Boom Chicago

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Greg Shapiro (center) and Michael Orton-Toliver (right) talking to someone from the audience during a show
Rozentheater in Amsterdam in the Netherlands

Boom Chicago is a creative group, based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, that writes and performs sketch and improvisational comedy at the Rozentheater.[1] They were the creative forces behind Comedy Central News (CCN), a news show on the Dutch Comedy Central for two seasons.

The group was founded in 1993 by Andrew Moskos, Jon Rosenfeld and Ken Schaefle, who named it after their hometown. They moved to the Lijnbaansgracht in what is now the Sugar Factory a year later. In 1998, they took over and restored the Leidseplein Theater. In 2012, the comedy show moved to their more spacious home on the Rozengracht, while the Chicago Social Club remains at the Leidseplein.

Boom Chicago addresses Dutch, American and world social and political issues like privacy, the role of technology, Europe, the extreme right, Pim Fortuyn, 9/11 and, recently, hairy beards. Their unique mixing of comedy styles combined with technology has been popular with audiences and critics alike. After twenty years, the show has become a part of Amsterdam's cultural scene.

The group is currently owned by Moskos, Rosenfeld and Saskia Maas.

History[edit]

1993: Andrew Moskos, Jon Rosenfeld and Ken Schaefle open Boom Chicago at the Iboya, Korte Leidsedwarsstraat 41, 85 seats.

1994: Moves to Studio 100 (now Sugar Factory) on Lijnbaansgracht 238, 180 seats.

1997: Moves into the 270 seat Leidseplein Theater, the theater where Dutch legends Wim Kan, Wim Sonneveld and Toon Hermans began in the 1930s. Boom Chicago renovates the theater, adds a kitchen, bar, and rock show sound and lighting.

2000: Hires first video director, Jamie Wright, and introduces multimedia to the shows. Cameras are fitted in the theater (and the Leidseplein outside). Soon green screen studios and live internet, make Boom Chicago an early pioneer with technology in a comedy show.

2002: Comedy Swap with The Second City in Chicago. The mainstage casts of The Second City and Boom Chicago perform on each other's stages in each other's cities. This was the first (and only) time a visiting comedy group plays on Second City's mainstage. All shows sell out.

2004: Boom Chicago Video Productions launches after the worldwide success of the Florida Voting Machine Video, where an American citizen tries to vote for Kerry, but the rigged machine only allows him to vote for George Bush.

2006: Me, MySpace and iPod opens to best reviews to date. Merijn Henfling, Het Parool: "Genius... We are once again grateful that [Boom Chicago] decided to make Amsterdam their home." Peter de Bie and Francisco van Jole, TROS radio: "People are saying this is the best Boom Chicago show ever, and we would agree." Henk van Gelder, NRC Handelsblad: "Sharp and interactive. They have created an entirely new form of theater; call it digital comedy."

First internet and mobile shows Full Frontal News (Greg Shapiro and Becky Nelson) and Slacker Fantasy Football (Michael Orton-Toliver, Brian Jack, Matt Chapman). The Unlikely Fan (Brendan Hunt, Matt Chapman), a daily World Cup video series was featured on MSN.

2007: Comedy Central News, begins as a daily show on Comedy Central Netherlands and runs for 75 episodes. Highly Dubious News is nominated for a mobile content award at MIPCOM, the television conference in Cannes. The Chinese Ambassador to the Netherlands asked Boom Chicago to remove their viral video "SpongeBob SquarePants in China", which goes on to receive more than 22 million views on YouTube, making it the number one most viewed film and animation video on the video site worldwide (as of April, 2009). By 2011, the video has been viewed more than 75 million times.

2008: 15 year anniversary, April 24. CCN returns as a weekly show in April on Comedy Central (NL). Bye-Bye Bush celebrates the end of an era.

2009: Yankee Come Back opens the City of Amsterdam's 400 Year celebration of the Dutch settlement of New York. In the autumn, to coincide with New York's celebration the group performs Holland Globetrotters at the New Island Festival, a coproduction of de Parade, Oerol and the Netherlands Theater Institute.

2010: Longtime fan of Boom Chicago, Maurice de Hond, makes his on stage comedy debut in Political Party. With Jon Pep Rosenfeld, Greg Shapiro and director Andrew Moskos they create a show that combines politics, political discussion and A-list politicians who also perform in comedy scenes.

2011: The Leidseplein Theater becomes the Chicago Social Club. Together with club innovater Casper Reinders (Jimmy Woo) and Pieter de Koning and Joris Bakker (Bitterzoet), the venue undergoes a thorough upgrade and increases its club programming. 9/11 Forever is the only political comedy show in the world to address the ten-year anniversary of the September 11 attacks.[citation needed]

2012: Pep Rosenfeld speaks at TEDx Amsterdam: "Fight, Flight or Be Funny" and hosts TEDx Binnenhof where he makes fun of Prince Willem-Alexander and Princess Maxima while they are just meters away. Saskia Maas speaks at TEDx Education. With prominent roles at TED events, NEXT and Picnic, Boom Chicago has become a major player at technology, ideas and business conferences.

2013: Boom Chicago moves from their longtime home on the Leidseplein to the (nicer) Rozentheater, where they celebrate 20 years in Amsterdam. The Chicago Social Club continues at the Leidseplein as one of Amsterdam's best club venues

2013: Nightmare on the Rozengracht runs during October, a 30 minute walk-through haunted house and pop up bar for adults

Notable alumni[edit]

Seth Meyers (Late Night with Seth Meyers, Saturday Night Live) was a member of Boom Chicago in the late 1990s and starred in Boom productions in Amsterdam, Chicago, London and Edinburgh.

Other famous alumni include Jason Sudeikis (Horrible Bosses, We're the Millers, Saturday Night Live), Jordan Peele (Key and Peele), and Ike Barinholtz (Mindy Project, Eastbound and Down). Kay Cannon wrote the film Pitch Perfect.

Other successful writer performers include Dan Oster (MADtv), Liz Cackowski & Heather Anne Campbell (SNL), Allison Silverman & Pete Grosz (Colbert Report), Tami Sagher (30 Rock), Joe Kelly (How I Met Your Mother), and Matt Jones (Breaking Bad). Greg Shapiro was Boom Chicago's anchorman on CCN, Comedy Central News (Netherlands).

On Broadway, Nicole Parker starred with Martin Short in Fame Becomes Me in 2009 and in Wicked (musical) in 2010. Josh Meyers (The Awesomes) starred with Paul Rubens in Pee Wees Playhouse in 2010-11 and in the accompanying HBO special. Spencer Kayden co-created and starred in Urinetown in the 90s and was nominated for a 2012 Tony award in Don't Dress for Dinner.

Current ensemble[edit]

  • Lolu Ajayi
  • Rob AndristPlourde
  • Ally Beardsley
  • Michael Diederich
  • Eleanor Hollingsworth
  • Michael Orton-Toliver
  • Greg Shapiro
  • Sam Super
  • Carl Tart
  • Jim Woods
  • David Schmoll (musical director)
  • Sacha Hoedemaker (musician)
  • Steven Svymbersky (technical director)
  • Brian Tjon Ajong (technician)
  • Andrew Moskos (executive producer/co-owner)
  • Pep Rosenfeld (artistic director/co-owner)
  • Saskia Maas (co-owner)

Productions[edit]

1993 Andrew Moskos, Jon Rosenfeld, Neil McNamara, Lindley Curry, Miriam Tolan, Pam Gutteridge, Doreen Calderon + Ken Schaefle

1994 Boom / Chicago Andrew Moskos, Jon Rosenfeld, Pam Gutteridge, Emilie Beck, Josie O'Reilly, Greg Shore (Shapiro) + Ken Schaefle

1995 Great Moments in Creation/Culture Shock Therapy Andrew Moskos, Jon Rosenfeld, Pam Gutteridge, Greg Shore (Shapiro), Lillian Frances (née Hubscher), Tami Sagher, Scott Jones, Lesley Bevan, Sue Gillan (née Gillan) + Ken Schaefle

1996 Boom Chicago's Laatste Nieuws / Best of Boom Andrew Moskos, Jon Rosenfeld, Greg Shore (Shapiro), Rob AndristPlourde, Jason Meyer, Karin McKie, Lesley Bevan, Sue Gillan, Jeremy Hornik, Spencer Kayden, + Ken Schaefle + Shane Oman, + Gary Shepard, + Michael Diederich

1997 boomchicago.nl: the internet and other modern frustrations Andrew Moskos, Jon Rosenfeld, Greg Shore (Shapiro), Rob AndristPlourde, Pete Grosz, Seth Meyers, Phill Arensberg, Allison Silverman, Gwendolyn Druyor, Lisa Jolley, Kristy Entwistle Nolen + Ken Schaefle

1998 Think Quick Andrew Moskos, Jon Rosenfeld, Greg Shapiro-Shore, Rob AndristPlourde, Seth Meyers, Jill Benjamin, Holly Walker, John Stoops, Jethro Nolen, Sue Peale, Josh Meyers, Kristy Entwistle Nolen, Josie O'Reilly, + John Schickendans + Steven Svymbersky

1999 Pick-ups & Hiccups Seth Meyers, Jill Benjamin

1999 Everything's Going to Be All Right—and other lies Andrew Moskos, Greg Shore-Shapiro, Rob AndristPlourde, Holly Walker, Josh Meyers, Brendan Hunt, Ike Barinholtz, Joe Canale, Juliet Curry, Jethro Nolen, Kristy Entwistle Nolen, Dave Asher, Liz Cackowski, + Ron West, + Josie O'Reilly, + Gerbrand van Kolck + Steven Svymbersky

1999 Two Thousand Years Down the Drain: From Jesus Christ to Jerry Springer Andrew Moskos, Greg Shore-Shapiro, Rob AndristPlourde, Holly Walker, Josh Meyers, Brendan Hunt, Ike Barinholtz, Joe Canale, Juliet Curry, Jethro Nolen, Kristy Entwistle Nolen, Dave Asher, Liz Cackowski, + Ron West, + Josie O'Reilly, + Gerbrand van Kolck + Steven Svymbersky

2000 Live at the Leidseplein: Your Privacy is Our Business (Boom Chicago is Watching Edinburgh Production) Andrew Moskos, Greg Shapiro, Rob AndristPlourde, Dave Asher, Holly Walker, Josh Meyers, Brendan Hunt, Ike Barinholtz, Liz Cackowski, Jason Sudeikis, Kay Cannon, Bumper Caroll, Jennifer Bills, David Buckman, + Dave Razowsky + Jamie Wright, + Gerbrand van Kolck + Steven Svymbersky

2001 Europe: We've Created a Monster Greg Shapiro, Rob AndristPlourde, Rachel Miller, Holly Walker, Josh Meyers, Brendan Hunt, Dave Asher, Lauren Dowden, Nicole Parker, Jordan Peele, Becky Drysdale, Joe Kelly, + Ron West, + Andrew Moskos, + Dave Buckman, + Jamie Wright, + Gerbrand van Kolck + Steven Svymbersky

2001 Ironic Yanks Seth Meyers, Brendan Hunt, + Andrew Moskos

2001 Nieuwjaarsconference Jon Rosenfeld, Greg Shapiro, + Gerbrand van Kolck + Steven Svymbersky

2002 Rock Stars Greg Shapiro, Rob AndristPlourde, Rachel Miller, Randall Harr, Kristi Casey, Joe Kelly, Dani Sher, Colton Dunn, Brendan Hunt, Melody Nife, Lauren Dowden, Nicole Parker, Jordan Peele, + Dave Razowsky + Jon Rosenfeld, + Andrew Moskos, + Jamie Wright, + Gerbrand van Kolck + Steven Svymbersky + Rebecca Hone

2002 Here Comes the Neighborhood (Edinburgh Production) Brendan Hunt, Jordan Peele, + Joe Kelly, + Andrew Moskos

2002 Yankee Go Home: Americans and Why You Love to Hate Us Jon Rosenfeld, Greg Shapiro, + Andrew Moskos, + Gerbrand van Kolck + Rebecca Hone

2003 Boom Chicago Saves the World (Sorry about the Mess) Greg Shapiro, Rob AndristPlourde, Brendan Hunt, Jordan Peele, Colton Dunn, Dani Sher, Rachel Miller, Suzi Barrett, Heather Campbell, Jim Woods, + Jon Rosenfeld, + Andrew Moskos, + Jamie Wright, + Gerbrand van Kolck + Steven Svymbersky

2003 Going Down: A Comedy Show About Pessimism Jon Rosenfeld, Greg Shapiro, + Andrew Moskos, + Jamie Wright, + David Schmoll

2004 Why Aren't You Happy Yet? Greg Shapiro, Rob AndristPlourde, Rachel Miller, Suzi Barrett, Heather Campbell, Jim Woods, Tim Sniffen, Ryan Archibald, Tarik Davis, Amber Ruffin, + Jon Rosenfeld, + Andrew Moskos, + Jamie Wright, + David Schmoll, + Steven Svymbersky

2004 Mr. America Contest: A Comedy Show about the U.S. Presidential Race Jon Rosenfeld, Greg Shapiro, Andrew Moskos, Jamie Wright, David Schmoll

2005 Bite the Bullet! Suzi Barrett, Heather Campbell, Tarik Davis, Matt Jones, Amber Ruffin, Tim Sniffen, Jim Woods, + Andrew Moskos, + Jon Rosenfeld, + Greg Shapiro, + Rob AndristPlourde, + Rachel Miller, + Amber Ruffin, + Jamie Wright, + David Schmoll, + Steven Svymbersky

2005 Best of Boom 2005 Ryan Archibald, Suzi Barrett, Heather Campbell, Tarik Davis, Matt Jones, Tim Sniffen, Jim Woods, + Andrew Moskos, + Jon Rosenfeld, + Greg Shapiro, + Rob AndristPlourde, + Rachel Miller, + Amber Ruffin, + Jamie Wright, + David Schmoll, + Steven Svymbersky

2006 Best of Boom 2006 Rob AndristPlourde, Hilary Bauman, Tarik Davis, Lauren Flans, Ryan Gowland, Brian Jack, Matt Jones, Dan Oster, Greg Shapiro, + Andrew Moskos, + Jon Rosenfeld, + Laurel Coppock, + David Schmoll, + Vladimir Berkhemer + Steven Svymbersky

2006 Kick This: A World Cup Comedy with Balls Jon Rosenfeld, Brendan Hunt, Andrew Moskos, Jamie Wright, David Schmoll

2006 Me MySpace and iPod Hilary Bauman, Lauren Flans, Brian Jack, Matt Jones, Dan Oster + Andrew Moskos + Jon Rosenfeld + Mike Orton-Toliver, + Rob AndristPlourde, + Jennifer Burton, + Michael Diederich, + Gregory Shapiro, + Steven Svymbersky + Dave Schmoll, + Vladimir Berkhemer, + Matt Chapman, + Becky Nelson

2007 Boom Chicago's Wild West Comedy and Gun Show—Featuring One Real Indian Jennifer Burton, Lauren Flans, Mike Orton-Toliver, Jim Woods, Joe Kelly + Jon Rosenfeld + Andrew Moskos + Rob AndristPlourde, + Suzi Barrett, + Hilary Bauman, + Michael Diederich, + Dan Oster + Gregory Shapiro, + Steven Svymbersky + Dave Schmoll, + Vladimir Berkhemer, + Matt Chapman, + Becky Nelson

2007 Five Years in Amsterdam (Edinburgh Production) Brendan Hunt + Andrew Moskos

2008 Last One to Leave the Planet, Turn Out the Lights Ryan Archibald, Hilary Bauman, Lauren Flans, James Kirkland, Mike Orton-Toliver, Jon Rosenfeld, David Schmoll, Steven Svymbersky, Ash Lim + Andrew Moskos, + Rob AndristPlourde, + Lolu Ajayi, + Michael Diederich, + Hans Holsen, + Gregory Shapiro, + Andel Sudik, + Julie Nichols, + Neil Towsey, + Brendan Hunt, + Matt Chapman, + Becky Nelson

2008 Screw the Planet; Save the Oil (Best of Boom 2009) Lolu Ajayi, Ryan Archibald, Liz Bolton, Amber Ruffin, Dave Schmoll, Steven Svymbersky, Jon Rosenfeld, Shane Oman, + Andrew Moskos, + Rob AndristPlourde, + Michael Diederich, +Hans Holsen, + James Kirkland, + Mike Orton-Toliver, + Andel Sudick, + Julie Nichols, + Brian Tjon Ajong, + Neil Townsey, + Matt Chapman, + Becky Nelson

2008 Bye-Bye Bush Jon Rosenfeld, Gregory Shapiro, Mike Orton-Toliver, Andrew Moskos, Steven Svymbersky, Julie Nichols + Matt Chapman, + Becky Nelson

2009 Yankee Come Back Hans Holsen, Liz Bolton, Amber Ruffin, James Kirkland, Mike Orton-Toliver, Julie Nichols, Brian Tjon Ajong, Neil Townsey, Jon Rosenfeld, Shane Oman, + Andrew Moskos + Lolu Ajayi, + Rob AndristPlourde, + Michael Diederich, + Andel Sudick, + Dave Schmoll, + Steven Svymbersky, + Matt Chapman

2009 Holland Globetrotters (New York Production) Liz Bolton, James Kirkland, Amber Ruffin, Jordan Peele, Julie Nichols, Jon Rosenfeld, Andrew Moskos, Steven Svymbersky

2009 Upgrade or Die! Rob AndristPlourde, Liz Bolton, Amber Ruffin, James Kirkland, Brian Tjon Ajong, Neil Townsey, Dave Schmoll, Jon Rosenfeld, Shane Oman, + Andrew Moskos + Lolu Ajayi, + Michael Diederich, + Matt Chapman, + Jessica Lowe, + Steven Svymbersky

2010 Political Party Maurice de Hond, Jon Rosenfeld, Greg Shapiro + Andrew Moskos + Brian Tjon Ajong

2010 Your Worst Fears Lolu Ajayi, Amber Ruffin, Jon Rosenfeld, Dave Schmoll + Rob AndristPlourde, Michael Diederich + Jessica Lowe + Matt Chapman + Brian Tjon Ajong, + Shane Oman, + Andrew Moskos + Steven Svymbersky

2010 There's No Such Thing as Sinterklaas Jon Rosenfeld, Greg Shapiro, Andrew Moskos + Brian Tjon Ajong + James Winder + Steven Svymbersky + Dave Schmoll

2011 Social Media Circus Lolu Ajayi, Amber Ruffin, Jessica Lowe, Matt Chapman, Jim Woods, Jon Rosenfeld, Andrew Moskos, Dave Schmoll + Rob AndristPlourde, + Haley Mancini + Mike Orton-Toliver + Michael Diederich + Brian Tjon Ajong, + Shane Oman, + Steven Svymbersky

2011 9/11 Forever Pep Rosenfeld, Greg Shapiro, Mike Orton-Toliver, Andrew Moskos + Brian Tjon Ajong + James Winder + Dave Schmoll

2012 Branded For Life Lolu Ajayi, Cari Leslie, Drew DiFonzo Marks, Mike Orton-Toliver, Jim Woods, Pep Rosenfeld, Andrew Moskos, Dave Schmoll + Rob AndristPlourde, + Laura Chin + Michael Diederich + Marcy Minton + Sam Super + Brian Tjon Ajong, + Shane Oman, + James Winder, + Steven Svymbersky

2012 My Big Fat American Election Mike Orton-Toliver, Jon Rosenfeld, Greg Shapiro + Andrew Moskos, + Dave Schmoll

2013 Baby I Like it Raw Lolu Ajayi, Cari Leslie, Jim Woods, Rob AndristPlourde, Michael Diederich, Sam Super + Pep Rosenfeld + Andrew Moskos + Dave Schmoll + Brian Tjon Ajong + Steven Svymbersky

2013 Seven Deadly Dutch Sins Lolu Ajayi, Jim Woods, Pep Rosenfeld, Andrew Moskos + Michael Diederich + Cari Leslie + Sam Super + Brian Tjon Ajong + Steven Svymbersky

2013 20th Anniversary Best of Boom Lolu Ajayi, Ryan Archibald, Rob AndristPlourde, Suzi Barrett, Heather Campbell, Horace Cohen, Michael Diederich, Becky Drysdale, James Kirkland, Brendan Hunt, Matt Jones, Cari Leslie, Ruben van der Meer, Andrew Moskos, Haley Mancini, Pep Rosenfeld, David Schmoll, Greg Shapiro, Sam Super, Neil Towsey, Brian Tjong Ajong, Jim Woods + Sasha Hoedemaker + Joe Kelly + Gerbrand van Kolck + Becky Nelson + Jamie Wright

2013 Delete Zwarte Piet Niet Jon Rosenfeld, Greg Shapiro, Andrew Moskos + Lolu Ajayi + Brian Tjon Ajong + Steven Svymbersky

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]