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updated: 8/22/2011 10:38 AM

Quinn show finds quirks in history

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  • Former "Saturday Night Live" star Colin Quinn brings his Broadway comedy "Colin Quinn: Long Story Short" to the Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place in Chicago.

      Former "Saturday Night Live" star Colin Quinn brings his Broadway comedy "Colin Quinn: Long Story Short" to the Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place in Chicago.
    Courtesy of Carol Rosegg

  • Former "Saturday Night Live" star Colin Quinn brings his Broadway comedy "Colin Quinn: Long Story Short" to the Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place in Chicago.

      Former "Saturday Night Live" star Colin Quinn brings his Broadway comedy "Colin Quinn: Long Story Short" to the Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place in Chicago.
    Photo courtesy of Carol Rosegg

 
By Scott Morgan

Former "Saturday Night Live" Weekend Update star Colin Quinn is used to performing standup gigs at area comedy clubs like The Improv Comedy Showcase in Schaumburg and Zanies locations in St. Charles and Chicago. But Quinn is moving to pricier Michigan Avenue real estate with the Chicago debut of his critically acclaimed 2010 Broadway comedy "Colin Quinn: Long Story Short" at the Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place.

"Perfect," Quinn quipped when told his 2-week Windy City engagement would be in the same complex that houses an American Girl Place. "Now I can get all my shopping done."

Chicago is the last stop of Quinn's post-Broadway tour with "Long Story Short," a 75-minute one-man show where the Brooklyn-born comedian comments on the rise and fall of world civilizations throughout history. The show features plenty of pop cultural references ranging from Costco to the reality TV series "Jersey Shore."

"I just wanted to look at the big picture because to me it's always interesting how much we haven't changed as human beings," Quinn said during a telephone interview from New Haven, Conn. "It's really interesting that humanity stays the same while technologically we advance so much. And how everyone keeps saying how America is like the Roman Empire and its decline -- I'm just having fun with that too."

Quinn brings an accomplished comedy pedigree to his stage show with past TV gigs like MTV's "Remote Control" and Comedy Central's "Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn," not to mention his previous 1998 Broadway show "Colin Quinn -- An Irish Wake." HBO has also offered its stamp of approval by taping and airing "Long Story Short" this past April.

But Michigan Avenue brand name label enthusiasts are sure to notice the credited director on "Long Story Short": sitcom and standup superstar Jerry Seinfeld (who also happens to be a personal friend of Quinn).

"I said to (Seinfeld) 'Do you want to direct it?' expecting him to say, 'No,' and he was like 'OK.'" Quinn said of when he was developing "Long Story Short" for its initial run off-Broadway. "I thought it would just be (Seinfeld) attaching his name to it, but the way he gets involved himself, it's his nature to jump in with both feet and he ended up being a big part of it with the set and everything."

When Quinn finishes up his Chicago engagement of "Long Story Short," he will return to standup gigs and in-development TV projects. But he wouldn't mind heading back to the theater world to do a show on the global economic downturn, either off-Broadway or at a major regional venue like Chicago's Steppenwolf Theatre.

Quinn says the show would detail "how we went from manufacturing and how we went from working with our hands to these intangible forms of currency and becoming a society based upon talk and hot air."

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