Metropolis taking chance with late-night comedy series
Unlikely duo ushers in late-night comedy series
Posted Thursday, September 08, 2005
Late-night comedy in downtown Arlington Heights? What were they thinking?
trying to bring in different shows for different kinds of people," says
Tim Rater, executive director of the Metropolis Performing Arts Center,
which launches its new "After Dark Comedy Series" at 10 p.m. Saturday
with stand-up duo Bikerman and the Jewish Avenger. "Late-night was
something we've been missing," Rater said.
While the suburbs once
rolled up the sidewalks by 10 p.m., Rater says the rejuvenated downtown
Arlington Heights attracts more people to the village center in the
evenings. Intermittent late shows by The Second City have been drawing
audiences, he says. "It's not as well attended as their earlier shows,
but they do draw a crowd."
Derek Hanley, owner of Peggy Kinnane's
Irish Restaurant and Pub, near Metropolis at 8 N. Vail Ave., agrees
more folks are coming downtown at night, especially since the spring
opening of Harmony Park, where outdoor concerts have been staged.
the weekends, especially when the weather is nice, the streets are
fairly active," says Hanley, whose tavern serves food until at least
midnight on weekdays and later on Fridays and Saturdays. Whether the
trend continues when the nights cool down remains to be seen. "I think
it's got a chance," Hanley says.
Rater hopes the new Metropolis
shows - "a little less expensive ticket, a little bit more edgy
material" - will attract younger audiences to the center and add to the
budding suburban nightlife scene now fueled mainly by music at Peggy
Kinnane's and other bars.
"These are going to be fun shows," he says. The late shows will allow for a little riskier programming, Rater said.
series opens with local improv/stand-up veterans Bikerman and the
Jewish Avenger who by day are Metropolis Communications Director Jim
Jarvis, reared on Chicago's South Side, and North Shore native Scott
Woldman, an eighth-grade teacher at Carl Sandburg Junior High School in
"These guys tell stories about things that have happened to them," Rater says. "You won't believe them - but they're true."
zany pair likens their act to such comic duos as Dean Martin and Jerry
Lewis and magicians Penn & Teller. They use current events,
audience participation and true-life tales of jail, "Star Wars,"
dating, bar fights, Oprah Winfrey, bear hunting and parenthood.
"We have very different points of view," says Jarvis.
"Basically," says Woldman, "Jim is kind of a biker, and I went to New Trier."
"After Dark Comedy Series": Bikerman and the Jewish Avenger"
Metropolis Performing Arts Centre, 111 W. Campbell St., Arlington Heights
10 p.m. Saturdays, Sept. 17 through Oct. 29
$15; (three-show subscription, $36)
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