Starting this evening, ComedySportz Chicago will be transforming into a speakeasy and traveling back in time to the 1920s to celebrate the anniversary of Prohibition for the entire weekend. Join in the festivities as there will be costumes, barrels of booze, live jazz music, bootleggers and to secret code words. I spoke with Bruce Phillips, ComedySportz' Marketing Lead, about this weekend's activities and this is what he had to say.
What was the idea behind this Prohibition weekend?
At one of our ensemble rehearsals, we asked the cast to help us come up with new and exciting weekend events we could do at ComedySportz. We strive to make every show unique to that night's audience, but we wanted to challenge ourselves to make an entire weekend stand out. We looked at a bunch of different days in January, and there was a lot of excitement behind the anniversary of Prohibition. The 1920s are such an interesting time, we felt there could be a lot of fun to be had in bringing the theater back in time, and turning the bar into a speakeasy.
What are a few key highlights that people can expect to witness/experience?
The bar and theater will be going through a major transformation. KOVAL, a local Chicago distillery, has loaned us eight barrels of whiskey and gin to decorate the theater. We'll have a couple of costumed bootleggers and gangsters walking around and we've created an entirely new drink menu with cocktails and drinks that might have been illegal during Prohibition. There will also be a photo booth area for audience members to get photos dressed in period costumes, and just a ton of little surprises hidden around the theater. And, of course, audiences should always be prepared for a possible raid by US Treasury Agents...
Thursday night we will also be partnering with Inspiration Corporation. They are a local charity that work with the homeless providing social services, employment training, and housing. 20% of all full-priced tickets sold that night go directly to them.
Saturday we are very excited to welcome the Chi-town Hotshots, a live jazz band that specializes in authentic music from the 1920s. They'll be playing before and after the 6pm, 8pm and 10pm performances.
What are you most excited about?
ComedySportz has some of the most creative improvisers in the city. It's a melting pot of all the other theaters in Chicago. I'm extremely excited to watch the ensemble go nuts with this theme - there is so much going on, it's going to be an unforgettable performance.
Will you be doing more "themed" weekends like this in the future?
We definitely will be. January 30th - February 1 we'll be doing a "Superbowl Weekend" theme where we will be inviting high school marching bands in to play our halftime show and special guests to sing the National Anthem. We're also starting to gear up for March Madness - where we'll see ComedySportz teams advancing through a bracket style competition all month.
You heard him folks, it's bound to be a memorable weekend. So grab your flapper dress or Zoot suit from Halloween and join in the fun at ComedySportz this weekend. Audience members who dress up save $5 off their ticket. Shows are tonight, Friday and Saturday. To buy your ticket to celebrate Prohibition, either call 773-549-8080 or order online.