Daily Rehearsal: 'Something Great' at the Annoyance

July 25, 2011

1. Inclement weather! It's so crazy! Just as I was readying a few heat-related theater stories for you all, ridiculous flooding up and ruined my it's-so-hot angle.

OH WELL. Kelly Kleiman wrote about the bravery of Theatre at the Lake actors during a scorcher of a performance day, the Emerald City office sent all their employees back home or to coffee shops, and Redmoon was "a giant oven." A perk of being a big house? You have lots of AC.

Any more stories out there re: flooding or heat that cramped your theater-going style?

2. Gershwin and Ravinia, a match made...just together. Saturday night's By George! The Great Gershwin Gala included the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, pianist Kevin Cole, the always impeccable Brian Stokes Mitchell and Kelli O'Hara, as well as Sylvia McNair. Hedy Weiss called it "a concert that was 'wonderful, marvelous,' and a grand reminder of just what a dazzling composer Gershwin just happened to be." She also noted that last years Sondheim showcase "ended in a firestorm of protests as audiences left the park feeling shortchanged" but "History did not repeat itself. After close to two hours of Gershwin, the crowd clearly filed out on a cloud of bliss."

3. The Annoyance is hosting a fundraiser tonight; Something Great is $12, but a movie will be made from your money. John Hartman and Billy Bungeroth, both of Second City, have written a comedy-drama, and they want to be able to do something with it. Tonight's performances include music, as well as performances by Tim Robinson, TJ Jagodowsk, Tim Baltz, Brendan Jennings, Tim Mason, Sam Richardson, Mary Sohn, Andy St. Clair, Emily Wilson, Susan Messing and Greg Hollimon. What I'm looking forward to is the "emotional garage sale."

4. Polly Carl previously of Steppenwolf has written about the social skills of those in the theater for HowlRound. "I have a theory about the social geekiness of theater artists. I think we act like working in the not-for-profit theater is simply an extension of the rehearsal room," she says. "We go to work like we’re on our way to produce a play; we have four weeks to get it all done and we need to be ready for opening night and we have to do whatever it takes."

5. Kelly Kleiman has the scoop on Infamous Commonwealth Theatre, which has announced that they're shutting down. The theater's last production was Lanford Wilson's Fifth of July, which opened in June.

Questions? Tips? Email kdries@wbez.org.