WBEZ | Nina Metz http://www.wbez.org/tags/nina-metz Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Week in Review: Twitter and NBC, Chick-fil-A and black comic book characters http://www.wbez.org/blogs/bez/2012-08/week-review-twitter-and-nbc-chick-fil-and-black-comic-book-characters-101441 <p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Screen%20shot%202012-08-03%20at%208.48.22%20AM.png" style="height: 299px; width: 300px; float: left; " title="" />Friday on <em>Eight-Forty-Eight</em>, we look back at the week in news with some of Chicago&#39;s most in-the-know journalists.</p><p>&quot;My <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/entertainment/movies/ct-mov-0803-chicago-closeup-20120803,0,2193647.column">film column today</a> highlights a few offerings at the Black Harvest Film Fest, one of which is a documentary about the problematic history of black superheroes in comic books,&quot; says the <em>Chicago Tribune</em>&#39;s Nina Metz. &quot;It&rsquo;s really interesting. The first black character to appear in a mainstream comic book was the Black Panther, who joined the Avengers&mdash;and nope,<em> The Avengers</em> movie does not include this character; for whatever reason, studios are not casting black men as superheroes. (Which is why that Donald Glover as Spider-Man meme probably didn&rsquo;t go anywhere.) &quot;<br /><br class="kix-line-break" />Metz has also been following the controversy <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/shira-lazar/guy-adams-on-being-suspen_b_1729879.html">surrounding reporter Guy Adams and Twitter</a>. &quot;NBC hasn&rsquo;t been proactive at all about interacting with unhappy viewers,&quot; says Metz.&nbsp;&quot;Yet weirdly, American Airlines is apparently all up in Twitter and responding to people ASAP.&nbsp; Who woulda thought an airline?&nbsp; People hate airlines!&nbsp; I simply <em>mentioned</em> this on Twitter (linked to a story about them) and they responded. It was hilarious.&nbsp;Anyway, I think we&rsquo;re growing accustomed to being &#39;heard&#39; and wanting an instantaneous response from companies.&nbsp;I think that has to at least be a part of everyone&rsquo;s <a href="http://venturebeat.com/2012/07/31/a-post-about-nbcs-olympics-coverage-that-nbc-might-agree-with/">frustration with NBC</a>; the total lack of acknowledging that people are unhappy.&nbsp; Maybe it doesn&rsquo;t matter to their bottom line, but I do think it reflects our expectations as customers/viewers.&quot;</p><p>Metz also points out how Twitter needs to figure out how to make money, and corporate partnerships with companies like NBC &quot;are likely to continue and probably change the nature of how &#39;open&#39; it is at the moment, for real-time anytalk.&quot;<br /><br />Others agree. &quot;I thought the Twitter/NBC stuff was dying down but I just got out of a social media meeting where it was all we talked about,&quot; said <em>Chicago</em> magazine&#39;s Scott Smith on Thursday. &quot;The real controversy seems to be about news organizations getting slammed for &#39;spoilers&#39; because they are discussing the events as they happen but before they are broadcast in prime time. The idea is the entertainment value should be preserved and the news value ignored. And because it&#39;s sports then that&#39;s OK.&quot;<br /><br />&quot;As far as the Guy Adams thing goes, the part that makes me nuts is how easy it was for NBC to shut down the guy&#39;s account. It was only because NBC had a partnership with Twitter that they were even made aware of it,&quot; added Scott, who wrote about this a bit <a href="http://www.ourmaninchicago.net/2012/08/why-nbcfail-matters-beyond-the-olympics/">on his personal blog</a>.<br /><br />Smith is also puzzled by another story: <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/judge-no-mistrial-drew-peterson-murder-case-101416">the Drew Peterson saga</a>, but not for the reasons you might think. &quot;Why is this being covered at the level it is? Is it because it&#39;s a real-life Lifetime movie (almost literally)? I honestly don&#39;t see any news value in it. It&#39;s not like it even explores larger societal trends of any kind.&quot;</p><p>Plus, Tony Sarabia <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/01/books/gore-vidal-elegant-writer-dies-at-86.html?pagewanted=all">remembers Gore Vidal </a>and brings up the latest in the <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/under-god/post/kiss-mor-chiks-gay-rights-activists-protest-chick-fil-a-with-kiss-in/2012/08/03/742e3d8c-dd69-11e1-8e43-4a3c4375504a_blog.html">ongoing Chick-fil-A </a>broohaha.</p></p> Fri, 03 Aug 2012 08:32:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/bez/2012-08/week-review-twitter-and-nbc-chick-fil-and-black-comic-book-characters-101441 Daily Rehearsal: Chicago comedians rack up Emmy nominations http://www.wbez.org/blogs/onstagebackstage/2012-07/daily-rehearsal-chicago-comedians-rack-emmy-nominations-101028 <p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/chicagofringeposter.jpg" style="height: 463px; width: 300px; float: left; " title="The new Chicago Fringe poster." /><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, serif; "><strong>- Some switch-ups at TUTA Theatre</strong></span></span>, as co-founders&nbsp;Zeljko Djukic and&nbsp;Jacqueline Stone change their roles. Djukic is moving to a position as Founding Director and Stone will become artistic director, all starting September 1. Djukic will be doing the Fulbright program in Serbia for the coming year, before he returns to TUTA upon its completion.</p><p><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, serif; "><strong>- Emmy nominations</strong></span></span> were released this morning;&nbsp;<a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/entertainment/tv/chi-emmy-award-nominations-chicago-20120719,0,3241185.column">Nina&nbsp;Metz pointed out</a>&nbsp;that the bounty was particularly fruitful for Chicago comedy stars. Huzzah!&nbsp;</p><p><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, serif; "><strong>-&nbsp;The <a href="http://chicagofringe.org">Chicago Fringe Festival</a></strong>&#39;s</span></span> got a new poster by a new set of designers. Andrew Gen, Richard Hibbert and Maschell Cha they won an open contest for their designs to be used on marketing materials for the festival, which runs from August 30 to September 9.&nbsp;&nbsp;&ldquo;Not only does&nbsp;Gen, Hibbert and Cha&rsquo;s design capture the feel and energy of the Fringe Festival, it also allows us to reach beyond the performance community and involve another aspect of the artistic scene,&quot; said Executive Director Vinnie Lacey.&nbsp;The image fits well with our election year theme that Fringe is all about choice.&quot;</p><p>Questions? Tips? Email <a href="mailto:kdries@wbez.org">kdries@wbez.org</a>.</p></p> Thu, 19 Jul 2012 10:43:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/onstagebackstage/2012-07/daily-rehearsal-chicago-comedians-rack-emmy-nominations-101028 The 3@3: Tax day stories, hockey playoff violence and the future of music (holograms!) http://www.wbez.org/blogs/bez/2012-04/33-tax-day-stories-hockey-playoff-violence-and-future-music-holograms-98311 <p><p>Today on the 3@3, RedEye Chicago Columnist Ernest Wilkins and Chicago Tribune Reporter Nina Metz talk with host Steve Edwards about the topics and themes of the day.</p><p>Which include:</p><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/AP120407149448.jpg" title="(AP)"></div><p><strong>Steve Edwards</strong>: <a href="http://abclocal.go.com/wls/story?section=news/politics&amp;id=8623323">Today is tax day and that means events, protests and political posturing dominate the headlines</a>. But what does tax day mean to you, and are you getting any money back this year?</p><p><strong>Nina Metz</strong>: Concussions in sport is not a new headline, but the rate in which <a href="http://www.thestar.com/opinion/editorials/article/1162559--hockey-playoff-violence-is-verging-on-out-of-control">grown men are bloodying themselves during the NHL playoffs is startling</a>. Do hockey fights help or hurt the game? And is it only done in the name of the fan?</p><p><strong>Ernest Wilkins</strong>: <a href="http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304818404577348243109842490.html">Tupac made a comeback this past weekend at Coachella</a>. Well, his hologram did. Now, there are plans to take the futuristic technology on tour. Did we just see the future of live music?</p></p> Tue, 17 Apr 2012 13:44:28 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/bez/2012-04/33-tax-day-stories-hockey-playoff-violence-and-future-music-holograms-98311 Can Chicago create a sustainable professional comedy industry to rival the coasts? http://www.wbez.org/blogs/bez/2012-04/can-chicago-create-sustainable-professional-comedy-industry-rival-coasts-97970 <p><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/the%20onion.jpg" style="width: 623px; height: 541px;" title=""></div><p>Considering the hubbub over <a href="http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-09-26/should-they-stay-or-go-illinois-offers-advantages-business-coasts-don%E2%80%99t-"><em>The Onion</em>’s impending move to Chicago</a>, you would have thought that it was the <em>New York Times</em> announcing it wouldn’t be publishing in New York anymore.<br><br>After the original buzz died down over the news that the free satrical weekly (which was conceived in Madison, Wisc., incidentally) would join forces with <em>The A.V. Club</em> in the Midwest, it seemed that things were calm. Chicago was pleased -- comics in Chicago were pleased, at least -- and well, those New Yorkers would just have to deal.<br><br>But the pot was stirred again with <a href="http://www.theatlanticwire.com/business/2012/03/onions-bumpy-ride-chicago/50149/">this <em>Atlantic Wire</em> story</a> that broke at the end of March, which reported ill-will amongst the staffers, enough that many of them said they weren't moving anywhere (and used the move to spark some creative editorial protesting).<br><br>Chicago comedians and <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/26/five-reasons-the-onions-n_n_1380867.html">writers </a>were both insulted and inspired over this quote from an unnamed staffer: "Nothing against Chicago. I think it's a great town. But we're here in the center of everything and it's still a challenge to find good people,” he or she told the <em>Atlantic</em>. In response, 24-year-old Chicagoan Josh Nalven said, “One man’s trash is my 401k and full dental” when <a href="http://chicagoist.com/2012/04/01/breaking_new_yorkers_are_kind.php"><em>Chicagoist</em> talked to him</a>.<br><br>But speaking with the <a href="http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2012-03-31/business/ct-biz-0401-onion-20120324_1_onion-joe-randazzo-staffers"><em>Chicago Tribune</em> last week</a>, editor-in-chief and general manager of<em> The Onion </em>Scott Dikkers&nbsp;said people in Chicago comedy are "younger and hungrier" than those in New York, a quality he’s looking forward to capturing.</p><p>Others aren't so sure comedy writers can make a decent living here. The host and producer of <em>The Sound of Young America </em>(now <em>Bullseye</em>) and<em> Jordan, Jesse, Go!,</em> Jesse Thorn&nbsp;tweeted, "Losing 2/3 of creative staff + moving to a place with close to zero pro comedy writers = recipe for disaster."&nbsp;This spurred a massive thread on <a href="https://www.facebook.com/jessethorn?sk=wall">his Facebook wall</a>, where Thorn further clarified:</p><p>"Make a list of the most successful alumni of The Second City. Then, in a column next to that, write down where all those people live. The reality is that people who want to work in entertainment move to the place where the jobs are, and that is not Chicago. And replacing 2/3 of a staff with people from a theater training program who are getting their first real job is a recipe for disaster."</p><p>Whether or not the staff -- or other writers -- are happy with the move, <em>The Onion</em> consolidating in Chicago offers the city an amazing chance to become a real comedy mecca, not just a state-of-the-art training facility. They want to expand to build a production studio, and take advantage of a 30% Illinois tax credit on all video business -- even web, <a href="http://www.theonion.com/channels/ifc/">where much of their content lives</a>.</p><p>And perhaps they should take a tip from Tina Fey, who famously got her start here. When asked by a fan who’s moving to the Second City what she should expect, Fey said in a promotional video for NBC, “My advice to you about Chicago is that Chicago is a real city. Manhattan is like Epcot center; Chicago is a no. joke. city.”</p><p style="text-align: center;"><br><span><iframe frameborder="0" height="347" id="NBC Video Widget" src="http://www.nbc.com/assets/video/widget/widget.html?vid=1394795" width="512"></iframe></span></p><p>Today on <em>Eight Forty-Eight</em>, we’ll speak with <a href="http://ioimprov.com/chicago/performers/instructors">Charna Halpern</a>, co-founder of iO, and <a href="http://www.secondcity.com/about/people/executivebio/153/">Kelly Leonard</a>, Executive Vice President of The Second City, both have helped many young performers go on to fame and fortune (and many more realize that perhaps they want a more stable job). They talk about whether this is the time for Chicago to beat Los Angeles in the comedy industry game. They’re joined by Nina Metz of the <em>Chicago Tribune</em>, who has shared insight on the performance industry <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blog/bez/2012-03-13/chicago-hollywood-lake-or-great-white-way-orsomething-97240">for WBEZ in the past</a>.<br><br>And for those coming to the city for the first time, this story, courtesy of Fey, might make them have a better idea of what they’re in for.<br><br>“Let me tell you something about Chicago: I used to have a homeless man living in the foyer of my building whose nose was bitten off. Another person had bitten off his nose, and he was just continuing with his business. That’s Chicago.”</p></p> Thu, 05 Apr 2012 13:49:45 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/bez/2012-04/can-chicago-create-sustainable-professional-comedy-industry-rival-coasts-97970 Is Chicago Hollywood on the lake? Or the Great White Way? Or...something? http://www.wbez.org/blog/bez/2012-03-13/chicago-hollywood-lake-or-great-white-way-orsomething-97240 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//blog/photo/2012-March/2012-03-13/6126614089_685f4bb7fc.jpg" alt="" /><p><div class="inset"><div class="insetContent"><p><span style="font-size:10px;">Listen to this conversation</span></p><p>&nbsp;</p><div class="mediaelement-audio"><audio class="mediaelement-formatter-identified-1336773884-0" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/sites/default/files/TV Film and break room 1-1.mp3">&nbsp;</audio></div></div></div><p>When it comes to having a burgeoning television industry, sometimes it feels like Chicago's on a bit of a rollercoaster. As quickly as <a href="http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2012-03-07/entertainment/chi-a-notsorosy-picture-behind-scenes-on-rosie-20120307_1_oprah-winfrey-s-harpo-studios-oprah-winfrey-network-o-donnell"><em>The Rosie Show</em> said goodbye to us</a>&nbsp;and the future of OWN seemed precarious, Steve Harvey <a href="http://www.wbez.org/story/steve-harvey-host-new-tv-show-chicago-97219">said he'd be coming to save the day</a>.</p><p>And that’s just the talk shows. In the coming weeks, several new shows and second seasons will start filming, because it's our version of pilot season!&nbsp;<em>Boss</em> is <a href="http://reelchicago.com/article/boss-season-2-renewal-means-hundreds-local-jobs">back</a>, after it was renewed almost immediately by Starz.<a href="http://www.avclub.com/chicago/articles/chicago-fire-a-new-series-from-law-and-orders-dick,68527/">&nbsp;<em>Chicago Fire</em></a>, a new show from <em>Law and Order</em> creator Dick Wolf, will film its pilot in the next few weeks. There's also the "Untitled Sony Pictures Television Pilot," a<a href="http://www.tvline.com/2012/02/jordana-spiro-mob-medical-drama-fox/"> medical show starring Jordana Spiro </a>(she was last seen in another Chicago-wannabe sitcom,<em> My Boys</em>). And last is <a href="http://www.reelchicago.com/article/mtv-s-underemployed-series-joins-boss-here-spring">MTV's <em>Underemployed</em></a>, (which has had <a href="https://www.facebook.com/events/205401889481275/">its own set of controversies</a>) from Craig Wright, who has been a part of shows like<em> Dirty Sexy Money</em>,<em> Six Feet Under</em> and <em>Lost</em>, and is an ensemble member of A Red Orchid Theater.</p><p><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2012-March/2012-03-13/6126614089_685f4bb7fc.jpg" style="margin-right: 10px; margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px; float: left; width: 368px; height: 400px; " title="Extras filming on location for 'The Playboy Club' (Flickr/Seth Anderson)">But all of that excitement is dampened by the memory of highly-touted (or at least highly publicized) shows like NBC's <em>T<a href="http://www.wbez.org/story/nbc-cancels-playboy-club-92813">he Playboy Club&nbsp;</a></em><a href="http://www.wbez.org/story/nbc-cancels-playboy-club-92813">essentially crashing and burning</a> last year. "Is it a moral killer? Yeah," said the&nbsp;<em>Chicago Tribune</em>'s Nina Metz when we talked to her before the show. But the city still made money off of it, about the financial equivalent of a film shooting here.</p><p>Betsy Steinberg, managing director of the Illinois Film Office, says that it's a highly volatile business, whether you're in Chicago, New York or Los Angeles. She cited FOX's&nbsp;<em>The Chicago Code</em>, whose cancellation disappointed many (just look at the comments on <a href="http://www.wbez.org/story/chicago-code-canceled-city-loses-25-million-86390">this article</a>), and came as a surprise to industry insiders, given the track record of creator Shawn Ryan on shows like <em>The Shield</em>. But Steinberg will admit that because of that smaller market,&nbsp;“You feel it more [when a show doesn’t get picked up in Chicago] than either L.A. and New York.”</p><p>Producers like Ruth Ratny, who runs the industry website <a href="http://www.reelchicago.com/">Reel Chicago</a>, believe the city should be doing more to get the revenue in and build the industry here. On some level, Chicago is facing an uphill battle: Shows like Showtime's <em>Shameless </em>film part-time here, but as Ratny points out, they do mostly exterior shots because "actors don't want to uproot their families. And you can't blame them."</p><p>And then there's all the sitcoms that frustrate local fans because they get all the details wrong; <em>Happy Endings</em>, <em>Whitney</em>, <em>Mike &amp; Molly</em> all seem to have picked Chicago because the creators were looking for an alternative to L.A. and New York, and we're a good alternative. Sitcoms will always shoot in L.A., because it's a more "efficient factory system," Metz explained. Unless, of course, there is "a star with enough leverage to force it" to be filmed elsewhere.</p><p>But no matter whether a show does well or not, the same production companies do continue to come back to Chicago. "FOX isn’t not interested in putting shows here because one of their shows did badly," said Metz about a show like<em> Chicago Code</em>. Metz, Ratny and Steinberg will join Steve Edwards on <em>Afternoon Shift</em> to discuss this season in television and how Chicago is doing as far as getting television in as a dependable revenue stream.</p><p>Of course, the future of the industry might be where we don't even recognize it. Some of the more established documentary houses are here, like Kartemquin and Towers Productions.&nbsp;(In fact, Kartemquin&nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/#%21/Kartemquin/status/179254539378098176">specifically asked us not to</a>&nbsp;forget docs in this discussion. Noted.)&nbsp;But documentaries and less-popular reality shows aren't exactly bringing big money to any one, whether they're in Chicago or not. And time will tell if projects like<a href="http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2012-02-24/entertainment/ct-mov-0224-chicago-closeup-20120224_1_hbo-pilot-netflix">&nbsp;the pilot being developed by HBO</a>&nbsp;for online streaming will take off as a way for everyone to spend a little money and make a lot. Who knows, though: Television might make Chicago the new Great White Way...or something.</p></p> Tue, 13 Mar 2012 17:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/bez/2012-03-13/chicago-hollywood-lake-or-great-white-way-orsomething-97240 Daily Rehearsal: Sketchfest marches on http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2012-01-10/daily-rehearsal-sketchfest-marches-95429 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//blog/photo/2012-January/2012-01-10/set.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family:georgia,serif;"><strong>1. The Chicago early premiere of <em>Smash </em><a href="http://insidetv.ew.com/2012/01/10/smash-premiere-chicago/">was last night</a></strong></span></span>, with&nbsp;executive producers Neil Meron and Craig Zadan and <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2012-01-04/daily-rehearsal-how-much-power-does-critic-hold-95267">our favorite Bryan d’Arcy James</a> in attendance.&nbsp;</p><p><img alt="" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2012-January/2012-01-10/set.jpg" style="margin-left: 10px; margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px; float: right; width: 180px; height: 271px; " title=""><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family:georgia,serif;"><strong>2. You could argue that <a href="http://www.chicagosketchfest.com/">Sketchfest</a></strong></span></span><a href="http://www.chicagosketchfest.com/"> </a>feels like it has been given a fresh coat of paint (literally) in its new Stage 773 location. But even if <em>you </em>personally couldn't, because you haven't been there, I will. Reviews from this past weekend are in, and they're consistent: <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/entertainment/theater/ct-ent-0109-sketchfest-review-20120107,0,3339955.story">Nina Metz at the <em>Trib </em></a>and <a href="http://timeoutchicago.com/arts-culture/comedy/15075745/live-review-chicago-sketchfest-weekend-recap">Jason&nbsp;Heidemann at <em>TimeOut </em></a>agree that Philadelphia's <a href="http://www.campwoods.net/">Camp Woods </a>gets a pass. They also both praised Portland's <a href="http://www.sweatysweat.com/">Sweat</a>; Metz writes effusively about&nbsp;Shelley McLendon, who she notes is the younger sister of Wendi McLendon-Covey, the disgruntled mother in <em>Bridesmaids</em>. And Heidemann calls new group <a href="https://www.facebook.com/BusinessComedy">The Business</a>&nbsp;"[a]mong the bigger surprises of the weekend" -- and though I'm a very biased friend of the group, I did see their show on Sunday and loved it. Sketchfest continues this weekend, starting up again Thursday.</p><p><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family:georgia,serif;"><strong>3. Improv helps you make friends</strong></span></span>, says author&nbsp;Rachel Bertsche, who moved to Chicago and found that she didn't really have any. She <a href="http://chicagoist.com/2012/01/10/you_gotta_have_friends_new_memoir_c.php">spoke with <em>Chicagoist</em></a> about her new book&nbsp;<em><a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&amp;v=ggEObQlmk1w" target="_blank" title="Opens in a new window">MWF Seeking BFF: My Yearlong Search for a New Best Friend</a></em>. Read her other suggestions over there and/or see her at the Book Cellar and the Highland Park Library this Thursday and next Wednesday, respectively.</p><p><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family:georgia,serif;"><strong>4. Matt Damon will be <a href="http://metrochicago.com/shows">at Metro on January 31</a></strong></span></span> as part of&nbsp;<em>Voices of a People's History Presents Howard Zinn's The People Speak, Live! </em>-- but online ticketing is sold out.&nbsp;If you'd like to hear a hilarious story about Matt Damon potentially coming to Chicago and meeting with the producers of <em>Wait Wait </em>instead, go over here and listen to <a href="http://howtodoeverything.org/post/13923574141/were-on-the-road-in-kentucky-this-week-so-we?645c1460">this episode of their podcast&nbsp;<em>How to Do Everything</em></a>.</p><p><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family:georgia,serif;"><strong>5. Broadway in Chicago profiled the Chicago chapter of<a href="http://www.twentypercentchicago.com/20_Theatre_Chicago.html"> 20% Theatre Company</a></strong></span></span>, who put up <em>The House of Yes</em> in November at the Think Tank and is planning their<em>&nbsp;1st Annual Variety Show </em>for February.</p><p>Questions? Tips? Email <a href="mailto:kdries@wbez.org">kdries@wbez.org</a>.</p></p> Tue, 10 Jan 2012 16:59:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2012-01-10/daily-rehearsal-sketchfest-marches-95429 Morning Rehearsal: Chicago theater 5/31 http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-05-31/morning-rehearsal-chicago-theater-531-87222 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//blog/photo/2011-May/2011-05-31/Animals-1.jpg" alt="" /><p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-May/2011-05-31/Animals-1.jpg" style="width: 500px; height: 333px;" title="'Animals Out of Paper' (Photo by Michael Brosilow"></p><p>1. Steppenwolf's NEXT UP reperatory begins with three separate productions, <em>Animals Out of Paper</em>, <em>Where We're Born</em>, and <em>Venus</em> showcasing a "next generation of artists."&nbsp; <a href="http://www.steppenwolf.org/_pdf/nextup_program_FINAL.pdf">The program</a>&nbsp;reveals a lovely look into the background of the people and projects, which are done in conjunction with Northwestern University's MFA students. The rotation starts tonight with <em>Animals Out of Paper</em> at 8 pm; expect to see both new and old faces to Steppenwolf.</p><p>2. <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/entertainment/theater/ct-ae-0529-keith-huff-20110527,0,6751299,full.story">Nina Metz talks to Keith Huff</a> about his new play <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-05-23/morning-rehearsal-chicago-theater-523-86900"><em>The Detective's Wife</em></a>. Huff gained widespread acclaim for his last work, <em>A Steady Rain</em>. He's also got his hands in movie and television projects you may have heard of, like <em>Mad Men</em> and the James Bond series.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-May/2011-05-31/Big Love Homepage.jpg" style="width: 300px; height: 400px;" title=""></p><p>3.&nbsp;<a href="http://www.theroyalgeorgetheatre.com/shows.php?s=44" style="color: rgb(2, 122, 198); text-decoration: none;"><em>Big Love</em></a>&nbsp;opened this weekend at the Royal George Theatre, but it's not quite the same thing you've seen on HBO. The show, presented by Chicago Fusion Theater, chronicles fifty Greek brides who are followed by their male cousins to an Italian villa where they have attempted to escape marriage. It's incredibly violent, but somehow manages to remain a comedy. The show, written by Charles L. Mee was&nbsp;<a href="http://www.chicagomaroon.com/2010/3/5/big-love-gets-caught-in-bloody-bad-romance" style="color: rgb(2, 122, 198); text-decoration: none;">seen at the University of Chicago</a>&nbsp;last year.</p><p>4. <a href="http://www.dreamtheatrecompany.com/Ismene.html"><em>Ismene </em></a>is running at Dream Theatre through this weekend, and is <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-05-24/morning-rehearsal-chicago-theater-524-86964">yet another</a> in the rash of Greek tragedies we've seen cropping up around Chicago stages of late. The production was given four-stars by TimeOut, and it's part of The Ismene Project, which aims to support breast cancer through awareness and raising funds.</p><p>5. And looking ahead: the first annual <a href="http://www.eyeonindia.com/chicago/">Eye on India</a>&nbsp;festival runs from July 8 to the 15 in Millennium Park. It celebrates Indian culture through theater, dance, music, food, literature, film, exercise and visual arts. Look forward to July 15, when the Ishara Puppet Theatre Trust performs <i><a href="http://www.eyeonindia.com/chicago/events.php?cat=3">Transposition</a>.</i></p><p>Questions? Tips? Email kdries@wbez.org.</p></p> Tue, 31 May 2011 14:31:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-05-31/morning-rehearsal-chicago-theater-531-87222 Morning Rehearsal: Chicago theater 5/26 http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-05-26/morning-rehearsal-chicago-theater-526-87070 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//blog/photo/2011-May/2011-05-26/EatCake_WebSize.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>1.&nbsp;<a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/entertainment/theater/ct-ott-0527-on-the-fringe-20110524,0,6195895.story">Nina Metz looks</a> at <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-05-23/morning-rehearsal-chicago-theater-523-86900"><em>Superman 2050</em></a>, and proclaims it better than <em>Spiderman: Turn off the Dark</em>! Well, not exactly: "Though it hits all the usual Superman signposts — Smallville, The Daily Planet, Lex Luthor, Kryptonite, Lois Lane — there is not a single aerial stunt in Theater Un-Speak-Able's 'Superman: 2050.' Dull, you might think — and you would be wrong. So wrong! Embracing the ethos of physical theater — a genre of performance that relies on movement and body language as a key element of storytelling — the ensemble conveys a thrilling amount of action and plot," Metz said. "It is an instructive lesson to all those big-budget behemoths and their expensive effects; the silly power of this imaginative, bare-bones production can not be overstated. The show will not change your world, but it is entertaining, both tongue-in-cheek and utterly sincere."</p><p style="text-align: center; "><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-May/2011-05-26/EatCake_WebSize.jpg" style="width: 333px; height: 500px; " title=""></p><p>2.&nbsp;Chick lit for the stage comes in the form of&nbsp;<a href="http://cornservatory.org/?page_id=1130" style="color: rgb(2, 122, 198); text-decoration: none; "><em>Eat Cake</em></a>, which closes tonight at the Cornservatory. Written and directed by Kristi McKay, it follows six women over one night as they share stories, cake and wine. Perhaps like <em>Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood</em>, but with less Sandra Bullock?</p><p>3. David Yontz presents<em> <a href="http://www.gorillatango.com/cgi-bin/public/gttv2.cgi?location_number=2&amp;shows=yes">Add Some Evil To Your Day</a></em> on Friday night only<em>,</em>&nbsp;in a show that's part concert, part stand-up comedy. Described as adressing " pressing themes in contemporary American culture", Yontz looks at "religion, education, feminism, masturbation and Satan," but all in an uplifting tone. It's at the Gorilla Tango at 9:30 pm.</p><p style="text-align: center; "><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="349" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/7QCRSdD-U40" width="560"></iframe></p><p>4. <a href="http://michaelpizzacomedy.com/index.html">Michael Pizza</a> starts its run at <a href="http://michaelpizzacomedy.com">iO tonight</a> at 10:30 pm, where they'll be performing every Thursday through August. Go for the name alone, or whatever story they claim the name is from.</p><p>5. Costume Designer&nbsp;Linda Roethke did some beautiful sketches for <em>Stage Kiss</em> and you can see them on<a href="http://goodman-theatre.blogspot.com/2011/05/designed-for-kiss.html">&nbsp;the Goodman Theater blog</a>. She had the challenge of technically creating ensembles for three plays -- <em>Stage Kiss</em>, and the two plays presented within it. "I think the costumes will help clarify what is going on. It can be a little confusing when you read the script because multiple actors play multiple roles. When audiences experience it, I hope the costumes help keep things clear," Roethke said.</p><p>Questions? Tips? Email kdries@wbez.org.</p></p> Thu, 26 May 2011 15:13:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-05-26/morning-rehearsal-chicago-theater-526-87070 Morning Rehearsal: Chicago theater 5/20 http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-05-20/morning-rehearsal-chicago-theater-520-86818 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//blog/photo/2011-May/2011-05-20/LBDimage2.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>1. Claudia Lavista, the&nbsp;co-founder and director of&nbsp;the <a href="http://delfosdanza.com/delfosdanza/index.html">Delfos Danza Contemporanea</a>, a Mexican Dance Theater Group,&nbsp;<a href="http://music.uchicago.edu/events/#/?i=1">is at the University of Chicago</a> this afternoon to discuss her work and "the post-human body." Head down to Hyde Park to figure out exactly what that means. It's at Goodspeed Hall on the 4th floor from 1:30 to 3 pm.</p><p>2. Nina Metz has a lovely <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/entertainment/theater/ct-live-0519-rondi-reed-20110518,0,3431982.story">interview with Rondi Reed</a>, who you may have seen in <em>Wicked</em>, or <em>Mike &amp; Molly</em>, or in her Tony-award winning performance in <em>August: Osage County</em>. She's in Chicago for the time being (she does consider this her home) for&nbsp;<em>The Outgoing Tide</em>&nbsp;at Northlight Theatre in Skokie.</p><p style="margin-top: 0.6em; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 1.2em; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; text-align: center; "><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-May/2011-05-20/LBDimage2.jpg" style="border-top-style: none; border-right-style: none; border-bottom-style: none; border-left-style: none; border-width: initial; border-color: initial; width: 500px; height: 491px; " title=""></p><p style="margin-top: 0.6em; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 1.2em; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; ">3. Check out&nbsp;<a href="http://www.lincolnsquareartscenter.com/" style="color: rgb(2, 122, 198); text-decoration: none; "><em>A Lesson Before Dying</em></a>&nbsp;at the Lincoln Square Theatre tonight and twice tomorrow. It grapples with deep subject matter, and Gaper's Block contributor&nbsp;<a href="http://gapersblock.com/ac/2011/05/12/review-a-lesson-before-dying-lincoln-square-theatre/" style="color: rgb(2, 122, 198); text-decoration: none; ">J.H. Palmer says</a>&nbsp;he "left the theater feeling both a little heavier and a little lighter than when I'd entered."</p><p>4. <a href="http://www.thedinnerdetective.com/sites/chicago/"><em>The Dinner Detective</em></a>, "America’s LARGEST murder mystery comedy dinner show,"&nbsp;is in Chicago. You'll get dinner and be able to practice your Sherlock Holmes skills (or Watson, if you're the sidekick kind). Plus, you get a prize if you win! It runs every weekend until July 30, so if you haven't seen it yet, book your tickets. However, if you just like sitting back and not doing anything, this may not be the performance for you.</p><p style="text-align: center; "><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-May/2011-05-20/" style="width: 449px; height: 600px; " title=""></p><p>5.&nbsp;<a href="http://www.northsidedt.com/">NorthSide Dance Theater</a> in Rogers Park has&nbsp;<a href="https://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=186069784774687"><em>1..2..3..4</em>&nbsp;</a>by the GI Alliance Studio tonight and tomorrow only at 8 pm. No sign as to whether the title is a reference to Sesame Street or Feist, but there will be 11 pieces total, and a reception to follow both performances.</p><p>Questions? Tips? Email kdries@wbez.org.</p></p> Fri, 20 May 2011 14:20:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-05-20/morning-rehearsal-chicago-theater-520-86818