The worst you can say about the annual Gridiron Show–a spoofy musical revue on politics put on by local journalists–is that it’s generally a lot better than you’d expect. Nominally overseen by the Chicago Headline Club, the show is actually written, directed, and cast by a different group of independents each year. With new ideas, revisions, and substitutions a distraction until the last minute, they generally do an amusing job; some of the skits even nonjournalists or nonpolitical types might like. My favorites are the skits that have a modicum of nastiness: a couple of years ago there was a Gilligan’s Island takeoff with electoral losers like Charles Percy, Ed Vrdolyak, Neil Hartigan, and so forth marooned together; and last year there was a deeply cruel bit that saw a bunch of alcoholic oldtime journalists belly up to the bar to reflect on all the big stories they’d missed over the years. The responsible parties this year are producer Ryan Ver Berkmoes, a local free-lance writer; director Larry Santoro, a journalist who now works for the mayor (don’t look for a whole lot of Richie jokes this year); and assistant producer Darel Jevens, an entertainment editor at the Sun-Times. Targets for the show, entitled Dawn on the Farm in honor of the recently elected Democratic gubernatorial candidate, include Jay Mariotti, our intrepid local postal service, Michael Jordan, new Sun-Times owner Conrad Black, and even the University of Chicago’s radiation experiments. The $25 ticket ($17 for unreserved bar seats) benefits the Headline Club’s scholarship fund. Park West, 322 W. Armitage, 714-5437, ext. 5. April 7 and 8: Thursday-Friday, 8 PM (doors open at 7:30 PM).
Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Carolyn Stewart.