Stephen Colbert, idled by writers strike, to host Chicago benefit

‘Late Show’ host comes to the aid of old friends in Lookingglass Theatre Company.

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Stephen Colbert appears at a benefit at New York’s Beacon Theatre on March 9.

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UPDATED June 9, 2023: The event will now feature special guests Lookingglass ensemble member David Schwimmer and WGN’s Ana Belaval.

Now that he has time on his hands, Stephen Colbert plans to spend some of it in Chicago hosting a midday benefit for Lookingglass Theatre Company.

The downtown troupe just announced “The Lookingglass Lunch Show with Stephen Colbert,” a celebration of its 35th anniversary, set for 11:30 a.m. June 16 at 167 Green, a venue at 167 N. Green St. in Fulton Market.

The CBS late-night host “will welcome luncheon guests and then lead a conversation about happenings past, present and future” with Lookingglass artists including Atra Asdou, J. Nicole Brooks, Anthony Fleming III, Heidi Stillman, Andrew White and Matthew C. Yee, the announcement said. Another special guest will be revealed later.

Colbert usually is consumed with hosting, co-writing and executive producing his TV show, but like the other network late-night series, “Late Show” has ceased producing new episodes since TV and movie writers went on strike May 2.

Tickets for “The Lookingglass Lunch Show” are on sale now at $350 each, or $100 for a limited view.

Colbert goes way back with Lookingglass, having attended Northwestern University in the 1980s and studied acting alongside the company’s eight founders. Two of them, David Schwimmer and Joy Gregory, were on Colbert’s college improv team, No Fun Mud Piranhas.

In another reconnect with his local theater past, Colbert met up in Chicago last weekend with Tina Fey, Tim Meadows, Robin Thede and other members of the artistic advisory board at Second City, his comedy alma mater.

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