This is David Blaine’s first ever tour stop in Chicago. Last year was the first time he ever toured North America. In this show, he performs many of the tricks and stunts that he did in his movie, Real or Magic and many other TV specials. This includes having a volunteer from the audience push an ice pick through his arm, swallowing a huge amount of water and then spraying all of it out to put out a fire, and regurgitating a live frog! He’s way more than just a charming magician. He’s a stuntman and an incredible daredevil!
For the finale, he brings out a large glass tank of water for a stunt not covered by his insurance. First, let’s take a look at a little history. In May of 2006, Blaine attempted to break the record live on ABC. He only managed to stay under for 7 minutes and 8 seconds, under two minutes from the record of 8 minutes and 58 seconds at that time. On April 30, 2008, he broke the world record for breath holding on the Oprah Winfrey show. His time was 17 minutes and 4 seconds. On tonight’s show, he stayed under for 10 minutes and 33 minutes. It’s not a world record, but still very impressive considering most people can only hold their breathe for about 2 minutes max.
The Growing Concerns Poetry Collective combines spoken poetry and hip hop, with original music and soundscape. McKenzie Chinn and Mykele Deville spin lyrical narratives while Jeffrey Michael Austin mixes pre-recorded sounds into beautiful soundscapes. It’s a fantastic collaboration that creates a very smooth vibe in the room.
Buddy Wakefield is a poet, a spoken word artist. He bares his soul on stage telling stories from his life which are full of serendipity. Tonight, he acknowledges the presence of the first person to whom he came out and how glad she has come. He also talks in depth about his former partner. He continues by performing a love poem he wrote for him. It was a very emotional moment, of which there are many in his performance. It’s clear why he won the Individual World Poetry Slam Finals watching him do his thing at the Den Theatre.
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.
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!
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!
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!
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”!