Annoyance Productions settled into its new home at 4840 N Broadway last summer and the theater company is a great addition to a sketchy section of Uptown which is very slowly starting to fill in with promising retail and entertainment-oriented businesses. The theater shares quarters with the hip new Marigold Indian Restaurant in an old building rich in lofty charm.
A few doors south is another relative newcomer, Crew, which we believe is Chicago’s first gay sports bar (are we right?). At Annoyance the other night, Yo enjoyed the witty improv act, Chicagoland. On this particular night, cast members jumped inventively between tableaus that ranged from a guy cheating on his drivers’ test to a dude making plans to crash a funeral.
After, we caught up with Annoyance’s Jennifer Estlin, who told us that word is slowly getting out about the theater’s new location, but the crowds have been a little thin over winter.
We wish Annoyance the very best, because the organization is a valuable addition to a portion of Uptown that community leaders are keen to reposition as an entertainment district, building on the strength of nearby venues such as the Riviera Theatre. Although the Lawrence el stop is close by, Estlin thinks that lack of parking is a major obstacle to the area’s growth as an entertianment, dining and retail destination. She’s scouting several commercial parking lots that are vacant at night, hoping to work something out with the owners.