Unity Park (2636 N. Kimball Ave.) presented the Summer Solstice Comedy Spectacular on June 21 as part of its 2019 summer events.
The Comedy Spectacular was a free show by the Unity Park Advisory Council (UPAC), sponsored by Rep. Will Guzzari and featuring several local Logan Square comedians. The comics featured were, in order of appearance:
- Jess Martínez (host)
- Victoria Fombelle
- Liz Getty
- Janice V. Rodriguez (pronounced like Denice)
- Audrey Jonas
Eric DeBellis, co-chair Officer of UPAC is friends with the host, Jess Martinez, both of whom were looking for some new entertainment venues for the park. And this was a great trial run, hopefully, to be repeated, DeBellis said.
“We’re trying to bring more events to the park for all ages to enjoy, like Lucha Libre, for the single 20-years-olds as well as the kids,” said DeBellis.
Martinez jokingly told the crowd, “I just selected a bunch of lady comics without thinking about it… My inedvertedness, uh—inedvertedness, is that a word? So yeah, it all worked out for the best. We got some great comics tonight.”
Getting there early, I got to be a fly on the wall as the women arrived one by one: It was like being backstage at any comedy club; they made small talk, discussing why Chicago can’t get summer weather right (the weather was 59 degrees, breezy and overcast).
Though they’re all Logan locals, each comic hails from all over the Midwest and the East Coast and each has a background in hallowed comedy clubs such as Zanies, The Annoyance, Second City, iO, The Laugh Factory, and many other venues around the city. Martinez and Janice Rodriguez are members of Las Locas Comedy, a comedy showcase that celebrates Latina comedic talent and culture.
Photos: Erik Island
Listening to Rodriguez mull over which of her standup jokes were child-friendly or going to see 50 Cent at Ravinia while drinking a Julio Gallo Rosé was just as funny as her set about her snoring husband, who won’t admit to keeping her awake.
These ladies were a hit with the crowd—made of mostly adult couples and families looking for a PG-13 night in the park. Even while kids darted back and forth past the makeshift stage and circled the comedians on their bikes, the evening was laid back and relaxed, like a private family gathering.
There was something for everyone—jokes, songs, and friendly crowd work with the kids and the newlywed couples— and when Liz Getty brought out a puppet, a ukulele and a trampoline, we all knew that we were in for something extra.
The jokes were insightful as well as funny, spanning from interracial marriage, Latino/Latinx stereotypes, gay stereotypes, and how to use social media to stalk someone who owes you an apology for cyberbullying.
And in-between sets, DeBellis passed out free ice cream vouchers from McDonald’s, sponsored by UPAC.
So if you missed out, nah-nah-nah-nah-nah… I got ice cream, you didn’t. But maybe next time.
Despite what your weather app says, summer is just getting started and there are more activities in Unity Park to come (Even though this Saturday’s Yoga in The Park was canceled due to thunderstorms).
To learn more about these local comedians, follow them on social media in the links above. To find more free UPAC-sponsored events, check their website and social media.