Posted by: TomA | 2 June 2007

Days 33 & 34 – Chicago

It’s been a lazy few days in Chicago, doing not a lot during the day and the occasional show in the evening. We’ve seen some improvised comedy at The Playground Theatre, expecting a show called Big Yellow Bus and instead getting that and two other shows that run regularly there, all because The Travel Channel had turned up to film the night [hence Becky and I appear amongst an audience of around 12, which is bound to be broadcast everywhere as we sit and look somewhat uncomfortable at having our every reaction filmed]. The comedy itself was a touch hit and miss: the initial improvised sketch was good, though fell flat once or twice; a quiz called Don’t Spit The Water was entertaining (the Travel Channel presenter sat, with a mouthful of water while to guys, in shiny waistcoats, told bad jokes from a book trying to make her laugh); the final series of sketches were good, but never great… Still totally enjoyable though.

We’ve also been to The Green Mill jazz club, a 1920s Al Capone era jazz venue, for the serious jazz fan (i.e. you get kicked out if you speak during the performance). The Mike Jones Trio, from Las Vegas, did three hour long sets of rather timid, traditional sounding jazz. I’m sure they’re fantastic when you’re eating your overpriced gourmet food in a tacky themed hotel lounge in Vegas, but in a small, smoky Chicago jazz club I was hoping for something a little less predictable. They were obviously great jazz musicians, but I think I prefer my jazz a bit more out there… The club itself, while obviously unique for Chicago in being kept as it was 90 years ago, was far less interesting inside than your average old London pub. That said, they didn’t make a huge fuss of the picture of Charlie Chaplin and Al Capone sitting together at the club, tucking it away behind the bar.

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