Come Jan. 5, Chicago’s internationally acclaimed comedy scene is expected to attract more than 10,000 fans for the 11th Annual Comedy Sketch Comedy Festival, performing for eight days (two four-day weekends) at the recently renovated Stage 733, 1225 W. Belmont.
More than 800 artists from 130 sketch comedy troupes will perform more than 170 shows for the largest-ever Chicago Sketch Comedy Festival –- and the biggest sketch comedy festival America has ever seen.
Performing for the 11th consecutive year at the same venue, the Chicago Sketch Comedy Festival includes the return of festival favorites FUCT (New York), Heavywait (Los Angeles), The Cupid Players (Chicago), Sweat (Portland), Reformed Whores (New York), Dead Power Point (Toronto), The Cool Table (Los Angeles) and Camp Woods.
Local favorites, who have performed at nearly every Sketch Fest, if not all, include The Cupid Players, Salsation Theatre Company, GayCo Productions, The Backrow and Stir Friday Night! Patrons can expect numerous other past Sketch Fest favorites, exciting new talent and family programming throughout the festival.
The afternoon of Saturday, Jan. 7 features the Chicago Sketch Comedy Festival Kids, Teens and Family day – a mini fest featuring 12 groups of kids and teens, performing especially for their peers.
Stage 773 artistic director Brian Posner created Sketchfest in 2002
In 2002, Stage 773 artistic director and Comedy Sketch Comedy Festival founder Brian Posen came up with the idea of a comedy SketchFest to fill a 7-week rental commitment he’d made to the Theatre Building Chicago. He cobbled together some 30 groups to perform that first year and since then his brainchild has grown into the largest event of its kind in the world.
In May, 2010, the Theatre Building was sold to a group of investors. The name was changed to Stage 773 and SketchFest’s parent company, Lukaba Productions, assumed management of the building. The building underwent a massive $1.5 million renovation that created two main stages for larger productions and several smaller spaces and installed a traditional theatre bar in the lobby.
Chicago, incidentally, boasts more than 85 active comedy troupes.
Comedy Sketch tickets are $14 on Thursday, Friday, Sunday and $15 on Saturday. To purchase tickets, call 773/327-5252 or click here.