Rapture is the new hiphop improv show coming to ComedySportz late night on Thursdays starting June 26. It is directed by Rene Duquesnoy, co-founder of the hit show The Beatbox, a part owner of ComedySportz Chicago, and instructor of the MadSkillz class in the ComedySportz Training Center. Watch the cast of Rapture scratch and cut scenes together in a narrative, mixing hiphop with all genres. We spoke with director Rene Duquesnoy about the show, and what to expect from this talented cast.
Hey Rene! So talk to us about Rapture. How is this show different than other productions you've been involved with like The Beatbox?
I am extremely excited about Rapture, more than I have been for other shows. The only other show remotely close to it that I have done is Beatbox. Rapture is different on a few levels. First, instead of beatboxing all of the music, I broke my turntables out of cold storage, and will be using instrumentals from some of the best old school rap songs. Second, Rapture will have a story, whereas Beatbox was more of a series of scenes that may or may not be connected with a greater theme. The songs will always be rapped, but the genre could be science fiction, melodrama, or fantasy. This isn’t your parents Krush Groove.
What makes this cast special? Was there a choice to split the cast between ComedySportz ensemble members and other improvisers?
Rapture was pretty hard to cast. I wanted people that had both improv skills, and the ability to freestyle. In Chicago, there are many people that have both. Check 1. I also wanted some people affiliated with ComedySportz, and some that weren’t. When you are brought in to a ComedySportz show, even if it isn’t the main stage one, you are brought into the family. I picked people who would be a good representation of what ComedySportz is, and ones who fit the ComedySportz mold. Performers that are fast, funny, and can own the stage, but also people that are kind and welcoming. Check 2. Finally, I wanted diversity in the cast. Not just in race or gender, but in lifestyle and experiences. People with different backgrounds to pull from different experiences. I feel it makes a much rounder cast and will add more to the show. Check 3.
Why do you think this show is going to be so different than other musical improv shows in the city?
Well first, we will be rapping. Then, rap. After that. Rap some more. Most musical improv shows only sing, and only a few do both. I have respect for all of those shows, because adding a musical component to improv adds a degree or two of difficulty. As for style, each player has developed their own style of rapping. Rapture will mix those styles like the Wu-Tang Clan mixes each of their rapper’s styles. After Rapture, I expect each performer to release an independent album and then have a reunion tour.
As the creator/director/DJ of Rapture, I’m really excited for this show. I want to thank ComedySportz for giving me the chance to put this together. I can’t wait to blow the audience away with its awesomeness.
Rapture performs Thursday nights starting June 26th, at 10:00pm after the 8pm ComedySportz show. Tickets are just $10.
Thursdays, June 26 - July 31 at 10:00pm.
The ComedySportz Theatre
929 W Belmont Ave.
Mothers are the best. They brought us into this world, and helped teach us right from wrong. They protected us from the larger animals until our claws came in, and judge all our potential future relationships with an eye for what's best for us. And this Mother's Day, you should say THANK YOU in a special way.
This Mother's Day Weekend (May 8-May 10) at ComedySportz Chicago, all Mom's are free (with proof of family). Bring your mom, grandmother, sister who just had a baby, aunt with kids, friend who just had her second kid and just needs that one night off and join us at The ComedySportz Theatre, 929 W Belmont - just 53 steps from the Belmont Red/Brown/Purple line station!
We're pulling out all the stops for Mom:
Moms are FREE (with proof of family)
Free Flowers for Mom at every show!
Featuring special appearances by the ComedySportz Ensemble mothers
Customized Mother's Day performances!
After 15 years, the longest running late-night improv show in Chicago is closing on June 14, 2014. Often hailed as "the dirtiest show in Chicago", The Hot Karl is putting the nail in the coffin with a bang, inviting some of the top improv talent in the city to perform with them during their farewell tour. All shows are midnights on Saturdays at The ComedySportz Theatre (929 W Belmont), and all tickets are just $10:
April 5th: Caitlin Barlow and Katie Thomas (The Katydids, "Teachers" webseries - The Onion)
April 12th: Rich Sohn (The Annoyance)
April 19th: Brendan Dowling (The Improvised Shakespeare Company)
April 26th: TJ Jagodowski (iO, TJ & Dave, Sonic Drive-in commercials)
May 3rd: Craig Uhlir and Susan Messing (Second City and The Annoyance, Messing with a Friend)
May 10th: Beth Melewski (Chicago Cash Cab, host, Second City ETC)
May 17th: Kate James and Joe Bill (Schadenfreude and The Annoyance, Bassprov)
May 24th: Paul Grondy (iO, The Armando Diaz Experience)
June 14th: Josh Breit (ComedySportz alumnus)
"Mind-Altering, Underwear Shaking Improv!"
- Buzz Chicago
"Not Your Parents' Improv!"
- The Real Chicago
"Clever and Funny!"
- Key Magazine Chicago
- Time Out Chicago
The Dual Duel returns! See 36 two-person teams compete over the course of 9 weeks to be crowned the Best Duo in Chicago! Dynamic duo teams are given 10 minutes to do whatever they want to earn the audience's applause. This is no-holds-barred improv. Grand prize includes the coveted Dual Duel trophy and $200 in cold, hard, bankers checks.
The Dual Duel performs every Sunday in May and June, with the championship match on June 29th. Doors open at 6:30pm with Improvised Double Dare, followed by the Dual Duel at at 8:00pm. Tickets are just $5.
The Dual Duel
Sundays, May 4 - June 29 at 8:00pm.
The ComedySportz Theatre
929 W Belmont Ave.