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Paper Machete: Live Magazine and Parlor Show

By Betsy Mikel in Arts & Entertainment on Mar 5, 2010 5:40PM

Christopher Piatt performs at "Paper Machete"
Take a handful of clever journalists and comics, ask them to write funny pieces about current events and culture, and put them in front of an audience at a bar. What do you get? Paper Machete, the "live magazine and parlor show" hosted by former Time Out Chicago theater editor Christopher Piatt, of course. Although the show runs every weekend, we say tomorrow's the night to see it because former Chicagoist editor-in-chief Margaret Lyons is on the lineup. She may or may not be asking the audience to guess if she's reading lines from ABC's The Secret Life of the American Teenager or Dan Savage's "Savage Love" sex-advice column. We were sold before we heard the other performers. (Ed. note: Seriously, Margaret is hilarious. She alone is enough reason to go.)

When Piatt was feeling burned out after almost five years of theater critic-ing, he wanted to do something new but still magazine-related and deadline-oriented. Spoken word shows in bars aren't uncommon in Chicago. But ones from a magazine editor's perspective are. Piatt started thinking along the lines of after dinner speaking, which is the old timey craft of giving an oration or speech that incorporates humor. He wanted to find people who were both humorists and experts on specific topics. With each Paper Machete performance, Piatt attempts to put together a lineup of performers who can deliver comical and persuasive editorials about what's going on in the world at large.

Here's tomorrow's lineup:
Margaret Lyons (former Chicagoist EIC, Entertainment Weekly writer)
Lisa Buscani (original Neo-Futurist, the pilot of This American Life)
Ryan O'Connor (food blogger)
Cliff Doerksen (Reader film critic)
Musical guest Sad Brad Smith (from the Up in the Air Soundtrack)
and a live interview with Michael Phillips (Chicago Tribune, At the Movies)

Paper Machete, Ricochets Tavern, 4644 N. Lincoln Ave., 3 p.m., free