Harpo And Chico

Reed Martin has written Harpo and Chico and Bill, a new comedy about Harpo Marx, his son Bill, and Harpo’s brother Chico as they try to put one final live stage show together late in their careers. Written during the pandemic, Reed’s play is is now having its world premiere (under his direction) at San Joaquin Delta College in Stockton. Reed discusses how the script came to be, how it’s evolving with his all-student cast, and where it might go from here; how he got to meet Harpo’s son Bill; how Reed exaggerated the drama (but only a little); how you can’t find a single person who has a bad word to say about Harpo; the importance of family both onstage and off; and how Reed’s performing the public service of introducing a new generation to classic comedians and timeless bits. (Length 22:16)

Cabaret ZaZou’s “Luminaire”

Cabaret ZaZou’s “Luminaire,” an intimate, interactive cabaret/cirque production performed inside a European spiegeltent on the 14th floor of the Cambria Hotel in downtown Chicago, is one of Chicago’s best-kept theatrical secrets. Frank Ferrante, the legendary actor and comedian who co-created the show and plays your host “Forte,” discusses the origins of the piece; how one best describes this particular circus-music hall entertainment; not just playing but embodying Groucho Marx; the art of making audience “volunteers” look good; the mixed blessing of missing the glory days of vaudeville; receiving actual blessings from Groucho’s son; admiring both the truth and range of Zero Mostel; celebrating the anarchy of the Marx Brothers; drawing on one’s heritage for both comedy and truth; the ability to use all the skills in an actor’s toolbag; and the power of an entire audience saying, as one, “All is forgiven.” (Length 20:27) (PICTURED: Frank Ferrante as Forte in Cabaret ZaZou’s “Luminaire.”)

Episode 352. Our Comic Inspirations

”On the opening weekend of The Complete History of Comedy (abridged), authors Reed Martin and Austin Tichenor reflect on how their early comic influences have inspired the writing of the show. Featuring favorite movies, formative stand-ups, fundamental lessons, a celebration of Blackhawk Films, and the importance of parents with excellent Read more…