Podtalk: ‘Trauma Clown’ John Michael is Back with ‘Meatball Seance’

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CHICAGO – After a triumphant tour of Canada, the unforgettable Chicago monologist John Michael is back in the Windy City to perform his award-winning “Meatball Seance.” The internationally staged audience participation event will be in the Raven Room at the Redline VR on this Friday (9/16 at 9:30p). Click Meatball for tickets and details.

In “Meatball Seance,” John Michael is trying to find his way after the passing of his mother, and find a new boyfriend! Various audience members, selected by Michael, portray the potential paramours and their support system, and the interaction with John Michael is the main part of the fun. There will be recipes shared, prep work done and lots of cooking, both in stagecraft and reality.

John Michael Conjures the Spirit in ‘Meatball Seance’
Photo credit: © Paul Clark

John Michael toured the Fringe Fests of Ottawa, Toronto and Edmonton this summer, picking up the Best Solo Show in Ottawa along the way. While there, one reviewer dubbed him the “Trauma Clown,” for his ability to draw laughs from the darkest of circumstances. To know John Michael is to love him, as he maintains an energy that combines whirling dervish with emotional observer. “Meatball Seance” is mostly about understanding the happy side of memory beyond his personal loss, and using the “seance” and Mom’s meatballs as one way to connect to that happiness.

He is a Texas-born performer whose specialty is the one man show. His spin brings in the audience as characters, as he tells his life stories in his one-of-a-kind style. He first got rave notices in Chicago with a show he developed in his native Dallas, “John Michael and the Order of the Penix.” His follow-up was “Dementia Me” – a chronicle of his two-year period keeping up with dementia patients as he worked at a Dallas care facility. “Meatball Seance” first opened in 2017, and has evolved as the spirit of the play has evolved, and of course how John Michael has evolved.

In a Podtalk with Patrick McDonald of HollywoodChicago.com, John Michael talks about his Canadian summer with “Meatball Seance,” and what Chicago Audiences can expect …

John Michael’s “Meatball Seance” will be performed in The Raven Room at Redline VR, 4702 North Ravenswood Avenue, Chicago, on Friday, September 16th at 9:30pm. Click link above for tickets and more info.

HollywoodChicago.com senior staff writer Patrick McDonald

Editor and Film Writer

© 2022 Patrick McDonald, HollywoodChicago.com

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