First off, Happy Groundhog’s Day everybody! Phil saw his shadow and we are all shocked and horrified and okay cool, back to me. Yesterday was one of the best birthday’s I have had (and that is saying something because I am all about celebrations).
My friend Mali picked me up in the afternoon after a morning of video games and doing nothing (like a grown up!) We had an early dinner at Weber Grill, and we both LOVE eating, so we really committed. We had drinks and shrimp cocktail and whipped sweet potatoes, then we both had steak and potatoes! Also, our waitress was a sweetie who went out of her way to make sure we had a nice double-birthday, and after dinner she brought out a gluten-free brownie sundae for us to split. It was absolutely too much food, but what am I gonna do, not eat it? Come on.
After dinner, we waddled over to an Uber and headed for the Chicago Theatre, where my very exclusive checking account with Chase got us into “The Chase Lounge.” The Chase Lounge was a cool little spot in the Chicago Theatre’s basement that was full of free food and drinks, with a cash bar for alcoholic beverages. Here’s the thing though — we weren’t hungry, and there were no seats available in the lounge…so we kinda just left. We went in though, so, ya know, still pretty swanky.
The show we saw was “John Mulaney: Kid Gorgeous” and it was FAN-tastic. His opener was a talented comedian named Matt Silvestri (who was surprisingly entertaining. Surprising because I didn’t know his name before that, so he must have been completely unknown to everyone. Things only matter once I find out about them.) John Mulaney’s stand up was hilarious and so incredibly physical and energetic. As someone who has thought about doing stand-up I realized wow…I would need to get into better shape to do this. I was warm and a little winded just from sitting and laughing, meanwhile he was all over the stage, in a suit jacket, for an hour and a half. He also is great about covering all areas of the stage, so no one side of the theatre feels like they missed anything. If you are going to stray from just standing center stage, you have to watch out for getting stuck on one side. Also, as any performer or public speaker may tell you, it is surprisingly hard and awkward to start and stop walking, while also talking, on a stage. Either you weirdly just feel stuck in one area or, more often, the walking and moving comes off too fast, like a nervous tick. You get stuck in a pattern, to the point where you are pacing and making the audience nervous. Or once you take one step you literally lose the ability to stand still. One of the reasons I really like this performer is he has a very natural physicality on stage.
The show was great, and all material I hadn’t heard. (He came out for an encore and told an older joke about going to the diner as a high schooler, but with more details and the help of a friend on the drums. So that was just like a fun bonus.) This is another thing about stand-up comedy that is a little crazy to think about. In my head, you write a good joke that plays well, get a good reaction, and are like, “Awesome, that joke works so I’ll keep it forever.” But no. You do a great bit and people love it, and then it’s like, “Whelp, used that one. Time to write something new” I’m not saying this is surprising information…clearly I am just kind of talking here. Anyway, it was an amazing show and a fantastic night, and if I could I would go see him perform again tonight. When I bought the ticket to see John Mulaney back in September, there was only one show, but the tickets sold out so fast that they added another. And that happened again and again until he had seven sold out performances booked. You may not know this about the Chicago Theatre, but it is big. It is bananas to think that one comedian could fill that theatre at all, let alone SEVEN times in a row. That’s impressive. I want to do that.
So anyway, that was a long and rambling way of saying my birthday was amazing and I’m 23 now! Wooooo!