An indie brings Nick Offerman back to the Chicago area

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Nick Offerman

Nick Offerman in "Somebody Up There Likes Me." (March 7, 2013)

Q: Defiant was a quintessential in-your-face fringe theater company. Your career is obviously at a different level these days. Could you see yourself coming back and doing storefront theater? Would that even be possible, or does it need to be a big production?

A: That's a very good question. I couldn't, in good conscience, allows us to inhabit some of the dressing rooms that we were able to stomach in our 20s. But we would probably, necessarily, need to do a bigger venue, just because hopefully there would be a little more of a turnout then there was in '94. But that's a great question. I think it's probably impossible that the entire company would get back together again, but if we could get a few of us back together to mount something on a more grown-up level at one of the bigger theaters in town, that seems like it would be up my alley.

It could happen one of two ways. If one of the bigger theater companies in town wanted to do something, fine. If they're smart, they would do something with Megan and myself — there's a much better chance of getting us to your town if you bring us both. That would be fun, something high profile.

But it would also be fun to do something bratty (laughs).

Nick Offerman comes to the Music Box Friday and Saturday for screenings of "Somebody Up There Likes Me." Go to

Chicago actors, TV pilots

A handful of actors with Chicago ties have snared roles this season, including Evanston-raised iO veteran Lauren Lapkus ("Are You There, Chelsea?") in the NBC multi-camera comedy "Joe, Joe & Jane." Steppenwolf regular Stephen Louis Grush plays one of seven gas station workers whose lives are changed when they win a lottery jackpot in the ABC drama "Lucky 7." And Sara Sevigny (a standout in Porchlight Theater's 2007 production of "Assassins") landed a role in the Fox family comedy "The Gabriels" alongside fellow Chicagoan Tim Meadows. We'll know in May if any of these shows get picked up for series.

Pritzker's next film

"The Daily Show" host Jon Stewart announced earlier this week that he will take a sabbatical this summer to direct a film adaptation of BBC journalist Maziar Bahari's book "Then They Came for Me," about his strange and harrowing period of captivity in Iran while there to work on a story. Financing and producing the film is longtime Chicago-based producer Gigi Pritzker and her company Odd Lot Entertainment, which brought "Rabbit Hole" to the screen in 2010. Pritzker (perhaps better known as the daughter of Hyatt hotel chain founder Jay Pritzker) is also producer on the coming-of-ager "The Way, Way Back" (written by Nat Faxon and Jim Rash, the Oscar-winning screenwriters of "The Descendants") and the sci-fi actioner "Ender's Game" starring Harrison Ford, both slated for later this year.

Sci-fi marathon

Twenty-four hours of science fiction and horror films are on tap starting at noon Saturday, kicking off 1959's "Attack of the Giant Leeches." Director Frank Henenlotter will be at the theater for the 7:30 p.m. screening of his 1988 film "Brain Damage." Also on hand: Jay Bonansinga, co-author of "The Walking Dead: Rise of the Governor." At the Portage Theater. Go to

Fight it out

The movie debate series Cinema Slapdown returns next week with a Craig Zobel's "Compliance," one of 2012's most controversial films and one that prompted numerous walkouts. Based on an actual case, it centers on a fast food employee terrorized by her boss at the prompting of a man impersonating a police detective. Facets founder Milos Stehlik will face off against Dr. Frederick Miller, who heads up the department of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at North Shore University Health System. 7 p.m. Wednesday at Columbia College's Film Row Cinema. Go to


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