- The new Zanies in Rosemont opened on Friday, with free shows all weekend to celebrate (here are some photos). But if you actually live or work in Rosemont, you'll also get free admission this weekend as well, for shows headlined by Mike Toomey. They also have a large billboard on the Jane Addams Expressway. Or the Dan Ryan.
The United States is mired in a recession. Decades of explosive growth have created unheard of wealth - and massive income inequality, exacerbated by a sudden collapse of the financial system. Tension between the haves and have-nots is nearly at a breaking point - people are taking to the streets to demand change.
This is America at the dawn of the 20th Century. The excesses of the Gilded Age, powered by the Second Industrial Revolution, had given rise to unimaginably vast personal fortunes in the hands of men like John D. Rockefeller, Andrew Carnegie and JP Morgan.
In 1997, CNN reported the following phenomenon in from London: "The Teletubbies...have a following among the gay community. Tinky Winky, who carts around a red handbag but speaks with a male voice, has become something of a gay icon."
The hubbub roared on far past those mild statements, as religious leaders like Reverend Jerry Falwell spoke out against the "role modelling [of] the gay lifestyle [which] is damaging to the moral lives of children."
But there are many other gay icons that have gotten far less publicity, like Jan Brady, Amelia Earhart and even Lewis and Clark. Writer and performer Rob Anderson explained his favorites at a special Paper Machete performance and says "it just keeps getting better." Read an excerpt below or listen above:
America's getting gayer and gayer. If you told the queens at the Stonewall riots that there would be a big gay Oreo on their Facebook newsfeeds, they wouldn’t have believed it.
Although not based on a comic book or a comic strip, the new musical Hero at the Marriott Theatre in Lincolnshire revolves around a father-and-son who own a comic shop in Milwaukee, where the son—himself a gifted artist—records his ho-hum life in his sketch book as if he were the hero of a graphic novel. You don't actually learn much about graphic novels or superhero comics (except that Blackhawk is the richest superhero), but the context got me to thinking...
There's no intrinsic link between comics and theater, but there's an historic link between the two art forms. Over the years, many comic strips and comic books have been used as the source material for Broadway and Off-Broadway shows, almost all of them musicals.
Kelly Kleiman and Jonathan Abarbanel
| Jul. 5, 2012
Jul. 5, 2012
A Steady Rain, The Chicago Commercial Collective at Chicago Dramatists, 1105 West Chicago Avenue; first preview this Saturday (the 7th) at 8 pm, opening night Tuesday (the 10th) at 8; tickets $35-$40.
The original cast and crew reunite to stage Keith Huff’s powerful two-character police drama, which investigates the nature and extent of friendship as well as the impact of crime on the people whose job it is to solve it. The piece had its 15 minutes of fame when Hugh Jackman (Wolverine) and Daniel Craig (007) did it on Broadway; but having seen both that production and the original in Chicago, I strongly recommend this one. Director Russ Tutterow understands every nuance of the piece and actors Randy Steinmeyer and Peter de Faria are so authentic as to be terrifying. Through September 2; the perfect play for our long hot summer. -KK
Crowns, The Goodman Theatre, 170 North Dearborn Street, opens this Monday (the 9th) at 7 pm; tickets $29-$88.
Fourth of July often conjours up thoughts of freedom, flags and fireworks. But at a special Paper Machete performance, writer Kim Bellware spoke on a slightly less optimistic topic: the importance and meaning of an independent press. Read an excerpt below or listen above:
It was twenty years ago that Disney made Newsies, the amazing musical based on the Newsboys Strike of 1899. It starred Christian Bale and Bill Pullman, which was a bold move for the directors. The musical, heavy on choreographed dance scenes, put on full display both actors’ utter inability to dance or carry a tune. But as delightful as it was to hear the Welsh-born Bale poorly imitate a Brooklyn accent, it was more fun to see Joseph Pulitzer (played by Robert Duvall) cast as the villain, the heartless newspaper mogul making his hay on the backs of orphans and homeless kids.
In one “truthy” scene with Duvall, he swings his magnifying glass over a copy of Hearsts’ New York Journal, with a large black headline: "NUDE CORPSE ON RAILS -- NOT CONNECTED TO TROLLEY STRIKE.
Most Americans know the major stories that have shaped our history. But few realize that many of these moments involved underappreciated animals.
"Behind most historical figures at key points in American history are the animals that planted the ideas that changed our society forever," explains comedian Steve Waltien. At The Paper Machete's special All-American show, Waltien and associate Katie Rich embodied, among others, Declaration of Independence scribe Thomas Jefferson and his little-known pet cat Brown Sugar. Read an excerpt below or listen below:
Steve: Good afternoon. Katie and I are actors in Chicago and we've come here to do what we do best.