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Pictured: Comedy duo TJ and Dave
Steppenwolf Theatre Company has announced the fall lineup for LookOut, the company’s multi-genre performance series that launched this summer. LookOut programming takes place in Steppenwolf’s 1700 Theatre, an 80-seat cabaret-style space at 1700 N. Halsted St.
LookOut’s inaugural run welcomed more than 2,300 attendees and presented 32 different programs spanning plays, improv, staged musicals, book readings, live music and even an interactive night of science experiments.
“It has been so thrilling to see the positive response to LookOut this summer. Ensemble members Laurie Metcalf, Jeff Perry and Jon Michael Hill showed up to christen the space with their performances, along with partners ranging from The Second City to Salonathon. These artists created an amazing spark of energy in the new building that continues to reverberate throughout the entire theater,” shares Artistic Director Anna D. Shapiro.
“With the DJs and the great food and drinks in Front Bar as a bookend to shows, we welcomed long-time patrons and brand new audience members as well. We plan to bring even more diverse artists and genres to this fun and innovative series year-round,” says LookOut Producer John Zinn.
Tickets to all LookOut programming go on sale Friday, August 5 at 11am at steppenwolf.org or 312-335-1650. Red and Black Card Members may use credits towards any LookOut programming. Prices vary for each show. LookOut is presented year-round and announced on an ongoing basis. For information, visit steppenwolf.org/lookout.
The LookOut Fall 2016 Lineup:
(as described by Steppenwolf)
You’re Being Ridiculous
Thursday, September 8-Saturday, September 10
At You’re Being Ridiculous, created and hosted by Jeremy Owens, real people tell true stories about their lives. Storytellers are linked by a theme, and by the desire to make you laugh—and, once in a while, cry. Their motto: Good stories are better than good times. “Everyone has a story to tell. What’s yours?” yourebeingridiculous.com
ME, MY MOM AND SHARMILA
Written and Performed by Fawzia Mirza
Friday, September 23 & Saturday, September 24
A hilarious coming-of-age story told by a first generation American woman of color. At some point, we all realize we are not exactly the person our parents expected us to become. How do we find our own voice and embrace our personal identity in the face of societal and familial pressures? Told with humor and deep insight, dynamic writer-performer Fawzia Mirza shares a journey of self-discovery and strength that carries her all the way from childhood as a Pakistani Muslim in small-town Canada to living out as an actress in the heart of Chicago. fawziamirza.com
Friday, September 30
Retro-pop quartet Beauty School invites you to celebrate the release of their new EP Ghost Beach, a day-dreamy elegy to summer. Beauty School formed in Chicago in late 2015 when two groups of musicians joined forces to pursue their shared appreciation of sweet hooks, simple arrangements, pithy love songs and future plates. beautyschoolband.bandcamp.com
TJ and Dave
Saturday, October 1
TJ and Dave walk out on stage without characters, dialogue or plot. Described by The New York Times as “Second City-seasoned masters of long form improv,” TJ Jagodowski and David Pasquesi have become living legends in their field.
By Jo Cattell, Lorena Diaz and Wendy Mateo
Monday, October 3 and Monday, October 10
For two nights this fall, Steppenwolf’s 1700 theatre is transformed into Tumbao, a family bar and the best place for a salsa night, baptism, séance or wedding reception. Unbeknownst to the owners, the community has decided to make the Tumbao family the basis for a radionovela, broadcast from the bar itself. By transmitting to the rest of the world what happens within Tumbao’s walls they hope to share the infectious energy of the family to keep the community thriving through its desperate fight against gentrification. dominizuelan.com.
Wednesday, October 5
The Claudettes fuse Windy City piano blues with the full-throttle energy of rockabilly and punk, jazz-age echoes of burlesque and vaudeville and the sultriness of ’60s pop-soul to write a thrilling new chapter in American roots music. File under: post-burlesque? Neo-vaudeville? Cosmic cartoon music? You’ve never seen a bar band like this. theclaudettes.com
Tales and Tunes with the Irish American Heritage Center
Saturday, October 8
Enjoy live music and stories with musicians and storytellers from the Irish American Heritage Center. With music on fiddle, keyboards, mandolin, uilleann pipes and vocals and stories by Irish born and Irish American writers. irish-american.org
A Tribute to The Smiths & Morrissey by The Handsome Devilz
Saturday, October 15
Formed in 2008, The Handsome Devilz got their start playing in their aunt’s restaurant in Pilsen before going on to become a Midwest regional favorite. Their goal: to bring to life the sounds of The Smiths and Morrissey. As time passes, The Devilz strive to resurrect as many songs as possible from their catalogs for all to enjoy. thehandsomedevilz.com
Akenya in Concert
Friday, October 21
Akenya is young multi-genre singer, pianist, composer and arranger whose music places a strong emphasis on jazz and the culmination of hip-hop, funk, pop, classical, and world music. Her voice, style and sound—both poignant and riveting—is sure to make this intimate evening a transformative experience for audience members. For this one night engagement, Akenya will perform a slew of original works and arrangements with her five piece band. akenyamusic.com
WildClaw Theatre’s DEATHSCRIBE: AN EVENING OF RADIO HORROR
Saturday, October 22
WildClaw Theatre has culled from eight years of Deathscribe to select their top five favorite tales of terror from their annual festival of radio horror. Dare to join them as they bring the nightmares to LookOut for an evening of the Best of Deathscribe: Performed with live foley, live music and a cast of Chicago talent. wildclawtheatre.com/deathscribe
Torch, Sass and Swing!
Created and Performed by Suzanne Petri
With Bobby Schiff, Jim Cox and ensemble member Robert Breuler
Wednesday, October 26-Friday, October 28
Torch songs, smoky clubs and great music. Join Suzanne Petri as she sings fantastic songs and ensemble member Robert Breuler as he tells stories and guides you up “the street” to the classic clubs of Chicago and the artists who played them: Ella, Sarah, Barbra, Sophie, Bette Midler, Oscar Brown Jr., Nat “King” Cole and of course Petri’s special tribute to the one and only Julie Wilson. With musical director Bobby Schiff at the keys and Jim Cox on bass.
Created by BOOMERANG
Saturday, October 29 at 8pm
Sunday, October 30 at 4pm
BOOMERANG, hailed as the “punk Mozarts of dance,” presents a percussively visceral and psychologically dynamic new work made in collaboration with Greg Saunier, drummer and founding member of the internationally acclaimed band Deerhoof. REPERCUSSION combines the daring and vulnerable artistry of dancers Matty Davis and Adrian Galvin with poetically nuanced choreography by Kora Radella. Saunier’s physically-charged, expressive percussion sets the tone and further embodies the work’s fearlessly physical exploration of “active forgetting,” based on new writing by MacArthur Fellow and cultural critic Lewis Hyde. Repercussion was originally commissioned by Dixon Place for a March 2016 premiere in New York City, and subsequently premiered in Paris, France at The Arts Arena at the invitation of Robert Wilson. boomerangdance.com
Charlie Strater and Friends
Thursday, November 3
Charlie Strater honed his songwriting and performing skills like many other artists, by playing countless restaurant and tavern gigs. After releasing his critically acclaimed debut recording, Bluesy Stuff, he quickly earned a name for himself as a powerhouse performer with skilled blues-guitar chops and a vocal intensity and passion. His second album Thornhill Road, continued to define him as a uniquely modern singer/songwriter and guitarist. His third album Charlie Strater combined country and rock in an album that Copeland Music says, “hits the emotional bull’s eye in each song.” Acoustic duo, The PhilBillies, open. reverbnation.com/charliestrater
Looking for Love
Live Dating Game Show and Cabaret
Saturday, November 5
Looking for Love is the only live dating game show and cabaret in the Universe (according to Looking for Love). Hosted by Carolyn Hoerdemann and Maggie Graham; the Dean and Jerry of the new Millennium—with cleavage. Featuring house band Tuffy Roads, comedy cahoots, dating advice and a chance to find the bachelor/bachelorette of your dreams.
Pivot Arts presents Live Talk: The Day After
Wednesday, November 9
Come celebrate or mourn the day after one of the most bizarre presidential elections in modern U.S. history with Pivot Arts’ Live Talk series. Part performance, part live talk show, this unique evening includes quirky performances, interviews, live music and the very special, Pivot DIY. pivotarts.org
Written and performed by Steven Strafford
Friday, November 11 & Saturday, November 12
METHTACULAR! is Steven Strafford’s award-winning one-man show telling the true story of his three years as a sex-addled, crystal meth addict on the streets of Chicago. He weaves jokes, stories, original songs, a game show and documentary footage of interviews with his mom to bring the audience down into the depths of a life in pursuit of the next high. A brave, hilarious and insightful journey through the maelstrom of addiction and recovery, the narrative is riveting and transitions from tear-jerking to gut-busting while never resorting to cloying clichés. methtacular.com
Chicago Podcast Festival
Friday, November 18 & Saturday, November 19
Podcasts are the new art form for this century as they encompass the qualities of art, comedy, drama, entertainment, storytelling and unscripted theatre. Jonathan Pitts, executive director of Chicago Improv Productions and the co-founder/producer of the highly successful Chicago Improv Festival has teamed up with WBEZ’s & The Moth’s Tyler Greene, to produce the first annual Chicago Podcast Festival. The focus of this festival is to present a diverse collection of local, regional and national podcasters in live performances of their podcasts at some of Chicago’s most renowned theatre venues. Join the fun as Chicago transforms into a podcast Mecca for one weekend in the fall.