Il Diario di Tinton

{2012-02-22}   Second City, Chicago

In Chicago, meetings are over. I’m leaving tomorrow. Wait to do tonight? It’s around 730pm. I ask Sam, he looks something up, finds an interesting trombone, sax, bass, drums quartet. Sounds good? Yeah, i really like the idea, i like the idea of a trombone inspiration.

No! What am i thinking! I have a list of things to do when i’m in Chicago. And the least reads:

  • Improv Olympics
  • Second City

After a brief internet research, i decide for Second City, even though the price is much higher. So we cab it there. The show has started already: a night of sketches. They seem initially set up, then improved. Then some obvious improvisations on clues from the audience…

The cast is great: 6 actors Tim Baltz, Edgar Blackmon, Holly Laurent, Katie Rich, Mary Sohn and Steve Altien. I enjoy very much the performance of Steve (great acting, and great improv ideas) and Edgar. There is also a guest appearance of Jason Sudeikis, whose improvisation ideas are impressive, however his acting skills a tad less.

I have seen some improvisation shows in Italy and surely this team is very well trained. However, i was not impressed by how the audience clues were incorporated in the actual improvisation: sometimes they were not completely and all the times they were only used as starting point. I really like improvisation performances which end with the clue, or start and end with it, because it give the audience the impression that the actors are really on it: by the end of the sketch, the audience most likely forgot all about the clue, and then BAM! there it is, giving the entire sketch a whole new meaning. So from this perspective i am a little disappointed with tonight’s show.

The food is fun, the crowd is mostly under 30, very interesting. I purchase a way-overpriced T-shirt for Mauro, the buddy who suggested i added Second City to the Chicago todo list.

Overall, i am very pleased to have gone and know this place!


{2007-12-11}   Poem 2

(Poem by Stacy Foster)

        I've painted my nails royal blue
        and dyed my hair deep purple
        I'm sad and passionate
        but everyone has been misconcieved
        I stroll around pulled
        by my center of gravity
        which is at my heart
        I'm guilty of giving someone new
        a chance to win me over
        Ran out of ammunition
        then decided I wasn't worth fighting for
        So, I left with my hands
        in my pockets and my head looking
        up at the clouds, moon and stars
        Funny how I'm not surprised but
        by the tone of my hand I think otherwise
        these twenty-two line poems spinning
        in my head
        and I got it all down
        Right here
At my side

{2001-06-01}   Last Weekend
A story by Elie Gurarie



Dear Mr. Photographer with Glasses (we think) and Blue Shirt
(we think) Innocently Protruding from the Masses on the Corner
of Fremont and Leary during the Solstice Parade only to be
Sliced (oh how we know!) by the Tin Pincers on a Poorly
Controlled and only Slightly Better Constructed Tandem Bike
Junk Lobster Float,

We are Sorry. We are very very sorry we sliced your shirt and
we only hope your skin is intact. Though excuses are moot, I
trust you will bear through the Apology.

We are mere Midwestern Slackjaws, accustomed as it were to the
vast skies and open fields so welcoming to the mettalically
belabored bycicle contraption. We arrived, as it were, only
recently into this Hub of Sophistication and Dizzying
Metropolitan Splendor. It was only at High Noon on Friday,
the Fifteenth of the Fair Month of June, that the Rumor
bespotted us that a Fair was to be had, that a Parade was to
be processioned, and that in their Bottomless Generosity and
reflecting only the Welcoming Spirit of the City, Strangers,
as it were, would be welcomed into the Festivities. So, with
Humble Hearts and Hopeful Spirits, we threw ourselves into a
manic flurry of Slicings and Weldings and Screwings and
Nuttings and Boltings and sundy Jerryriggings as two bycicly
frames, lustilly looted from our stalwart Provider, the City
Dump, gradually took upon itself the form of a Crustacean in
an oh so nobly intentioned Tribute to the Ocean, whose
Splendour had only a Fortnight earlier benumbed us. By Eleven
O’Clock on the following day, yea, on the very Sixteenth of
June, the creature was Antennaed and Functionally Pincered and
Belegged and Betailed and Primped and Primed and only too
eager to make its Appearance on the Great Stage of the
Solstice Parade and the yet Greater Stage of our Host City^Òs
Heart, as it were.

And yet, we are no longer the springy sprightly summer calves
bounding on the alfalfa fields of our homesteads. Nay!
Neither the Endorphinations of Sleeplessness nor the
Invigorations of Caffeine nor even the Giddiness of the
Adventure we had Embiked upon could sustain our ever lapsing
Faculties of Sanity and Balance and Control. And so, as the
Vast Crowds and Gawking Eyes and Drum-beating Salmon Coffins
and Calypso Playing Marching Bands and Mezmerizing Marionettes
blended with the Sultry Haze of a Soltice Sun into a great
Dizzying Kaleidoscope of Synesthetic Cacophony, and as our
Muscular Strength waned and as the Crowds tightened their grip
at the very rightward jog of the Procession through downtown
Fremont…. well, perhaps the sudden slip on the handlebar,
the quick lefthandeed sinusoid of an increasingly crankier
crustacean, the unexpected gasping swipe through your shirt,
dear stranger, can be, if not forgiven, at least conceived of
in the context of our Enthusiasm.

lovingly yours,


et cetera
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