The fundamentals of Therapy Sessions, a show at the newly reopened Hungry Brain are simple: a live musical act, a stand-up or spoken-word block, and a DJ set, all focused on a monthly theme (in March it was “guilty pleasures”). Previous performers include the Lawrence Arms’ Brendan Kelly, music critic and journalist (and Reader contributor) Sasha Geffen, and musician Antony Ablan.
It goes beyond a simple variety-show structure—after their performances, guests are interviewed about a given theme. Event coordinator Alyssa Martinez stresses that the folks at Hungry Brain are all about starting conversations, and that Therapy Sessions is the perfect starting point for this endeavor.
“I think our purpose is not necessarily to interview a guest on who they are and what they do, but to ask them questions that they might not normally get asked as a musician, writer, etc,” Martinez says. “‘What’s your guilty pleasure?’ ‘How was your childhood?’ ‘What scares you?’ ‘How do you feel about technology?’ To let [the guest] explore some more personal topics that all of us can relate to.”
The program is still played fast and loose—the show has been going on for only about two months and is still trying to find the structure that best works. What it lacks in formality, it makes up for in sincerity. Give it a few months, and Therapy Sessions may become a restorative experience for performers and audience members alike.
Therapy Sessions, open run: Wed 9 PM, Hungry Brain, 2319 W. Belmont, hungrybrainchicago.com, free.