Daily Rehearsal: Rhys Darby of 'Flight of the Conchords' lands in Chicago

July 27, 2011

1. Pornography opens this weekend from Steep, and before you get all hot and bothered, it's not really all about that. It's more about a terrorist attack in the U.K. in 2005. The cast features both the 2010 and 2011 winners of the Jeff Award for Best Actress, Kendra Thulin and Caroline Neff.

2. KaTet Theater has Side Man opening this weekend, about Clifford, who recalls his New York City family and their love of jazz over a period of 30 years. You might remember Side Man; it won the 1999 Tony Award for Best Play. Check out their blog for remarks from several of the actors and producers over the weeks of rehearsal, and their emotional connection to the piece. 

3. Things look better for Act One Studios than they have recently; their website, in a flurry of fireworks and with the phrase "An Angel Arrived", has annoucned that they've gotten some new funds and free rent, which should alleviate some of their debt issues. The acting studio told the Reader that “It's really embarrassing" but that they're making it work. 

4. When I say "casino" you probably don't say "high-class entertainment." But Chris Jones looks at casinos around the country and what kind of shows they brought with them, from Celine Dion to Cirque du Solei. "Regardless, don't expect somebody to build the biggest theater in Chicago just for Dion, and hope only for warm bodies headed for the casino," says Jones.

5. Like the Flight of the Conchords? Of course you do! Rhys Darby, who played manager Murray on the HBO show of the same name, was at Improv this weekend for a jam-packed set of shows (5). Jenna Marotta of TimeOut says of Darby's performance, "Basically, Darby is a good comedian to go see with your mom. I did." Darby was also considered one of the potential Steve Carell replacements for The Office, and at least a few feel that his New Zealand touch would have been a welcome homage to Ricky Gervais' British version.

Questions? Tips? Email kdries@wbez.org.