WBEZ | Gary Griffin http://www.wbez.org/tags/gary-griffin Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Daily Rehearsal: More 'Hit the Wall' shows added http://www.wbez.org/blog/bez/2012-03-09/daily-rehearsal-more-hit-wall-shows-added-97121 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/photo/2012-March/2012-03-09/holland taylor daily beast.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family:georgia,serif;"><strong>1. Here is a performance</strong></span></span> of Ann Richards aka Holland Taylor.</p><p style="text-align: center; "><embed base="http://admin.brightcove.com" bgcolor="#FFFFFF" flashvars="videoId=1498063692001&amp;linkBaseURL=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.thedailybeast.com%2Farticles%2F2012%2F03%2F09%2Fholland-taylor-celebrates-texas-governor-ann-richards.html%3Futm_source%3Dfeedburner%26utm_medium%3Dfeed%26utm_campaign%3DFeed%253A%2Bthedailybeast%252Farticles%2B%2528The%2BDaily%2BBeast%2B-%2BLatest%2BArticles%2529%26utm_content%3DGoogle%2BReader&amp;playerId=271557391&amp;viewerSecureGatewayURL=https://console.brightcove.com/services/amfgateway&amp;servicesURL=http://services.brightcove.com/services&amp;cdnURL=http://admin.brightcove.com&amp;domain=embed&amp;autoStart=false&amp;" height="412" name="flashObj" pluginspage="http://www.macromedia.com/shockwave/download/index.cgi?P1_Prod_Version=ShockwaveFlash" seamlesstabbing="false" src="http://c.brightcove.com/services/viewer/federated_f8/271557391" swliveconnect="true" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="486"></p><p><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family:georgia,serif;"><strong>2.&nbsp;<a href="http://chicagoindieradio.org/chirplog/2512/chicago-theatre-off-book-march-9-2012-ed">Chicago Theatre&nbsp;Off Book</a>'s episode</strong></span></span> this week is full of tons of short plays, written by playwrights like Brett Neveu and Chad Volkers. Check it. &nbsp;</p><p><strong><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family:georgia,serif;">3. Gary Griffin of Chicago Shakes</span></span></strong> <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blog/bez/2012-03-09/gary-griffin-and-fictional-music-mechanicals-97117">spoke on <em>Eight Forty-Eight</em></a> about <em>A Midsummer Night's Dream</em>; he was joined by the members of The Mechanicals, which are <em>not </em>a band you haven't heard of.</p><p><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family:georgia,serif;"><strong>4. And a couple more <em>Hit the Wall</em></strong></span></span> shows have been added; <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2012-03-06/daily-rehearsal-look-chicago-women%E2%80%99s-funny-festival-97013">this time</a> it's extended through April 22, but it "must" close then. The cast remains the same, save for&nbsp;Daeshawna Cook replacing Shannon Matesky in the role of Roberta.&nbsp;Looks like a few good reviews do go a long way.</p><p>Questions? Tips? Email<a href="mailto:kdries@wbez.org"> kdries@wbez.org</a>.</p></p> Fri, 09 Mar 2012 20:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blog/bez/2012-03-09/daily-rehearsal-more-hit-wall-shows-added-97121 Gary Griffin and the fictional music of The Mechanicals http://www.wbez.org/blog/bez/2012-03-09/gary-griffin-and-fictional-music-mechanicals-97117 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/photo/2012-March/2012-03-09/singing.jpg" alt="" /><p><div class="inset"><div class="insetContent"><p><span style="font-size:10px;">Listen to Gary Griffin talk with Tony Sarabia&nbsp;</span></p><p><audio class="mejs mediaelement-formatter-identified-1332748261-1" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/sites/default/files/120309 griffin w mechanicals.mp3">&nbsp;</audio></p></div></div><p>Gary Griffin, associate artistic director at Chicago Shakespeare Theater, is the director of the production<em>&nbsp;<a href="http://www.chicagoshakes.com/main.taf?p=2,66">A Midsummer Night’s Dream</a></em>. Friday on <em>Eight Forty-Eight </em>he explained his take on The Bard's comedy classic. He was joined by&nbsp;The Mechanicals, the fictitious musical theater troupe from the play who provide constant levity, during the play-within-a-play they perform at the end of <em>Midsummer Night's Dream, "</em>Pryamus and Thisbe"<em>.&nbsp;</em>They also benefit from the idiocy of Nick Bottom (the gentleman with a beard in these photos, played by Ron Orbach), who turned into a donkey and the fairy queen falls in love with him. Trust Shakespeare, he knew what he was doing.</p><p>"I was influenced by bringing the spirit of Freud into the play," Griffin told Tony Sarabia. While that might not sound like the most obvious connection with a work of Shakespeare, Freud's thoughts about dreams prompted Griffin to add touches of the 1920s to this particular production -- and Freud himself. Listen to a bit of The Mechnicals performing on <em>Eight Forty-Eight</em>, and then see the play and tell us if it all works.</p><p><audio class="mejs mediaelement-formatter-identified-1332748268-1" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/sites/default/files/mechanicals sing.mp3">&nbsp;</audio></p><p>(From left to right:&nbsp;Richard Manera as Snug the joiner,&nbsp;&nbsp;Levenix Riddle as Flute, Ron Orbach as Nick Bottom, Tim Kazurinsky as Peter Quince, Rod Thomas as Starveling and&nbsp;Michael Aaron Lindner as Tom Snout.)</p><p><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2012-March/2012-03-09/resting.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 338px;" title="(WBEZ/Joe DeCeault)"></p><p><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2012-March/2012-03-09/hands in.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 338px;" title="(WBEZ/Joe DeCeault)"></p><p><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2012-March/2012-03-09/singing.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 338px;" title="(WBEZ/Joe DeCeault)"></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Fri, 09 Mar 2012 17:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blog/bez/2012-03-09/gary-griffin-and-fictional-music-mechanicals-97117 Gary Griffin returns to Stratford in 2012 http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-06-05/gary-griffin-returns-stratford-2012-87441 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/photo/2011-June/2011-06-06/Garrygriffin.jpg" alt="" /><p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="caption" height="334" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-June/2011-06-06/Garrygriffin.jpg" title="Garry Griffin (photo by Don Ipock Photography)" width="500"></p><p>Veteran director <strong>Gary Griffin</strong> will return in 2012 to the world-renowned Stratford Festival in Canada to stage the musical, <em>42nd Street</em>. The return engagement is all the sweeter because next year is the 60th anniversary of the Stratford Festival, and Griffin will be the sole participating Chicago artist.</p><p>Indeed, Stratford has become annual gig for Griffin as he's been north of the border for three consecutive years, scoring artistic and personal successes with his productions of <em>West Side Story</em>, <em>Evita</em> and--this year--<em>Camelot</em>. Several other Chicago-connected big names also were at the Stratford Festival this year, writer/director Frank Galati and actor Brian Dennehy (a member of the Goodman Theatre Artistic Collective). But Griffin will be flying solo in Ontario come 2012, a celebratory season dedicated chiefly to Canadian artists and playwrights. But with <em>42nd Street</em>, Griffin will stage a quintessential "New Yawk" showbiz story.</p><p>The Stratford Festival now ranks along side the Chicago Shakespeare Theater and the New York City Center Encore! Series as one of Griffin's three home bases. He remains associate artistic director of Chicago Shakes, and he's staged five shows for Encore!, most recently a heartfelt and gloriously-sung production of the Kurt Weill-Maxwell Anderson rarity, <em>Lost in the Stars</em>, last February. His most recent show for Chicago Shakespeare Theater was this season's well-received <em>As You Like It</em>.</p><p>Griffin frequently is identified with musicals and/or large and lavish shows, but his current Chicago project proves he can go small-scale, too. Griffin staged the one-character play, <em>The Detective's Wife</em>, at Writers' Theatre in Glencoe, utilizing the troupe's original, tiny 50-seat space at the back of Books-on-Vernon. The world premiere by Keith Huff plays through July 31. Coincidentally, Writers' Theatre founder and artistic director Michael Halberstam is a veteran of the Stratford Festival where he cut his teeth as a young actor in the 1980's.<br> &nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;<br> &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p></p> Mon, 06 Jun 2011 04:10:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-06-05/gary-griffin-returns-stratford-2012-87441 Windy City east? Chicago's theater stars working in NYC http://www.wbez.org/blog/city-room-blog/windy-city-east-chicagos-theater-stars-working-nyc <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/new york.jpg" alt="" /><p><p style="text-align: center;"><img height="335" width="500" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2010-November/2010-11-17/new york.jpg" alt="" /></p><p>There are so many Chicago directors working in New York this season, it should be called &quot;Windy City East.&quot; <a href="http://goodmantheatre.org/">Goodman Theatre</a> resident director Chuck Smith is there now directing &quot;Knock Me a Kiss&quot; by Charles Smith (different person/no relation) for the <a href="http://www.newfederaltheatre.org/content.cfm?cntid=5">New Federal Theatre</a> (opens Nov. 21). Playwright Smith is a member of the <a href="http://www.victorygardens.org/about/charlessmith.php">Victory Gardens Playwrights Ensemble</a>. Then MacArthur &quot;Genius&quot; Fellow <a href="http://www.macfound.org/site/c.lkLXJ8MQKrH/b.6241249/k.7FC4/David_Cromer.htm">David Cromer</a> begins rehearsals in January for a Broadway revival of William Inge's &quot;Picnic&quot; (cast and opening date TBA). Next, veteran Gary Griffin returns to the Encore! series at <a href="http://www.nycitycenter.org/">New York's City Center</a> for a concert staging of &quot;Lost in the Stars&quot; by Kurt Weill and Maxwell Anderson (Feb. 3-6).</p><p>Then, Steppenwolf's Anna D. Shapiro will stage &quot;You Can't Take It With You&quot; for an April Broadway opening. Finally, it's Cromer again next fall with the Broadway production of a new musical &quot;Yank,&quot; about a gay soldier in World War II (previously seen in a successful Off-Broadway production at the <a href="http://www.yorktheatre.org/">York Theatre</a> with a different director). Cromer's attachment to &quot;Yank&quot; is surprising because (1) he isn't associated with musicals and (2) he's also committed to directing a revival of Tennessee Williams's &quot;Sweet Bird of Youth&quot; next fall, starring Nicole Kidman. Maybe all them Chicagoans finally will teach New Yawk what a decent slice of pizza should taste like.</p></p> Wed, 17 Nov 2010 18:26:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blog/city-room-blog/windy-city-east-chicagos-theater-stars-working-nyc