The Red Room is Bona Fide
I've been to a lot of open mics in this city now. I've been to a good handful of real shows too. But the club vs bar scene is an argument I've radically unqualified to make at this point. I'm used to a good late list of comedians and leaving when you don't feel like being there anymore. But goddamn if you're not gonna have to show up early to the Red Room on Western Ave if you try to get on.
The Red Room is a spot I've been hearing about since getting my bearings around the low-level comedy circuit here. Apparently it's up toward the north end of Western Ave and the crew that gets up is pretty fond of the dark room, red light energy of the club. I'd been meaning to get up there and last night I finally saw it for the first time. No wonder people like this show. It's like if the comedy cellar wasn't in the basement and you had to take the bus to New York City limits to get on stage.
As soon as I walked up, I saw on the sign above the door "COMEDY CLUB" and said "oh?" Then I walked in and went "OH!" Neon strips around the main room perimeter, modern legends framed on the wall (who have likely never visited the location), featuring miniature scale Jake and Elwood statues in the throws of ceremony posted up either side of the one-man stage. This is the type of place that makes you feel like you're a part of a real scene. And if you don't feel real yourself, take a deep breath and sit in it because that room paints a scene and you're a real part of it.
Then I saw the list and went "oh goddammit." Show didn't start for another 25 damn minutes and there's already 36 names on the list. I had Sam at the apartment to get home to, I didn't wanna be there till 10:30 just to get home at 12. Shit, I already had to take bus 49B, I didn't even know there was a 49B, 49 and the express are the only Western Ave buses I've ever heard of, but the Red Room Comedy club is a 90 second walk from the northern edge of the city! Cook County limit's right across the street, I swear to god. But you're damn sure gonna enjoy yourself if you ride all the way up there.
Khaleel usually hosts it, and from what I've seen of him onstage suggests that he's everything you want in somebody who runs your show, but Seth Gersbach was at the helm last night and Seth is awesome. I bet the show was fantastic. If you're a comic or just a fan of the medium, it's 100% worth the trip up there. what's a couple bus rides anyway? Check it out Wednesday nights at 8:00.