Theatre 68 and the Venus Cabaret Theater have announced the extension of the critically acclaimed production, “I’m Not A Comedian… I’m Lenny Bruce,” now running until Jan. 2, 2022 in Chicago.
Directed by multi-award-winning actor and director Joe Mantegna, and produced in partnership with Lenny Bruce‘s daughter Kitty Bruce, “I’m Not A Comedian… I’m Lenny Bruce” was written by and stars Ronnie Marmo. The piece was carefully restaged to adhere to Venus Cabaret’s intimate atmosphere. Tickets for the extension are on-sale now at LennyBruceOnStage.com. The performance schedule can be found below.
“I believe Lenny’s is the voice this country needs right now,” said playwright and star Ronnie Marmo, and Chicago agrees. Cheryl Leahy of All Dressed Up with Nothing to Drink says, “I can’t think of another performance that has caused me to evaluate the evolution of our society on so many topics and levels… Lenny Bruce‘s voice is what we need,” adding that it “is essential for audiences at this moment in time.”
The story of the life and early passing of one of the most legendary comedians of all time, “I’m Not A Comedian… I’m Lenny Bruce” opened to rave reviews in Chicago in October 2019 and enjoyed an open run at the Royal George Theatre through March 15, 2020. Since reopening at the Venus Cabaret Theater Nov. 5, praise for Marmo’s portrayal of Bruce continues with Rick Kogan of the Chicago Tribune saying, “[Marmo] knows all there is to know about Lenny Bruce and is keenly aware of how crucial Chicago was to the comic’s career.” Alan Bresloff of Around the Town Chicago was in agreement, saying, “Marmo is magical in his bringing this historical figure to life,” and “Marmo truly captures the spirit of the man.” Katy Walsh, The Fourth Walsh, echoes Bresloff, saying, “he absolutely is Lenny Bruce!!” Bill Turck and Kerri Kendall with Playtime Chicago called it “a production that you should NOT miss!”
An undisputed comic legend, Lenny Bruce was one of the greatest artists of the 20th century. His life and work have had an impact on poetry, politics, music, film and of course, comedy. Bruce’s tempestuous personal and professional life was marked by great passion and great pain. His unwavering commitment to free speech led to numerous obscenity charges and arrests. No stranger to Chicago, Bruce was arrested for obscenity for his performance at The Gate of Horn in December 1962. Bruce fought for freedom of speech all the way to the Supreme Court. He died of an accidental overdose in 1966, while out on appeal. Bruce has not yet been surpassed within his particular brand of art, and if he were around today, he would be in as much trouble as when he was alive. “I’m Not a Comedian… I’m Lenny Bruce” runs approximately 90 minutes, explores mature themes and includes strong language and nudity.
The performance schedule for “I’m Not A Comedian… I’m Lenny Bruce” is as follows: Select Thursdays at 8 p.m.; Fridays at 8 p.m. and Saturdays at 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. A New Years Eve performance will take place at 7 p.m. on Friday, December 31. This schedule is subject to change; visit the website for the most current information.
Tickets ($69-$79 for VIP seating) are on-sale now and can be purchased at www.LennyBruceOnStage.com or by calling the Mercury Theater Box Office at mercurytheaterchicago.com. Group tickets are available via Group Theater Tix at www.grouptheatertix.com or by calling 312-423-6612.
A portion of the show’s proceeds will go to the Lenny Bruce Memorial Foundation, a 501(c)(3). The foundation provides funds for those who don’t have insurance or the ability to get treatment for drug and alcohol addiction on their own. For more information, please visit lennybruce.org. All contributions are tax deductible.