Beau and Troy in The Boho Dance

The Crooked Mouth's own Beau O'Reilly and Troy Martin (with the lovely and talented John Starrs) will perform The Boho Dance at The Poetry Foundation, March 10 & 11. The Boho Dance imagines a conversation between Walt Whitman and Allen Ginsberg. With poet John Starrs as Whitman and playwright Beau O’Reilly as Ginsberg, comedy and entertainment ensue.

“Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself, I am large, and I contain multitudes,” bellows Whitman, ingniting a humorous exchange in which the actors call-and-respond, sometimes surprising one another with their poetic replies. A particularly funny section of Leaves of Grass leads to “A Supermarket in California”; and a deeply anti-war passage from Leaves leads to the angry “Hum Bom!” The performance takes place with minimal props, and Troy Martin provides musical accompaniment.

Beau O’Reilly is a founding member of the Curious Theater Branch, co-curator of the Rhinoceros Theater Festival, and a frequent contributor to This American Life. A professor of playwriting at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, he is the author of over 80 original plays.

John Starrs is a poet, actor, spoken-word performer and teacher. He has appeared in numerous Curious productions, including Still in Play, The Madelyn Trilogy, The Turtle at Play, Hit Me Like a Flower, and Discovery Tales.

Saturday, March 10 - 7:00pm Sunday, March 11 - 3:00pm

It's FREE! Make a reservation here:

Beau's upcoming gig

Saturday, February 25 —  8:00 PM Beau O’Reilly and Edward Reardon DEEP BALLADS AND ODD BLUES with Special Guest Willa Moore at Roots Salon 773.203.7661 or email

Private address call for reservation

“I am at my most joyful on stage, in a band, singin raw or sweet.” - Beau O'Reilly

Roots Salon presents a full evening of provocative and original music, at Jamie O'Reilly's house salon. Beau O’Reilly covers Leonard Cohen, Tom Waits, Bob Dylan and Greg Brown, and dances through his own dense and magical material, while poet-composer-improvisational artist Ed Reardon accompanies on piano and guitar.

Beau says "Jamie's place is the most cool and comfortable, a place where I can risk things old and new (me and Mr Reardon have never played in front of people before together), there's usually some coffee, cake and wine around, some soft couches full of smart people, so come and watch us take a stretch and work thequiet edge of things."

Willa Moore opens the evening with a set of original songs: highly theatrical compositions with brainy lyrics and surprising notions that provoke the listener, and stir the heart. With Ron Scoggin on guitar.

ps...Look for Beau's recent story in the January issue of Word Riot

Full Moon Vaudeville

We'll be helping to kickoff the 23rd Annual Rhinoceros Theater Festival at the Prop Thtr tonight -- 9:00pm until they throw us out. The Crooked Mouth will play a set in the second half and the rest of the evening will feature: Dmitri Peskov Matt Test and Troy Martin Jeff Sherfey Malynda Jackson Sunny Fun Sisters Diana Laffey Brad the Juggler  Flash Gorgeous

3502 N. Elston $15 or pay what you can
The festival itself starts at 7:00pm, with two excellent shows that it would behoove you to see. For more details, check out the festival calendar. Tonight is merely the beginning of five weeks of awesome.

Solstice-Hanukkah-Christmas-And-More Time

Beau wants you to know:

The Crooked Mouth is doing its third and final Holiday Concert at the Center Portion (2850 an a half W Fullerton).  Yup, it's Solstice-Hanukkah-Christmas-And-More Time on Saturday, December 17th at 8 o'clock. Maybe you think you have seen or heard everything by Jenny Magnus, Matt Test, Vicki Walden, Troy Martin, and Beau O'Reilly but think how they feel...they live with themselves year in and year out.

This is the end of this lovely time, so why don't you come and wassail us thru the shortest days of the year cause we are going to do songs you have never heard, in ways you never heard 'em. Our new CD is via UVULITTLE out of Madison (this is the last time i get to say it is our ''New ''CD, from now on it will be referred to as "Our" CD until it morphs into "The" CD, before bashfully accepting the "A" CD moniker). There are songs on it that would sound wild poring out of stockings or jumping out of boxes on Boxing Day!

We have got more special guests for this final show of 2011: Waterbug recording artist ANDREW CALHOUN, one of the tiny handful of master lyricists, singing with his guest CASEY CALHOUN. Our Center Portion hostess, Sheila, will do a Christmas Story, so if you got a Higher power walking with ya, or if you're an enthusiastic atheist who enjoys cold winter winds, or if you are prone to barefootin' no matter who's on the dance card, or if you are pretty darn sure that Santa Claus is still coming, we are the show for you!!! We will have things to drink and eat (Sheila makes this ginger tea that will make you reconsider all your health issues) and it is pay what you can. Kids are welcome.

December doings

We've got a busy two weeks in store. This Friday, Saturday, and Sunday we're remounting the Jenny Magnus opus, Still in Play: a performance of getting ready at Links Hall. The show was incredibly well-received at its MCA premiere in September, and translating it to the Links space (about 1/4 of the size of the MCA) has been a rewarding exploration of the value of flexibility. We're using every corner of Links Hall, a space that many of us have a long history with. Every one of those corners contains a memory for me personally, and I love working in there again. The past 20 years of my Chicago life have collapsed in on themselves this week—but in a good way. If you didn't catch the show at the MCA, come and see it now. If you did, come again. The change of venue makes new things pop. It's the same, yet different.


The Crooked Mouth is also playing its final show of 2011 at Center Portion on Saturday, December 17 at 8pm. We'll be joined by Chicago favorite Andrew Calhoun and his daughter Casey, and our hostess Sheila Donohue will offer another delicious piece of holiday-inspired writing. Bring the kids if you have a mind (and a stomach for colorful language)—the Thanksgiving audience was full of children, who continued to enjoy themselves long after they should've been in bed.

And if you're still looking for a copy of our CD, you can find it here or here, or come to the show!

Beau on the Thanksgiving show

The Crooked Mouth is doing its second Holiday Concert at the Center Portion 2850 and a half W. Fullerton.  Yup, it's Thanksgiving Time: Saturday, November 19th  at 8:00pm. Maybe you think you have seen or heard everything that Jenny Magnus, Matt Test, Vicki Walden, Troy Martin, and Beau O'Reilly have to offer 'cause you saw us preparing to perform Still in Play at the MCA, or the Elvisbride at Martyrs, dancin' it up, or those wild Dog shows from a few years ago, or those Maestro reunions where we only mumbled thru missed lyrics a few times...well, you're wrong...! Cause we are going to do songs you have never heard, in ways you never heard 'em. Plus, we will play two sets and give away CDs to audience members with the letter Z in their names. Our new CD is via the UVULITTLE label out of Madison and there are songs on there even we can't remember how to play! Plus we have got the special guests...first up, LA DINK! in a rare appearance. Equal parts Buster Keaton and the chain-smoking 1950's swimsuit model that lives next door, La Dink will help you bust a gut and refuse to help you sew it back together.

Plus the vocal duo of Giselle Greenberg and Lena Brun, putting the charm in charming and the kid in kidding, plus our Center Portion hostess Sheila Donohue will read us a new thanksgiving poem. So if your a friend of Bill's, a lover of the Rhino, or just too darn lonely to get thru another Thanksgiving on your own, come to this show! We will have things to drink and eat and it is pay what you can. Where o where are you going to find a cooler deal? We'll be selling our new CD and we will autograph them for you!  Yes we will.

Halloween show Saturday night

It's the first of three shows at the excellent Center Portion in Chicago's Logan Square. The festivities start at 8:00pm, with The Crooked Mouth playing first, followed by our good friends and musical compatriots, Jeff Weisfeld Band. Hostess and writer Sheila Donohue will perform a new piece inspired by Halloween during our set, and the walls of the gallery will be festooned with the Halloween artwork of children.

Come in costume, or don't. But if you happen to show up in your regular clothes and wish you weren't, there will be a box of sundry costume and makeup elements at your disposal. No pressure and no restrictions.

Suggested donation is $15 or pay what you can.

Call ahead if you like (773.904.4310) or just show up. We take all comers.

CDs in our hands. And yours.

We are very pleased with how the CD turned out, both in the look and the sound. Many thanks to Colm O'Reilly for the design and Jon Hain at uvulittle records for the production and distribution. You can download or order a copy for yourself (or a friend) at uvulittle or CD baby. Every time I look at that little green bird, in all of his attitude and vulnerability, it gives me a happy feeling inside. I hope the same may be said for you when you give it a listen.

We'll be having another CD release party on Saturday, November 19 at Center Portion. Head on over to the gigs page for more details.

The Crooked Mouth CD is almost here

Our first, self-titled CD is officially for sale on September 13. We couldn't be more thrilled. It's beautifully designed by Colm O'Reilly, and issued via uvulittle records. A big thank you to John Hain of uvulittle for his tireless efforts. You can check out four of the tracks on last fm. To start things off with a musical bang, The Crooked Mouth will be having our CD release party with the ladies of Midnight Moxie at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago on Friday, September 16 at 9:30pm, after a performance of Still in Play: a performance of getting ready. It's an examination of what it means to be a theater company, a tribe, a multi-generational collection of artists—the work of making theater, the theater of making work. Jenny Magnus conceived of, wrote, and is performing in this piece, the culmination of 18 months of work. We are proud to share the stage with her.

Still in Play opens September 15 with only three performances. Visit the MCA site for ticket info.

summer plans

Though The Crooked Mouth won't be playing out this summer (most likely—never say never), we will be far from taking it easy. Rehearsals will begin in earnest for the Jenny Magnus opus, Still In Play: a performance of getting ready, that will open at the Museum of Contemporary Art on September 15. Jenny has been in residence at the MCA all year; in addition to developing Still in Play, she has had numerous sessions of Office Hours in the theater lobby of the museum. Jenny says: "If dramaturgy is the practice of making the set of rules and relations in a composition evident and unmasked for clarity and conceptual deepening, then Office Hours is an embodied dramaturgy of [Still in Play]. Themes of attention, continuance, and the conflicted eros of collaboration are brought into a direct relation with a public." Read on...

We will also put the finishing touches on our first CD, with a concert and release party at the MCA during the run of the show. Specifically, on Sept 17. (More publicity will be forthcoming on that event as we near it. Never you worry.) Midnight Moxie and Elvisbride will join us, to our great pleasure, and yours. It is not a night to be missed. If you want a sonic preview, two of the songs to be featured in the show are on our music page. Let us know what you think.

thank you Center Portion

We had such a great time playing Saturday night (and every Saturday this month) with Midnight Moxie. A supportive audience, the acoustically cozy space and hostess Sheila Donohue's hilarious poem conspired to give us a night we'll long remember. We hope to be back soon.

Crooked Residency ends this Saturday

The Crooked Mouth has had a fantastic time playing at Center Portion this month. We end our adventure Saturday, May 28th at 8:00pm, when we will share the stage with the loveliest and most talented trio around, Midnight Moxie.

Please join us at 2850 1/2 W. Fullerton. $15 or pay what you can