Daily Rehearsal: The 'Reader' covers 40 years of Chicago theater

October 17, 2011

1. The Chicago Reader's reliving their past 40 years, which includes some really incredible reviews that former theater reviewer Tom Boeker wrote during his time there. And his feelings now, looking back? "These actors and directors with their hurt feelings, so misunderstood," Boeker wrote. "Was I supposed to lie, say that the earth moved beneath me? I was a critic, with a PhD in theater no less. Look at this way. You've been to one of those art shows at the mall. Wouldn't you say that 95 percent of that stuff was embarrassingly bad? Would you buy it? It's the same with theater, only you've already kissed $20 to $200 goodbye. In retrospect you probably could have used a heads-up on this turkey. So I'd tell people. I'm no artist. I don't make this sh*t up. I just call it as I see it." Some commentors don't quite agree with him, so read along.

2. The Great Follies smackdown has arrived, and "It’s a draw!" says Bob Bullen. "Both productions, as varied as they are, have their weaknesses and strengths, which, in the end, makes both productions equally well-worth seeing." These productions are, of course, Follies in New York, and Follies right here at Chicago Shakes.

3. TEDx Midwest was this weekend, with TEDxYouth@Midwest bringing out some absolutely fabulous (theater) folk. Like Joan Cusack. Were you there? Are you young? How was it?

4. A Chicago writer who sometimes tells stories for the theater who you might remember from a recent Machete performance about Rookie magazine, Megan Stielstra, has a great piece on Claire Zulkey's blog today about turning 30. 

5. The Congo Square Theatre moves to Stage 773, away from their longtime how at the Chicago Center for the Performing Arts. The newly revamped space has gotten a lot of attention lately; the grand opening of their new space was yesterday. You'll note that just a year ago, Jonathan Abarbanel put Congo Square on an endangered species list of Chicago-area theaters.

Questions? Tips? Email kdries@wbez.org.