Daily Rehearsal: What's UP with Second City?

November 21, 2011

1. Victory Gardens is getting NEA funding ($25,000) for Jackie Sibblies Drury’s play, We Are Proud to Present a Presentation About the Herero of Namibia, Formerly Known as South-West Africa, From the German Sudwestafrika, Between the Years 1884-1915, which opens in March. It's part of their IGNITION series, which workshopped six plays submitted by young writers of color in the spring of 2010; one successful production that came out of that work was Kristoffer Diaz's The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity (which was a Pulitzer finalist, among other honors.)

2. Second City has never been in the stand-up game, but with UP, that's about to change. "Maybe we’ve been a little snobby in the past," Andrew Alexander admits to The AV Club. "There has been this sort of split between stand-up and what we do, and they are both valid. For us to be involved with both gives us a better handle on understanding the form, and hopefully something new and fresh will come out of that experiment." It's a pretty interesting interview; Alexander doesn't sound too worried about the other new comedy club opening in Chicago, the Laugh Factory, which he says won't "have the same local sensibility" as UP. None of this really matters though; according to Alexander, you can't really "make it" in comedy if you stay in Chicago, but it sure is good training!

3. Salomee Speelt is Dutch; in Date Me! she plays Belgian, and in Sound of Silence by Jean Cocteau she's channeling Edith Piaf. The real reason to see Date Me! isn't Speelt though; it's the super awkward mixer you're forced into at the beginning of the play. Or maybe it's Michelle Slonim, who becomes more inebriated and more slapstick as the play goes on. "DATE ME" t-shirts available for purchase at the end. Speelt is a guest artist at Theater Wit, thus the double-plays.

4. SiNNERMAN brings you Sweet Confinement (so much angst in these names!) at the Viaduct. They even had a "cheese and chat opening gala" this weekend. Read this interview with playwright, artistic director and actor Anna Carini before you go, unless you're someone who likes to be really surprised.

5. Another panel about theater, this one hosted by the Reader, occurred this weekend at the Chicago Book Expo. Called "Writing for Theatre with the Reader", they asked "why aren't the people who write for theater thought of as part of the literary community?" The line-up was apparently Tony Adler, Joe Meno, Marisa Wegryzn, Greg Allen and Tanya Palmer. And then they answered all your big questions, right? Did you go/was it good?

Questions? Tips? Email kdries@wbez.org.