WBEZ | The North Plan http://www.wbez.org/tags/north-plan Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Kate Buddeke's comic turn in 'North Plan' http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2012-02-29/kate-buddekes-comic-turn-north-plan-96829 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/photo/2012-February/2012-02-29/Kate Buddeke 2_Molzahn.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Tanya Shepke is your white-trash everywoman. Locked up for drunkenness in her hometown of tiny Lodus, Missouri, she pours forth a nonstop torrent of profanities, abuse, innuendo, and half-baked excuses for her bad behavior.</p><p><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2012-February/2012-02-29/Kate Buddeke 1_Molzahn.jpg" style="width: 200px; height: 305px; float: left; margin: 5px;" title="Kate Buddeke stars in 'The North Plan' at Theater Wit. (Liz Lauren/Theater Wit) ">She’s an unlikely heroine—yet that’s her role in Jason Wells’s <a href="http://www.theaterwit.org/"><em>The North Plan</em>, an odd blend of dark political satire and murder-‘n’-mayhem farce</a>, directed by Kimberly Senior, that just opened at Theater Wit.</p><p>And that’s what Chicago favorite Kate Buddeke makes Tanya: a heroine. I think. This veteran not only of Chicago stages but of Broadway, TV and film somehow hints at the tiny kernel of moral responsibility that might or might not be at Tanya’s core.</p><p>Asked whether she resembles Tanya, Buddeke says, “Let’s hope not. I don’t swear as much. And I like to think that I think a little more than Tanya. She’s a real motor mouth.”</p><p>“But, with every character, I think there’s a bit of me in it. With this one, it’s her balls!” (At the final preview, the audience broke into cheers after one of Tanya’s triumphant exits.)</p><p>Wells’s 90-minute two-act, which debuted here in 2010 as part of Steppenwolf’s First Look series, breaks in half at the intermission—which seems to exist mostly to allow an elaborate switch of Jack Magaw’s ingenious set. The relatively serious first act sets up a culture-wars situation and the political context: federal bureaucrat/Jewish liberal Carlton, in the pen next to Tanya’s, has been jailed under a repressive, lawless new regime.</p><p><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2012-February/2012-02-29/Kate Buddeke 3_Molzahn.jpg" style="width: 400px; height: 266px; margin: 5px; float: right;" title="Buddeke and castmember Kevin Stark (Liz Lauren/Theater Wit)">But Buddeke says she doesn’t think of Tanya—the seeming representative of poor white southern females everywhere—in terms of politics. “She’s so non-political. Truly, as I’m in this play, I have no idea what’s gonna happen, certainly not on a political level.”</p><p>That’s partly because all hell breaks loose in the second act, which takes a hairpin turn into farcical violence. “It gets really comic and crazy,” says Buddeke.</p><p>“I’m not known for comedy,” she adds. “And that was intimidating at first. It’s black comedy, of course, and the comedy I usually do is more realistic, not so out there. I was a little scared of it.”</p><p>“But it’s freeing. The first 15 to 20 minutes go by so f**king fast, you don’t have time to worry about anything—just do it!” Tanya’s opening tidal wave of words is so repetitive too that “there’s always a moment where I think, ‘Where am I?’” says Buddeke.</p><p>Comedy aside, Tanya does make a distinct shift between the first and second acts. “Part of that is that it’s her choice to walk into that room,” says Buddeke. “She’s making choices—it’s a different situation: ‘I’m not leaving.’”</p><p>Believe me, the room wouldn’t be the same without her.</p></p> Wed, 29 Feb 2012 15:14:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2012-02-29/kate-buddekes-comic-turn-north-plan-96829 Daily Rehearsal: 'The North Plan' reappears at Theater Wit http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2012-02-08/daily-rehearsal-north-plan-reappears-theater-wit-96202 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/photo/2012-February/2012-02-08/kate buddeke.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2012-February/2012-02-08/kate buddeke.jpg" style="margin-right: 10px; margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px; float: left; width: 189px; height: 288px; " title="Kate Buddeke (Photo by Michael Brosilow)"><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family:georgia,serif;"><strong>1.&nbsp;Kimberly Senior brings&nbsp;<em>The North Plan </em>to Theater Wit</strong></span></span>, last seen with her directing at First Look from Steppenwolf in 2010. And yes, you might recognize (I do) the face at left as Kate Buddeke, from her scary-bordering-on-disturbing performance in <em>Rantoul or Die</em> by American Blues Theater last spring. <em>The North Plan</em> opens February 28.</p><p><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family:georgia,serif;"><strong>2. More on V-Day: Drury Lane is doing dinner theater</strong></span></span>&nbsp;this weekend, at $88 a person for a four course meal, ONE COCKTAIL, and <em>Gypsy</em>. As usual, the descriptions of available food are the best part of this deal:&nbsp;"a Caesar Salad or Grilled Jumbo Asparagus Salad and a choice of Sliced Beef of Tenderloin, New Zealand Lamb Chops, or Jumbo Black Tiger Shrimp. For dessert, guests may choose from Chocolate Covered Strawberries or Orange Chocolate Crème Brule."</p><p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family:georgia,serif;"><strong>3. Comedy duo Garfunkel &amp; Oates were at UP on Saturday</strong></span></span>, and according <a href="http://timeoutchicago.com/arts-culture/comedy/15108753/garfunkel-oates-comedy-review">to Jason Heidemann</a>&nbsp;with <em>TimeOut</em>, they were"[p]ossessing the skinniness of teenage girls and wearing dresses straight out of Holly Hobby [which] upped the ante on songs that occasionally disarmed with naughty lyrical content."&nbsp;</p><p><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family:georgia,serif;"><strong>4.&nbsp;Steppenwolf Theatre Company has hired Jeffrey Fauver</strong></span></span> to replace David Rosenberg as Communications Director; Rosenberg stepped down in December and now has his own public relations firm. Fauver has worked with the Goodman (most recently on Chinglish) and Chicago Shakes. Most impressive part of Fauver's resume? He volunteers with the Chicago League of Lady Arm Wrestlers (CCLAW), who if you've ever seen in person, are a tough bunch.</p><p><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family:georgia,serif;"><strong>5. Did you see yesterday's viral sensation</strong></span></span>, the <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blog/claire-zulkey/2012-02-07/lana-del-reys-hunger-games-96170"><em>Hunger Games</em>/Lana Del Rey parody</a> by Chicago comedian Holly Laurent? Can't get enough of Holly? See her at iO on Tuesdays, &nbsp;where she <a href="http://ioimprov.com/chicago/performers/holly-laurent">performs with The Reckoning</a>.</p><p>Questions? Tips? Email <a href="mailto:kdries@wbez.org">kdries@wbez.org</a>.</p></p> Wed, 08 Feb 2012 16:50:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2012-02-08/daily-rehearsal-north-plan-reappears-theater-wit-96202