WBEZ | Follies http://www.wbez.org/tags/follies Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en The You-Missed List: Top Shows of 2011 http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-12-19/you-missed-list-top-shows-2011-94979 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/photo/2011-December/2011-12-19/follies.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-December/2011-12-19/follies.jpg" style="margin-right: 10px; margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px; float: left; width: 354px; height: 240px;" title="'Follies' at Chicago Shakes (Photo by Liz Lauren)"><strong>Best show of the year in any category:</strong> Gary Griffin’s <em>Follies</em> at <a href="http://www.chicagoshakes.com/">Chicago Shakespeare</a>. This flawless version of an underappreciated early Sondheim should be remounted somewhere and run forever; there’s not a false note or step anywhere in it. In short: absolutely brilliant.</p><p><strong>Best one-man show of this or any other year:</strong> <a href="http://www.courttheatre.org/season/show/an_iliad/"><em>An Iliad</em> at Court Theatre</a>, by Lisa Peterson and Denis O’Hare, as performed by the extraordinary Timothy Edward Kane. Again, won’t director Charles Newell seek out another site for an open-ended run? The city is full of people who wanted to see it and couldn’t. &nbsp;<br> <br> And now on to our regularly-scheduled list, already in progress.<br> <br> <strong>Best musical we’ve seen in years:</strong> Life is unfair. Only a perfect <em>Follies</em> could eclipse two other superb productions in this category, <em>Sweeney Todd</em> at <a href="http://www.drurylaneoakbrook.com/">Drury Lane</a> and <a href="http://themusictheatrecompany.org/index.php?option=com_content&amp;view=article&amp;id=25&amp;Itemid=12"><em>Merrily We Roll Along</em> at The Music Theatre Company</a> (starring <a href="http://www.broadway.com/shows/clear-day-you-can-see-forever/buzz/159007/on-a-clear-days-breakout-star-jessie-mueller-on-flirting-with-harry-connick-jr-and-belting-on-broadway/">Jessie Mueller, now knocking them dead in <em>On A Clear Day</em> on Broadway</a>). Sondheim was everywhere this year, but in the race for attention these three are a deserved win, place and show.&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;<br> <br> <strong>Best plays about monarchs (including any Shakespeare play you care to name):</strong> So who’da thunk Chicago Shakespeare would win this category, too, and with two non-Bard productions? No one who saw Harry Groener in <a href="http://www.chicagoshakes.com/main.taf?p=2,19,3,36,1,15"><em>The Madness of George III </em></a>will ever forget his hilarious, pathetic, tragic and deeply human character, and the same can be said for Diane D’Aquila’s powerful, hearthbroken&nbsp; and heartbreaking <em><a href="https://www.chicagoshakes.com/main.taf?p=2,62,5,1,11">Elizabeth Rex</a>.</em>&nbsp;And with its offstage gods and kings manipulating its onstage warriors and fools, let’s count <em>An Iliad</em> once again–just because it was so amazing. &nbsp;<br> <br> <strong>Best plays about racism:</strong> <a href="http://www.theartistichome.org/index.php?option=com_content&amp;task=view&amp;id=130&amp;Itemid=250">Artistic Home’s revival of Alice Childress's Obie-winning <em>Trouble in Mind</em></a> anatomized discrimination within the theater itself, while–-speaking of painfully close to home-–<a href="http://www.steppenwolf.org/boxoffice/productions/index.aspx?id=527">Bruce Norris’s Pulitzer-winning Clybourne Park</a> called out gentrification in Steppenwolf’s own neighborhood. It take some nerve to raise the ghost of <a href="http://www.biography.com/people/lorraine-hansberry-9327823">Lorraine Hansberry,</a> and a top-notch intellect to confront it on equal terms. Fortunately, Norris shows himself as able a combatant as we’ve seen since <a href="http://gwt.scripturetext.com/genesis/32.htm">Jacob wrestled with the angel til dawn</a>. &nbsp;<br> <br> <strong>Best avant-garde plays, even for those of us skeptical about the very concept:</strong> Trap Door took a play that is literally revolting, featuring a character with an intimate relationship with excrement –&nbsp;<a href="http://trapdoortheatre.com/performance-history/first-ladies/">Werner Schwab's <em>First Ladies</em></a>&nbsp;--&nbsp;and made it into a savage and inescapable commentary on the dregs which constitute contemporary life. Nicole Wiesner’s performance as the obsessed plumber was first among equals, and deserved a much wider audience than it got. Kudos to her and to the entire company for deciding that doing the work they believe in is more important than the commercial success they could all surely have.</p><p>Meanwhile, <a href="http://theateroobleck.com/plays/there-is-a-happiness-that-morning-is">Mickle Maher's <em>There is a Happiness That Morning Is</em></a>, which Theatre Oobleck did at the DCA Theatre, broke the fourth wall while making <a href="http://www.online-literature.com/blake/songs-of-innocence-and-experie">William Blake's <em>Songs of Innocence and Experience</em></a> into a surrogate for all conflicts between Apollo and Dionysius, between head and heart, between conformity and individuality. Performed as a pair of dueling lectures, with a few comments from the peanut gallery, the piece is Impossible to describe but was thrilling to observe.&nbsp;<br> <br> <strong>Best adaptations from other media:</strong> honors are shared here by Marilyn Campbell's <a href="http://www.16thstreettheater.org/seasonfour/thebeats.html"><em>The Beats</em> at 16th Street Theatre</a>, which makes the 1950s poets seem our contemporaries; <a href="http://buildingstage.com/bxo_show_mobydick.php"><em>Moby Dick</em> at the Building Stage</a>, in which everyone onstage takes a turn as Ahab, reminding the audience that anyone is capable of cruelty, obsession and insanity; <a href="http://thehousetheatre.com/seasons/x/shows/cyrano">The House Theatre’s version of <em>Cyrano</em></a>, which rescued the tale of love and chivalry from the musty cloth in which it’s been swaddled (not to say suffocated); and <a href="http://www.courttheatre.org/season/show/spunk/"><em>Spunk</em> at Court Theatre, a delightful musical adaptation of Zora Neale Hurston short stories</a>. And speaking of Court, did I mention its one-man adaptation of Homer?<br> <br> <strong>Best plays with an Irish lilt (always a crowded category in Chicago):</strong> a tie between <a href="http://www.seanachai.org/productions/shadow.html"><em>Shadow of a Gunman</em> at Seanachai</a> (directed by John Mossman) and <a href="http://www.theartistichome.org/index.php?option=com_content&amp;task=view&amp;id=136&amp;Itemid=261"><em>A Touch of the Poet</em> at the Artistic Home's new space at Stage 773</a> (directed by Mossman's wife, AH's Artistic Director Kathy Scambiatterra). Whether it’s O’Neill or O’Casey, you can count on a true feel of the Ould Sod from these two.<br> <br> <strong>Best plays about escaping from reality:</strong> There were a lot of these this year–--and, looking at the world as it is, can you blame us?&nbsp; <a href="http://www.redtwist.org/2010-2011Season.html#Neb">Red Twist’s <em>Man from Nebraska</em></a> heads the list, with a production of the Tracy Letts play that outdid its world premiere at Steppenwolf.&nbsp; <a href="http://www.strawdog.org/index.php?section=history&amp;production=conquest">Strawdog’s <em>Conquest of the South Pole</em> </a>(the <a href="http://www.timelinetheatre.com/pitmen_painters/">other play about unemployed miners</a>) showed us a group of East Germans whose fantasies of liberation involve death on the ice.&nbsp;<a href="http://eclipsetheatre.com/season/2011/">At Eclipse</a>, playwright Naomi Wallace limned the constraints of poverty, isolation, and gender in <em>The Trestle at Pope Lick Creek</em>, while the <a href="http://www.chicagoparkdistrict.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/news.detail/object_id/a3d49bc1-3d30-4d73-b050-c4ecafb365fb.cfm">same company’s revival of Arthur Miller’s <em>After the Fall</em></a> demonstrated that even people married to Marilyn Monroe occasionally need a break.</p><p>I realize I've spoken about companies more often than directors, so permit me a shout-out to Kimberly Senior, Jonathan Berry, Andrew Jessop, Seret Scott, Matt Hawkins, Blake Montgomery, Ann Filmer, Zeljko Djukic, Amy Morton, Vaun Monroe, Barbara Gaines, Penny Metropulos, Jessica Redish and Rachel Rockwell. And may I happily note an equal number of men and women in this group of those responsible for the great work here described?</p><p>Happy New Year.&nbsp;</p></p> Mon, 19 Dec 2011 15:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-12-19/you-missed-list-top-shows-2011-94979 Dueling Critics: Sondheim's 'Follies' at the Chicago Shakespeare Theater http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-10-14/dueling-critics-sondheims-follies-chicago-shakespeare-theater-93150 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/segment/photo/2011-October/2011-10-14/Follies.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Take an old theater on the verge of demolition; add some former showgirls who, like the theater, have seen better days; roll out a score by Stephen Sondheim that pays homage to his favorite musical styles from the '30s, '40s and '50s; and it's a show! <a href="http://www.chicagoshakes.com/main.taf?p=2,63" target="_blank"><em>Follies</em></a> is currently being performed at the <a href="http://www.chicagoshakes.com/" target="_blank">Chicago Shakespeare Theater</a>. Jonathan Abarbanel and Kelly Kleiman discussed the production with <em>Eight Forty-Eight</em>.</p><p><em>Follies</em> is on stage at the Chicago Shakespeare Theater through Nov. 13.&nbsp;</p><p><em>Music Button: Carol Burnett performing Stephen Sondheim's "I'm Still Here", from a tribute to Sondheim television broadcast</em></p></p> Fri, 14 Oct 2011 14:53:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-10-14/dueling-critics-sondheims-follies-chicago-shakespeare-theater-93150 Daily Rehearsal: Global warming is super funny http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-10-13/daily-rehearsal-global-warming-super-funny-93122 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/photo/2011-October/2011-10-13/sizzle.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><img alt="" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-October/2011-10-13/sizzle.jpg" style="margin-right: 10px; margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px; float: right; width: 250px; height: 357px; " title=""><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family:georgia,serif;"><strong>1. <a href="http://www.newsuittheatre.com/sizzle.html"><em>Sizzle</em></a>'s final preview is this Friday&nbsp;</strong></span></span>at the West Stage of Raven Theatre. It's a production by New Suit Theatre and goes where Al Gore couldn't, in this "global warming comedy." It's based off of not Gore's film, but from a documentary by Dr. Randy Olson. Melding mediums for the better.</p><p><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family:georgia,serif;"><strong>2. Ah, <em>Follies</em></strong></span></span>. <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/entertainment/theater/theaterloop/ct-ott-1014-follies-review-20111012,0,2326749.column">Chris Jones gave the musical</a> that's making him <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-10-07/daily-rehearsal-dionne-warwick-interior-designer-92929">reexamine his entire life</a> four stars (or squares, as it were). And read <a href="http://www.suntimes.com/entertainment/weiss/8144384-452/chicago-shakespeare-theaters-follies-dazzles-at-every-turn.html">Hedy Weiss' review</a> just for the first paragraph, trust me. &nbsp;Jones ends on a somber note: "...none of us is perfect. Just a little wiser and sadder as we go."</p><p><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family:georgia,serif;"><strong>3. Lucia Mauro was on <a href="http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-10-13/theater-and-film-classics-inspiring-chicagos-dance-scene-93116"><em>848 </em>this morning</a></strong></span></span> discussing the latest dance performances that were heavily inspired by film and theater. Lucky Plush's<em> The Better Half </em>takes a note or two from the 1940s thriller <em>Gaslight</em>, while <em>Dancing Henry 5</em> refers to what you think it refers to.&nbsp;</p><p><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family:georgia,serif;"><strong>4. Robert Loerzel <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-loerzel/chicagos-theater-season-o_b_1001416.html">writes about</a> the best of this fall's theater season</strong></span></span>, and though it's all stuff you've heard of, he digs up a great quote from the <em>Tribune</em>'s critic in 1936, Charles Collins did back in 1936. Writing about that year's fall theater scene, Collins said, "I come up from under the heavy wave of first nights ... blinking my eyes and shaking stars out of my hair. This has been a surfeit of pleasures akin to a debauch." Woah boy.</p><p><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family:georgia,serif;"><strong>5. This is not even tenously connected to Chicago</strong></span></span> (as far as I can tell) but it is about theater, and is really cute; the cast of Broadway's<em>&nbsp;Lysistrata Jones</em> is being coached by former NBA All-Star player Chris Mullin.<a href="http://video.nytimes.com/video/2011/10/12/arts/100000001108847/broadway-basketball.html"> This video</a> of the cast frolicking about and learning to play basketball is very cute and reminds me a bit of summer camp for adults.</p><p>Questions? Tips? Email <a href="mailto:kdries@wbez.org">kdries@wbez.org</a>.</p></p> Thu, 13 Oct 2011 15:50:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-10-13/daily-rehearsal-global-warming-super-funny-93122 Daily Rehearsal: Dionne Warwick, interior designer? http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-10-07/daily-rehearsal-dionne-warwick-interior-designer-92929 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/photo/2011-October/2011-10-07/dionnewarwick_flickr_istolethetv.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><span style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;"><strong>1. Dionne Warwick, interior designer?</strong></span></span> The singer you know best from your easy-listening radio days in the 60s, 70s and 80s (and today!) has <a href="http://www.suntimes.com/8072248-421/dionne-warwick-to-design-black-ensemble-theater-interior.html">taken on the job of redoing the&nbsp;Black Ensemble Theater Cultural Center</a>. "The color scheme will be in hues of reds, oranges, beiges, browns and grays," said Warwick. "It will be a vibrant, classy, comfortable space, with a modern chandelier and memorabilia of the theater’s decades of past productions exhibited on the lobby walls."&nbsp;I hope hope hope the theater isn't singing this tune:</p><p style="text-align: center;"><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="360" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/nFvLcCDvdEA" width="480"></iframe></p><p><span style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;"><strong>2. The Pavement Group has announced their 2012 season</strong></span></span> with two world premieres; "Girl You Know It's True" and "Breaks and Bikes." None of this will open until the spring, but Pavement's Amuse Bouche will be at Collaboraction in December. That piece is a 24-hour play style situation, except there are 72-hours and six plays. Look for that December 9.</p><p><span style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;"><strong>3. The <a href="http://imeoutchicago.com/arts-culture/comedy/14973981/live-review-doug-stanhope-at-mayne-">reviews </a>are in for Doug Stanhope</strong></span></span>'s <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-10-04/daily-rehearsal-yellowman-extended-92801">performances this week</a> at Mayne Stage. Also performing at the show was one Junior Stopka, who <em>TimeOut Chicago </em>calls out as potentially "the biggest breakthrough right now in Chicago comedy." And though the end of the show got a little rowdy, Jason Heidemann writes&nbsp;"I liked Stanhope so much that I wanted to knock on Stanhope's door in Bisbee, Arizona holding a bottle of whiskey. I don't think Stanhope would appreciate that, but I do think he'd let me in."</p><p><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-October/2011-10-07/welts.jpg" style="margin: 10px; float: left; width: 225px; height: 300px;" title="Um, ew."><span style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;"><strong>4. Remember when Chris Jones <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-09-13/daily-rehearsal-joe-frank-returns-steppenwolf-91914">went to New York</a> to see <em>Follies</em>?</strong></span></span> You know, because <em>Follies </em>was coming to Chicago and it's important to do comparisons? He wasn't overwhelmingly excited about the New York production, but he's taken a look inside the future Chicago Shakes production helmed by Gary Griffin, and things are looking up. Though the subject matter seems to be repeatedly hitting close to home; "At the end of the night," <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/entertainment/theater/ct-ott-1007-jones-loop-20111005,0,5749907.story">writes Jones</a>, "you can stage it one way or another, play it on a dozen instruments or power up twice that number. <em>Follies </em>is about our inability to stop the debilitating passage of time."</p><p><span style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;"><strong>5. Tonight it's <a href="http://www.annoyanceproductions.com/welts/index.shtml"><em>Welts </em></a>at the Annoyance</strong></span></span>, which sounds actually painful, if not metaphorically so. "Armed with a different type of weapon each week, the Welts Players inflict excruciating physical pain on one another while improvising a montage of freely associated scenes, based on a suggestion from the audience. Only two rules apply. Rule one: do not acknowledge the weapons. Rule two: use your weapon whenever you want." I hope for everyone's sake this is stage acting at its finest.</p><p>Questions? Tips? Email <a href="mailto:kdries@wbez.org">kdries@wbez.org</a>.</p></p> Fri, 07 Oct 2011 15:09:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-10-07/daily-rehearsal-dionne-warwick-interior-designer-92929 Daily Rehearsal: Joe Frank returns to Steppenwolf http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-09-13/daily-rehearsal-joe-frank-returns-steppenwolf-91914 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/photo/2011-September/2011-09-13/27074_372825587507_35845197507_3529269_4786773_n.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-September/2011-09-13/27074_372825587507_35845197507_3529269_4786773_n.jpg" style="margin: 10px; float: left; width: 300px; height: 229px;" title="Joe Frank at Steppenwolf in 2010 (Photo by Michal Story)"><span style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;"><strong>1. <a href="http://www.writerstheatre.org/boxoffice/production?id=0081"><em>The Real Thing</em></a> opens today at Writer's Theatre</strong></span></span>. "A married playwright blurs the line between reality and his dramas on the stage as his personal life unravels before his very eyes." It was written by Tom Stoppard (and thought to be loosely based on his life).&nbsp;</p><p><span style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;"><strong>2. Court Theatre's <em><a href="http://www.courttheatre.org/season/show/spunk/">Spunk&nbsp;</a></em>opened this past weekend</strong></span></span>, and time will tell if it'll reach the popularity of <em>Porgy and Bess</em> (I'm doubting it). The play combines some interesting elements; the story of Zora Neale Hurston has been adapted by George C. Wolfe with heavy use of the blues, to bring to life the Harlem Renaissance.&nbsp;</p><p><span style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;"><strong>3. Wondering why <em>Time Out Chicago</em> </strong></span></span><a href="http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-09-08/daily-rehearsal-colin-quinn-drops-some-wisdom-second-city-91695"><span style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;"><strong>featured</strong></span></span> such ridiculously thorough</a> coverage of the Chicago Fringe Festival? Word on the street is that Theater Editor Kris Vire is a big fan and supporter of the festival. In <a href="http://chicagoplays.com/component/idoblog/?view=idoblog&amp;args=Blogs&amp;recentid=130">more Fringe news</a>, they explain why they picked Pilsen for their location, how they had to be creative with their spaces because of that, and what they're all about.</p><p><span style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;"><strong>4. Chris Jones takes us through <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/entertainment/theater/theaterloop/chi-follies-review-broadway-20110912,0,6030240.column">his thoughts</a></strong></span></span> on the New York version of <em>Follies</em>, a show that's going up at the Chicago Shakespeare Theater this fall. "The hardest part of <em>Follies</em>, now at least, is making us believe that the actual live-changing revelations and life-and-love decisions being made at the reunion — for some an excuse to wallow, for others a call to action — are happening, credibly, in real time, even as the pastiches of the past and present are unfolding," writes Jones.</p><p><span style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;"><strong>5. Our old friend<a href="http://joefrank.com/"> Joe Frank</a> will be at Steppenwolf</strong></span></span> on October 10, performing his new show <em>Too Close to Home</em>, about visiting his parents in their Florida retirement home. He'll be joined by James Harrah on guitar. Frank's show airs on WBEZ on Sunday nights.</p><p>Questions? Tips? Email <a href="mailto:kdries@wbez.org">kdries@wbez.org</a>.</p></p> Tue, 13 Sep 2011 14:19:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-09-13/daily-rehearsal-joe-frank-returns-steppenwolf-91914 Daily Rehearsal: 'My Fair Lady' cast is announced http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-07-20/daily-rehearsal-my-fair-lady-cast-announced-89397 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/photo/2011-July/2011-07-20/myfairlady.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><span style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;"><strong>1. Our fave Chi Theater Addict Bob Bullen&nbsp;<a href="http://chitheatreaddict.com/2011/07/19/chicago-shakes-follies-casting-partly-announced-where-are-the-chicago-actors/">has some thoughts</a> on the<a href="http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-07-19/daily-rehearsal-timeline-produce-jon-conroys-my-kind-town-89335"> recently announced <em>Follies </em>casting</a></strong></span></span>, and he's not super happy with Chicago Shakespeare's dependence on "outside talent" (outside Chicago that is). "Yes, the supporting cast and ensembles in these shows are mostly made up of local talent (woot for Resnik singing 'I’m Still Here' — a song I’m sure she’ll make into the full-out showstopper that it is), but why the reliance on non-local talent to star in these high-profile Sondheim shows?" he asks. "Are there no other actors in the city whom we can trust to star in major productions of musical comedies? Seriously?" SERIOUSLY GUYS.</p><p><sup><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-July/2011-07-20/myfairlady.jpg" style="width: 400px; height: 267px; margin: 10px; float: left;" title="(Photo by Brett Beiner)"></sup><span style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;"><strong>2. Bob Bullen can't complain about the <a href="http://www.paramountaurora.com/">Paramount Theatre</a></strong></span></span>&nbsp;not sending their love to local actors; they've<a href="http://www.paramountaurora.com/">&nbsp;</a>announced the cast of <em>My Fair Lady</em>, and it's Chicago-actor heavy.<em>&nbsp;</em>Eliza Dolittle is played by&nbsp;Andrea Prestinario (Jeff Award winner) and Henry Higgins is taken on by Nathan M. Hosner, with a full cast of other locals. This is the first of Paramount's attempts at a Broadway musical, and will include a full orchestra. Also not to be weird, but don't Prestinario and Hosner look a little related?</p><p style="margin: 0.6em 0px 1.2em; padding: 0px;"><span style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;"><strong>3. Speaking of look alikes in productions:&nbsp;</strong></span></span>&nbsp;TimeOut has&nbsp;<a href="http://timeoutchicago.com/arts-culture/dance/14861315/dance-usa-showcase-at-the-mca-photo-gallery" style="color: rgb(2, 122, 198); text-decoration: none;">photos&nbsp;</a>of the Dance/USA Showcase at the MCA Stage.&nbsp;<em>Sharks Before Drowning</em>, a&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-06-02/working-weekend-critics-picks-63-65-87333" style="color: rgb(2, 122, 198); text-decoration: none;">Laura Molzahn pick</a>, seems to have used the similarities oftheir dancers aesthetics for their benefit.</p><p style="margin: 0.6em 0px 1.2em; padding: 0px;"><span style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;"><strong>4. I've been waiting for the internet version of <em>Chicago Magazine</em>'s</strong></span></span> Best of 2011 issue to come out, so I could do more than just reference their&nbsp;<a href="http://www.chicagomag.com/Chicago-Magazine/August-2011/Best-of-Chicago-2011-Theatre/" style="color: rgb(2, 122, 198); text-decoration: none;">Best of Theater article</a>&nbsp;and actually&nbsp;<em>cite my sources</em>. Their rundown:</p><p style="margin: 0.6em 0px 1.2em; padding: 0px;">Best Theater Company - TimeLine,&nbsp;Best Play -&nbsp;<em>A Twist of Water,&nbsp;</em>Best Director - Dexter Bullard,&nbsp;Best Actor - Nick Sandys,&nbsp;Best Actress - Ora Jones and&nbsp;Best Musical -&nbsp;<em>Working</em>.&nbsp;</p><p style="margin: 0.6em 0px 1.2em; padding: 0px;">What say you?</p><p><span style="font-size: 14px;"><strong><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;">5. <em>5 Lesbians Eating a Quiche</em> has been extended</span></strong></span> through August 13. This generally ridiculous production manages to pull together fears of nuclear eradication due to the Cold War, love of quiche, and of course, lesbians, into a semblance of something that makes sense and is completely hilarious.</p><p>Questions? Tips? Email <a href="mailto:kdries@wbez.org">kdries@wbez.org</a>.</p></p> Wed, 20 Jul 2011 14:05:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-07-20/daily-rehearsal-my-fair-lady-cast-announced-89397 Daily Rehearsal: Timeline to produce Jon Conroy's 'My Kind of Town' http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-07-19/daily-rehearsal-timeline-produce-jon-conroys-my-kind-town-89335 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/photo/2011-July/2011-07-19/AP080329027454.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Sorry we missed each other yesterday. I swear, I didn't look that good.</p><p><span style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;"><strong>1.&nbsp;On Sunday, Porchlight Theatre had a brunch</strong></span></span>, but it was really more of fancy brunch, or a gala, one that they said was "celebrating the past, looking to the future." <a href="http://www.porchlighttheatre.com/events.htm"><em>Journey On</em></a> included entertainment by Porchlight performers, including Bethany Thomas, who is currently heating up <em>Porgy and Bess</em>, and hornored Walter Stearns, who is leaving the company.&nbsp;</p><p><span style="font-size: 14px;"><strong><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;">2. Timeline Theater 2011-12 has announced their <a href="http://www.timelinetheatre.com/news/1112_season_announcement.htm">2011-12 season</a></span></strong></span>, which will be their 15th season. The lineup includes several world and Chicago premieres, including <em>ENRON </em>by Lucy Prebble, a British playwright whose projects are often ripped from the headlines; she was <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/21/theater/21prebble.html">also a writer</a> on the show <em>Secret Diary of a Call Girl</em>. Media-inspired plays abound, with John Conroy's <em>My Kind of Town</em>, which was workshopped in November 2010. <a href="http://www.john-conroy.com/">Conroy </a>has written extensively about the police torture scandal that occurred in Chicago two decades.</p><p><img alt="" class="caption" height="225" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-July/2011-07-19/AP080329027454.jpg" title="" width="512"><br> <span style="font-size: 14px;"><strong><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;">3.&nbsp;<a href="http://www.chicagoreader.com/Bleader/archives/2011/07/18/betty-ford#more">Betty Ford and theater?</a></span></strong></span> Michael Miner at the Reader has a cute story about the former First Lady. Miner's brother Peter was in a play at the Kennedy Center, and Ford gave her family seats (President's box) to Peter after receiving a letter. Peter says:&nbsp;"I'm talking to the White House, and Betty Ford's assistant is telling me, 'Mrs. Ford would be pleased to know that your parents will be using her box.' Of course, I had to request a ticket for you (No problem), and then I had to call back to request another ticket for the friend of a cast member (Again, no problem.) Easily one of the most satisfying moments of my life, and all because of a whim and a very decent woman."</p><p><span style="font-size: 14px;"><strong><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;">4. Sondheim's <a href="http://www.chicagoshakes.com/main.taf?p=2,63"><em>Follies</em></a>, going up at Chicago Shakespeare Theater</span></strong></span> in October, has been cast. Leads include Brent Barrett and&nbsp;Susan Moniz as Benjamin and Phyllis Rogers Stone, and<strong>&nbsp;</strong>Robert Petkoff and&nbsp;Caroline O'Connor<strong>&nbsp;</strong>as&nbsp;Buddy and Sally Durant Plummer. Carlotta will be played by&nbsp;Hollis Resnik.</p><p><span style="font-size: 14px;"><strong><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;">5. Kristen Schmidt is being replaced by Carron Little</span></strong></span> as Artistic Director of <a href="http://www.walkabouttheater.org/">Walkabout Theater</a>. In a statement, Schmidt said,&nbsp;“Carron Little has an amazing inventiveness and passion for exploring ways to create and present new stories for live audiences. I look forward to being part of the new theatrical surprises that Ms. Little and Walkabout Theater bring to Chicago audiences. In celebration of Ms. Little’s new leadership, Walkabout is presenting two new creations this summer/fall." These creations include a "site - specific performance in a house in Pilsen and a whole series of twelve unexpected encounters throughout the Wicker Park and Bucktown neighborhoods."&nbsp;</p><p>Questions? Tips? Email <a href="mailto:kdries@wbez.org">kdries@wbez.org</a>.</p></p> Tue, 19 Jul 2011 14:27:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-07-19/daily-rehearsal-timeline-produce-jon-conroys-my-kind-town-89335