Entries tagged with “Open Stages Chicago”.


UPDATED UPDATE:

CIRCUMSTANCES HAVE CHANGED SUCH THAT CANCELLATION IS UNAVOIDABLE.

STAY HEALTHY, MY SWEET PEEPS!!!

Winter’s Icy Grip Has Broken And The Sap Is Beginning To Rise In All Our Metaphorical Maples— So Time For A Sweet Hootenanny To Celebrate The Coming Spring And Banish The Last Vestiges Of Winter Gloom.

You Know The Story:

Stann Champion’s Musical Mightiness
Michael Hollywood/LaGrange’s Multifaceted Oddness

AND YOU, Sweet Human.

Either Showing Us What You Got Or Just Drinking It All In.

Poetry Standup Storytelling Music Juggling Magic Dance

It’s All Good To Us!!!

And Speaking Of Drinking It In, The Independence Tap Has A Fine Array Of Inexpensive Libations If You Wanna Get Your Drink On (Especially Since It’s REAL Close To A Certain Verdant Holiday).

Come On Down And Join The Fun!!!

ATTENTION PERFORMERS OF ALL GENRES/TYPES:

TRY SOMETHING NEW!!!

The Independence Tap is a great space and this night is perfect for working out new material and expanding horizons as an Artist/Performer.

When we host Open Stages we create an atmosphere of respect for all genres of performance where Artists can feel safe and secure. [No stylistic cliquishness OR DISRESPECT allowed!]

Our greatest joy comes from seeing someone perform for the first time or watching an Artist try out a new genre: a Musician doing Storytelling, a Storyteller doing Stand-Up, a Poet playing Music, a Stand-Up reading a poem…

The Place Where The Boundaries Meet & Overlap Is Where True Magic Happens.

And there is nothing like the feeling of opening a door into a new room in the mansion of your soul— SO COME ON DOWN & GO ON UP!!!

A promo shot of me in early 1985, when I was just starting to do standup comedy. So early in my career that I was still juggling in my act.
Anarchy Is For Lovers!

Independence Tap

3932 W Irving Park Rd

Friday, February 14

7:30 PM

The Second Friday Comes Late This Month And Coincides With A Certain Consumer Capitalist Hetero-Normative Celebration.

This Is Only Fitting, As This Show Also Marks The 1 Year Anniversary Of Stann Champion & Michael Hollywood Bringing Their Special Brand Of Love Fest Hootenanny To The Independence Tap!!!

As Always, There Shall Be A Fine Array Of Talented Comics, Musicians, Poets, Storytellers, And Whatever Other Type Of Performer Who May Walk In The Door And Sign Up.

And Of Course, YOU! Either Strutting Your Stuff Upon The Stage Or Just Drinking It All In. Either Way, It’s All Good!

We’ve Created A Wonderful Vibe Here Over The Last Year, Come And Share It With Us.

Arrive Early And Stay All Night, Or Roll In A Little Later (After You’ve Had That Nasty Argument In The Crowded Overpriced Restaurant).

We’ll Be Doing What We Do And Having A Ball!!!

Feel The Love…
And the rest is history…

In 2013, I was hosting an Open Stage on Monday nights at the short-lived Frankenstone Art Center on Foster in North Park.

Dedicated to the motto “Universal Liberation Through Creative Self-Actualization” it was an open stage that welcomed all types of performer (particularly first time performers) and encouraged everyone to expand their boundaries and horizons as an Artist.

That very first show someone who had just come to spectate felt comfortable enough to read their own words in public for the first time ever- and I knew I was on to something.

A couple shows later, one of the poets told me about a space right around the corner on Kimball. It was called the Roots Room and was run by a veteran Chicago musician and artist who was dedicated to the same principles of fostering creative development in all people.

I finally got up the gumption to head over there a few months later and go inside. That was the night I first met Stann Champion.

It was Variety Open Mic night, so I did some stand-up, poetry, and storytelling in a Combo Platter set; then Stann and I did a few tunes with me accompanying him on harmonica.

We hit it off immediately, and I began co-hosting Variety Night every 2nd Friday of the month for the next several years. Stann and I also got together with the amazing rhythm section of his Reggae/Calypso band (Roots Rock Society) and formed a new Blues/Rock/Roots band called the Propaganda Machine.

After the demise of the Roots Room in 2018, we both took a break from open mic hosting for a while.

In February of 2019 we were offered the opportunity to take over FretKnot Fridays at the Independence Tap. We started slow but soon built things up to where our old Roots Room crowd had reconstituted.

Then the magic kicked into high gear and we kept adding regulars to the mix who were just as committed to the principles of Creativity and Community as we were.

One year later we have a beautiful thing going on!!!

Stann and I still love to rock the duo thing!
(photo by Greg Morelli)
Shine On, You Crazy Diamonds!

Friday, January 10 7:30PM
Independence Tap
3932 W Irving Park Rd

As We Enter The Post-Holiday Trough And Prepare To Face The Full Brunt Of Winter, It’s Time To Gather Like-Minded Individuals Together For An Incandescently Uproarious Hootenanny To Drive Away All Demons. [Literal, Figurative, Emotional, Psychological, Public, Private, Foreign & Domestic]

All The Elements Are In Place:

Stann Champion’s Musical Brilliance
Michael Hollywood/LaGrange/Corcoran’s Eclectic Insanity
A Committed Cadre Of Talented Regular Performers
A Slew Of Sexy Spectators
An Adorable Venue With Inexpensive Libations

All That Is Missing Is YOU!!!

Either Just Drinking It All In OR Showing Us What You Got!

Musicians, Poets, Standup Comics, Storytellers, Magicians, Jugglers, Mimes, Dancers, Yodelers, Contortionists, Alchemists…

IT’S ALL GOOD TO US!!!

We’ve Got A Beautiful Thang Goin’ On!

Come Be A Part Of It.

ALWAYS Room For One More!

ATTENTION PERFORMERS OF ALL GENRES/TYPES:

The Independence Tap is a great space and this night is perfect for working out new material and expanding horizons as an Artist/Performer.

When we host Open Stages we create an atmosphere of respect for all genres of performance where Artists can feel safe and secure. [No stylistic cliquishness OR DISRESPECT allowed!]

Our greatest joy comes from seeing someone perform for the first time or watching an Artist try out a new genre: a Musician doing Storytelling, a Storyteller doing Stand-Up, a Poet playing Music, a Stand-Up reading a poem…

The Place Where The Boundaries Meet & Overlap Is Where True Magic Happens.

And there is nothing like the feeling of opening a door into a new room in the mansion of your soul— SO COME ON DOWN & GO ON UP!!!

Express Yourself PROUDLY!!!
Festive Love Is In The Air!

Friday, December 13 7:30PM
Independence Tap
3932 W Irving Park Rd

The Holidays Are Upon Us, And The Only Proper Response Is To Have A Rollicking Hootenanny Filled With Love And Joy To All!!!

No Matter Your Race, Religion (Or Lack Thereof), Ethnicity, Gender, Sexual Preference— And Most Importantly, Your Genre Of Performance— We Will Welcome You Into Our Hearts And On To Our Stage.

Stann Champion Will Bring His Musical Genius, Michael Hollywood Will Bring His Special Blend Of Insanity, And You Will Bring Whatever It Is You Have To Give.

We’re Gonna Rock The Halls!!!

This Is How We Roll!!!

The Independence Tap is a great space and this night is perfect for working out new material and expanding horizons as an Artist/Performer.

When we host Open Stages we create an atmosphere of respect for all genres of performance where Artists can feel safe and secure. [No stylistic cliquishness OR DISRESPECT allowed!]

Our greatest joy comes from seeing someone perform for the first time or watching an Artist try out a new genre: a Musician doing Storytelling, a Storyteller doing Stand-Up, a Poet playing Music, a Stand-Up reading a poem…

The Place Where The Boundaries Meet & Overlap Is Where True Magic Happens.

And there is nothing like the feeling of opening a door into a new room in the mansion of your soul—

SO COME ON DOWN & GO ON UP!!!

Be Your Best Self!

Friday, November 8 at 7:30PM
Independence Tap
3932 W Irving Park Rd

November Is Rolling In With Its Cloudy Chilly Ways— But We Shall Fight Back With A Stormy Hootenanny That Shall Warm All Our Hearts!!!

You Know How The Story Goes; Michael Hollywood Brings The Blather & Bluster, Stann Champion Brings The Guitar Genius, And YOU Bring Whatever Ya Got!

Music, Poetry, Standup Comedy, Storytelling, Magic, Juggling, Dancing, Fire Eating— Whatever Your Little Heart Desires— It’s ALL GOOD To Us.

Fine Entertainment And Fine Inexpensive Drinks— What’s Not To Love?!?

Last Month Was Epic Fun, Come See How We Get It Done!!!

Let It Out!!!

The Independence Tap is a great space and this night is perfect for working out new material and expanding horizons as an Artist/Performer.

When we host Open Stages we create an atmosphere of respect for all genres of performance where Artists can feel safe and secure. [No stylistic cliquishness OR DISRESPECT allowed!]

Our greatest joy comes from seeing someone perform for the first time or watching an Artist try out a new genre: a Musician doing Storytelling, a Storyteller doing Stand-Up, a Poet playing Music, a Stand-Up reading a poem…

The Place Where The Boundaries Meet & Overlap Is Where True Magic Happens.

And there is nothing like the feeling of opening a door into a new room in the mansion of your soul— SO COME ON DOWN & GO ON UP!!!

Put Your Back Into It!!!

It’s Autumn, Baby!!!


Friday, October 11 at 7:30PM
Independence Tap
3932 W Irving Park Rd

There’s A Chill In The Air And Soon The Leaves Will Be Turning To Autumnal Colors.

An Excellent Time For An Epic Hootenanny!!!

You Know How The Story Goes; Michael Hollywood Brings The Blather & Bluster, Stann Champion Brings The Guitar Genius, And YOU Bring Whatever Ya Got!

Music, Poetry, Standup Comedy, Storytelling, Magic, Juggling, Dancing, Fire Eating— Whatever Your Little Heart Desires— It’s ALL GOOD To Us.

Fine Entertainment And Fine Inexpensive Drinks— What’s Not To Love?!?

Put Your Back Into It!

The Independence Tap is a great space and this night is perfect for working out new material and expanding horizons as an Artist/Performer.

When we host Open Stages we create an atmosphere of respect for all genres of performance where Artists can feel safe and secure. [No stylistic cliquishness OR DISRESPECT allowed!]

Our greatest joy comes from seeing someone perform for the first time or watching an Artist try out a new genre: a Musician doing Storytelling, a Storyteller doing Stand-Up, a Poet playing Music, a Stand-Up reading a poem…

The Place Where The Boundaries Meet & Overlap Is Where True Magic Happens.

And there is nothing like the feeling of opening a door into a new room in the mansion of your soul— SO COME ON DOWN & GO ON UP!!!

Let It Out!!!

Friday, September 13 at 7:30PM

Independence Tap

3932 W Irving Park Rd

Autumn Is In The Air And The Equinox Approaches. Time For A Rollicking Hootenanny In The Giant Henge That Is Chicago.

All Hands Will Be On Deck; Michael Hollywood And Stann Champion Will Both Be Rocking The Indy!

As Will Several Of Chicago’s Most Talented Storytellers, Comics, Poets, Musicians— AND YOU— Either Showing What You Got Or Just Enjoying The Spectacle That Is FretKnot Friday.

Come Help Us Blow The Roof Off the Joint!!!

The Independence Tap is a great space and this night is perfect for working out new material and expanding horizons as an Artist/Performer.

When we host Open Stages we create an atmosphere of respect for all genres of performance where Artists can feel safe and secure. [No stylistic cliquishness OR DISRESPECT allowed!]

Our greatest joy comes from seeing someone perform for the first time or watching an Artist try out a new genre: a Musician doing Storytelling, a Storyteller doing Stand-Up, a Poet playing Music, a Stand-Up reading a poem…

The Place Where The Boundaries Meet & Overlap Is Where True Magic Happens.

And there is nothing like the feeling of opening a door into a new room in the mansion of your soul— SO COME ON DOWN & GO ON UP!!!

Friday, July 12 at 7:30PM

Independence Tap

3932 W Irving Park Rd


Summer Is In Full Swing, And We’ll Be Heading Back Into Town From The Summer Cottage (It’s A Bit Of A Fixer-Upper) To Host A Fantastic Hootenanny.

Chicago Music Awards Lifetime Achievement Honoree Stann Champion Will Be Rejoining Us For Some Steamy Summer Fun.

As Will Several Talented Poets, Musicians, Storytellers, And YOU— Enjoying The Show And/Or Showing Off Some Talents Of Your Own.

Every Month Gets A Little Wilder, So Come On Down And Be Part Of Some EPIC Fun!!!


Let Us Trip The Light Fantastic And Rock The Tap Independence!!!

The Independence Tap is a great space and this night is perfect for working out new material and expanding horizons as an Artist/Performer.

When we host Open Stages we create an atmosphere of respect for all genres of performance where Artists can feel safe and secure. [No stylistic cliquishness OR DISRESPECT allowed!]

Our greatest joy comes from seeing someone perform for the first time or watching an Artist try out a new genre: a Musician doing Storytelling, a Storyteller doing Stand-Up, a Poet playing Music, a Stand-Up reading a poem…

The Place Where The Boundaries Meet & Overlap Is Where True Magic Happens.

And there is nothing like the feeling of opening a door into a new room in the mansion of your soul— SO COME ON DOWN & GO ON UP!!!

Big Birthday Fun!

FRIDAY, May 10 at 7 PM

Independence Tap

3932 W Irving Park Rd

May Is FINALLY Here And We’ll Be Throwing Down An Epic Jam/Hootenanny/Open Mic To Celebrate!

And Since May 10 Falls Exactly Between Our Birthdays, Stann And I Are Going To Make It A Birthday Celebration For Us & All May Birthday Babies!

Raise Your Voice High!

You Know How It Works:

Stann Champion Shall Host And Provide Musical Genius, I Shall Assist And Provide A Multitude Of Performance Genres.

Great Poets, Storytellers, Musicians, Comics, And All & Sundry Forms Of Performer Shall Be In Evidence.

And YOU Shall Be There Showing Off Your Talent And/Or Enjoying The Fun!!!

All Styles, All Genres, All Forms— All People Welcome!!!

So Come On Down And Get Down!!!

Sign Up & Start At 7PM.

Switch It Out For A REAL Mic!

The Independence Tap is a great space and this night is perfect for working out new material and expanding horizons as an Artist/Performer.

When Stann and I host Open Stages we create an atmosphere of respect for all genres of performance where Artists can feel safe and secure. [No stylistic cliquishness OR DISRESPECT allowed!]

Our greatest joy comes from seeing someone perform for the first time or watching an Artist try out a new genre: a Musician doing Storytelling, a Storyteller doing Stand-Up, a Poet playing Music, a Stand-Up reading a poem…

The Place Where The Boundaries Meet & Overlap Is Where True Magic Happens.

And there is nothing like the feeling of opening a door into a new room in the mansion of your soul— SO COME ON DOWN & GO ON UP!!!