Daily Rehearsal: New Leaf closes shop

May 16, 2012

1. Henry V from Promethean Theatre Ensemble is apparently not super fantastic, but maybe it's just the play and not the performance? Is that blasphemous against Shakespeare? Will I get flogged in the stockyards for that? Probably. But you know what I always say: it's the worst of the Henry's. Well, now you know that I always say that. (Update: Some have taken issue with the vague language of this. Fair play. It's been amended to include at least one less than favorable review, and to say that the author spoke with several others who had seen this particular production and not been wowed. However, she stands by her statement that Henry V is not particularly enrapturing; others find Promethean has done it's very best.)

2. The University of Chicago 2012 Edes Prize goes to David Brent and Jack Mayer, the minds behind the previously profiled superhero show and the semi-regular live movie events. "...with the Edes Prize to back them, Mayer and Brent can now think in terms of weeks-long runs, extending into in full three-show seasons, thereby allowing the individual works to grow and mature, and just as importantly, giving press and word of mouth the opportunity to help the artists build something repeatable and sustainable." They also get $30,000 which is enough money to basically make live movies for the rest of one's life, right guys?

3. I would be remiss if I didn't include Schadenfreude's NATO Loves You show this weekend, and by that I mean, my boss would give me a hard time for not promoting his weekend activities.

4. As the gossip mill indicated, New Leaf Theatre is no more, though it's slightly unclear as to why. The jist seems to be: the theater was fun, the admin work, not so much. "[I]in conversations beginning last year...they began to come to the consensus that their self-managed administrative model was unsustainable," reports Kris Vire in an exit interview with the founders. Also, there's grad school to be gone to and kids to be had. "I want to assure you that this decision was reached over a long period of time and was not the result of a calamity," wrote managing director Eleanor Hyde on the New Leaf Blog. "We are not bankrupt, we are not imploding or exploding, we hope to work together in the future." Their last production, Arcadia directed by Jess Hutchinson, closes June 16.

5. The Joffrey Ballet will now be accompanied by the Chicago Philharmonic for all performances, collaboration that can probably be described as "pretty exciting". "Working with the Chicago Philharmonic will enable the Joffrey to perform to live music at all four of our Chicago season programs, something that wasn't always feasible in the past due to budgetary restrictions," said Executive Director Christopher Clinton Conway in a statement. 

Questions? Tips? Email kdries@wbez.org.