Laugh, give back, and win!

ImpactDo all that and more this Monday, April 7th, at The Laugh Factory in Chicago! LA and New York’s hit comedy event Don’t Tell My Mother! is making its Chicago debut to support the IMPACT LGBT Health and Development Program at Northwestern University.

IMPACT, directed by Dr. Brian Mustanski, conducts research to improve the health of the LGBT community, and increase our understanding of sexual orientation and gender identity development. IMPACT conducts research studies on topics such as HIV prevention, risk factors in LGBT youth, and online sexual health education for GLB youth. Attending this hilarious event will help IMPACT continue to do the great work that they do every day to benefit the LGBT community. In addition, there will be an incredible drawing with prizes ranging from professional dance lessons to roundtrip airfare tickets!

Don’t Tell My Mother was created and is produced by Northwestern alumna and Fox film producer Nikki Levy. The Chicago show will feature talented Chicago people we all love: Fawzia Mirza (Kam Kardashian), Fausto Fernós (Feast of Fun Podcast), and JC Brooks (JC Brooks and the Uptown Sound). Also performing are producer, Nikki Levy, and the hilarious LA-based lesbian comedian Jen Kober.

I had the opportunity to talk with Nikki and Jen about the show. If you’re not yet convinced to attend check out what they had to say.

Nikki Levy

Nikki Levy

Nikki Levy

Dawn: How is Don’t Tell My Mother different from other comedy and storytelling shows that people may have seen?

Nikki Levy: Don’t Tell My Mother! is pretty different from other comedy shows in Los Angeles and NYC(where we play) for a few reasons. I started the show because I’ve been told my ENTIRE life that I was “too much” or “too inappropriate” and needed to “reign it in.” As a feature film development executive in LA, I’m sure they would have liked me to be more “buttoned up,” but it just wasn’t me! I wanted to create a space where it was appropriate to be inappropriate! So I took my development skills from film, and created a show where I would work with performers on their stories. We actually hunker down together and get under their story. The famous producer Lynda Obst called it “creative therapy” and that’s pretty much what it is! So, everyone’s story is crafted and thought out. I always say, “our mothers did some things that were great, and some things to screw us up, and that’s where we get the best stories!” It’s not a therapy session, and it’s not stand up comedy, it’s a comedy show where people tell true stories with heart and humor, and we get to enjoy their dysfunction because in it, we recognize our own!

Dawn: How do you think the Chicago show will differ from the LA show?

Nikki Levy: Our Los Angeles shows have great headliners because LA is filled with wonderful people in TV and movies. However, Chicago is an amazing feeder for talent to Los Angeles. Some great people we’ve had on the show have come from Chicago – Cameron Esposito, Holly Laurent (Second City), Matt Braunger, Kyle Kinane, Edgar Blackmon, etc. I am so excited to have three amazing Chicago-based performers – Fausto, Jayson, and Fawzia. My favorite thing about the show is finding new, emerging talent and getting them seen and discovered. I can’t wait to have these three incredible people seen by potentially new audience. The show will also be different because it’s our first benefit. As a lesbian, we have a loyal queer audience in Los Angeles, but putting on a show for an amazing LGBT organization (IMPACT) is an honor! This is an issue very close to my heart, and having a completely queer line-up is FABULOUS and a first for us! Tho, admittedly, our shows are pretty damn gay!

Dawn: How do you think going to see the show on a Monday will help people rid themselves of the Monday blues?

Nikki Levy: My mother throws the most amazing parties. Seriously, my Bat Mitzvah was awesome! Ha! That’s what DTMM feels like every time. We deserve a break – all of us! And this show is designed to feel like a great party! Bar and food beforehand, amazing talent throughout. We are coming to the Windy City to party, and we can’t wait to see you there!

Dawn: If you could describe your mother in one word what would it be?

Nikki Levy: Oy. One word. Eccentric. Loving. The best mom a girl could ask for.

Jen Kober

Jen Kober

Jen Kober

Dawn: What do you love best about performing for DTMM?

Jen Kober: It’s so fun to get a chance to do storytelling shows when I still do so much standup because the audiences are so much more appreciative of details; so I really enjoy doing storytelling shows. And this particular storytelling show “Don’t Tell My Mother” is so very fun because of its theme. Folks just don’t realize how much material you can get from your mother!

Dawn: What has your favorite TV role been so far?

Jen Kober: I really loved getting to work on curb your enthusiasm with Larry David. We got to improvise all of our scenes and do different things with every take, so it was very exciting.

Dawn: What do you love about being on stage that isn’t possible in front of a TV camera?

Jen Kober: I love the instant gratification of seeing people’s reactions to what I am saying. It’s so great to see the surprise on their face when the story goes in the direction that they didn’t think it was going to go. It’s very addicting!

Dawn: If you could describe your mother in one word what would it be?

Jen Kober: Stephanie

Click here to get your tickets!

Use the promo code: The L Stop and save $10!!!

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About Dawn

Dawn is a Chicago area native and loves the city she calls home. With a strong passion for both the field of psychology and LGBT issues, she strives to combine the two through gender and sexuality research. As the Women’s Outreach Chair for the Illinois chapter of the Human Rights Campaign she reaches out to the lesbian community to further their involvement in the fight for equality. Whether putting on fundraisers or spreading the word about equality at local festivals, she is always thinking of new ways to serve the LGBT community. When not doing research or fighting for equal rights, she loves to take long walks around the city, enjoy the street festivals, go camping, and hunt for the best Persian food in Chicago!


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