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Studs Terkel

Studs’ Place: Episode II

On SundayNov. 10 at 7 PM at the Hideout (1354 W Wabansia), we’ll be performing Studs’ Place: Episode 2. Suggested Donation $10.
Studs’ Place takes as its inspiration the classic early 1950s Studs Terkel TV show which combined one-page scenarios with improvised scenes to tell stories about everyday life.
With the action occurring in the front of the Hideout and the audience watching the “broadcast” on a screen in the back,Studs’ Place replicates the experience of early live television.
Following the episode, stick around for a Bill Savage interview with Tim Samuelson about the history of the Hideout and the Mary Brogger Haymarket monument and a musical performance by the Old Town School of Folk Music’s Young Stracke All-Stars.
Studs’ Place kicks off Let’s Getting Working: Chicago Celebrates Studs Terkel, a year-long series of programs that will culminate in a three-day Studs Terkel festival at the University of Chicago’s Logan Center for the Arts in May 2014.
TimeOut Chicago says Studs’ Place is one of the 10 things to do this week in Chicago.
The Pit - Pocket Guide to Hell



Follow & Support The PIT on our special event microsite!

Pocket Guide to Hell presents The PIT, a free and fun historical reenactment, on Sunday, October 20, 2013 at 3PM at the Chicago Board of Trade (141 W. Jackson) as part of the Chicago Architecture Foundation’s Open House Chicago event.

The PIT takes a scene from Frank Norris’s 1903 novel The Pit and the form of a sports event, an idea suggested by Bertolt Brecht, to explain the history, development, and impact of futures contracts trading on Chicago.

While 1890s futures traders jostle for dominance in the wheat pit, play-by-play announcer Alex Keefe (WBEZ) and color commentators Tim Samuelson (Chicago’s cultural historian) and Mike Gorham (IIT) narrate the action. Pit Reporter Niala Boodhoo (WBEZ) interviews both the traders and the public as the corner in wheat collapses.

Brass Inferno’s Justin Amolsch provides a marching band accompaniment while chef Maggie Hennessy sells commodity-based concessions.

The 1890s traders are played by volunteers from SlowFood Chicago, Northwestern University Press, Archeworks, The Hideout, Public Media Institute, Paddy Long’s, Civic Lab, MAKE magazine, and Architecture for Humanity.

Leading up to The PIT is a Wednesday, October 2nd fundraiser at 6 PM at the Hideout (1354 W Wabansia) where the classic Parker Brothers card game The Pit (as seen on TV’s Freaks and Geeks) is going to be played tournament-style for prizes donated by Chicago Architecture Foundation, Northwestern University Press, and hand-signals historian and trader Ryan Carlson. MAKE magazine hosts an interview with Time Samuelson by Adam Burke after the tournament.

Pocket Guide to Hell, started in 2008 by Paul Durica, is a series of free walks, talks, and reenactments dealing with Chicago’s history. It has been featured in the New York Times, Chicago Tribune, Huffington Post, and The Atlantic Cities among other places. See for information about past and upcoming programs.


Paul Durica, 773-822-9379,

Ingrid Gladys Haftel, 206-851-0891,

Chicago Children's Television Show

Chicago Children’s TV Show

Ladies and gentlemen, and children everywhere, your Chicago Children’s TV Show* is on again, with more laughs, thrills, and chills for your television entertainment!

Sunday, April 14, 2013
3 PM for kids and families
5 PM for everyone
Gallery Cabaret (2020 N Oakley)

Revisit the history of such Chicago treasures as Kukla, Fran, & Ollie; Super Circus; Garfield Goose & Friends; Elmer the Elephant and others as we celebrate the past and present of locally-produced children’s programming!

With appearances by contemporary children’s programmers Chic-A-Go-Go, Barrel of Monkeys, Elephant & Worm, and Adventure Sandwich!

Music by the Old Town School of Folk Music’s Young Stracke All-Stars and Prof. Justin Amolsch’s Big Brass Band! Acrobatics by performers from Aloft Loft!

Cartoons by Chicago artists Lilli Carre, Drew Dir, and Emily Kuehn!

Prizes for children and adults by Busy Beaver Button Co.; Derek Erdman; Kathleen Judge; Poetry; Victory Gardens Theater; Uncle Fun; Hansen Mansion; Barrel of Monkeys; Wee Hairy Beasties; Elephant & Worm; Drinking & Writing Theater; and the Chicago History Museum!

Starring August Sasaki, Fred Sasaki, Kenneth Morrison, Martin Billheimer, and Jerry Boyle! Directed by Meredith Milliron. Set design by Sarah Crawford. Tech assistance by Ben Chandler and Nick Fraccaro. Makeup design by Brittany Bodley.

Chicago Children’s TV Show is the second installment of the Chicago Television Project and was preceded in November by Studs’ Place. The second installment will look at locally produced children’s programming, once rich and varied but now largely non-existent.

Audience members will learn about Kukla, Fran, & Ollie; Garfield Goose & Friends; Super Circus, and other locally-produced children’s programs beloved by many Chicagoans. The “new” episode will highlight the work of individuals in the city committed to producing fun and engaging programming for children. The Chicago Television Project has the generous support of the Propeller Fund.

*formerly Bozo’s Circus, until stopped by the estate of the World’s Most Litigious Clown!

Chicago Children's Television Sbow

Atlas Obscura Field Trip Day

Join Atlas Obscura‘s Field Trip in Wicker Park for a day of exploration, revealing the lost wonders, secret places, and little-known history of the Bohemians, Anarchists, and troublemakers of the “Polish Gold Coast.”

Field Trip Day is dedicated to the art of wandering and discovery through exploration. Come and see Wicker Park for the first time or with new eyes,  through a series of on-site installations, challenges, and quests.

Alongside the working class Poles and Puerto Ricans in Wicker Park have lived those who couldn’t fit in: the Haymarket anarchists; novelist Nelson Algren; cult musician Wesley Willis; and every shade of bohemian and artist. Take a walk on the wild side through the working class bars, chic boutiques, and legendary music halls to discover the stories that make up this eclectic neighborhood.

Together we’ll find hidden places, discover secret histories, and learn skills long forgotten.

There are no right choices, no wrong turns – but there are treasures to be uncovered just out of sight.

Meet at Quimby’s, 1854 W North Avenue, at 3:00 PM. Check in at the tent. Wander from 3:00-6:00 PM and at 6:00 come to the after-party at the legendary Phyllis Musical Inn, 1800 W Division.
Be sure to bring your smartphone, bring a bike, and wear comfortable shoes. You’ll be wandering and discovering hidden wonders all afternoon, and then partying with us at the Phyllis Musical Inn – with food from Podhalanka – into the night!

When: Saturday, September 29, 3pm-8pm or later
Where: Check in between 3-3:30 pm in front of Quimby’s Bookstore at 1854 W North Avenue. Look for the Field Trip tent! Party starts at 6:00 at Phyllis Musical Inn
Who: Just like in grade school, Field Trips are best with buddies – so grab your friends and sign up as a team.
Also: Bikes are recommended for maximum ground coverage
Bring: Your RSVP printout, smartphone, water and your friends
Besides a ton of adventure? Get ready to play poker alongside alongside a dead award-wining novelist, join a funeral procession for men killed in the fight for the eight-hour workday, take in a burlesque act in an old-time bar or perform yourself in a scene from a John Cusack classic. On Sept 29th in Wicker Park, Chicago grab a protest sign and stop being polite and start getting real.

This is not a tour. There is no guide. It is discovery, pure & simple.

Participants should RSVP at

Ben Hecht’s House Party

Pocket Guide to Hell and the Op Shop invite you to attend a 1920s literary salon held in the actual house once occupied by Ben Hecht, author of The Front Page, A Thousand and One Afternoons in Chicago, and Scarface.

The salon will be held on Wednesday, June 27, 2012 from 7-9pm at 5210 S Kenwood Avenue in Hyde Park.

The house will soon be a private residence once more, so consider this a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

Join Ben Hecht and other members of the Chicago Renaissance, like Carl Sandburg, Vachel Lindsay, and Margaret Anderson, as they read from their work. Past writers and editors will be portrayed by contemporaries in the Chicago scene, including David Durstewitz, JC Gabel, Caroline Picard, Kathleen Rooney, Martin Seay, and others.

Northwestern University’ Bill Savage will deliver a short lecture on Hecht and the Chicago literary world of the 1920s.

Susan Golland will perform a magic lantern slideshow with an actual magic lantern!

Period appropriate refreshments will be provided by Tara Lane, the chef at Hull House, formerly of Blackbird and Avec.

With period music by Aaron Cohen, editor at Downbeat, and Curtis Meyers.

And a Bohemian Costume Contest with prizes courtesy of Poetry, The Chicagoan, The Chicago Literary Hall of Fame, and Chicago Publishes!

Space is limited so please RSVP to by Monday, June 25. Cost is $20 for adults and $10 for students. All proceeds go to the cost of food, drink, music, and performers.

Ben Hecht's House Party

Like a Secondhand Sea

Pocket Guide to Hell presents “Like a Secondhand Sea,” a FREE and interactive historical reenactment that uses costumes, props, and over seventy performers to tell the story of how human contact has altered Chicago’s waterways in 3 parts: Marquette & Joliet (1673), Streeterville (1886), and the River Reversal (1892-1900).

Sunday, July 15, Noon

Park across from the River East Arts Center (435 E Illinois)

FREE bowlers and squirt guns and Streeterville currency to the first 100 participantsTintype photos by Chris Olsen and paper silhouettes by Nina Nightingale!

To volunteer to play a policeman in the raid on Streeterville, please email

With performances by Jon LangfordJustin Amolsch’s brass band, and the Chicago Poetry Bordello. With special appearances by Tim SamuelsonRich CahanAlison CuddyDick Bales, Tim Tuten, Kevin Robinson, and Water Reclamations District Commissioner Debra Shore. With poster by Edie Fake and handbill by Lyra Hill.

Second Hand Sea Poster by Edie Fake

Photos by Karen Rettig:

Secondhand Sea Tintype Photographer

Secondhand Sea - the French Voyagers Meet Ma and Cap Streeter

Secondhand Sea - Poetry Bordello

Secondhand Sea - Streeterville Performers

Secondhand Sea - Raid on Streeterville

Secondhand Sea - Raid on Streeterville

Secondhand Sea - Raid on Streeterville

Secondhand Sea - River Reversal Dedication Ceremony

Studs Terkel Birthday Party

Studs Terkel 100th Birthday Party

May 16th, 6 PM, Newberry Library, Free

Join Rick Kogan, Alison Cuddy, Alex Kotlowitz, Penelope Rosemont, Ed Sadlowski, Lucy Parsons (Alma Washington), David Roediger, and Sean Benjamin and Steve Mosqueda of Drinking & Writing Theater as they wish Studs a Happy 100th! With music by Jon Langford and Bucky Halker. Free food and drink courtesy of the Haymarket Pub & Brewery and the Swedish Bakery. Provide your own Studs-related memory in a project organized by Heather Radke of the Jane Addams Hull House Museum and archived at the Newberry. Partners include the Newberry, Illinois Labor History Society, The Chicago Literary Hall of Fame, the Haymarket Pub & Brewery, The Chicagoan, Charles Kerr Co., and Chicago Publishes.

Rick Kogan at the Newberry Library, Studs Terkel Centenary Birthday Party
Quentin Young, Ed Sadlowski, and Alma Washington at Studs Terkel Birthday Party
Alison Cuddy at Studs Terkel Birthday Party
Bucky Halker at Studs Terkel Birthday Party

Studs Terkel Birthday Cakes from the Swedish Bakery


Our next reenactment THE PIT takes a scene from Frank Norris’s novel and the form of a sports event to stage the cornering of the wheat market and explain the history of futures markets in Chicago!

Get a piece of the action! We’re selling special edition futures contacts for $5 each. The more you buy, the bigger your stake—and the more fabulous prize you’ll receive!

Check out our special microsite for “The Pit” and support Pocket Guide today! 100% of your donation will go towards the production of this event.

Behind the Scenes With the Mediums

Behind the Scenes with the Mediums

May 3rd, 7 PM, Chicago Cultural Center, Historical Reenactment, Free

Ever wonder what a 19th century séance was like? Ever wanted to know how tables were made to levitate, handwriting made to appear on slates, and the faces of the dead made to materialize on blank canvases? Well, now those questions can be answered and those desires can be met. Learn about the Bangs Sisters, 2 Chicago mediums infamous for their Spirit Portraits! Meet David Abbott, the magician dedicated to exposing frauds! And contact the spirit of Harry Houdini while seated within the historic Grand Army of the Republic Rotunda! “Behind the Scenes with the Mediums” is being performed in conjunction with MORBID CURIOSITY and in partnership with CHICAGO PUBLISHES.

Chicago Cultural Center Seance 1

Chicago Cultural Center Seance 2

Chicago Cultural Center Seance 4

Chicago Cultural Center Seance 3

1915 Parade of the Unemployed

1915 Parade of the Unemployed

In January 1915 1500 Chicagoans from all walks of life gathered at Hull House at the request of James Eads How, the “millionaire hobo.” They gathered to discuss the high level of unemployment and an economic crisis that had left families starving. After a spontaneous vote called by Lucy Parsons, they decided to ask City Hall for food relief and public works projects. They marched north on Halsted getting as far as Madison before police broke up the event. Although arrests were made, the Parade won in court where the rights to assemble peacefully and to petition the government were affirmed.

CAST: Martin Billheimer, Jerry Boyle, Mairead Case, Emerson Dameron, Tim Dashnaw, Zach Dodson, Paul Durica, Michelle Faust, Adam Hart, Matt Hauske, Jim Hodge, Christy LeMaster, Ed Marszewski, Tim Newberg, Heather Radke, August Sasaki, Fred Sasaki, Adrian Schindler, Rachel Shine, Brant Veilleux, Nat Ward, and Christopher T. Wood
MUSIC: Environmental Encroachment
PARTNERS: Jane Addams Hull House Museum, Jobs with Justice
SPECIAL THANKS: Lisa Junkin, Lisa Lee, Ivan Ross, Alek Shnayder, and Jason Creps

Parade of the Unemployed 1

Parade of the Unemployed 2

Parade of the Unemployed 3

Parade of the Unemployed 4