What a nice way to bring in 2012: Chicago native John Caponera headlines at Harveys Improv through Sunday.
John's a fun guy both on and off the stage. "Cap," as we affectionally refer to him, is part of "The Godfathers of Comedy" which aired on Showtime. He's also been on "The Good Life," hosted Comedy Central's "Jocks" and ESPN's "Talk II." He guest-starred on NBC's long-running hospital drama "ER," in addition to "Love & War," "Blossom" and one of my favorite cable shows, "Tales From The Crypt."
Acting isn't his only talent. He has an uncanny talent for voice impressions. OK, I should narrow that down: sports impressions, particularly those of famous Chicago sports announcers. One of the funniest bits he does during his act is recreating the sounds and mannerisms of the late, great Chicago Cubs announcer Harry Caray. You have to see it to really appreciate the bit. My other favorite voice he does is that of Vin Scully, longtime voice of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Howell J. Malham Jr. of the Chicago Tribune wrote, "Every so often the kingdom of comedy is graced with a gifted, naturally refined performer who can effectively demonstrate the transcendental powers of the medium while making it look deceptively easy."
Michael Paskevich of The Las Vegas Review-Journal: "Unafraid of letting a room grow quiet, Caponera sets his own intentionally erratic pace, pausing to perfection to complement his oddly timed but rewarding comic insights. The jokes are further bolstered by his talent for facial gestures that range from goofy to arrogant, making Caponera arguably the hottest club headliner going at present."
Also performing this week is Tracey MacDonald, who made quite an impact here in this country after leaving her homeland of Canada.
She landed in Los Angeles after having her talent recognized on CBS's "New Star Search" with Host Arsenio Hall. She won the competition four times and was awarded a two-year development deal with the network.
Tracey, who is making her debut here, is one act I've been looking forward to seeing for a long time.
She's been on the Hollywood E! Network, "Comics Unleashed" with Byron Allen, and recently entertained the troops overseas in Afghanistan.
When Tracey was in Canada she made numerous television appearances before getting some nice press here in this country. Variety Magazine did a nice piece on her after she performed along with comedians Sarah Silverman, Bob Saget, Dane Cook and Jay Mohr.
Tracey keeps busy when she is not touring, and in her down time enjoys watching Lifetime movies living in Hollywood with her plant.