Friday, July 30, 2010

(a) symmetry cycle (play review by MICHAEL PETERS and JESSIE FISHER)

So, I saw Inception the other day which was totally awesome and bendy and blowing and stuff, and it totally reminded me of how awesome this show I saw at The Viaduct Theatre was. It’s called the (a)Symmetry Cycle. I guess the “a” in parentheticals means, like, that you can put an “a” on it if you want. Or not! It’s a group (or “cycle”) of three shows all about science and people having sex with science.

I saw the third show, but I had science sex with a guy in it, so I’d rather not talk about it. I’d like to focus on the second piece. How about you, Michael?

I saw the first show, but I got blown and didn’t really get it, so I’d like to focus on the second piece as well.

Great. So we’re on the same page. Wait...did you see the second piece?

No, I was hoping you did...?

I assumed you did. Because you like theatre so much. Weren’t you in History Boys?

That was only three and a half hours, I think the total length of all of them is, like, fifteen hours or something. It’s the Nicholas Nickleby of Chicago Theatre.

Wait, I have to go water some girl’s plants. I’ll be back in a couple hours.

So, while Jessie is using a scientifically sexual euphemism to get out of this conversation, I’ll try to describe how totally blown I was by the first piece.

Before I go, can I just point out how cool it is using Google documents at the same time? I get to watch as Michael types. It’s like watching the end of Doogie Howser. And I am not disappointed.

Neither am I! I feel like the future. Speaking of the future, the (a)Symbian Cycle is this really cool show with a really awesome set that I saw the first piece of called “Numbfeel.” There’s this guy who shows up at this girl’s house and her lesbian couple friends are there and they talk about science and sex and the girl whose house it is comes home finally and the guy’s like “Hey, can you get me a job?” and she’s like “No, I hate you remember?” because they totally have a history. And then she’s like “You can totally stay here, though.” This relates a lot to me personally because I need a job sometimes and I crash on my ex’s couch for a few months and her boyfriend’s always trying to confront me and I’m like “Whatever.” The boyfriend also has this really funny brother, who played around with a guitar but never actually played it. Which is funny because it’s a metaphor for irony!

So the play goes on and they talk about science and sex more (which totally made me get intellectually and sexually aroused) and it turns out the girl was really married to the guy and the guy left his wife but he was married to the girl before so they’re not really married! Science! I won’t spoil what happens, but I need to remind you that there were cute lesbians in it. Too bad it’s over now. Which would lead us to the one neither of us have seen called “Dumbspeak.” So let’s skip that one for now. Jessie?

So I saw “Blindsight”, the third piece. Guess what? More lesbian fun. I mean, I’m not a lesbian yet, but these actors were so good, I wanted to experiment with them. Scientifically. So its a couple years or month or days after that first play, and everyone is all pissed with this guy Isaac because he loves em and leaves em and likes libraries.

Oh yeah! That was the guy’s name, I couldn’t remember. Remember the guy from earlier, guys? That was his name. Do go on.

And his new wife shows up and she is a maid of some kind I assume because she keeps offering to “clean people’s auras”. And I’m pretty sure that’s a euphemism for watering their plants. But she never did any cleaning, so I can’t be positive about that. And guess what else? That guitar you were so worried about? It gets played. It gets played for real. And they sing. All of a sudden it was Weird Science the musical and I was into it. Anyway, by the end, everyone learns about forgiveness and life and atoms and what not. John Wilson directed this play, but that’s no big surprise. I dare you to find a piece of theatre in Chicago that he is not somehow a part of.

I thought I saw him credited as “Young Performer Occupier” for Billy Elliot.

Oh, Eric and Andy wanted us to put in a fart joke somewhere. Should we do that now?

I got so excited about biology that I farted. But that’s not a joke.

Also, I think we should take some time to guess about that second piece.

An EDUCATED guess, because it’s science!

I like to pretend there was a scene like this in it:
Mitch: Did you know there's a guy living in our closet?
Chris Knight: You've seen him too?
Mitch: Who is he?
Chris Knight: Hollyfeld.
Mitch: Why does he keep going into our closet?
Chris Knight: Why do you keep going into our closet?
Mitch: To get my clothes - but that's not why he goes in there.
Chris Knight: Of course not, he's twice your size - your clothes would never fit him.
Mitch: Yeah...
Chris Knight: Think before you ask these questions, Mitch. Twenty points higher than me? Thinks a big guy like that can wear his clothes?

But that’s from the acclaimed Val Kilmer film “Real Genius”, and I’m pretty sure Chelsea Marcantel, who wrote all three plays, isn’t going to steal directly from that movie, mostly because she wasn’t even born when it came out.

A brilliant guess, Jessie. But I don’t need to copy and paste from IMDB’s quotes page to come up with what I think it was.

That was cold. Why are you trying to hurt me in front of these five readers?

“Dumbspeak” is probably like “The Piano” or something, only they couldn’t afford Harvey Keitel’s wang. Or, maybe it’s about a kid who’s totally good at using 1980’s computer techonology and he hacks into the NORAD computer system with a phone-hook modem and an Apple II and almost causes nuclear war with the Soviets and learns what relationships are all about. That would make it like another totally awesome 1980’s movie I saw starring Adrian Broderick.

Or it might be about adults in various states of human relationship who dissect their interpersonal dynamic using intimate knowledge of chemistry...

Oooo, oooo...all about chemistry. Remember that song? That was one of my favorites on the Muzak at Sportmart when I worked there.

We should wrap this up or we’ll have to hear all about Michael’s backroom escapades at Sportmart again. And he’ll end up crying again.

I give the play an “A.” Because it was good and its also over now. So why not look back on it fondly.

Yeah, my sporting goods escapades would take longer to explain than the whole (a)Symbolic Cycle! I also give this an “A” because I love science and sex and, just like a one night stand, it’s over now even though you want so much for it to become something real because it felt so right.

(a)Symmetry Cycle at The Viaduct Theatre
Jessie: A
Michael: A

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Season 4 Mad Men Premiere (guest review by Mary Rose O'Connor)

Christina's Hendricks


After a long awaited season of having no reason to get out of bed in the morning, last night marked the end of my hibernation and the reawakening of my sex life with Jon Hamm and Christina Hendricks threesome fantasies.

Sunday Night. 9pm. AMC. It’s like the Superbowl for geeks who love character development. I went to my friend’s and fellow-company member’s apartment for the viewing party. There were cupcakes, and beer, and the only rule was NO TALKING.

We started the DVR at 9:20 so we could fast forward through the limited commercial interruptions and get right to the action. The show began with the question WHO IS DON DRAPER, and we’re already in a whirlwind of what the hell this situation is that Don, the man of a thousand (two) faces, has gotten himself into, and how he’s going to get himself out.

A year has passed since the last episode of Season 3. Now the former ad execs of Sterling Cooper have created their own firm, Sterling Cooper Draper Price. For Harry Potter fans out there, it’s like The Order of The Phoenix, but in a gorgeously designed office, and a lot of extramarital affairs. (See also: Don’s Whore). Seriously, we’ve been all expecting this season to take place out of the hotel room where they previously resided. But nope. The long West Wing-esque shot into the new mod 1960s office was every interior designer’s wet dream.

Don’s a single man, ladies, he and Betty have FINALLY divorced, and she’s now getting dirty in the backs of cars with Old Balls Henry. Gross. She deserves it. And honestly, I suspect this whole storyline is punishment to January Jones for being a fucking train-wreck on screen. Now she has to be in horrendously awkward sex scenes with Old Balls Henry and not my boyfriend Don Draper (eat it Jones). Though I don’t want to see OBH on screen any longer than Betty is, OBH’s largess motherbeast will be a real treat for the remainder of the season. I hope we see her often. Sally Draper is continuously hating on Betty (as she should), and Bobby is adorable as always. Gene Draper, the 1-year old has yet to be seen. But knowing Betty (mother of the year) she’s probably just left the kid at the grocery store.

This is Old Balls Henry, aka OBH

Don has moved into an incredible apartment in NYC, with a hysterical Brooklyn Maid. (Did the kitchen in his apartment have the same wallpaper as the kitchen in his house?) Don has moved onto a new life of being a Bachelor, which apparently means hiring sweaty prostitutes to come get on top and smack him in the face on Thanksgiving Day (thank you AMC). I don’t think this new character has a name, so for the purposes of our readers, we’ll just refer to her as Don’s Whore. I expect several more appearances. And I’m just glad he’s not sleeping with Boring McSchoolTeacher anymore.

Don’s started dating some actress. Friend of Jane (puke) Sterling. Looks just like Betty Draper. Is also on True Blood. Might be retarded. It would seem Don has a trend of dating blondes who can’t give a line reading to save their life. And on top of that, she turns him down for sex on the first date. He’ll be back for more. Don doesn’t take no for an answer (see also: Don’s Whore). All in all, she’s no Rachel Menken, but really, WHO IS.

What else has season 4 brought us? Pete Campbell has not changed, and remains adorable (re: “Ho ho!” For those who saw the episode). Sterling’s still married to Jane (Puke) Sterling, and NOT doing Joanie (sigh). Joanie is back working as the head of the office girls, and looking incredible as always. The panel (my friends) suspects a hookup with Don sometime this season, at which point the world will end. Her rapist husband is still in the military I assume. Peggy has a new haircut, a new beau (gay?), and new office beau (HOT), some great new outfits, is getting into trouble with Pete, and is basically living out the dreams we have all had for her since the first season. It’s really promising. Maybe a rekindled romance with Pete? We can only pray. Pray that she’s not sleeping with Duck "I want to take you in that bedroom, lock the door, take your clothes off with my teeth, throw you on the bed, and give you a go-around like you’ve never had” Phillips.

The episode ends with basically Don whipping his D out to the Wall Street Journal, kicking ass, and taking names. Basically it’s a great kickoff to the new season.

Mary’s rating of the Season 4 Premiere: A-

Car sex scene with Old Balls Henry: D

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Interview with Dwight David Honeycutt

Perhaps you've heard of Dwight David Honeycutt.  Perhaps you haven't.  It doesn't MATTER what you've heard of!  Mr. Honeycutt has started a bit of an internet sensation with his 5 minute political video: Dwight David Honeycutt for Conway School Board.

See what I mean?  Blowing your conceptions out of the water one-by-one, Mr. Honeycutt has proven that one man can make a difference, and that people from Arkansas can be pretty funny.

We sat down with Mr. Honeycutt for an EXCLUSIVE two-on-one interview, and things could not have gone smoother...LET'S READ!

Hello, Mr. Honeycutt, may we call you Dwight David?

Absolutely. I will also answer to "Dwight," "D.D.", "Dirty D" or "Tits McGee."

Oh. Alright, Mr. Honeycutt, sorry about that. Would you like some scotch?


Great! Why did you decide to get into politics?

Well, it honestly just had to do with a general goddamned lack of respect from people. I don't know much about schools and I don't typically get along with people, but I asked myself, "What's the highest public office you can hold and still remain a complete fucking degenerate?" ...But Senator takes too much money, so I went with School Board.

What made you decide to lose your mind publicly on the internet?

That was kind of rigged. My no good, son-of-a-bitch nephew put me up to most of that. It was supposed to be a legitimate video to begin with, but then he kept filling my glass.

What was the name of your children’s show, and who was the hot broad on it with you?

The children's show was called "The U.S.S. Rhythm." The hot broad will remain nameless because she's married with kids now, but I'm tellin' you boys, back in the day, she had the kind of ass you'd like to eat some pork chops off of.

Can you please elaborate on the “old sunburnt gal” story that you begin to tell in the School Board video?

We were having sex against a riding mower and I look down and she's got pube-rings. Big pubic ringlets. They were disgusting. ...Almost enough to make me stop.

What is your reaction to the BP oil spill and how it will effect America in these already trying times?

The most safety failures of any oil company in history last year, the biggest environmental catastrophe of the modern era for our country, and Tony Hayward got a handsome buyout today. What else do you need to know? Corrupted fuckwits, all of them.

Are you an avid play-goer? Which plays have you seen that you really enjoyed?

I like a lot of the contemporary in-your-face British fare. Sarah Kane, Anthony Neilson, Martin Crimp. I like Shakespeare a lot. Then I saw this show one time at Lollapalooza in the 90s where a dude lifted shit up with chains attached to piercings in his junk. More of an 'act' than a 'play', but awesome nonetheless.

Are you for goddamned real?

I'm so real I swallow life whole and then shit truth.

Sorry, sorry. Well, Mr. Honeycutt, we love you, and the internet loves you. You’ve definitely got a hit on your hands, whether you wanted one or not. How does it feel to be America’s last honest man?

I'm proud to hold the distinction. Means almost as much as my tabletop shuffleboard plaque from the VFW.

Thanks, Mr. Honeycutt. May you live to be a thousand years old, and lead us into a new glorious age of freedom and love.

Monday, July 26, 2010

The Long Room (bar review by guest reviewer Josh Vaughn)

Holla, Bros!! Josh Vaughn, comin’ atcha with another review.

So I lost my phone the other night, and bro, now I know what it's like to be disabled. You know, those people with canes, or in comas and stuff? Not having a phone is like losing a leg, or your hearing, or something. I had no way to FB, or text, for like, a day until they sent me a replacement. It should be, you go to the store, get a phone, right off the wall. Like a gun store.

I blame all this partly on the great time I had at my new place, the Long Room. That, and the cabbie that didn’t return my phone.

The Long Room is not my usual style, ( I mean, they don’t have any TV’s in there. How am I supposed to watch ESPN’s Top Ten? I could if I had my PHONE!! ) it is still pretty cool. It’s at Irving Park and Ashland. My buddy Trent was having birthday drinks with his lady Terra, so I’m like, represent! I was flying solo on a Tuesday night, so whatevs. (But not for long, Josh Vaughn is a hot commodity. Learned that from Morgan Stanley.)

So I roll in, and the first thing I notice, is that it’s some hipster hangout. Dudes with glasses and moustaches, chicks with tats and summer dresses, and like dumb jazz playing. I was like, Trent, bro, Houndstooth can’t be that busy? But I got some good news when I looked around. There are some hot chicks hangin' out.

I mean, they were all, Pitchfork this, politics that, which, bro, buzzkill, but hey? I ain’t gotta listen, just look. And the place has got A LOT of beer. Never seen a place that has a beer menu with all this info in it. Somethin like 15 beers on tap, a lot of weird stuff in the bottle, but the best part was they had $1 PBR’s that night!! NOW I get Trent’s thinking. Up Top, Bro! So I got to the bar, and Terra’s hanging out with some of her cute friends. I’m all playing it cool, and bro, they acted like they didn’t care, but they know they want to see how long they can last at the Vaughn-a-thon. Staying power, bruh.

The layout is cool. It’s called the Long Room, cuz its like football field in there, without the dudes with muscles. But its like this dark, chill lounge that you see in the movies, and stuff. They got wrap around booths, and this private room, with one of those photo booths for those dumb chicks like my one friend Debbi, who gets wasted and takes photos of herself flashing the goods. And a great patio in the back. I caught up with Trent out there, and the crew was heavy reppin’ that night. We had some beers, some laughs. Pretty cool crowd. Everybody chillin, after work, or softball.

The staff was good too. For a big bar, which runs the length of the room, those guys were working hard, and were real cool. Customer service is important, bruh. I ordered drinks for friends, cuz bro, I do well, and the price was right. $6 for Jack rocks? Hell yeah! And I guess on Thursday and Friday they got $4 select drafts, which if you’re into IPA, that’s the way to go, too. So Trent and I did some shots, Terra talks me up to her friends, we’re having a blast. But then, the ex walks in. Timing, bro.

She’s friends with Terra, so I’m all, allright. But the she gets all, with Terra’s friends, “I’m Josh’s ex, you wanna know some stuff about him?” And she goes off about, break-up this, I-called-the-cops that, so I’m like, I'm out.

So I’m drunk, lose my phone, and end up at Uptown Lounge, drinking bombs with the bartender…I’m not made of stone, ya’ll.

So, Long Room, cool place to chill, good selection, price…wait, hold up, getting a text….the ex…..seriously?!!….right, well…..ugh.

Long Room, B+

Friday, July 23, 2010

Disney Movies for Parents (Guest Reviewer KRISTIN ENKVETCHAKUL)

Editors Note: Kristin is a mom, so she knows what she is talking about.

It seems every day the results of a new study are in. All of the studies seem to revolve around the irreversibly tragic consequences of our twenty first century lifestyles. Sometimes I wonder who it is that is churning out these studies, and where they get the money to continually rain on my proverbial parade. Studies show everything causes something horrible. They always seem to have a negative angle. I wouldn’t be surprised to someday see one that says, “Breathing Regularly Causes Excessive Lung Use”. I am morbidly amused when two conflicting studies emerge at the same time. One day I read an Internet news headline about how much worse high cholesterol was for you than previously understood, according to some study. The next day, there was a report on a study that showed lowering your cholesterol increased your risk of something else bad happening. Great.

So, I’ve taken it upon myself to do my own study, and I’m publishing the results right here, for your convenience. Before I begin, let me assure you that I didn’t receive any sort of grant to fund my careful research, nor has my thorough investigation cost taxpayers anything. It did, however, cost my husband and me several hundred dollars at various stores.

That was the cost of my reference materials: Disney videos. After carefully watching approximately 3,612 hours worth of Disney videos over and over again, until every line and image was burned into my brain, taking up so much space I not longer remember my own wedding, my study is complete, and the results are conclusive: you’re probably not going to get out of this mommy gig alive. I’m sorry to be the one to tell you, but I thought you should know.

Personally, I don’t get the apparent necessary tragic element in most Disney movies. Don’t get me wrong. I love Disney movies. They are a large part of our culture, they are clever, and they are well done. I just don’t see why the parents, particularly the moms, have to kick the bucket for the storyline to get underway.

And yet, in many Disney movies, that is the odd formula. Kind of strange for kids’ movies, I think. I mean, does the mother really have to DIE in order for the father to step up to the plate and become an “involved dad”? Watch “Bambi”, “Finding Nemo”, and a host of others, and the answer would be “yes”. Even “Fox And The Hound” and “The Jungle Book” have their own tragic beginnings- the mother dies. “The Little Mermaid”, on the other hand, is a little less direct, and only implies that the mom has died.

In all fairness, my study has shown that it’s not ALWAYS the mother. The Father Lion is tragically killed in “The Lion King”. I saw that for the first time when I was in college, and I remember even at the age of twenty something having tears in my

eyes. I just couldn’t believe Mufasa was… dead. Was that really necessary? Couldn’t the evil Uncle Lion have imprisoned the mother AND father, instead of murdering the Dad a la gnu? I suppose that would have muddied the whole circle of life concept, and made it a little awkward for Simba to become king at the end of the movie, but then again, why did he become king anyway? His mother was still alive- it seems like she could have been queen, until, that is, someone killed her.

I don’t understand why the realism of death needs to be so prevalent in kids’ movies. I mean, the animals are talking, they have huge eyes, everything they do is accompanied by a corresponding sound effect, and yet, at the heart of the matter, where a child is most vulnerable, this harsh realism is pounded home. At the end, when everything seems so happy, couldn’t it be even happier when the mother emerges, having survived whatever seemingly tragic injuries she had sustained?

I’ve always wondered that about “Ice Age” (Yes, not a Disney movie, but since it supports my point, it can be allowed into my study results- it’s my study.). It was a “happy” ending- the baby was reunited with his father, and the tiger, who seemed dead, was actually alive. And yet, how happy was it? The mother stayed dead. I think it would have been a lot happier if the father returned with the boy to their village to discover that, like the talking tiger, the mother had survived.

Now again, don’t get me wrong. I’m not calling for anything crazy like a Disney movie/Ice Age boycott. After all, I have to consider the stability of my own household. A call for such a boycott would probably result in a coup, possibly a violent one, in my own abode. I’m merely fulfilling my duty as a responsible researcher in sharing valuable information.

In a way, if we turn it on end a bit, I suppose we can view all this as the supreme compliment to mothers. It seems only death can somewhat slow (I say only “somewhat” because the love of a mother is unstoppable) the relentlessly protective guidance of a mother. I guess that’s why the writers at Disney have to off moms so regularly. If the mother survived, the ensuing adventures and adversity probably would not be able to occur. The mother wouldn’t let it happen. She would have her young one fed, bathed, and in bed on schedule.

Feeling a little offended on behalf of Motherkind, I have a message for Disney: When you are writing your next blockbuster and trying to decide how to orphan your newest characters, just keep in mind WHO is most likely taking your targeted marketing segment to see your film and buy your related toys… or not. Just remember, scorned mothers charge less. (…on credit cards, that is)

Disney Movies as an Overall Kid-Pleaser: A

Disney Movies’ Treatment of Video, Toy & Accessory-Purchasing Moms: F

Friday, July 16, 2010

Kill Shakespeare (comic book review by Anthony Tournis)


I am an avid comic book fan. I love them! I still go to the comic book shop every Wednesday to pick up new releases. So, when Andy asked me to review a comic book I jumped at the chance. Then he sent me “Kill Shakespeare”. Great. Shakespeare. Sounds…well…it sounds boring and if you are an actor like me, it reminds you of hot nights in the summer with an outdoor audience full of fat tourists. I could only imagine this to be an overzealous theater geek trying to make Shakespeare a quill-wielding superhero, fighting crime in Elizabethan England. I thought it would be page after page of flowery prose with characters talking in heightened language about absolutely nothing. Language for language sake is literal masturbation ( I like to masturbate, though).

I wasn’t thrilled to pick up “Kill Shakespeare”, but now it seems I have trouble putting it down. “Kill Shakespeare” is a wonderfully imaginative book that takes you to places you haven’t really been before. The story is an offshoot of several classic Shakespearian plays. Our hero is Hamlet, Prince Of Denmark, has just been sent to England by the King’s command with his “close friends” Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. The story deviates from script when Hamlet’s ship is attacked by pirates. Hamlet escapes and is found by the devious Richard the Third. Richard then tells young Hamlet that there is a man who controls him and the world in which he lives. This all powerful man is called William Shakespeare, and he must DIE. Hamlet accepts the quest of killing the bard and runs into an assorted cast of characters all taken from Shakespeare’s plays. Falstaff, Puck, and Iago (to name a few) encounter Hamlet along his treacherous quest and play a part in either helping or hindering the Danish Price. Meanwhile, we learn of a plot that Richard is hatching with several of Shakespeare’s villains. “Kill Shakespeare” is written by Connor McCreery and Anthony Del Col. These guys deserve medals for taking classics that are incredibly well known and make them exciting and original. Not only do we see well known characters in a completely new adventure, there is also the brilliant and intriguing theme of destroying the one who created you. To say “Kill Shakespeare” is thought provoking is an understatement. The story is easy to follow whether you are an avid Shakespeare reader or not. However, if you are an avid Shakespeare fan (see: nerd), there are plenty of inside jokes that will keep you entertained. Not to mention the amazing twists on our favorite old school characters.

The language is not your typical Shakespearian speak, however rhyme schemes and word play is used incredibly well to convey this very rich story. Andy Belanger’s art is beautifully simple. Art was the one thing I was worried about in this book (I worry about other stuff all the time, like STDs and Cuba), because I feel when comics focus on classic writing they devote far more time to words than they do to art. That is definitely not the case here. The colors of Ian Herring give an amazing texture to Belanger’s art, so much, so that I want to live in this comic. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who is interested in a compelling story with familiar but different characters.

I’m on the third book and I am already hooked. Do yourself a favor and check out “Kill Shakespeare”.

Kill Shakespeare A-

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Lights Out Theatre Company's Pre-Game Play Series - PPS3 - "Armless by Kyle Jarrow" (reading review)

We are living in the world of technology.  Everyone can communicate with everyone all the time.  In fact, the sheer act of reading this blog means that I am communicating with you.  And I can see your underpants...sitting at your computer...wondering why you feel my breath on your neck...

The Lights Out Theatre Company seems to be preoccupied with the notion of communication.  Or intimacy.  Or love in the age of Facebook.  Or something like that, I couldn't really tell after about 4 Old Styles.  But they are certainly passionate about it, and that is actually really interesting.

But, goddamn, let me tell you about these Russian former mail-order brides working the bar at the Piano Man.  So, these broads look like website models and were fresh off the boat.  I asked for a beer, and the Chinese one (I know, I know...but she was a Chinese Russian hot model, what the hell else do I call her?) sort of looked at me with a happy confusion, like she knew at least I wasn't asking her to take her shirt off.  I said, "Old Style" which got her moving.  She had learned the only Wrigleyville words worth knowing, I see.  The blonde one came over and I asked, "So, is there a play reading here tonight?"

"You are here for Cobs game?"

"No, no, the Cobs are playing here tomorrow."

"Yes, Cobs play game tomorrow!"  She seemed thrilled.

A gentleman at the bar named Steve said "Hey, I'm here for the reading," and whipped out his badass iPhone with an English-Russian translator on it.  This is the "Hit On Any Nationality" app, and it's $2.99.  Well worth it.  He got into a conversation with the blonde commie and I noticed new friend and Lights Out Artistic Director Mary Rose O'Connor.  We left Steve and Comrade Popthattopov behind and joined the company on the patio.

What gorgeous people these Lights Out folks are!  Haily and Drew and Bobby and Bradley and Anna and Jessica!  Now this is a group I'd like to rob a lonely motel in the middle of nowhere with...I'd be the boss, and Drew would be the rat.  We'd have so many misadventures!

More and more folks started showing up and Mary Rose informed me that this was becoming their largest turn-out for a play reading so far.  I said, while tearing through tall-boy number two, "It's starting a sensation!"  This got a laugh.  I was fitting in!  It's so awkward going to hang out somewhere with strangers that you don't know, but everyone was so nice and attractive and these Old Styles are SO cold and great tasting and the breeze is really so nice isn't it?

The company just decided to have the reading out on the patio, which I thought was a wonderful idea because it reminded me of having class outside in college.  College is pretty great, guys.

So, everyone finally settled and got their Old Styles and American Spirits and the reading started.  The script was called "Armless" by a writer named Kyle Jarrow.  It's about a man with a very specific psychological condition.  Spoiler alert...he wants someone to cut his arms off.  Now, the script itself was pretty rides a verrrry fine line of farcical comedy and real emotion that would be extremely tricky to stage.  But, in a reading format it worked quite well.  And these actors are GREAT.  Very fresh, very hungry, and really could show off the material well.

It was a one-act, so - blaow - it was over quickly.  I applauded politely and got another Old Style.  I then sat down with Mary Rose O'Connor and asked some very excellent questions about Lights Out.

LOTC has been producing for about a year, and together for about 2.  They seem to really enjoy the song "Return of the Mack" and unicorns, as seen here.  What Mary Rose as an Artistic Director is looking for is a question that suits her generation...i.e. people who came of age in the 90s and early aughts.  Did you realize it's a totally different world for them?  Because it is.  I read a lot of internets, and according to people who scream the loudest, these new "millenials" or "Gen Ys" or "hot young chicks and dudes" are spoiled rotten entitled brats who don't want to work hard at anything.  Well, the internets lied to me again (damn you comment boards!) because all I saw was a hard working, really smart group of people who want to drink cheap beer and be kickass!  That's all I want too, along with being able to pay my mortgage every month.

I think that if Lights Out continues to work hard at trying to figure out what kind of theatre company they want to be, they could say some really important things about what it's like to be afraid of intimacy and emotion in a world of being instantly connected to everyone.  They also should throw some more bitchin' unicorn parties and invite me and Anderson.

I suggest you catch their next happening!  Do something interesting for once!

Lights Out Theatre Company Reading Series: A

-Eric Roach, Anderson Lawfer

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Eric & Andy's No More Chase Community Giving Party!!! (pictures)

Well, we had a time at the old F.O. Mahony's!  A lot of pics are CENSORED by the government, but needless to say the action was hot and the burgers were spicy!  Here's a couple we actually CAN show you!

Hank Boland with Eric & Andy, right before his shirt came off!

Brian Amidei with Eric & Andy.  You don't want to know what's under THAT hat!

So, that's all the MAN will allow us to put on the internet!  Thanks to Ira, Ian, Julian, Lucy, Ann, Mark, John, Shannon, Mary Rose, Christina, Hank, Brian, Jen, Lauri, Eric, Andy, and F.O. Mahony's ground beef for making this the sexiest Tuesday since Pledge Week!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

A Photo For No Reason, With No Grade (esoteric review)

-Eric Roach, Anderson Lawfer

EXPOSE: WOMEN! Men will like you if you put out! (By: Scoop "The Scoop" Tournis)

Hey there, America! Looks like I’m moving up in the world! I talked to Eric and Andy about letting me do something more than just sports and games. They said no. Then I showed them pictures I took of Eric and Andy watching Twilight Eclipse (they weren’t exactly watching the movie the entire time (Andy must really like popcorn because his hand was in Eric’s Popcorn bucket for most of the movie (the movie is a piece of shit (not really a spoiler)))). Long story short, I am YOUR investigative reporter. Women, this expose is for you (that isn’t all I have for you (YEAH!)). I was flying solo at a 4th of July party (love it or leave it, terrorists!) because my on-again-off-again girlfriend Misti Kankleman was experiencing her time of the month (her time of the month to be a bitch! (Kanks knows I’m kidding (not really though))). The party was pretty sweet because we were celebrating America by drinking and blowing shit up. Anyway, I was drinking and I saw this chick across the room. She was pretty good looking so I decided to talk to her (because I’m nice). She had some stupid boring story about how she just moved to the city and had didn’t really know anyone. It was getting late so I asked her if she wanted to get out of here. She was being all girly and shy so I said if “Hey, if we boned I would totally be your friend.” Her jaw hit the floor. Then I could see the wheels turning. I just gave her the greatest friends getting advice ever! Bone guys and they will be your friends! This chick was totally clueless to the wisdom I was laying on her (and I would hopefully be laying something else on her (my boner)). I guess she couldn’t take the awesomeness of that proposition so she ran away (I assume to contemplate the holy grail-esque (Bible) wisdom I had just smacked her with). Then I got thinking: Do all girls know this? I found another broad and offered her friendship in exchange for sex. I must hast have blown her mind because her eyes got really big and ran away to tell her friends (by the end of the night were all pointing at me and laughing (they were probably laughing at how easy it would be for them to make a bunch of new friends)). I didn’t make any new friends that night (later on I made mind friends with at least three of those ladies), but it got me thinking that if these girls didn’t know this info, what about the rest of America? That is why I am here today. LADIES: MEN WILL LIKE YOU IF YOU PUT OUT! Ah. That felt good to get out. I felt like I was sitting on the biggest secret in the world. It is the truth ladies. If you give us carnal delights we will give you respect and friendship. Seems like a fair trade, doesn’t it? I mean I get to bang you and you get to be my friend! Who doesn’t want friends? Everyone wants friends! Want to make friends? Take your pants off. You can even make friends with other girls. WE WOULD STILL BE FRIENDS IF YOU MADE FRIENDS WITH OTHER GIRLS! We just want to see how friendly you are. If you filmed the friendship that would be awesome to. So ladies, when you feel lonely, like you have no one in the world remember: Let a guy plow you.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Eric and Andy are looking for Play Reviewers!

Do you go to see a lot of plays in Chicago, New York, Los Angeles or London or somewhere else in the world?

Are you a funny writer or at least as funny as Eric and Andy?

Well you are in luck!
You can be a reviewer for them!

Please send an email to

and we will be in touch with you about your exciting new career that doesn't pay any money, but you get free tickets to plays sometimes and you will be famous!

Let's get started!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Eric and Andy's No More Chase Community Giving Party!! (Upcoming Party)

If you are like me, you love free money. If you are also like me, you love voting for things. But if you are most like me, you've had just about e-fucking-nough of this Chase Bank money for not for profit organizations.

Eric and I have heard your cries of "uncle" and "help" and are bringing you the AFTERWORK PARTY OF THE DECADE!!!

Eric and Andy's No More Chase Community Giving Party this Tuesday, July 13th from 5pm-9pm at F.O. Mahoney's.

Here are the specials:

Miller Lite Pitchers- $11

Burgers- $5

and Chicken Wings- $20,000

So please come out and bring your whole theatre company and let's all commiserate and eat chicken wings together and kiss.

Please R.S.V.P. to our intern Trish @

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

An Interview With Mierka Girten

Eric and I recently had a chance to sit down with Red Orchid member and famous face around town Mierka "Mookie" Girten to talk about her famous charity that helps artists with Multiple Sclerosis to find out if this is a real disease and also to see what else is happening! She arrived dressed in a crazy wig and was already pretty hammered.

Nice to see you here Mierka. How is your day going?

Busy. I just cleaned out my garage.

That's nice sounding. Would you like some water?

Yes, please.

Here you are. So tell us about your whole Mierka Jam thing.

You mean Mookie Jam? It’s a little not-for-profit foundation I started to help artists living with Multiple Sclerosis.

Why did you decide to name it Mierka Jam?

The whole ‘Jam’ thing is about artists coming together. Our logo used to be a jam jar. But no one understood what the jam jar was, or meant -- so, we changed it...I miss that jam jar. Anyway, I was diagnosed with MS in 1992, and I got super duper sick and then my mom was diagnosed, which was devastating. When my MS went into remission, I felt like I had to do something. I wrote a one-person show, with my friend Michael Thomas about my battle with MS, and with the proceeds we started this little foundation, Mookie Jam, and for ten years now we’ve been giving grants to artists with MS, to help them heal. Why did I name it Mookie Jam? Well, I am Mookie was my idea…and, it’s all about me. Check out MY website:

Oh! (Laughter) Is Multiple Sclerosis a real thing or are you trying to swindle us?

I have been swindling for eighteen years, it’s going really well.

Do people really have this?

God, I hope so.

Well, (Eric and Andy whisper to each other) we can confidently say that we have never heard of this disease. Are you sure this isn't AIDS?

God, I hope not. I don’t want to have to work for Season of Concern. I mean, I think what they do is great, but those red ribbons…I couldn’t pull that off.

When is the event?

July 28th.

Will we be invited this year?

I invite you every year, you just never show up. This year you’re coming and I’m going to make you get on stage.

Who will be performing this year?

So many people. Joan Crawford, some Factory Theatre folk are going to be doing a scene from their upcoming show ‘The League of Awesome’, members of A Red Orchid Theatre’s Youth Ensemble, Rebecca Finnegan, Nicholas Barron, Ingrid Graudins, Steve Frisbie, TJ and Dave, Lindsey Pearlman and tons more. Oh, and me.

Are you going to even drink this water we got for you?

No! There’s a hair in it.

Well, we think you are very awesome and strong and brave and we think what you are doing is totes rad. Have a great rest of your day and life, "Mookie".
Thank you. You guys are adorable and I love what you do, I don’t care what anyone else says.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Partying With The Hipsters of Cherrywood (party review)

America, I will officially be 35 years old on July 10th, 2010.  For this birthday celebration, I'll be performing at the Paper Machete with the incomprable Anderson Lawfer in the afternoon, and then I'll run up to the Raven theater to put my spin on Neil Simon's perrenial classic about alien roommates who impregnate a robot called "The Odd Couple" and then I'll have a mint julep with my wonderful friends from the Knights of Columbus and hopefully be in bed by 11 because I have to get to Lowe's early on Sunday because the goddamned toilet's acting up again and somebody's gotta fix the thing and there's no way I'm taking a day off work to wait for a plumber to charge me a hundo for a 30 cent washer.

The hipsters in Cherrywood could barely read the above sentence.

Full disclosure...I haven't seen the show yet.  I can't wait and am extremely excited to have the game changed on me AGAIN.  However, I did crash the Cherrywood party this past Friday night because I wanted to see what all the hubbub was about.  People (mostly me and Anderson) keep flapping their jaws about this thing and I wanted to get down with the kids.

"How many hipsters does it take to screw in a lightbulb?"
"Oh, are those the new light bulbs? I liked the old ones better."

I'm through the fucking looking glass here, people. 

There are theater parties and we all know what they are like.  Standing around, talking about your resume, comparing it to Paul Holmquist's resume, realizing you don't come close to measuring up, getting drunk, turning really passive-agressive and backstabby, and then crying in the cab on the way home.  The Cherrywood party is not like that.  Not even close.

First of all, I'm not even sure if these people are actors.  I mean, I saw a couple I recognized (Rich Cotovsky, Allison Cain, Noah Simon) but the rest were born after Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi rocked my Tempest-playing ass.  Let me explain the area where the party was happening to give you a small idea of what was going on...the Angel Island theater is on the 2nd floor of a block of buildings on the corner of Broadway and West Sheridan.  If you go through a certain door in the back of the theater, you will end up on the roof, where there is a deck and some chairs and a lovely view of the backs of other buildings.  An extremely urban landscape, which these hipsters love.  Man, hipsters love weird shit.  Like Old Style, skinny jeans, dancepunk music, and ironic sunglasses.

What do you think a rumble between New York hipsters and Chicago hipsters would be like?  Would they try to one up each other with not liking things until someone had to admit that they actually kind of enjoyed the work of Zac Efron?

Josh "SHOTS" Vaughn tells Aileen May and Keely Maureen Brennan how cool playing Bags is

I arrived and was immediately greeted by the lovely Aileen May, who is a bit closer to my age...if by closer you mean 10 years younger than me.  Aileen is a smartypants, and really gets the whole thing.  I was pleased to see her, because everyone else seemed to ignore people over 30 except for David Cromer.  Speaking of Cromer, good job on casting some DAMN fine looking boys and girls in your show.  I mean, most of them probably can't talk (except Jenn Santanello...she can talk), but holy lord the abs and breasts were spectacular even in the moonlight and Miller Lite billboard glow.

There was a lot of talking going on.  And a LOT of dancing.  According to my sources (thanks Allison Cain!) these hipsters dance.  All night long.  They seriously won't stop and it gets extremely SEXY on the dance floor.  And they all try to jump into each others iPhone pics with their shirts off.  You know what kills a dance party cold?  Me, with my shirt off, demanding to hear Sniff 'n The Tears "Driver's Seat."  I thought they'd ironically like it.  What do I know?

Pretty much everyone in Cherrywood

INCIDENT ALERT:  Manny Tamayo found a cold 40 of Budweiser.  He told us all to drink it.  Being the Factory members we are, we all took a few chugs and returned it to where it was.  Manny then left.  Not 10 minutes later a tall black hipster named Brandon came over and asked if we were "the motherfuckers who drank his beer."  Oh Brandon...of course we did.  We're the Factory...leaving cold beer near us is like leaving gazelle carcasses near a pride of lions.  Brandon was talking in a voice that I'm sure in his brain sounded like Mr. T, but to us sounded like J.J. from Good analogy lost on absolutely everyone except Noah Simon.  Brandon was trying to be really intimidating, guys!  I'm sorry we drank some of your 2 dollar beer, Brandon...but maybe you shouldn't leave cheap cold delicious Budweiser laying around a party full of drunk strangers.  I've stolen worse beer from members of my family that I actually like.  But then again, maybe I shouldn't have let a Mexican force me to steal beer from a black guy.  My bad, Brandon.  That's what a Cherrywood party does to people.

Final thoughts...when I was 20 years old, if I had been involved with a huge show like Cherrywood, I would have been front lines on this party scene.  It was ridiculous, outrageous, boring, and fun...just like Cherrywood the show, I imagine.  These hipsters are having a great time being sexy and kickass.  I'm kind of jealous.  But, not jealous enough to relive my 20s.  Have fun with all that, you hipsters of Illinois, you princes of Lake Michigan.  Good night...and get some damn sleep, you all look EXHAUSTED.

Cherrywood Party:
Over 35: B-
Under 29: A+, and hey you look awesome in that dress, do you want to go listen to this new Wolf Parade album I just picked up?  I live like 2 seconds from here.  Awesome.

-Eric Roach, Anderson Lawfer

Friday, July 2, 2010

Shakespeare's King Phycus (Strange Tree Theatre Company)

Ahhhh, summer.
This is the time of year when everyone goes out to the public parks on vacation and sits in the miserable heat to watch some Shakespeare play that we don't understand while we scope out chicks (or dudes) who are on their blanket with chardonnay and cheese and throw around a frisbee at intermission and then go to a bar afterwards and never think about the play they just saw ever again.
Well, imagine all the fun of that, except in the meat packing district in a hot warehouse!

When my wife and I arrived at the Building Stage, we had just dined on Cuban food, so we were prepared for the refugee camp temperatures we were about to endure, but this evening was full of surprises!

The Strange Tree Group
is a young fresh company of jerks that I had only heard great things about like "These guys are good" and "They make original plays" so needless to say I was excited to see them work their magic I kept hearing about once.
The place was packed with eager Shakespeare fans, so I pretended I had an illness and had to sit closer to the stage. The friendly box office lady led us through the free beer drinking hippies to the second row, where we sat comfortably in the unbearable heat.
My wife and I had some of the free beer on tap. This particular evening they had "312" which is a fancy beer and also a fancy area code. I had a few and needed to belch, but right when I was about to let a few rip, I noticed that we were now in the elderly section of the audience and the ladies in front of us all had hearing aids. I panicked. If I burp in their ears, will their heads explode from the volume? They are already trying to understand this flowery language, will this put them over the edge? Just then, I forgot what I was thinking and let a loud one out, and I think they thought it was part of the show.
I settled in and read the program. This program is 27 pages long and has a whole made up backstory about this play which is fun to read but it also has a play summary. I think every play should have this because sometimes I don't know what the hell is going on, especially in a crazy play like this or the "Odd Couple".

Shakespeare's King Phycus is a world premier play by this guy who lives in Idaho or something named Tom Willmorth. You can tell that Willmorth loves Shakespeare a lot, because this whole play is about Shakespeare characters who live in this crazy world where they are all mixed up together and also, sometimes the characters rhyme for no reason except because people like that, I guess.
Did you ever see "Spaceballs"? Well, this is kind of like that, except for Shakespeare plays and the actors are better in this than in "Spaceballs".
King Phycus lives in a castle with Hamlet and Juliet who are siblings, and also Richard the Third is there because he is going to marry Juliet but really is in love with Lady MacBeth.
Romeo lives in Rome with Julius Caesar and some other guys and they are going to fight King Phycus' country?
I think that's right.
It's not really that important what's happening because the most important things here are the jokes, and there are a lot.
There are fart jokes, boob jokes, tongue twisters, joke songs, physical jokes, topical jokes, jokes about AIDS, mama jokes, gay jokes, vagina jokes, penis jokes, scary jokes, and funny jokes.
There are only six actors in the show, but they each play 49 characters, which is CRAZY and fun and sometimes you think they are going to mess up but they don't.

Leading the charge of actors is Michael T. Downey as King Phycus. This dude is so awesome and kind of looks like Breon Bliss before his bizarre diet and salad commercials. His speaking voice is to die for and he has funny faces.

Bob Kruse is this dude that I kind of have a crush on, because he is the weirdest dude you have ever seen. He is tall and looks at you like you are an alien, no matter if you are an alien or not! Plus he is a good singer!

There is a woman in the Chicago theater scene that has captured all of our hearts and we have all thought about her in the bed where we think she can't hear our thoughts and her name is Carolyn Klein. If you don't know who she is, you probably think she is some crazy Jewish girl because of her name, but she isn't. She is blonde and in this play she makes a lot of boob jokes, but never shows her boobs, so if that is what you are going to go see this play for, than just don't go. Carolyn is incredible anyway as Lady Macbeth and she also plays this black lady nurse.

Scott Cupper plays the Chorus (which is like a narrator) and at first I thought he did a bad job because I didn't know what the hell was going on, but it's not his fault because maybe you aren't supposed to know. Anyway, he is pretty awesome too, and has a really funny joke in the show, but it's a surprise so I won't tell you what it is.

Delia Baseman is awesome. Wanna know why? Because she has to play all the lame characters in this like Juliet, but man, you couldn't tell from her performance because she was on FIRE.

I know every girl wants to play Juliet, but girls, no dudes like the chicks who play Juliet because she is usually a jerk and thinks she is why people want to see the play, when really it is Mercutio. Mercutio is the best, and is not in this play.

Finally, the last performer in this piece is a man named Stuart Ritter. To say that this man is handsome and great and funny and kind and sweet would be the equivalent of me calling him an ugly dog's penis because he is so much more than that. This is some of the finest work he has ever done, and I have never seen him in anything else before.

I was just so excited to see such new interesting work being done, and when it was over, I clapped and clapped and my wife and I talked about it for a few minutes afterwards even! My wife loved the set, and I loved the strange girl playing drums upstairs.

Go see this play if you want to like something for once in your stupid life!!!

Shakespeare's King Phycus