With every event we produce for our Off-Air Series, I get excited to learn something new, to have something I'm generally unfamiliar with imparted upon my limited knowledge of the world. This season alone, I've been in the presence of some of the most brilliant scientists in the country as they corelated real science with the science of the movies, in a church with Bob Edwards and a group of storytellers, and at the Chicago Urban Arts Society as Kevin Coval interviewed House and Hip-Hop music legends.
On March 2, I get to impart some of MY world to you.
I've been involved in the Chicago fringe theater scene for nearly 22 years and have seen some things (and done some things) that would turn your hair white and leave your mouths agape. The history of Chicago Theater, as written in a variety of books, is austere and colorful but is also censored pretty heavily - both by perspective and taste.
That's why I'm particularly pleased to invite you to come out on a Wednesday night to the fabulous Chopin Theatre (one of the genuine old school fringe theaters in town) and witness The Alternative History of Chicago Theater (Abridged).
Hosted by my friends, the Duelling Critics Jonathan Arbarbarnel and Kelly Kleiman, who are joined by Albert Williams (the lead critic for the Chicago Reader for decades and the man responsible for the twenty-year buildup of critical appraisal for ALL of Chicago's theater artists), Dennis Zacek (the co-founder of Victory Gardens Theatre and one of the true Off Loop Theatre powerhouses) and Kate Buddeke (an actor known for both her work in the basement theaters of Off Loop as well as Broadway - the one in New York, not "in Chicago"), the panel will regale you with stories both bawdy and shocking, funny and revealing.
In between the gossip, the anecdotes, the strange but true revelations of this exciting panel will be five short showcase performances by theater groups you probably haven't heard of but you should: sketch comedy group Robot vs Dinosaur, spoken word troupe BoyGirlBoyGirl, fringe theater companies The Plagiarists and RoShamBo Theater, and southside educational theater company Tofu Chitlin' Circuit. Each group will give us a performance-based slice of the alternative history of Chicago's rich theatrical tradition.
Where else can you hear about:
- A young William Peteson so nervous about a performance that he was found backstage, locked in a closet and pounding his head into a cabinet?
- the first onstage performance of Bill Murray naked?
- the worst opening night of all time featuring a play by David Mamet?
Get your tickets now and come out let me share some of my world with you. You'll never see theater the same way again.