The Gilbert & Sullivan Reperatory, The Hypocrites at Chopin Theatre, 1543 W. Division; 773-989-7352; $28; runs through Jan. 13.
I call it "the sugarplums-and-treacle time of year." Kelly calls it "another chance for Jonathan to spout off."
Obviously, we're talking about the same thing: that six-week hiatus — from mid-November through the New Year— during which theaters large and small abandon art in favor of Yuletide commerce, raking in dollars with a Holiday Season show.
We know they are successful because there are more and more of them every twelfth month, and they never disappear: Just like a seasonal allergy the same shows—and generally the very same productions of them — come back year after year. Some have been around for decades now.
- Strawdog is having a benefit on November 19 called The Phone Book, which will feature performances by people you know like SNL's Nora Dunn, Jonathon Berry, Sean Graney, and members of iO's Improvised Shakespeare, among others. The show is directed by Strawdog's Brandon Bruce and hosted by Anderson Lawfer.
- The Book of Mormon Chicago cast has been announced; according to the Sun-Times, Nic Rouleau will continue on as Elder Price, and Ben Platt, most recently seen in Pitch Perfect, will take on the role of Elder Cunningham. Additionally, James Vincent Meredith of Steppenwolf's ensemble and Boss has been cast as Mafala Hatimbi.
When the Chicago Tribune's paywall went up last week, Bill Adee, Vice President for digital development and operations said there was a great deal of Trib content "worth paying for," like "Chris Jones on theater, David Hall on sports, [and] Pulitzer Prize winner Mary Schmich."
But writer Coya Paz says that, "With the exception of theatre reviews, I never read the Tribune when it was free, so it’s hard to imagine I’d pay for access now." Read an excerpt of her thoughts below or listen above:
When I was a teenager, living in a depressing strip mall suburb, I spent a lot of time imagining what my life would be like when I grew up. I would live in glamorous metropolis, in a giant loft apartment with no furniture except for a giant mattress in the middle of the floor. After wild nights out with my fabulous but tortured artist friends, I would wake up in bed with my impossibly hot lover and we would lie around for hours, drinking coffee, eating croissants and reading the newspaper.
The Suitcase Opera Project, Chicago Opera Vanguard at Pritzker Pavilion, 201 E. Randolph; free (donation suggested); Nov. 8-10 only, 7:30 p.m.
"People tell me in 10 years I will be in the gutter. I'm almost looking forward to the prospect," Jimmy writes to his friend Howard in 1948. Jimmy is eighteen, gay, dishonorably discharged from the Marines, and living in New York. In 49 letters he documents his pre-Stonewall life of cruising the bars and streets and partying with Gore Vidal, Anais Nin, and Truman Capote, while rhapsodizing on art, love, and sexuality. Sixty years later, famed monologist David Kodeski buys the letters at random in an online auction and discovers Jimmy's lost world. For two years Kodeski has been turning the material into a non-fiction chamber opera, The Suitcase Opera Project, with composer Eric Reda, artistic director of Chicago Opera Vanguard. These weekend performances at Pritzker Pavilion are the culminating workshops in the development of the piece.