WBEZ | Chinglish http://www.wbez.org/tags/chinglish Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Daily Rehearsal: Chicagoan wraps it up at the Golden Globes http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2012-01-17/daily-rehearsal-chicagoan-wraps-it-golden-globes-95594 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/photo/2012-January/2012-01-17/AP120115095719.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family:georgia,serif;"><strong>1.&nbsp;Profiles Theatre has big news today</strong></span></span>; it's announced that it will have the American premiere of Neil LaBute’s <em>In a Forest, Dark and Deep </em>AND that the production will open at their latest theater space, The Main Stage, which used to be owned by National Pastime. On the first bit of news: The production opened last March in London starring Matthew Fox and Olivia Williams, and will run in April at Profiles.<em>&nbsp;</em>LaBute’s previously schedule&nbsp;<em>The Break of Noon</em>&nbsp;will be postponed until next season. On the second bit of news, Profiles is swiftly taking over the world; this will be their third space, and second in the building on Broadway. LaBute said that the play "means a great deal to me and I wanted it to find a home in the states that can give it all the attention and dignity that it deserves. I've been extremely happy with my relationship to this little powerhouse of a theater...."</p><p><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2012-January/2012-01-17/AP120115095719.jpg" style="margin-right: 10px; margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px; float: left; width: 207px; height: 300px; " title="Co-composers Jimmy Harry and Julie Frost at the Globes (AP/Mark J. Terrill)"><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family:georgia,serif;"><strong>2. Former Chicagoan Julie Frost <a href="http://www.juliefrostmusic.com/2012/01/17/highlight-2/">made it big this weekend</a></strong></span></span>, appearing onstage at the Golden Globes with Madonna as they shared the award for Best Original Song for the pop star's new movie <em>Masterpiece</em>. Frost was a former teacher at Old Town School of Folk Music and has written lots of the songs by artists you just cannot get out of your head (cough: the Black Eyed Peas) and others you're happy to keep there (Beyonce). Congrats Julie, you're a rockstar.</p><p><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family:georgia,serif;"><strong>3. Wild Claw's new show <a href="http://scottbarsotti.wordpress.com/"><em>Kill Me</em> has an intense poster</a></strong></span></span>, designed by&nbsp;Charlie Athanas. Intense name, intense poster.</p><p><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family:georgia,serif;"><strong>4. After 128 performances,&nbsp;<a href="http://broadwayworld.com/article/CHINGLISH-to-Close-on-Broadway-January-29-2012-20120116#"><em>Chinglish </em>will be closing </a></strong></span></span>on Broadway on January 29. That's a record that's better than some shows could have dreamed, but probably fuels the fire of those who thought it was just too much of a jump for the show to go straight to Broadway from the Goodman.</p><p><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family:georgia,serif;"><strong>5. Podcast yourself to death</strong></span></span> with a final dispatch from Sketchfest by way of&nbsp;Jason Heidemann, who<a href="http://timeoutchicago.com/arts-culture/unscripted-blog/15082553/jason-heidemann-interviews-warm-milk-audio"> interviewed&nbsp;Warm Milk</a>, the Chicago sketch and improv group who are currently running their show <em>Stranded </em>at the Annoyance.</p><p>Questions? Tips? Email <a href="mailto:kdries@wbez.org">kdries@wbez.org</a>.</p></p> Tue, 17 Jan 2012 17:43:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2012-01-17/daily-rehearsal-chicagoan-wraps-it-golden-globes-95594 Daily Rehearsal: The most influential theater critics in America http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-11-01/daily-rehearsal-most-influential-theater-critics-america-93656 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/photo/2011-November/2011-11-01/theaterloop.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><span style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;"><strong>1.&nbsp;Raven Theatre&nbsp;has gotten a grant from NEA</strong></span></span>&nbsp;to host <em>The Big Read</em>, a program "designed to restore reading to the center of American culture." This means they'll have events like&nbsp;read-a-thons, book discussions, lectures, movie screenings, and performances. This time around, the choice is<font color="#000000"><font face="Times New Roman, serif"><font size="3">&nbsp;</font></font></font><em>Sun, Stone, and Shadows: 20 Great Mexican Short Stories,</em> edited by&nbsp;Jorge F. Hernández. The Kick-off party is November 19 at the Rogers Park Chicago Public Library, and <em>The Big Read Big Show</em> will be December 6.&nbsp;</p><p><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;"><span style="font-size: 14px;"><strong>2. Jennifer Lim&nbsp;is getting fair praise </strong></span></span>ever since the production of <em>Chinglish </em>moved to Broadway. <a href="http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203554104577001900772520474.html?KEYWORDS=Teachout"><em>The Wall Street Journal</em> said</a>, "This is Ms. Lim's Broadway debut, and she's a knockout, tough, smart and sexy. She's more than a match for <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-10-28/daily-rehearsal-non-look-new-laugh-factory-93571">Mr. Wilmes</a>, who seems to think that Ohio businessmen talk like Garry Shandling."&nbsp;</p><p><span style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;"><strong>3. There are some heated comments about Shakespeare</strong></span></span> <a href="http://www.chicagoreader.com/Bleader/archives/2011/10/28/shakespeare-exposed">over at the <em>Reader</em></a>; they follow Tony Adler's piece about <em>Anonymous</em>, the new movie that heavily aligns itself with the Oxfordian theory (that Shakespeare was actually the 17th Earl of Oxford). I love how this dude who has been dead for ages is still causing so many problems.</p><p><img alt="" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-November/2011-11-01/W2Mimagewithcredits.jpg" style="margin-right: 10px; margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px; float: left; width: 300px; height: 219px;" title=""><span style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;"><strong>4. Remember <a href="http://www.adventurestage.org/pages/walk_two_moons/195.php"><em>Walk Two Moons</em></a></strong></span></span>? Did you grow up in the 90s? Do you have children who grew up in the 90s? You know allll about Sharon Creech then. Personally, I was more of a fan of <em>Chasing Redbird</em>, though why I have no idea. Anywho, the main character Sal "ultimately realizes that things - and people - are not always what they seem" through her journies. Because if you walk a mile in another man's shoes, you'll know them, remember? It opens this weekend at Adventure Stage.</p><p><span style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;"><strong>5. Missed this last week</strong></span></span>, but <a href="http://tcg.org/publications/at/nov11/critical_juncture.cfm">here's a list of 12 of the most influential theater critics in American theater</a>, and you've guessed it, Chris Jones is right there in the midst of it all. Jones describes the Chicago-region as "blue-collar, profane and prone to violence."&nbsp;Written by David Cote, theater critic at <em>TimeOut New York</em>,&nbsp;the list actually garnered response in the comments from someone who made the list:&nbsp;Robert Faires, the Arts Editor of <em>The Austin Chronicle</em>. What I noticed: we're talking about a lot of old white men.&nbsp;</p><p>Questions? Tips? Email <a href="mailto:kdries@wbez.org">kdries@wbez.org</a>.</p></p> Tue, 01 Nov 2011 14:36:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-11-01/daily-rehearsal-most-influential-theater-critics-america-93656 Daily Rehearsal: A non-look into the new Laugh Factory http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-10-28/daily-rehearsal-non-look-new-laugh-factory-93571 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/photo/2011-October/2011-10-28/laugh-factory.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><span style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;"><strong>1. <em>Chinglish o</em>pened on Broadway last night</strong></span></span>. Unfortunately, there's not much new to report; the information that <a href="http://nymag.com/daily/entertainment/2011/10/chinglish_playwright_david_hen.html">David Henry Hwang shares in his interview with<em> New York Magazine</em></a> isn't <a href="http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-06-24/chinglish-makes-comedy-out-cultural-confusion-88301">really news to us</a>. Changes to the production from when it was at the Goodman include some casting alterations;"&nbsp;the earnest if less-than-subtle British actor Stephen Pucci is now playing a character of his own nationality (Peter is no longer Australian)" (<a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/entertainment/theater/theaterloop/ct-ae-1030-chinglish-20111027,0,4633332.column">via Chris Jones</a>). And as we know, "Gary Wilmes has <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-09-01/daily-rehearsal-new-york-cast-chinglish-has-one-surprise-91392">taken over the lead role of the Ohio businessman Daniel</a>." The problem with Wilmes? He "offers a fluid, quirky, restless performance of greater comedic sophistication in a Jon Stewart-like mode, but not the requisite vulnerability when it really matters."</p><p><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-October/2011-10-28/laugh-factory.jpg" style="margin-right: 10px; margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px; float: left; width: 300px; height: 225px;" title=""><span style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;"><strong>2. Take a look at the new Laugh Factory</strong></span></span>, aka the former Lakeshore Theater...but <a href="http://timeoutchicago.com/arts-culture/comedy/15003009/a-first-look-at-chicagos-new-laugh-factory-comedy-club">as one commentor notes</a>, you can't really take a look at it, because there are no photos. So just <em>imagine </em>that you're walking through it and you can see it, like on the radio. Also: "The bathrooms sparkle with white tiles and an otherwise understated, contemporary look." And "An elevator is available for people with disabilities and valet parking will ease the neighborhood's horrific parking problem."&nbsp;Cool....</p><p><span style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;"><strong>3.&nbsp;Clay Goodpasture</strong></span></span>, who is currently starring in the Annoyance's Halloween show,&nbsp;<i><a href="http://www.chicagoreader.com/chicago/splatter-theater/Event?oid=4743063" style="color: rgb(7, 120, 190);">Splatter Theatre</a></i>, <a href="http://www.chicagoreader.com/gyrobase/hackslash-chuck-palahnuik-haunted-the-haunting/Content?oid=4876180&amp;storyPage=3">says he's been reading&nbsp;<i>Haunted</i></a>, by Chuck Palahniuk. "Since it is a series of short stories, it is a great book for your morning commute," says Goodpasture. "Nothing wakes me up like an abnormally skinny man losing part of his lower intestine in a masturbation accident."</p><p><span style="font-size: 14px;"><strong><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;">4. Is the applause at the beginning of <a href="http://www.chicagonow.com/the-fourth-walsh/2011/10/chicago-theatre-off-book-chats-with-timeline-stage-773-and-reviews-lookingglass-the-lyric-and-strawdog-plus-got-a-minute/">Chicago Theater Off-Book</a> real?</span></strong></span> As in, "this is recorded in front of a live audience" real? Also props to Katy and Josh for remaining so upbeat, I seriously don't know how they do it.</p><p><span style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;"><strong>5. No, but seriously why are we even bothering to talk about theater this weekend?</strong></span></span> Everyone knows that the best theater will be on the streets. If you're burning to get your fix, head to <a href="https://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=294730300541597">Redmoon's Halloween party</a>, which is sure to be a good time, where there will be FIRE, performances and mechanical creations! Free entry with a DJ, but a cash bar -- email boxoffice@redmoon.org with questions.</p><p>And for questions for me, or if you have tips, email <a href="mailto:kdries@wbez.org">kdries@wbez.org</a>.</p></p> Fri, 28 Oct 2011 15:49:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-10-28/daily-rehearsal-non-look-new-laugh-factory-93571 Christine Lin goes to Broadway in 'Chinglish' http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-09-07/christine-lin-goes-broadway-chinglish-91608 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/photo/2011-September/2011-09-07/Christine Lin_Eric Futran.jpg" alt="" /><p><p style="text-align: center;"> <style type="text/css"> <!--{cke_protected}{C}%3C!%2D%2D%0A%20%2F*%20Font%20Definitions%20*%2F%0A%40font-face%0A%09%7Bfont-family%3A%22Times%20New%20Roman%22%3B%0A%09panose-1%3A0%202%202%206%203%205%204%205%202%203%3B%0A%09mso-font-charset%3A0%3B%0A%09mso-generic-font-family%3Aauto%3B%0A%09mso-font-pitch%3Avariable%3B%0A%09mso-font-signature%3A50331648%200%200%200%201%200%3B%7D%0A%20%2F*%20Style%20Definitions%20*%2F%0Ap.MsoNormal%2C%20li.MsoNormal%2C%20div.MsoNormal%0A%09%7Bmso-style-parent%3A%22%22%3B%0A%09margin%3A0in%3B%0A%09margin-bottom%3A.0001pt%3B%0A%09mso-pagination%3Awidow-orphan%3B%0A%09font-size%3A18.0pt%3B%0A%09font-family%3A%22Times%20New%20Roman%22%3B%7D%0Atable.MsoNormalTable%0A%09%7Bmso-style-parent%3A%22%22%3B%0A%09font-size%3A10.0pt%3B%0A%09font-family%3A%22Times%20New%20Roman%22%3B%7D%0A%40page%20Section1%0A%09%7Bsize%3A8.5in%2011.0in%3B%0A%09margin%3A1.0in%201.25in%201.0in%201.25in%3B%0A%09mso-header-margin%3A.5in%3B%0A%09mso-footer-margin%3A.5in%3B%0A%09mso-paper-source%3A0%3B%7D%0Adiv.Section1%0A%09%7Bpage%3ASection1%3B%7D%0A%2D%2D%3E--></style> <img alt="" class="caption" height="333" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-September/2011-09-07/production_08.jpg" title="(Photo by Eric Y. Exit)" width="500"></p><p>The only Chicago actor in the Goodman’s production of David Henry Hwang’s <em>Chinglish</em> took off for NYC Wednesday.</p><div class="inset"><div class="insetContent"><p><strong>More</strong><br> <a href="http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-06-24/chinglish-makes-comedy-out-cultural-confusion-88301">'Chinglish' makes comedy out of cultural confusion</a></p></div></div><p>“I suppose I should be a little nervous about starting such a large project, but I’m too excited about everything, from moving to New York City to being in a Broadway show!," Christine Lin wrote in an email last night.&nbsp; "I’ve been packing and saying my goodbyes this week, which has been really tough. My family and friends here are amazing, and I just love Chicago, crazy weather and all.”</p><p>Rehearsals start on Monday for the Broadway production of the critically acclaimed play about an American businessman who goes to China in search of economic opportunity.&nbsp; Lin calls <em>Chinglish</em> a “great show—fun, sexy, poignant, and so relevant to our polycultural world.”</p><p><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-September/2011-09-07/Christine Lin_Eric Futran.jpg" style="width: 324px; height: 370px; border-width: 8px; border-style: solid; margin: 8px; float: right;" title="">Lin’s role—primarily the third translator, but also a few walk-on parts—wasn’t in the early drafts. "I guess I’m lucky I got written in!”, <a href="http://www.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-07-13/christine-lin-chinglish-found-translation-89080">the 29-year-old Buffalo Grove and Barrington native told me in July</a>.</p><p>“There was actually a scene I auditioned with that ended up getting cut from the final script,” she said. “The scene was really funny, but it was kind of a little side thing. It was about Peter [the <strike>Ohio businessman</strike>Australian translator] trying to pick up a girl in a bar, and it sort of doesn’t register that he’s speaking Chinese because of the way he looks and responds to her in English…” Business as usual in this language-focused farce.</p><p>A gee-whiz kind of girl, Lin talked a few months ago about the thrill of being at the Goodman in a show that got huge audience response.</p><p>“It’s an amazing rush to hear that many people laughing or to hear that many people with you—even to listen to the reaction over the monitor backstage.", said Lin. "I love doing the Enron scene. From the moment we start turning with the music [in David Korins’s ingenious set], you just feel really cool.”</p><p><a href="http://www.chinglishbroadway.com/">Previews of <em>Chinglish</em> begin October 11 in New York.</a></p></p> Wed, 07 Sep 2011 14:50:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-09-07/christine-lin-goes-broadway-chinglish-91608 Daily Rehearsal: New York cast of 'Chinglish' has one surprise http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-09-01/daily-rehearsal-new-york-cast-chinglish-has-one-surprise-91392 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/photo/2011-September/2011-09-01/augustosagecounty-in-sydney-05.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><span style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;"><strong>1. For a deeper look into the Fringe festival</strong></span></span> than <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-08-31/daily-rehearsal-get-ready-october-and-lots-free-theater-91235">what </a>we've <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blogs/onstagebackstage/2011-08-08/daily-rehearsal-tim-j-macmillan-bikes-theater-90252">given </a>you so <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-09-01/look-out-wienermobile-and-alice-wonderland-weekend-theater-91396">far</a>, go to the <a href="http://www.chicagoreader.com/chicago/fringe-festival-second-year-pilsen-plays-dance/Content?oid=4528112">Reader</a>, which highlights some of our picks, as well as some new options, like&nbsp;Rie Shontel's&nbsp;<i>Mama Juggs</i>&nbsp;and&nbsp;MelnColly Theatre Company's <i>Nearly Naked. </i>Am I sensing a theme here?&nbsp;</p><p><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-September/2011-09-01/augustosagecounty-in-sydney-05.jpg" style="margin: 10px; float: right; width: 300px; height: 200px;" title="Wilmes on the left, in 'August: Osage County' in Sydney (Photo by: Grant Sparkes-Carroll)"><span style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;"><strong>2. The New York cast of <em>Chinglish </em></strong></span></span>will look basically the same as what you saw here in Chicago, sans one of the lead characters Daniel, who was played by <a href="http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0914209/">James Waterston</a>, but will now be taken over by <a href="http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1675596/">Gary Wilmes</a>. <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/entertainment/theater/theaterloop/chi-chinglish-20110831,0,7236657.column">Chris Jones writes</a>, "The replacement of Waterson (sic)&nbsp;was expected. More surprising is the decision to go with a well-respected actor (who appeared in the Elevator Repair Service production of <em>Gatz </em>and has several Chicago credits) rather than a ticket-selling star." I get the last part, but I totally missed the memo on Waterson being dropped as "expected." Anyone out there in the know want to fill me in? Wilmes has also been seen in the tour&nbsp;<em>August: Osage County</em>&nbsp;made of Austraila.</p><p><span style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;"><strong>3. <a href="http://www.profilestheatre.org/" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border-width: 0px; outline-width: 0px; font-size: 12px; background-color: transparent; color: rgb(0, 153, 204);" target="_blank">Profiles Theatre</a>&nbsp;is pushing back</strong></span></span>&nbsp;<span style="font-size: 12px;"><em style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border-width: 0px; outline-width: 0px; font-size: 12px; background-color: transparent;">A Behanding in Spokane</em></span>&nbsp;<a href="http://timeoutchicago.com/arts-culture/theater/14922149/profiles-postpones-a-behanding-in-spokane">again</a>, due to Darrell W. Cox's emergency surgery for a detached retina. The play will now run from October 16 to December 4. Because this interferes with Assisted Living by Deirdre O'Connor, they'll be moving to the Second Stage. Best of luck Darrell.&nbsp;</p><p><img alt="" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-September/2011-09-01/the-kid-thing.jpg" style="margin: 10px; float: left; width: 249px; height: 300px;" title=""><span style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;"><strong>4. Opening tonight in previews</strong></span></span> is a play about yuppies who are worried about kids and having them and life changes. Yup, it's <a href="http://www.chicagodramatists.org/production_the-kid-thing"><em>The Kid Thing</em></a> by the Chicago Dramatists. This set of yuppies has a bit of a twist; they're two lesbian couples at a dinner party.&nbsp;</p><p><span style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;"><strong>5. Hershey Felder (yes, real name)</strong></span></span> is coming to Chicago again with&nbsp;<em>Maestro: The Art of Leonard Bernstein</em>, his first-person account of Leonard Bernstein's life, complete with music.<strong><em>&nbsp;</em></strong>&nbsp;Director Joel Zwick takes it on at the Royal George. The show begins previews November 1 and plays through December. When it played in Los Angeles, <a href="http://www.variety.com/review/VE1117944046">Variety said</a>, "Deftly and amusingly, Felder explores the roots of Bernstein's themes in the great composers of the past, as well as the Jewish folk tunes, which forged a bond between a willful son and stubborn Old World father."</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Questions? Tips? Email <a href="mailto:kdries@wbez.org">kdries@wbez.org</a>.</p></p> Thu, 01 Sep 2011 14:26:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-09-01/daily-rehearsal-new-york-cast-chinglish-has-one-surprise-91392 Daily Rehearsal: Cameron Esposito talks about mullets http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-08-04/daily-rehearsal-cameron-esposito-talks-about-mullets-90129 <p><p><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-August/2011-08-04/4697018250_8a348ac1bf.jpg" style="width: 226px; height: 300px; margin: 10px; float: right;" title="Cameron Esposito rockin' the mullet (Flickr/TheeErin)"><span style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;"><strong>1. Cameron Esposito <a href="http://www.avclub.com/chicago/articles/cameron-esposito-on-great-mullets-throughout-histo,59773/?utm_medium=RSS&amp;utm_campaign=feeds&amp;utm_source=avclub_rss_daily">talks about mullets</a> all over town</strong></span></span> 'cause she has one and she knows all about them. Esposito's making the rounds becaus her show <em>Side Mullet Nation</em> starts at the <a href="http://www.the-playground.com/">Playground </a>tomorrow night for an extended three week run on Friday nights. <a href="http://www.chicagoreader.com/chicago/chicago-comic-cameron-esposito-founder-of-side-mullet-nation/Content?oid=4372066">She says</a> two of the comics she's included in her line-up,&nbsp;Andrew Halter and Caitlin Bergh, "rock my socks." She also talks about some of her favorite locations to perform, one of which is a little surprising. "I've really enjoyed the challenge of holding a crowd's attention at Steamworks" Esposito said, and yes, she's referring to the Boystown men's bathhouse.&nbsp;</p><p><span style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;"><strong>2. Lots of <em>Funny Girl</em> drama, albeit outside of Chicago</strong></span></span>. The producers <a href="http://www.playbill.com/news/article/153326-Hello-Gorgeous-Lauren-Ambrose-Will-Star-in-Broadway-Bound-Funny-Girl-Revival">announced</a> this week that Lauren Ambrose has been cast as the lead in that particular production, making Lea Michele cry herself to sleep, or into her large <em>Glee </em>paycheck. Ambrose has done more theater in the past few years than usual -- we've <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-07-14/daily-rehearsal-steppenwolf-sends-emmy-congrats-martha-plimpton-891">mentioned her turn as Juliet</a> in <em>Romeo and Juliet</em> at Shakespeare in the Park before -- but what about musical theater? Director&nbsp;Bartlett Sher said, "It's important that people not see this casting process as trying to find the next Barbara Streisand. She is one of a kind. Instead, I really needed someone with whom I could explore the original musical and come to terms with Fanny Brice for a new era."</p><p><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-August/2011-08-04/3095260207_7fac575aca.jpg" style="border-style: none; width: 300px; height: 200px; margin: 10px; float: left;" title="Michelle Yeoh and Michelle Krusiec in 'Far North' (Flickr/sodapictures)"><span style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;"><strong>3. Michelle Krusiec&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-08-01/daily-rehearsal-kevin-bacon-comes-chicago-89916" style="color: rgb(2, 122, 198); text-decoration: none;">also&nbsp;</a>said goodbye to&nbsp;<em>Chinglish&nbsp;</em></strong></span></span>on Saturday. The actress flew in from Los Angeles, and also managed to get some shopping time in in Wicker Park, and throughly enjoyed herself. It's no Fred Segal, but it'll do. You might remember her most as the competitive eater on&nbsp;<em>Grey's Anatomy</em>&nbsp;whose coach just won't say stop, but Krusiec has been in many films, and more recently returned to the small screen with roles on&nbsp;<em>Community</em>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<em>General Hospital</em>.&nbsp;</p><p><span style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;"><strong>4. <em>The New York Times </em>must have picked up on <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-07-26/hey-audience-sit-down-shut-and-clap-89677">Jonathan Abarbanel</a></strong></span></span><a href="http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-07-26/hey-audience-sit-down-shut-and-clap-89677">'s commentary</a> about how standing ovations are <em>so </em>out, because they have a piece today <a href="http://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/08/04/theater-talkback-is-it-fair-to-jeer/?src=tp">about booing</a> and whether it should make a comeback. "Today, I’m a theater critic with a platform to express myself," says David Fox. "But as a civilian, I’ll admit I contemplated booing."</p><p><span style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;"><strong>5. Want to know what's going on in Canada?</strong></span></span> Chris Jones knows <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/entertainment/theater/theaterloop/ct-ae-0724-stratford-20110722,0,6965064.column">all about the Stratford Shakespeare Fest</a>, including the story on how artistic director Des McAnuff is leaving his post in 2013.</p><p>Questions? Tips? Email <a href="mailto:kdries@wbez.org">kdries@wbez.org</a>.</p></p> Thu, 04 Aug 2011 16:49:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-08-04/daily-rehearsal-cameron-esposito-talks-about-mullets-90129 Daily Rehearsal: Kevin Bacon comes to Chicago http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-08-01/daily-rehearsal-kevin-bacon-comes-chicago-89916 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/photo/2011-August/2011-08-01/20110830bacon.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><span style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;"><strong>1. <em>Chinglish </em>said goodbye to the city of Chicago</strong></span></span> in a dramatic fashion; Rahm Emanuel saw the show on Friday, and Governor Pat Quinn made an appearance Saturday. It's too bad they didn't plan it so they could sit together for a nice photo op.</p><p><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-August/2011-08-01/20110830bacon.jpg" style="width: 227px; height: 350px; margin: 10px; float: left;" title="The Bacon Brothers"><span style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;"><strong>2. Besides being married to <em>The Closer</em></strong></span></span>, and being that dude that everyone knows, Kevin Bacon has a band. With his brother! No this is not high school; The <a href="http://baconbros.com/">Bacon Brothers</a> really are a thing. There probably won't be any acting, but a girl can dream about a some <em>Footloose </em>dance scenes being reenacted, or perhaps a cover of the timeless tune of the same name. You'll have to wait until the end of August to see them and experience their “forosoco” style music ("a blend of folk, rock, soul and country")&nbsp;at the <a href="http://www.paramountaurora.com/20110830bacon.php">Paramount</a>.</p><p><span style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;"><strong>3. The shadow puppet show<em> Ada/Ava</em></strong></span></span> was one-weekend only, so you missed it, but why don't you just sit down and hear about it for a second, alright? Presented by Manual Cinema, it's the story of twin sisters who are reunited even though one is dead (sounds mystical).&nbsp;Tony Adler <a href="http://www.chicagoreader.com/Bleader/archives/2011/07/31/last-chance-to-see-adaava-tonight">at the Reader says</a>, "The piece mixes extraordinary technical sophistication—a rich quadraphonic sound design, cinematic transitions—with assertively naive children's-gothic-style storytelling. The combination can get clunky at times, but the overall effect is gentle, lovely, fascinating."</p><p><span style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;"><strong>4. Tonight is the first Monday of all Monday's in August for <a href="http://www.gorillatango.com/cgi-bin/public/gttv2.cgi?location_number=2&amp;shows=yes"><em>$500 GTT Stand-Up Thing</em></a></strong></span></span> at, you guessed it, the Gorilla Tango. "Do you love voting for things but have no idea what to do with yourself since American Idol is over for the season?" Stop by Gorilla tango, be funny, or vote for people who are funny, and whoever wins the final round will get $500, a hot dog, and a headlining show at GTT. Which prize is worth the most to <em>you</em>? Tonight at 8 pm.</p><p><span style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;"><strong>5. <a href="https://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=116690075085159">Hug City</a> has a free show at Racine Plumbing Bar and Grill tonight</strong></span></span>. Hosted by Lauren Vino, it features&nbsp;Marty DeRosa,&nbsp;Aaron Weaver,&nbsp;Ramon Rivas,&nbsp;Jesse Baltes and&nbsp;Sam Mechling. Despite the name, Hug City is more about promoting comedy awareness in Chicago than about just touching a bunch of people physically. They also want to remind you that "This show has a zero tolerance policy for disruptive audience members, that will be enforced in a friendly but firm manner." Hecklers, you've been warned.</p><p>Questions? Tips? Email <a href="mailto:kdries@wbez.org">kdries@wbez.org</a>.</p></p> Mon, 01 Aug 2011 18:47:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-08-01/daily-rehearsal-kevin-bacon-comes-chicago-89916 Christine Lin in 'Chinglish': Found in translation http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-07-13/christine-lin-chinglish-found-translation-89080 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/photo/2011-July/2011-07-13/christine lin.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><img alt="" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-July/2011-07-13/christine lin.jpg" style="width: 400px; height: 429px; margin-left: 10px; margin-right: 10px; margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px; float: left; " title="">The thorny process of translating language and culture is the whole point of David Henry Hwang’s farce <em>Chinglish</em>, the Goodman’s world premiere (<a href="http://www.goodmantheatre.org/">recently extended and headed for Broadway</a> in the fall). No surprise, then, that there’s no less than three translators, each showing a different facet of Chinese society, and lots of dialogue in Mandarin, translated into English in supertitles, as Midwestern businessman Daniel Cavanaugh wheels and deals in the provincial city of Guiyang.</p><p>Christine Lin, 29, a native of the northwest suburbs who also works part-time as an engineer, plays the third and final translator. “Mine is pretty confident she’s doing well and feels, I think, important that she’s translating for the judge and the prosecutor,” says Lin. “She’s also very proud of her city!”</p><p>Stereotyping runs rampant on both sides, but as Lin points out, “It’s important to remember that this is a specific story about specific people.” And sometimes simply being able to recognize a name or news event—Enron, for instance—is what creates a connection. When Hwang was visiting China and talked about musicals, the one that people reacted to most favorably, he told the cast, was <em>Enron</em> (a Broadway flop). Lin says their response was, “Oh yeah, we’ve heard of that!”</p><p>The Enron scandal plays a crucial role in Lin’s translation scene. “Every night that scene is different,” she says, “based on the audience reaction. For instance, sometimes when Daniel says, ‘Andrew Fastow could have been Chinese—he was so smart and guarded and kind of sneaky,’ some audiences are like, ‘Oh NO! He did <em>not</em> just say that!’ They’re scared he offended us. And I love that part when the audience realizes that, no, we think that’s a really flattering thing to say. Sometimes we get laughs…. The rhythm is different every night, so it’s learning to surf on the audience reaction, which is fun.”</p><p>Lin—the only Chicago actor in a cast of seven—knew Mandarin going in. Both her parents grew up in Taiwan (though her dad was born in mainland China) and came to the States for grad school. “I grew up speaking it,” she says, “and my grandparents of course speak Chinese, and I went to Chinese school… every Sunday! I wasn’t crazy about it. I don’t read it very well, but listening to it, I learned. And there were a lot of people to help with pronunciation and making sure we said things correctly.” During auditions, Lin says, “There were people who spoke Chinese, but maybe more Cantonese and only knew a little Mandarin, or a different dialect. They really aren’t the same! If someone is speaking Cantonese, I can’t understand a thing.”</p><p>Goodman’s production—workshopped for a year in New York, according to Lin—is pretty high-powered. Director Leigh Silverman also staged the world premiere of Hwang’s <em>Yellow Face</em> in 2007. “Leigh is great, very protective of her actors in the work,” says Lin. “She has a clear vision even though there’s room to play. And I loved to watch her work with David, there’s so much respect and understanding even without words.”</p><p>The Broadway cast hasn’t been announced, but Lin says, “We all get along together really well. I would love to go!” The day before we talked, she says, she went out onstage and “it just felt like home.”</p><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/W9TVX1_wS4U" align="right" frameborder="0" height="200" scrolling="no" width="300"></iframe>A <a href="http://halcyontheatre.org/">Halcyon Theatre</a> and <a href="http://www.stirfridaynight.org/">Stir-Friday Night!</a> company member, Lin also played the lead in <a href="http://www.infusiontheatre.com/">InFusion</a>’s production of <em>Soul Samurai</em> last spring. At 5’8”, she does not fit the stereotype of Asian women—but playing warrior Dewdrop was perfect. “I’d had very little fight experience before that,” says Lin, “but it was so much fun. I’d love to fight again. I love to dance and sing, anything that challenges me…. I’m like, ‘Let’s try anything!’ Though, being an actor, that is part of the job.”</p></p> Wed, 13 Jul 2011 14:29:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-07-13/christine-lin-chinglish-found-translation-89080 'Chinglish' mines cultural, language divide between East and West for laughs http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-07-01/chinglish-mines-cultural-language-divide-between-east-and-west-laughs-88 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/segment/photo/2011-July/2011-07-01/Chinglish.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>China has changed dramatically in the 23 years since David Henry Hwang’s <em>M. Butterfly</em> first hit Broadway. If the East retains a reputation for mystery, today that may well stem from its astonishing economic growth as much as its cultural allure.<br> <br> But if China and America have drawn closer in some ways, there are still significant differences between the countires - especially around language. Hwang’s new play<em> <a href="http://www.goodmantheatre.org/season/Production.aspx?prod=114" target="_blank">Chinglish </a></em>mines these divides for laughs. The play continues its run at the <a href="http://www.goodmantheatre.org/" target="_blank">Goodman Theatre</a> through July 24 before heading to Broadway. <em>Eight Forty-Eight's</em> Alison Cuddy was joined by dueling critics Jonathan Abarbanel and Kelly Kleiman to discuss the play and how it will travel.</p><p><em>Music Button: Kode 9, “Magnetic City,” Box of Dub: Dubstep and Future Dub, (Soul Jazz)</em></p></p> Fri, 01 Jul 2011 13:39:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-07-01/chinglish-mines-cultural-language-divide-between-east-and-west-laughs-88 Critics theater picks for 6/30-7/3 http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-06-30/critics-theater-picks-for-630-73 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/photo/2011-June/2011-06-30/Lucky Plush.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><em>Updated at: 2:45pm on 6/30/11 - Now with Jonathan Abarbanel!</em></p><p><u><strong>Kelly Kleiman</strong></u></p><p><img alt="" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-June/2011-06-30/womenarecrazy.jpg" style="width: 232px; height: 300px; margin: 10px; float: right;" title="">Start the weekend right by listening to the Dueling Critics as Jonathan and I debate David Henry Hwang's <em>Chinglish</em>, the latest missile being guided from the Goodman to Broadway. Is the show more or less true to the Asian-American experience than the production of Hwang's <em>Yellow Face</em> now running at the culturally specific Silk Road Theatre Project? Can a pair of highly diverse Jewish theater critics (he's Sephardic and I'm Ashkenazi) accurately assess that kind of authenticity? Is "authenticity" even relevant anymore? Listen and decide whether <em>Chinglish </em>measures up to Chicago standards or whether it's only good enough for New York.<br> <br> We're on <a href="http://www.wbez.org/eight-forty-eight">848 </a>between 9 and 10 a.m. tomorrow (Friday), or you'll find the recorded segment posted shortly thereafter on the 848 page of this site. Catch us now or dig us later.<br> <br> This weekend only, another out-of-town tryout: live from L.A., the superbly-named <strong><a href="http://www.mercurytheaterchicago.com/"><em>Women Are Crazy Because Men Are A**holes</em></a></strong>. I haven't seen it because it only opened its five-performance run last night; but if you're up for gender-role comedy check it out at 6 o'clock on Saturday, when tickets are only $19. At the Mercury on Southport in Lakeview.&nbsp;<br> <br> And finally, on Sunday afternoon at 5:30 p.m. join a cast of 100 or so of the city's top actors, directors, playwrights and designers--and, for some reason, me--as we <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-06-29/daily-rehearsal-start-planning-your-4th-july-88498">read the <strong>Declaration of Independence</strong></a> from the stage of the Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park. That's right: no fireworks on the Third of July, just the reading with Grant Park Concert to follow. Think of it this way: no fireworks means no nightmare crowds means plenty of room for you to see and hear and remember what the whole thing's supposed to be about. Free.<br> <br> And a Glorious Fourth to all.</p><p><u><strong>Laura Molzahn</strong></u></p><p><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-June/2011-06-30/Lucky Plush.jpg" style="width: 400px; height: 267px; margin: 10px; float: left;" title="Lucky Plush/500 Clown in 'The Better Half'">Catch two of Chicago’s funniest groups in a free preview tonight, Thursday. <a href="http://www.luckyplush.com/">Lucky Plush Productions</a> and members of <a href="http://www.500clown.com/">500 Clown</a> are putting their heads together to create <strong><em>The Better Half</em></strong>, a take-off on Patrick Hamilton’s 1938 play <em>Gaslight</em>, produced on Broadway in 1941 (under the title <em>Angel Street</em>) and made into a film in 1944. Set in 1880, this melodrama involves a husband who schemes to convince his wife she’s mad—but Lucky Plush and 500 Clown are playing it anything but straight. A preview I saw in April had people on the floor. The finished product is scheduled to open at the MCA in October, but you can get a glimpse of the creative process at a one-night-only work-in-progress showing, <a href="http://www.mcachicago.org/performances/perf_detail.php?id=732">6 PM in the MCA theater</a>.</p><p>Lots of theater romanticizes old age. Not Bruce Graham’s <em>The Outgoing Tide</em>. Directed by BJ Jones and starring John Mahoney and Rondi Reed—funny and horrifying as a long-married couple—it has, not the ring of truth, but the clamorous cacophony of truth. <a href="http://www.northlight.org/pages/the_outgoing_tide/145.php">Extended through July 3 at Northlight Theatre</a>, it’s also a true pleasure. I’ll never forget (unless I fall into dementia) the guy shuffling out behind us when it ended, decked out in his WWII veteran’s cap, who called after us, “Hey, kids! Have a wonderful day!”&nbsp;</p><p><u><strong>Jonathan Abarbanel</strong></u></p><p><img alt="" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-June/2011-06-30/cirque.jpg" style="width: 300px; height: 231px; margin: 10px; float: right;" title="">"Jungle Red!" The very words raise the hair on the necks of those who love bitch wit and revenge served cold (as it should be) and Upper Crust 1930's women's fashion. They are (1) the color of a lipstick and (2) a catch phrase from Clare Booth's quintessential 1936 comedy-of-manners, <a href="http://www.circle-theatre.org/shows/the-women.shtml"><b><i>The Women</i></b></a>, and it's onstage now at Circle Theatre in Oak Park. Given Circle's sense of production values, one may expect gorgeous gowns. The question is how they will treat the play itself, with its large, all-female cast. Will they serve it up as high camp, as has sometimes been the case? Or as an earnest period piece? Ironically, author Clare Booth was a powerful, independent career woman quite unlike the women of her play, who rely on the unseen men in their lives for validation. <i>The Women </i>runs at Circle Theatre through Aug. 14.</p><p>The cirques are back in town, both of them. <a href="http://www.cirquedusoleil.com/en/shows/ovo/default.aspx"><b>Cirque du Soleil </b></a>has pitched its iconic blue-and-yellow air-conditioned tent next to the United Center with its latest lavishly costumed and scored opus, <i>Ovo</i>, a fanciful interpretation of insect life, playing through Aug. 21. Meanwhile, <a href="http://www.navypier.com/cirqueshanghai/"><strong>Cirque Shanghai</strong></a> is back for another summer-long run at Navy Pier's Skyline Stage, featuring the best highly physical acts from China's seemingly-endless supply of tumblers, jugglers, acrobats, aerialists and cyclists through Sept. 5. If Cirque Shanghai is less of a high-concept and unique environment, it counteracts that with truly family-friendly ticket prices. Best four-person family package at Cirque du Soleil is $150, while a four-person family can see Cirque Shanghai for as little as $65.</p></p> Thu, 30 Jun 2011 14:27:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-06-30/critics-theater-picks-for-630-73