Pocket Guide To Hell Presents 'Studs' Place' At The Hideout

By Julia Weeman in Arts & Entertainment on Feb 23, 2014 5:00PM

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This May, the University of Chicago and the Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts are hosting a three-day festival to honor the life and works of Louis "Studs" Terkel, aptly titled "Let's Get Working."

Terkel, a Chicago icon and University of Chicago alum, was a writer, broadcaster and activist who often served as the voice of Chicago. The focus of "Let's Get Working" will be on prominent themes in Terkel's work: labor, race, faith, and community. The festival will feature oral histories, film screenings, musical performances, art installations, storytelling, and community dialogues.

Leading up to the festival, Pocket Guide to Hell is presenting a live performances of a new episode of the classic Studs Terkel television show, Studs' Place, at the Hideout. Episode Three, St. Patrick's Eve, will take place on Sunday, March 16 at 7:00 p.m. Studs' Place began in the early 1950's and was one of the first TV shows produced in Chicago.

Working from a one-page scenario and with a cast consisting of Chet Roble, Beverly Younger, and future co-founder of the Old Town of School of Folk Music Win Stracke, Terkel largely improvised the episodes, which were all set at the eponymous diner and dealt with everyday life in the city. In addition to highlighting Roble and Stracke's musical talents, the show inspired later Chicago improv groups such as the Compass Players and Second City.

In 2012, Pocket Guide to Hell produced a new episode of "Studs' Place" which made use of character types and scenarios from the original series. The third episode will follow suit, and will be performed in the front bar of the Hideout and projected before an audience seated in the back, giving the effect of watching a live TV broadcast. Meredith Milliron (Barrel of Monkeys) directs a cast that includes John Gieger, Roger Payton, Chris Rathjen, Nick Wagner, and Rachel Wilson.

After the performance, Bill Savage (Northwestern University), Rob Brenner (The Whistler), Liz Garibay (Tales, Taverns & Towns) and Andres Araya (5 Rabbit) will hold a discussion about the role of the tavern in building community. There will then be a live musical set by Honey and Buffalo and a screening of an original episode of Studs' Place courtesy of the Media Burn Archive.

Studs' Place: Episode Three, St. Patrick's Eve will take place on Sunday, March 16 at 7:00 p.m. at the Hideout, located at 1354 W. Wabansia Ave. There is a $10 suggested donation.