EDITOR’S NOTE: Typically the Other Otter features fictional work and chooses not to get in the middle, so to speak, of comedy show promotions, etc. However, the JANGLEHEART CIRCUS is a rare occasion, so we decided to fuck our own ambiguous rules. Also, this made us laugh a whole bunch, so whogivesashit. #jangleheart 4ever. – Kristina (&A.J.&Nicola)

The first question everyone asks about the Jangleheart Circus (Thursday, August 22, through Saturday, August 24, at the Den Theatre. Tickets are still available: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/426153) is why. Why is the Upstairs Gallery organizing their biggest production ever—a comedy festival featuring 95 acts and more than 400 performers at the Den Theatre? In interviews, Alex, Caitlin, and Walt have talked about “showcasing amazing performers” and “celebrating Chicago’s independent improv and sketch comedy scene.” In reality though, that’s all smoke and mirrors. If you want to know about the true inspiration behind the Jangleheart Circus, then look no further than Lollapalooza 2011.

Despite the fact that Alex, Caitlin, and Walt were all too busy to go to Lollapalooza 2011, Perry Farrell’s festival was integral to the foundation of the Upstairs Gallery. Before the spring of 2011, the “Upstairs Gallery” was nothing more than a semi-monthly show that took place in a creepy art gallery/recording studio. That all changed on April 26, when the Lollapalooza organizers revealed the performers for its 20th anniversary dates. Struck by this magical combination of artists big and small, from the arena-ready melodies of Coldplay to the emotional songwriting of Lord Huron, Alex, Caitlin, and Walt finally realized their purpose: to turn that creepy art gallery/recording studio into a performance venue with the sole goal of reaching the level of perfection embodied by the Lollapalooza 2011 lineup. Mere months later, in July of 2011, the Upstairs Gallery was born.

Jangleheart Circus (Tickets are still available: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/426153) is the realization of the Upstairs Gallery dream. From the beginning, the Jangleheart producers were tasked with recreating the Lollapalooza 2011 lineup to a tee, using improv and sketch comedy acts from Chicago and beyond. What audiences will see this Thursday through Saturday night at the Den Theatre is the product of nearly five months of planning in order to turn their vision into a reality.

What’s next then for the Upstairs Gallery? Well, that I don’t know. There’s definitely a chance they will close forever. I mean, what do you do once you realize your dream of matching the sublime perfection of the Lollapalooza 2011 lineup? Maybe they will continue to be a home to independent improv and sketch comedy shows in Andersonville. Only time will tell. All I know for sure, is that you can come to Jangleheart Circus this weekend and see some of this city’s most exciting independent comedians. I believe tickets are still available: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/426153.

Also, exclusively for The Other Otter, here is the master list of Jangleheart Circus acts and their counterparts from Lollapalooza’s 2011 lineup:

Eminem: Tim Baltz

Foo Fighters: Cook County Social Club

Coldplay: The Other Other Guys

My Morning Jacket: Rainbow Deli

Muse: Making Out with Wes Perry & Friends

Deadmau5: The Living Room

Cold War Kids: Something old Something new

Girl Talk: Sick Adventure

Pretty Lights: Superhuman

Kid Cudi: New School/Old School

Cee Lo: Warlock

Damian “Dr. Gong” Marley & Nas: Hunkz R Us

The Cars: Boyish

Afrojack: The Great Show on Earth

Modselektor: Phat Beethoven

Skrillex: Kill All Comedy

Ween: Pizza Party

Bright Eyes: Dead $$$

Arctic Monkeys: Listin Up

Deftones: WiseSnatch

Big Audio Dynamite: Sour Milf

Beirut: Claymore

Explosions in the Sky: Sand

Death form Above 1979: Hot Horny Bullshit

Ratatat: Dumpster

Crystal Castles: Two Bunnies Eating Flowers

Flogging Molly: Thunderdome

Atmosphere: TV Screams

Lykke Li: Fanny

White Lies: All of Our Feelings at Once

Cage the Elephant: The Recchia

OK Go: No Excuses

Local Natives: The Manifest

The Kills: Fart City

Portugal the Man: DMNK

Two Door Cinema Club: Aboulia!

Ellie Goulding: LLUG

Delta Spirit: Atlas Improv Company

Beats Antique: Collector’s Edition

The Mountain Goats: Selfish Green Men

Manchester Orchestra: Lost Boys 69

Smith Westerns: The Manifest

Best Coast: The Shock T’s

The Cool Kids: Formal Apology

Grace Potter and the Nocturnals: Say Hello to Your Friends

The Drums: Cross Pollination

The Pains of Being Pure at Heart: Uncle Funny

City and Colour: Mike Knish

Rival Schools: Promise Ring

Phantogram: Flying High

Lissie: Flyin’ Dry

Dom: Girls?

The Vaccines: Lonesome

Sam Adams: Rabbit Rabbit

J. Roddy Walston and the Business: The Dirty Shame

Black Lips: Meowsers

Fitz & The Tantrums: Wussball

Ryan Bingham & The Dead Horses: Feldmanowski

Cults: MRS

Noah & The Whale: Tandies Candies

Tinie Tempah: Ray BradGary

Foster the People: Rotten

Titus Andronicus: Jacket Trouble

Patrick Stump: Spend Some Time with Jamison Webb

Mayer Hawthorne & The County: Wolodarski

Reptar: Venkman

Tennis: The Americans

Gold Motel: Queen Bitch

Skylar Grey: AIDS

Grouplove: BBG

Wye Oak: Ed and Kath

Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr.: Obvious Shark

Lord Huron: DAAANG Judi Dench

Walk the Moon: STRANGER

Young the Giant: Sweet Kisses

Iration: Mazel Prov

Kids These Days: Keenan and Family

The Joy Formidable: MC Chaps

Typhoon: Goose from Top Gun

The Pretty Reckless: Liam

The Kingston Springs: Triple A Battery

The Glitch Mob: Runts

Super Mash Bros.: Manny Mora

Busy P: Hi, Hello

12th Planet: Two Princes

Elizaveta: LIAM

Young Man: The High Ceilings

Narcisse: Eisbar

Kyle Chorpening is a member of the Jangleheart Circus production team. He caught onto what Walt/Cait/Alex were trying to do with the festival pretty early on. Everything above is 100% true completely and totally.

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