Why I’m Proud to Be From Chicago

Last Friday, I attended my first sketch comedy show at the Playground Theater. The show featured three acts (one of which was written and performed by two of my funniest friends, Alicia Eler and Daaimah Mubashshir) and lasted two hours. By the time it was over, I found myself wondering why I don’t see comedy shows every weekend. Don’t get me wrong–I try to take advantage of Chicago on a regular basis. I go to museums, movies, plays and the like pretty regularly. After all, we live in a pretty big and wonderful city. But nothing brushes a bad week off your back like spending two hours laughing. So I was thrilled to find out that the Playground has shows every single Friday night. You can bet I’ll be back.

Here’s another cool thing I found out about them: the Playground is the first and only not-for-profit co-op theater dedicated to improv comedy in the entire country. That fact alone makes me swell with Chicago pride. And it’s entirely run by volunteers, many of whom are also actors. I love the idea that the guy setting up chairs before a show might be the life of that very show three hours later.

Then there are Fundraising Fridays, during which the theater assists organizations or individuals with setting up shows to raise money for various causes. Laughs and philanthropy–what more could a culture scout ask for? I don’t know that I had a favorite theater before now, but after reading up on the Playground, I think they may have taken the prize.

See here for more info.

–Mo Hickey