CONTACT: John Olson, Communications Director
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
ComedySportz Chicago to Mark 25th Anniversary Year with International Comedy Competition and Three Months of Activities
CHICAGO, February 10, 2012
The long-running Chicago improv show ComedySportz will mark its 25th Anniversary with a summer-long celebration called “25 Yearz: Competing. Celebrating. Giving Back.” The festivities will begin in July with ComedySportz Chicago hosting a tournament of 21ComedySportz clubs to include 19 clubs from across the US and two from Europe. In August, the Chicago club will salute its history with a series of especially themed shows and cast reunions. The party will conclude in September, as ComedySportz Chicago gives back to the community by raising money through ticket sales and other promotions for five different charities serving the Lakeview neighborhood, where the club is located at 929 West Belmont Avenue.
July – “Competing.” ComedySportz World Championship to be Held in July at Chicago’s Athenaeum Theatre.
“Competing” is the Anniversary theme for July, honoring the unique ComedySportz brand of competitive comedy, in which two teams of improv comedy players use spontaneous audience suggestions for scenes, songs and games. The teams earn points based on audience approval. The concept began in 1984 in Milwaukee and expanded to Chicago in 1987, with the first independently owned club to license the ComedySportz name and concept. All 21 clubs, including the European clubs in Manchester, England and Berlin, Germany, are expected to attend the July World Championship. Up to 150 players will perform at the Athenaeum from July 18 to 21. All performances will be open to the public.
August – “Celebrating.” ComedySportz Chicago Will Salute Its Many “Families” in August.
“Celebrating” is the theme for August, when ComedySportz will involve and pay tribute to the various groups that have contributed to the show’s success. ComedySportz performers from across its 25-year history will return to perform in “Alumni Weekend,” August 2-4. August 9 -11 will be “80s Weekend,” with special show content themed to the decade of ComedySportz’s birth. The theatre’s neighbors will be celebrated during Lakeview weekend, August 16-18, and the vibrant Chicago Improv community will be honored during the Chicago Improv Festival at ComedySportz from August 23-25.
September - “Giving Back.” Fundraising Events to Assist Community Organizations.
For each of the five weekends in September, ComedySportz Chicago will donate a portion of ticket fees to a local charity or community group serving the Lakeview neighborhood. Recipients will be announced shortly. Additionally, cast members will donate their time to the charity as well. “We couldn’t have made it 25 years without the support of our local community. This will be a great way to not only thank our neighbors, but also acknowledge and celebrate our community’s diversity,” says Matt Elwell, CEO of ComedySportz Chicago.
ABOUT COMEDYSPORTZ CHICAGO
One of Chicago’s longest-running improv comedy shows, ComedySportz has been performing continuously in Chicago since the summer of 1987, and has called 15 different venues in the area its home. Currently, the show’s home base is The ComedySportz Theatre, a 137-seat venue located at 929 W. Belmont, between Clark Street and Sheffield Avenue. In addition to its six ComedySportz performances per week, the theater hosts another six comedy shows weekly, some of which include guest artists in sketch, improv and stand-up comedy; and the popular Saturday morning kids series which introduces young people to classic stories told through the techniques of improv. The theatre also hosts hundreds of private shows for youth and other groups each year.
ComedySportz also provides improv-based corporate and college training workshops, and a touring company that brings the ComedySportz show into businesses, schools and private parties. The ComedySportz Training Center offers professional training in improv techniques for aspiring performers and anyone else seeking to develop the benefits of improv training.
ComedySportz of Chicago, Inc. is locally owned and operated. It is an independent licensee of the World Comedy League, Inc.
CONTACT: John Olson at The ComedySportz Theatre, (773) 549-8080, ext. 231
WEB SITE: http://www.COMEDYSPORTZCHICAGO.com
And here’s proof you should celebrate Valentine’s Day here with your sweetest! Just a few weeks ago, Cortney Sourwine of Valparaiso, Indiana proposed marriage to her boyfriend Brian Neese. Brian had previously proposed to her on Christmas Eve of 2010, and they were engaged for a time, but Ms. Sourwine says “the stress of life piled up, and I decided to break off the engagement. Now that we've both had time to reflect on the relationship and the stressors that ultimately led to its demise, we feel we are once again ready to consider marriage. However, now the ball's in my court.”
Looking for a special way to ask the big question, Cortney thought of ComedySportz, as she and Brian have been big fans of the show since Brian introduced her to it three years ago. She asked ComedySportz if her proposal could be part of a show and on January 13, convinced Brian to drive in to Chicago in the midst of a snowstorm for the Friday 8 pm performance. The show’s ref, Tara DeFrancisco, brought Cortney on stage as a “volunteer” for the final game and after Cortney contributed some stellar bits of improv, Brian was brought up on stage for the surprise proposal. How did he respond? Check our video of the event demonstrating the aphrodisiac that is ComedySportz.
Our Valentine’s Day Weekend shows are:
For reservations, call 773-549-8080 or visit Ticketmaster.com
After years of performing live on stage with ComedySportz and in shows like the sketch comedy duo Urlakis and Cusick, Dave Urlakis took his brand of comedy online a year ago when he began the YouTube channel Awkward Spaceship. The channel’s video, “If Computer Problems Were Real”, an exploration of the ways tech speak has appropriated everyday language, was introduced four months ago and has hit nearly 800,000 views so far. And Awkward Spaceship’s fifteenth video, “Danger Hospital” – which imagines a TV series combining the conventions of 24 and ER - was featured just last week on the G4 TV network’s Attack of the Show.
The Awkward Spaceship videos – which have featured a number of ComedySportz players – boast some pretty slick cinematography and editing, but Urlakis is just as comfortable in the low-tech environment of live sketch comedy. He and performing partner Sean Cusick earned raves for their six-week gig at Stage 773 in November and December, with TimeOut Chicago praising the act’s “brainy irreverence, deftly navigating the subtle insecurities and gross overconfidence of the male condition… seriously funny stuff, likably geeky and spot-on in its ridicule.” They sold out their two shows at this year’s Sketchfest in January and have been seen on various comedy stages around town.
Urlakis and Cusick met while writing for a Chicago comedy show. In their spare time backstage on that show, they created a couple of characters to amuse themselves – a pair of clinically depressed Eastern European vaudevillians – and Urlakis and Cusick the act was born. In the midst of all this comedy, Urlakis still finds time for a cool day job as the Director of Marketing & Analytics for a company called The Jellyvision Lab and for his duties as a regular member of the ComedySportz ensemble.