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Laughing at Lolla

By Justin Sondak in Arts & Entertainment on Aug 2, 2006 3:23PM

As if 130 bands, overpriced food, kids’ shows, an art exhibit, and people watching weren’t enough, Lollapalooza 2006 will serve up afternoons of interactive entertainment on the Mindfield Stage. Good to see three local comedy offerings on the bill but, with all due respect, they’re pretty much the opening act everyone’s sitting through to get to the headliner. To any of our readers coughing up $60 or more just to see Chicago comedy in Grant Park, we’ve got a lovely bridge to sell you.

Comic talent at Lolla are competing with the music world hype machine and bands we’ve been meaning to see and may never get to see again. So we asked each company why we should squeeze a few laughs into our very busy grid. Here’s what we found:

Second City
Friday, Saturday & Sunday, 1:30 – 2:15pm
secondcitylogo.gifThe grand poobah of Chicago’s comedy scene is to the Mindfield Stage what Kanye, Wilco, and the Chili Peppers are to the Bud Light-AT&T-Q101 stages. One of Chicago’s most recognizable franchises, they’re the ones you, your little sister, and maybe even your elderly relatives have heard about whether or not you’ve seen them perform. A mix of Mainstage, e.t.c., and Touring Company performers will make sweet, funny music (it is Perry Farrell’s party, after all) and go interactive with their audience. They’ve also got a prank or two up their sleeves and some viral videos on their projector.

Why should we go see Second City at the Mindfield Stage?
“To see how Second City would work at a really big rock festival.”
-- Jay Kelly, PR Professional & Organizer of Second City’s Lollapalooza gig

Mission IMPROVable
Friday, Saturday & Sunday, 3 – 3:45pm

MImprovable.jpgNow Mission IMPROVable is like those bands Tankboy and Julene rave about that we’re yet to see. The 15-man troupe formed in Chicago at IO but just couldn’t keep still. Now, after 7 years of bringing longform improv and a bottomless cup of improv games to colleges, high schools, theaters and festivals, they’ve landed a regular gig at L.A.’s IO West and have finished two TV pilots.

Why should we go see M.I. at the Mindfield Stage?
“You want to go see Mission IMPROVable because you need us! You're hungry for it. With all the ‘rocking’ that will be going on at Lollapalooza, by 3 p.m. you're ears will be ringing so much you won't be able to hear much more than a sonic boom blast. Plus, your feet will be swollen from all that moshing (is it really still called that?) and your girlfriend’s newly acquired naval piercing is surely to be sore. You need a break.… Quench your thirst for a laugh, feed your need for a good plate of ‘Ha-ha’, we're of the highest quality and this improv food group is always guaranteed to satisfy!”
-- Lloyd Ahlquist, Mission IMPROVable CEO and original cast member

Friday & Saturday, 6 – 6:45pm

Schad.jpgThey’re the local favorite who’ve toured a bit and developed a modest cult following outside Chicago, think the comedy equivalent of Andrew Bird or the M’s. We’ve already prattled on about their topical humor, monthly Rent Parties, and savvy use of the internet. This weekend, out-of-towners can experience the Schad for themselves.

Why should we go see Schadenfreude at the Mindfield Stage?
“Why should you come see Schad instead of indy rock? We are trying to get Alderman Burt Natarus to introduce us. Besides, you get angst all day, consider Schadenfreude the breather. We have stacked the deck with as many Flaming Lips, My Morning Jacket and Perry Farrell jokes as we could fit into our set.”
-- Justin Kaufman, Schadenfreude troupe member and purveyor of campy music videos

The Mindfield Stage will be located northwest of Buckingham Fountain by the Causeapalooza area.