All stories by Zach Freeman on BroadwayStars

Monday, August 8, 2022

Dark Humor: A Preview of Laurie Kilmartin at Den Theatre by Zach Freeman

On top of being a killer stand-up, Kilmartin is a comedian who seems comfortable in all comedic spaces, having been a late night writer for Conan for a decade.

SOURCE: at 08:00AM
Monday, August 1, 2022

Off the Top: A Preview of T. Murph at The Laugh Factory by Zach Freeman

A full-time professional barber up until a few years back, but his comedy career took off.

SOURCE: at 08:00AM
Monday, July 25, 2022

Comedy Crosstown Cup: A Preview of Anthony Bonazzo at Zanies Chicago by Zach Freeman

At the same time that his comedy was resonating on the South Side, he was picking up paid gigs on the North Side as well.

SOURCE: at 08:00AM
Monday, June 20, 2022

Pandemic Parenthood: A Preview of Hari Kondabolu at The Den by Zach Freeman

If any working comedian has the ideal skillset to walk that fine line of finding the funny in geopolitical turmoil, it’s Kondabolu.

SOURCE: at 08:00AM
Monday, June 6, 2022

Hair of the Dog: A Preview of Sean Flannery at Lincoln Lodge by Zach Freeman

The Chicago-based comedian and storyteller is the creator and host of the popular weekly comedy show “Blackout Diaries” which focuses on drinking stories and "hilarious misadventures" p…

SOURCE: at 08:00AM
Monday, May 30, 2022

Super Dad: A Preview of Kevin Bozeman at Zanies by Zach Freeman

Some of the best bits on “Black Superman” are about the trials of fatherhood.

SOURCE: at 08:00AM
Monday, May 23, 2022

Run the World: A Preview of Michelle Wolf at The Den by Zach Freeman

In Chicago she’ll be fine-tuning how all the material best fits together and setting her sights on splitting it all into two separate (but solid) hours.

SOURCE: at 08:00AM
Thursday, May 19, 2022

‘SNL’s’ Sarah Sherman, aka Sarah Squirm, returns to Chicago for a performance: ‘I’m having a lot of fun showing people how truly disgusting by Zach Freeman

Sarah Sherman often performs under the name Sarah Squirm, and squirm is exactly what she’s known to make her audiences do.

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 06:15AM
Monday, May 16, 2022

Dumb Fun Times: A Preview of Chris Higgins at The Comedy Bar by Zach Freeman

"I’m not gonna make anybody question anything. You’re gonna have some dumb fun times, that’s it.”

SOURCE: at 08:00AM
Monday, May 9, 2022

The Calm-erica Tour: A Preview of Reena Calm at Zanies by Zach Freeman

Calm has essentially been a nonstop road comic since 2019.

SOURCE: at 08:00AM
Monday, May 2, 2022

A Little Drizzle: A Preview of Brandi Denise at The Comedy Bar by Zach Freeman

Denise is a petite and energetic stand-up comic perhaps best known for her recurring role as Quanisha on BET’s “Games People Play.”

SOURCE: at 08:00AM
Monday, April 25, 2022

Comedy Mixtape: A Preview of Skyler Higley by Zach Freeman

Whether he’s going big, going geeky or going weird, Higley is always looking to take his comedy to new and hilarious places.

SOURCE: at 08:00AM
Monday, April 18, 2022

Therapy Bully: A Preview of Kristen Toomey at Zanies by Zach Freeman

On stage, Toomey has a unique ability to stay present in the moment, bantering with the crowd with a sly smile

SOURCE: at 08:00AM
Monday, April 11, 2022

A City of Headliners: A Preview of Geoffrey Asmus at Laugh Factory Chicago by Zach Freeman

“And you can go see on a Tuesday night a line-up of amazing comics that would be the headliner in another city."

SOURCE: at 08:00AM
Monday, April 4, 2022

Enough for Everyone: A Preview of River Butcher at the Den by Zach Freeman

Although Chicago is where he started doing comedy as an adult, this show will be the first time he’s been back on a Chicago stage since performing at Thalia Hall in 2019.

SOURCE: at 08:00AM
Wednesday, April 15, 2020

The jokes must go on by Zach Freeman

One of the city’s most iconic open-mike nights finds a virtual home. Last June the comedy open mike at Cole’s Bar in Logan Square—widely considered to be t…

SOURCE: at 11:50AM
Thursday, March 19, 2020

From Catholicism to comedy by Zach Freeman

Cameron Esposito looks back on her defining moments in the memoir Save Yourself. Comedian Cameron Esposito has never shied away from talking about her personal l…

SOURCE: at 03:00PM
Monday, August 19, 2019

Wasted on the Young: A Review of This Is Our Youth at The Quarry Theatre Company by Zach Freeman

The cast shows they both have the interest and the talent to delve into the lives of these complex, confused characters and reveal the humor, horror and humanity within each of them.

SOURCE: at 12:16PM
Monday, June 17, 2019

Hannah Gadsby at the Chicago Theatre: Different from 'Nanette' but she still likes to 'rummage' with your head by Zach Freeman

“Alright, come on,” comedian Hannah Gadsby said to the uproarious applause that greeted her when she walked abruptly out onto the stage of the Chicago Theatre Sunday night, eschewing an …

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 10:55AM
Saturday, June 1, 2019

Very Chicago comic Pat McGann is very funny at Zanies by Zach Freeman

There are a number of checklist items that allow a comedian to claim Chicago roots. A comic could be born here (luck), live here currently (choice), or develop their comedic voice in the clu…

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 11:40AM
Thursday, May 30, 2019

10 reasons why Cole's is the best comedy open mic in Chicago by Zach Freeman

It’s 9:45 p.m. on a drizzly Wednesday night in early May and I’m making my way through a crowded dive bar in Logan Square. A comedy open mic — some might say the comedy open mic — st…

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 08:45AM
Tuesday, May 28, 2019

5 reasons you need to check out Young Hustle Comedy by Zach Freeman

In 2016 a group of four young unknown comedians kicked off a monthly comedy show in a Puerto Rican restaurant in Humboldt Park in front of an audience of 30 people (mostly family members). L…

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 06:00AM
Sunday, April 14, 2019

Tom Segura at Chicago Theatre: He's genuinely interested in your offense by Zach Freeman

Comedian Tom Segura has a message for anyone offended by his jokes (or, as he put it Saturday night during the second of two sold-out shows at the Chicago Theatre, anyone who tells him, “I…

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 11:30AM
Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Den Theatre does comedy big — adding a full cabaret and full calendar. Next up, Beth Stelling. by Zach Freeman

“I thought to myself, ‘Oh, wouldn’t this be a great place to shoot an album?’” comedian Maria Bamford said Saturday night of the elegant new comedy space at the Den Theatre, where …

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 08:00AM
Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Aziz Ansari at Chicago Theatre: Are we jerks? Reformed jerks? Ansari hashes it out, and eventually gets around to himself by Zach Freeman

“I just kept waiting for him to talk about it,” the guy next to me said after comedian Aziz Ansari’s show Tuesday night at the Chicago Theatre — the first of a three-night, four-show…

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 11:20AM
Sunday, March 3, 2019

Part music, part funny, 'Comedy for Musicians' at Metro is all deadpan Fred Armisen by Zach Freeman

Usually before a comedian takes the stage, the music quiets, the lights dim and — especially if they’re a headliner — someone announces them onto the stage. If the comedian has an open…

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 10:00AM
Sunday, February 24, 2019

Kathleen Madigan at the Chicago Theatre: Her jokes are about prescription drugs instead of politics — if we're talking age, she's an old pro by Zach Freeman

“I started here in Chicago at Zanies 30 years ago,” said stand-up comedian and St. Louis native Kathleen Madigan proudly from the Chicago Theatre stage Saturday night in jeans and a blac…

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 11:30AM
Wednesday, February 20, 2019

It's a funny thing, divorce: Michele Traina and a cast of comics riff on relationships in 'Divorce Diaries' at Zanies by Zach Freeman

Most people don’t particularly relish delving into the failures they’ve experienced in life, especially not in front of a group of strangers. But most people aren’t stand-up comics. On…

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 12:00PM
Tuesday, January 22, 2019

You don't know what comedians or where they'll play, you just show up: Shhh, Don't Tell Comedy by Zach Freeman

It’s seven o’clock on a Friday night and the WinTrust Bank on Damen and Melrose is closed. The doors are locked and the lights are mostly off. Inside the bank there’s movement. In the …

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 08:00AM
Sunday, January 20, 2019

Michelle Wolf on a frozen night at Thalia Hall: You know her from that White House dinner, but she doesn't take sides by Zach Freeman

“Thanks for coming,” comedian Michelle Wolf said, taking the stage for the first of two sold-out shows at Pilsen’s Thalia Hall on an especially cold and snowy Saturday night. “I almo…

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 12:00PM
Monday, January 14, 2019

Saving the Day and the American Theater: A Review of PAW Patrol Live! at The Chicago Theatre by Zach Freeman

Can the anthropomorphic heroes of Nickelodeon's staggeringly successful "PAW Patrol" rescue the American theater by turning a legion of device-addicted toddlers into future theater patrons? …

SOURCE: at 07:00PM

All that Chat

May 30, 2023: Grey House - Lyceum Theatre
Jun 26, 2023: Just For Us - Hudson Theatre
Jul 24, 2023: The Cottage - Hayes Theater
Nov 16, 2023: Spamalot - St. James Theatre
Dec 18, 2023: Appropriate - Hayes Theater
Mar 07, 2024: Doubt - Todd Haimes Theatre
Apr 14, 2024: Lempicka - Longacre Theatre
Apr 17, 2024: The Wiz - Marquis Theatre
Apr 18, 2024: Suffs - Music Box Theatre
Apr 25, 2024: Mother Play - Hayes Theater
Jun 10, 2024: The Drama Desk Awards