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Comedy Explodes At Bomb Shelter

By Allison Kelley in Arts & Entertainment on Aug 28, 2014 10:00PM

Bomb Shelter producer, Junior Stopka, performs.
Turns out, a bomb shelter is a pretty cool stand up comedy venue. Bomb Shelter, formerly The Three Cees Stand-Up and Comedy Showcase, is not in an actual bomb shelter but it’s pretty close. The basement room of Celtic Crown Public House plays a convincing end of days hideout with its low ceiling and stone walls. Add to it a cast of stand-up comics and observational humor, and you start to get the feeling we really are all in this together.

Bomb Shelter has been around for two months but with various location and name changes. With the new permanent location and name, Tuesday's show was tight. Show producers and comics, Andrew Halter, Junior Stopka, and Maggie Ednie, put together a curated show of top Chicago comics, always with a surprise headliner to round out the night. Last night Bomb Shelter brought seven comics to the stage, each presenting their own takes on jerking off, Straw-Ber-Ritas, Birthright trips, and the sad realities of bringing dates home to an inflatable mattress.

The highlight of the night was Maggie Ednie, who playfully encouraged all audience members to move up to the dreaded front row. Doing this with tact and humor, she was able to corral the bros in the back to immerse themselves more fully in the show, which in turn made everyone shift up and fill in the spaces. And this is not just good for the comics, as an audience member you don’t want to feel like you’re out on an island. If you’re unsure if you should laugh, just turn to the guy next to you and see what he’s doing.

When comic David Drake crushed the room with his anecdote about a bowling alley being a place for both kids and war vets, a front row audience member said aloud, “This is the greatest night I’ve had in a long time.” As cornball as it was, it was genuine and any one person in the audience could have been thinking the same thing.

The night closed out with headliner, Kenny DeForest, who has opened for big deal comic Hannibal Buress. DeForest talked about traveling by bus and how you have no leverage riding Greyhound. “If there’s a problem you can’t say you’re going to take your business elsewhere. You just have to stay in Louisville.”

Bomb Shelter takes place every Tuesday at 9 p.m. at the Celtic Crown Public House (4301 N. Western Ave.) Admission is $2.