Students help alumna bring ‘inappropriate’ comedy show to Chicago


Sophia Bollag, City Editor

A Northwestern student will perform Monday night at the Laugh Factory in Chicago as part of a comedy show created by an NU alumna.

Communication junior Alex Heller will tell a story about watching porn in “Don’t Tell My Mother,” a show in which performers tell stories they wouldn’t want their mothers to hear. Nikki Levy (Communication ’99), who created the show, selected Heller from a pool of NU students who submitted videos of themselves telling stories.

“It all happened really fast and came together in just a few days,” Heller said. “I think it’s going to be a lot of fun. (Levy) seems like a ball of fire, and I’m really excited to see any show that she has created.”

Levy said the show, which she started in Los Angeles, creates an environment where it is “appropriate to be inappropriate.”

“We’re going to bring the spirit that we have in L.A. over there,” Levy said. “This is a comedy show, but it’s also a party.”

Communication sophomore Carly Kleinbart will act as the show’s associate producer. She learned about the show after Levy gave a guest lecture via Skype in one of her classes, which inspired her to contact Levy about working for the production, Kleinbart said.

“I wanted to showcase talent from my alma mater,” Levy said. “I am such a Northwestern kid through and through. I have incredible loyalty to our school.”

“Don’t Tell My Mother” will be in Chicago for Monday night only. Proceeds will go to IMPACT, an LGBT health program at the Feinberg School of Medicine.

In the past, the show has featured both up-and-coming performers and more well-known actors, including Kate McKinnon from “Saturday Night Live” and Beth Grant, who plays Beverly on “The Mindy Project.” Monday night’s show will feature Jen Kober, who has also appeared on “The Mindy Project.”

Levy drew her inspiration for “Don’t Tell My Mother” from a class she took at NU called “Telling Family Stories.”

“That class changed the entire way I live my life,” Levy said. “Every day at 5 o’clock when that class ended, we all walked out with red eyes from crying for three hours. The first story I ever wrote was in that class.”

Levy previously worked as a development executive in Hollywood but said she realized her personality was better suited to writing and performing.

“When you’re an executive, you’re supposed to have less personality than the talent,” Levy said. “I’m not sure I ever really achieved that.”

“Don’t Tell My Mother,” will start at 8 p.m. Monday at The World Famous Laugh Factory, 3175 N. Broadway St., in Chicago. Tickets will be discounted to $10 for Northwestern students. General admission tickets cost $30.

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