Friday, May 4, 2018

Trump Radio One

the Flabby Hoffman Radio Extravagonzo!

Stay tuned:

Episode #2: Broadcast from Alcatraz
Episode #3  Broadcast from make-shift raft in the Pacific Ocean, surrounded by sharks
Episode #4  Broadcast from the belly of a blue whale
Episode #5  The gang gets spit up on a beach in Mexico, which Trump thinks is Oz
(wow, the yellow brick road sure is littered with a lot of trash)
Episode #6  Scaling the Border Wall

Program Highlight:  PRANK CALLS!

Listen LIVE every Saturday between 1pm and 4pm Chicago time on Que4 radio:

Thursday, February 8, 2018

The Character Assassination of Donald Trump

The show came together in a slip-shod, frenzied,  Buddhist happy accident kind of way. The idea was had while driving around delivering pizzas; Trump's impeachment Trial as a variety show.  The first Friday of the month Wicker Park's historic Flat Iron Building has an open house. And it was there, at this Artists' Colony that we bumped into Anthony Moseley, the Big Wig of Collaboraction Theater. Me and the Great Dave McGrath pitched Anthony on a Trump variety show and he informed us that they had nothing slated for December and that we should shoot him on over a script. Some weeks later the green light given, the space secured, and now is was up to me, Dave, and Jenny Miller to round up talent. I've had enough of actors, seems all young actors care about is money. So we began recruiting characters and assorted mutants from the Mutiny; a local dive bar which hosts a slew of open mic nights hosted by some incredibly talented comics. A couple script run throughs and we were ready to unleash the Hambach! By the way, if you're in the neighborhood, you really must check out the Mutiny's Heckle Mic Friday night... it's evolving and becoming sentient...
Left to right / top to bottom: Trump, Michael Johnson (Duke), Hambach (the Grey Fux), Jenny Miller (Elizabeth Warren), Elaine Orion (Lindsey Graham), Sean Schellhamer (Chuck Schumer), Dan Garcia (Al Franken), John Dolder (Orrin Hatch).

Opening night was a riot. Riding high on adrenaline we were gearing up for the next when the email was received. It was Patti the pole dancer, the gal that had recruited all the Burlesque dancers from upcoming shows, with a bombshell. They were backing out. Something about not having read the script, not bothering to listen to song, ‘but at the amount we are being paid, being uncomfortable with the subject matter’, on and on. No problem, we just had to scramble to find one Belly Dancer to replace three sub-par Burlesque dancers at $50 bucks a pop. #metwothree

There was a critic there opening night, Jack Helbig. The audience, albeit packed with friends, loved the show. ‘It checked a lot of boxes,’ as Elaine put it. Yet when the review surfaced the following Wednesday we were told to pack it in by a saddo who completely discounted the audience’s take.

I was livid. I was gonna chip golf balls (actual ping-pong balls) at the side of the (Un)Reader(able) building and storm the CPU dressed as Trump and demand to speak to this Hel(of)big(loser) with cameras rolling. That didn’t happen but we got back our mojo by the third show. The show where Michael Johnson wore his psychedelic Christmas hat. That was the best show; however, according to meta-physics, it couldn’t be recorded.!/details/THE-CHARACTER-ASSASSINATION-OF-DONALD-TRUMP/4299287/2017-12-08T20

It's going to be huge. Whether you are hoping for it or dreading it, everyone can agree that if Trump gets impeached, the trial will be one tremendously wild ride. Politicians and the media will make it a circus larger than Cirque du Soliel. This wacky satirical comedy turns that pending circus into a variety show complete with music, magic and burlesque. This is one jury duty you won't want to be excused from. You can bear witness to The Character Assassination of Donald Trump at Collaboraction Theatre.

There’s always a little melancholy at the end of a run. The show’s over, the family disbands, and the shared purpose dissipates. Ah well. See ya at the next show! If I haven't been blackballed by the entire Chicago theater community. Ha Ha

America's Great Again!

Thursday, November 2, 2017

The Man Who Couldn't Cry

The Musical History Event Tragic-Dramedy
(not to be confused with 'The View Upstairs' or 'The Boys Upstairs' or 'Upstairs Upstairs with Views of Boys' which may or may not exist)

Pride Arts Theater, CHICAGO - The red door opened unleashing a plume of white smoke directly at
Wayne Kupferer's chest, while fog danced and lapped at his feet.

“Just like that. You have to hold the smaller fog machine level if you want it to really blast.” I said turning to our production assistant Rico.

Upstairs the Musical was just days from opening and we had to get the backdraft effect just right. After all, the play is about a gay bar fire in 1973 New Orleans in which 32 people lost their lives. They never caught, nor did the cops try to catch the arsonist.

Throughout this production I’ve alternately felt like both Ship Captain and Oswaldesque Patsy. I reckon it’s on account of this being the first play I didn’t write or take part in writing. Also it’s my first Musical. A Rock Opera , really. Bursting at the seams with 16 songs. Luckily there has been an incredible support staff in place around me; Stage Manager Kirby Gibson, Technical Director Wayne Kupferer, Choreographer Joshua Heinlein, a savvy Producer/Set Designer/Costume Getter Gary Trick, and Byron Allen; an ex Circus performer who traveled with Barnum and Bailey Circus. Even got Dan McKearnan of Bloody Haymarket fame out of retirement for this one. Dan’s the dude who used to smack the lighting console at the Irish American Heritage Center to get the Leko stage lamps to come on.

I remember sitting with Nick Arceo, who plays George the piano player and devising what needed to be judicially cut. The songs were all too long and the last three songs in a row seemed a slow drag to the finish line. Speed up the tempo I knew, but other words like vamp and Libretto were picked up along the way.

We had been fighting a running war since the beginning of this thing, like Native-American taking pot shots at the U.S. Calvary from trees. We had had a devil of a time getting Upstairs fully cast, Wayne Self’s hastily assembled script was the hybrid of 2 previous versions, and we lost the LED lights for 2 days in TECH WEEK until Manny found the wire hanging from the grid. And having a Theater Manager, David ‘slumlord’ Zak, working against us didn’t help the situation.

Opening night came, the house more than half full, and the show went off better than any of us expected. The thought was murmured that we might have a hit play on our hands. A big play about big people. Titans really, who refused to live in fear. Here is Buddy the bartender with his boyfriend Adam.

Right out the gate we got 2 positive reviews...

Then came the cynics, the loveless, the doomed. 
Two sour grapes tried to derail our play and murder the Upstairs Lounge’s victims a second time, in addition to massacring 8 actors, 4 musicians, and 5 crew members in the process.

But then again, what do the critics know...

So here we stand on a precipice of mixed reviews and lack-luster ticket sales and the show is supposed to run until November 26th . You want a call to action? Here it is; come see the show. Show plays at 4139 N. Broadway, Friday & Saturday at 7:30, Sunday matinee at 2pm. Tell your friends to see the show. Even tell your grandma to see the show (there’s one simulated blowjob scene but I’m pretty sure she can handle it).

This is do or die, folks.

And I swear to god, if my worst ideas come true, then the next play will be about a critic. A nasty little fucker who, with a few glib paragraphs, destroys a production; months and months of hard work. To wipe away all the blood, sweat, and tears with a couple strokes of a keyboard. In a fit of Jealousy and sexually repression. In the final scene the destitute Director, with his last few dollars, buys a gallon of gasoline, finds where this custodian of culture lives, and burns the shit-heads house to the ground. Then launches a Broadway hit based on the story. Because, the story behind the story is always more interesting than the story.

All Legs to be Broken.

Copy and distribute worldwide....

Saturday, April 1, 2017

The Shooooow!

Special Thanks to Sal, Manny, Pam, Max Worthington, Tristian Moffat, Jak Frost, Michael Ian Sachs, Erin the Belly Dancer, Tammy, Gavin, John, Jake, Bill, Anthony, Michelle, David, Ricky, Seamus O'Blivion, and all the people who showed up!

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Election Results

3rd Place in a 5 way race! 
Not Bad. Last time I came in 5th in a 4 way race...

I want to thank all those friends, jesters, anarchists, artists, and punk rockers who made this campaign/fever dream a reality! 
I owe you a drink!!!

There’s a look that every good friend of yours knows you by. A look that you’ve never actually seen yourself, except for on rare occasion when a window reflection catches you off guard while walking home in the middle of the night. This is the face caricaturists strive for. The face that reveals a person’s true character. Something as subtle as Mona Lisa’s smirk or as arresting as Edvard Munch’s The Scream. For Steve Aspel, this is that face.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words but in Aspel’s case the picture is worth roughly a thousand votes. Here is Steve Aspel slouching in his trademark Hawaiian shirt, with the stoic grimace of a Captain on a sinking ship, clutching at his White Russian as if it were a life preserver. The first wave of results trickled in at 8:15pm and showed the incumbent trailing by only 2.8%, well within the margin of error. There was nothing for a long anxious while. Then, at one minute to midnight, his worst fears were confirmed in a pounding Mayoral defeat and torpedoing of thePublic-Private Partner Ship.  No runoff election. No Pier-Mall project. No second term.  No staying any later at the Grand Gala. The electorate had spoken and Steve Aspel was to be given a Lyft home in a political pumpkin.

This wasn’t the way it was supposed to happen. The Police and Fire Unions were in his pocket, or he was in theirs. Steve was well-liked. To his friends, of which he had many, Steve will in some way always be ‘the Mayor’ but not in any official capacity, not anymore. He pushed too hard for a mall and the people pushed back. He got on the wrong side of this Pier-Mall thing. The background in this picture speaks of a Victorian Era. A time when political machines ran the country. A time long forgotten. And too, the Mayor won’t be remembered for all his hard work addressing the pressing concerns of Redondo’s residents. Everything from clearing felled trees to filling pot holes. The ex-Insurance Salesman will be remembered for one thing; a disastrous deal with Centercal to build a giant mall, the size of five Wal-Marts, on the Redondo Beach Pier. It was to be his legacy. In some strange inverted Nixon talk, critics of the Centercal project were called ‘the vocal minority’. This assumption would prove wrong. Rumors has it he took out a twenty-thousand dollar loan for his campaign. Word on the street is he owes money to the IRS. Cornered animals will do just about anything.

On occasions I had seen Steve at a political mixer and, coming in from behind, would bump into him rather forcefully. He would spin around with feigned shock and I would say something like, ‘Oh, hey! Steve! Didn’t see you there!’ Moreover, I toilet papered his house when I was like fifteen years old. He was a good sport. A rough and tumbler who always had a good comeback. I like Steve Aspel. City Council meetings won’t be the same without his towering presence. I shall remember Steve Aspel, and no, he was not a crook. Just a bit misguided. Then again, so was Nixon.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

PIER AID - 3/6/2017

A Message From Seamus O'Blivion, Campaign Manager:

Greetings Pier Aid People!

Trying to catch my breath after last night. 

Believe it or not, after an incredible show from the BEST OG South Bay folks and those that traveled from Far Away Places to support us and save our Pier from getting Mauled, [with] our host and only hope for mayor, candidate Eric J. Coleman- certified anarchist antagonist, pain in the ass madman.

I want to thank him, Ken Thun, Jake and Chelsea Todesco and The Boogie first for making this fever dream a reality. Two months in the planning, without you, it wouldn't have happened.

I also must thank fellow mayoral candidate Michael Ian Sachs, his amazing band Jak Frost, Culo, Carpit, Supersession, Public Nuisance for coming all the way from Santa Clarita, Neckbreaker, the always explosive STD'S and Black Lagoon for top shelf MUSIC THAT MATTERS...

You blessed our beloved pier with your music, love, frustration and dedication and I will
never be able to thank you enough.

Must also thank the local Classic Rock Pier Rats that showed up to support OUR FUCKING PIER.

Today, it all comes down to the polls.

Every vote might count.

Elections are suspect devices.

But we came together, multiple tribes, united to save ourselves from the Devil that is Centercal.

I thank you all again from the bottom of my blackened heart for the collective battle cry...


Stay tuned.
And fucking VOTE!!!!

A Message From Ken Thun, PIER AID Point Man:

To all the people behind PIER AID: Eric J. Coleman, Seamus O'Blivion, Chelsea Tedesco, Jake Tedesco, Robert Fabio, Mike Fanthorpe and most importantly Antigone Tiggy Swallow. I love you all. I got the bands but you all did the work, thankful to have you in my life!

A Message From Eric J. Coleman, Mayoral Candidate:



From The Easy Reader News

Join us in a Measure C Victory celebration - Sunday April 23rd for 
PIER AID II: There Will Be Pier! 
@ The Boogie