Friday, February 26, 2010

Eddie's Sketchbook - The Final Insult To Art

(click on images to enlarge them...if you dare.)

This was another one that started with some random squiggles and became...that. I like the nose hairs.

In the Wednesday night Nighthawk Sandwich show there was a scene Mary Jo Bolduc wrote called Private Dancer based on Hopper's Girlie Show. In it, Nat Topping gets punched in the face. The night Nat came to see our show, I decided to try to capture it. It looks less like Nat Topping getting punched and more like Don Hall getting slapped with a doughnut. The "50% damage" is an inside joke. When they would run the fight choreography before each show, the actors would do so at slower rates of speed, building up to 100%. This is a 50% sock in the kisser.

Back to my favorite use. This is Len in the Automat, post-op. He seems to regret his decision.

Another one that started with squiggles. I thought it was going to be three lemons. Turned out to be Len, a young Bob Hope and his Polynesian servant, sitting in a big tub of chowder.

Len at the beach. There's sun screen on his huge beach towel near his head. Len burns easily.

Len Comes Ashore just may be my favorite. Len was the last thing added. It was just the lighthouse and the landscape. Very boring. Want to spice up a work of art? Add Len and make it weird. If I had a tattoo, it would say "Make It Weird."

Seemed only fitting that for the very last show I take a stab at Nighthawks. I intentionally did it without people in honor of the show closing. But then, I couldn't resist. Len is lying in a pool of blood behind the counter. The reference is to an early scene where George, a businessman, contemplates suicide and finds his secretary has removed the firing pin from his gun. I imagined Len fixing it for him.

If you saw The (edward) Hopper Project, I hope you enjoyed it and this glimpse into a part of it. If you didn't get a chance to see it, I hope you regret it deeply and on your deathbed whisper "Hopper" as you drop a snowglobe from your dying hand.


Yesterday, I asked...

"Peta has developed a new billboard with the message to 'spay or neuter' cats and dogs. The celebrity on the ad is who?"

25% said "Duane 'Dog' Chapman" - Help stop the unnecessary spread of reality shows.

25% said "Wolf Blitzer" - We must keep that beard from overpopulating the planet.

No one said "Cat Stevens"

50% got it right with "Tiger Woods"

According to The Huffington Post, Tiger Woods may soon appear on a PETA billboard in his hometown of Windermere, Fla. The animal rights group has created a graphic showing a photo of the golfer accompanied by the all-caps text, "TOO MUCH SEX CAN BE A BAD THING." The message continues beneath the headline: "... for little tigers too. Help keep your cats (and dogs) out of trouble: Always spay or neuter!"

The problem is, Tiger probably has been fixed. We haven't heard any rumors of any stray tiger cubs popping up around the strip clubs he haunted. Then, again, maybe the ad is saying it's a good thing if you're going to keep screwing around. If you're going to get into trouble, don't make it any worse. Looking at you, John Edwards.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

More of Eddie's Sketchbook

Almost done displaying why I'm a writer and not an artist. (click to enlarge the image)

This is another one that started out with some squiggles which became a pipe organ which became the inside of the movie theater apparently from the perspective of being drunk and passed out on the floor of the balcony. The movie is a reference to the play where my character rants about a film he saw that put movie cameras right in the middle of the action, like on a roller coaster or in a bull fighting ring. In this case, it's Eddie enjoying a gondola ride with another character named Tommy. That's Len steering.

Len, Nude, Descending A Staircase Via A Goose Step. I think that says it all. I love that he has Whistler's -aka Len's -Mother on the wall of his living room.

Yep. A dead bird. If you so the show, you know why.

I imagined Len wanting to advertise his diner, but only being able to afford a billboard somewhere in upstate New York.


Brian Dennehy in the two one-act double feature of Eugene O'Neill's Hughie and Samuel Beckett's Krapp's Last Tape closes this Sunday. You might be able to score some discounted tickets over at HotTix. see it if you can. These plays are rarely produced, especially at this level of quality. Dennehy is finds delightful moments in two tragic characters that seem crippled by loneliness. Sounds depressing, but it's not. Well, not entirely. "Eerie" in Hughie is a gambler who has been on a long losing streak and who could talk your ear off. The kind of guy you enjoy observing, but would never want to be trapped with in a room. Krapp's Last Tape, in typical Beckett fashion, is a clown act layered with sadness and absurdity and Dennehy completely transforms himself for the role. Kudos to the Good man audience for not having a cellphone go off (a first for me in that theater), but boo for all the frickin' hacking and wheezing. What the hell? Hardly heard any of it during intermission, as soon as the lights started going down, the coughing swelled. Apparently, many Goodman patrons have an allergic reaction to darkness and silence. Much of Krapp is silent, but at the Goodman, it's scored with a tuberculosis orchestra. In spite of the lung songs, Krapp still ended on one of the most powerful moments I have seen on stage in awhile.


Yesterday, I asked...

"YouTube has removed the original video of what popular internet sensation?"

20% said "Two Girls, One Cup" - The original video was never on there. It's just not YouTube's cup of...tea.

20% said "Dramatic Hamster" - Brian Dennehy's acting coach.

No one went for "Keyboard Cat"

60% got it right with "Rick Astley's "Never Gonna Give You Up"

According to Mashable, if you want to Rickroll someone, no problem, there are thousands of copies of the video of Rick Astley’s legendary song, “Never Gonna Give You Up,” on the Internet. However, if you want to use the original Rickroll video, which should be located here, you’ll be greeted by an ugly message: This video has been removed due to terms of use violation.

Nothing can stop Rick Astley. He will never let you down.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

I Believe...

...that some people look for a reason to be offended (looking at you GOP) and are more likely to be offended depending on the source (looking at you Sarah Palin). But the thing is, who cares if you're offended? What does it even mean? Were you somehow damaged when you were offended? Did it tear your arm off or just "ruin" some experience for a moment? If someone's goal is to be offensive (looking at you Limbaugh) and you're offended, then score! Or you can choose to not to give the matter any more weight than it deserves and move on. is fleeting. You toil, you create, you display, you destroy, you move on to the next thing. It's a lot like dating.

...that I used to be a full-fledged vegan. Damn you, pizza. Why do I love you?

...that art is at its best when it has an opinion and someone might be offended.

...that the first two years of high school were awful - crippled by shyness, self-conscious with acne, no sense of fashion. The last two years were a blast because I learned to surround myself with people whose company I enjoyed. They were creative. We explored music, movies and TV together, we shared a lot about what we were learning about the world. We had fun and weren't easily offended. Might be the most important lesson learned in those four years. That and photosynthesis.


The set had a corner that represented a movie theater. This is my take on what the exterior wall might have looked like.


Yesterday, I asked...

"Apple recently pulled thousands of adult-themed apps for iPhone including one from ChilliFresh, an Australian company, called "Wobble" which featured what?"

50% said "kangaroos having sex" - Did you see the pouch on that one? Crikey!

25% said "all things jiggly" - Jell-No

No one said "models falling on runways" - No. That's called "the news."

25% git it right with "women's breasts"

According to BBC News, thousands of apps with adult-themed content have been removed from the store since Friday although some, such as one from Playboy, remain. ChilliFresh is an Australian company that creates apps for the iPhone, including the recently banned Wobble, which allows users to add 'wobble' functionality to any picture. The firm markets the app by suggesting people can use it to wobble women's breasts.

That's right. Apple removed the apps because people said they were offended. But kept Playboy, because, well, that's the "good" porn. I'm embarrassed. Not about porn. I read the news article wrong yesterday, or it was updated. I thought Wobble just had pictures of wobbly boobies. This, apparently, can take pictures of women and make their naughty bits jiggle.

This is an amazing advance in technology. Why does Apple hate the future? And why don't women see this as an example of how much we love and appreciate them? Where's that rock I was sleeping under...tiny...brain...tired...

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Eddie's Sketchbook, Part II

Flipping through the sketchbook, I noticed that after "Sad Eyed Chihuahua Len" I went back to "serious" sketches. This was out of concern someone in the audience might be able to get a peek of what I was drawing and it would take them out of the play... and make me look like a dork. That lasted for another week's worth of show.

This is the last one of the last one's where I was trying to do it all Hopper-y. (Click on the image for a larger version.)

Totally drawing from what I recall of one of his paintings. A few sketches later, I determined I could draw something without revealing it to the audience and I was back to using Len as my muse.

"Len On Horseback"

Patrick Kelly portrayed the sardonic and often put upon Len. Ours was the only scene where I actually had a conversation, albeit brief, with another character. There was another scene at the end, but it was more like I was talking and someone happened to be there. In our exchange, Len had to tell me the specials of the day - a long list of menu items. This is one of the most difficult things for an actor to memorize. There is no story to tell. No progression. You have to hardwire it into your brain. Patrick did a great job, but there were a few shows where Patrick's actor spider sense told him he was about to go up on the line ("up" means "blow it") so he would quickly wrap it up with a "and that's all we have." The above sketch is from one of those shows.

In the show, I first break out the sketchbook while on the catwalk above the diner. If I had no idea what I was going to draw, I would just throw down some squiggles and then see if I could find something in it. This is one of those. It became the woman Bernie the detective is tailing in the first act diner scene.

There's a few more I'll post this week. Thanks for indulging an outsider artist.


Yesterday, I asked...

"Dominik Podolsky, a German snowboarder stranded in the Austrian Alps for six hours was rescued after attracting attention by doing what?"

25% said "singing "The Sound of Music" at the top of his lungs" - this would actually work as a deterrent to being found

25% said "stripping down to his leiderhosen" - Not wise, he might freeze his schnitzel.

No one went for "dancing a jig"

50% got the right answer with "setting fire to his money"

According to BBC News, Dominik Podolsky, 22, of Munich, was stuck on a ski lift when it shut down for the day, with the temperature -18C. As darkness fell, he began to burn paper handkerchiefs and the contents of his wallet with a cigarette lighter. He started with restaurant bills and business cards before he was spotted burning the last of 120 euros in cash.

My recommendation for Dominik... use the ski lift to go UP the mountain, use your skis to go back DOWN. Might save you a few euros.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Eddie's Sketchbook

Hopper has closed and, like our many reviews, my feelings are mixed. Don't get wrong. I loved doing the show and I loved working with this cast. It was a tremendous amount of fun. It was also a five day-a-week commitment for me, not including pre-production. The weekends were particularly taxing with my teaching schedule at Second City. I'm ready to move on and looking forward to getting out there and seeing some shows.

In the show, I played a Hopper substitute named "Eddie." Eddie was far from being biographical, but I did try to emulate his approach to art. He would stare at things for hours before painting and kept a sketchbook to develop his work before applying paint to brush. My Eddie kept a sketchbook in his back hip pocket. Once a show, I made a sketch. At first, I tried to recreate something Hopper might draw - a landscape or cityscape or something based on one of his classics. Then, I got silly. Often using "Len," the diner owner/operator, as my muse.

Here are a few... (click on the image for a closer view)

This is the very first one in the book. It might even have been done on opening night, as I went through a few different sketchbook options. As you can see, I was trying to take my role seriously.

This is the first appearance of Len about three shows later. It's based on an actual Hopper painting where there's a fully clothed man sitting on the edge of a bed and a naked woman reclining behind him. I gave the sketch the title "Len Gets Laid" and then thought it would be funnier if I erased the woman.

This is where I started becoming frustrated with my lack of talent as an artist. I really wanted to do a great "Sad-Eyed Chihuahua Len." Unfortunately, the idea is better than the result.

Hopper liked his naked ladies and his actual sketchbook is full of him practicing drawing them. The stuff that would get you kicked out of most high school classrooms. Here's my attempt. And then I had a bunch of space left, so I decided this naked lady worked out of her home.


Last week, I asked...

"Fraternity students at the University of California - San Diego threw an off campus party last weekend commemorating Black History Month that encouraged guests to do what?"

I clearly loaded the answers on this one, because the story pissed me off.

The choices were...

"For guys to wear XXXL white t's"

"For girls to have gold teeth, start fights and wear cheap clothes"

"For everyone to enjoy dat Purple Drank made of the color purple, chicken and watermelon"

100% got the right answer, "All of the above"

According to San Diego's, administrators at the University of California, San Diego are condemning a weekend ghetto-themed party thrown off-campus by fraternity students to mock Black History Month, but they aren't likely to discipline anyone, it was reported Wednesday.The so-called "Compton Cookout" event urged all participants to wear chains, don cheap clothes and speak very loudly, The San Diego Union-Tribune reported. Female participants were encouraged to be "ghetto chicks."

What a bunch of ass bags. There are three things more than anything that I just do not get; litter, being loud on buses or trains, and racism. Okay, those weren't in order of importance, but I think they all are related. The perpetrators are all people who falsely feel a sense of entitlement and use these tools of disruption to feel superior, which, of course, they are not. Such acts put them squarely at the bottom of the pecking order. People are racist. Seems to be built in or passed down. But that doesn't mean you can't rise above the baseness and use your brain and treat everyone with respect and humanity. Seriously, what a bunch of friggin' ass bags.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Like Taking Ghandi From A Baby

The other day, a friend of mine forwarded to me this list created by Ghandi. I thought it evoked some simple principles that, if adapted from an individual level to global, would certainly make the world a better place. I went on to share the list on Facebook. It generated a lot of responses from my friends, mostly hysterical. So hysterical, I had to share them. Feel free to add your own social sins in the comments section.

Mahatma Ghandi’s list of mankind’s seven social sins:

1. Commerce without morality

2. Politics without principle

3. Wealth without work

4. Pleasure without conscience

5. Education without character

6. Science without humanity

7. Worship without sacrifice


Not bad for a skinny guy in a diaper.


What a stick in the mud.


8. Men without hats


9. Alcohol without cigarettes


10. Ice cream without dairy.


Why are all the decent and intellectually stimulating men, dead?


What... we still have Joe.
Oh, wait, decent, well, that's open to interpretation.


a blessing without a disguise. wrap the diaper around that.


chocolate without peanut butter.


My mouth without chocolate in it!


leisure suits without disco balls.


I think that if Gandhi could read this comment-thread, he'd be pleased and believe that all of his work was not in vain.


ranjit- you should start a 'what would Gandhi think?' facebook page, there are instances here of all seven social sins and more


Gandhi went on a hunger strike and Hitler begged him to stop. Hitler thought Gandhi was being unreasonable.


Ghandi definitely wasn't a supporter of the American way, was he?


Morale-suasion works against moral societies, like the British. It won't work against Al Capone, Saddam Hussein, John Gotti, Pol Pot, etc.


I heard Gandhi drove a Prius.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Weeks 31 & 32 - Chris Othic

WEEKS 31 & 32 – “A Thing I Wrote“Director: Chris Othic

I have known Chris Othic for years. he was once a student of mine at Second City and wrote one of my favorite scenes, James Bond from Milwaukee. It was one of those rare scenes where I had no idea how we would do it - it had a helicopter, grappling hooks, beer cans used as weapons, a helicopter crash - but it was so much fun I just had to try. Chris went on to work with me in Teatro Bastardo and now with Robot vs Dinosaur. We don't always see eye-to-eye, which is a good thing, because he's always interested in the doing the best work possible. He is also the engine of Robot vs Dinosaur. His dedication and self-professed "mothering" of the group is our glue. He is also one of the few people who have read every single 365 scene. So, I know his choice for these two weeks is an informed one. This block features quite a variety, including an Odd Couple take on Othello, a Sherlock Holmes take on a drive by shooting, a parody of A Tale of Two Cities, another parody of King Kong based on what I always wondered would happen if he didn't escape from the theater and Wasp-18, about a lovelorn, suicidal planet, a scene that was reference in a lecture at The Royal Academy of Astronomy in London.
















Yesterday, I asked...

"Beppe Bigazzi, a top Italian food writer, has been suspended from a cooking show for recommending viewers try what?"

40% said "McDonald's" - Only so they know what really crappy food tastes like and better appreciate his cooking.

20% said "Doggie Foie Gras" - It only works on chihuahuas.

20% said "Parrot Pilaf" - Polly want a side dish?

20% got it right with "Cat Stew"

According to Times OnLine, a top Italian food writer has been suspended indefinitely from the country’s version of the television programme Ready Steady Cook for recommending stewed cat to viewers as a “succulent dish”.

RAI, the public broadcasting network, said that it had dropped Beppe Bigazzi, 77, for offering the recipe on La Prova del Cuoco, which is broadcast at midday on the main channel. Its switchboard was inundated with complaints from viewers and animal rights groups. Bigazzi said that casserole of cat was a famous dish in his home region of Valdarno, Tuscany.

“I’ve eaten it myself and it’s a lot better than many other animals,” he told viewers. “Better than chicken, rabbit or pigeon.”

Better than pigeon? Haven't tried the rat pate, yet, Beppe?

This man has eaten cat. I think he's still chewing.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

I Believe...

...that in whatever art form you dabble, if you set out to make a "hit", you probably won't. The best you can strive to do is quality work - in my case well-crafted characters with strong wants in opposition to one another and a fun ride as they struggle to achieve their wants - and hope that the emotional connection you have to your work translates to an audience. Aim for a hit, you might get one, but you'll more likely poop out Look Who's Talking 3 or Look Who's Singing: The Musical.

...that parking on the street in Chicago neighborhoods includes digging out your car when it snows. It does not give you squatter's rights to that public space. Leave your lawn furniture and plastic milk crates in your living room.

...that there's good fat and bad fat. Tran fat is bad fat. Trans fat is the result of adding hydrogen to a vegetable oil (hydrogenation) to improve its shelf life, flavor and functional properties. Tans fats have been linked to heart disease. The FDA has determined that trans fat should be consumed in minimum quantities, which means, not at all.

...that people with the most money are still making the decisions that affect the most people. Going to the polls and putting a mark next to a name is no longer a vote. A dollar is a vote. The guy with a billion votes has a better chance of getting a politician to protect his interests than doing what's best for the country. How do we change it? Stop shopping at Wal-Mart, move your money to a community bank, buy local when you can, and get off your ass and go vote on election day for politicians who don't take money from special interests groups - there's a few of them and they need to be rewarded.


Yesterday, I asked...

"Dr. Daniel R. Lerom has been accused of billing Blue Cross Blue Shield for "sessions" with a patient where the two did what?"

50% said "worked on his house" - a new deck makes everyone feel better about themselves

No one said "went gambling" or "hired a stripper" - two activities I have found to be therapeutic

50% got it right with "boinked"

According to, Tampa, Florida's Dr. Daniel R. Lerom is listed in documents as having a long-standing sexual relationship with a Lakeland patient in a lawsuit filed with Hillsborough County Circuit Court.

Each time they two had sex, documents say, the doctor would bill her Blue Cross Blue Shield Insurance for their "sessions."

Interesting, I call them "sessions" too. "The doctor is IN. What do you mean you can't feel that?"

The main complaint is that the doctor would claim to go a full hour, but always stop ten minutes early.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Weeks 5 & 6 - Regan Davis

WEEKS 5 & 6 – “Zombie Space Aliens” – Director: Regan Davis

Regan Davis is directing this block of scenes. I first worked with Regan when he was cast in a play I wrote called Metaluna. Regan is very smart and has a dry sense of humor, which, of course, I dig. He recently directed a scene I wrote called Lighthouse for the Wednesday night Nighthawk Sandwich show. What I like about the job he did with that piece is that he took a pretty basic gag that tags the scene and turned it into one of the funniest moments of the evening with just the slightest change to it. This block has some interesting scenes. Loud Sunshine is very surreal, Public Hair is based on an actual experience a friend had on the dating scene and Once Upon A Time In A Church Basement is a showdown between three old ladies at a rummage sale. Very excited to have Regan on board.

Bad News.2.18.09



Mercury Poisoning.2.19.09

Once Upon A Time in the Church Basement.2.21.09

Public Hair.2.16.09

Suess Club.2.20.09

Mr. Mysterium.3.1.09

Zombie Space Aliens.2.23.09

That’s Just Jay.2.25.09

TheC-E-Yos(a rap song).2.24.09

The Third One.2.26.09

The Wretched Refuse2.27.09

This Is My Art.2.28.09


Yesterday, I asked...

"Senator Chris Buttars of Utah wants to save up to $60 million dollars in the school system by making what optional?"

75% said "attendance" - Sorry, must be present to win.

No one went for "gym class" or "state exams"

25% got it right with "senior year"

According to The Salt Lake Tribune, Sen. Chris Buttars, who once talked about dropping 12th grade altogether, now is talking about making 12th grade optional for those students who finish their required credits early -- and some lawmakers are listening to the idea with interest. Buttars is proposing the state save up to $60 million by giving students the option of graduating from high school early. Students who finish their high school requirements early are already allowed to graduate early, but Buttars' proposal would provide more incentives for students to do that and make that option clearer, he said.

Some of those incentives include; living at home watching TV, minimum wage employment, a jump on that alcohol or drug addiction.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Theater Review: "Wilson Wants It All"

"Wilson Wants It All"
Written by Michael Rohd and Phillip C. Klapperich
Conceived and Directed by Michael Rohd
The House Theatre of Chicago
@ The Chopin Theatre
1543 West Division
Through March 27

"In the not-too-distant future, America is again on the brink of civil war -- this one a schism of values. A lone man decides the future of a nation as he manipulates the fate of twin girls, separated at birth and caught on either side of this escalating conflict."

Sounds promising, doesn't it? Prior to seeing this production, I had never seen a House show. I was really looking forward to it. I've heard good things, I've heard bad things, I was looking forward to making my own decision and was pretty sure I'd at least see something visually stunning and creatively interesting.

The production looks great. It's sparse, but near monumental as it uses the main theater of the Chopin space close to floor-to-ceiling. The lighting, sound and costuming is all top notch. The cast is clearly talented and, at the very least, personable. These are folks you don't mind spending a few hours with.

The problem is quite simply the script. It comes across like an overloaded first draft, but probably suffered from being overwritten. Somewhere in the process, some brave company members needed to speak up and say, "Um, excuse me, guys... that doesn't make sense...we already covered that information...don't you think the audience will have already figured that out?"

Wilson Wants It All isn't so much a play as it is an explanation of a play. It tells us about a lot of things - how the country is torn apart, in a deep depression, how an assassinated senator was the best hope the country had for a bright future, etc. It tells us all these things, a lot, but never shows us. When a plot "twist" you can see coming is revealed, it's explained to death by the characters to each other and then the news team "chorus" comes out and explains directly to the audience what was just explained.

Occasionally, an actor will persevere and manage to have their characters show some humanity, but those moments are fleeting and quickly stomped out by a buttload of recaps or music that plays like a film score that doesn't trust the audience to know what they should be feeling at any given moment.

There are plot holes a-plenty. We first meet Wilson when he is the chief of staff of a golden boy senator who is running for president. He's known the senator, he says, for twenty years. We get the impression they are close to the same age, which would put them in their 30s. Thirty years pass as Wilson grooms the senator's daughter to run for office as soon as she meets the minimum age requirement. Later, he says he's been in politics his whole life, fifty years. How old is this guy? Shouldn't he be 70 or 80? Maybe he is and in the near future our world is fucked but we look marvelous for our age.

Characters do things that just don't make a lick of sense, but are convenient to the plot. Hope (yes, Hope), the senator's daughter meets a doppelganger named Ruth and within minutes they decide to swap lives without knowing anything about each other's personal details. A switch Ruth's mother, who lives with her, doesn't notice. Although, she does catch on long before Ruth's boyfriend, who even has sex with Hope and doesn't notice. As the story trudges along to its ham-fisted climax, Wilson gives Meredith, the mother of Ruth and Hope, a sealed envelope and tells her not to open it until "it's all over" and to "think of it like a love letter." At this point, it is clear that Meredith does not like Wilson or agree with what he's been up to, yet Meredith forgets to ask "When will I know it's all over?" and "What do you mean love letter, that's creepy?" And on top of that, she decides to open the envelope the moment she's been called upon to speak at a press conference. She reads it out loud without previewing it and without preamble. No one but her knows it was written by Wilson, the guy whose politics she opposes. It turns out to be a speech the he wrote for her for just such an occasion. Good thing it wasn't like a love letter. That could have been embarrassing for her.

Wilson Wants It All, like the future it portrays, might have something going for it if it focused more on people than on ideas and appearance.


Late last week, I asked...

"Times are tough. Donna McPherson of Brooklyn recently filed a complaint that someone did what?"

40% said "ate all the free samples in a grocery store" (I love happy hour at the grocery store)

20% said "stole music from her iPod"(They gave her back all her Taylor Swift songs.)

No one went for "mowed her lawn then asked for money"

40% got it right with "mugged her dog"

According to the Associated Press/NBC New York, Donna McPherson says she tied up Lexie, her 10-year-old Westie, outside a Park Slope supermarket "for two minutes'' while she bought milk.

She heard a "funny bark.'' When McPherson went outside, she found the little white dog shivering. His green wool coat, with leather trim and belt, were nowhere in sight.

Hmmm. Are you sure Lexie didn't just give a homeless guy a buck to take that crap off him?

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Weeks 1 & 2 - Mary Jo Bolduc

WEEKS 1 & 2 – “Dancing with the Devil” – Director: Mary Jo Bolduc

Mary Jo Bolduc has taken on directing the first show in the 365 Sketches showcase in June. I have known Mary Jo for over a decade ever since she was a member of TourCo. We have worked together with ComedySportz, Teatro Bastardo and WNEP (currently, we are both writers and actors in The (edward) Hopper Project and co-artistic directors of Night Sandwich.) She's a talented, funny, hard working human. You want something done, give it to Bolduc. She's done an amazing job on Nighthawk Sandwich. Even though we share credit, she has done the lion's share of the work and holds it all together every week while I stay out of the Bolduc tornado's way. I'm very excited she's taken this on. It contains two of my favorite scenes, Single Slices and Pushing The Envelope. Slices showed up in last spring's Robot vs Dinosaur's production of Run, Palindrome, Nur and Pushing the Envelope, my first comic monologue of the project, was delivered with what can only be called aplomb by Kevin Gladish at our Sketchfest showcase.

Babies Are Assholes.1.25.09


Czernik on the bus.1.22.09

laid on.1.19.09


Made in China.1.20.09.doc

single slices.1.23.09

Dancing with the Devil.1.29.09

Chet Later.1.30.09

Pushing The Envelope.1.26.09

Better Than Money.1.27.09


Chet At Lunch.1.31.09



A strip club in Toledo, Ohio is doing their part to raise money for charity by featuring what?

No one thought it was Showers for Unemployed, Blow Jobs for Homeless (Body shots, anyone?) or Tea Bags for Healthcare

100% correctly said Lap Dances for Haiti

According to The Toledo Blade, "scantily clad dancers were the draw at a downtown men's entertainment club over the weekend for an event that raised nearly $1,000 for victims of the earthquake in Haiti.

Marilyn's on Monroe, 715 Monroe St., billed Saturday's affair as "Lap dances for Haiti."
" Two sister clubs in the Detroit area, the Landing Strip in Romulus and Subi's Place in Southgate, have scheduled similar events this month with a goal of raising $5,000.

They'll raise 5,000 dollars and about 150 boners. Now, if those dancers really want to make a difference, they should send a team down to Haiti where they can donate their lap dances directly to the folks who need them the most. Hey, wasn't there an earthquake in Illinois, yesterday? Where's my lap dance?

Here's a man doing his part to make the world a better place.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

I Believe...

...that Sarah Palin is something to be concerned about. She tells the sheep what they want to hear plus an extra dose of fear. She continues the Bush legacy of having zero intellectual curiosity and, in fact, deriding such as elitist. I want smart people in office who work for me, not for their wardrobe and their tanning bed.

...that watching Abraham Lincoln and George Washington dance like white guys in TV commercials for President's Day sales is everything I love and hate about America.

...that The Who is no longer The Who without John Entistle and Keith Moon. It's like Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr touring as The Beatles. The Who was one of the greatest rock bands of all time and their musical gifts to the world are incomparable, from My Generation to Tommy and Quadraphenia to Who Are You. Amazing freaking vibrant beautiful muscular kick-in-the-heart rock and roll. Roger, Pete, love you , thank you, you are Gods. Now, hang it up.

...It's just snow. It's Chicago. Suck it up.

...that the music we use in The (edward) Hopper Project is reason enough alone to see the show. Paul Desmond, Dave Brubeck and Miles Davis sound as fresh today as when they recorded their tunes 50-something years ago. That's great music. Brubeck is still touring at 90. Maybe Roger Daltry and Pete Townsend could be his roadies.

...that if you haven't seen Nighthawk Sandwich, yet, you're missing out on one of the most ridiculous values in Chicago theater. Tonight. 7:30pm. Only five bucks.

... American Buffalo at Steppenwolf is pure Mamet at his best and an inspiring delight. The cast is brilliant, Tracy Letts as "Teach" is as hilarious and tragic as anything Shakespeare's muses could have conjured up. This is a wonderful piece of theater and it closes this week. Go, see, do.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Weeks 19 & 20 - Rich Baker

WEEKS 19 & 20 – Chekhov in the Trailer Park” Director: Rich Baker

I have known Rich for a few years, first as an actor in one of the Writing 5 shows I directed. He transplanted to Chicago from Texas where he performed with ComedySportz. He claims that he would have gone back home had it not been for my support. As a form of payback, or, perhaps, vengeance, he is directing this block of the 365 shows. Some of my favs in this are Book Club - a heaping dose of reality for long term relationships, Chekhov In The Trailer Park, which is exactly what it sounds like, and Langley and Pratt, a riff on vaudeville and prescription drugs that went over well at Sketchfest as performed by Kerpatty. Rich is currently in the directing program at Second City and has also taken on a big writing project, penning a song a day for 100 days. You can read them at