WBEZ | Nickel History http://www.wbez.org/tags/nickel-history Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Don’t Miss List July 19-25: From the sublime to the ridiculous http://www.wbez.org/blogs/onstagebackstage/2012-07/%EF%BB%BFdon%E2%80%99t-miss-list-july-19-25-sublime-ridiculous-100987 <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/three%20sisters%202.jpg" title="Caroline Neff and Carrie Coon star in Steppenwolf’s production of ‘Three Sisters.’ (Steppenwolf/Michael Brosilow)" /></div><p><u><em><strong>Three Sisters</strong></em><u>, </u>Tuesday through Sunday at 7:30 plus matinees on Saturday and Sunday at 3; through August 26 at&nbsp;<a href="http://Steppenwolf.org/">Steppenwolf</a>; tickets $20-$78.&nbsp;</u></p><p><br />If you feel like you&rsquo;ve never grasped Chekhov, this is not the production to provide you with sudden illumination (like, say, a version of the play I once saw at Stratford).&nbsp;But if you&rsquo;ve always wondered why people say his plays are funny, this adaptation by Tracy Letts directed by Anna D. Shapiro will make that clear.&nbsp;Yasen Peyankov as the cuckolded schoolmaster and Scott Jaeck as the drunken doctor are particularly strong in the comic bits.&nbsp;All the play is missing is the powerful sexual energy that underlies all those aimless conversations; for, as Chekhov translator (and erstwhile Steppenwolf Artistic Associate) Curt Columbus explained, &ldquo;[It&rsquo;s not] some chaste and tepid attraction . . . . The people in Chekhov&rsquo;s plays want to f**k each other.&rdquo; &ndash;KK<br /><br /><u><em><strong>Reefer Madness</strong></em><u>,</u> opens Friday July 20 at 8; Fridays and Saturdays at 8 plus a matinee on Sunday at 3; through August 26 at&nbsp;<a href="http://circle-theatre.org/">Circle Theatre</a>, 1010 W. Madison in Oak Park; tickets $26-30.</u><br /><br />Though I haven&rsquo;t had the pleasure of seeing this yet, any musical adaptation of the old drug-scare movie has to be worth an evening.&nbsp;Circle has done many successful musicals, but I admit it&rsquo;s less the music than the likelihood of ludicrous dialogue that attracts me to the show.&nbsp;Remember, though: Marijuana is still against the law in old-fashioned Oak Park.&nbsp;But I wouldn&rsquo;t smoke in Chicago, either: You can get a ticket for that. &ndash;KK<br /><br />* * *</p><p>It won&#39;t help if you get out of the kitchen this summer; you&#39;ll still have to deal with the heat. It&#39;s the perfect time to see a show that&#39;s fun or familiar or both, and I have some suggestions that are camp or classic (or both, depending on the attitude of the producers).&nbsp;&ndash;JA</p><p><u><strong><em>Richard III</em></strong>, <a href="http://www.tickets@oakparkfestival.com">Oak Park Festival</a>, Austin Gardens, Oak Park;&nbsp;through Aug. 25; $25. </u></p><p><u><strong><em>The Merchant of Venice</em></strong>, <a href="http://www.firstfolio.org">First Folio Theatre</a>, Mayslake Forest Preserve (1717 31st Street) Oak Brook;&nbsp;through Aug. 19;&nbsp;$30-$37.</u></p><p><strong><em>Richard III</em></strong> and <strong><em>The Merchant of Venice</em></strong> are among Shakespeare&#39;s most familiar plays, the latter a dark comedy with a happy ending (unless you&#39;re Shylock) and the former a real boo-the-villain costume drama. My dad used to call <em>Richard III</em> &quot;Dick da&#39; shit&quot; because he was &quot;Richard da&#39; Turd.&quot; In any case, treat them as popular entertainment, which is precisely what they were in Shakespeare&#39;s day, and you&#39;ll have a good time. <em>The Merchant of Venice</em> is outdoors at the Mayslake Forest Preserve in Oak Brook and <em>Richard III</em> is outdoors in Oak Park. Remember: those West Suburban nights are COOLER than in-the-city nights.&nbsp;&ndash;JA</p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Tony%20Etching.jpg" style="float: left; height: 200px; width: 300px; " title="Anna Fermin and John Rice in 'Nickel History' (Photo by Johnny Knight)" /><u><strong><em>Little Shop of Horrors</em></strong>, Theatre at the Center, 1040 Ridge Road, Munster, Ind.; $20-$40; through Aug. 19. </u></p><p><u><strong><em>Reefer Madness</em></strong>, <a href="http://www.circle-theatre.org">Circle Theatre</a>, 1010 Madison Street, Oak Park; $26-$30 (plus service fee); through Aug. 26.</u></p><p>For pure campiness, you can&#39;t do much better than <strong><em>Little Shop of Horrors</em></strong> and <strong><em>Reefer Madness</em>,</strong> both successful Off-Broadway musicals based on cult classic non-musical films. <em>Little Shop</em>, with its man-eating antagonist, Audrey, is a cautionary tale about wild flowers while <em>Reefer Madness</em> pokes fun at America&#39;s decades-long criminalization of marijuana (use of which, the government tried to convince us, leads directly to promiscuity and insanity; well one outta&#39; two ain&#39;t bad). Both shows are presented in air conditioned comfort, <em>Reefer Madness</em> by Circle Theatre in Oak Park (yeah, again Oak Park) and <em>Little Shop</em> at Theatre at the Center, just around the tip of the lake in Munster, IN (a good stop going to/from a Saugatuck weekend, say).&nbsp;&ndash;JA</p></p> Thu, 19 Jul 2012 06:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/onstagebackstage/2012-07/%EF%BB%BFdon%E2%80%99t-miss-list-july-19-25-sublime-ridiculous-100987