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Oh Crap - the Holidays! Stories Rockwellian, Hallmarkian, Orwellian

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 5     7:30 - 9:30

Big Shot Piano Lounge, Arlington Heights

Ticket sales for this show are closed. Please contact our venue for availability of tickets at door.

What is UP with the holidays? They take more of our time and energy, but seem to give back less, all the time. This month our tellers deconstruct the most craziest time of the year with stories about exploding turkeys, passive-aggressive presents, the gift of head lice, and of course...the traditional Christmas day murder. 

And, to celebrate the season, FPL Special Correspondent Chad the Bird from Chicago's legendary Green Mill is dropping on by to tell us what's what, holiday style!

Content is appropriate for ages 18+. ID's will be required to purchase alcohol.

Don Hall

Diane Kastiel

Diane Kastiel is the producer, director, and host of First Person Live. A writer and storyteller from Chicago, she’s a three-time winner of the National Public Radio’s Moth StorySLAM; her work has been featured on the Moth Radio Hour, its podcast, and at special events for WBEZ. Diane has told stories on stage at The Second City, the Park West, Victory Gardens and other theaters - but also in more unconventional settings, including comedy clubs, art galleries, the basement of a tattoo parlor, homeless shelters – she even did a show in the middle of the woods! Diane is an alumna of The Second City Conservatory and the University of Chicago’s Great Books program, and has an MBA from Northwestern University…just in case. 

Steve Glickman

Steve Glickman has been telling stories at weddings and funerals his whole life to wide critical acclaim. He is the co-host of the monthly open-mic storytelling show Do Not Submit at Uptown Underground in Chicago, and regularly performs at storytelling shows around Chicago. 


Steve is a software engineer by day and a proud nerd. He loves classical music and can often be seen air-conducting whatever symphony or opera is playing on his iPod or in his head. He lives in the Uptown neighborhood of Chicago with his partner Mark and their imaginary dog Ruffles.

Chad the Bird

FPL Special Correspondent Chad the Bird is a journalist, podcaster and contributing writer to several publications including the Chicago Reader. He has been bringing so much logic and truth to his Op-Ed columns and other writings, you'd think he has a mission. And you'd be right but you gotta figure it out for yourself so follow him on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and Chad the Podcast on iTunes - or you could get your lazy butt off the Weekend Couch and head to the Green Mill EVERY Saturday at 3:00 for The Paper Machete and catch him live in the pink with opinions made just for you. He would like to thank you cuz you know what you did. 


Chad the Bird is brought to you by Josh Zagoren, artistic director of Wildclaw Theater, Chicago’s premier horror theater (

Erin Diamond

Erin Diamond was born and raised in Arlington Heights - Lake Arlington Towne to be exact, where she rescued ducks with botulism from the lake and also swam in it.  She is writer and comedian in Chicago where she is a regular at The Paper Machete at Chicago’s legendary Green Mill. Her essays have been frequently featured in live lit shows such as You’re Being Ridiculous and Essay Fiesta. Last winter, Erin wrote, directed, and played the title role in Christmas by Melania a political satire modeled after the celebrity-hosted Christmas specials of the ‘60s and ‘70s. 

Kevin Biolsi

Kevin Biolsi is a statistician and on-again, off-again empty nester who enjoys brewing beer and, every few years, attempting to learn to play the banjo. He is a relative newcomer to storytelling on stage, having performed solo storytelling/comedy shows in 2016 and 2017 as fundraisers for two performing arts youth groups before starting to tell stories at Moth StorySLAMs in late 2017. Prior to this, Kevin’s performing experience was limited to a couple of Latin Club plays in high school and a traumatic piano recital at the age of 33 where he was placed between two eight-year-olds in the performance order.

Ann Tennes

Ann Tennes has played numerous characters on stage – Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz, Alice in Wonderland, Susan B. Anthony, Cruella de Vil and more – but finds personal storytelling a greater challenge than any scripted role. While she gleans some storytelling ideas from her career in local government communications and service as a trustee on an area community college board, Ann’s best stories come from life with her family, including daughter Carly – a 21-year-old red-headed spitfire studying at New York University who has already provided a lifetime of material. Ann earned a Bachelor of Communications degree from Columbia College and a Master of Public Administration degree from Roosevelt University and regularly teaches and speaks at local and national government communications symposiums. Ann enjoys bringing people together for meals around her big dining room table; playing tennis in a 40-team league she and her husband Howard, a real estate attorney, founded; sneaking off to New York City for weekends with Carly; and inventing new cookie recipes. 

Paul Teodo

Paul Teodo is a retired healthcare executive. Born and raised on Chicago's south side, he’s been telling stories in real life for 65 years and on stage for the past six years. Paul is a five-time Moth StorySLAM winner and a Moth GrandSLAM Champion, invited to perform in New York at the prestigious Moth Ball and featured on CBS Sunday Morning. Paul's first novel, "Pastaman," is available on Amazon and he is working on a second one. Paul raised two great sons as a single dad and is a lifelong dog lover.

Risa McDonell

Risa McDonell may be the only mom in America who sent her four-year-old to preschool with a Budweiser can hanging around his neck…but that’s another story. Risa started telling stories as a way to create short-term deadlines for herself, get out of her living room “office,” and find a creative community to inspire her. She tells stories all over Chicago and is thrilled to be at First Person Live! Risa's happy place is anywhere she can be with her husband and 10-year-old son, preferably in Maine. And some day she will finish her novel – a fictionalized account of her great-grandmother’s friendship with Babe Ruth when they were on a bowling league team together (really!).

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