1. YEAH!! #pluckyrosenthal #cwff2014 #TONIGHT!


  2. Spring Show MEGAPOST!

    Lotsa cool shows coming up, and what even ever are they??


    Thursday, June 5
    the kates at Chicago Women’s Funny Festival @ Stage 773

    I luuuurve the kates. All female comedians and storytellers in this 40 minute festival slot. This show is gonna be killer. I’m going to do an alternative comedy set - a little stand up, a little MIME. Other comedians include Kelsie Huff, Amy Sumpter, Rebecca O’Neal, Adrienne Gunn, Kristin Clifford, and Alexandra Tsarpalas.

    Sunday, June 8
    Hosting Chicago Women’s Funny Festival @ Stage 773

    I’m back at the Chicago Women’s Funny Festival hosting my own slot! I’ll be doing this one as Plucky, so expect to see a killer look and a ton of my classic variety material. I’ll be performing with storytellers Erin Diamond and Jocelyn Chia.

    Thursday, June 12
    The Plucky Show  @ Gorilla Tango Theatre
    9:00pm, $20

    Guys. This is it. This is the one-hour variety show/play that I host and produce, collaboratively devised with so many talented thinkers and performers. It’s one part Carol Burnett Show, one part Pee-wee’s Playhouse. And this is the LAST SHOW. June’s cast features Tim Joyce, Jeff Rukes, Noah Ginex and Sam Locke of The Noah Ginex Puppet Company, Carrie Shemanski, Erin Thorn, Erica Reid, Fuzzy Gerdes, Alexandra Tsarpalas, Bella Ciao, Ramona Mourir, Morgan Lord, and the special shadow puppet film “Spot of Bother” created by Myra Su.

    We’ve got live music, puppets, burlesque, variety… I am so proud of this piece I don’t even know where to begin. Please come! E-mail or message me for ticket discounts!

    Saturday, June 14

    Pivot Arts with Vanessa Valliere @ Newhart Family Theatre at Loyola University Chicago
    Vanessa Valliere (Mucca Pazza) is an incredibly talented clown, with an absolutely amazing one woman show. I’m so stoked to be accompanying her and playing transition music on ukulele!

    Wednesday, June 18
    Guest hosting Chicago Ladies in Comedy (CLic) Open Mic @ Johnny O’Hagan’s
    7:00pm signup, 7:30pm show
    One of my favorite open mics in the city, both men and women are encouraged to sign up and perform!

    Saturday, June 22
    Vaudeville at Six Corners: Seasonal Shenanigans and Variety Showcase

    I’m so excited to be a part of this inaugural summer Vaudeville! Other performers include Jeff Semmerling, Brad French, Dahlia Fatale, the V-6 Masquers (Samantha Garcia, Karen Hoyer, Ken Raabe & Noel Williams), and Gruff & Tumble! 

    Tuesday, June 24
    Variety Open Mic @ Gorilla Tango Theatre
    7:30pm, FREE!
    Sign up HERE or e-mail for more info

    Oh hey, this is MY open mic. I love this show. Previous mics have had everything from fire eating to bellydancing to stand up. Super warm and supportive room, hosted by yours truly, we got one more of them at this space so come check it out!

    Saturday, June 28
    SNORF! A Puppet Variety Show @ The Playground Theater
    2:00pm, $5

    This is a $5 puppet variety show on a Saturday afternoon which basically sells itself. I get to fulfill a dream of being the “human guest star” and it is everything you will want it to be and more. This show is also the one year anniversary, so it will be super fun!

    Tuesday, July 1
    4:30pm, FREE!
    I’m so excited to be back with Vaudeville Roars for a Night Out with the Chicago Park District! This show will have dance, singing, juggling, acrobats, and of course moi busting out my finest Plucky vaudeville routine.

    Monday, August 18
    Female Funnies @ Zanies Comedy Club
    8:30pm, $10 + two drink min

    Dudes, I’m back at Zanies. Get ready for some of my alternative stand up. This is a killer night with a jam packed lineup of fantastic comedians, who all just happen to be female. Real fun show.

    And thaaaaaas iiiiiiit! Got a busy summer! Hope to see you at one or 12 of these!


  3. Tonight I did a show called A Night Out with the fabulous local ladycomics The Kates. It’s a night of stand up comedy, at a fancy restaurant, for adult victims of domestic violence. I was nervous going into it… we were encouraged to keep it clean for this audience, avoid basically any touchy subject and also that lovey or relationshipy material didn’t always play very well. I have a love/hate relationship with stand up. I’ll be honest. It freaks me the FREAK OUT. There’s a reason why I’ve played a character for so long. Why I try to stay more distant in my material - broad songs and stories about other people.

    But I didn’t want to give that shtick to this audience. I didn’t know that they’d particularly care about this weird thing that I do, vaudeville, classic shtick, and so on. AND I’ve been wanting to challenge myself to get an actual “stand up set.” Right? I feel like… I’ve been in the game for long enough, I shouldn’t break into a cold sweat just from the thought of having to do 6-7 minutes.

    So I started at the basics. That one funny story about my Bat Mitzvah. Working retail. Wearing fake glasses in 7th grade because I thought they’d make me look cooler.

    And I had a good set. Actually I couldn’t be happier with how it went over. But… it’s not because of the material. I had a teacher tell me once, you’re a better performer than your material. Keep working on it, because your material WILL catch up. Brutal, made me instantly cry at the time, but oh my god, so helpful. And I see comedians a lot of time and think, oh man, your material is SO good, but you’ve just got to get your performing chops up there. Please, PLEASE don’t quit.

    Obviously we should all just be working together.

    But anyways. I had a good set because without even realizing it, I was connecting with these women. I found myself looking into their eyes, being legitimately tickled when they liked something. Honestly, this is just from training*, experience, and a dash of having worked in customer service for so long. The biggest laugh was when I mentioned my 7th grade history teacher with his trendy ’90s haircut and frosted tips. Frosted tips! THAT’s what they related to.

    And I had this realization of like, OH RIGHT. We’re doing this TO GIVE PEOPLE SOMETHING TO RELATE TO. In this moment, it isn’t about my ego. It isn’t about success. It isn’t about getting to SAY I played this club or that festival. It’s about connecting with my audience, giving THEM a show. I feel like I so often perform for people who know comedy, love comedy, and judge it on that scale. And don’t get me wrong, that is a GOOD audience to have. They are crazy smart, and they won’t let you get away with bad material. They’ll inspire you to work harder, because that’s where their standards are. But there was something so lovely about the experience… about ARTICULATING my individual life experience and having it, in some small way, click with these women.

    Anyone who calls him or herself a writer, this is your job. To articulate your life experience in a way that is relatable to someone who can’t. To give a shit about your audience and the experience that they’re having. To do it for THEM, and maybe only a little bit for you. To learn their names, to shake their hands.

    Experiences like these aren’t the most glamorous, but my god, was this night ever fulfilling. The harder I work to try to turn this into a JOB, the more I realize… it’s unfortunate that this particular skill, on this particular level, pays this particular amount. But I think that’s in part because how rewarding it can be, on a night just like this, doesn’t necessarily need a price. I mean, that’s part of the deal of being an artist. Right? We’ve seen it in all the movies and we know that’s what we’re signing on for. We’re not all Lena Dunham. Success is really only measured by our own attitude.

    Two quick things to end on while we’re here: I tell this to basically every performer, but if you get the chance, take a workshop with *Avner Eisenberg. He teaches you to really care for you audience, and regardless of what your performing method du jour is, comedy, clown, acting, whatever, he will help you feel confident by feeling COMPASSIONATE. 

    Numba two: When I was in Minneapolis for a show back in January, I opened for the comedian Jessica Kirson. She blew me away. Not only did she watch my set beforehand (semi-unheard of? SUPER COOL), but the second her amazingly hilarious set was over, she booked it to the lobby to meet people. Crazy inspiring.

    Sometimes I’m afraid that I’m too nice to be a comic. But then I see this, I have this experience like tonight, and I realize more and more that with this attitude, this kindness and compassion, and if you can stick with it? Man, what a lucky life.

  4. THE PLUCKY SHOW IS TONIGHT!!!! Only three more chances to see it! Get thee to Gorilla Tango Bucktown!

  5. thepluckyshow:

    March’s Movie Time Movie by Marty Schousboe.

    With little comment, I present to you…


  6. thepluckyshow:

    THE PLUCKY SHOW 2/13/14 photos by Singing Raven Photography @ Gorilla Tango Theatre. CAN’T WAIT FOR MARCH!

  7. thepluckyshow:

    Welcome to The Plucky Show’s REAL LIVE INTERNET BLOG! In honor of our inaugural post, here’s last month’s Movie Time Movie by Marty “The Projectionist” Schousboe

    Without further ado, I present to you… BOB THE BOX.

    The Plucky Show now has a blog! YAAAAAAY!


  9. Alisa Rosenthal and the Exercise Brothers, taped live and in color in Skokie, Illinois for Steve Gadlin’s Star Makers. YOU’RE WELCOME, INTERNET.

  10. I’ve decided to start reading what I already own. Pictured above: all the books I already own. I’m a little daunted by this project… I’m a former English major, perpetual stuff collector, and current binge-TV enthusiast. This is an attempt to get myself reading more (the number of books-I-read to things-I-watched ratio of the last year is MORTIFYINGLY embarrassing), but also the same attempt to understand who I already am. The books I have (that I’ve kept!) this long are mostly all gifts: from family, friends, to myself… but many of them are also remnants from childhood, from college, books I’ve inherited, all of these parts of myself that I continue to tote around with me in large duct-taped boxes every time I move.

    As someone who has ALWAYS lived with a lot of clutter, I’m trying to understand everything I already have, and clear out what I don’t need.

    I’m starting with all the books on my nightstand, and I’ll work my way around my apartment. They are kind of organized by subject? Ha, we shall see. And I’m giving myself three passes, because… like I said, former English major. 

    First up: Where’d You Go, Bernadette? by Maria Semple, top of my nightstand, a recent birthday present from my fabulous friend Suzanna who runs an amazing indie bookstore in New York and continues to send me the best books every year.

    Taking the leap! Have you done something like this before? WANT TO DO IT ALONG WITH ME?