For Maggie DePalo, stand-up comedy was a “fun, creative outlet” that she pursued later in life, well into her adult years.
Now, however, she and her friend, Mary Kate Beck, are hosting sold-out shows across the South Side.
In producing All That Good Stuff, a comedy showcase, over the last three years, DePalo and Beck have performed at bars and restaurants throughout Beverly, Morgan Park, Mt. Greenwood and beyond.
A show set for Wednesday, July 28, at La Fiesta restaurant in Mt. Greenwood is sold out, and the next show will be Aug. 11, at 7:30 p.m., in the beer garden at Cork and Kerry Tavern, 10614 S. Western Ave.
Shows have been held outdoors during the pandemic, but the showcase has been a hit since before COVID-19 shut down everything.
“What’s been great is obviously the support of the community and the South Side,” DePalo said. “I think people, even when we were doing the indoor shows at Cork, it was something different to do. People didn’t, I think, realize how much they loved going to stand-up shows.”
DePalo, a Morgan Park native, created All That Good Stuff with Beck, of Beverly, in the summer of 2018, with the first show at Open Outcry Brewing Co., followed by several shows at Cork and Kerry.
The two women worked together and often wrote comedy bits together for fun.
Tickets to the upcoming show at Cork and Kerry are $10. Performers include Michael Isaac, Paul Fahrvar, Vik Pandya and Chris Trani.
DePalo and Beck now produce the show with their friend, Bridget McGuire, who has helped them schedule shows in LaGrange.
Big names such as Pat McGann, a Beverly comedian who tours nationally, also drop in.
The pandemic might have stopped comedians from touring—but it had a silver lining for All That Good Stuff.
“These are performers who weren’t able to work for a year,” said DePalo, a 2001 Mother McAuley High School graduate. “This, for the most part, is their sole income. ... That increased the popularity of the shows because we were able to get big names that weren’t out traveling at venues across the country like they normally would.”
Each show is about an hour and a half, with four or five comedians leading up to the headliner.
Kevin Bozeman, Jim Flannigan and Kelley Howard were scheduled to perform at La Fiesta on July 28.
The series, DePalo said, has received a boost from the office of 19th Ward Ald. Matt O’Shea, which coordinated an outdoor show at Barraco’s restaurant in Beverly several months ago, when strict mandates were in place regarding social gathering.
Guests swooped up the limited amount of tickets available.
“It was a blast,” DePalo said. “It was a huge success.”
Shows now sell out quickly, including the La Fiesta show, which DePalo said sold 200 tickets in two days.
She hopes for similar success with the show at Cork and Kerry.
In creating All That Good Stuff, DePalo said, she received good advice from McGann, who delved into comedy about 15 years ago and has gone on to perform on late-night talk shows and tour with Sebastian Maniscalco.
He said to just start her own show, DePalo said. That would help her and her friends create their own brand and give them precious stage time. Instead of testing out open-mic nights and performing in late-night shows in bar basements, she and Beck found a niche in their home neighborhood.
Now, they’re providing comic relief during trying times.
“For me, it’s been a crazy couple years,” DePalo said, “and to be able to bring back some laughter in the middle of all this was awesome.”
For more information on tickets to the Aug. 11 show at Cork and Kerry, visit the Facebook page for All That Good Stuff.