WBEZ | United States of Improv http://www.wbez.org/tags/united-states-improv Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Daily Rehearsal: Chicago Opera Theater makes 2012 season updates http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2012-01-20/daily-rehearsal-chicago-opera-theater-makes-2012-season-updates-957 <p><p><span style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;"><strong>1. <a href="http://www.avclub.com/chicago/articles/talking-smack-with-the-united-states-of-improv,67985">Get to know</a> the final four teams</strong></span></span> in the United States of Improv bracket (they are&nbsp;Kentucky, Ohio, South Carolina, and Vermont) in this <em>A.V. Club</em> interview with specific folks. The first part of the final stretch of the tournament is tomorrow night at iO.</p><p><span style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;"><strong>2. <em>Portlandia: The Tour </em>came to Chicago Wednesday</strong></span></span>, and famous people were there (<a href="http://chicagoist.com/2012/01/20/who_needs_snark_when_you_have_good.php#photo-1">as was <em>Chicagoist</em></a>). Fred Armisen stopped by WBEZ during his trip, <a href="https://twitter.com/#%21/jasonsaldanha/status/160029950928355328">taping an interview for <em>Sound Opinions</em></a>, and dropped by <a href="http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2012-01-19/chicagoans-and-fred-armisen-consider-selling-valuables-95645"><em>Eight Forty-Eight</em> for a brief moment</a>.</p><p><span style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;"><strong>3. Did you know Steven Speilberg was a theater dork?</strong></span></span> He's the EP of <em>Smash</em>, so now it's painfully obvious, if it wasn't from classics like <em>Saving Private Ryan</em>. And so is the man who greenlit the show&nbsp;Robert Greenblatt, who was a props assistant in an Illinois community theater, and is now chairman of NBC's entertainment division. Which one, which one? "There’s thrilling, fun mystery in how Broadway creates such wonderful illusions and imagery in the limited space of a stage," Speilberg <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/22/arts/television/smash-on-nbc-about-broadway-with-katharine-mcphee.html?ref=television">told <em>the New York Times</em></a>. "That’s a rich story."</p><p><span style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;"><strong>4. Pete Holmes is at<a href="http://upcomedyclub.com/show_right.cfm?id=125830"> UP next weekend</a></strong></span></span>, performing 5 shows; book your tickets now for the man who is actually the voice of the e*trade baby, like the one below, that got the company into <a href="http://www.nypost.com/p/news/national/lohan_such_baby_jVdQWABj9z0MgXzCv1Nh1O">trouble with Lindsay Lohan</a>. I'm sure Pete loves talking about all of that.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><iframe allowfullscreen="" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/lEXZ2hfD3bU" width="560" frameborder="0" height="315"></iframe></p><p><span style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;"><strong>5. Chicago Opera Theater's 2012 cast and artistic teams</strong></span></span> have been released, and there have been a few updates. "Since the season was originally announced last March, Michael Beattie has replaced Christian Curnyn as conductor for <em>Teseo</em>, due to conflicts with Christian’s schedule," says this press release. This will be Beattie's first Chicago performance. Additionally, the&nbsp;production of <em>The Magic Flute</em> from Canadian Opera Company has been replaced with a new production by Michael Gieleta for Chicago Opera Theater, conducted by Steuart Bedford, content unknown.</p><p>Questions? Tips? Email <a href="mailto:kdries@wbez.org">kdries@wbez.org</a>.</p></p> Fri, 20 Jan 2012 20:37:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2012-01-20/daily-rehearsal-chicago-opera-theater-makes-2012-season-updates-957 Daily Rehearsal: United States of Improv brackets up http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-10-14/daily-rehearsal-united-states-improv-brackets-93149 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/photo/2011-October/2011-10-14/usimprov.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><span style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;"><strong>1. After reporting about all the awards that go to ungrateful actors</strong></span></span> and playwrights and directors for years, Hedy Weiss will get a Jeff Award of her very own, for covering Chicago theater since the mid-1980s. <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/entertainment/theater/theaterloop/chi-a-special-jeff-for-a-critic-20111013,0,3280820.column">Chris Jones describes her</a> as a "longtime and indefatigable theater and dance critic." The awards ceremony is November 7.&nbsp;</p><p><img alt="" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-October/2011-10-14/usimprov.jpg" style="margin-right: 10px; margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px; float: right; width: 300px; height: 136px;" title=""><span style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;"><strong>2. <a href="http://chicago.ioimprov.com/features/united-states-of-improv-bracket">United States of Improv</a> is in full-force right now at iO</strong></span></span> -- this week it's Florida, Kentucky and Maryland that are duking it out. The performances aren't actually at the locations they sound like they'd be at; instead, teams of people from those states compete. It was last held at <a href="https://www.facebook.com/pages/United-States-of-Improv/211851888826023">iO West in LA</a>. "Our Proclamation: To bring improvisers together based upon where they are from allowing them to celebrate improv, unity, and the pursuit of happiness."&nbsp;</p><p><span style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;"><strong>3. James Vincent Meredith talks about his role on <em>Boss</em></strong></span></span>, and how he got to be an ensemble member at Steppenwolf. Despite the fact that even after his part in the Goodman's <em>A Rasin in the Sun</em>, he did not immediately make it big, Meredith still has some inspiring things to say to Chicago actors. "It seems more like attrition here in this town, if you’re an actor," he<a href="http://timeoutchicago.com/arts-culture/theater/14979241/james-vincent-meredith-of-steppenwolf%E2%80%99s-clybourne-park-and-starz%E2%80%99s-bos"> told <em>TimeOut</em></a>. "As long as you stay in the game long enough and you don’t give it up, there’s gonna be opportunities for you to act."</p><p><img alt="" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-October/2011-10-14/edisonpark.jpg" style="margin-left: 10px; margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px; float: left; width: 180px; height: 117px;" title=""><span style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;"><strong>4. Yes I Am Show Business puts on the <a href="https://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=255023141205406&amp;ref=nf">Edison Park Comedy Fest</a></strong></span></span> at The Emerald Isle and Nonno Pino's on Friday, and The Snuggery and Moretti's on Saturday. The Sunday fianle at Moretti's is rated NC-17, whatever that means. Expect comedians James Fritz, Danny Kallas, Marty Derosa, Joe Kilgallon and Mike Stanley.</p><p><span style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;"><strong>5. More details on </strong></span></span><a href="http://www.avclub.com/chicago/articles/cinematic-titanic,61642/"><span style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;"><strong>Cinematic Titanic</strong></span></span> </a>and exactly what they're all about for those who weren't fans of Mystery Science Theater 3000. The concept is pretty weird, and is maybe clarified? by <a href="http://www.avclub.com/chicago/articles/cinematic-titanic,61642/">this discussion</a> with ensemble members Joel Hodgson and Trace Beaulieu, who&nbsp;debate the pros and cons of performing in front of a live audience as opposed to taping in a studio.&nbsp;</p><p>Questions? Tips? Email <a href="mailto:kdries@wbez.org">kdries@wbez.org</a>.</p></p> Fri, 14 Oct 2011 15:17:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-10-14/daily-rehearsal-united-states-improv-brackets-93149