Tag Archives: Daniel Rashid

Just One Week Until the Party Starts!

new-show-art-2In just one week, The Practical Theatre Company will be saying goodbye to 2016 and ringing in the New Year with comedy and song – and your favorite adult beverages.

nye-art-a-copyTickets are going fast for Mr. Olsen’s Holiday Party on December 30 and 31 at Evanston’s new Studio5 (Dempster & Dodge). There aren’t many tickets left for the New Year’s Eve performance, but you can still reserve seats by clicking here.

PTC vets Paul Barrosse, Victoria Zielinski and Dana Olsen will perform comedy sketches and songs from “The Vic & Paul & Dana Show”, as well as new material crafted for this special variety revue – styled after those classic holiday specials hosted by Andy Williams, Bing and Dean.

Music director and keyboard wiz Steve Rashid will lead a quartet featuring drummer Rockin’ Ronny Crawford, Don Stiernberg on guitar and mandolin, and bassist Jim Cox.

Members of the PTC’s second generation will also perform, including standup comedienne Emilia Barrosse, Giggle Breaks’ Daniel Rashid, singer-songwriter Eva B. Ross and drummer Robert Rashid.

Studio5 features full bar service – and acres of free parking.

The New Year’s Eve performance includes light food and a New Year’s party with live music and dancing after the show.mohp-banner-1-copy

2 Comments

Filed under Art, Comedy, Improvisation, Music, rock & roll

Just Two Weeks Until the New Year’s Fun Begins…

vpd-pioneer-press

Paul Barrosse, Victoria Zielinski and Dana Olsen veterans of Practical Theatre Co., founded by Northwestern students in the 1980s, are hosting a holiday show Dec. 30 and 31 at Studio5 in Evanston. (Bradford Rogne)

screen-shot-2016-12-16-at-11-51-09-am

Myrna Petlickiscreen-shot-2016-12-16-at-11-50-56-am

Pioneer Press

Three veterans of the Practical Theatre Co. will once again share its signature blend of social commentary and comedy in “Mr. Olsen’s Holiday Party,” Dec. 30 and 31 at Evanston’s new Studio5.

Husband and wife Paul Barrosse and Victoria Zielinski of Los Angeles, and Evanston resident Dana Olsen, were members of the company founded by Northwestern University students, which achieved acclaim throughout the 1980s.

The trio first reunited onstage four years ago at the Wilmette Theatre, performing a variety show called, “Mr. Olsen’s Neighborhood.” Two years ago, they did “Mr. Olsen’s New Year’s Rockin’ Neighborhood” at 27 Live. Last year, the three of them presented a version of the current show in Los Angeles, joined by longtime friend Steve Rashid of Evanston, a noted musician and composer, who co-owns Studio5 with wife Bea Rashid.

“We thought, this being an election year, this would be a perfect time to collaborate,” Zielinski said. “We collaborated on the sketches, imagining Hillary Clinton’s presidency and Donald Trump as a kind of jokester. Now we’re scrambling to rewrite two central numbers.”

“Which we think we’ve done successfully,” Barrosse added. “But it’s been a mixture of laughter and tears.”

Olsen, who hosts, describes the show as, “Our sort of tribute to the old network holiday shows you used to see on NBC, like Dean Martin or Bob Hope or Andy Williams used to host.”

Zielinski added, “Those are the things, as we grew up, we would go to in front of the television at Christmastime. Now that we’re getting to be a little bit older, we thought it would be funny to mix the Practical Theatre zaniness with kind of an Andy Williams Christmas special.”

In one of Olsen’s favorite sketches, he plays an administrative official at Northwestern who is talking to two professors. “They’re delivering the results of a very arcane research project that they’re pitching to the university,” he said.

In another Olsen favorite, the three performers play a trio of animals, which Olsen admitted is tough on his back.

“We’ll be getting into film noire,” Barrosse added, and then revealed, “Victoria is wincing because she doesn’t want me to give away any premises. She wants nothing but surprises.”

“I’m not wincing,” Zielinski interjected. “It’s my normal attitude.”

She added that this show lets audiences know, “There’s a real excitement and sex and fun to being over 50 and having a great time from a comedic standpoint. It’s not a voice that you hear represented a lot onstage.”

Music director Rashid on keyboards will lead a quartet featuring drummer Ronny Crawford, Don Stiernberg on guitar and mandolin, and bassist Jim Cox.

Talented members of the second generation will also perform. That includes standup comedians Emilia Barrosse and Giggle Breaks’ Daniel Rashid. Barrosse and Zielinski’s other daughter, singer Eva B. Ross will also entertain, as will Rashid’s son, drummer Robert Rashid.

Steve Rashid knows how spontaneous his Practical Theatre Company friends can be. “From a musical standpoint, I have to always be prepared because anything could happen.”

‘Mr. Olsen’s Holiday Party’

When: 8 p.m. Dec. 30 and 31

Where: Studio5, 1934 Dempster St., Evanston

Tickets: $35-$45 Dec. 30; $60-$75 Dec. 31, which includes light food and post-show dancing

Information: studio5-holidayparty.bpt.me

Copyright © 2016, Chicago Tribune

Leave a comment

Filed under Art, Comedy, Improvisation, Music

Time For A Big Year End Party!

holiday-poster-jpegIf you’re in the Chicago area – and you’re looking for a great way to shake off the madness of a truly wild and crazy year – then ring in 2017 by having a raucous good time at Mr. Olsen’s Holiday Party.

Mr. Olsen’s Holiday Party is a classic holiday variety special featuring grown-up comedy, live music, standup comedy, adult beverages, and The Mr. Olsen Dancers! It’s all happening at Evanston’s newest and classiest performance venue, Studio5.

vpd-nye-copyPractical Theatre Company veterans Victoria Zielinski, Paul Barrosse and Dana Olsen will perform improvisational comedy sketches from “The Vic & Paul & Dana Show” — joined by the PTC’s longtime musical director and keyboard wizard, Steve Rashid, plus Rockin’ Ronny Crawford on the skins and Don Stiernberg on every stringed instrument imaginable.

The PTC’s next generation is also adding to the fun: standup comedienne Emilia Barrosse and Giggle Break’s own Daniel Rashid, along with songs by Eva B. Ross (whom you may have seen at The Whiskey Lounge) and drummer Robert Rashid. Did I already mention the Mr. Olsen Dancers?

It’s a family affair — and you’re all family!

studio5seatsevaMr. Olsen’s Holiday Party runs for two shows: There’s a performance of the comedy-variety show on December 30 — and a full-blown New Year’s Eve party on December 31st, featuring the comedy-variety show (including light food) followed by live music by the Studio5 All-Stars, who will keep the dance floor swinging, rocking and grooving into the New Year!

Two more good things: Studio5 enjoys acres of free parking – and there’s a cash bar for both evenings.

Tickets available through Brown Paper Tickets.  http://studio5-holidayparty.bpt.me

This will be a holiday party to remember. See you there for all the fun!steve-bea

1 Comment

Filed under Art, Comedy, Improvisation, Music, rock & roll

Tyrannosaurus Tomorrow!

Tomorrow, Friday March 28th.

More fun than a barrel of Brontosauruses…

To get tickets, just click on the graphic below…

Emilia Poster iO West w:dates #2

Leave a comment

Filed under Art, Comedy, Improvisation, Music

The Fun Begins This Friday!

To get tickets, just click on the graphic below…

Emilia Poster iO West w:dates #2

Leave a comment

Filed under Art, Comedy, Improvisation, Music

Countdown to Comedy: 3 Weeks Before Emilia, Maggie & Daniel at iO West!

Emilia Poster iO West w:dates #2Hopes. Dreams. Dinos. Get Your Tickets Now for “Tyrannosaurus Sketch”

Just three short weeks from now, On March 28th and 29th, my daughter Emilia Barrosse and her Snickerdoodlin’ comedy partner and fellow Northwestern alum, Maggie Mae Fish, will perform their original comedy revue, Tyrannosaurus Sketch at iO West on Hollywood Blvd. Joining the cast will be USC’s Daniel Rashid, the son of fellow Northwestern University alums and Practical Theatre Company members, Steve and Bea Rashid.

I saw Emilia and Maggie perform this show in December at Studio Be on North Sheffield in Chicago.  (It was a nostalgic night for me because Studio Be is across the street from the Vic Theatre, where Vic and I performed in two Practical Theatre comedy revues in the mid 1980s.) Though the temperature outside Studio Be was 1 degree below zero — the comedy inside was hot. After the show I said they should do it again in Los Angeles: where theatre audiences don’t have to brave life-threatening temperatures to attend a spirited night of improvisational sketch comedy. I eagerly volunteered to direct.

In “Tyrannosaurus Sketch”, Emilia and Maggie, two recent college graduates, are ready to strike out on their own and make their dreams come true – but it’s not going to be easy. The madness of everyday life and their own overheated imaginations create hilarious obstacles along their path to self-realization and personal fulfillment. Plus some dinosaurs. And Daniel.

It’s going to be a very entertaining night, folks.

Both shows are at 7:00 pm. Tickets can be ordered here.

Come join the fun!

Leave a comment

Filed under Art, Comedy, Improvisation

Second Generation Comedy

Standuo Banner 1standup banner 2I don’t know if a sense of humor is hereditary. I don’t know whether jokes are in your genes. But it appears that funny runs in our family.

DSCN3300Later this month — on February 20 and 22 — my daughter Emilia will make her West Coast debut as a standup comic at two clubs in Hollywood. If you’re in the Los Angeles area, you may want to check her out.

I have no idea what Emilia’s going to do onstage. She hasn’t run her material by me. She’s 22 years old — and if you’re old enough to vote, fight in the Army, sign a contract and drink legally – you’re old enough not to clear your jokes with dad. So, I can’t wait to hear her routine.

hqdefaultEmilia graduated from Northwestern University (her parents’ alma mater) last June with a hard-earned degree in journalism and a passion for writing comedy. Jokes and Journalism both require a keen, insightful and objective view of the world. But if Emilia’s currently more interested in a punchline than a newspaper byline – what can I say?

After all, what was I doing as a 22-year old  fresh out of Northwestern?

sc0000626233 years ago, in February 1981 during the winter after my graduation, my comic comrades at The Practical Theatre and I were banging the last bent nails into our newly built storefront theatre at 703 Howard Street in Evanston, Illinois – getting ready to stage our second improvisational comedy revue, Thrills & Glory.

It was the PTC’s third season: our first at the magical 42-seat venue we dubbed The John Lennon Auditorium. Thrills & Glory opened on March 21, 1981 with Rush Pearson, Gary Kroeger, Reid Branson and Emilia’s dad (me) in the cast. We didn’t run our material by our parents, either.sc0001416801x

617px-Scubba_Hey!_(1981)A few months later, we opened our third comedy revue, Scubba Hey! — featuring Brad Hall (my fellow PTC artistic director), Rush Pearson, me and a (very) funny (very) young girl named Julia Louis Dreyfus, whom Rush and I met when we performed together in the 1980 Mee-Ow Show at Northwestern.

This month, The Mee-Ow Show will celebrate its 40th anniversary. Of course, I cannot possibly be that old.10 Against

434px-Megafun_(1983)But, evidently, the comedy gene is not solely paternal. Around this same time, as I was earning my last college credits and The Practical Theatre was getting underway, Emilia’s future mom (and my future, fabulous, funny wife) was also doing her own improvisational comedy thing. Victoria Zielinski played the Chicago comedy clubs as a member of a group called Laugh Track: another gathering of Northwestern funny people and Mee-Ow Show veterans.

Vic was in law school in 1981 so she couldn’t be part of the early fun on the tiny stage of The John Lennon Auditorium – but in 1983, she finally joined the cast of the Practical Theatre’s hit comedy revue, Megafun at our Piper’s Alley cabaret space behind Second City.

800px-Art,_Ruth_&_Trudy_(1986)Three years later, Victoria and I (along with Jamie Baron) joined forces in Art, Ruth & Trudy. We got married in 1990. 20 years later, we wrote and performed The Vic & Paul Show — and we’ve been having fun onstage together ever since.

So, I have to admit, our daughter Emilia comes by the comedy thing honestly.

Malo-1Emilia’s will perform her first standup set as part of the Miniature Stand-Up Comedy Festival on February 20th in the Leche Lounge at Malo, located at 4326 Sunset Blvd in Los Angeles.

The show starts at 7:30. I’m told that folks should “please be on time as the show will start at 7:45 sharp and seats are limited.”

Emilia will be on a bill with a series of comediennes, including Carmen Faulkner, Christie Campagna, Katie Robinson and Raluca Sanders.

comedy-store-logo-bigTwo days later, on Saturday February 22 at 7:30 PM, Emilia will be doing a set at the famous Comedy Store at 8433 Sunset Boulevard. Tickets are $10.00, plus a two-drink minimum. But, really, if you’re going all the way down to Hollywood on a Saturday night – two drinks is the minimum, right? (Doors open at 7:00.)

Emilia’s two standup shows are the entertaining preliminaries leading up to the main event.

Emilia Poster iO West w:dates #2On March 28th and 29th, Emilia and her Snickerdoodlin’ comedy partner and fellow Northwestern alum, Maggie Mae Fish, will perform their original comedy revue, Tyrannosaurus Sketch at iO West on Hollywood Blvd. Joining the cast will be USC’s Daniel Rashid, the son of our fellow NU alums and PTC members, Steve and Bea Rashid. (There’s that damn Northwestern/PTC thing again!)

Both shows are at 7:00 pm. Tickets can be ordered here.

sc0000e4f503When Emilia, Maggie and Daniel take the stage at iO West on March 28, they’ll do so more than three decades after my Practical Theatre friends and I staged our first comedy revue at the John Lennon Auditorium.

800px-Thrills_&_Glory_(1981)May Emilia and her friends have as much fun as we did back in the day.

And — as it has been for us — may that be just the beginning.

3 Comments

Filed under Art, Comedy, Improvisation