Morning Rehearsal: Chicago theater news 5/10

May 10, 2011

1. Tuesday at 3pm (hurry up and take a long lunch) at Maxim's, Richard Klein will host "The Life of Cabaret Star Julie Wilson." Klein will discuss Wilson's 70-year career with a sound and slideshow presentation of the famous cabaret star. It's part of Maxim's Tea at 3 series every second Tuesday of the month.

2. Does children's theater get a bad rap? Mary-Kate Barley-Jenkins thinks it shouldn't. She's the Director of Programming at the Chicago Humanities Festival, as well as the curator of Stages, Sights and Sounds, CHF's performing arts festival focusing on family audiences. Jenkins' wrote a post that touts the importance of good storytelling in theater, especially in theater for children.

"When you hear the phrase children’s theater, I’ll bet you wince and groan inside," she writes. "Probably much of what you’ve seen that calls itself children’s theater has been very unsatisfying. This genre has a bad reputation and for good reason. At times, when this work is being created, the audience is not taken seriously."

3. In the vein of trying to take children more seriously, Emerald City Theatre is opening a new space specifically for babies. To be called the Emerald City Playhouse, their first show will open in May 2012 at 2933 N. Southport Ave (right next door to the Emerald City Theatre). It's called Goodnight Gorilla, and is based off the children's book of the same name.

The Theatre plans to use this space for developing shows specifically for children ages 0-3. They have also created a new position of "Eduturg", which is essentially a dramaturg whose job is focused on shaping the programs for very young minds.

4. WBEZ's Events Coordinator Don Hall spent the other day tweeting some theater tips for the masses, or #thtrtips as he called them, and they are all lovingly consolidated here. My favorite? "Re:Acting: Be at rehearsals on time - eat before you f***ing get there. #thtrtips."

5. It's Tuesday, but I'm sure we all wish it was the weekend right about now, especially with this 80 degree weather. Set your Sunday sights on the opening of That’s The Gig at iO, which is billing itself as "a live, scripted sitcom."

The show runs from May 15 to July 3, just in time for all your favorite shows to take their summer siesta, leaving you bored and sweaty on the couch, watching reruns of The Event...bleak.

Questions? Tips? Email kdries@wbez.org.