s faces as we cheered our outstanding victory. In the game, each person only sees about 25% of the puzzles. Thus, we all hope to return soon to attempt all the other tasks.

Sign up for a mission now through April 23rd at the Chopin Theatre!

Quinn Delaney

Preview Austin Entertainment! Industry Night at The North Door (February 15, 2016)

With so much live entertainment going on in Austin, how do you decide what to see? Here comes Industry Night, a preview show for Austin’s vibrant entertainment industry. The night starts with the hosts talking very strangely. Then, Brock enters the stage and is very confused by their speech. They finally reveal that they are pod people and now they are going to impregnate Brock! This sketch continues throughout the night to the audience’s delight interspersed between guest performances.

One of the first acts is a pre-taped Michelle Keffer Segment involving asking people on 6th street about the best “date night”. The most common answer is “Netflix and Chill”. It’s a hilarious edited video and you can see more of them here: https://vimeo.com/bluepaperfilm/videos

Last Five Years sings a hilarious song about people hitting on you more often after you are married.

Rosalyn Nasky performs an unique dance where she stands motionless for an uncomfortable amount of time followed by irregular movements where she pushes her shirt down to wear it as a skirt and puts her pants on her arms like a jacket. It’s completely bizarre and also quite fantastic.

The next sketch is called “We don’t have a sketch”. One of the lines is “So everything we are saying right now will be in the sketch?” It’s a very meta piece that has the whole audience cracking up. The scene ends with one character saying “But we need to do something really funny” and then getting a pie in the face!

The Back Pack do a highly entertaining puppet shadow show. “Secret Agent Man” plays while two squirrels fight their way past pigeon guards to diffuse a bomb. It’s like a live animation short that fills the crowd with glee.

Catch the next Industry Night for a expertly curated sampler of the best of Austin’s live entertainment!

Quinn Delaney

Hilarious! Kyle Kinane at Up Comedy Club (November 20, 2015)

Kyle Kinane has no skills. “Hey, Kyle, you were really funny at that party.”  “Thanks, can I have $20?” That’s how he describes his job! Tonight’s audience was more than happy to put down a twenty to see this comedian entertain them. He tells a long story about being refused entry into Calgary because of a DUI conviction on his record. The two guards who are in charge of escorting him onto the plane are not the aggressive bouncer type usually affiliated with that position. Instead they are very kind and sympathetic to the situation he is in. How Canadian!

He describes trying to order a Whopper at the airport Burger King. The cashier keeps saying no so he keeps trying to pronounce Whopper differently so she can understand. He demonstrates all his different pronunciations to the audience’s delight. It turns out that they had just sold out of Whoppers for the day according to a very friendly explanation from the guards about avoiding waste. This is a great example of Kinane’s storytelling stand up style. He’s just telling us how he sees the world and it’s very interesting and very funny. Kyle has a long career ahead of him of “just being funny at parties”!

Quinn Delaney

One of Chicago’s Best Comedy Showcases: Jeff Hansen hosts Chicago Underground Comedy at the Beat Kitchen (November 17, 2015)

Tonight, Jeff Hansen is celebrating his 33rd birthday by hosting Chicago Underground Comedy. At the end of his set, he brings on the sponsors of the night: his parents. They sing “Summer Nights” to the crowd’s delight as Jeff struggles to flip the pages of lyrics. It’s a hilarious start to the night.

Soon after is “Farmer Travis” with a PSA that you should not have sex with your turkey. This is the ridiculous which is what alternative comedy is all about. Sticking with the theme, a turkey then takes the stage to plead for himself to be chosen for the presidential pardon. However, he fails to win the vote.  Just as he is about to be executed, Farmer Travis returns to save him!

Later in the night, Emily Galati is talking about the Hobby Lobby case about religion and birth control. “Not getting pregnant is the only thing I pray for!” She continues to crack up the audience and fits right in with this fantastic lineup. CHUC has become one of Chicago’s best comedy showcases. At $5 for a ticket, you are losing money if you don’t go!

Quinn Delaney