Canadian-born comic Russell Peters might just be the perfect comedian for Chicago. Why? First and foremost, he’s funny as hell. Second, his act is rife with improvisation. And this is, as you might have heard, an improv-loving town.
“I like to interact with the front rows,” Peters says in a bit of actually insightful promotional verbiage. “I use the interaction to take me from bit to bit. Some guys go onstage with a script and don’t deviate from it. That’s not my style. I have my set and know what I want to cover; I just use the audience to move me in certain directions. It’s very collaborative and each show is unique.”
Very true. When Peters (whom Forbes recently dubbed “the most successful comedian you’ve never heard of”) headlined on opening night at the Chicago Laugh Factory a few years ago, for example, his on-the-spot riffing and easy rapport with crowd members made for an atypically engaging experience. Granted, the 3800-seat Chicago Theatre is far more expansive than the 375-seat Laugh Factory, but Peters has the power to make large venues seem small, and chances are he’ll do just that when he gigs for two nights on State Street Oct. 11 (8 p.m.) and 12 7:30 p.m.).