Daily Rehearsal: Is the Goodman Chicago's version of the National Theatre?

September 30, 2011

1. Clockwise Theatre is a recent addition to the League of Chicago Theatres, and on Saturday, The Game Show Show is holding a fundraiser for the Waukegan-based company. Don't know much about Chicago's sister city to the north? "Downtown Waukegan has this funky, urban, SoHo-type vibe," say Madelyn Sergel and Rebecca Adler, the Artistic and Managing directors. With galleries, cool eateries including barbeque, Italian, Mexican, Greek, friendly local taverns, and taquerias, thrift shops, generous cheap, on-street parking, and friendly people, as well as the now-famous monthly Art Wauk’s (which is wine-sipping and gallery-hopping at its finest) we adore the bold, vibrant personality of downtown Waukegan!

2. The Playgoer writes about whether the U.S. has a theater anywhere close to the National Theatre in Britain, and he brings up the Goodman as a possible rival. "Might I suggest that Bob Falls' Goodman Theatre--Steppenwolf's downtown rival--may be coming closer than any other US company to the National model: i.e., a big building led by an adventurous, seasoned director producing at a professionally high level to frequent wide acclaim?" he writes. "(By the way, on the subsidy question: I can't speak off the cuff about this, but my sense is that the city of Chicago has been instrumental in supporting and promoting both Goodman and Steppenwolf--even if to the chagrin of the city's many fine smaller troupes. Smaller pond perhaps for Chicago grants and arts-philanthropy bucks than in NYC. But still: subsidies help.)" Thoughts?

3. The Amish Project is getting consistently positive reviews, and the latest leaves me a little lightheaded. "It happens very rarely," writes Sun-Times critic Hedy Weiss. "But there are times when you leave a theater fervently hoping no one will try to engage you in small talk and break the spell that has just been so magically cast."

4. This is your last free weekend before the Neo-Futurists new class starts taking up your weekends. Seriously, it's at Saturdays at 11 am, woah. The class is $250 for once a week until the end of November, and is taught by Greg Allen and John Pierson. "Using the Neo-Futurist aesthetic of being yourself on stage with an interactive audience, participants will focus on creating ensemble performances in pairs or small groups. We will explore such models as adaptation of known text, movement to music, The Interview (both as research and performance), The Silent Partner, choral staging, The Line Play, and audience participation," they say. So, a particularly Neo-Futurist experience.

5. Head to Scott Janus: Monster Hunter! at the New Millennium through the end of October. A young boy named Eddy Edderson tries to explain away the weird stuff that happens in his town, but of course, things go wrong. "Who can help him? Who will be there to fend off the things that go bump in the night?" You! You will! And it's in 3D, woah.

Questions? Tips? Email kdries@wbez.org.