Monthly Archives: January 2016

Andy Dick at Westside Comedy (January 13, 2016)


Andy Dick starts the show by saying he is canceling the show. He says he wanted to just say hi and apologize in person. He goes on to explain the situation. One of his formerly sober friends has started drinking again. It’s gotten to the point where they are considering smoking meth (Andy pointed out that Adolph Hitler frequently used meth too ). After telling this long story, he finally relents that he isn’t cancelling the show.

Next, he introduces a friend that he met at Swingers to come up and do a 5 minute standup set. Afterwards, they sit next to each other and talk about their first and second meeting. As Andy states, it is mostly all about himself. Being on stage is what he needs to do to feel right. See the next casual Andy Dick appearance on January 27th at Westside Comedy.

Quinn Delaney

Intensely Disorientating! 1984 at the Broad Stage (January 12, 2016)

The entire theatre goes pitch black. There is a flash of light and then one man (Winston Smith) is sitting at a table looking confused. Then, complete darkness again. When the lights suddenly return accompanied by a loud distorted noise, five more people are on stage. The crowd is already disorientated. Winston is too. He asks repeated throughout the performance, “Where am I?”

Smith continually tries to escape the constant surveillance by Big Brother with Julia. They go to a very small bedroom that they believe is safe. The audience can’t see the bedroom directly but instead they see what is happening via a live camera feed into the room. This feed is projected on a large screen above the stage. As they discuss their fears, it feels like spying on a private conversation.

In an extremely intense scene, Winston is being interrogated in an all-white room.  The Party Leader holds up four fingers and asks him how many fingers he is holding up. Winston replies “4”. The Leader then says that the Party says he is holding up five fingers. Then, he asks Winston again. Winston replies “4” and is instantly shocked by an electric current. After a few rounds of answering 4 followed by increasing violent shocks, he says “4 or 5 or 4 or 5 or I don’t know.” The Party Leader smiles. He has won. The entire scene is expertly acted and incredibly real. It’s reminiscent of the torture scene in A Clockwork Orange and just as extreme.

All in all, it’s a whirlwind of action and a thrilling mystery which may take multiple viewings to solve. Leave the kids at home and catch 1984 now through February 6th at the Broad Stage.

Quinn Delaney

Impressive Set: Treasure Island at The Lookingglass Theatre (January 10, 2016)

Upon entering the theatre, the large ship that will serve as the stage is instantly impressive. It is completely wooden with thick ladders made of rope reaching up to a large mast along the ceiling. In a very exciting scene, the huge ship sways back and forth with the waves as the crew dances and sings. Up until then, it was assumed the set was immobile. It’s quite a spectacle to gaze upon. Also impressive is the massive fight scene that is expertly choreographed and intensely presented.

John Francis Babbo does an excellent job as the lead, Jim Hawkins. For such a young actor, he is very professional. Accompanied by fiddle, guitar, and flute, he sings and dances to the audiences delight. A great performance by Lawrence E. Distasi brings Long John Silver to life and make him absolutely terrifying.  Catch Treasure Island now through January 31st at the Lookingglass Theatre!

Quinn Delaney


Review: Rachel Feinstein at Up Comedy Club (January 8, 2016)

Drew Frees is the feature comedian of the night. He tells us a hilarious story about his students. One of them says to the other, I had sex with your mom last night. The second kid says, “Ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww. You had sex with a crackhead!” All the kids thought this was the greatest comeback ever. On another day, a student tells Drew that he is a Pinocchio-looking motherfucker. “Good,” he replies, “I was wondering what type of motherfucker I am!” Frees’ delivery of these stories is absolutely spot on.

The headliner of the night, Rachel Feinstein, goes in to a story about hanging out with Jenna Jameson. Jenna is staying in the same hotel, so they share a ride to the comedy club. Rachel immediately notices that Jameson is wearing a big puffy coat and fake glasses. “I guess beautiful women need to wear disguises to avoid being attacked in public!” At the club, the opening comedian announces that Jameson is in the crowd. She stands up and does a little dance, which seems a bit odd. Then, Feinstein does a hilarious impression of a porn star’s voice during sex. It’s very high pitched and sounds like a young teenager from Southern California. The audience cracks up every time she uses the voice. It’s the highlight of a very engaging and funny set. Catch more standup at Up Comedy Club all month long!

Quinn Delaney

A Hoot! The Heir Apparent at Chicago Shakespeare Theatre (January 6, 2016)

Is there anything funnier than a man dressed up as a woman? The audience laughs hysterically as Crispin (played by Cliff Saunders) portrays Julie, the niece of Geronte (Paxton Whitehead). Geronte is an old sickly man who is about to write his will. During Crispin’s portrayal of Julie as an unworthy heir, Isabelle (Emily Peterson) enters the scene wearing the exact same outfit. Oops! And just when you think the scene couldn’t get any more ridiculous, Eraste (Nate Burger) enters wearing the same pink dress! It’s quite a sight to see, three people wearing a huge elaborate eighteenth-century dress running around the stage and speaking in iambic pentameter. It’s fantastic comedic poetry!

Another hilarious scene occurs as Crispin portrays Geronte writing his will. The will is being written with the assistance of Scruple (Patrick Kerr), Crispin’s very short lawyer. Geronte sleep walks into the room and in order to distract Scruple from seeing him, an elaborate and hilarious dance scene takes place. The fact that this is all occurring on a historically accurate 1800’s set and the actors are speaking in rhymes makes the performance all the more enjoyable. It’s quite a hoot! Catch The Hier Apparent now at The Chicago Shakespeare Theatre through January 17th.

Quinn Delaney


50s and 60s Style – Rock Baby Rock at The Hard Rock Cafe Chicago (January 4, 2016)

Million Dollar Quartet’s run in Chicago is ending, but you can still enjoy Lance Lipinsky’s portrayal of Jerry Lee Lewis in Rock Baby Rock. The show features Lipinsky and the Lovers performing songs from the first two decades of Rock & Roll. Before each number, Lance explains the history of the song and reveals pieces of memorabilia which are on display in the The Hard Rock Café Chicago. In one segment, the musicians perform “Shake Rattle & Roll” in three different styles, as the song was varied when played by three different artists in the 1950s.

Two female singers join the men on stage and are introduced as The Lovettes. Together they sing “Mr Lee” by The Bobbettes ( The harmonies are excellent! Modern music should take note as beautiful harmonies with talented singers are a bit lacking today.

Towards the end of the night, they perform a few Beatles tracks. These tunes provide a contrast to previous songs, which demonstrate the shift in rock music that the Beatles started. Lance’s expertise is demonstrated when he plays two songs from MDQ, “Great Balls of Fire” and “Whole Lotta Shakin Goin’ On”. Lance proclaims that the show will live on through these songs, “hopefully for a long time”! Catch Rock Baby Rock on Mondays and Tuesdays now!

Quinn Delaney


Peaceful Folk: Get Off the Couch Presents Frances Luke Accord at Hideout Inn (January 3, 2016)

Frances Luke Accord is the youthful duo of Brian Powers and Nicholas Gunty. Together, they present intricate harmonies sung over their precise and delicate guitar-playing, except when Brian strums an acoustic electric mandolin. Among the many original tunes they introduced during their set at The Hideout, they played a medley that began with their own work, slipping seamlessly into Death Cab for Cutie’s haunting “I Will Follow You Into The Dark”, “Blowin’ in the Wind”, and Simon & Garfunkel’s iconic “Mrs. Robinson”. It was a charming glimpse into their musical influences which was a perfect fit to their unique musical style.

While playing their opening number, “Over Your Roof,” the audience is transfixed. It is expertly written, with a tapped out rhythmic backbone and dancing melody.  Their music, at times utilizing loops and scratchy mandolin tremolo, bears some resemblance to the folk musician Trevor Hall. They both sing about love and unity which shares similarities to a lot of Christian Rock. The “Accord” in their name refers to the harmonies between Nicholas (“Luke” is his middle name) and Brian (“Frances” is the name of the street he lived on when the band formed).

FLA closes out the night with a beautiful rendition of “The Sound of Silence”. Simon & Garfunkel may be no longer touring, but Powers and Gunty are more than talented enough to take their place. Pick up their latest album, Queen For Me, now!

Quinn Delaney

Fantastic! Nicki Bluhm and the Gramblers at The Vic Theatre (January 1, 2016)

The Gramblers take the stage and get the first song rocking. Then, Nicki Bluhm makes her grand entrance wearing an all-white one piece all outfit carrying a glass of red wine. “I’m starting off the year living dangerously!” In the middle of their set, they play “Piece of My Heart” by Janis Joplin.  It’s a great match to the band’s sound and the crowd eats it up.  Later on they play, “Little Too Late”. It’s impossible not to move along with a smile on your face while listening to this song. It’s a perfect piece of Americana Soul.

For the next song, the lead guitarist begins slowly sliding familiar notes. “Hell yeah!” yells out an audience member. The tension builds as the band joins in one by one. It’s an extended intro to “Ravenous”, the Fleetwood Mac style rocker that showcases the band as a finely tuned music machine. The song sounds like one you have been listening to all your life. This is a band worth following for the rest of your life. Catch them on tour now!

See our previous review here.

Quinn Delaney