Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Intercultural Jewish, Muslim, Christian Comedians to Perform in 'FUNATICAL’ Interfaith Comedy Show in Chicago Nov. 5, 2011

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Intercultural Jewish, Muslim, Christian Comedians to Perform in 'FUNATICAL’ Interfaith Comedy Show in Chicago

October 12th, 2011 -- PlanetPix Media & Entertainment Group, a multicultural media and entertainment production company, recently announced that 'FUNATICAL: Taking Comedy to the Extreme's "We Come in Peace" Tour' will make its way to the “Windy City” on Saturday, November 5th, 2011.
FUNATICAL’s Chicago line-up includes Samson Koletkar (world’s only Jewish Indian comedian), Mike Batayeh (Arab Christian), Tehran SoParvaz (African-American-Iranian) as well as Chicago’s own Ray Hanania (Arab Christian) and MoNa (Arab Muslim).

Samson Koletkar was born and raised in Mumbai. Samson brings a refreshingly new approach to cerebral, witty, thought-provoking humor with a global perspective. Being a Jewish Indian in America has only added to the anomaly that is Samson. His comedy is socially aware and is driven by his personal trials and tribulations. He highlights religious, political, social and traditional hypocrisies and issues, and shares his views on day to day absurdities of the human nature. With his clean approach to comedy he is able to perform just as easily at clubs and theaters as he is at corporations, colleges, fundraisers and speaking engagements.

Mike Batayeh has guest starred and recurred on several hit television shows and has co-starred alongside A-list actors in several films. He recently filmed his first co-lead roles in the short film, "Fly While Arab" and the feature film, "Detroit Unleaded" (release date 2012). Mike is based in Los Angeles but has toured all over the United States as a comic. Mike is one of the ambassadors of western comedy to audiences in the Middle East, as he was part of the first wave of comics to perform live in Dubai, Lebanon, Nazareth, Jordan and Egypt. His mix of biting social commentary, physical comedy and ability to entertain leaves audiences eagerly anticipating his return.

According to Editor and Publisher magazine, Ray Hanania is "...a Palestinian-American writer married to a Jewish woman. He writes about Mideast issues in an evenhanded way." Ray is a stand-up comedian, media analyst and political consultant specializing in Middle East issues and events, and mainstream American politics. He is president of Urban Strategies Group and writes several columns. Hanania co-hosts the American Arab radio show "Radio Baladi" which is simulcast in Michigan, Ohio and Northern Illinois. He hosted the live Chicago morning show "The Ray Hanania Show" for three years on WJJG AM 1530 Radio.

MoNa is an Arab-American comedian from Chicago who has performed throughout the U.S. and Canada. She studied improv and comedy writing at Chicago’s Second City and has performed on many stages through the  Chicagoland area, including: the Chicago Center for the Performing Arts, Comedy Under the Tap, Chord on Blues, Jokes & Notes, the Lincoln
Lodge, Loco Locas at Watra, 1001Laughs Tour and now FUNATICAL: Taking Comedy to the Extreme.

Tehran SoParvaz is a half Iranian and half African American stand-up comedian and performer who lives in the Washington D.C. metro area. He is a dynamic and high-energy comedian and entertainer who is the host of a popular satellite TV and radio show that airs around the world. He has been using his witty and unique perspective of life and sense of humor in comedy shows along Maz Jobrani, Max Amini and FUNATICAL: Taking Comedy to the Extreme.

With increased religious and cultural tension growing in America and around the world,  'FUNATICAL' breaks stereotypes and bridges gaps between people of diverse backgrounds and religions by promoting unity through laughter. Comedians poke fun of culture, race, politics, religion and current events, which they lampoon with clean humor and satire.  The shows are produced by an interfaith team who uses comedy as an equalizer to counter prejudices in a humorous way.

‘FUNATICAL  officially launched in Hollywood, CA  at the World Famous Comedy Store with a red carpet premiere, followed by three shows throughout Southern CA that brought together a diverse interfaith audience who were united by laughter. The tour continued with sold out shows in the Washington D.C. metro area, and special appearances at the National Press Club and Georgetown University.  Media coverage includes Huffington Post, Voice of America, Al Hurra TV, Middle East Broadcasting, Belief Net and more.  FUNATICAL has also performed in Toronto, Canada and is receiving requests to take the show internationally.

FUNATICAL: Taking Comedy to the Extreme’s Chicago show will take place Saturday, Nov. 5th, 2011 (8pm) at American Islamic College’s auditorium on 640 West Irving Park Road in Chicago, IL.  Sponsors of the show include American Islamic Congress, Project Nur, Urban Strategies Group, Mike Anderson Chevrolet of Chicago, Beauty and the East TV, and a contribution by Eric Hovemeyer & Christine Bieri. Contributing sponsors include Abrahamic Alliance, United Religions Initiative (URI), Hyde Park & Kenwood Interfaith Council, and the Peace Garden Project.

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