Tag Archives: Evanston

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 tickettailor.com/events/practicaltheatre.

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It’ll be a Practical Summer at Studio5!

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May 1, 2023 · 7:16 pm

“Practical Radio Theatre on The Air” Onstage at Studio5 April 8 & 9!

Here’s what legendary Chicago Tribune writer Rick Kogan (a man of excellent taste and refinement) has to say about the PTC’s residency @ Studio5…


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Preston Sturges Night @ Studio5: “The Miracle of Morgan’s Creek”

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Practical Theatre Residency at Studio5!



Nearly four decades after leaving our beloved storefront theatre on Howard Street (The John Lennon Auditorium) in 1985, The Practical Theatre Company is re-establishing an ongoing presence in Evanston with a residency at Studio5 — where we recently sold out the limited run of our comedy hit, Vic & Paul & Dana’s Post Pandemic Revue.

The PTC@Studio5 residency will feature a variety of shows, hosted and performed by PTC members and guest artists drawn from Chicago’s theatre and music communities — and beyond. 

There’s no better place to enjoy a show with your friends than the Studio5 Cabaret, which has comfortable seating, state of the art sound and lights, and acres of free parking!

Operated by Bea and Steve Rashid, Studio5 is located at 1934 Dempster Street in Evanston. (On the southwest corner of Dempster & Dodge, adjacent to Dance Center Evanston.)For tickets go to: https://www.studio5.dance/calendar

Our first offering…


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Chicago Media’s Word on “Vic & Paul & Dana’s Post-Pandemic Revue”…




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Just 8 Days Until Opening Night of “Vic & Paul & Dana’s Post-Pandemic Revue”!

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Just 21 Days Until Opening Night

There’s no better gift than laughter. So, this holiday season treat all your loved ones to comfy seats at Studio5 in Evanston for “Vic & Paul & Dana’s Post-Pandemic Revue”. Tickets are available at: http://www.studio5.dance/calendar

Ho! Ho! Ho! And then some!

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Tickets Now on Sale for “Vic & Paul & Dana’s Post Pandemic Revue.”

Here’s where you can reserve your seats for any of our 7 shows at Studio5 in Evanston: https://www.tickettailor.com/events/studio5performingartscenter/790733/

Shows are December 29, 30 & 31 — and January 4, 5, 6 & 7.

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A Practical Homecoming

Vic & Paul are back in Evanston — and ready to join with our friends Dana Olsen, Steve Rashid and the Studio5 All-Stars for “Vic & Paul & Dana’s Post-Pandemic Revue.”

If the name sounds familiar, it’s because we were in Evanston last year to do this show — but the Omicron variant ran rampant while we were in rehearsals, making our show anything but “Post-Pandemic”. In fact, we had to cancel the show before it opened — on the same day that the Goodman Theatre and North Light were closing up shop.

Since then, Victoria and I have moved back to Evanston (for good!) and we’re back in rehearsals, polishing up an even better version of the show — with some new comic twists!

The Practical Theatre is back in operation on Chicago’s North Shore. And this time, we’re sticking around to keep the laughs coming on a regular basis.

But first — get your tickets for “Vic & Paul & Dana’s Post Pandemic Revue.”

Tickets go on sale Friday, October 28th

For tickets go to: https://www.studio5.dance/calendar

“Vic & Paul & Dana’s Post-Pandemic Revue” is a smart comedy cocktail, mixing music, variety, and vaudeville — stirring in everything from marriage to cancel culture, whoopie cushions, conspiracy theories, Greek gods, William Shakespeare and more. An intoxicating comic combination!

There’s no better place to enjoy a comedy revue with your favorite friends than Evanston’s own Studio5 Cabaret, which has comfortable seating, state of the art sound and lights, and acres of free parking!

Operated by Bea and Steve Rashid, Studio5 is located at 1934 Dempster Street in Evanston. (It’s on the southwest corner of Dempster and Dodge, adjacent to Dance Center Evanston.)


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