WBEZ | Paul Oakley Stovall http://www.wbez.org/tags/paul-oakley-stovall Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Daily Rehearsal: Giordano Dance Chicago revamps http://www.wbez.org/blogs/onstagebackstage/2012-06/daily-rehearsal-giordano-dance-revamps-100364 <p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/index.jpg" style="float: right; width: 300px; height: 82px; " title="" /><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, serif; "><strong>- <a href="http://giordanodance.org/">Giordano Dance Chicago</a></strong></span></span> is starting their 50th anniversary off with a bang: they&#39;ve got a new home downtown at the Collaborative Space for Sustainable Development and a new name (they were previously in Evanston and known as Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago). At the opening last weekend, dancers could be heard marveling about how nice it was to be in the city proper, reports&nbsp;Matthew de la Peña. Of the quality of their work, he says, &quot;The company repertoire becomes more eclectic with each passing season&mdash;jazz-based, though that&rsquo;s not its only forte&mdash;and the dancers admittedly thrive off the energy that city-life provides.&quot;</p><p><span style="text-align: center; "><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, serif; "><strong>- Six and Four Articulations Collaborative Performance Company</strong></span></span> drops by the <a href="http://www.dfbrl8r.org/event/six-and-four-articulations">Defibillator </a>on July 7. The company, which is from New York, says &quot;Our repertoire rides a narrow line between performance art and &#39;post&#39; post-modern dance while addressing topics of audience, gender, relationships, conversation, standardization, and emotion. The pieces collectively incorporate movement, clipped theatrics, and sculptural props to structure and abstract ideas and concepts into an idiosyncratic movement vocabulary.&quot;</span></p><p><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, serif; "><strong>- Is this not the best press release ever?</strong></span></span>: &quot;This summer, Chicago audiences will experience the magic of Viking warriors and fire-breathing dragons that soar through arena skies in DREAMWORKS <a href="http://dreamworksdragonslive.com/"><em>HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON LIVE SPECTACULAR</em></a>.&quot; It sounds like there will be live dragons, but I know there will not be because those only exist in <em>Game of Thrones</em> so let&#39;s not get our hopes too far up. It&#39;s July 25 to 29 at the United Center and &quot;A limited number of special premium Dragon Hot Seats, VIP and family packages are available.&quot;&nbsp;</p><p><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, serif; "><strong>- Paul Oakley Stovall was on <em>Afternoon Shift</em></strong></span></span> yesterday. Of the production, host <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blogs/bez/2012-06/paul-oakley-stovall-politics-same-sex-marriage-and-immediate-family-100369">Steve Edwards wrote</a>, &quot;When I saw Paul Oakley Stovall&rsquo;s play<em>&nbsp;Immediate Family</em>&nbsp;a few weeks ago at the Goodman Theater, I thought to myself, &#39;This may be the timeliest play in Chicago right now.&#39;&quot;</p><p>Questions? Tips? Email <a href="mailto:kdries@wbez.org">kdries@wbez.org</a>.</p></p> Mon, 25 Jun 2012 11:20:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/onstagebackstage/2012-06/daily-rehearsal-giordano-dance-revamps-100364 Paul Oakley Stovall says there's more to racist babies than meets the eye http://www.wbez.org/blogs/onstagebackstage/2012-05/paul-oakley-stovall-says-theres-more-racist-babies-meets-eye-98968 <p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/522078732_b352863c4b_z.jpg" style="float: right; width: 300px; height: 201px; " title="(Flickr/Davide Cassanello)">"<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/04/racist-babies-nine-month-olds-bias-faces_n_1477937.html">Racist Babies</a>?" proclaimed a recent <em>Huffington Post</em> headline, in response to news of a recent study.</p><p>The study, conducted by researchers at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, suggests that although infants are born with the ability to tell apart people within multiple races, "by age 9 months they are better at recognizing faces and emotional expressions of people within groups they interact with most,"<a href="http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/05/120502132949.htm"> <em>Scientific Daily</em> reported last week</a>.</p><p>The study's authors responded to the media's reaction by saying&nbsp;<a href="http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2012/05/08/babies-not-racist-insists-learning-study-author-">they don't think babies are racist</a>. But that didn't stop playwright Paul Oakley Stovall from meditating on the topic at <em>The Paper Machete</em>.</p><p>Read an excerpt below or listen above:</p><p style="margin-left:.5in;"><em>I think we have to simplify this, because we're actually making it too complicated. It is more than just a face, when a nine-month-old, a six-month-old, is looking up. There's more to remembrance than the visual. </em></p><p style="margin-left: 0.5in;"><em>There's the smell of our mothers and their food. There's the funk of our brothers in their teenage years. There's the sound of the adults arguing in the kitchen, which is so different in different cultures. There's the gait of that older cousin who is just out of reach intellectually from your six-year-old self, but arouses something in you that's off-limits, because that's your people. That's your people. That's how they move. It's a good thing.&nbsp;</em></p><p style="margin-left:.5in;"><em>And now that we are mixing wonderfully in this country and creating new smells, new sounds, new thoughts, new rhythms, new gaits, sometimes it's nice to go back. I mean, you notice other countries don't feel the need to have these studies. I think it is because of our current president and first lady that we're having to have this conversation, and it's a good thing. It's been so easy to smack a label on us and not communicate with each other and find out you're more than white; you're German, Russian and Polish and that's interesting. You're more than Latina; you're Columbian and Venezuelan and there's a whole story there.</em></p><p><a href="http://thepapermacheteshow.com/" target="_blank">The Paper Machete</a>&nbsp;<em>is a weekly live magazine at the Horseshoe in North Center. It's always at 3 p.m., it's always on Saturday, and it's always free. Get all your</em>&nbsp;The Paper Machete Radio Magazine&nbsp;<em>needs filled&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wbez.org/tags/paper-machete" target="_blank">here</a>, or download the podcast from iTunes&nbsp;<a href="http://itunes.apple.com/podcast/the-paper-machete-radio-magazine/id450280345" target="_blank">here</a>.</em></p></p> Fri, 11 May 2012 11:18:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/onstagebackstage/2012-05/paul-oakley-stovall-says-theres-more-racist-babies-meets-eye-98968 Paul Oakley Stovall on 'Animal House' and the state of the American musical http://www.wbez.org/blogs/onstagebackstage/2012-05/paul-oakley-stovall-animal-house-and-state-american-musical-98891 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/animal house universal pictures.jpg" alt="" /><p><p style="text-align: center; "><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/Dg7E2pbG5QE" width="560"></iframe></p><p><em>In March, it was announced that </em>Animal House<em>, that time-weathered classic of American cinema, would be adapted for the stage. An odd choice, some said. Others, like Paul Oakley Stovall, whose new play</em> Immediate Family<em>, directed by Phylicia Rashad,&nbsp;will <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blogs/onstagebackstage/2012-04/daily-rehearsal-phylicia-rashad-direct-new-paul-oakley-stovall-play">be at the Goodman Theatre</a> in June, thought it more than odd; in this </em>The Paper Machete <em>essay from March, Stovall argues that the New American Musical is ruining a purely American art form. Read it below or listen above.</em></p><p>"EXTRA EXTRA HAVE YOU HEARD THE NEWS(IES)? <em>BULLETS OVER BROADWAY</em> will take a <em>LEAP OF FAITH</em> with <em>SPIDERMAN </em>over the <em>ANIMAL HOUSE</em> on Broadway...but only <em>ONCE</em>.&nbsp;</p><p>Yes, it’s true. Another crop of wonderful movies are ready to bore (or are already boring) you to death as Broadway musicals. Or piss you off. Or drive you to pills and booze. Or maybe just maybe encourage someone to (gasp) come up with an original idea and write an original musical -- with original music even!! &nbsp;</p><p>But don’t hold your breath.&nbsp;</p><p>Over the past few years we’ve been, I'd say, assaulted with <em>Legally Blonde</em>, <em>The Wedding Singer</em>, <em>The Little Mermaid</em>, <em>Jekyll and Hyde</em> (which is possibly coming back with Constantine Maroulis from <em>American Idol</em> fame--more on that later), <em>The Color Purple</em> (oh the colored people), <em>How the Grinch Stole Broadway</em>, er, Christmas, <em>Wonderland </em>(wonder why land), <em>Big</em>, <em>Mary Poppins</em>, <em>Hairspray</em> and <em>The Lion King</em>, to name, sadly, just a few.&nbsp;</p><p>We could throw in <em>Wicked</em>, <em>Seussical </em>and <em>Spamalot</em>, as they are based on source material....exquisite source material I might add.</p><p>To be fair, now and then, this rejiggering of a hit film or even a not so much of a hit film can work. <em>Beauty and the Beast</em> is faithful to the story and wonderful for kids. But it was kind of a musical already. <em>Victor/Victoria</em> is another example that comes to mind. &nbsp;However it was set in a musical milieu. The <em>stuff </em>was already there.</p><p>Now the jukebox musical--<em>Good Vibrations</em> anyone? <em>All Shook Up</em>? The film “adaptation”, or rather reduction, is becoming the norm, while the BROADWAY MUSICAL (could you feel the all caps in the way that was said?), that's an American art form. An original american art form, one of the few that we can really claim as purely american. So why is it being tossed away? Why are we more interested in developing <em>Sleepless in Seattle</em> the musical? &nbsp;Yes, it is happening. The two leads don’t see each other until the end, and yet there is confusion amongst the producers like why the workshops are fizzling and not working...oy oy oy.</p><p>Whose bright idea was it to make <em>Catch Me If You Can</em> into a Broadway musical?!?!&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>Leave me alone! I’m not interested in catching you. Stay in hiding. Or better yet, stay on celluloid, where a film like that had a least modest success in what it was aiming for.</p><p>So whose idea was it? Who let that happen?</p><p>It was the idea of someone who wanted to make money. It was the idea of someone who was falling right in line with those who now see dollar signs rather than rallying cries of social change when they think of this pure American art form called the Broadway musical.</p><p>The new American musical, created lately by artists like Stew, a Tony-award-winner for his book of <em>Passing Strange</em>, or the revered Tony Kushner, who, with Jeanine Tesori (who we'll forgive for <em>Shrek</em>) created <em>Caroline, or Change</em>. They're sadly few and far between these days. &nbsp;nd when we do get something original, the best of them usually don’t make it to the big time, to make room for things like <em>13</em>....about a bunch of 13 year olds.....singing about....things that 13 year olds care about....but not written by 13 year olds....which could have made it interesting. &nbsp;</p><p>However, artists&nbsp; like Stew and Kushner and Tesori and the wonderful artists at Dog and Pony Theater Company who made an original musical called <em>God's Ear</em> -- they're pushing the form forward. Now admittedly, none of those aforementioned projects turned a profit. <em>Caroline, or Change</em> has had an extremely healthy regional life and Stew is prolifically creating new projects. But that’s neither here nor there. The argument that is thrown out is that, “Hey, we gotta make money! And we gotta give the people what they want!” Pfft. The people don’t know what they want. They know that they want to be extertained! &nbsp;Let me say that again.&nbsp;They want to be extertained! And not by the latest <em>American Idol</em> runner up. See Maroulis. Or Diana DeGarmo, or Ace what’s hisname, or....yeah.</p><p><em>Shrek The Musical</em>, sorry Jeanine, ain’t it. It might illicit some silly giggles, but true entertainment includes an enriching of the soul, a lifting of the spirit, a challenge to the brain, a massaging of the heart. <em>9 to 5</em>? <em>Young Frankenstein</em>?&nbsp; <em>Xanadu</em>? <em>High Fidelity</em>? <em>Urban Cowboy</em>?<em> Chitty Chitty Bang Bang</em>?&nbsp; Those films were just fine the way they were. Entertaining classics that spoke to their genre in a very specific way, whether you liked the film or not. But <em>Gone With the Wind</em>, the musical?&nbsp; That ain’t it kid. Give me <em>A Chorus Line</em>. <em>Carousel</em>, <em>Gypsy</em>, <em>Porgy and Bess</em>, <em>South Pacific</em>, <em>Avenue Q</em>, <em>Ragtime</em>, <em>Anything Goes</em> and <em>Rent</em>. But <em>Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown</em> almost made me have one!</p><p>This lack of effort really &nbsp;-- that's what it is, a lack of effort on the part of producers to seek out original material. A lack of effort on the part of artists to insist on bringing original and current and politically relevant material to the table, and on the part of the general public (that's us), the consumer, to demand better quality material -- and frankly, to say, “Hey, I already love <em>Animal House</em>, it’s a classic; Hey, I can recite every line in <em>Bullets Over Broadway</em>; <em>Desperately Seeking Susan</em> ain’t Shakespeare but it’s quirky and perfect just the way I remember it -- this, my friends, this signals a malaise that frankly goes deeper than the rash that accompanies the news that <em>Footloose </em>is being developed for Broadway.</p><p>FIlm is not a literary medium. It doesn’t want lots of words, and rarely does it want songs, and even rarer does it need a dance number.</p><p>Fixing this will take a digging in of the heels from all of us So the great work begins. The American Musical represents something purely American and it should be protected and nurtured and brought back to life. Like the White House garden.</p><p><a href="http://thepapermacheteshow.com/" target="_blank">The Paper Machete</a>&nbsp;<em>is a weekly live magazine at the Horseshoe in North Center. It's always at 3 p.m., it's always on Saturday, and it's always free. Get all your</em>&nbsp;The Paper Machete Radio Magazine&nbsp;<em>needs filled&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wbez.org/tags/paper-machete" target="_blank">here</a>, or download the podcast from iTunes&nbsp;<a href="http://itunes.apple.com/podcast/the-paper-machete-radio-magazine/id450280345" target="_blank">here</a>.</em></p></p> Mon, 07 May 2012 11:14:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/onstagebackstage/2012-05/paul-oakley-stovall-animal-house-and-state-american-musical-98891 Daily Rehearsal: Phylicia Rashad to direct new Paul Oakley Stovall play http://www.wbez.org/blogs/onstagebackstage/2012-04/daily-rehearsal-phylicia-rashad-direct-new-paul-oakley-stovall-play <p><p><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family:georgia,serif;"><strong>1. Team StarKid is doing a second <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-10-06/daily-rehearsal-starkid-goes-out-world-92896">national tour</a></strong></span></span>, entitled&nbsp;<em>APOCALYPTOUR</em>. It will be "invading" 21 cities from May through June; tickets go on sale Tuesday. It opens at the House of Blues on May 9, and closes at the Roseland Ballroom in New York City June 10.</p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/phylicia.jpg" style="float: left; width: 300px; " title=""><strong>2</strong><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family:georgia,serif;"><strong><strong>. Phy</strong>licia Rashad</strong></span></span> (<em>The Cosby Show</em>, <em>A Raisin in the Sun</em>)&nbsp;will be directing a new play by Paul Oakley Stovall called <em>Immediate Family</em>, produced by About Face and staged at the Goodman. It'll begin previews June 2. A description: "In the Bryant family’s Hyde Park home, keeping a secret is next to impossible... When the entire clan comes together for the first time in more than five years, family secrets are exposed in a hilarious, emotional family reunion. Evy can’t understand why her younger brothers are so mysterious and distant; Jesse is afraid to be true to himself and honest with his family; and no one can understand why Tony is so eager to get married.&nbsp;<em>Modern Family</em> meets <em>All in the Family </em>as these siblings try to bridge their differences with a little help from God, card games and their <em>Immediate Family</em>." The cast includes&nbsp;Shane'sia Davis&nbsp;as Evy, J. Nicole Brooks as Nina, Patrick Sarb as Kristian, Phillip James Brannon as Jesse, Kamal Angelo Bolden as Tony, and Cynda Williams as Ronnie.&nbsp;</p><p><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family:georgia,serif;"><strong>3. The full line-up for <a href="http://www.justforlaughschicago.com/">Just for Laughs</a></strong></span></span> has been posted; as<a href="http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2012-02-28/daily-rehearsal-jungle-book-set-world-premiere-goodman-96794"> previously reported</a>, Aziz Ansari will be headlining but those tickets are no more, even after a second date was added. Vince Vaughn brings his favorites,&nbsp;Mike Birbiglia, Jeffrey Ross, John Oliver and Patton Oswald join.</p><p><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family:georgia,serif;"><strong>4. Jo Lo Truglio</strong></span></span> -- who you know from playing definitely quirky characters in movies you may or may not have seen -- is in Chicago at CIMMFest, promoting two new movies. He recently did <em>Wet Hot American Summer</em> live, so read about that <a href="http://www.avclub.com/chicago/articles/joe-lo-truglio,71907/">over at the </a><em><a href="http://www.avclub.com/chicago/articles/joe-lo-truglio,71907/">A.V. Club</a>.</em></p><p><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family:georgia,serif;"><strong>5. Cecelia Hall</strong></span></span> is <a href="http://www.chicagomag.com/Chicago-Magazine/April-2012/Cecelia-Hall-in-Chicago-Opera-Theaters-Teseo/">profiled </a>in <em>Chicago Magazine</em> for her role as the MAN Teseo in the opera of the same name at the Lyric. "It’s the sort of gender-bending role that dots the resumés of most mezzos, whose vocal ranges allow them to play young males," author Graham Meyer explains.</p><p>Questions? Tips? Email <a href="mailto:kdries@wbez.org">kdries@wbez.org</a>.</p></p> Tue, 10 Apr 2012 12:46:51 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/onstagebackstage/2012-04/daily-rehearsal-phylicia-rashad-direct-new-paul-oakley-stovall-play Daily Rehearsal: You won't have to go south to see Southern Fried Chicks http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2012-02-16/daily-rehearsal-you-wont-have-go-south-see-southern-fried-chicks-96 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/photo/2012-February/2012-02-16/chicks-bucket.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family:georgia,serif;"><strong>1. Ben Bailey</strong></span></span>, the non-Chicago host of <em>Cash Cab</em>&nbsp;is in town for the opening of UP. He did an interview <a href="http://www.avclub.com/chicago/articles/ben-bailey,69416">with <em>The A.V. Club</em></a>, but does not address whether or not&nbsp;there will be a Sharks v. Jets style street battle with <a href="http://www.suntimes.com/entertainment/television/8579723-421/end-of-the-road-for-cash-cab-chicago.html">former </a>Chicago Cash Cab host Beth&nbsp;Melewski.</p><p><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family:georgia,serif;"><strong>2.&nbsp;<em>Cabaret with a View</em> is at Millenium Park</strong></span></span> on March 12 at 7:30 p.m. will have&nbsp;Paul Oakley Stovall and Brad Simmons in “The Next Best Thing to Love.” Stovall is currently in <em>Invisible Man</em> at Court; Simmons was the musical director of<em> Lysistrata Jones</em> and was in <em>Camp</em>.&nbsp;</p><p><img alt="" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2012-February/2012-02-16/chicks-bucket.jpg" style="margin-right: 10px; margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px; float: left; width: 194px; height: 200px; " title=""><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family:georgia,serif;"><strong>3. Paramount Theatre brings Southern Fried Chicks</strong></span></span> ("the top-grossing all-female comedy tour on the road today" on March 3 ONLY. Expect female comics.</p><p><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family:georgia,serif;"><strong>4. A long time from now</strong></span></span> (but it's really scary, so be careful to pay attention) the Chicago Zombie Pub Crawl will spread its wrath all over Chicago for the fifth year in a row! Yes, people have been doing this for five years. <font face="Arial, sans-serif" size="2"><span style="line-height: 14px;">Registration starts March 1, and costs $20.</span></font><span style="font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 10pt; line-height: 110%; ">&nbsp;</span></p><p class="xmsonormal"><span style="line-height: 110%;"><o:p></o:p></span></p><p><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family:georgia,serif;"><strong>5.&nbsp;Chicago Opera Theater has a new ticket program</strong></span></span> where they'll sell 100 tickets to each performance of their shows for $25 (limit two per household). It's called 100@25, and are first-come, first-serve.&nbsp;“I think it’s important that everyone gets to enjoy Chicago Opera Theater, and not just back in the ‘cheap seats,’” said General Director Brian Dickie in a statement.&nbsp; “Part of our mission has always been to make opera accessible, and 100@25 just expands our reach into the community.”</p><p>Questions? Tips? Email <a href="mailto:kdries@wbez.org">kdries@wbez.org</a>.</p></p> Thu, 16 Feb 2012 16:22:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2012-02-16/daily-rehearsal-you-wont-have-go-south-see-southern-fried-chicks-96