People liked Apes

Remember that crazy comedy competition that Erica and I were each in a season of? It's made two three different "best of 2007" lists.

From the 1/3/08 Newcity, "Top 5 of Everything":


Top 5 Shows
"A Steady Rain," Chicago Dramatists "Another Day in the Empire," Black Sheep
"Diversey Harbor," Theatre Seven
"Impress These Apes," Blewt
"Machos," Teatro Luna
—Nina Metz

Time Out Chicago's best of 2007 comedy list:

Impress These Apes Lordy lord, was this show funny during its two "seasons." The apes' banter delighted us every week, and the contestants sure knew how to bring it--Jim Fath's Darth Vader stand-up routine in the first season springs to mind, as does the freak-show challenge night in season two, for which Erin Pallesen covered his (not her) face with clothespins. Pinch us.

From the 1/4/08 Chicago Tribune, Best of '07: 10 reasons to take a chance:

Chicago theater wouldn't be half as interesting without all the storefront companies that prove you don't need big bucks or big names to stage a great show. Sometimes theater is just better when it's down-and-dirty.

Sure, tiny venues can be a little crude and funky, but where else can you get as close to the action? While the Equity houses in town rarely lack for press and patrons, the fringe companies keep plugging away in the face of hardship.

That's drive—the kind of scrappy, experimental sensibility that results in shows you won't see anywhere else.

Each week in "On the Fringe," Kerry Reid and I look to spotlight the scene's best—and warn you against the worst. Here are some favorites from 2007.

Nina's picks:

1. "Impress These Apes" (Blewt Productions): A talent contest like no other, this off-beat, semi-improvised show featured some of Chicago's funniest actors duking it out for the top prize. If you missed it, don't make the same mistake twice: Look for another installment to begin later this summer.

Up next: Blewt brings back its interactive game show "Don't Spit the Water" for a yearlong run at the Playground starting Jan. 12.