WBEZ | Maestro: The Art of Leonard Bernstein http://www.wbez.org/tags/maestro-art-leonard-bernstein Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Daily Rehearsal: the 'Good Wife' actually comes to Chicago http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-11-17/daily-rehearsal-good-wife-actually-comes-chicago-94149 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/photo/2011-November/2011-11-17/4300606173_d5080eab0d.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><span style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;"><strong>1. Debates over how good <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-09-01/daily-rehearsal-new-york-cast-chinglish-has-one-surprise-91392"><em>Maestro </em></a>is</strong></span></span> continue among the major media outlets, with votes all over the place. The <a href="http://www.chicagoreader.com/chicago/hershey-felders-maestro-at-royal-george-theatre/Content?oid=5011710"><em>Reader </em>says that</a> Hershey Felder "succeeds on every level". The<a href="http://www.suntimes.com/entertainment/weiss/8741203-452/hershey-felder-is-brilliant-in-his-personification-of-composer-leonard-bernstein.html"> <em>Sun-Times</em> says</a> he's "a genius." But <a href="http://timeoutchicago.com/arts-culture/theater/15023275/maestro-the-art-of-leonard-bernstein-at-royal-george-theatre-theater-r"><em>TimeOut </em>qualifies that</a> the show"doesn’t really reach a roof-blowing emotional intensity," though the <a href="http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2011-11-11/entertainment/ct-ent-1112-bernstein-review-20111112_1_art-of-leonard-bernstein-hershey-felder-maestro"><em>Trib </em>writes</a> that it's "the best of [Felder's] self-composed entertainments to date."</p><p><span style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;"><strong>2. The cast of <em>Crowns </em>at the Goodman </strong></span></span>has been announced, with E. Faye Butler and Felicia Fields taking the leading roles of Mabel and Mother Shaw, respectively. Jasondra Johnson (described as a "newcomer") will play Velma. It opens in June, so we've got a long season or two to wait.</p><p><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-November/2011-11-17/4300606173_d5080eab0d.jpg" style="margin-right: 10px; margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px; float: left; width: 275px; height: 399px;" title="Margulies accepts her SAG award (Flickr/Cinema em Séries)"><span style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;"><strong>3. Julianna Margulies, star of the excellent show <em>The Good Wife</em></strong></span></span>, (which is all about Chicago though not actually filmed in Chicago) will be honored by Steppenwolf at their third annual <em>Steppenwolf Salutes WOMEN IN THE ARTS</em> luncheon&nbsp;in March. Margulies will be interviewed on stage by Martha Lavey; the award has previously gone to<a href="http://www.playbill.com/news/article/135825-Martha-Lavey-Will-Interview-Joan-Allen-at-Steppenwolf-Benefit-Event">&nbsp;Joan Allen</a> and<a href="http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-07-14/daily-rehearsal-steppenwolf-sends-emmy-congrats-martha-plimpton-891"> Martha Plimpton</a>, both of whom were ensemble members with the company. The event will raise money for the company's Professional Leadership Program, which trains "young professionals seeking hands-on experience in theater administration, production and technology" through Steppenwolf's internships and apprenticeships. I'll be real: This sounds like something Margulies' character Alicia Florrick would be forced to go to in her "good wifing."</p><p><span style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;"><strong>4. Performing in the play of a book they've probably never read</strong></span></span>, students that are in Chicago-area choirs will be performing at the Goodman in their 34th annual <em>A Christmas Carol</em>. They'll be doing 30-minutes of singing holiday tunes before the show starts; it would be wise to avoid catching up on your holiday shopping downtown before the show, as that's a lot of the same stuff and I've read it can make you go crazy. It opens November 18; the participating schools are Barrington High, Benet Academy, Walter Payton, Lincoln Park,&nbsp;</p><p><span style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;"><strong>5. Denis O'Hare won't be <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-11-15/daily-rehearsal-offensive-comments-about-not-vulgar-enough-musical-">one of the crazies at<em> The Homerathon</em></a></strong></span></span>, but he will be doing<em> An Iliad</em> at the Public Theatre in New York, after talks to come back to Chicago for a variety of plays, including Court's production of the show,<a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/entertainment/ct-ott-1118-jones-loop-20111116,0,6238510.story"> fell through</a> because of his TV schedule.</p><p>Questions? Tips? Email <a href="mailto:kdries@wbez.org">kdries@wbez.org</a>.</p></p> Thu, 17 Nov 2011 18:28:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-11-17/daily-rehearsal-good-wife-actually-comes-chicago-94149 Theater picks for your weekend: Alexander before he was Great, Bad Boys of Dance and a vaudeville comeback http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-11-03/theater-picks-your-weekend-alexander-he-was-great-bad-boys-dance-an <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/photo/2011-November/2011-11-03/Bad Boys of Dance Image 2.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><u><strong>Kelly Kleiman</strong></u></p><p><a href="http://www.etacreativearts.org/index.php">eta Creative Arts</a> follows up its well-regarded <em>Flow</em> (which will have <a href="http://www.enewspf.com/latest-news/school-news/27663-governors-state-universitys-center-for-performing-arts-presents-flow-saturday-november-12-at-8-pm.html">an encore presentation at Governors State University next weekend</a>) with <em><strong>Broke-ology</strong>,</em> a family drama about the intersection of brothers, elder-care and dominoes. Nathan Louis Jackson's play, directed by Artistic Director Runako Jahi, opens tonight on the Mainstage. Opening night tickets are only $10, with $20 Thursdays throughout the run; regular admission is $30. Through December 18 at eta Square, 7558 S. South Chicago Avenue.</p><p>Or, if you're among the teeming masses of the unemployed and are not busy <a href="http://www.thethirdcity.org/blog/jon-randolph/uncategorized/randolph-street-occupy-lasalle-street/">occupying LaSalle Street</a>, you could go to <a href="http://www.steppenwolf.org/boxoffice/productions/index.aspx?id=545">Steppenwolf</a> this afternoon for a free reading of a new play by <a href="http://www.steppenwolf.org/boxoffice/productions/bio.aspx?id=381&amp;crewId=721">Sarah Gubbins</a>, <strong><em>fml: or how Carson McCullers saved my life</em></strong> (an apt complement to <a href="http://www.steppenwolf.org/boxoffice/productions/index.aspx?id=539">Steppenwolf's Theatre for Young Adults production of McCullers's <em>The Heart is a Lonely Hunter</em>,</a> which closes tomorrow). Gubbins is the author of <a href="http://www.chicagodramatists.org/production_the-kid-thing"><em>The Kid Thing</em>, whose world-premiere production at Chicago Dramatists</a> was one of the highlights of this fall's season. 3 p.m. at the Steppenwolf Garage, 1624 N. Halsted. The free readings continue&nbsp; through Saturday; the First Look series of performances continues through November 20, but this is the only weekend you can get $10 tickets including a free beer.&nbsp;</p><p><img alt="" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-November/2011-11-03/vaudeville.jpg" style="margin-right: 10px; margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px; float: left; width: 300px; height: 169px;" title="">Even more exciting than the <a href="http://www.oldtownschool.org/?gclid=CJyLore4mKwCFcOd7Qodg2WULg">Old Town School of Folk Music</a>'s decision to branch out into theater is the subject of the show: <strong><em>Keep A Song in Your Soul: The Black Roots of Vaudeville</em></strong>. It would be hard to top the array of talent involved: <a href="http://www.windycitymediagroup.com/gay/lesbian/news/ARTICLE.php?AID=2324">Andrea J. Dymond </a>will direct the piece, whose creator-performers include the <a href="http://www.carolinachocolatedrops.com/">Grammy-winning Carolina Chocolate Drops</a>, the MacArthur Genius Grant-winning ragtime composer <a href="http://www.reginaldrrobinson.com/">Reginald R. Robinson</a>, and veteran Chicago tapper <a href="http://www.tapheritage.org/reggio.html">Reggio "The Hoofer" McLaughlin</a>. Tonight through Sunday only, in the School's Maurer Concert Hall, 4544 N. Lincoln Avenue.&nbsp; Tickets are $45, $43 for Old Town School Members, $41 for seniors. The show is not recommended for children: adult language and content.</p><p>Finally, <strong><a href="http://www.rivernorthchicago.com/">River North Dance Chicago</a></strong> comes home briefly to the Harris Theater. The company's "Reality of a Dreamer" was, in its original form, the sexiest thing you'd ever see on a legitimate stage; they've reworked it as "Evolution of a Dream" and we'll see whether the libido still comes panting through. Tonight through Saturday only; tickets $30-$75.&nbsp;<a href="http://www.harristheaterchicago.org/events/2011-2012-season/river-north-dance">The Harris</a>, at 205 East Randolph Street, is that glass box resembling a butt-plug for the Pritzker Pavilion. Still, there's not a bad seat in the house, and when you're inside you don't have to look at it.</p><p><u><strong>Laura Molzahn</strong></u></p><p>Word is that tickets are selling fast. On Saturday<strong>, </strong><a href="http://cso.org/TicketsAndEvents/EventDetails.aspx?eid=4296"><strong>DanceWorks Chicago</strong> shares the Symphony Center stage with the CSO</a> in two hour-long shows at family-friendly times. In “Magical Movements,” the six youthful DWC dancers help “build” the orchestra for the occasion’s finale, Benjamin Britten’s <em>The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra</em>. If for some reason you aren’t interested in being surrounded by kids age five to nine, <a href="http://www.danceworkschicago.org/Event/Dance-Flight-1111.aspx">DWC is also performing a “Dance Flight”</a> Saturday evening set to an eclectic mix of music: Vivaldi, Gershwin, and Sons of the Never Wrong.</p><p><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-November/2011-11-03/Bad Boys of Dance Image 2.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 429px;" title="The Bad Boys of Dance"></p><p>They’re called <a href="http://auditoriumtheatre.org/wb/">“<strong>The Bad Boys of Dance</strong>,”</a> but they’re neither all-bad nor all-boys. Fans of <em>Dancing With the Stars&nbsp;</em>and <em>So You Think You Can Dance</em>—the Bad Boys have turned up on both shows—will relish the opportunity to see these six babe magnets and one babe (Adrienne Canterna-Thomas, also the choreographer) shake their stuff in pieces set mostly to well-known pop songs. Saturday and Sunday at the Auditorium.</p><p>In the department of continuing but soon-to-end shows…. Lucky Plush undertakes its second and final weekend at the MCA in <strong><em><a href="http://mcachicago.org/performances/now/all/2011/740">The Better Half</a></em></strong>, a brainy, funny physical-theater take on the 1944 film <em>Gaslight</em>…. And if you’re a fan of zombies—you know you are—try to catch <em><a href="http://www.musicalofthelivingdead.com/Musical_of_the_Living_Dead/Welcome.html">Musical of the Living Dead</a> </em>before its last show, November 12.</p><p><u><strong>Jonathan Abarbanel</strong></u></p><p><img alt="" src="http://www.wbez.org/sites/default/files/blog/insert-image/2011-November/2011-11-03/Hershey%2520showpage.jpg" style="margin-left: 10px; margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px; float: right; width: 225px; height: 300px;" title="">Gifted pianist, writer and actor Hershey Felder has entertained us before with his one-man shows—half concert and half play—about George Gerswhin, Frederic Chopin and Beethoven. Now he’s back as Lenny, baby, in <a href="http://www.theroyalgeorgetheatre.com/shows.php?s=51"><strong><em>Maestro: The Art of Leonard Bernstein</em></strong></a> at the Royal George Theatre. Conductor, author, serious composer, Broadway composer, brilliant lecturer, dedicated liberal, husband, father and bisexual lover, Bernstein certainly was a multi-faceted showman (and he was, indeed, a showman). We’ll see how many facets Felder fathoms in 100 minutes or so. <em>Maestro: The Art of Leonard Bernstein</em> continues through Dec. 30. However, Felder has found Chicago congenial and often has extended his shows.</p><p>Alexander of Macedon (not yet “the Great”) was whuppin’ the Persians when he was just 21 years old, leading his troupes into battle with wounds to prove it. This point is pertinent to the 2011-2012 season of <a href="http://www.thesideproject.net/">the side project theatre company</a> (sic, they use all lower-case letters), up in Rogers Park (1439 W. Jarvis), which has dedicated the year to issues of war and youth. Not only that, but the side project is presenting its six-play season in rotating repertory, three plays now and three more in the spring. The opening repertory, which rolls this weekend, includes the world premieres <strong><em>of Through the Middle Ground</em></strong> by Louis Cancelmi and <strong><em>An Interrogation Primer</em></strong> by Mike Nowacki, plus the Midwest debut of Brett Neveu’s <strong><em>Twentyone</em></strong>. The first repertory series continues at the side project through Dec. 18.</p></p> Thu, 03 Nov 2011 15:32:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-11-03/theater-picks-your-weekend-alexander-he-was-great-bad-boys-dance-an Daily Rehearsal: New York cast of 'Chinglish' has one surprise http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-09-01/daily-rehearsal-new-york-cast-chinglish-has-one-surprise-91392 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/photo/2011-September/2011-09-01/augustosagecounty-in-sydney-05.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><span style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;"><strong>1. For a deeper look into the Fringe festival</strong></span></span> than <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-08-31/daily-rehearsal-get-ready-october-and-lots-free-theater-91235">what </a>we've <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blogs/onstagebackstage/2011-08-08/daily-rehearsal-tim-j-macmillan-bikes-theater-90252">given </a>you so <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-09-01/look-out-wienermobile-and-alice-wonderland-weekend-theater-91396">far</a>, go to the <a href="http://www.chicagoreader.com/chicago/fringe-festival-second-year-pilsen-plays-dance/Content?oid=4528112">Reader</a>, which highlights some of our picks, as well as some new options, like&nbsp;Rie Shontel's&nbsp;<i>Mama Juggs</i>&nbsp;and&nbsp;MelnColly Theatre Company's <i>Nearly Naked. </i>Am I sensing a theme here?&nbsp;</p><p><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-September/2011-09-01/augustosagecounty-in-sydney-05.jpg" style="margin: 10px; float: right; width: 300px; height: 200px;" title="Wilmes on the left, in 'August: Osage County' in Sydney (Photo by: Grant Sparkes-Carroll)"><span style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;"><strong>2. The New York cast of <em>Chinglish </em></strong></span></span>will look basically the same as what you saw here in Chicago, sans one of the lead characters Daniel, who was played by <a href="http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0914209/">James Waterston</a>, but will now be taken over by <a href="http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1675596/">Gary Wilmes</a>. <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/entertainment/theater/theaterloop/chi-chinglish-20110831,0,7236657.column">Chris Jones writes</a>, "The replacement of Waterson (sic)&nbsp;was expected. More surprising is the decision to go with a well-respected actor (who appeared in the Elevator Repair Service production of <em>Gatz </em>and has several Chicago credits) rather than a ticket-selling star." I get the last part, but I totally missed the memo on Waterson being dropped as "expected." Anyone out there in the know want to fill me in? Wilmes has also been seen in the tour&nbsp;<em>August: Osage County</em>&nbsp;made of Austraila.</p><p><span style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;"><strong>3. <a href="http://www.profilestheatre.org/" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border-width: 0px; outline-width: 0px; font-size: 12px; background-color: transparent; color: rgb(0, 153, 204);" target="_blank">Profiles Theatre</a>&nbsp;is pushing back</strong></span></span>&nbsp;<span style="font-size: 12px;"><em style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border-width: 0px; outline-width: 0px; font-size: 12px; background-color: transparent;">A Behanding in Spokane</em></span>&nbsp;<a href="http://timeoutchicago.com/arts-culture/theater/14922149/profiles-postpones-a-behanding-in-spokane">again</a>, due to Darrell W. Cox's emergency surgery for a detached retina. The play will now run from October 16 to December 4. Because this interferes with Assisted Living by Deirdre O'Connor, they'll be moving to the Second Stage. Best of luck Darrell.&nbsp;</p><p><img alt="" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-September/2011-09-01/the-kid-thing.jpg" style="margin: 10px; float: left; width: 249px; height: 300px;" title=""><span style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;"><strong>4. Opening tonight in previews</strong></span></span> is a play about yuppies who are worried about kids and having them and life changes. Yup, it's <a href="http://www.chicagodramatists.org/production_the-kid-thing"><em>The Kid Thing</em></a> by the Chicago Dramatists. This set of yuppies has a bit of a twist; they're two lesbian couples at a dinner party.&nbsp;</p><p><span style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;"><strong>5. Hershey Felder (yes, real name)</strong></span></span> is coming to Chicago again with&nbsp;<em>Maestro: The Art of Leonard Bernstein</em>, his first-person account of Leonard Bernstein's life, complete with music.<strong><em>&nbsp;</em></strong>&nbsp;Director Joel Zwick takes it on at the Royal George. The show begins previews November 1 and plays through December. When it played in Los Angeles, <a href="http://www.variety.com/review/VE1117944046">Variety said</a>, "Deftly and amusingly, Felder explores the roots of Bernstein's themes in the great composers of the past, as well as the Jewish folk tunes, which forged a bond between a willful son and stubborn Old World father."</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Questions? Tips? Email <a href="mailto:kdries@wbez.org">kdries@wbez.org</a>.</p></p> Thu, 01 Sep 2011 14:26:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-09-01/daily-rehearsal-new-york-cast-chinglish-has-one-surprise-91392