Windy City Media Group Frontpage News

THE VOICE OF CHICAGO'S GAY, LESBIAN, BI, TRANS AND QUEER COMMUNITY SINCE 1985

home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2022-08-31
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
Donate

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

River Butcher slices up some fresh new comedy
by Jerry Nunn
2022-02-21

This article shared 1286 times since Mon Feb 21, 2022
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


River Butcher is a comedian, actor and writer born and raised in Akron, Ohio, and who is returning to his roots for a one-night stand-up act at The Den Theatre on Friday, March 11.

Butcher began performing improv at The Second City then took their act to other local venues in Chicago including Zanies, The Hideout and The Lincoln Lodge.

Butcher co-hosted with comedian Cameron Esposito the web series She Said for Amy Poehler's Smart Girls Network. Their relationship together was explored more with Take My Wife, on streaming service Seeso. Another co-host gig on a podcast with Esposito titled Put Your Hands Together was recorded weekly at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater in LA until it ended in 2019.

His first comedy album, Butcher, was released in 2016 and debuted at number one on iTunes. Television appearances include Adam Ruins Everything on TruTV and a spinoff of The Fosters called Good Trouble.

This multitalented trans man uses pronouns that include they/them as well as he/his. Butcher discussed their life in the business of comedy before an 11 year anniversary this August, describing it as, "It feels like a lifetime and brand new all at the same time!"

Windy City Times: Hi, River. Where in the world are you?

River Butcher: I am in Toronto right now.

WCT: How is traveling with everything going on in the world today?

RB: Traveling to Canada is very different than before. I will say that [laughs]! I had to prove that I am here for work.

I like traveling with masks because people are quieter. You have to find the silver lining when you can. I feel like people are more chilled out on a plane with a mask on.

WCT: As far as germs it seems more sanitary on an airplane to wear masks, doesn't it?

RB: Yes. I have been traveling with stand-up since 2014 and I was getting to the point where I was sick a lot. I was already starting to wear masks. These days, I wear a mask outside to protect myself and the tour. I haven't been sick for three years!

WCT: What hot topics are you tackling on this tour?

RB: I just put out a half-hour special with Comedy Central called A Different Kind of Dude. A little material taken from the top is about my recent transition. I would like to go more into that experience and what it has been like while in a pandemic. That is a hot topic to me at least. I have always talked about gender. I have experienced gender a lot in my life and I feel it is relatable for people.

I would like to flip the script because there are so many cisgender comics out there that are talking about transgender people. Similar to my experience before where male comics were talking about female comics or straight people were talking about gay people, white cisgender men have used us as topics, but in queer culture, those things are really just our lives and not hot topics. My comedy is always about presenting experiences, not topics.

I used to think I should be more universal and get into the mainstream, but then I realized anything can be universal, so I talk about my experiences and people can get on board with that or not. We have all been missing the live experience of standup and this is what I do.

WCT: You are describing your style of stand-up act as conversational to the audience. Do you like the audience to engage with you by talking?

RB: No. I do have a conversation style, but I do write jokes. I have setups and punchlines. That momentum gets messed up when people speak out.

I am also not a tyrant on the stage though. During my comedy special, a guy talked about his life and it was so big that I had to address it. I have that happen a lot.

I create a very queer space in my stand-up and people sometimes feel a part of something that they don't always feel when they are out in the world. Speaking back to me may happen more in that type of situation.

WCT: How do you feel your stand-up audiences have evolved in terms of respecting the LGBTQ+ community?

RB: It is interesting because the goal of comedy is for people to pay to come to see you. They know who I am, so that's not a problem. There's not a conflict there because they know what they are getting into.

If I were opening for a nonqueer comic then things would be different. That is the journey of the marginalized comedian to do both.

Audiences are very smart now because of the information on the Internet. I have to bring my A-game. I like to put out content in a live setting so that is what my audiences are there for. To be out on the road with joyful moments is what I like to create for people.

WCT: With people finally seeing comedy live again, do you feel an eager vibe from the audience when you enter the stage?

RB: Yes, but there is still a hesitancy. My audiences are generally considerate and concerned about the pandemic. They usually relax at some point so we can have a good time together.

WCT: How was playing a non-binary character on Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts?

RB: It was a lot of fun! I love voice acting and would like to do more of it. I am one of a pair of twins on the show and was told it was a non-binary character before I took the role. When I first watched the finished product the other cartoon character had long hair and I thought it was my character. I had gender dysmorphia over a ponytail even though that wasn't even my character.

WCT: How was working on Netflix's Friendsgiving?

RB: Jane Seymour was so much fun to hang out with, along with Ryan Hansen. The dinner scene was fun to shoot and watch everyone have a good time while it was filmed.

WCT: You have made many podcasts over the years. Would you like to make another one?

RB: Yes, I would like to do another one because I feel it is something I am good at. I miss my baseball podcast all the time. I just grew tired of always talking about baseball, not on the podcast, but everywhere else in the world. I kept guesting on other podcasts and talked too much about baseball. Don't turn your hobby into a job. If you want to love something purely then keep it where it is and just enjoy it.

WCT: What were your thoughts on the podcast on HBO's And Just Like That…?

RB: It thought it was funny and pretty accurate until they did a call-in segment. That is not how we do that.

WCT: What are you working on for the rest of 2022?

RB: I have stand-up dates in March and April. I will be headlining the Netflix Is A Joke Festival in LA. I will put together an hour set for that appearance and see how it goes.

I am working on a pilot episode for a show and hope to make another comedy special soon!

Catch River Butcher in the act at The Den Theatre, 1331 N. Milwaukee Ave., on The Heath Mainstage on Saturday, April 9, at 7:30 p.m. (The original date was Friday, March 11.) For tickets, visit TheDenTheatre.com or RiverButcher.com, or call 773-697-3830.


This article shared 1286 times since Mon Feb 21, 2022
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

Peppermint barks while Broadway bangs, and all the other dish to start the week
2022-11-28
"I love Broadway. I love what they do—Broadway Cares, but I also want to say the show is extraordinary!" —Nicole Kidman's impromptu speech after bidding $100K to Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS for Hugh Jackman's hat after ...


Gay News

New York theaters bounce back: Four shows ask questions about identity
2022-11-22
All theater critics worth their salt should take a bite of the Big Apple now and then, savoring the bright lights of Broadway and a soggy slice of what passes for pizza. On my first visit in nearly three years, Broadway ...


Gay News

Gay man to head Chicago Latino Theater Alliance
2022-11-15
The Chicago Latino Theater Alliance (CLATA) announced the appointment of Jorge Valdivia as its new executive director, according to the Lawndale News. Valdivia's previous position was director of performing arts at the National Museum of Mexic ...


Gay News

Theater Review: Porchlight's Rent is a winner
2022-11-09
By Jonathan Abarbanel - Title: Rent. Playwright: Jonathan Larson (book, music, lyrics) At: Porchlight Music Theatre at Ruth Page Center. Tickets: 773-777-9884; PorchlightMusicTheatre.org; $25 and up. Runs through: Dec. 11 From its 1996 premiere ...


Gay News

Mister International Rubber takes the stage at Center on Halsted, Riviera Theatre
2022-11-07
The MIR26 (Mister International Rubber) competition took place at the Center on Halsted and the Riviera Theatre over the Nov. 4-6 weekend. Pusckatt Pumera Onyx won the competition. The event was co-emceed by Lucy Stoole and ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ Gay racer, GALECA, Lena Waithe, 'Chicago,' LGBTQ+ films
2022-11-06
Gay motorsports racer Zach Herrin made his long-awaited debut in a NASCAR-affiliated race in Phoenix, The Advocate noted. "I know I have a lot of eyes on me, and all I want to do is get out there and blur everything ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ Nathan Lane, gala, Beyonce, Kevin Aviance, Henry Cavill, Shania
2022-10-30
Video below - Nathan Lane is returning to Broadway this winter to star in the debut run of Pictures of Home, per The Hollywood Reporter. Based on the photo memoir by Larry Sultan of the same name and adapted ...


Gay News

Young trans playwright queers Shakespeare in new production 'Malapert Love'
2022-10-29
The Artistic Home will debut Malapert Love on Nov. 5-Dec. 11 in Wicker Park at The Den Theatre's Upstairs Mainstage, 1331 N. Milwaukee Ave. The gender-bending, Shakespearean romantic comedy was written by 18-year-old Siah Berlatsky, who's ...


Gay News

THEATER 'The Golden Girls' holiday special Nov. 26-Dec. 30
2022-10-27
Hell in a Handbag Productions is in The Golden Girls: The Lost Episodes, The Obligatory Holiday Special, playing Nov. 26-Dec. 30 at The Hoover-Leppen Theatre at The Center on Halsted, 3656 N. Halsted St. Dorothy, Rose, ...


Gay News

'Cirque Dreams Holidaze' to take place Dec. 22-24
2022-10-26
Cirque Dreams Holidaze is set to dazzle Chicago audiences with a Broadway-style production infused with contemporary circus arts. The production will play for six performances on Dec. 22-24 at the Auditorium Theatre, 50 Ida B. Wells ...


Gay News

16th Street Theater to close at the end of the year
2022-10-26
The board of Berwyn's 16th Street Theater announced that the award-winning, nationally acclaimed Equity theater company will close at the end of 2022. A statement read, "For 15 inspiring seasons, plus two years of the pandemic, ...


Gay News

Cody Estle to step down as Raven Theatre artistic director
2022-10-24
Raven Theatre's board of directors announced that Cody Estle will step down as the company's artistic director at the end of November. Estle has been the company's artistic leader since 2017. He will join Milwaukee's Next ...


Gay News

Five Worth Finding: COVID book, 'Wicked' cocktails, 'A Taste of Hope' and more
2022-10-24
—COVID-19, the LGBTQIA+ Community and Public Policy: As studies emerge to help us understand the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on every facet of modern life, it is critical that the effect of the pandemic on ...


Gay News

Chicago Theatre Week 2023 to take place Feb. 16-26
2022-10-21
-- From a press release - Chicago—Chicago Theatre Week (#CTW23), an annual celebration of the rich tradition of theatergoing in Chicago during which visitors and residents can access value-priced tickets, will take place Feb. 16-26, 2023. ...


Gay News

'Lady Day,' 'Rock of Ages' part of Mercury Theater Chicago's 2023 season
2022-10-21
-- From a press release - Chicago — Mercury Theater Artistic Director Christopher Chase Carter, Managing Director Kristi J. Martens and Executive Producers L. Walter Stearns and Eugene Dizon announced the 2023 Mercury Theater Chicago season ...


 




Copyright © 2022 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 
 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS







Sponsor


 

Sponsor


Donate


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam     
Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.