Morning Rehearsal: Chicago theater 5/6

May 6, 2011

1. Franz Fest: A Woyzeck Cabaret is at Collaboraction this weekend on both Friday and Saturday nights, and it's looking to be quite the spectacle. There will be eleven different interpretations of Büchner's Woyzeck that are being "deconstructed" in what's being called a postmodern salon. I won't pick favorites, so hit the link to check out what you'll be looking forward to.

2. Neil Gaiman, who was recently on a bit of a Chicago tour for his book Neverwhere, is in trouble in the Midwest. Republican leader of the Minnesota House of Representatives Matt Dean called Gaiman a "pencil-necked little weasel" for accepting $45,000 from the state of Minnesota for a speaking engagement. Gaiman responded with a blog post entitled "The Opinions of a Pencil-necked Weasel-thief", which perhaps proves  that you should never mess with a writer -- they can always out-articulate you. The New York Times has more on the drama.

3. Maybe in a Moment is wrapping up its run at The Viaduct Theater. It's a Thresholds Theatre Arts Program production, which teams actors and directors with those in the Thresholds programs, which work with people with mental illness. After this, it will tour, bringing the production and the vision of Thresholds to those outside the Chicago area.

4. We've grown used to theater for children but what about theater for babies? Get convinced with Chicago Children's Theatre's play Dot and Ziggy, written by Linda Hartzell, who spoke to the Reader about her production. Some of the differences between theater for adults and theater for kids aren't as complicated as you might think, though. "We do some practical things," Hartzell said. "We don't darken the room—sometimes the little-little ones are afraid of the dark—and we don't have amplified sound. Sometimes loud sounds intimidate the little ones. That also allows the cost to be lower, so the experience is less expensive.

5. In more serious news, Arthur Laurents, the playwright, screenwriter and director, and the man behind Gypsy and West Side Story, died on Thursday at his home in Manhattan. He was 93.

Questions? Tips? Email kdries@wbez.org.