Day: April 10, 2010

Last call for the Lakeshore Theater in Chicago

The April Fool's Day announcement that the Lakeshore Theater in Chicago undoubtedly caught a lot of people by surprise. My only experience with the Lakeshore happened last June when I attended the Just For Laughs Chicago festival — the theater boasted not only some of the best and most eclectic shows of the fest, but also some of the weirdest and rowdiest ones, too. When I met owner Chris Ritter, he was in jovial spirits and gave me one of his theater's black T-shirts that bore the venue's "Dane Cook sucks" motto. Ritter certainly wanted to establish the venue as a different kind of home for comedy, and managed to do so. Just not profitably, or just not profitably quickly enough. Paul F. Tompkins and Hannibal Buress were among several comedians who recorded their stand-up discs there. And as recently as March 28, the Lakeshore uploaded a promotional video to YouTube for a pairing of Dick Gregory and Mort Sahl that was set to be there next week, only it's not to be. I asked Ritter what happened, and his reply to me was short but also vaguely optimistic. He goes in depth, however, in this interview with the A.V. Club about how financial struggles daunted him from the get-go, and I know all-too-well what he meant when he said: "We didn‚Äôt raise enough money to operate with, moving...

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Watch Michael Kosta on The Tonight Show

When I saw Michael Kosta in Aspen three years ago, he helped redefine the way I look at high-schoolers. Kosta also had this recurring callback wherein he high-fives the crowd. Last night he performed on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, and the high-five is more like a mid-five now. The faux-cockiness is still there, though. And a prop! Even Kosta realized during this performance that some TV audiences can be a little hotter than they should be, granting applause breaks sometimes where you don't expect them to come. Roll the...

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April 2010
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