WBEZ | Declaration of Independence http://www.wbez.org/tags/declaration-independence Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Daily Rehearsal: 'Boss' casts locally http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-07-05/daily-rehearsal-boss-casts-locally-88731 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/photo/2011-July/2011-07-05/boss-banner.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>1. <strong><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family:georgia,serif;">A little belated, but Michelle Williams</span></span></strong> was <a href="http://twitter.com/#%21/steppenwolfthtr">spotted at <em>Middletown </em>last week</a>. And yes, that's Michelle Williams of <em>Dawson's Creek</em> fame, not the other D.C., <em>Destiny's Child</em>.</p><p><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-July/2011-07-05/RobSwimming01.jpg" style="width: 286px; height: 400px; margin: 10px; float: left;" title="Get behind 'The Front Page' with this guy"><strong><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family:georgia,serif;">2. TimeLine's <a href="http://www.timelinetheatre.com/front_page/index.htm"><em>The Front Page</em></a> has been extended through July 17</span></span></strong>, and WBEZ's own Rob Wildeboer is involved. No, he won't be acting, but he's among several Chicago news reporters who will be present for a post-show discussion&nbsp;<em>Exclusive! Chicago’s Top Reporters on&nbsp;</em>The Front Page<em>: Same Story, Different Century </em>on July 10. Rob will be joined by&nbsp;Elizabeth Brackett (WTTW), Janan Hanna (Reuters, Chicago News Coop, Huffington Post), Paul Meincke (WLS-TV), and Lester Munson, all of whom have covered the Blagojevich trial.</p><p><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family:georgia,serif;"><strong>3. There were live performances of the Declaration of Independence</strong></span></span> <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-06-29/daily-rehearsal-start-planning-your-4th-july-88498">this weekend</a>, but every year, NPR's&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wbez.org/story/2011-07-03/reading-declaration-independence-aloud-88697">Morning Edition reads it aloud</a> on-air on the Fourth of July. It's slow and steady and <em>serious</em>, and takes about 9 minutes.</p><p><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family:georgia,serif;"><strong>4. Mary Hollis Inboden is having her day in the sun</strong></span></span>; the Southern-born actress is currently starring in <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-06-27/daily-rehearsal-5-lesbians-eating-quiche-88391"><em>5 Lesbians Eating a Quiche</em></a>, and though her <a href="http://timeoutchicago.com/arts-culture/unscripted-blog/213085/spot-chicago-actors-on-the-chicago-code">role at Jennifer Beals' assistant</a> on <em>The Chicago Code</em> ended with the shows cancellation, she's moved over to the Kelsey Grammer helmed&nbsp;<a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/entertainment/movies/ct-mov-0701-chicago-closeup-20110702,0,4360930.column"><em>Boss</em></a>. She's part of a grand tradition of Chicago actors on the show, which has tried to be anti-<em>The Good Wife</em> and shoot locally.</p><p><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family:georgia,serif;"><strong>5. <a href="http://www.wbez.org/story/joffrey-ballet-planning-lock-out-dancers-88702">Labor disputes</a> between Joffrey dancers and the company continue</strong></span></span>; after news broke of a lockout this weekend, union organizers are now arguing that it's just an attempt to gain publicity and pressure the dancers into bending to their will. Let's hope this all ends peacefully, folks.</p><p>Questions? Tips? Email <a href="mailto:kdries@wbez.org">kdries@wbez.org</a>.</p></p> Tue, 05 Jul 2011 15:48:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-07-05/daily-rehearsal-boss-casts-locally-88731 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 Daily Rehearsal: start planning your 4th of July http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-06-29/daily-rehearsal-start-planning-your-4th-july-88498 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/photo/2011-May/2011-05-05/323.th_.th_.op_.WillEnoNEW2.jpg" alt="" /><p><p> <style type="text/css"> p { font-size:10pt} #s1 {font-size:13pt; color:#494646; font-family:georgia}</style> </p><p><span id="s1"><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-May/2011-05-05/323.th_.th_.op_.WillEnoNEW2.jpg" style="width: 400px; height: 268px; margin: 10px; float: left;" title="Will Eno doesn't look too worried about 'Middletown' reviews">1. The comment police is reporting for duty: <a href="http://leisureblogs.chicagotribune.com/the_theater_loop/2011/06/middletown-at-steppenwolf-theatre-small-town-battles-of-life-death-and-the-trickier-stuff-in-between.html">Chris Jones' <em>Middletown </em>review</a></span> is blowing up, and it's all due to one particular commentor by the name of&nbsp;Mister Middle Town. He's written a comment the length of a review of his own where he calls out Jones' rave: "All I can say is, if you want to twist yourself into imagining profundity in this drivel, well, rather than criticize you, I'll just say that I'm awe0struck [sic] by your power of imagination." Let the debate begin on who said commenter is; a pleb, or a disgruntled theater rockstar?</p><p>But not before Mister Middle Town leaves us with this: "Basically, what we have here is Reality Show theatre-for-the-bland (which is to say Un-reality Show theatre), all cautiously dunked in lukewarm water for folks who need to keep their blood pressures monitored. If memory serves, I think there were even nurses in the aisles to ensure that all the patrons were perfectly comfortable with this theatrical pillow." <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-05-05/morning-rehearsal-chicago-theater-55-86108">Will Eno's <em>Middletown </em></a>opened at Steppenwolf two weekends ago.</p><p><img alt="" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/sites/default/files/RBT-webstory.jpg" style="width: 300px; height: 150px; margin: 10px; float: right;" title=""><span id="s1">2. <a href="http://www.remybumppo.org/artistic-director-transition-pages-345.php">Remy Bumppo has announced</a> that founding Artistic Director James Bohnen</span> is finally stepping down, after <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blog/city-room-blog/about-damn-time-loop-theater-hires-african-american-artistic-director">announcing his intentions</a> to do so in January of 2009. He will be replaced by Timothy Douglas, who starts July 1, and who will oversee the 2011-12 season theme of "<a href="http://www.remybumppo.org/shows-pages-17.php">The American Evolution</a>". When he leaves, Bohnen will have directed 30 of the companies 38 mainstage productions.&nbsp;</p><p><span id="s1">3. Speaking of Remy Bumppo; they'll be helping you celebrate July 4th</span> in style, with a <a href="http://grantparkmusicfestival.com/2011-season/independence-celebbration">musical and theatrical production</a> that will include&nbsp;"over 100 theater and cultural leaders" reading the Declaration of Independence. It's at 5:30 on the Sunday afternoon in Millenium Park, so go get your history on.</p><p><span id="s1">4.&nbsp;<a href="http://themoth.org/" style="color: rgb(2, 122, 198); text-decoration: none;">The Moth</a>&nbsp;StorySlam last night was won by Eric Budzynski,</span> an organist who wore a&nbsp;<em>Chorus Line</em>&nbsp;t-shirt and whose story was largely about his last name.</p><p><span id="s1">5. And the love for <em>Chinglish </em>keeps coming;</span> after just opening at the Goodman, it will make its <a href="http://www.broadwaysbestshows.com/news/1509">Broadway debut this Fall</a>. If you're interested in a look at the behind-the-scenes of theater, take a gander at the effort it took to&nbsp;<a href="http://goodman-theatre.blogspot.com/2011/06/look-inside-ministers-cabinet.html">get the props just right</a>.</p><p>Questions? Tips? Email <a href="http://kdries@wbez.org">kdries@wbez.org</a>.</p></p> Wed, 29 Jun 2011 14:32:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-06-29/daily-rehearsal-start-planning-your-4th-july-88498