WBEZ | A Catered Affair http://www.wbez.org/tags/catered-affair Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en The Don't-Miss List: Putting on 'The Ritz', 'Winter Fire' and 'Man Boobs' http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2012-02-15/dont-miss-list-putting-ritz-winter-fire-and-man-boobs-96425 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/photo/2012-February/2012-02-16/manboobs.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><u><strong>Kelly Kleiman</strong></u></p><p><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2012-February/2012-02-16/the ritz.jpg" style="margin-left: 10px; margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px; float: right; width: 254px; height: 300px; " title="'The Ritz' at Circle Theatre">Solo performers have a hard time finding outlets for their work; African-American solo performers have a doubly hard time. This is the theory behind <a href="http://MPAACT.org/">MPAACT's <strong>Solo Jam</strong> series</a>, a late-night showcase of performance pieces at the Greenhouse in Lincoln Park. Every Friday and Saturday through March 10, a different artist will present a piece of his/her own devising. A preview of the work showed a wide range of styles and themes: I was particularly taken with next weekend's pairing, Osiris Khepera's <em>The Fag-tionary</em> and Jonathan Kitt's <em>Superman, Black Man, Me! A Stage Essay</em>, but there doesn't seem to be a bad one in the bunch. The shows begin at 11 p.m. (after MPAACT's mainstage production <em>Sweet Home</em>; a ticket to that will get you a discount to the Solo Jam); tickets $12 for a single show or $20 for the weekend.</p><p>And if you think the world of solo performance is daunting for actors of color, consider the nearly monochromatic world of sketch comedy.&nbsp; Taco Flavored Eggrolls storms those alabaster barricades with the irresistably-named <strong><em>It Takes Juan To Know Wong (a colored commentary)</em></strong>, which begins an 8-week run at the <a href="http://www.propthtr.org/">PROP THTR</a>&nbsp;Friday. 10:30 every Friday through April 6 at 3502 N. Elston Avenue; tickets are $12, $10 for students and seniors (though really, what senior stays up that late?)</p><p>Or, if you're in the mood for an actual comic play, check out <a href="http://www.circle-theatre.org/">Circle Theater's newly-opened production of <strong><em>The Ritz</em></strong></a>, a very early farce by Terrence McNally. (Early enough that the words "gay bathhouse" had no over- or undertones.) Fridays and Saturdays at 8, Sundays at 3; tickets $24-$28 with various discounts; performances at 1010 West Madison Street in Oak Park.&nbsp;</p><p><u><strong>Laura Molzahn</strong></u></p><p><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2012-February/2012-02-16/trey mcintyre.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 400px; " title="(Photo courtesy of Preservation Hall Jazz Band)"></p><p>Fat Tuesday is right around the corner—and so is New Orleans on Friday night, when the <a href="http://www.cso.org/"><strong>Trey McIntyre Project</strong> dances to the swinging Preservation Hall Jazz Band</a> at Symphony Center. Don’t expect cheek-to-cheek, though. In McIntyre’s macabre <em>Ma Maison</em>, the dancers cavort in skull masks. And as Lewis Segal of the LA Times describes <em>The Sweeter End</em>, it’s a “high-speed amalgam of ballet steps, gymnastic feats, ballroom fragments and eruptions of snake-hips undulation.”</p><p>The <a href="http://www.auditoriumtheatre.org/wb/pages/home/performances-events/performances.php?event_id=353">Joffrey Ballet heats up with “<strong>Winter Fire</strong>,”</a> a program of three works by contemporary names-you-can-drop: William Forsythe, Christopher Wheeldon, and Wayne McGregor—who’s moved seamlessly from modern dance into the classical world as resident choreographer of London’s Royal Ballet. On video, McGregor’s spiky <em>Infra</em>—a U.S. premiere for the Joffrey—looks spectacular: technically challenging, tech-savvy, and moving to boot. This weekend and next, plus next Thursday, at the Auditorium.</p><p>Chicago Dance Crash reinstates its KTF (“Keeper of the Floor”) dance battles with a <a href="http://www.maynestage.com/Dance-Crash-Feb.aspx">post-Valentine’s show, “<strong>Love Is a (Dance) Battlefield</strong>,”</a> reportedly dedicated to “the hopelessly single, recent dumpees, and generally jaded demographic.” Friday at 8 PM at the Mayne Stage in Rogers Park.</p><p><u><strong>Jonathan Abarbanel</strong></u></p><p><img alt="" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2012-February/2012-02-16/manboobs.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 386px; " title=""></p><p>Since the demise of the original Bailiwick Repertory Theater in 2009, director David Zak has re-emerged as head of Pride Films and Plays, a Chicago-based organization&nbsp;that reaches nation-wide to find and develop writing for screen and stage on LGBT subjects. Some of the works are serious and some are not. I’m not certain about the current project, J. Julian Christopher’s self-described “dark comedy” entitled <a href="http://www.pridefilmsandplays.com/manboobs.html"><strong><em>Man Boobs</em></strong></a>. Well, now, I’ll bet THAT got your attention! I’m fairly certain <em>Man Boobs</em> isn’t a medical drama about gynecomastia, but may be about love, body image and acceptance both by oneself and others. Previously produced in New York, Los Angeles, Montreal and Australia, <em>Man Boobs</em> launches Pride Films and Plays’ 2012 season, running through March 10 at Mary’s Attic in Andersonville.</p><p>Porchlight Music Theatre has not built its reputation by spinning gold from dross, but currently is attempting just that with the regional premiere of <a href="http://porchlightmusictheatre.org/a-catered-affair/"><strong><em>A Catered Affair</em></strong></a>, a failed 2008 Broadway musical based on the 1956 film (script by Gore Vidal) and the 1955 live TV drama (by Paddy Chayefsky) before that. Set in the 1950’s Bronx, it concerns a lower-middle-class family planning a lavish wedding for their only daughter. <em>A Catered Affair</em> is composer John Bucchino’s first Broadway show, but features a book by multiple Tony Award winner Harvey Fierstein, who created a role for himself, that of the bride’s gay uncle. The Broadway reviews called it restrained and almost like a chamber musical, which may work well in Porchlight’s intimate production at Stage 773 in Wrigleyville. The artistic team of Nick Bowling (director) and Douglas Peck (musical director) is impeccable. <em>A Catered Affair</em> runs through April 1.</p></p> Thu, 16 Feb 2012 15:38:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2012-02-15/dont-miss-list-putting-ritz-winter-fire-and-man-boobs-96425 Daily Rehearsal: Chicago Opera Theater welcomes a new general director http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-12-06/daily-rehearsal-chicago-opera-theater-welcomes-new-general-director <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/photo/2011-December/2011-12-07/mitisek.jpg" alt="" /><p><p style="text-align: left; "><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family:georgia,serif;"><strong>1.&nbsp;The artist&nbsp;Kenneth E. Parris III&nbsp;is doing something cool</strong></span></span>; he's touring with members of the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.merce.org/">Merce Cunningham Dance Company</a>&nbsp;and sketching them, where they're posted on the <em>New York Times' ArtsBeat</em> blog. <a href="http://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/12/05/drawing-dance-the-cunningham-company-in-illinois/">This week's sketch</a> is from their stops in Illinois, where a dancer is surrounded by bags of his stuff.</p><p><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family:georgia,serif;"><strong>2. John Bucchino, who wrote the musical <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-11-10/daily-rehearsal-holland-taylor-stage-not-two-and-half-men-93938"><em>A Catered Affair</em></a></strong></span></span>, will teach a small class in February at Stage 773 on cabaret performance. Every student should be prepared with two of his songs, which they'll work on with him personally. They'll then be accompanied by Beckie Menzie on piano for a live cabaret show after<a href="http://porchlightmusictheatre.org/"> Porchlight's production of <em>A Catered Affair</em> that night</a>. These master classes are nothing unusual for Bucchino, but they're typically open to the public this way; the cost is $100, but if you're a student you can audit it for $15.</p><p><span style="font-family:georgia,serif;"><span style="font-size:14px;"><strong>3. An audition listing highlight comes by way of<em>&nbsp;<a href="http://www.theatreinchicago.com/auditions/industrydetail.php?AuditionID=1571">Avenue Q</a></em></strong></span></span>, still being produced by Tom Mullen and Kevin Mayes with Bailiwick Chicago, is looking for non-Equity actors and singers; the final audition date is tonight -- or send it in via YouTube! Ah technology. You don't need to be good at puppetry, &nbsp;but it's "a plus."</p><p><img alt="" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-December/2011-12-07/mitisek.jpg" style="margin-right: 10px; margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px; float: left; width: 138px; height: 160px; " title=""><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family:georgia,serif;"><strong>4. Chicago Opera Theater has <a href="http://www.wbez.org/story/chicago-opera-theater-picks-new-general-director-94679">announced that Andreas Mitisek</a></strong></span></span> will become the company's new general director, starting in September of 2012. Mitisek has signed a five-year contract. He succeeds Brian Dickie, who has been in the position since 1999. Under his reign, COT "has specialized in baroque opera as well as a broader and definitely contemporary world view,"&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-07-21/fat-lady-sings-overview-opera-scene-chicago-89376">wrote&nbsp;Jonathan Abarbanel</a>. Mitisek comes from Long Beach Opera, where is Artistic and General Director. Of the new hire, Board President Gregory O'Leary said in a statement,&nbsp;“We chose Andreas to be the next General Director due to his original and unique artistic vision which builds upon the incredibly high standard set by Brian."&nbsp;</p><p><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family:georgia,serif;"><strong>5. Comedian Matt Elfring talks</strong></span></span> about <a href="http://www.comedyofchicago.com/2011/12/people-i-hate-in-scene-by-matt-elfring.html">people he hates in comedy</a>. Well <em>types </em>of people he hates, so don't get too exited. We wouldn't want to name names would we.</p><p>Questions? Tips? Email <a href="mailto:kdries@wbez.org">kdries@wbez.org</a>.</p></p> Tue, 06 Dec 2011 16:16:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-12-06/daily-rehearsal-chicago-opera-theater-welcomes-new-general-director Daily Rehearsal: Holland Taylor on the stage, not on 'Two and a Half Men' http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-11-10/daily-rehearsal-holland-taylor-stage-not-two-and-half-men-93938 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/photo/2011-November/2011-11-10/3591393684_344fb8cc53.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-November/2011-11-10/3591393684_344fb8cc53.jpg" style="margin-left: 10px; margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px; float: right; width: 179px; height: 250px;" title="Holland Taylor (Flickr/David Shankbone)"><span style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;"><strong>1. The performance that you've (I've) been eagerly waiting for</strong></span></span> has finally hit, and it's got so much more bang for its buck than I ever dreamed. Holland Tyalor plays former Texas Governor Ann Richards in <a href="http://www.chicago-theater.com/theaters/bank-of-america-theater/ann-an-affectionate-portrait-of-ann-richards.php"><em>Ann - An Affectionate Portrait of Ann Richards</em></a>. Taylor wrote the one-woman show, of which <a href="http://www.suntimes.com/entertainment/stage/8717160-421/holland-taylor-paints-a-portrait-of-the-feisty-gov-ann-richards-in-one-woman-show.html">she says</a>, "It is an adventure that has expanded me and changed my life and my career. I’m a pretty solitary and melancholy person, but I now get to be gregarious and outgoing. Ann has taught me to have a party in my life." It opens this Sunday.</p><p style="text-align: left;"><span style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;"><strong>2.&nbsp;</strong></span></span><span style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;"><strong>Casting has been announced for&nbsp;Porchlight's<em>&nbsp;<a href="http://porchlightmusictheatre.org/a-catered-affair/">A Catered Affair</a></em></strong></span></span>, which<em style="">&nbsp;</em>opens&nbsp;February 18. Expect&nbsp;Rebecca Finnegan, Craig Spidle, Kelly Davis Wilson&nbsp;and&nbsp;Jerry O’Boyle. But real talk, this play tackles the big stuff: "A couple must decide whether to spend their life savings on the family taxicab company or to celebrate their only daughter’s marriage with a lavish catered affair, providing her with the joyful wedding they never had for themselves." When I first read that I thought the family was deciding between just one cab ride and the wedding, which is sort of less than&nbsp;<em style="">Sophie's Choice</em>.<span style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;"><strong>&nbsp;</strong></span></span></p><p><span style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;"><strong>3.&nbsp;</strong></span></span><span style="text-align: left; font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;"><strong>Reality? Youtube? Theater?&nbsp;</strong></span></span>It's all the same. "What is it like to be an overnight Internet sensation? Chicago beatboxer Yuri Lane knows all about it." The play&nbsp;<em style="text-align: left;">MeTube&nbsp;</em>stars Lane, who is a "beatbox harmonica virtuoso" IRL, and about whom director Rachel Havrelock wrote the play. It plays this Saturday at 7:30 at Victory Gardens; watch a preview of Lane's talents below.</p><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/2cKqq_lcCwo" width="560" frameborder="0" height="315"></iframe></p><p><span style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;"><strong>4. Straight off of <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-11-09/daily-rehearsal-emanuel-makes-dance-proclamation-93902">yesterday's exciting circus update</a></strong></span></span>, we learn that this is the perfect circus for "a&nbsp;<a href="http://www.chicagoreader.com/Bleader/archives/2011/11/08/a-simpler-circus">circus virgin</a>." &nbsp;The <em>Reader</em> also brings us a <a href="http://www.chicagoreader.com/Bleader/archives/2011/11/04/hot-tix-sales-up-46-percent-is-that-good-news">glance into the sales of Hot Tix "half-off" tickets</a>.&nbsp;</p><p><span style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;"><strong>5. Watch <a href="http://www.livestream.com/newplay/folder?dirId=2322c9b2-d7c3-4493-b108-8045763e1627">@NewPlayTV's video archive</a></strong></span></span> of Steppenwolf's panel conversation from Sunday "How to Engage 21st Century Audiences in New Plays."&nbsp;Robert O’Hara and Marisa Wegrzyn discuss how playwrights have been involved in marketing their own plays, among other issues.</p><p>Questions? Tips? Email <a href="mailto:kdries@wbez.org">kdries@wbez.org</a>.</p></p> Thu, 10 Nov 2011 18:03:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-11-10/daily-rehearsal-holland-taylor-stage-not-two-and-half-men-93938