I'll have a longer report about the 12th annual Del Close Marathon soon enough, but perhaps the most awkward moment of DCM12 happened on Friday night, right after BASH! received a standing ovation for Blaine Swen's one-man improvised musical. That's when one lone member of Chicago-based troupe The Reckoning took the stage to announce that every single other member of his group was still in Chicago, auditioning for Saturday Night Live. "Have I mentioned the good news?" he asked the standing-room-only crowd inside the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater.
I happened to be standing next to Swen during the weird half-hour one-man improv that followed, and he told me that his BASH! show originated under similar circumstances. Swen, who also founded and directs the very popular Improvised Shakespeare troupe, said he was left stranded by his improv troupe on a show about three years ago and decided to go for it all by himself. So who knows what Jake Schneider will do next year all by himself?
In a weirdly coincidental chain of events, one of Schneider's missing members of The Reckoning — SNL writer Michael Patrick O'Brien — was in Chicago on Friday night with Lorne Michaels during the Chicago audition showcases, which included the other members from the troupe. No word on any comedians getting contracts to join the cast as featured or mainstage players on SNL, but Time Out Chicago reported that The Second City's Shelly Gossman got a writing job for this coming season. Which continues the chain of coincidences because Gossman took part in a video interview last year about SNL auditions (she had auditioned twice already at that point) because O'Brien wasn't available that day since he had gotten hired. By SNL.
We are all connected.
Roll the clip of Gossman talking about SNL auditions and Second City: