Stand-Up Comedy Night at The Practical Theatre is a Family Affair and Much, Much More!

It will be a happy homecoming on May 13 & 14 for my daughter, Emilia. She’s an Evanston-born writer and comedian who recently moved back to Chicago — and she’s returning to Evanston and the Studio5 stage for a special two-night stand-up comedy event — joined by two of her very, very funny friends, Carla Collins and Josh Di Donato. (More on them later in this article.)

Emilia was born in Evanston but spent the bulk of her life in Los Angeles because that’s where my television career took our family. Like her mom and dad, she went to Northwestern University, spending her college years in the town of her birth attending the Medill School of Journalism. After college, she spent some years as a journalist before turning to stand-up and comedy writing. She worked her way up from writer’s PA to a seat at the table as the youngest staff writer on the final season of the HBO show “VEEP” and then TruTv’s “Tacoma FD”. 

Now, Emilia brings her decidedly Millennial perspective to everything from professional baseball’s demise to miracles, revolution, and the miracle of flight. “I have a really optimistic, positive perspective,” she says. “Some stand-up is about insulting everyone and everything around you, but I like it when people say they feel good after my set.”

Emilia will be joined at Studio5 by award-winning and multi-talented comedian Carla Collins and veteran comedy festival performer Josh di Donato, an unsung pioneer of the alternative comedy movement in Los Angeles.

Named “Comedian of the Year” by the Southern California Motion Picture Council, Carla Collins is an award-winning comedian, actress, television and radio host. In December 2022, she won an LA Film Award for Best Supporting Actress and has appeared in numerous movies and television shows in both the US and Canada. She performs comedy in clubs, theaters and festivals all over North America.

Collins is the bestselling author of Angels, Vampires and Douche Bags, a comedic motivational tome and she is currently writing her second inspirational book The Huahua Way, an homage to her beloved Chihuahua Dr. Zira who recently passed away.

Josh Di Donato produced a series of comedy shows in the 1990s at Largo, which became one of the essential places in Los Angeles to see comedy. He has opened for Sarah Silverman, Mitch Hedberg, Zach Galifianakis, Dave Chappelle, Maria Bamford, Janeane Garofalo, Marc Maron, David Cross, Margaret Cho, Patton Oswalt and many more.

I’ll be hosting the Saturday May 13th show which runs from 8 to 10 p.m. 

The Sunday May 14th show will be hosted by Dana Olsen and runs from 6 to 8 pm.

Both shows are at Studio5, 1938 Dempster Street in Evanston.

Alcoholic beverages are available for purchase at all shows. And there is plenty of free parking.

Tickets are on sale now at

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Filed under Art, Beauty, Comedy, Truth

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