Chicago Theatre Review
Kevin Nealon at City Winery
The City Winery opened in 2012 at 120 West Randolph, conveniently located in the Fulton Market District of the West Loop. This was actually my first trip to this venue and I can honestly say I cannot wait to go back. It just happened to be one of those beautiful Chicago Sundays, a great day to do anything in the city. The first thing I noticed was the exquisite outdoor patio, a perfect day for dining al fresco. As I entered inside I was so impressed with the space. 3300 Sq Ft. with something for everyone. An open airy space that is home to good wine (having won awards for outstanding world wide wine lists). In addition the shows, menu and ambiance gives one many reasons to frequent this venue.
On this particular evening I was there to catch the 5pm Kevin Nealon show. And while the show did not begin until 5:30 (Adam Burke opened the show with about 15 minutes of some fun material), it did not matter much to anyone there. Everyone just seemed to be having a great time enjoying all the city winery has to offer.
Kevin Nealon best known for his years on SNL and the nextfilx series Weeds came out on stage looking quite dapper in his suit. His opening line was “it’s me, this is what I look like, I am taller then you thought.” He was likeable from the very beginning in a boyish charming way. After about five minutes on the stage he shouted backstage “how am I doing on time?” Then I was hooked. And the show only got better from there. He shared stories about Jack Nicholson, how he got his start on Saturday Night Live (through his friend Dana Carvey) and a bit about his personal life and his 9 year old son. He bantered with the audience using his subliminal man (from SNL) and gave us a bit of Hans and Franz complete with more stories about Arnold Schwarzenegger.
What makes this comedian different from many I have seen is his unique brand of comedy. His humor while dry is also clean and refreshing. Towards the end of the show it was clear the audience did not want him to leave. So back he came several times looking quite appreciative. And in a final gesture of goodwill as he departed for the last time, he left us with his middle finger pointing up. And just like that the show ended. It was the perfect night of comedy, mixed with great food and wine and the perfect ambiance.
This is now one of my new favorite venues and I am looking forward to seeing some live music in this space. For anyone who has not been to City Winery do yourself a favor. Check out the upcoming schedule, grab a date or a group of friends and you will certainly be in for a spectacular evening. I know I will be back as often as I can.