October 5, 2012

Recap: The City of Big Shoulders, and bigger brains

I should not be surprised that a fine, fine crowd of impressive minds joined us for the first ever Chicago Big Quiz Thing, and the fabulous (and excellently kitchened) venue of Uncommon Ground. I personally made the journey to help our Chi-town quizmistress, Katie Vagnino, get up and running in our fourth regular city, and she did an excellent job. The happy, happy crowd attested to it—we filled the cozy house with only eight teams, but those were large teams—and feedback suggests more of the same next month (we're there every first Thursday).

And what smarties, too: At almost every BQT event, there's that one team that's not quite on the ball brainwise. Sure, as long as they're having fun, they're winners in my book, but there was not a single team tonight that didn't get within spitting distance of heavy competition. Not that the content was too easy, but I was indeed impressed with the brainpower in this city.

Speaking of the content, since this was our first show in the city, it was greatest hits all the way: the Bipolar Movie Challenge, our marquee game, made an appearance, along with Sloow Songs, Animals at War, Dead Person Fashion Show…all your favorites.

Katie, of course, was dynamite onstage—she had me there to back her up, but will fly high in the coming months without me (sidekick TBD). Ever since we began planning our Chicago iteration, I knew it would be an advantage to have a cute gal fronting the show.

And as always, the contest came down to the finale. Post-show, I polled the finalists on how they ended up at the BQT: We had the Tomato Cocktail Club, repping our fine, fine sponsor the Bailiwick Chicago (venue of the now-playing Bloody, Bloody Andrew Jackson); Whispering Kisses, whose leader just happened to follow the BQT on Twitter; and Doe Ray Egon, formed around an old friend of Quizmistress Katie's. If we had someone who'd heard about the show through Time Out Chicago or Chicagoist, we'd have covered all the bases. And the competition among these brainiacs was fierce, although no one could name the two current movies that are respectively directed by different fellows named Paul Anderson (Thomas and W.S. for middle names). But once we got past that, the players knew their stuff, and the TCC won it by knowing about the Sandwich Islands. And thus…

Thanks to our amazing, amazing sponsors: The Second City, the Adler Planetarium, the Bailiwick Chicago, Ann Sather, and of course, Uncommon Ground. Quizmistress Katie is back next month, November 1; you should be too. Onward.


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