WBEZ | Eclipse Theatre http://www.wbez.org/tags/eclipse-theatre Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Don't Miss List August 16-22: Free Shows! http://www.wbez.org/blogs/onstagebackstage/2012-08/dont-miss-list-august-16-22-free-shows-101749 <p><p style="text-align: center; "><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="281" mozallowfullscreen="" src="http://mediapl.stagechannel.com/previews/3hwq3ruV-2dPyDJYr" webkitallowfullscreen="" width="500"></iframe></p><p style="text-align: center; "><span style="font-size:11px;"><em>Eclipse Theatre&#39;s production of </em>Ah, Wilderness<em>, as filmed by The Stage Channel</em></span></p><p><u>Dueling Critics, between 9 and 10 a.m. Friday, 91.5 FM and WBEZ.org, FREE!</u></p><p>Jonathan and I will review&nbsp;<em>Ah, Wilderness&nbsp;</em>&ndash; Eugene O&rsquo;Neill&rsquo;s only comedy<em>&nbsp;</em>&ndash;&nbsp;at Eclipse Theatre. And we chat with a Player To Be Named Later about whether devoting an entire season to a single playwright leads to deeper insight or the familiarity which breeds contempt.&nbsp;<em>&nbsp;</em>&ndash; KK</p><p><u><em>The Taming of the Shrew</em>, Shakespeare in the Parks, Wilson Park, Friday at 6:30 p.m., Saturday and Sunday at 4 pm, FREE!</u></p><p>Chicago Shakespeare&#39;s traveling production of&nbsp;<em>Shrew</em>&nbsp;winds up its whirlwind tour this weekend with a three-day stand at Wilson Park, 4630 North Milwaukee on the Northwest Side. After that, all you can do is hope for a repeat of the Shakes/Parks program next year.&nbsp;&ndash; KK</p><p><u><em>East of the Sun, West of the Moon</em>, Coriolis Theater Company, opens tomorrow (Friday) at 8 pm at the Boho Theater at the Heartland Studio in Rogers Park, $25.</u><br /><br />A brand-new theater company puts on a brand-new musical in a space blessed by positive musical karma, the home of the terrific Bohemian Theater Ensemble: one is entitled to expect great things. This piece, based on a Norse fairy tale of the same name, sounds like it could have been written by Joseph Campbell: man and woman, each on the run from a terrible fate, discover themselves and each other in the world outside. The show runs through September 9: Thursdays and Fridays at 8, Saturdays at 6 and 9, and Sundays at 3. $5 discount for students.&nbsp;&ndash; KK<br /><br /><u>Chicago Dancing Festival, opens Monday at the Harris Theater, runs through next Saturday August 25th, FREE!</u><br /><br />Choreographer Lar Lubovitch and dancer Jay Franke, a veteran of Lubovitch&rsquo;s company, launched this late-summer explosion of free dance five years ago, and it just keeps getting bigger and better. Even if you &ldquo;don&rsquo;t know anything about dance&rdquo; (What&rsquo;s to know? People with beautiful bodies display them in motion; there&#39;s music and lights; you tap your feet), try to carve out a single night to sample the nation&rsquo;s top companies, including the Martha Graham Dance Company, stars of the New York City and San Francisco Ballets, and our own Hubbard Street. Downtown will&nbsp;be littered with dancers, from the MCA to the Auditorium to the Pritzker Pavilion on Saturday night. Though that final night is bound to be jammed (weather cooperating), try to get there: the Graham troupe will do&nbsp;<em>Steps in the Street</em>, an indictment of privilege in the face of unemployment so powerful it puts the Occupy movement to shame.&nbsp;&ndash; KK</p><p><u><a href="http://www.light-opera-works.org"><em>Man of La Mancha</em></a>, Light Opera Works at Cahn Auditorium, 600 Emerson Street, Evanston; 1-847-920-5360; $32-$92; through Aug. 26</u></p><p>The runs at Light Opera Works (LOW) almost always are too short (although even this consistently reliable troupe can come up with an occasional clinker) and that certainly will prove the case with the wildly-popular <em>Man of La Mancha</em>, the musical story of Don Quixote told, sung and danced to a lilting, soaring, irresistibly rhythmic score. Better yet, at LOW you&#39;ll hear it played by a full orchestra of 28 or so musicians. Even better than that, heralded Chicago veteran actor and singer James Harms takes on the title role of the bewildered yet oddly-lucid Don. Act fast; seat choices already are limited for several performances.&nbsp;&ndash; JA</p><p><u><em>The Fall of the House of Usher</em>, <a href="http://www.the-hypocrites.com">The Hypocrites</a> at Chopin Theatre, 1543 W. Division; 1-312-989-7352; $28; through Sept. 23</u></p><p>Although I admire his style, I&#39;m not always a fan of auteurist director Sean Graney, co-founder of The Hypocrites, who often adapts a classical text (Sophocles, Shakespeare, Gilbert &amp; Sullivan) and occasionally has destroyed the original in the process or reduced it to absurdity. However, the already-fevered works of Edgar Allen Poe seem perfectly-suited to Graney&#39;s strong visual sense and story-telling skills, so his adaptation of <em>The Fall of the House of Usher</em> could be fertile territory. All I can tell you about this new stage version is that it runs 80 minutes (about right for the page-to-stage adaptation of a short story), but don&#39;t be surprised to encounter an updated setting, original music, a reduction of Poe&#39;s ornate prose style to a few select words and an environmental staging.&nbsp;&ndash; JA</p></p> Thu, 16 Aug 2012 13:40:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/onstagebackstage/2012-08/dont-miss-list-august-16-22-free-shows-101749 Daily Rehearsal: Sketchbook is now accepting submissions http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-10-05/daily-rehearsal-sketchbook-now-accepting-submissions-92858 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/photo/2011-October/2011-10-05/collaboraction sketch.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><img alt="" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-October/2011-10-05/TheArgument_revised_Poster_10-2.jpg" style="margin: 10px; float: right; width: 162px; height: 250px;" title=""><span style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;"><strong>1. Interrobang's <a href="http://interrobangtheatreproject.org/"><em>The Argument</em></a> opens this weekend </strong></span></span>at the Viaduct. As is unfortunately too usual, it's not uplifting, but is instead "the story of twin sisters, Mia and Ana, who are separated by death when the levees break and the city floods. Devastated by guilt for having survived, her sister Mia carts her sister’s corpse through a post-apocalyptic landscape of anarchy and desperation seeking love and happiness for her lifeless twin." Carting a corpse around: <em>So </em>the latest thing.</p><p><span style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;"><strong>2. Get <a href="http://www.theatreinchicago.com/newswire.php?newsID=597">super close</a> to the stars of <em>Love, Loss and What I Wore</em></strong></span></span>, if you're not <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-09-20/daily-rehearsal-help-out-friend-judy-fabjance-second-city-92214">entirely sick of them already</a>. They'll be at&nbsp;Petterino's, called "the downtown theater district go-to restaurant" &nbsp;for "Monday Night Live" this coming Monday. Dinner theater at it's finest, hoested by Denise McGowan Tracy and Beckie Menzie.</p><p><span style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;"><strong>3. Drury Lane has extended <em>The Sound of Music</em></strong></span></span> before it's even opened, to January 8, 2012. Previews start October 20, the real deal is the 27th. It seems that moral is high and buzz is good.</p><p><img alt="" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-October/2011-10-05/collaboraction sketch.jpg" style="margin: 10px; float: left; width: 170px; height: 250px;" title=""><span style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;"><strong>4. Submit your stuff to <em>Sketchbook now</em></strong></span></span>, Collaboraction's very well-reviewed annual festival. The <a href="http://www.sketchbooksubmissions.org/">deadline </a>is November 1 for the June 2012 festival. You can submit a piece that's super short (under 7 minutes) and one that's a bit longer (over 8, under 80). And directors without work are welcome to apply as well. Works that have started at Sketchbook have gone on to do pretty well after they start short, like the <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-06-27/daily-rehearsal-5-lesbians-eating-quiche-88391">Daily Rehearsal-approved </a><em><a href="http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-06-27/daily-rehearsal-5-lesbians-eating-quiche-88391">5 Lesbians Eating A Quiche</a></em>, which moved on to a fully-fleshed out performance under the wing of The New Colony.</p><p><span style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;"><strong>5.&nbsp;<a href="http://eclipsetheatre.com/" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border-width: 0px; outline-width: 0px; font-size: 12px; background-color: transparent; color: rgb(0, 153, 204);" target="_blank">Eclipse Theatre Company</a>&nbsp;is <a href="http://timeoutchicago.com/arts-culture/theater/14972075/eclipse-theatre-company-plans-eugene-oneill-season-moves-to-athenaeum">dedicating </a>it's 2012 season</strong></span></span> to Eugene O'Neill. This is a consistent practice for the company -- well, not the O'Neill, but the decision to devote an entire season to one playwright. It'll also be moving from its home at the Greenhouse to the Athenaeum. This past season was all about Naomi Wallace, with productions like <em>The Trestle at Pope Lick Creek</em>, which the <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-08-26/dueling-critics-get-tense-over-trestle-pope-lick-creek-91035">Dueling Critics found to be</a> "a lovely, if puzzling, evening in the theater."</p><p>Questions? Tips? Email <a href="mailto:kdries@wbez.org">kdries@wbez.org</a>.</p></p> Wed, 05 Oct 2011 18:27:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-10-05/daily-rehearsal-sketchbook-now-accepting-submissions-92858 The Dueling Critics get tense over 'The Trestle at Pope Lick Creek' http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-08-26/dueling-critics-get-tense-over-trestle-pope-lick-creek-91035 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/photo/2011-August/2011-08-25/TrestlePhoto2.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><img alt="" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-August/2011-08-25/TrestlePhoto2.jpg" style="margin-left: 10px; margin-right: 10px; margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px; float: right; width: 200px; height: 266px; " title=""><strong>JONATHAN:</strong> <em>The Trestle at Pope Lick Creek</em> is, arguably, the best-known play by Naomi Wallace, seemingly accessible with its Depression-Era tale of two needy and dangerously-drawn together adolescents. But as a work of poetic realism, it may be a bit more difficult to fathom than it seems at first blush. The trestle of the title, passing over a symbolically dry creek, is where local teens sometimes play chicken by outrunning the evening train. A boy was killed doing just that several years back, and now 15 year old Dalton is being groomed for an attempt by 17 year old Pace, a sexually aware but virginal temptress who lured the first boy to his death. An emotional devil's advocate drawn to dares and violence, she connects easily with the repressed boy.<br> <br> <strong>KELLY:</strong> It's amazing that you could summarize the play so expeditiously, Jonathan, given how little of what appears onstage has to do with the plot. As you say, realism is only a torn garment thrown over a play whose body is a debate about the meaning of courage and masculinity. What makes <em>Trestle </em>so intriguing is playwright Wallace's decision to locate those characteristics in her female characters, while rendering her male characters impotent. Dalton is seemingly helpless in the face of Pace's demands, whether to race the train or to make love to her. Dalton's father, out of a job when his factory closed, literally sits in his room all day making shadow pictures on the wall, while his mother goes out to help revive the factory and transform it into a worker-owned cooperative. Wallace's point--one of them, at least--seems to be that men are completely adrift without work to anchor their identities, while women are more adaptable, deriving their identities from whatever environment they face. You know Wallace's work better than I do--am I reading her feminist message correctly?<br> <br> <strong>JONATHAN:</strong> I summarized the play expeditiously because I am a reporter, Kelly, and I know how to report what I see and hear. As for your reading of the feminist message, I believe you've actually come up with a powerful and not-inappropriate interpretation of the play. It's significant that the only one of the show's three male characters who demonstrates any vigor is the jailer--a man with a job--and coincidentally the father of the dead boy. I would disagree with you only to the extent that the intense focus of the play on the adolescents--Dalton and Pace--suggests that Wallace wants to comment on something crucial and particular to that stage of life vs.courage and masculinity at various stages of life. But I confess I'm mystified by my own surmise as Wallace doesn't show us or tell us enough about either of the kids for us to figure out why they are the way they are. There's not much exposition in the play. The best I can figure is that emotional repression characterizes the Great Depression Era and rural America--where the play is set--a time and place of dreams delayed, deferred and denied. But, hey, Kelly, that's such a cliche! How can I suggest that Wallace would latch on to it?<br> <br> <strong>KELLY:</strong> I understood the adolescents to be merely extreme versions of the adults: hopeless, given to futile acts because there are no other kind, confused about both sexual relations and relations between the sexes. Although the play is set in the Depression and the train could be a metaphor for a destructive economy, I don't think it is. Sometimes, as Sigmund Drama Critic must surely have said, a setting is only a setting. Jonathan Berry's direction emphasizes the explosive tension which surrounds everything the young not-lovers do, whether racing a train or experimenting with sex, and the performances of Matt Farabee and&nbsp;Marissa Cowsill&nbsp;as Dalton and Pace are a terrific meeting of powder and fire. In their hands, the play mostly bypasses the mind and goes straight for the crotch.&nbsp;&nbsp;<br> <br> <strong>JONATHAN: </strong>Kelly, I can't believe you actually set me up to write, "Perhaps it bypasses YOUR mind, tiny as it is." I think the dry creek bed, not the train, is the metaphor for a destructive economy. I agree with you&nbsp;that Farabee--a Chicago newcomer--and Cowsill make the play crackle, and I also liked Cindy Marker as Dalton's put-upon mother. She did a lot with a modestly-written part.&nbsp;Berry's direction captures the darkly elegiac tone inherent in a work which is as much tone poem as drama. I think it's smart that his actors mostly eschew rural or regional accents&nbsp;so audiences do not think, "Oh, Appalachia" or some such. The physical production deserves a shout-out, too, for being effective rather than&nbsp;fancy. Rachel Lambert's costumes feature band-collared shirts and lots of linen and cottons, while&nbsp;Joe Schermoly's set suggests the power and size of the trestle, surrounded by empty, woodsy countryside. But: I keep coming back to Dalton and the shame and guilt that appear to be driving him to unnecessary self-sacrifice.&nbsp;Have you and I dismissed&nbsp;the tragedy here which may be Wallace's real point?</p><p><strong>KELLY:</strong> Jonathan, my love, I live to set up your cheap shots. In return, though, you have to allow me to observe that from Wallace's point of view, Dalton's sacrifice is not unnecessary: he betrayed Pace by refusing to look at her while she was running across the tracks. That may sound ridiculous to someone who hasn't yet seen the play, but its script is studded with pleas from the women to the men: "Touch me!&nbsp; Look at me!"&nbsp; None of the men, self-absorbed and nonfunctional as they are, will or can respond. Dalton, however pointlessly, punishes himself in their stead.&nbsp; No wonder the post-show music is the anti-hymn "Live and die and gone"--there's crucifixion here but no redemption.</p><p>Our interpretations make this delicate piece sound like heavy going, when it's not at all. The beautiful language (you can tell Wallace began her career as a poet) and the elliptical construction make <a href="http://www.eclipsetheatre.com/season/2011/"><em>The Trestle at Pope Lick Creek</em></a> a lovely, if puzzling, evening in the theater. The play runs through Labor Day at the Greenhouse on Lincoln Avenue just south of Fullerton. &nbsp;</p></p> Fri, 26 Aug 2011 16:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-08-26/dueling-critics-get-tense-over-trestle-pope-lick-creek-91035