Morning Rehearsal: Chicago theater 5/23

May 23, 2011

1. Porgy and Bess has just opened at Court, but their production is just one step in the piece's storied and complex 85-year history. On Sunday, the DuSable Museum held a talk about the racial implications of the play, with University of Chicago ethnomusicologist Travis Jackson and Court Theatre Director Charles Newell. The event was moderated by the Jomo Cheatham, Manager of School and Education Programming from the DuSable Museum, and was in keeping with an exhibition put up by the DuSable that takes a look at Porgy and Bess throughout history.  

2. Second City's Neighborhood Tour of Old Town begins Memorial Day weekend, and tickets are now on sale. The tour will be conducted during the summer season, which means every Sunday and Wednesday through October 30. It was written by Margaret Hicks, tour guide and author of Chicago Comedy: A Fairly Serious History. Expect to learn about the architecture of Old Town and the history of Second City.

3. The Detective's Wife opens as a World Premiere at Glencoe-based Writer's Theatre tomorrow with some impressive names behind the production. Written by Keith Huff (A Steady Rain, Mad Men) and directed by Gary Griffin, it tells the story of a Chicago woman whose husband is killed on the job. She turns gumshoe to figure out who-dunnit.

4. Don Hall tells us what he thinks theater really is, specifically, experimental theater. "Is experimental theater a long gone cliche? No. Have we become complacent, assuming that audiences can only be shocked and offended rather than challenged on intellectual and emotional levels and thus we only experiment with answers we already know to be true? Yes," Hall says. He goes on to clarify that "For the record, doing a Shakespearean Tragedy set in modern times is not experimental."

5. Superman 2050 opened this weekend at Donny's Skybox theater. Part dance, part physical comedy, this show from Theater Un-Speak-Able utilizes seven actors on one 21 square foot platform as witnesses to a duel between Superman and Lex Luther. Not for the claustrophobic among you, the show previously had a sold-out run at Links Hall.

Questions? Tips? Email kdries@wbez.org.