Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Kate Flannery from NBC's "The Office" brings "The Lampshades" to Mayne Stage June 25-26

Mayne Stage (1328 W. Morse Ave., Chicago; 773-381-4554), announces the addition of Kate Flannery, who plays Meredith on the NBC hit, The Office to the calendar of grand opening events at 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, June 25-26 with her outrageously off-beat comedy lounge act, The Lampshades. Doors open at 7 p.m., and tickets range from $10-20.

Flannery plays singer, Kassie Chew alongside Chicago native, Scot Robinson (Anchorman) who plays Kassie's partner, Hori Pismo. Together they present a night of hilariously entertaining musical numbers and over-the-top comedy.

"We're very excited to come home to Chicago where it all started for The Lampshades and for us," says Flannery. "It'll be great to see our old friends and to make new friends and fans."

The Lampshades was originally conceived and performed in Chicago in 1992, and has been playing in Hollywood for more than nine years to devoted audiences at the Improv Olympic West, the Steve Allen Theater and as the favorite opening act for The Dan Band. They've appeared in clubs and comedy festivals in Las Vegas, Vancouver, San Francisco and Aspen.

Flannery and Robinson are happy to bring The Lampshades back to its original home of Chicago at the beautiful new Mayne Stage. Flannery has strong ties to Chicago. At the suggestion of her aunt and uncle, who had a flavoring company on Irving Park Road, she moved from Philadelphia after college to study improv at The Second City and Del Close's Improv Olympic, while working for Lettuce Entertain You's ever-popular, Café Ba Ba Reeba. She was an ensemble member in The Second City's National Touring Company, and is an original member of Chicago's Annoyance Theater, where she co-created and starred in more than 15 shows including Manson the Musical, The Real Live Brady Bunch and The Lampshades.

Flannery went on to L.A. and New York City to play Neely O'Hara in the cult off-Broadway hit Theater A-Go-Go's Valley of the Dolls. She's been seen on The Bernie Mac Show, Boomtown and Curb your Enthusiasm before landing her signature role of Meredith on NBC's Emmy-winning hit, The Office.

Robinson was born and raised on Chicago's south side. He attended Bloom Trail High School, and is a graduate of Northern Illinois University in Dekalb, Ill. He's an Improv Olympic alumna who got his start in Chicago's comedy scene with a job at The Second City. He appeared in numerous shows at the Annoyance Theatre including Manson the Musical, Your Butt, The Real Live Brady Bunch, and the show he developed with Flannery-The Lampshades.

Now living in L.A., Robinson has been seen in Anchorman with Will Ferrell, as well as on MADtv, Comedy Central, Air America's Ravenhurst and All Comedy Radio. You can see him in the hilarious book Comedy by the Numbers and its accompanying short films directed by Bob Odenkirk. He also teaches improv in L.A. at IO West and Otis College. Flannery and Robinson will be reunited on TV playing Harper's parents in an upcoming episode of the wildly popular, Wizards of Waverly Place.

Chicago theatre buffs may remember seeing The Lampshades at the Annoyance Theater back in 1992 as the opening act for the hit show, I'm 27, I Still Live at Home And I Sell Office Supplies; or as the musical act at Mark Smith's Poetry Slam at the Green Mill in 1993; or behind the glass in the storefront window on Broadway Avenue and Belmont Avenue trying to get the attention of passersby.

Flannery and Robinson's The Lampshades takes viewers on a wacky ride of unexpected laughs, quirky twists on familiar music (like "Mandy" and "Brandy" sung simultaneously), red jumpsuits, cigarette butts and almond cookies. Lounge acts may be a dying breed, but The Lampshades dares to bring the genre back to its former glory... or so Kassie and Hori like to believe.

Special guest Tim Clue opens the show on Friday, June 25. Clue is a Chicago comedian, comedy writer and motivational speaker with countless appearances at local and national clubs. "Tim's comic instincts are a cut above the rest," says Lisa Helfrich, television producer from Everybody Loves Raymond. He is sure to start the evening off on a comedy high.

On Saturday night, special guest Tim Walkoe gets things started with his brand of high-energy, off-the-cuff comedy. "Nonstop laughter from start-to-finish" is what critics have to say about the stand up comedy performance of Walkoe, going on to comment: "Walkoe's rapid-fire delivery and shoot-from-the-hip style leaves audiences laughing so hard, it's hard to catch up to the next joke." Tim is a veteran headliner at more than 100 comedy clubs nationwide.

To see The Lampshades in action, visit to http://www.thelampshades.com/ and go to the "videos" tab.

The Lampshades are part of the Grand Opening Celebration Series for Mayne Stage. Other acts scheduled to appear include Ann Hampton Callaway on July 2 and 3, Ron Hawking July 8 - 10, TJ & Dave on July 16, Beckie Menzie & Tom Michael in That 60's Show on July 23 and Mike Toomey's TV&Me with special guest Ana Belaval from WGN-TV on July 24. Please note that all shows are subject to change. For more information on all shows, visit http://www.maynestage.com/.

About Mayne Stage
Mayne Stage is located at 1328 W. Morse Ave. in Chicago's Rogers Park neighborhood. The new Mayne Stage showcases the hottest local and national musical acts, theatrical performances, comedy troupes and more. It is the ideal location for a variety of private events. It shares the space with Act One Café, the perfect place for pre-show dining or an after-show cocktail or dessert. Valet parking is available. The venue is conveniently located ½ block east of the Morse stop on the CTA Red Line. For more information, to see a list of upcoming shows, to make a reservation for Act One Café or for tickets, please call (773) 381-4554 or visit http://www.maynestage.com/.
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