The Lovable Losers 2008 Schedule


(Closed for the season...the rest is up to the boys in blue. Muchas gracias to El Jardin Restaurant foropening its doors to us and giving us a home base all summer long.)

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Past Revues

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April 9, Wednesday, 7:30 p.m. : Our opening celebration takes place on the anniversary of the Cubs’ season opener 34 years ago, when outfielder Jose Cardenal asked for the day off because he slept with his eyelid stuck open.

Chicago Sun-Times columnist Dave Hoekstra, author of Ticket To Nowhere and attendee of 36 straight Home Openers, reads and leads a prayer. Punk band Dummy covers Hey, Hey Holy Mackerel. Lost in the Ivy author Randy Richardson delivers a new essay. Author and dancer Heather Haneman sings and dances with her Big Wigs Live! co-stars, David Arias, Rebecca Hartmann, and Matthew “Circuit Mom” Harvat. ComCast SportsNet's Jeff Myers, the host of Elgin Today and Elgin Up Close, as well as the voice of the Chicago Bandits, will amuse us with his Harry Caray impersonation. Bandits color man Kyle Bault will also join us. Plus regular features Pass the Cup Trivia, I’m Having Flashbacks, and Least We Forget.

Join us while the Cubs play the Pirates at PNC Park. (6:05 p.m. start). Sneaking peaks allowed. We will update the game throughout the reading.

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May 7, Wednesday, 7:30 p.m.: Tonight we celebrate a rich month in Chicago Cubs history, in which the franchise suffered its very first loss; in which Hippo Vaughn pitched a nine-inning no-hitter, only to lose the game; in which Sammy Sosa strained his back sneezing; in which the Cubs score 22 wind-assisted runs at Wrigley Field--only to lose 23-22 to the Phillies; in which Aramis Ramirez plays a game-deciding popup into an error off his head. So many memories to cover in just an hour and a half!!!!

 Tammy & Captain Featured Guest Loser Tammy Lechner reads original work and discusses her photo documentary of 15 seasons with the Chicago Cubs, Our Team-Our Dream: A Cubs Fan's Journey Into Baseball's Greatest Romance. Photojournalist Lechner, noted as a visual chronicler of the lifestyle and culture of baseball, covered professional sports as a staff member of the [Louisville] Courier-Journal and the Los Angeles Times, as well as for the Associated Press, USA Today and Baseball Digest. A native of New York, Lechner is a lifelong Cubs fan who resides in Laguna Beach, California.

Poet Sid Yiddish, Chicago Coordinator of the Bathroom Poetry Project and a contributor to www.bardball.com, throat sings Take Me Out To The Ballgame and reads original work. White Sox fan Mike Danahey, a prize-winning reporter for the Chicago Sun-Times News Group and a former student of Sheldon Patinkin at Second City, tweaks the old rivalry. Ric Hess, an energetic contributor to this city’s need for both booze and gritty fiction, will hop over from his pub Sheffield’s to share his latest.

Christine Sneed, who lives in Evanston and teaches writing classes at DePaul University and Loyola University, will read a remembrance. She has published short stories and poems in various literary journals including Other Voices, New England Review, Massachusetts Review, Greensboro Review and this October, a story of hers selected by Salman Rushdie will appear in Best American Short Stories 2008.

Regular Losers, including Emcee Donald G. Evans, authors Randy Richardson and J.D. Gordon, publisher George Rawlinson, musician John Barnicle, broadcasters Jeff Myers and Kyle Bault, as well as utility guys Don Carlquist and Jay Raemont, will be on hand to amuse and perplex. Don’t miss our Loving Tribute To Marty Brennaman.

Join us in the wake (or jocularity) of the Cubs-Reds game played earlier in the day at Great American Ball Park.

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June 4, Wednesday, 7:30 p.m.: Help us celebrate another full month in Cubs' history, in which: battery mates Carlos Zambrano and Michael Barrett punched it out in the dugout over who was to blame for a critical loss; Sammy Sosa's corked bat was discovered during the first inning of a game between Cubs and Tampa Bay Devil Rays at Wrigley; the Cubs swapped Lou Brock for Ernie Broglio; and the team botched a ceremony intended to raise the 1908 championship banner at West Side Grounds.

Mystery novelist D.C. Brod, author of Heartstone, as well as the five-set Quint McCauley series, gives a toast and reads her fantasy, “My Heroes Have Always Been Cubbies.”

Jonathan Eig, senior special writer for the Wall Street Journal and former executive editor of Chicago magazine, entertains us with his baseball stories. Eig is the author of Opening Day: The Story of Jackie Robinson’s First Season and Luckiest Man: The Life and Death of Lou Gehrig.

Actors Joseph Tokarz and John B. Leen lead the way in several dramatic readings and skits. Tokarz, whose recent roles included Babet (Les Miserables, Marriott Lincolnshire Theatre), Dwight/God (Jerry Springer: The Opera, Bailiwick Repertory Theatre) and Sgt. Lombardi (Passion, Chicago Shakespeare Theater), can currently be seen in former Styx legend Dennis DeYoung’s adaptation of Victor Hugo’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame at Bailiwick. Leen, currently playing Utterson just down the way in the Bohemian Theatre Ensemble’s production of Jekyll & Hyde, has been seen recently in the world-premiere musical Main-Traveled Roads (American Folklore Theatre), the American premiere of Jerry Springer: The Opera (Bailiwick), The Sleeper (Theatre 5.2.1), Practical Anatomy (Sansculottes Theatre), Forever Plaid and War of the Worlds (Metropolis Performing Arts Centre), and H.M.S. Pinafore and South Pacific (Light Opera Works). John is also a voice actor and Cubsophile.

As usual, Regular Losers Randy Richardson, Jeff Myers, Don Carlquist, Jay Raemont, J.D. Gordon, Kyle Bault and George Rawlinson, along with emcee Donald G. Evans, will be on hand.

Join us for the reading, then stick around to watch the Cubs play the San Diego Padres at PETCO Park. (9:05 p.m. start)

*Special Note: We'd previously announced that Newsweek senior editor Jonathan Alter would be appearing. Unfortunately, Alter's employer changed plans for him at the last-minute. Apparently, Newsweek made the editorial decision that it was more important for Alter to report live on an historic speech by Sen. Barack Obama in Minnesota than to have him hang out with Losers in Wrigleyville. Yeah, we don't get it, either. But Alter does send his regrets and will hopefully be able to make an appearance at a later date.

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July 8, Tuesday, 7:45 p.m.: On this date in 1969, center fielder Don Young misplayed two fly balls in the ninth inning, and the Cubs blew a 3-1 lead to the New York Mets.

Director Michael Diedrich and writer Kyle McCarthy preview and discuss their documentary film, Ballhawks, as well as deliver the opening toast and closing prayer. They will be joined by ballhawkers Moe Mullins and Rick Burhke, who collectively have seven decades experience outside Wrigley Field and thousand and thousands (and thousands) of balls.

Acclaimed mystery writer Robert Goldsborough reads original work, including a passage from Three Strikes and You're Dead, an historical thriller set in 1938 and involving Al Capone, Dizzy Dean, Helen Hayes, and Mayor Richard J. Daley. Goldsborough penned a series of Nero Wolfe novels after the death of creator Rex Stout.

Ted Norstrom, singer/songwriter of the recently released CD Believe It, Achieve It--Music For Cubs Fans, will be on hand to play select tunes, such as “Just One Bad Century” and “Meet Me at Wrigley.”

Join us while the Cubs play the Reds at Wrigley, just down the block. (7:05 p.m. start).

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August 5, Tuesday, 7:30 p.m.: On this date in 1911, Cubs manager Frank Chance suspended legendary shortstop Joe Tinker two games and fined him $150 for “indifferent play” after he misplayed two pop ups.

Cubs.com reporter Carrie Muskat, author of Banks to Sandberg to Grace: Five Decades of Love and Frustration with the Chicago Cubs, reads from her work.

The iconic satirical pop band The Cleaning Ladys will do their rendition of When The Cubs Win The World Series as part of several short sets. Lead singer John Anderson, who has fronted the band since its inception in 1976, also edited The Super Bowl Shuffle video. Anderson, bass guitarist Scott Brewer, lead guitarist Art Collins, and drummer Daniel T. Stix will play songs from their many CDs, including the 24-song career retrospective entitled Split Personality.

Don De Grazia, author of the highly acclaimed novel American Skin, editor of f Magazine, exalted shaman of the Windy City Story Slam, and full-time professor of Fiction Writing at Columbia College, will read some of his work.

Marty Gangler will perform a segment from pH Productions' "100...Years of Losing," his sketch comedy currently playing Wednesdays at 8pm at Stage Left Theatre. Joining him from the cast will be Aaron Ellsworth, Jeff Ford, Jason Geis, and Molly Hall. Marty also wrote, directed, and performed all original material in the sketch revues "Sick/Personal Day" and "Sex, Cubs, and Rock & Roll" at theatres in Chicago including Stage Left Theatre, Donny’s Skybox at Second City and at Chicago Sketchfest. Marty also writes The Cub Factor, a weekly Chicago Cub column at the BeachwoodReporter.com that tackles a bit more than the box score.

Dave Cihla, the inspiration behind the "Shawon-0-Meter," will also be on hand.

Join us after the Cubs-Astros game at Wrigley (1:20 p.m. start).

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September 8, Monday, 7:30 p.m.: On this date 29 years ago, during the first game of a doubleheader against the Mets at Shea Stadium, a black cat ran onto field, went over to dugout and stared Leo Durocher right in the face. The Cubs lost both games, and the Mets pulled to within a half game of first.

Rick Kogan, the top of the top among journalists and writers in this town, helps us get to the bottom of the Cubs Curse. Kogan began his career at sixteen, working the riotous 1968 Democratic Convention for the Chicago Sun-Times. He is currently senior staff writer and columnist for the Chicago Tribune Sunday Magazine and host of the popular WGN -AM Sunday Papers radio program, which airs in thirty-eight states and Canada. He was named Chicago's Best Reporter in 1999, Chicago's Greatest Living Journalist in 2002, and was inducted into the Chicago Journalism Hall of Fame in March 2003. He has written eight books including: America’s Mom: The Life, Legacy and Lessons of Ann Landers (2003), A Chicago Tavern: A Goat, A Curse, and The American Dream, (2006), and Sidewalks: Portraits of Chicago (with Charles Osgood, 2006).

Lin Brehmer, t he Reverend of Rock and Roll, is a morning disc jockey on Chicago’s progressive music station WXRT. Lin’s wit and wisdom can be heard on a regular feature of his show called, “Lin’s Bin.” The self-proclaimed "biggest baseball nerd in America" said in an interview with The Heckler he came to work in Chicago in1984 because he was promised tickets to see the Cubs in the World Series. He's still waiting for those tickets.

James Finn Garner is the author of the best-seller Politically Correct Bedtime Stories: Modern Tales of Our Lives and Times , Politically Correct Holiday Stories: For An Enlightened Yuletide Season, Apocalypse Wow: A Memoir For The End of Time and Recut Madness: Favorite Movies Retold For Your Partisan Pleasure. Garner is also the co-founder, along with Stuart Shea, of Bardball.com , a project that “ wants to resurrect the connection between baseball and poetry, between the love of the game and love of language.” Garner will amuse us with his musings on our Lovable Losers.

Stuart Shea, the co-founder of Bardball.com, reads from his body of Cubs work. Shea is a former baseball columnist for Total Sports and America Online and coauthored two editions of the USA Today Baseball Insider. He also wrote Wrigley Field: The Unauthorized Biography, Fab Four FAQ, and Rock & Roll's Most Wanted™, edited Wrigley Field Ticket 2007, and has contributed to ESPN.COM, BASEBALLPROSPECTUS.COM, the Music Hound Guide to Lounge Music, Reactor Magazine, New Scene, and NEWCITY.COM. He lives twenty-four blocks north of Wrigley Field.

Dave Impey, accompanied by Alan Gresik of the Alan Gresik Swing Shift Orchestra, offer unique renditions of standards like Witchcraft. Impey, a denizen of Chicago’s night clubs and black-tie circuit throughout the Eighties and Nineties, is a 1993 graduate of The Player’s Workshop of Second City. Dave has recently been writing and acting in Winnetka’s Village Follies, where his treatment of the classic Monty Python Lumberjack Song searing North Shore socialites was a hit in the 2007 show. Backed by The Martini Trio, which are usually any three musicians he can find sober enough to at least start a gig, Dave is often found crooning in night clubs and at charity dances. You’ll also likely find him wailing away at the Zebra Lounge whenever Tommy is straight enough to remember him! Dave is a past board member of Ballet Chicago, The Chicago Historical Society, and Lyric Opera.

Regular Loser Sid Yiddish, frequently in touch with The Other Side, operates the Ouija board.

Get your Cubs fill on one of the team’s rare off days this summer.

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