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March Is For Nerds: Stage 773 Hosts Second Annual 'Chicago Nerd Comedy Festival'

By Marielle Shaw in Arts & Entertainment on Feb 21, 2014 3:00PM

Photo credit: Tom Tian
We’re the first to admit that when we see an event touted as a “nerd” event, we view it with some skepticism. Unfortunately, all things “nerdy” have been a trend as of late, and with any group riding the waves of sudden popularity, the term can lose all meaning. But we feel like Katie Johnston-Smith and Fin Coe, the co-producers of Stage 773’s upcoming Chicago Nerd Comedy Festival, really understand what they’re up against and what they want to see happen. They call the festival “essential for the nerd community of Chicago” and are quick to point it out as an opportunity to “gather together to laugh with our brethren, and forget that The Big Bang Theory on CBS is how our parents explain us to their friends.” With that single statement, they have wormed their way into this author’s heart, and undoubtedly many nerds among us who know it’s about being passionate about your interests, the community surrounding the things you love and having fun. Not about being a bespectacled, socially horrible astrophysicist (not that there's anything wrong with that).

The event runs from March 19-22 and was born out of the popularity of “HEY, I’M A BIG FAN,” which is a free monthly fan fiction event also put on by the company. This is a comedy festival at heart and has such interesting events as a stand-up showcase, Improvised Star Trek, WHO-prov and an event called Jack and the Nerds: A Nerdy Cabaret, which will tackle the “non-hit” songs from such favorites as Battlestar Galactica, Dr. Horrible’s Sing-A-Long Blog and Lord of the Rings.

Since the event stems from a free show, the organizers have set up 3 different free events- Thursday March 20 at 11 p.m. it’s “The Nerdologues Presents Your Stories: Chicago Nerd First Edition," a sort of open mic for stories, songs or sketches. March 21 at midnight, the lobby will be set up for a tabletop game night and Saturday March 22 at midnight, festival goers will experience Once More, With Whedon! and be able to participate in cosplay contests and Dr. Horrible’s Drink-a-long Blog, which is exactly what it sounds like.

The event sounds like a great time and it’s relatively inexpensive, with individual shows at $10 apiece and an all festival-pass only putting you out $50. Furthermore, the people at Stage 773 seem to have an appropriate awareness and appreciation for their audience (something other Chicago establishments could bear to take note of) and a varied line-up to satisfy a variety of interests. For more information check out the festival’s website and to grab tickets call (773) 327-5252 or visit Stage 773’s site.