WBEZ | Jeff Awards http://www.wbez.org/tags/jeff-awards Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Daily Rehearsal: AEA to get special Jeff award http://www.wbez.org/blogs/onstagebackstage/2012-09/daily-rehearsal-aea-get-special-jeff-award-102619 <p><p><strong>- Holland Taylor&#39;s <em>Ann </em></strong>is opening on Broadway at Lincoln Center Theater&rsquo;s Vivian Beaumont Theater, <a href="http://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/09/24/ann-holland-taylors-play-about-ann-richards-will-open-on-broadway/">reports the <em>New York Times</em></a>, in March of 2013. The show was in Chicago <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-11-10/daily-rehearsal-holland-taylor-stage-not-two-and-half-men-93938">last fall</a>.</p><p><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, serif; "><strong>- An older piece but check out all the shows</strong></span></span> you can see about our election cycle in the Chicago comedy world right now<a href="http://timeoutchicago.com/arts-culture/comedy/15648816/politically-themed-comedy-shows"> from Jason A. Heidemann</a>.</p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/AEA_0.gif" style="float: left; " title="" /><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, serif; "><strong>- The&nbsp;Actors&rsquo; Equity Association will get a special Jeff award </strong></span></span>on October 15 &quot;in recognition of their contributions to Chicagoland theatre. In addition to this year being their 100th anniversary, AEA was the original impetus in organizing the formation of a Chicago area theatre award program, which became the Jeff Awards.&quot; In case it wasn&#39;t clear, the AEA is a union for actors and stage managers.</p><p>Questions? Tips? Email<a href="mailto:kdries@wbez.org"> kdries@wbez.org</a>.</p></p> Mon, 24 Sep 2012 12:54:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/onstagebackstage/2012-09/daily-rehearsal-aea-get-special-jeff-award-102619 Daily Rehearsal: Paul Brittain is not long for SNL http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2012-01-31/daily-rehearsal-paul-brittain-not-long-snl-95993 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/photo/2012-January/2012-01-31/paul brittain copy.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2012-January/2012-01-31/paul brittain copy.jpg" style="margin-right: 10px; margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px; float: left; width: 300px; height: 235px; " title="Brittain in character"><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family:georgia,serif;"><strong>1. And by not long, we mean not at all.</strong></span></span>&nbsp;Former Chicagoan Paul Brittain is no more at SNL, <a href="http://insidetv.ew.com/2012/01/31/saturday-night-live-paul-brittain-leaving/">reports <em>Entertainment Weekly</em></a>, after a brief stint on the show in this and last season. He will not be in this weekend's Channing Tatum-hosted fiesta. According to an unnamed source (aren't they the best kind?), Brittain left because he&nbsp;“had the opportunity to pursue other projects, and he and the show parted ways amicably." This move isn't as shocking as it seems; Hannibal Buress did similarly, <a href="http://www.wtfpod.com/podcast/episodes/episode_220_-_hannibal_buress">leaving his cushy job</a> as a writer on <em>30 Rock</em> because he believed so much in his stand-up (it helped that that was going well). And for those assuming that Brittain was fired, think again -- <em>SNL </em>has a history <a href="http://thecomicscomic.typepad.com/thecomicscomic/2009/09/addition-through-subtraction-snl-fires-michaela-watkins-and-casey-wilson.html">of rather uncermoniously dumping performers</a>, so it seems unlikely that Brittain would be fired and be able to spin it as his choice.</p><p><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family:georgia,serif;"><strong>2. <em>Legally Blonde </em>has spurred</strong></span></span> some choice headlines and surprising reviews. For instance, "<a href="http://www.suntimes.com/entertainment/stage/10307624-421/legally-blonde-pretty-in-a-pretty-darn-good-production.html">'Legally Blonde' pretty in a pretty darn good production</a>" (<em>Sun-Times</em>) and "<a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/entertainment/theater/theaterloop/ct-ent-0130-legally-blonde-review-20120130,0,5385936.column">'Blonde' will, like, totally grow on you</a>" (<em>Tribune</em>). It's at the Marriott through April 1.&nbsp;</p><p><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family:georgia,serif;"><strong>3. Kathy Griffin returned to Chicago</strong></span></span>, and spoke about it. "This city is still considered to be stomping grounds for Oprah Winfrey, so she spoke of Winfrey growing into messiah status and being bored with her new Next Chapter," <a href="http://www.windycitymediagroup.com/lgbt/Kathy-Griffins-very-gay-show/35787.html">writes Jerry Nunn</a> in the <em>Windy City Times</em>. "Griffin appeared earlier in the day on the OWN Network for The Rosie Show so maybe the big O will be watching her next time." Other than that, &nbsp;there were many jokes about Anderson Cooper (she read his texts aloud!) and the Kardashians.</p><p><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family:georgia,serif;"><strong>4. Felix Shuman</strong></span></span>, the founder of the Jeff Awards, <a href="http://legacy.suntimes.com/obituaries/chicagosuntimes/obituary.aspx?n=felix-shuman&amp;pid=155454580">died earlier this month</a>; read a <a href="http://www.suntimes.com/entertainment/stage/10334388-421/felix-shuman-co-founder-of-jefferson-awards-dead-at-87.html">lovely obituary in the <em>Sun-Times</em></a> for him.</p><p><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family:georgia,serif;"><strong>5. This week is <em>the </em>week that&nbsp;Keegan and Peele</strong></span></span> do press for their new show <em>Key &amp; Peele</em> that premieres on Comedy Central tonight. <a href="http://nymag.com/daily/entertainment/2012/01/key-and-peele-guys-on-their-comedy-central-debut-playing-the-race-card-and-poop-jokes.html">Read </a>this interview with them on Vulture, <a href="http://www.npr.org/2012/01/27/145838407/for-black-nerds-everywhere-two-comedy-heroes">listen </a>to them on Morning Edition, and <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/31/arts/harvard-sailing-team-breathes-new-life-into-sketch-comedy.html?_r=1">see </a>them mentioned in this <em>New York Times </em>article. And watch the clip below that <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blog/justin-kaufmann/2011-11-30/if-cme-group-moves-can-occupy-chicago-have-building-94461">lots of people</a> seem to like.</p><p style="text-align: center; "><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/JzprLDmdRlc" width="560"></iframe></p><p>Questions? Tips? Email <a href="mailto:kdries@wbez.org">kdries@wbez.org</a>.</p></p> Tue, 31 Jan 2012 17:18:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2012-01-31/daily-rehearsal-paul-brittain-not-long-snl-95993 Daily Rehearsal: Simon Callows is 'Being Shakespeare' http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2012-01-11/daily-rehearsal-simon-callows-being-shakespeare-95462 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/photo/2012-January/2012-01-11/5789735274_5092bba0d1.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2012-January/2012-01-11/5789735274_5092bba0d1.jpg" style="margin-right: 10px; margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px; float: left; width: 300px; height: 203px; " title="Simon Callow filming 'In Love with Shakespeare' (Flickr/Andy Houghton)"><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family:georgia,serif;"><strong>1.&nbsp;British actor&nbsp;Simon Callow</strong></span></span> will be bring the well-reviewed&nbsp;<em>Being Shakespeare</em> to CST (it runs at the Broadway Playhouse as part of <a href="http://www.chicagoshakes.com/main.taf?p=7,10,2">World's Stage</a>, their program that hosts companies from outside Chicago), "a virtuosic solo performance that weaves together excerpts from William Shakespeare's plays and poems, breathing new life into his unforgettable characters and the real man behind the legend." Those of you who have Netflix Instant might remember Callow also as that older hilarious gentleman who (spoiler for a movie that came out in 1994) dies suddenly in <em>Four Weddings and &nbsp;Funeral</em>. <em>Being Shakespeare</em> will run for a week only,&nbsp;April 18–29, 2012.</p><p style="margin-top:0in;margin-right:20.25pt;margin-bottom:15.0pt;margin-left: 1.5pt;line-height:15.6pt"><span style="font-size: 9.5pt; color: black; "><o:p></o:p></span></p><p><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family:georgia,serif;"><strong>2. Watch <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-12-23/daily-rehearsal-ultimate-list-best-theater-lists-95136">Doyle and Debbie on <em>Conan </em></a>last night</strong></span></span>:</p><p><object classid="clsid:D27CDB6E-AE6D-11cf-96B8-444553540000" height="441" id="ep" width="640"><param name="allowfullscreen" value="true"><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"><param name="movie" value="http://i.cdn.turner.com/v5cache/TBS/cvp/teamcoco_drupal_embed.swf?context=teamcoco_embed_offsite&amp;videoId=22785"><param name="bgcolor" value="#000000"><embed allowfullscreen="true" allowscriptaccess="always" bgcolor="#000000" height="441" src="http://i.cdn.turner.com/v5cache/TBS/cvp/teamcoco_drupal_embed.swf?context=teamcoco_embed_offsite&amp;videoId=22785" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="640"></object></p><p><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family:georgia,serif;"><strong>3. American Players Theatre’s Artistic Director David Frank is retiring</strong></span></span> (in a few years), and they've announced that he will be replaced by Brenda DeVita, current Associate Artistic Director. According to Board of Directors President Barbara Swan, this move has been in the works for awhile. And for DeVita: "I love my job. I love artists. What could be better?” Frank: "Brenda DeVita has been fulfilling ninety percent of a typical artistic director’s job for several years and the results, including the recent lavish praise for APT’s work from the regional and national press, speak for themselves." So what have you been doing Frank? Kelly Kleiman <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-07-18/non-endless-summer-american-players-crime-and-punishment-89312">has praised the Spring Green-based theater in the past</a>, especially last summer's <em>Crime and Punishment</em>.</p><p><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family:georgia,serif;"><strong>4. Dates for upcoming Jeff awards have been announced</strong></span></span>: Non-Equity is Monday June 4 at the Park West here in Chicago; Equity on October 15 at Drury Lane Oakbrook Terrace. Snag an invite early.</p><p><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family:georgia,serif;"><strong>5. We must have missed it</strong></span></span> when three men attempted to live in like hummingbirds at the Lincoln Park Zoo this past summer -- and not for a performance art piece. If you were also spending your hours elsewhere, catch all the action on their new series&nbsp;<em>Live Like An Animal: Human Hummingbird</em>, which airs Tuesday, Jan. 17 on Nat Geo WILD:</p><p>"The television hosts Lloyd Buck, Matt Thompson and James Cooper constructed the human-scale bird nest over several days at the zoo... To mimic the hummingbirds’ diet of flower nectar, they subsist on a sickly sweet concoction, triggering a dramatic sugar&nbsp;overload and subsequent wild behavior. Matt attempts to entice ladies at the zoo with a less-than-impressive hummingbird courtship dance, and at the end of their adventure living like human hummingbirds a major threat to the nest rolls in: a storm."</p><p>Questions? Tips? Email <a href="mailto:kdries@wbez.org">kdries@wbez.org</a>.</p></p> Wed, 11 Jan 2012 18:04:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2012-01-11/daily-rehearsal-simon-callows-being-shakespeare-95462 Daily Rehearsal: Who's been to Noble Horse Theatre? http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-12-16/daily-rehearsal-whos-been-noble-horse-theatre-94976 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/photo/2011-December/2011-12-16/nutcracker.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family:georgia,serif;"><strong>1. <em>Assisted Living</em> by Profiles Theatre</strong></span></span> has been extended through January 15, with the cast remaining intact, including the guest artists.</p><p><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family:georgia,serif;"><strong>2.&nbsp;Redtwist Theatre wants you to know</strong></span></span> that they've just gotten their 10th Jeff recommendation in a row; this one's for their production of <em>Opus </em>that you can see right now. In fact, every Jeff-eligible show that went up in their regular season starting two years ago has been nominated. The best part? An adorable message from Artistic Director Michael Colucci, who says, "We're not sure if this is a record but we're proud to be consistently recognized for all our hard work."</p><p><img alt="" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-December/2011-12-16/nutcracker.jpg" style="margin-right: 10px; margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px; float: left; width: 200px; height: 320px; " title=""><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family:georgia,serif;"><strong>3. In January, you'll need a reason to leave the house</strong></span></span>. The Joffrey knows this, and in honor of Martin Luther King Jr., they'll have an African Dance Master Class on January 16. Any one of any experience level can go -- which means you and your family -- and will be taught by Andrea Vinson, who <a href="http://www.joffrey.com/people/andrea-vinson-0">has been dancing for 25 years</a>. You're in good hands.</p><p><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family:georgia,serif;"><strong>4. Also in January:<em> Invisible Man</em> opening at Court</strong></span></span>. Their first rehearsal was this week; <a href="http://www.courttheatre.org/blog/comments/the_fear_and_joy_of_chaos/">check out Court's blog "Open Rehearsal"</a> (we're fraternal twins, it seems) for a photo and more details. The production seems well suited to premiere at this particular theater, as Ralph Ellison once taught at UChicago. And fittingly, they've scheduled their first post-show discussion with scholar David Bevington and dramaturg Drew Dir for February 1.</p><p><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family:georgia,serif;"><strong>5. Query: has anyone attended a production at <a href="http://www.noblehorsechicago.com/">Noble Horse Theatre</a>?</strong></span></span> It is like a real, live horse performance show with dinner, and they're currently doing <em>The Nutcracker</em>. Also, if you take the CTA brown line north, you can see them loading hay into the back of the theater. Perks. (They gently remind you that if you have allergies, this is not the place for you.)</p><p>Questions? Tips? Email <a href="mailto:kdries@wbez.org">kdries@wbez.org</a>.</p></p> Fri, 16 Dec 2011 16:54:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-12-16/daily-rehearsal-whos-been-noble-horse-theatre-94976 Daily Rehearsal: Emanuel makes a dance proclamation http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-11-09/daily-rehearsal-emanuel-makes-dance-proclamation-93902 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/photo/2011-November/2011-11-09/rahm merce.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><img alt="" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-November/2011-11-09/CTA poll.jpg" style="margin-right: 10px; margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px; float: left; width: 300px; height: 137px;" title=""><span style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;"><strong>1. The <a href="http://www.ringling.com/TourSchedule.aspx">circus is in town</a>! </strong></span></span>Chris Jones <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/entertainment/theater/theaterloop/ct-ent-1109-ringling-bros-review-20111108,0,1729770.column">gives it three stars</a>. Idea: Get a blog going of only circus reviews. Get Jones to run it -- he knows a surprising amount about circuses.</p><p><span style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;"><strong>2. The Chicago Theater Addict is <a href="https://www.facebook.com/pages/Chicago-Theatre-Addict/192615800818491">now on Facebook</a></strong></span></span>. Take his poll so he can figure out when you read his stuff.</p><p style="text-align: left;"><span style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;"><strong>3. More stuff about the Jeff Awards</strong></span></span>. <a href="http://chitheatreaddict.com/2011/11/08/my-reactions-to-the-equity-jeff-awards/">Bob Bullen points out</a> that Steppenwolf's <em>Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?</em> won no awards, which is indeed surprising. There's a lot of debate over whether Hollis Resnick should have beaten Bethany Thomas for Best Actress in a Supporting Role. More importantly, <a href="http://timeoutchicago.com/arts-culture/theater/15016759/on-the-scene-2011-equity-jeff-awards" style=""><em>Time Out </em>gives us all the gossip</a>. While the Jeffs are clearly no Tony Awards, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't try to bring the E!: Oliver Sava writes that Best Dressed should go to Best&nbsp;Choreography winner Tammy Mader, who "wore a black and grey plaid patterned dress with a high-waisted circle skirt and a simple ponytail. Simple, adorable, and completely stunning."</p><p><span style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;"><strong>4. Mark your iCal</strong></span></span>: November 18 will now be Merce Cunningham Day, according to Mayor Rahm Emanuel. Read the official proclamation below.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-November/2011-11-09/rahm merce.jpg" target="_blank"><img alt="" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-November/2011-11-09/rahm merce.jpg" title="" width="368" height="469"></a></p><p><span style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;"><strong>5. The comedy pilot My Mans</strong></span></span> is slowly climbing towards fame and fortune;&nbsp;<a href="http://www.deadline.com/2011/11/comedy-central-orders-my-mans-presentation-from-chicago-comedy-trio/">Comedy Central has ordered</a> a presentation from the Chicago-based writers Tim Robinson, Andy Miara, and Mark Raterman, who are all in the iO group Cook County Social Club. <em>Deadline </em>reminds us that "The project’s history is reminiscent of that of FX’s&nbsp;<em>It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia</em>,&nbsp;which also started off as a video its three creators made together." So if they made it, you can too.</p><p>Questions? Tips? Email <a href="mailto:kdries@wbez.org">kdries@wbez.org</a>.</p></p> Wed, 09 Nov 2011 17:52:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-11-09/daily-rehearsal-emanuel-makes-dance-proclamation-93902 Daily Rehearsal: TJ Miller hits the comments section of Chicagoist http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-11-08/daily-rehearsal-tj-miller-hits-comments-section-chicagoist-93849 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/photo/2011-November/2011-11-08/tjmiller.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><span style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;"><strong>1. The Jeff Awards were last night!</strong></span></span> Didn't it seem like they were super recent? Those <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-08-31/critics-theater-picks-jeff-awards-nominations-91342">were the Non-Equity Jeffs</a>, these are the Equity Jeffs, and never the twain shall meet. Hedy Weiss won her special award, with big wins to <em>Candide</em> and <em>The Madness of King George</em>. Check out the full list of winners <a href="http://www.jeffawards.org/Nominees/nominees.cfm?div=1">here</a>.</p><p><span style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;"><strong>2. An <a href="http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_POSTCARD_LAUGHING_WITH_CHICAGO?SITE=AP&amp;SECTION=HOME&amp;TEMPLATE=DEFAULT">AP feature</a> on the new Second City show <em>History of Chicago</em></strong></span></span>, previewing in December, starts off with lots of fun ways to describe the city: It's cold. There's political corruption. Etc. Etc. But it does give us a hint at the type of work that the new UP theater will be showing. Second City "has partnered with the Chicago History Museum, consulting with curators, performing a series of workshops and soliciting suggestions from audience members to shape a script that will touch on the present and the past." They actually rehearsed at the Chicago History Museum, the only real place to experience history.</p><p><span style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;"><strong>3. Over the weekend, </strong></span></span><a href="http://chicagoist.com/2011/11/06/chicago_comedian_tj_miller_does_com.php"><span style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;"><strong>Chicagoist called out TJ Miller</strong></span></span>'s upcoming Comedy Central</a> special <em>TJ Miller: No Real Reason</em>, which airs this weekend. Author Samantha Abernethy also included a video of Miller performing on Conan. "He doesn't exactly tackle cutting edge comedy topics," Abernethy wrote, "but who doesn't love a well executed airplane bit?" Miller responded to the comment -- and it seems like it's actually him, given that it's&nbsp;linked to <a href="http://twitter.com/#%21/nottjmiller">his Twitter account</a> -- with the following:</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-November/2011-11-08/tjmiller.jpg" style="width: 400px; height: 402px;" title=""></p><p><span style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;"><strong>4.&nbsp;Lucia Mauro <a href="http://auditoriumtheatre.org/wb/pages/home/performances-events/performances.php?event_id=343&amp;wb_session_id=1237e50f2244e273301c7c30092537f5">talked about </a>Eiko &amp; Koma's dance installation <em>Naked </em></strong></span></span>at the MCA, as well as AXIS Dance Company's performances at the Auditorium Theatre, on <a href="http://www.wbez.org/848"><em>Eight Forty-Eight </em></a>this morning.</p><p><span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: 'Arial','sans-serif';"><o:p></o:p></span></p><p><span style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;"><strong>5. &nbsp;The Chicago Arts Orchestra's first concert of the season</strong></span></span>, in conjunction with the City Voices Chorus,&nbsp;"<a href="https://web.ovationtix.com/trs/pe/9334635;jsessionid=6264AC2AD21A8AA161DDF20B6ECF9A33">Masters of the 20th and 21st Centuries</a>" is on November 19. There will also be a talk at the Curtain Call Club (a place I didn't know existed) the night before in the&nbsp;Athenaeum Theater (a place I did know existed) where Jesse Revenig, a doctoral candidate at Northwestern University, will talk about composers Samuel Barber and Benjamin Britten (whose work will be featured in the performance) "in relation to sexuality - particularly the fact that these composers lived as openly gay in a time where this was not acceptable."</p><p>Questions? Tips? Email <a href="mailto:kdries@wbez.org">kdries@wbez.org</a>.</p></p> Tue, 08 Nov 2011 15:34:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-11-08/daily-rehearsal-tj-miller-hits-comments-section-chicagoist-93849 Daily Rehearsal: United States of Improv brackets up http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-10-14/daily-rehearsal-united-states-improv-brackets-93149 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/photo/2011-October/2011-10-14/usimprov.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><span style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;"><strong>1. After reporting about all the awards that go to ungrateful actors</strong></span></span> and playwrights and directors for years, Hedy Weiss will get a Jeff Award of her very own, for covering Chicago theater since the mid-1980s. <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/entertainment/theater/theaterloop/chi-a-special-jeff-for-a-critic-20111013,0,3280820.column">Chris Jones describes her</a> as a "longtime and indefatigable theater and dance critic." The awards ceremony is November 7.&nbsp;</p><p><img alt="" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-October/2011-10-14/usimprov.jpg" style="margin-right: 10px; margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px; float: right; width: 300px; height: 136px;" title=""><span style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;"><strong>2. <a href="http://chicago.ioimprov.com/features/united-states-of-improv-bracket">United States of Improv</a> is in full-force right now at iO</strong></span></span> -- this week it's Florida, Kentucky and Maryland that are duking it out. The performances aren't actually at the locations they sound like they'd be at; instead, teams of people from those states compete. It was last held at <a href="https://www.facebook.com/pages/United-States-of-Improv/211851888826023">iO West in LA</a>. "Our Proclamation: To bring improvisers together based upon where they are from allowing them to celebrate improv, unity, and the pursuit of happiness."&nbsp;</p><p><span style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;"><strong>3. James Vincent Meredith talks about his role on <em>Boss</em></strong></span></span>, and how he got to be an ensemble member at Steppenwolf. Despite the fact that even after his part in the Goodman's <em>A Rasin in the Sun</em>, he did not immediately make it big, Meredith still has some inspiring things to say to Chicago actors. "It seems more like attrition here in this town, if you’re an actor," he<a href="http://timeoutchicago.com/arts-culture/theater/14979241/james-vincent-meredith-of-steppenwolf%E2%80%99s-clybourne-park-and-starz%E2%80%99s-bos"> told <em>TimeOut</em></a>. "As long as you stay in the game long enough and you don’t give it up, there’s gonna be opportunities for you to act."</p><p><img alt="" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-October/2011-10-14/edisonpark.jpg" style="margin-left: 10px; margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px; float: left; width: 180px; height: 117px;" title=""><span style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;"><strong>4. Yes I Am Show Business puts on the <a href="https://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=255023141205406&amp;ref=nf">Edison Park Comedy Fest</a></strong></span></span> at The Emerald Isle and Nonno Pino's on Friday, and The Snuggery and Moretti's on Saturday. The Sunday fianle at Moretti's is rated NC-17, whatever that means. Expect comedians James Fritz, Danny Kallas, Marty Derosa, Joe Kilgallon and Mike Stanley.</p><p><span style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;"><strong>5. More details on </strong></span></span><a href="http://www.avclub.com/chicago/articles/cinematic-titanic,61642/"><span style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;"><strong>Cinematic Titanic</strong></span></span> </a>and exactly what they're all about for those who weren't fans of Mystery Science Theater 3000. The concept is pretty weird, and is maybe clarified? by <a href="http://www.avclub.com/chicago/articles/cinematic-titanic,61642/">this discussion</a> with ensemble members Joel Hodgson and Trace Beaulieu, who&nbsp;debate the pros and cons of performing in front of a live audience as opposed to taping in a studio.&nbsp;</p><p>Questions? Tips? Email <a href="mailto:kdries@wbez.org">kdries@wbez.org</a>.</p></p> Fri, 14 Oct 2011 15:17:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-10-14/daily-rehearsal-united-states-improv-brackets-93149 Morning Rehearsal: Chicago theater 6/8 http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-06-08/morning-rehearsal-chicago-theater-68-87567 <p><p>1. Yesterday's <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-06-07/morning-rehearsal-chicago-theater-57-87513">Jeff Awards confusion</a> left Brenda Didier without an award and a little confused. Now&nbsp;<a href="http://leisureblogs.chicagotribune.com/the_theater_loop/2011/06/jeff-committee-didiers-jeff-was-legit.html">Jeff spokesman Jeffrey Marks is saying</a> that there were always supposed to be two winners in the category of Best Director in a Musical.&nbsp;"It should have been two winners," said Marks. (Didier) is getting a plaque today with her name and show." Apparently, there was a statistical tie, and the Jeff Awards is investigating why it appeared as though Didier was not getting an award.</p><p>2. The Goodman Theatre's cast of <a href="http://www.goodmantheatre.org/season/Production.aspx?prod=124"><em>Red </em></a>for the 2011-12 season has been announced. Rothko will be played by Edward Gero, and his assistant will be played by Patrick Andrews. In case you feel like people have been left out, think again; the play has only two characters.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="caption" height="309" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-June/2011-06-08/Leapfest8Frog1.jpg" title="" width="400"></p><p>3. On June 14, <a href="http://www.stagelefttheatre.com/current-season/leapfest-8/">LeapFest 8 </a>opens at Stage Left theater. Expect productions about John Wilkes Booth, Iraq war vets, Chicago reporters, an Indian village crippled with drought, and cancer. Three plays from previous years of LeapFest have received Jeff Awards for Best New Work.</p><p>4.&nbsp;<a href="http://thepapermacheteshow.com/party/" style="color: rgb(2, 122, 198); text-decoration: none;">Party for The Paper Machete</a>! The WBEZ partner in crime and live magazine has&nbsp;<a href="http://thepapermacheteshow.com/2011/06/07/venue-change/" style="color: rgb(2, 122, 198); text-decoration: none;">moved locations</a>, and is raising funds. On June 25, donate a mere $20 to keep this great new addition to Chicago culture alive. Expect performances and music that are TBA.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="caption" height="280" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-June/2011-06-08/Liz-Lerman-Lise-Metzger.jpg" title="(Lisa Metzger)" width="278"></p><p>5. We're all focused on summer, but the <a href="http://www.chicagohumanities.org/">Chicago Humanities Festival</a> is eagerly adding panelists for their 22nd annual event this fall. One of the latest is the&nbsp;Liz Lerman Dance Exchange, which will perform&nbsp;<em>The Matter of Origins</em>, "a new multimedia work that explores the physics and origins of the universe, humankind's technological advances." The theme for the entire fesitval is tech-knowledge.</p><p>Questions? Tips? Email kdries@wbez.org.</p></p> Wed, 08 Jun 2011 14:09:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-06-08/morning-rehearsal-chicago-theater-68-87567 Morning Rehearsal: Chicago theater 5/7 http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-06-07/morning-rehearsal-chicago-theater-57-87513 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/photo/2011-June/2011-06-07/img_pho_home.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>1. The <a href="http://www.jeffawards.org/Nominees/recipients_nonequity.cfm">2011 Non-Equity Joseph Jefferson Awards</a>&nbsp;(Jeff Awards) have been announced, with repeat wins by&nbsp;<em>Cabaret </em>by The Hypocrites, <em>The Three Faces of Dr. Crippen </em>by&nbsp;The Strange Tree Group,<em> </em>and&nbsp;<em>Cats</em> at Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre. Also notable: Redtwist's <em>Man from Nebraska</em> won best production. There were more than <a href="http://timeoutchicago.com/arts-culture/theater/14797961/hypocrites-redtwist-take-top-honors-at-2011-non-equity-jeff-awards">a few awkward moments</a> at the award ceremony; Director Brenda Diddier <a href="http://leisureblogs.chicagotribune.com/the_theater_loop/2011/06/2011-non-equity-jeff-award-winners.html#more">was announced</a> as winner for Best Director of a Musical, when it was actually to be awarded to Matt Hawkins. Diddier even gave an acceptance speech, before Hawkins said&nbsp;"Brenda, look at your plaque. This is not really awkward at all." Jonathan Abarbanel has more <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-06-07/robots-invade-jeff-awards-martians-next-87512">on the Jeff Award wins</a>&nbsp;(and robots)!</p><p style="text-align: center; "><img alt="" class="caption" height="292" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-June/2011-06-07/img_pho_home.jpg" title="" width="253"></p><p>2.&nbsp;The world premiere of&nbsp;<em>A Girl with Sun in Her Eyes</em>&nbsp;starts at Pine Box Theater on June 25. The play, by Joshua Rollins, looks into a police officer who has been reported missing on the South Side. They're billing it as "<em>The Shield</em>&nbsp;meets&nbsp;<em>Memento</em>," so if you have watched those, you'll know what it's about.</p><p>3. Yesterday, Florida Stage announced they were filing for bankruptcy. Notably, it was the largest theatre company in the nation producing new work. "The South Florida Theatre Community is grieving right now," <a href="http://www.2amtheatre.com/2011/06/06/the-loss-of-florida-stage/">wrote Andie Arthur,</a>&nbsp;a theater administrator in South Florida. "All day I’ve been having phone calls where with clipped conversations and long periods of silence, reminding me of the awkward conversations at a funeral. After any major arts organization fails, you need to have difficult conversations&nbsp; – but right now we need to grieve."</p><p>4.&nbsp;<a href="http://timeoutchicago.com/arts-culture/theater/14796595/bug-at-redtwist-theatre-theater-review" style="color: rgb(2, 122, 198); text-decoration: none; ">Speaking of&nbsp;<em>Bug</em>'s director Kimberly Senior</a>, TimeOut's John Beer says that "she might just be our theatrical version of Kathryn Bigelow." You'll recall that Kathryn Bigelow won an Oscar for Best Director in 2010 for <em>The Hurt Locker</em>, and was the first woman to do so.</p><p style="text-align: center; "><iframe frameborder="0" height="225" src="http://player.vimeo.com/video/22786489?title=0&amp;byline=0&amp;portrait=0" width="400"></iframe></p><p>5. New Leaf Theatre's <a href="http://newleaftheatre.org/current.php"><em>Lighthousekeeping </em></a>opens&nbsp;in previews tomorrow at the DCA Storefront Theater. The video above elaborates, but its about&nbsp;&nbsp;an "epic journey of love, longing, and light explores the gambles and gifts of choosing to change from one life to the next." I just like the title.</p><p>Questions? Tips? Email kdries@wbez.org.</p></p> Tue, 07 Jun 2011 14:32:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-06-07/morning-rehearsal-chicago-theater-57-87513 Robots invade Jeff Awards!! Martians next? http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-06-07/robots-invade-jeff-awards-martians-next-87512 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/photo/2011-June/2011-06-07/logo.jpg" alt="" /><p><p style="text-align: center; "><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-June/2011-06-07/logo.jpg" style="width: 500px; height: 424px; " title=""></p><p>A robot invasion was just one of the surprises at the <a href="http://www.jeffawards.org/Nominees/recipients_nonequity.cfm"><strong>38th annual Joseph Jefferson Awards for Non-Equity Theater</strong></a>, handed out Monday night (June 6) at their usual venue, Park West. Typically raucous and generally joyful, the evening honored many of the usual suspects--powerhouse troupes which have won many previous Jeffs--as well as anointing a few lesser-knowns.</p><p>The top Jeffs for Production-Play and Production-Musical went to familiar names, respectively Redtwist Theatre for <em>Man from Nebraska</em> and The Hypocrites for <em>Cabaret</em>. Chuck Spencer took home the Jeff for Actor in a Principal Role--Play for his work in<em> Man from Nebraska</em> while <em>Cabaret</em> won four additional Jeffs for various artists, among them Matt Hawkins as Director-Musical and Jessie Fisher for Actress in a Principal Role-Musical for her cross-gender portrayal of the Emcee.</p><p>Among the other perennial winners were Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre, Lifeline Theatre and Bohemian Theatre Company. Indeed, the five Off-Loop troupes identified so far in this story walked off with 19 of the 28 Jeffs awarded Monday night.</p><p>If there was an unexpected big winner it was, collectively, the Steppenwolf Theatre Company's Garage Rep just this spring, in which the Wolfies presented three lesser-known non-Equity troupes in a rotating repertory of highly unique productions. Two of them walked out of the Park West with Jeff plaques. For its Garage Rep world premiere, <em>The Three Faces of Dr. Crippen</em>, the Strange Tree Group won the Director-Play Jeff Award for Jimmy McDermott and the New Work award for playwright (and Strange Tree artistic director) Emily Schwartz.</p><p>In a completely separate win, Strange Tree Group also took home the highly-coveted Jeff Award for Ensemble for its production of <em>Shakespeare's King Phycus</em>, produced much earlier in the season at Building Stage.</p><p>And so we come to those robots. One of the Steppenwolf Garage Rep productions was <em>Heddatron</em>, a spectacular production by Sideshow Theatre Company of a curious play in which robots meet Henrik Ibsen's <em>Hedda Gabler</em>. The production featured seven ingenious robots ranging from toaster-size to larger-than-life. The designers of these wondrous contraptions won a Jeff Award for Artistic Specialization, while several of the robots themselves delivered Jeff Awards to recipients in two categories. The team of robot artists included Glen Aduikas, Rick Buesing, Mike Fletcher, Salvador Garcia, Stuart Hecht, David Hyman, Terry Jackson, Don Kerste, Bruce Phillips, Al Schilling, Lisi Stoessel, and Eddy Wright. Alas, we do not know the names of the robots, although we gave one of them our phone number. It hasn't called . . . so far.</p><p>One noticeable void this year was that no Special Honors Jeffs were awarded. Typically, one or two Special Honors are given to individuals who have made substantial contributions to the theater community over an extended period of time, perhaps a teacher, a producer or--gasp!--even a theater critic on occasion. It seems to us that Chicago's theater industry has no shortage of worthy possible recipients, and if the Jeff folks couldn't find one this year, they must not have been trying very hard.</p><p>The 50-member <strong>Joseph Jefferson Awards Committee</strong> was founded in 1968 to honor excellence in Chicago-area professional theater. Each fall, the Committee honors productions of the previous 12 months staged by theaters working under contracts with Actors Equity Association, the union of professional actors and stage manager. Since 1973, the Jeff Committee also has presented annual springtime honors to non-union theaters. For this year's non-Equity Jeffs, the Committee members judged 146 productions by 62 producing organizations. The 2011 Equity Jeff Awards will be presented November 7 at Drury Lane Oakbrook Theatre in Oakbrook Terrace. The public is invited to the black tie optional awards show.</p></p> Tue, 07 Jun 2011 14:25:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-06-07/robots-invade-jeff-awards-martians-next-87512