"Steel Magnolias", "The Vic & Paul Show", and some Blue Men

April 11, 2011

The Next Voice You Hear

Here's a new way to roast an old chestnut: St. Sebastian Players will enliven its production of "Steel Magnolias" with the participation of five local disc jockeys. Each will "appear" in a couple of performances as the voice on the radio station which plays constantly at the beauty parlor where the action is located.

The tone of that imaginary radio station will vary widely, given that participants include DJs from WFMT ("We Whisper Because Classical Music Is So Soporific"), WXRT ("At Our Age We Should Really Have Stopped Caring About Rock) and WBBM ("Newsradio: Give Us Twenty-Two Minutes and We'll Give You A Dull Pounding Headache").  What comes to mind is Dan Akroyd's Saturday Night Live sketch in which he's simultaneously hosting shows on a Top 40 station ("Stacks and stacks of waxen tracks!) and an alternative station ("I'm a little high right now.")

Go here to peruse the schedule, so you can be sure to hear Lin Brehmer or Joe Collins or George Preston or whoever makes you car buttons pop. Performances begin April 29, and the May 6 performances will benefit the charity Jimmy Insulin, which serves people who (like one of the titular women) live with diabetes.

Return of the Native(s)

In the 1980s, the Practical Theater Company made a run at the "home of comedy" crown long held by Second City when multiple members of the troupe were swept away by Saturday Night Live. The company has been remembered and missed ever since.

Well, take off those weeds: the Practical (or part of it) is coming back! In June, founding members Paul Barosse and Victoria Zielinski will return to the Chicago stage for the first time in nearly two decades. Their new improvisational comedy piece "The Vic & Paul Show: An Evening of Comedy, Music, Marriage and Martinis" will play five performances from June 9 to the 12th at the Prop Theatre.

Despite the blog's name, the pair have no plans to move back to Chicago, and the run of the show could hardly be briefer. So save one of the dates, and get a glimpse of what all the fuss was about.

Bluefinger

As any James Bond fan remembers, Goldfinger killed his victims by covering them completely in gold paint so their skin couldn't breathe. So how it is that the members of Blue Man Group, who are covered completely in blue paint, can not only breathe but climb, drum, clown and catch marshmallows with their mouths?

If you think you know, you may be a candidate for Blue Manhood. The troupe will hold auditions at the Briar Street Theater next Tuesday, April 19, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Though the open casting call is here in Chicago, the auditions are actually for any of the nine companies currently embodying Blue Manliness, from Tokyo to Berlin to the Norwegian Cruise Lines (I am not making this up).

Both men and women may audition, though if you're petite or have neighbors who object to loud noises, forget about it. According to the press release,

"The basic criteria for Blue Man performers are:
  • Height between 5’10” and 6’1” tall (athletic build)
  • Solid drumming skills
  • Excellent acting skills
  • Willingness to relocate"

Of course, it doesn't much matter what your neighbors think if you're going to relocate, so go for it!