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Easy on the Ears: Nate Herman's Latest Enterprise Fuses Radio, Classic Hollywood Cinema and the Anything-Goes Attitude of Improv | Newcity Stage
By Hugh Iglarsh "Don't make it about me!" pleads Nate Herman in a sudden burst of humility as we sip tea in a Rogers Park café. But it's an impossible request, as Herman—actor, director, musician, comedy teacher, one-time "Saturday Night Live" writer, impresario and man-about-town—is the co-founder (with the similarly multi-talented Gary Houston, now producer emeritus) and driving force of Films for the Ear, a loosely organized band of friends and fellow travelers who specialize in live, quickly prepared staged readings of classic Hollywood movies. Films for the Ear is all about Nate Herman's passions, peeves and predilections. It brings together two of his loves—vintage movies and old-time radio theater—and pulls them together in the improvisational, audience-activating, something-wonderful-right-away style he learned at Second City, where he spent many years as a performer and director. Long-range planning is not what FFTE is all about, and schedules are always subject to change. But