Thursday, January 14, 2010

Eddie Izzard Chicago Show Review

Review by Chicago Weekend Fun

Eddie Izzard just announced that he will be back in Chicago performing his Stripped 2 The Big Intimacy Standup Comedy Tour to a larger crowd than ever at the United Center on January 8th 2010.
The tickets go on pre-sale this morning Sept 14th at 10 am through Ticketmaster with the code Bees. Otherwise there are general tickets available to the public starting on Sept 21st at 10 am. The Eddie Izzard show tickets are be between $45-$75 each .
Eddie Izzard was last seen in Chicago in the spring of 2008 with the Stripped tour, selling out 3 nights at the Chicago Theater on State Street. I saw 2 of the 3 shows and he was creative and funny in different ways each night. I wonder in a huge stadium like United Center (that seats 23,000 people) if the intimacy is really just irony? I know they bring huge LED screens for shows like this, and really big speakers, but the reason people go to concerts in person (in the middle of January in Chicago) is to see that person up close and personal and I am not sure that this will be possible in this venue.
I have enjoyed many shows in the United Center, but it is an elliptical warehouse (not ornate and beautiful like the Chicago Theater) and is better suited for shows like ice capades, the circus or hockey. It is hard to see anything about any one person on a stage from the nosebleed seats. Unless Eddie Izzard pops up playing the giant pipe organ built into the stadium for Chicago Bulls Games and comes down to the stage on a wire, there won’t really be too many staging surprises.
That said, if you are a true fan of Eddie Izzard’s comedy, irreverence and improvisational style you will probably go anyway. I plan to. It was 6 years between Izzard Standup Comedy tours last time and only 2 years between visits is a gift. I have found more and more comedians and TV personalities mimicking Eddie Izzard’s tangential rambling improvisational style (I’m looking at you Craig Ferguson) lately but nobody compares to the original. Improvisation and comedy is big in Chicago with Second City training school(as well as MainStage polished shows) and IO Theater (the longform peeps) bringing hundreds of young aspiring comedians and actors to the city from all over the country to try to make it big. We have a huge following for shows like that because we remember our roots when the Compass Players started up at the University of Chicago and then many years later Chicago was the training center for SNL. It is one of the few defining and unique characteristics about Chicago. I know there are enough comedy fans here to support this show if they get the word out and we know Chicago loves improv.
If you are still reading this article and don’t know who Eddie Izzard is, you may want to look up some information on Wikipedia about him or head over to YouTube for a few clips of his work. Some notable pieces of information about Eddie Izzard is that he is from the UK and is a transvestite. Most of the time these days you see him in traditional menswear but his fans aren’t particular about his clothing because the comedy is the same either way. Eddie Izzard has branched off into acting in dramatic roles in the last decade or so after conquering the UK with his comedy in the late 1990’s. You may have seen him on The Riches on FX last year or the year before. He also pops up in movies in supporting roles (mostly bad guys or quirky side kicks since he is British) and is slowly morphing his look into a combination of Richard Branson and Tim Curry as he gets older. (its not a bad thing)
Eddie Izzard most recently completed running 40 marathons across and around the UK through August and September to benefit Sport Relief charity organization and yes, I donated. This was a truly inhuman feat that nobody thought anyone would/could do, and hopefully it helped the charity organization more than it hurt Eddie’s knees.  If nothing else, we never quite know what Eddie will do next. Eddie Izzard’s comedy style is a conversational one with the ability to jump to new tangents and bring back characters in callbacks later in the show. He also uses History, Religion, Society, Animals and Everyday things as the subject matter for his work, which stays fresh longer than political comedy and relates to a wider audience. He does swear but isn’t necessarily a blue comic and the content is mostly PG-13 rated with a dash of R from time to time for variety.
Eddie Izzard’s fans feel close to him because in many ways his comedy is quite personal. Many of us have had a revelation or two after seeing his comedy and his positive attitude has inspired many people to take on their daily lives with a new appreciation for the humor and irony rather than the monotony and unfairness of it. Eddie Izzard has also produced a couple documentaries about himself as he was gaining popularity and touring the US and UK in the 1990’s. These behind the scenes short films give you a feeling that he is just a regular guy you might know down the block and you route for him to succeed. He also has been nice enough to do meet and greets and autograph signings after many small shows over the years and many people know him to be a pretty nice guy. So, those are some of the reasons that his fans are so loyal and you should go see his show. If you have never seen the comedy genius of Mr Izzard, go buy the DVDs on Amazon or rent them from Netflix and I will see ya at the show when we’re freezing our arses off in January.

No comments: