August 16, 2010

Schubas Open Mic!

Marty DeRosa
In my head I knew what I had to do. If I was serious about producing a Chicago stand up comedy blog I was going to have to get it done. It had been a while and I knew it was time. Time to sit through an entire open mic. Now when you’re not a comic and you’re not there to support a friend or hang with your bartender buddy. Sitting through an open Mic can be a fucking painful experience. But in the Chicago Comedy scene there are a couple of exceptions to this and Schubas is one of them.

Mike Lebovitz
This is the room where the veterans come to do sets, comics who have years, not months, under their belts. So I went to Schubas last night for the weekly Sunday open mic. Scubas is kind of like the old west, anything can happen and you’re not that surprised when it does. If you’ve never been to schubas, they do the comedy upstairs, in a separate room which I like.

The overall feel is sort of a cocktail lounge atmosphere mostly with tables and chairs and then some comfy looking couches in the back. I pick a quiet chair with my back to the wall (cop one style), drop my bag and head over to the bar. Turns out the bartender is a comic named Brad Labree who will host his own showcase @ Schubas called “Laugh it up” featuring Rick Shapiro on September 8th.

Brad was nice enough to introduce me to the host for that evening Bradley Fojas. Turns out Bradley started this particular open mic with James Fritz and Prescott Tolk a few years back. He has since moved to LA to pursue his comedy and where he runs a weekly open mic and is only in town for a few days but agreed to host, nice guy. Things start a little rough, the first couple of comics were just so-so, one was awful, but Bradley keeps things moving smoothly and as the night progresses the quality really improves.

Set after set gets better and better, laughs get louder. I noticed veterans start popping up. Soon it’s a regular who’s who in the Chicago comedy scene, I spy James Fritz , Marty DeRosa, and Tony Blanco to name a few, all of whom are just chilling. Bill Dykes goes up (this is a 10 year vet) and cuts it up nicely. Liza Treyger goes up, she is a funny funny ass woman. Then Brad LaBree and Mike Lebovitz go up and rock it.

Brendon McGowan saunters up to the microphone and just KILLS IT, everyone in the room is busting up and Bradley lets him go on for like 10 minutes. Many others rocked their sets as well. Overall an impressive night. If you’re a comedy fan but have been reluctant to attend open mics for quality reasons. GO TO SCHUBAS. This room is really is a showcase open mic and you can’t beat the price. For you comics who want to perform @ Schubas you better bring you’re “A” game, because everyone else is, that’s for sure.

James Allen Kamp
Editor