WBEZ | The Elephant Man http://www.wbez.org/tags/elephant-man Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en No ordinary theater weekend: What to see, when http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-10-20/no-ordinary-theater-weekend-what-see-when-93268 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/photo/2011-October/2011-10-20/more more more...future.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><u><strong>Kelly Kleiman</strong></u></p><p>This is no ordinary weekend in the theater world (what would that look like, anyway?).&nbsp;<a href="http://theateroobleck.com/home">Theater&nbsp;Oobleck</a> presents an art form you’ve probably never heard of, while <a href="http://www.shatteredglobe.org/">Shattered Globe</a> kicks off a&nbsp;series of staged readings of the plays that made its reputation.</p><p>Oobleck is first up, with its <em><strong>Baudelaire in a Box: Death and Other Excitements</strong></em>, which opened&nbsp;last night and continues through Sunday at <a href="http://www.linkshall.org/">Links Hall</a>. The show, based on the poet’s stunningly&nbsp;twisted and troubling <em><a href="http://www.press.uchicago.edu/Misc/Chicago/039250.html">Les Fleurs du Mal</a></em>, consists of “7 new cantastoria . . . with crankies&nbsp;designed and illustrated by Dave Buchen and songs by Chris Schoen.” Cantastoria, it emerges in&nbsp;<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_kEVoCsgsS0">a YouTube video posted by the company</a>, are “singing pictures,” performances in which&nbsp;illustrations on the body of performer or elsewhere on the stage are explained in song. And&nbsp;before you race in the opposite direction, remember that this is Oobleck, which never does&nbsp;anything dull. As for “crankies,” well, in the spirit of my 5th grade book reports, “If you want to&nbsp;find out you’ll have to see the show.” Sheffield and Newport in Chicago, $15, “more if you’ve&nbsp;got it, free if you’re broke.” &nbsp;<br> <br> <img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-October/2011-10-18/bonniekoloc.jpg" style="margin: 10px; float: left; width: 150px; height: 100px;" title="Bonnie Koloc">Then Sunday afternoon (if you can tear yourself away from watching American football in&nbsp;London–speaking of twisted and troubling!), head over to <a href="http://www.stage773.com/">Stage 773</a> to watch a one-time-only&nbsp;reconstruction by the original director of Shattered Globe’s critically acclaimed <em><strong>Judgment at&nbsp;Nuremberg</strong></em>. What’s particularly cool is that every month through January the company will do&nbsp;another staged reading of another past success, and that the shows in question are <em>The&nbsp;Manchurian Candidate</em>, <em>Talk Radio</em> and <em>A View from the Bridge</em>.&nbsp; Even if you didn’t see&nbsp;Shattered Globe in its first glory days, that package of shows should prove irresistible. $12 for&nbsp;this week’s performance (reception at 1 p.m., reading at 1:30), or $35 for all four. &nbsp;</p><p>Also a one-time-only event: <em><strong>Chicago Live!</strong></em> the talk-comedy-music show hosted by Rick Kogan in the basement of the Chicago Theater and taped for broadcast on WGN Radio. Tonight's edition features a conversation with Illinois Senate President John Cullerton and a performance by Bonnie Koloc. The doings start at 6:30; tickets $20, which includes the opportunity to buy drinks for the performers afterwards at the theater's cash bar.&nbsp;</p><p><u><strong>Laura Molzahn</strong></u></p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://www.wbez.org/sites/default/files/blog/insert-image/2011-October/2011-10-20/more%20more%20more...future.jpg" style="width: 500px; height: 334px;" title="'More More More...Future'"></p><p>Choreographer Faustin Linyekula comes from the bloodiest nation on the globe’s bloodiest continent. For decades the Democratic Republic of the Congo has been the battleground not only for DRC factions but for neighboring countries; though rich in minerals, it’s home to one of the poorest populations on the planet. Two engines drive Linyekula’s&nbsp;<strong><em>More More More … Future</em></strong>. One is politics. The other is ndombolo, a mix of traditional Congolese music, rumba, church fanfares, and funk—embellished here with punk music by guitarist Flamme Kapaya and his five-piece band. Supertitles translate poetry by political prisoner Antoine Vumilia Muhindo.&nbsp;<a href="http://www.mcachicago.org/performances/now/all/2011/739">Friday through Sunday at the Museum of Contemporary Art.</a></p><p>On the home front this weekend:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.giordanodance.org/company/"><strong>Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago</strong>&nbsp;does its thing at the Harris Theater</a>. Expect the upbeat, including&nbsp;<em>Alegria</em>(“Joy”) by Kiesha Lalama and&nbsp;<em>Alloy</em>, a romantic duet, by Autumn Eckman—both world premieres. Four works from the repertory round out the program.</p><p>And on the micro-dance scene: Andrea Cerniglia, a promising young choreographer, presents her&nbsp;<a href="file:///C:/Documents%20and%20Settings/kdries/Local%20Settings/Temporary%20Internet%20Files/OLK7F/dropshiftdance.com/calendar"><strong>Dropshift Dance</strong>&nbsp;at the Holstein Park Fieldhouse</a>&nbsp;tonight through Saturday afternoon (such are the vicissitudes of performing on Park District stages…). Cerniglia’s thoughtful new&nbsp;<em>Becoming</em>is movingly inhabited by its five dancers and ingeniously staged in its unusual space.</p><p><strong><u>Jonathan Abarbanel</u></strong></p><p>First, there was a dedicated and naïve marine biologist, Dr. Randy Olson, who believed he could make a documentary film about global warming that would definitively convince all doubters and skeptics as to the truth of our deteriorating climatology. He couldn’t, and his efforts to do so resulted in the documentary film,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.newsuittheatre.com/sizzle.html"><strong><em>Sizzle: A Global Warming Comedy</em></strong></a>. At least Olson recognized the absurdity of his predicament. Now Off-Loop troupe New Suit Theatre offers a stage adaptation of the film as their third production. The live version of&nbsp;<em>Sizzle: A Global Warming Comedy</em>&nbsp;is performed at the Raven Theatre (Clark at Granville) through Nov. 13. FYI: the world IS getting warmer.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="caption" height="395" src="http://www.wbez.org/sites/default/files/blog/insert-image/2011-October/2011-10-20/6243862906_1c0fb40838%20%281%29.jpg" title="'The Elephant Man' (Photo by OCA Photography)" width="500"></p><p style="text-align: left;"><br> Also on the boards this weekend is a new production of Bernard Pomerance’s&nbsp;<a href="http://saintsebastianplayers.org/Current_Season.html"><strong><em>The Elephant Man</em></strong></a>, the tale of John Merrick, an actual physical freak (due to a rare illness) in Victorian England who went from exploited sideshow attraction to a high scientific case study and darling of London society. The presenter, Saint Sebastian Players, says they are offering a Brechtian take on the play, which is set in a London where Jack the Ripper also is walking the streets. Among the alienation devices they are employing is cross-gender casting, with Romanian-born Simina Contras playing Merrick.&nbsp;<em>The Elephant Man</em>&nbsp;is presented at St. Bonaventure House (1625 W. Diversey) through Nov. 13.</p></p> Thu, 20 Oct 2011 14:47:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-10-20/no-ordinary-theater-weekend-what-see-when-93268 Daily Rehearsal: New season, new company, new play with Fine Print's 'At Ease' http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-09-23/daily-rehearsal-new-season-new-company-new-play-fine-prints-ease-92 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/photo/2011-September/2011-09-23/at ease.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><span style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;"><strong>1. Theater stars are all over television this season</strong></span></span>, from our own <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-07-05/daily-rehearsal-boss-casts-locally-88731">local Chicago shows</a>, to the big bad New York. The upcoming <em>Smash</em>, which is actually about the theater world, is the obvious example. You'd think this might cause some resentment among those who believe the stage is the ultimate in the acting arts, but <em>The New York Times</em>'&nbsp;<a href="http://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/09/22/theater-talkback-stage-stars-from-the-comfort-of-your-couch/">Charles Isherwood writes</a>, "It’s always satisfying to see talented actors find success in other mediums, given how difficult it can be to make a consistent (or even inconsistent) living exclusively doing stage work." No hard feelings, no problem.</p><p><span style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;"><strong>2. There's a new theater podcast in town</strong></span></span>; CHIRP has just launched <a href="http://chicagoindieradio.org/chirplog/2291/introducing-off-book-a-new-chicago-theater-review-show-from-chicagonow-s-the-fourth-walsh">their weekly show <em>Off Book </em></a>with Katy Walsh of ChicagoNow's The Fourth Walsh and actor Joshua Volkers. The first episode features Walsh's friend Bob Bullen, and TimeOut's Kris Wire, and a short original play by Brett Neveu.&nbsp;It's also half an hour. Too long or too short for your tastes?</p><p><span style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;"><strong>3. <em>The Elephant Man </em>opens</strong></span></span> the <a href="http://www.saintsebastianplayers.org/">Saint Sebastian Players</a>' season in October. And perhaps most notably, actress Simina Contras plays the role of John Merrick. All veterans will get free admission on Veterans Day.&nbsp;</p><p><img alt="" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-September/2011-09-23/at ease.jpg" style="margin: 10px; float: left; width: 300px; height: 278px;" title=""><span style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;"><strong>4. Theater etiquette is always lurking around</strong></span></span> the minds of those who probably spend too much time <em>in </em>theaters, prompting <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-07-26/hey-audience-sit-down-shut-and-clap-89677">some bloggers</a> <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-06-29/squeezing-whats-etiquette-88502">to write about it</a>, and others to just add a nice, polite note at the end of their reviews. See Zachary Whittenburg's <a href="http://timeoutchicago.com/arts-culture/dance/14956743/live-review-eiko-koma-regeneration">review</a> of Eiko and Komo's <em>Regeneration</em>, where he wrote at the very end, "*Just a reminder: If you’re in a theater, silence your fucking phone or turn it the fuck off. Thanks in advance." (In case you're wondering, Whittenburg seemed to like their performance, regardless.)</p><p><span style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;"><strong>5. The new company Fine Print Theater Company</strong></span></span> opened <em><a href="http://thefineprinttheatre.org/atease">At Ease</a></em>&nbsp;for their inaugural&nbsp;season in early September. It's&nbsp;about PTSD and returning from modern warfare. As usual with Fine Print, the play is original and new, and by&nbsp;Heather Bodie &amp; Emily Gann. Also their website is interactive and cool so check that out.</p><p>Questions? Tips? Email <a href="mailto:kdries@wbez.org">kdries@wbez.org</a>.</p></p> Fri, 23 Sep 2011 14:09:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-09-23/daily-rehearsal-new-season-new-company-new-play-fine-prints-ease-92