Lebowski Fest Chicago officially takes place Sunday September 13 - Tuesday September 15.
However, there's much more to do in the area if you are an Achiever in Chicago that weekend.
The Thursday prior to LF-Chicago, September 10, a special screening of The Achievers will play at the Portage Theater.
The Portage Theater, located on Milwaukee Ave in the great city of Chicago, is also the location of the official Lebowski Fest Chicago Movie Party on Sunday September 13.
However, something a lot more... revealing... is occurring just down the street from the Portage at Gorilla Tango Theater.
"Rolling Outta Here Naked: A Big Lebowski Burlesque" by the Achievers at Vaudezilla is the perfect pre-party for Lebowski Fest Chicago.
I am very excited to report that this crew is scheduled to appear before the movie is screened at the Movie Party. I asked one of the organizers, Red Hot Annie for some more info and she told me that they are doing a "handful of acts" from their show. Don't be fatuous, I don't think she was being literal with her word choice. But here are five reasons why you shouldn't settle for just their appearance during the Movie Party.
5: I'm not the only one with this opinion. They have recently received mentions from NBC Chicago and Centerstage along with their peers at Burlesque Baby and Candy Pitch. This review from Chicago Reader is hot off the figurative press!
4: There is just one Movie Party and two Bowling Parties with the Founding Dudes, but four chances to see "Rolling Out of Here Naked: A Big Lebowski Burlesque." You can catch it every Saturday in September at Gorilla Tango Theater. The opening show of Saturday September 3 is nearly sold out! Yours truly will be in attendance at the September 10th performance and I highly suspect their Portage Theater appearance will make the last two shows a sought after scene.
3: You are not dealing with a bunch of fucking amateurs here. Check out vaudezilla.com to see what else they have done. Now it's tough for me to attribute any level of legitimate opinion to a burlesque show. With the exception of a 15 minute underwhelming performance at the now defunct Tangerine Nightclub (which was located inside Treasure Island, Las Vegas), I haven't had any exposure to the artform. That being said, these people have made a believer out of me. Here's a picture of Wham Bam Pam and Red Hot Annie showing off their costume prep progress:
2: Their level of dedication is beyond your average Achiever. At my last Lebowski Fest in Louisville there were a couple people dressed up as Marty the Landlord. But did any of them make the follicle commitment of a Mr. Dick Dijon?
1: Maria May I.
The first I heard of these performances was when Dick Dijon posted that above poster on the Achiever Forum. He was smart to mention that The Woman Behind the Ball was Maria May I, and that she was in fact performing in the show. Without the help of a Brother Shamus, relying on my powers of logic and deduction (not to mention a junior high quality crush) I was able to find Maria May I's blog, and thankfully received permission to use the above purple jumpsuited picture.
On a personal level, I hope to see a lot of Achievers alongside me at Gorilla Tango Theater as we help make September official Lebowski Month in Chicago.