On December 7th & 14th at 10 pm, the FLANDERS Holiday Comedy Extravaganza fills your stocking with holiday cheer, your ears with music, and your belly with laughs! The evening features sketch comedy from FLANDERS, stand-up from Jillian Ebanks and live music from The Shades! A portion of the proceeds from the show will benefit Guitars Over Guns.
Guitars Over Guns is committed to curbing youth violence by providing middle school students with creative alternatives for expression – namely, music education, performance, and authentic mentoring relationships with professional musicians. Our mentors are local artists who use music as a vehicle for delivering social-emotional learning skills to youth to inspire healthy life habits. By the end of the 2017-18 school year, our Chicago-based team of 13 mentors served nearly 375 students across four school and community sites in the city. www.guitarsoverguns.org
Josh and Sheri Flanders are FLANDERS – an interracial husband and wife comedy duo who write and perform improv, musical improv and sketch comedy in Chicago, IL. FLANDERS has appeared at the Beat Lounge and at the Nestival Improv Festival. They are both professional fundraisers and have two cats, Piper and Meep, who are rather popular. Follow them all at @FLANDERPROV on Facebook 4 cat pics. Full disclosure…they are also contributors to ChicagolandMusicalTheatre.com.
Jillian Ebanks is a local Chicago Comic from New Jersey. She is the co-creator and co- producer of the monthly variety show @BapsComedy. She is currently performing every Friday in Public Empathy #1 right here in the same building right before this show, if you tryna double feature. Follow her at @curlyhairnocare for random thoughts and pictures with hella filters.
The Shades comprised of NBC’s The Voice Season 11 semi-finalist Andrew DeMuro and brothers Mark & Phil Jacobson, have been performing live in the Chicago area and throughout the northeast for nearly four years. Equipped primarily with their voices and acoustic guitars, this trio has built an extensive repertoire of original music and creative mash-ups – all capitalizing on moments of muse and melody, featuring three-part harmony. The Shades received national honors in 2016 when lead vocalist Andrew DeMuro was selected as a member of Adam Levine’s team on Season 11 of The Voice, and were granted opportunities to headline storied Chicago stages like House of Blues, Schuba’s, City Winery & Navy Pier, before the release of their first recorded effort, Miles Made of Inches, in October 2017. The Shades are proud, socially conscious artists, and have worked in instrumental partnership with Guitars Over Guns, a music and mentoring non-profit focused on providing healthy after-school music programs to students in challenging environments. Keep up with The Shades on social media (@WeTheShades) and visit their website for info on upcoming shows (http://www.wetheshades.com)
Sheri Flanders is an actor, improviser, vocalist, comedian, writer, director and voiceover artist. She is an instructor at and graduate of the Second City Conservatory and musical improv programs, and a graduate of the iO Theater’s improv and musical improv programs in Chicago. She is the Head Writer for Choice The Musical. Her acting credits include being an alum of the Infinite Sundaes, the Second City’s Musical House Ensemble, creating the original satirical musical A Better Brother’s Grimm, Rhinoceros at the Public House Theater, The Tempest with Shakespeare Miami, the ComedySportz house teams Flamingo and Cabal, the indie teams Pop Soda musical improv ensemble, and Smile jazzprov. Formerly Sheri was a member of Just The Funny ensemble in Miami, where she founded Cheap Trills, Miami’s first musical improv troupe. Sheri is also a writer for publications such as the Chicago Reader, the Chicago Defender, Performink, New City, Windy City Times, Rescripted and Chicagoland Musical Theatre. Sheri has filmed several commercials and is represented by NV Talent. She works with Lookingglass Theatre, and holds a BFA in Fashion Design, as well as any cat who will let her. @MizFlans on Facebook
Josh Flanders began studying improv in Chicago in 2000 with Paul Sills, founding director of The Second City, and is a graduate of The Second City Conservatory and musical improv programs, and the iO improv and music improv programs. Josh is a writer for Choice the Musical, was Randall in the stage production of The Writing on the Wall with McKay Arts, a member of the musical improv ensemble Pop Soda, a regular cast member at Just the Funny in Miami, and was a member of Miami’s first musical improv troupe, Cheap Trills. Josh was featured in the opening of Tommy Tiernan’s Comedy Central stand-up special Something Mental as Jesus. Josh holds a Masters from Northwestern University and is the national Director of Development for Guitars Over Guns with programs in Chicago and Miami. Follow Josh who almost never posts on Twitter at @joshua_flanders