Daily Rehearsal: The Blues Brothers take Chicago (again)

July 8, 2011

1. The All New Original Tribute to the Blues Brothers is wending its way through Chicago, and they did a special performance outside the Thompson Center today at noon, much to the delight of passersby. They're not the original, but I my guess is that they'll do pretty well where they started.

2. The Mommies are no longer coming quite as soon as they used to be. This "Musical Blog" at the Royal George Theater has been postponed due to litigation involving writer and producer Jeanie Linders. Linders' play Menopause: The Musical "has been embroiled in lengthy production rights litigation with GFour Productions of South Florida, whose rights to act as Presenter and Producer of Menopause: The Musical have been terminated. GFour has challenged the termination. The distractions caused by the pursuit of the claims makes it impossible to devote the time and attention to The Mommies she feels are required." Sounds dramatic! A new opening date for Mommies has not been announced.

3. Jonathan Berry is busy these days; he's just been tapped to replace Jason Moore in directing Suicide, Incorporated in New York this fall. Berry directed the premiere at the Gift Theatre in Chicago, his Festen is just closing at Steep, next up he has Naomi Wallace’s The Trestle at Pope Lick Creek for Eclipse Theatre, and They’re Playing Our Song with Fox Valley Repertory. He told Laura Molzahn that though "directing is about trying to keep control of all the balls at the same time...what I’m doing disappears, and all that happens is that the audience sits there and experiences the story."

4. Laura Molzahn has written a piece about Aerial Dance Chicago for the Reader, but it's causing a bit of controversy among the commenters. She says that "multiple look-alike endings reiterate the lost nobility of nature...[but] ADC's aesthetic simply isn't suited to impassioned statements." Head over and see what you think; was she right about when they should have cut it off?

5. And Kelly Kleiman has a piece via the Chicago News Cooperative in the New York Times this weekend about the changing face of black theater in the Chicago area. "Now signs of change are sweeping through the black theater community," she says. "Last month, Abena Joan Brown, an eta co-founder, retired after 40 years; next month, Congo Square will announce a new artistic director, and in the fall the Black Ensemble Theater will open a cultural center in Uptown with two theaters and broader programming. The developments are largely in response to the rise of a new generation of black theatergoers." Read Kelly's last piece on this issue here.

Questions? Tips? Email kdries@wbez.org.