WBEZ | Pritzker Pavilion http://www.wbez.org/tags/pritzker-pavilion Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en The Q Brothers do Dickens http://www.wbez.org/blogs/onstagebackstage/2012-12/dont-miss-list-december-13-19-inside-pritzker-pavilion-and-round <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/RS6807_345.unb_.th_.qbrothers.jpg" alt="" /><p><p style="text-align: center;"><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="338" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/erQ8zJpuWVo" width="601"></iframe></p><div class="image-insert-image "><u><em>A Christmas Carol</em>, a work in progress by the Q Brothers; inside the Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park, tomorrow (Friday the 14th) through Sunday (the 16th); Friday and Saturday at 7, Sunday at 2; FREE!</u><p>The Q Brothers are a pair of actual brothers from the North Side who&#39;ve carved out an unlikely niche: They turn Shakespeare plays into hip-hop musicals, thereby managing to horrify both Shakespeare aficianadoes and hip-hop fans. And yet &mdash; speaking from the Shakespeare side, at least &mdash; it absolutely works. The Brothers&#39; verbal and physical inventiveness, coupled with complete understanding of the plays, made <em>The Bomb-itty of Errors</em> and <em>Funk It Up About Nuthin&#39; </em>not just fun but faithful to the originals in every way that matters.</p><p>Now they take on another classic that could use a good shaking-up: Charles Dickens&#39; nearly exhausted <em>A Christmas Carol</em>. While it&#39;s still a work in progress, the Brothers are spicing up this year&#39;s holidays by sharing their reinvention of the work we think we all know. The audience will sit safe and warm in the choir lofts of the Pritzker Pavilion stage and see what new changes can be rung on the familiar story. Believer me, if there are any changes left, the Qs will find them!&nbsp;Tickets are free, but RSVPs are strongly recommended. To RSVP, please contact <a href="mailto:qbrotherschristmas@gmail.com" target="_blank">qbrotherschristmas@gmail.com</a>.&nbsp;And when that&#39;s over . . .</p><div class="image-insert-image "><p><u><em>The Second City That Never Sleeps</em>, a benefit for Onward Neighborhood House, Tuesday (the 18th) at 6 pm at <a href="http://secondcity.com/">The Second City</a> e.t.c. Theatre, 1608 North Wells, 2nd floor; 312-337-3992; tickets $20 at the door throughout the 24-hour event.</u></p><p>The Second City may be a for-profit company (unlike most Chicago theaters) but its heart is apparently in the nonprofit world. For 24 hours beginning Tuesday evening, Second City company members, alumni and friends will present improv, music, stand-up comedy and even an interview with political stats maven (and University of Chicago graduate) Nate Silver. Proceeds will benefit Onward Neighborhood House, a broad-spectrum social service agency (or what Jane Addams would have called a settlement house). If you can&#39;t imagine rising and shining to see Fred Armisen perform at 1:30 in the morning, there are plenty of offerings at reasonable hours, including Jeff Tweedy at 9 p.m. Tuesday, the aforementioned Nate Silver at 10 a.m. Wednesday, and others too numerous to mention: find details on the <a href="https://www.facebook.com/search/results.php?q=The%20Second%20City%20That%20Never%20Sleeps&amp;init=quick&amp;tas=0.56148045176595">Second City That Never Sleeps Facebook event page</a>.</p></div></div><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Thu, 13 Dec 2012 05:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/onstagebackstage/2012-12/dont-miss-list-december-13-19-inside-pritzker-pavilion-and-round Don't-Miss List: New musical approaches and an African-American classic http://www.wbez.org/blogs/onstagebackstage/2012-11/dont-miss-list-new-musical-approaches-and-african-american-classic <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/suitcases%20flickr%20masochism%20tango.jpg" style="height: 414px; width: 620px; " title="(Flickr/Tom Godber)" /></div><p><u><em>The Suitcase Opera Project</em>, <a href="http://www.chicagovanguard.org">Chicago Opera Vanguard</a> at Pritzker Pavilion, 201 E. Randolph; free (donation suggested); Nov. 8-10 only, 7:30 p.m.</u></p><p>&quot;People tell me in 10 years I will be in the gutter. I&#39;m almost looking forward to the prospect,&quot; Jimmy writes to his friend Howard in 1948. Jimmy is eighteen, gay, dishonorably discharged from the Marines, and living in New York.&nbsp; In 49 letters he documents his pre-Stonewall life of cruising the bars and streets and partying with Gore Vidal, Anais Nin, and Truman Capote, while rhapsodizing on art, love, and sexuality. Sixty years later, famed monologist David Kodeski buys the letters at random in an online auction and discovers Jimmy&#39;s lost world. For two years Kodeski has been turning the material into a non-fiction chamber opera, <strong><em>The Suitcase Opera Project</em></strong>, with composer Eric Reda, artistic director of Chicago Opera Vanguard. These weekend performances at Pritzker Pavilion are the culminating workshops in the development of the piece. FYI: in the cold-weather off-season, the Pritzker Pavilion is sealed off from the rest of Millennium Park and you and the performers all will sit in cozy comfort on the Pavilion stage.</p><p><u><em>Ceremonies in Dark Old Men</em>, <a href="http://www.etacreativearts.org">eta Creative Arts Foundation</a>, 7558 S. South Chicago Avenue;&nbsp;1-773-792-3955; $30; through Dec. 23</u></p><p>Lonnie Elder III (1927-1996) was the first African-American writer nominated for an Academy Award (for the 1973 film <em>Sounder</em>), but before that this actor-turned-author had scored on Broadway in 1969 with <strong><em>Ceremonies in Dark Old Men</em></strong>, which ranks close to <em>A Raisin in the Sun</em> as &nbsp;a seminal drama of urban African-American life. Set in and around a Harlem barbershop, the play chronicles the disintegration of a Black family in the midst of the 1960&#39;s social revolution, with a particular focus on the disenfranchisement &mdash; real or imagined &mdash; of African-American men within their own community. Vaun Monroe is the director of this American classic. FYI: Be sure to check out the gallery exhibit at eta Creative Arts.</p><p><u><em>Pippin: A Bollywood Spectacular</em>, <a href="http://www.circle-theatre.org">Circle Theatre</a>, 1010 W. Madison, Oak Park; 1-708-660-9540; $27.90-$29.97 (with service fee); runs through Dec. 23</u></p><p>A young man goes in search of the world or at least some good sex and, like Candide, ultimately finds more satisfaction in simple things, perhaps. With a pop score by Stephen Schwartz and a polyglot, meta-theatrical book by Roger O. Hirson, <em>Pippin</em>, was a huge Broadway hit of the 1970s (ran for five years), bringing a contemporary anti-authoritarian vibe to its fictionalized story of the son of Charlemagne in the 9th Century. Many feel the show hasn&#39;t aged well, especially without the hip-grinding original staging of the legendary Bob Fosse. Circle Theatre proposed to restore the show&#39;s oomph by making it a Bollywood spectacular. Circle artistic director Kevin Bellie has successfully re-burnished many other shows after their luster has dulled, and he is both director and choreographers of <strong><em>Pippin: A Bollywood Spectacular</em></strong>.</p></p> Thu, 08 Nov 2012 05:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/onstagebackstage/2012-11/dont-miss-list-new-musical-approaches-and-african-american-classic The continued evolution of Judson Claiborne's sound http://www.wbez.org/blogs/bez/2012-06/continued-evolution-judson-claibornes-sound-100175 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center; "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/judsonclaiborne_0.jpg" title="(Judson Claiborne)" /></div></div><p>Monday on<em> Eight Forty-Eight</em> we&rsquo;re joined by Chris Salveter and Ryan Boyles of the indie folk four-piece, <a href="http://judsonclaiborne.com/">Judson Claiborne</a>, before the band sets out on their East Coast tour.</p><p>Salveter previously performed in the early-to-mid 2000s with his old band, <a href="http://www.flameshovel.com/lowskies.php">Low Skies</a>, who created a sound that was distinctly different from Judson Claiborne. He shared his musical evolution over the past 12 years, and gave a hint of what&#39;s to come with this new iteration.&nbsp;It&rsquo;s the band&rsquo;s first tour in nearly a year, and along the way they&rsquo;ll be debuting songs from their forthcoming (expected out in early 2013) album.</p><p>They&rsquo;ll perform tonight at Pritzker Pavilion as part of the city&rsquo;s <a href="http://explorechicago.org/city/en/things_see_do/event_landing/events/dca_tourism/DTS061812.html">Downtown Sound</a> series. Headlining the show is Minneapolis band, <a href="http://www.cloudcult.com/home.cfm">Cloud Cult</a>.</p><p style="text-align: center; "><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="338" mozallowfullscreen="" src="http://player.vimeo.com/video/44257254?title=0&amp;byline=0&amp;portrait=0&amp;color=ff0000" webkitallowfullscreen="" width="600"></iframe></p></p> Mon, 18 Jun 2012 08:59:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/bez/2012-06/continued-evolution-judson-claibornes-sound-100175 The Don't-Miss List: A special Richard Pryor event http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-12-15/dont-miss-list-special-richard-pryor-event-94907 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/photo/2011-December/2011-12-15/4182963569_35cb815190.jpg" alt="" /><p><div><p><strong><u>Kelly Kleiman</u></strong></p><p><span class="diffchange"><span><a href="http://www.chicagoshakes.com/main.taf?p=2,64"><strong><em>Elizabeth Rex</em></strong></a>: The late Canadian novelist/playwright Timothy Findley teased every dramatic possibility out of the fact that Shakespeare's company performed for the mis-described Virgin Queen on the eve of the execution of her long-time lover Robert Devereaux, Earl of Essex. The Queen is heartbroken over the beheading notwithstanding having ordered it herself, and she and the actors become locked in a competition over who is the greater performer of the role of man-dressed-as-woman. The gender-bending and feminism of the piece are right up director Barbara Gaines' alley, and Diane D'Aquila, who created the part at the Stratford Festival in Canade, hits every note and nuance in a performance so layered that my companion wondered whether Elizabeth was, in fact, being played by a man. Through January 22 at Chicago Shakespeare.</span></span></p><p><span class="diffchange"><img alt="" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-December/2011-12-15/4182963569_35cb815190.jpg" style="margin-right: 10px; margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px; float: left; width: 250px; height: 250px; " title=""><span>Barbara Robertson is another woman who gives impeccable performances at Chicago Shakespeare, including an unforgettable turn as Kabuki Lady Macbeth, but on Monday night (the 19th) she'll be exercising a different part of her considerable talent, singing cabaret in a performance entitled "<a href="http://www.explorechicago.org/city/en/things_see_do/event_landing/events/dca_tourism/Cabaret_with_a_View_Presents_Barbara_Robertson.html"><strong>Stages of My Life</strong></a>." It begins at 7:30 onstage at the Pritzker Pavilion, with tickets $25 if you want to sit at stage level and drink, $15 if you're willing to be parched in the choir balcony. It's a one-night stand, so don't put off 'til tomorrow what's only available today.</span></span></p><p><span class="diffchange"><span>A very different sort of one-night stand will play tomorrow (Friday): an industry reading of <strong><em>Unspeakable</em></strong>, a work-in-progress biographical show about Richard Pryor. Co-author James Murray Jackson, Jr. plays Pryor, a role for which he won an Outstanding Actor Award at the 2005 New York International Fringe Festival. A number of other New York actors are participating in the reading, along with Chicagoans Wandachristine and Stef Tovar. The reading is free, but attendance is by confirmed reservation only. For reservations write to Unspeakablenyc@<span>mail</span>.com, providing your name, the number in your party and your industry affiliation. </span></span></p><p><strong>Laura Molzahn</strong></p><p>I’m running out of non-<em>Nutcracker&nbsp;</em>options here—but please don’t assume that the following shows aren’t worthy. No matter what the season, <a href="http://seechicagodance.com/reviews/#review_539">these artists promise good things</a>. &nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-December/2011-12-15/Khecari_photo_by_Dan_Merlo.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 399px; " title="Khecari"></p><p><a href="http://www.khecari.org/events.html">Khecari</a> deconstructs the fairytale (take that, <em>Nutcracker</em>!) in <strong><em>The Clinking</em></strong>, performed by Jonathan Meyer and Julia Rae Antonick—who are real-life as well as onstage partners. Accompanied by multi-instrumentalist (and frequent player of inanimate objects) Joe St. Charles, Meyer and Antonick will heighten, not sugarcoat, the anxieties inherent in fairytales. <a href="http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/210471">Thursday and Friday at the Hamlin Park Field House.</a></p><p>And to rouse yourself from any and all sugar-induced slumbers, try <strong><a href="http://www.tsukasataiko.com/">Tsukasa Taiko at JASC</a></strong>, performing its eighth annual show <a href="http://www.mcachicago.org/performances/now/all/2011/743">at the MCA Saturday and Sunday</a>. Chicago’s leading Japanese drumming ensemble this year also features a collaboration with AACM jazz musicians Edward Wilkerson and Coco Elysses-Hevia as well as “stylized kimono dance.”&nbsp;</p></div></p> Thu, 15 Dec 2011 10:46:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-12-15/dont-miss-list-special-richard-pryor-event-94907 The Don't-Miss List: Merce Cunningham's last hurrah http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-11-17/dont-miss-list-merce-cunninghams-last-hurrah-94102 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/photo/2011-November/2011-11-17/5187509060_37f4cde975(2).jpg" alt="" /><p><p><u><strong>Kelly Kleiman</strong></u></p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-November/2011-11-17/hunger.jpg" title="" width="550" height="198"></p><p style="text-align: left;">The weather outside may be frightful (or not--there's no knowing) but onstage at <a href="http://explorechicago.org/city/en/things_see_do/attractions/dca_tourism/jay_pritzker_pavilion.html">the Pritzker Pavilion</a> you can be snug and warm while enjoying concert readings of shows by Chicago companies. It's called the <a href="http://www.cityofchicago.org/city/en/depts/dca/provdrs/theater/news/2011/oct/_in_the_works_theaterlabseriesatmillenniumparkreturnsforathirdse.html">In The Works Theater Lab</a>, and it will open tonight (Thursday) at 7:30 p.m. with <a href="http://www.lifelinetheatre.com/performances/11-12/hunger/index.shtml">Lifeline Theatre's adaptation of <strong><em>Hunger</em></strong>.</a>&nbsp;This world premiere, which will receive a full production at Lifeline in February, is set during the World War II siege of Leningrad, a nearly unbelievable true story of people defying starvation to defend their country and future. The cast includes Lifeline stalwarts Peter Greenberg and Jenifer Tyler, who should be seen whenever and wherever they appear. Tickets for the reading, which runs only through Saturday, are $15; call 312-742-TIXS or go to <a href="http://explorechicago.org/city/en/millennium.html">millenniumpark.org</a>.&nbsp;</p><p>And if you'd like to do a little defending of country and future yourself, consider spending part of November 19 or 20 at the <a href="http://anti-stasis.org/post/12300905648/defend-occupy-chicago">benefit for the <strong>Occupy Chicago Legal Defense Fund</strong></a>.&nbsp; Beginning at 10 p.m. on Saturday and at 6 p.m. on Sunday at <a href="http://www.propthtr.org/">Prop Thtr</a>, 3502 North Elston, the benefit includes a mix of speeches, music, performance art and a 45 minute work in progress documentary about the Occupy Chicago movement. (Saturday night features <a href="http://www.thisamericanlife.org/contributors/beau-oreilly"><em>This American Life</em> contributor</a> and <a href="http://curioustheatrebranch.com/">Curious Theatre Branch</a> resident genius Beau O'Reilly, among others.) Pay what you can to attend, and/or purchase donated artwork to support the movement and its lawyers, who (as <a href="http://www.suite101.com/news/occupy-wall-street-court-allows-protesters-to-return-to-plaza-a396670">New York has just demonstrated</a>) have their hands full keeping speech free.</p><p><u><strong>Laura Molzahn</strong></u></p><p>As everyone knows (but <a href="http://timeoutchicago.com/arts-culture/dance/15011513/live-review-dance-chicago-2011-first-night">Zac Whittenburg discusses</a> with enviable skill), <strong><a href="http://www.dancechicago.com/">Dance Chicago</a></strong> is a complete crapshoot. Now in the third week of its 17th season, and featuring some 250 companies or choreographers, the fest this weekend consists of two “Urban Movement” shows. Translation: “flat-out fun hip-hop acts.” This is the first year there’ve been two such programs—other years there’s been one, always sold out. Dance fans have an opportunity to see companies like M.A.D.D. Rhythms, Culture Shock Chicago, RFSF (“Raw Funky Street Flav,” which—full disclosure—is the creation of my hip-hop teacher, Viola Elkins) and literally dozens more Friday and Saturday at Stage 773.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="http://www.wbez.org/sites/default/files/blog/insert-image/2011-November/2011-11-17/Merce%20Cunningham%20Dan%2348D57C.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 399px;" title=""></p><p style="text-align: left;">And for those in a genuflecting mood: this weekend the <a href="http://www.merce.org/">Merce Cunningham Dance Company makes its final appearance</a> in Chicago—one of its last anywhere. Merce died in 2009, and when the company’s<strong> </strong>“<strong>Legacy Tour</strong>” concludes on NYE 2011 in NYC, the troupe will be disbanded. Those who’ve never seen his work and are curious, take note: Merce didn’t act like an icon. His sense of humor courses through the dances being performed here, three on Friday and one (<em>Roaratorio</em>—I love it) on Saturday <a href="http://www.colum.edu/dance_center/performances/mercecunninghamdancecompany/index.php">at the Harris</a>.</p><p>My other fabulous dance teacher, Idy Ciss of Muntu Dance Theatre, is also performing this weekend, Friday night at the OTSFM with Erika Ochoa of Baladina Dance. <strong><em><a href="http://www.oldtownschool.org/concerts/2011/11/18_kayfetch.php">Kay Fetch</a>&nbsp;</em></strong>(no, I don’t know what it means) reportedly takes viewers on a music-and-dance trip to West and North Africa.</p><p><u><strong>Jonathan Abarbanel</strong></u></p><p><img alt="" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-November/2011-11-17/thecaretaker.jpg" style="margin-right: 10px; margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px; float: left; width: 180px; height: 266px;" title="">Distinguished actor William J. Norris at last is ancient and decrepit enough to play the roles he’s been playing for the last 30 years, among them Davies, the bullied title character of <a href="http://www.writerstheatre.org/boxoffice/production?id=0082"><strong><em>The Caretaker</em></strong></a>, an early masterpiece by Harold Pinter now at Writers’ Theatre in Glencoe. Norris may be a doddering old bag of bones who can barely walk or talk, but audiences love him, so whatcha’ gonna’ do?&nbsp; Director Ron OJ Parson has been smart enough to surround Norris with two excellent stout lads who can hold him up through Pinter’s famous Comedy of Menace, Anish Jethmalani and Kareem Bandealy. <em>The Caretaker</em> continues at the Writers’ Theatre Books-on-Vernon location through next March 25, by which time Norris—known for his indelible performances as Scrooge at the Goodman Theatre—will be about 200 years old.</p><p>Only 14 months and $16 million from groundbreaking ceremonies—which is fast and relatively cheap by Chicago construction standards—the <strong>Black Ensemble Cultural Center</strong> is open for business at 4450 N. Clark Street in Uptown. Consisting of one brand-new building and one retrofit building, the Center includes two theaters, classrooms, offices and gallery space. It’s the fulfillment of a dream for Black Ensemble executive director Jackie Taylor, who founded the company 35 years ago. To open the Center, Taylor has mounted a new production (with a new, dynamic star) of a decade-old Black Ensemble hit, <a href="http://www.blackensembletheater.org/event/2"><strong><em>My Heart is Crying: The Jackie Wilson Story</em></strong></a>, a musical biography, which runs through Jan. 8.</p></p> Thu, 17 Nov 2011 17:07:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-11-17/dont-miss-list-merce-cunninghams-last-hurrah-94102