WBEZ | Goodman Theatre http://www.wbez.org/tags/goodman-theatre Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en 'Feast' returns to Goodman Theatre http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-07-27/feast-returns-goodman-theatre-112479 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/feast courtesy of Goodman Publicity.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Chicago&rsquo;s neighborhoods are full of food stories, controversies and histories. But few are so vividly told as those in the youth generated vignettes of &ldquo;Feast.&rdquo; The production is the work of the Albany Park Theater Project and is described as a theatrical love letter to Chicago&rsquo;s diverse food culture and joyful cooking traditions. Feast originally hit the Goodman Theatre stage in 2010. Now it&rsquo;s back at the Goodman. Ely Espino, one of the actors, joins us, along with Albany Park Theater Project&rsquo;s Resident Director Rossana Rodriguez Sanchez.&nbsp;</p></p> Mon, 27 Jul 2015 12:40:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-07-27/feast-returns-goodman-theatre-112479 Morning Shift: Obama Presidential Library location announcement http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-05-12/morning-shift-obama-presidential-library-location-announcement <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/jmtimages.jpg" style="height: 673px; width: 600px;" title="Flickr/jmtimages" /></div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image "><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/205150016&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><span style="font-family: inherit; font-size: 24px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; line-height: inherit;">Obama Presidential Library location announcement</span></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);">Just two weeks after reports surfaced that Chicago would be home to the <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/its-official-obama-library-will-be-chicagos-south-side-112015">Obama Presidential Library</a>, The Barack Obama Foundation plans to announce on Tuesday the exact location on the city&rsquo;s South Side. One neighborhood - Washington Park - has seen the hope of the Olympics come and go and is in still need of some strong economic drivers. Jackson Park is closer to the lakefront and other attractions like the Museum of Science and Industry has also been floated as a potential site. WBEZ&rsquo;s Yolanda Perdomo will be watching the announcement and will have reaction from neighbors about the decision. We also hear from Paula Robinson, President of the Black Metropolis National Heritage Area Commission, who has been supportive of the Library coming to the South Side but wants to ensure the area gets investment.&nbsp;</p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><strong style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-stretch: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;">Guests:&nbsp;</strong><em><a href="https://twitter.com/yolandanews">Yolanda Perdomo</a> is a WBEZ reporter.</em></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><em><a href="https://twitter.com/MsBronzeville">Paula Robinson</a> is the President of the Black</em><em>&nbsp;Metropolis National Heritage Area Commission</em></p></div><p>&nbsp;</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/205150002&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><span style="font-family: inherit; font-size: 24px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; line-height: inherit;">Infrastructure conference asks what&rsquo;s next for our waterways</span></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);">The title of this week&rsquo;s infrastructure conference in Chicago is light on nuance: <a href="http://www.ulcc.org/default.aspx?p=v35EvtView&amp;ID=3868233&amp;type=0&amp;ssid=231855&amp;qfilter=ALL">&ldquo;Broke, Broken and Out of Time.&rdquo;</a> The region&rsquo;s arteries to commerce-rail, roads and waterways-are not getting the financial attention they need to improve and grow, and that can create a ripple effect of damage. A new campaign in the state, Accelerate Illinois, is looking to build more awareness of these needs and offer innovative ways to how infrastructure can improve. And while problems like potholes and slow trains can seem like the things clogging our commutes and making our lives harder, our waterways are also a crucial area that need attention. We talk with David St. Pierre, Executive Director of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago, about how he&rsquo;s using the campaign to talk about what our waterways need.&nbsp;</p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><strong style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-stretch: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;">Guest:&nbsp;</strong><em>David St. Pierre is the&nbsp;</em><em>Executive Director of the <a href="https://twitter.com/MWRDGC">Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago.</a></em></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);">&nbsp;</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/205150008&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><span style="font-family: inherit; font-size: 24px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; line-height: inherit;">Alice Dreger: Who Owns Science</span></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);">Skirmishes between activists, industry and scientists have flared up several times in recent weeks as Dr. Oz faced criticism about his on-air advice from doctors with ties to the GMO industry but even some of his colleagues at Columbia University. But there&rsquo;s also the &ldquo;Food Babe&rdquo; who was attacked for her lack of scientific rigor and fracking chemicals showed up in drinking water. So when science says one thing but industry and activists say another, whom do you trust? When two different groups of scientists come up with different conclusions, what&rsquo;s really going on? Author and bioethicist Alice Dreger has written about several such fights in her book Galileo&rsquo;s Middle Finger: Heretics, Activists, and the Search for Justice in Science that examines some very specific cases when the work of scientists was either misunderstood or simply opposed by those who had a stake in the outcomes. She talks to us about those cases and what things look like for the future.</p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><strong style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-stretch: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;">Guest:&nbsp;</strong><em><a href="https://twitter.com/AliceDreger">Alice Dreger</a> a professor at Northwestern&#39;s Feinberg School of Medicine and atuhor of <a href="http://alicedreger.com/">&quot;</a></em><a href="http://alicedreger.com/"><em>Galileo&rsquo;s Middle Finger: Heretics, Activists, and the Search for Justice in Science.&quot;</em></a></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);">&nbsp;</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/205150038&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><span style="font-family: inherit; font-size: 24px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; line-height: inherit;">Goodman Theatre announces expansion plan</span></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);">The 90-year-old stalwart of the Chicago theater scene is announcing plans to expand both its physical space as well as its role within the community. Artistic Director Robert Falls joins us with details.&nbsp;</p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><strong style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-stretch: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;">Guest:&nbsp;</strong><em><a href="https://twitter.com/RobertFalls">Robert Falls</a>&nbsp;is the <a href="https://twitter.com/GoodmanTheatre">Goodman Theatre</a>&#39;s Artistic Director.</em></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);">&nbsp;</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/205150031&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><span style="font-family: inherit; font-size: 24px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; line-height: inherit;">Highasakite</span></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);">The Norwegian rockers play a mix of indie-pop with a touch of electronica and folk. They&rsquo;ve been getting more attention as Bon Iver&rsquo;s Justin Vernon has been singing their praises. Highasakite is currently on tour with Of Monsters and Men. They stop by Morning Shift before Tuesday&rsquo;s show at The Riviera.</p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><strong style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-stretch: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;">Guest:&nbsp;</strong><em><a href="https://twitter.com/Highasakiteband">Highasakite</a> is a Norwegian-based band.</em></p></p> Tue, 12 May 2015 08:24:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-05-12/morning-shift-obama-presidential-library-location-announcement Artist Encounter: By the Way, Meet Vera Stark http://www.wbez.org/series/chicago-amplified/artist-encounter-way-meet-vera-stark-107047 <p><p>Goodman Theatre Artist Encounters bring together audiences and the artists who create the work on our stages in an intimate environment, for a behind-the-scenes look at the plays and the playmaking process. Enjoy this in-depth conversation with <em>By the Way, Meet Vera Stark</em> playwright <strong>Lynn Nottage</strong> and director <strong>Chuck Smith</strong>.</p><div>This &ldquo;sharp-toothed comedy&rdquo; (<em>The Wall Street Journal</em>) offers a glimpse into the life of <strong>Vera Star</strong>k, a headstrong African American actress who begins a career in the 1930s, at a time when her only shot at success lay in stealing small scenes in big Hollywood blockbusters. Seventy years later, film buffs are left to reflect on the life and legacy of this controversial star, whose eventual fame and fortune came at the price of perpetuating dangerous stereotypes. Hilarious and poignant, <em>By the Way, Meet Vera Stark</em> paints a vivid picture of the cultural climate that shaped this mysterious screen queen&mdash;and wonders who, in another time, she might have been.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/GT-webstory_3.jpg" style="float: left;" title="" /></div></div><p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />Recorded live Sunday, May 5, 2013 at the Goodman Theatre.</p></p> Sun, 05 May 2013 09:34:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/series/chicago-amplified/artist-encounter-way-meet-vera-stark-107047 Encuentro con los Artistas: Pedro Páramo http://www.wbez.org/amplified/about/encuentro-con-los-artistas-pedro-p%C3%A1ramo-106208 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/NMMA-Goodman_March17-panel1.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Flora Lauten y Raquel Carrío, extraordinarias innovadoras de La Habana, ponen en escena una de las obras de mayor importancia dentro del realismo mágico de la literatura latinoamericana&mdash;<em>Pedro Páramo</em>, novela de Juan Rulfo escrita en 1955. La historia cuenta de un hijo que regresa a casa a conocer a su padre y revela la manera en la que la ambición sin límites de un hombre destruyó todo lo que amaba y al igual el pueblo que le dio el triunfo.<br /><br /><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F84217143&amp;color=ff6600&amp;auto_play=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe><br /><br />En Chicago, se hará historia, con el estreno mundial de PEDRO PÁRAMO, una producción comisionada por el Goodman Theatre, y el MCA Chicago. La obra, fue desarrollada por Teatro Buendía, la compañía de teatro independiente más aclamada de Cuba, con artistas locales a través de una residencia de ocho semanas en Chicago y La Habana, Cuba.<br /><br />El elenco cubano está integrado por los actores Dania Aguerreberez, Alejandro Alfonzo, Ivanesa Cabrera, Carlos Cruz e Indira Valdéz, y el músico Jomary Hechavarra.<br /><br />Los actores de Chicago son; Charín Álvarez, Steve Casillas, Laura Crotte y Sandra Delgado.<br /><br />Como músicos participan Victor y Zacbe Pichardo, de la agrupación Sones de México.</p><p><strong id="internal-source-marker_0.11533360672183335">Esta grabación la podrán escuchar&nbsp;&nbsp;a través&nbsp;de Vocalo 90.7 FM el próximo Domingo, 24 de Marzo, a la 12&nbsp;pm, medio dia.</strong></p><div><span>La platica fue moderada por <strong>María Inés Zamudio</strong>, reportera de la publicación periodística, the Chicago Reporter, y en el panel participó, <strong>Henry Godinez</strong>, asociado de dirección artística en el Goodman Theater, la directora y fundadora del Teatro Buendía, <strong>Flora Lauten</strong>, la dramaturga <strong>Raquel Carrió</strong>, y <strong>Victor Pichardo</strong>, músico de la agrupación, Sones de Mexico.&nbsp;</span></div><p>La obra, Pedro Páramo, se estrena el 22 de Marzo, 2013. Para más informes visite <a href="http://www.goodmantheatre.org/" target="_blank">Goodmantheatre.org</a>.</p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Thu, 21 Mar 2013 12:16:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/amplified/about/encuentro-con-los-artistas-pedro-p%C3%A1ramo-106208 Artist Encounter: Robert Falls http://www.wbez.org/series/chicago-amplified/artist-encounter-robert-falls-106793 <p><p>Goodman Theatre Artist Encounters bring together audiences and the artists who create the work on our stages in an intimate environment, for a behind-the-scenes look at the plays and the playmaking process. This month, listen to an in-depth conversation between&nbsp;<em>Measure for Measure</em> Director <strong>Robert Falls </strong>and<strong>&nbsp;</strong>the<em>&nbsp;Chicago Sun-Times&#39;&nbsp;</em><strong>Neil Steinberg.</strong></p><div>Robert Falls&rsquo; daring new production of <em>Measure for Measure</em> takes us into the heart of Shakespeare&rsquo;s dark comedy, in which virtue and vice collide&mdash;and lust and the law are inextricably entwined. His city caught in a moral free-fall, the Duke of Vienna hands over power to Lord Angelo, who enforces long-dormant codes of chastity with zealous fervor. When a pious young nun pleads for the life of her condemned brother, Angelo&rsquo;s response is surprisingly sensual&mdash;revealing a web of desire, deception and hypocrisy that infects every corner of society. (Intended for mature audiences.)</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/GT-webstory_2.jpg" title="" /></div><p>Recorded live Sunday, March 17, 2013 at the Goodman Theatre.&nbsp;</p></p> Sun, 17 Mar 2013 09:45:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/series/chicago-amplified/artist-encounter-robert-falls-106793 Artist Encounter Featuring Director Evan Cabnet http://www.wbez.org/series/chicago-amplified/artist-encounter-featuring-director-evan-cabnet-105709 <p><p>Goodman Theatre Artist Encounters bring together audiences and the artists who create the work on our stages in an intimate environment, for a behind-the-scenes look at the plays and the playmaking process. Listen to this in-depth conversation with <strong>Teddy Ferrara</strong> director <strong>Evan Cabnet</strong>, moderated by Goodman Theatre, director of Casting and Producing Associate <strong>Adam Belcuore</strong> before a performance.&nbsp;</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F80417605" width="719px"></iframe></p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/GT-webstory_0.jpg" title="" /></p><div class="image-insert-image ">Recorded live Wednesday, February 6, 2013 at the Goodman Theatre.</div></p> Wed, 06 Feb 2013 17:09:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/series/chicago-amplified/artist-encounter-featuring-director-evan-cabnet-105709 Artist Encounter: Director Henry Wishcamper http://www.wbez.org/series/chicago-amplified/artist-encounter-director-henry-wishcamper-105637 <p><p>The Goodman Theatre&#39;s Artist Encounters bring together audiences and the artists who create the work on our stages in an intimate environment for a behind-the-scenes look at the plays and the playmaking process. Enjoy this in-depth conversation with <em>Other Desert Cities</em> director<strong> Henry Wishcamper</strong> which occured before the performance.</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F80114949" width="100%"></iframe></p><div>Henry Wishcamper&rsquo;s Goodman directing credits include his own adaptation of <em>Animal Crackers</em> (nominated for a Jeff award) and Horton Foote&rsquo;s <em>Talking Pictures</em>. He serves on the Lincoln Center Theater Young Angels Artists Committee and Manhattan Theatre Club&rsquo;s Young Patrons Artists Committee. Mr. Wishcamper is a Drama League directing fellow and a graduate of Yale University.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/GT-webstory.jpg" title="" /></div></div><div>Recorded live Sunday, January 20, 2013 at the Goodman Theatre&#39;s Healy Rehearsal Room</div></p> Sun, 20 Jan 2013 14:43:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/series/chicago-amplified/artist-encounter-director-henry-wishcamper-105637 Eggnog, grog and a holiday theater blog http://www.wbez.org/blogs/onstagebackstage/2012-11/eggnog-grog-and-holiday-theater-blog-103911 <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/christmas%20carol%202.jpg" style="height: 348px; width: 620px;" title="The Goodman Theatre reprises their classic production of 'A Christmas Carol' (Courtesy of the Goodman Theatre)" /></div><p><em>Jonathan writes:&nbsp;</em></p><p>I call it &quot;the sugarplums-and-treacle time of year.&quot; Kelly calls it &quot;another chance for Jonathan to spout off.&quot;</p><p>Obviously, we&#39;re talking about the same thing: that six-week hiatus &mdash; from mid-November through the New Year&mdash; during which theaters large and small abandon art in favor of Yuletide commerce, raking in dollars with a Holiday Season show.</p><p>We know they are successful because there are more and more of them every twelfth month, and they never disappear: Just like a seasonal allergy the same shows&mdash;and generally the very same productions of them &mdash; come back year after year. Some have been around for decades now. According to our careful calculations, Chicago area theaters and dance companies are offering&nbsp;<em>no fewer than 40 Holiday Season shows</em>&nbsp;in theaters throughout the city and suburbs.</p><p>The two oldest Holiday Season theater &quot;traditions&quot; are&nbsp;<strong><em>The Nutcracker</em></strong>&nbsp;ballet danced to Tchaikovsky&#39;s ever-tasty roasted chestnut of a score, and&nbsp;<strong><em>A Christmas Carol</em></strong>. Both always are available in numerous versions presented with varying degrees of opulence and fidelity to the originals.</p><p>As far back as I can remember (and that&#39;s 60 years, rounded to the nearest decade),&nbsp;<em>The Nutcracker</em>&nbsp;has been presented as a family-friendly Holiday Season special event. For eons (it seems) it was the province of the Chicago Tribune Charities in a version staged by the late Ruth Page. However, for the last 17 years&nbsp;<em>The Nutcracker</em>&nbsp;has been owned and operated (one might say) by The Joffrey Ballet in a lavish version which even curmudgeonly critics openly can enjoy (Dec. 7-27, Auditorium Theatre). The Joffrey production features live musical accompaniment by the Chicago Philharmonic Orchestra.</p><p>As for&nbsp;<em>A Christmas Carol</em>, the Mother of All Local Productions is the big one at the Goodman Theatre, now in its 35th year (through Dec. 29). The Goodman version not only is lavish but it&rsquo;s also true to the tone and spirit of Charles Dickens&#39;s 1843 novella.</p><p>Y&#39;see, Dickens didn&#39;t write&nbsp;<em>A Christmas Carol</em>&nbsp;for kids and families. His target was the adult populace who made Christmas happen, or not. It&#39;s a ghost story intended to scare the bejesus out of people or, more correctly, scare the be-Jesus back into folks at a time when Christmas, in Dickens&#39;s view, had grown crassly commercial and non-spiritual. The Goodman version is NOT suitable for very young children (say, under six or seven) because it IS scary and also because it&#39;s not short. Those who prefer a 75-minute musical reduction of the tale, suitable for wee ones, will find several of them around town.</p><p>Now that I&#39;ve gotten all of that off my chest, Ms. Kleiman and I offer some ideas of the range of Holiday Season fare available to those with varying tastes. The productions below are&nbsp;<em>far from a comprehensive list</em>. We offer merely a stuffed stocking of choices in four categories: Family-Friendly Traditional, Adult Traditional, Alternative/Weird (generally for adults) and New.</p><p><strong>Adult Traditional</strong></p><p>You don&rsquo;t have to be earnest, but these are plays about the season that will reward the un-ironic attention of grownups as well as older children.</p><p><strong><em>It&rsquo;s a Wonderful Life</em></strong>&nbsp;(x 2). After the divorce between American Theater Company and&nbsp;American Blues Theater, each got (or took) custody of this crowd-pleaser, an old-time radio script version of the famous Frank Capra film. The American Blues version is at Victory Gardens Biograph Theatre (Downtown, Nov. 23-Dec. 30). The American Theater Company&#39;s version, part of its &ldquo;Radio Rep&rdquo; (<em>The Wizard of Oz</em>&nbsp;is on deck), plays at the troupe&#39;s Northcenter location (also Nov. 23-Dec. 30) and will actually be recorded for broadcast on WBEZ. Before you take small children to either one, remember that it&rsquo;s about suicide.</p><p>The reconstituted Congo Square Theatre offers&nbsp;<strong><em>The Nativity,&nbsp;</em></strong>McKinley Johnson&rsquo;s story of the journey of Joseph and Mary, with music and lyrics by Jaret Landon. Add gospel music and modern dance and it should be a delightful evening (Kennedy-King College Theatre, Dec. 13th-23rd).</p><p>The House Theatre of Chicago, always first-rate storytellers, repeats its version of&nbsp;<strong><em>The Nutcracker</em></strong>, more closely adapted from the E.T.A. Hoffman German original about spooky magic on Christmas night (at the Chopin Theatre through Dec. 30). It has original music in it and dance, but it&#39;s NOT the traditional ballet. Not a note of Tchaikovsky to be heard. The House says it&#39;s a family show, and why not? After all, the villain is a rodent and city kids probably are used to rats.</p><p><strong>Alternative/Weird</strong></p><p>The gang at ComedySportz is offering&nbsp;<strong><em>It&#39;s a Bierberful Life</em></strong>&nbsp;(Fridays at Midnight, through Dec. 29) in which Justin is &quot;saved&quot; by an angel who looks like Robert Pattinson, and Profiles Theatre is presenting a 20th anniversary new production of Will Kern&#39;s&nbsp;<strong><em>Hellcab</em></strong>&nbsp;(Profiles mainstage through Dec. 23) in which a put-upon Chicago cabbie deals with a collection of Christmas Eve crazies, and Chemically Imbalanced Comedy stages&nbsp;<strong><em>Dirty 30&#39;s Christmas</em></strong>&nbsp;(Dec. 7-Jan.12) featuring guns, booze, dames, deadbeats, gangsters and bank robbers in Depression Era Kansas (yes, it&#39;s a comedy).</p><p>Tongue-in-cheek or outright cynical, a few alternative choices have entered the realm of Chicago holiday &quot;tradition.&quot; Consider&nbsp;<strong><em>The Santaland Diaries</em></strong>, the tart and funny reflections of David Sedaris on seasonal employment as a department store elf. It&#39;s been done by Theater Wit for eight years now (Nov. 23-Dec. 29 in its still-new Belmont Avenue digs), with Mitchell Fain once again the star. Mr. Fain has made this elf role so much his own, we hear his ears now are permanently pointed.</p><p>Also returning for its 12th year, courtesy of Hell in a Handbag Productions (Nov. 29-Dec. 30 at Mary&#39;s Attic in Andersonville), is the annually-updated&nbsp;<strong><em>Rudolph the Red-Hosed Reindeer</em></strong>, about a darling little transvestite quadruped.</p><p>One more choice is&nbsp;<strong><em>Charles Dickens Begrudgingly Performs &quot;A Christmas Carol.&quot; Again</em></strong>, which nicely straddles the line between world-weary and inspiring as Dickens himself, whom most supposed to have died in 1870, proves he is alive, if not quite well. Blake&nbsp;Montgomery is as cranky as one could wish as he essays the 200-year-old Dickens,&nbsp;reduced to a one-trick pony, at the Building Stage (Nov. 29-Dec. 24 at the Building Stage in the Randolph Market area).</p><p><strong>Family-Friendly Traditional</strong></p><p>We&rsquo;ve already noted the Goodman Theatre production of&nbsp;<strong><em>A Christmas Carol</em></strong>, but at least two other takes on the tale are catering to suburban family audiences: the&nbsp;Drury Lane Theatre Oakbrook Terrace presents daily matinees of an hour-long musical version clearly intended for children (Nov. 23-Dec. 22), and Piccolo Theatre in Evanston adapts the tale as an English-style Xmas panto under the title&nbsp;<strong><em>Bah, Humbug!&nbsp;</em></strong>(Evanston Arts Depot, through Dec. 22).</p><p><strong><em>The Christmas Schooner</em></strong>, long a local holiday tradition, now is in the second year of a new production at a different theater, the Mercury Theater (Nov. 23-Dec. 30). This original, lyrical musical by John Reeger and the late Julie Shannon is a fact-based, Chicago-specific musical about the sailing ship that brought Christmas trees to Chicago from Michigan every year&ndash;until one year it didn&rsquo;t.&nbsp; In fact, this is the 100th anniversary of the wreck of the &quot;Rouse Simmons,&quot; the actual Xmas tree ship.</p><p>Now in its spiffy new home in Uptown, the Black Ensemble Theatre remounts its Christmas show of many years,&nbsp;<strong><em>The Other Cinderella</em></strong>, a take on the fairy tale so vibrant and&nbsp;sweet and wonderfully sung that you&rsquo;ll almost forget it&rsquo;s not actually a Christmas story.</p><p><strong><em>The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey</em></strong>, an original adaptation of an award-winning children&#39;s book, is back for a second year at Provision Theater, a troupe dedicated to&nbsp;advancing Christian values. The tale of a boy and a grumpy woodcarver who bond in the spirit of the season is presented at the Chernin Arts Center (Nov. 21-Dec. 23) near UIC.</p><p><strong>New</strong></p><p>Trying to find a new Holiday Season show actually is difficult, although the earnest but light-hearted&nbsp;<strong><em>Hannukatz the Musical</em></strong>&nbsp;comes close as it&#39;s only in its second year. National Pastime Theater (in the Preston Bradley Center in Uptown) presents this brief easy-rock exploration of the Jewish Feast of Lights, suitable for the family (Nov. 29-Dec. 30).</p><p>For really new, however, consider&nbsp;<strong><em>The Gifts of the Magi</em></strong>&nbsp;at Porchlight Music Theatre (through Dec. 23), the Chicago premiere of an 85-minute musical by Mark St. Germain and Randy Courts that combines two classic O&#39;Henry short stories, the familiar tale of impoverished newlyweds Jim and Della, and the story of street bum Soapy Smith who wants only cozy jail cell for Xmas. Sounds like another Holiday Season &quot;tradition&quot; in the making.</p><p>Also, there&#39;s the multi-cultural, all-inclusive&nbsp;<strong><em>It&#39;s a Wonderful Santa Land Miracle Nut-Cracking Christmas Story . . . Jews Welcome</em></strong>&nbsp;at Stage 773 (through Dec. 30), promising singing, dancing, stories, audience-interactive games and &quot;non-holiday specific eggnog.&quot; They say it&#39;s an all-holiday show for all ages.</p><p>Finally, The Agency Collective offers&nbsp;<strong><em>Out of Tune Confessional</em></strong>, a new musical &ldquo;holiday show for the holiday wary,&quot; at the Underground Wonder Bar (Nov. 23-Dec. 15). The holidays somehow bring together a trio of musicians whose between-song patter reveals more angst than the torchiest torch song.&nbsp;</p><p><em>Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly listed the venue for the American Blues Theatre production of </em>It&#39;s a Wonderful Life.&nbsp;</p></p> Mon, 19 Nov 2012 09:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/onstagebackstage/2012-11/eggnog-grog-and-holiday-theater-blog-103911 Daily Rehearsal: Goodman Theatre adds new members to Playwrights Unit http://www.wbez.org/blogs/onstagebackstage/2012-10/daily-rehearsal-goodman-theatre-adds-new-members-playwrights-unit <p><p><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, serif; "><strong>-&nbsp;The<a href="http://www.thedentheatre.com/"> Den Theatre</a>&#39;s first full season</strong></span></span> launches October 26 with <em>The Quality of Life</em>. Usually a place for other companies to put up their work, Lia D. Mortensen directs this production about politics and marriage.</p><p><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, serif; "><strong>- Steppenwolf&#39;s&nbsp;<a href="http://virginiawoolfonbroadway.com"><em>Who&rsquo;s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? </em></a></strong></span></span>opens on Broadway this weekend (&quot;50 years to the day after the original Broadway production&quot;) with cast members Amy Morton and Tracy Letts in the roles of Martha and George, respectively.&nbsp;</p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/playwrights%20unit.jpg" style="float: left; height: 152px; width: 300px; " title="" /><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, serif; "><strong>- The Goodman Theatre</strong></span></span> has announced the new additions<a href="http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-10-12/daily-rehearsal-playwright-unit-participants-announced-93089"> to their Playwrights Unit</a>; they&#39;re Greg Allen, who founded The Neo-Futurists; Alice Austen, who is also a resident playwright at Chicago Dramatists; Ike Holter, one of the founders of The Inconvenience and the mind behind Hit the Wall; and Christopher Oscar&nbsp;Peña, the writer of&nbsp;<em>however long the night. </em>Get even more information on these folks <a href="https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10151044839136237.423123.43695791236&amp;type=1">here</a>.</p><p><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, serif; "><strong>- <a href="http://www.chicagobusiness.com/article/20121009/BLOGS06/121009792/a-purse-that-recharges-your-phone-an-online-handmade-furniture-gallery-and-more#ixzz28uKJcVqV">Crain&#39;s reports</a> that the Comedy Bar Chicago</strong></span></span> is relaunching with Jim Belushi this month and expanding their performances; they&#39;re having a gala celebration the weekend of October 18.</p><p>Questions? Tips? Email <a href="mailto:kdries@wbez.org">kdries@wbez.org</a>.</p></p> Wed, 10 Oct 2012 13:23:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/onstagebackstage/2012-10/daily-rehearsal-goodman-theatre-adds-new-members-playwrights-unit Daily Rehearsal: Goodman Theatre expands Latino Theatre Festival http://www.wbez.org/blogs/onstagebackstage/2012-09/daily-rehearsal-goodman-theatre-expands-latino-theatre-festival <p><p><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, serif; "><strong>-&nbsp;In 2013, the Goodman Theatre&#39;s <a href="http://GoodmanTheatre.org/LatinoTheatreFes">Latino Theatre Festival</a></strong></span></span> will now be in the Spring and for several months, from March 22 to June 30. The productions included in the line-up are&nbsp;<em>Pedro Páramo</em>&nbsp;from&nbsp;Teatro Buendía of Cuba,&nbsp;<em>The Happiest Song Plays Last</em> by&nbsp;Quiara Alegría Hudes and&nbsp;<em>Home/Land</em>&nbsp;from Albany Park Theater Project. Of the latter, <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2012-02-02/dont-miss-list-bonedanse-girl-yellow-dress-and-garage-rep-96030">Kelly Kleiman wrote</a> &quot;I especially liked the game show&nbsp;<em>Who wants to be an American?</em>&quot; when it was up in February.</p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/judy%20tenuta.jpg" style="height: 375px; width: 300px; float: left; " title="Comedian Judy Tenuta." /><span style="font-family:georgia,serif;"><span style="font-size: 14px; "><strong>-&nbsp;Comedian Judy Tenuta</strong></span></span> is performing FREE gay marriages at the <a href="http://LaughFactory.com">Laugh Factory</a> Thursday night through Saturday during her 8 pm show.&nbsp;The show is $29 at the door which makes this the STEAL OF A LIFETIME. (&quot;There is a two drink minimum.&quot;)</p><p><span style="font-family:georgia,serif;"><span style="font-size: 14px; "><strong>- The <a href="http://www.auditoriumtheatre.org/wb/pages/home/performances-events/performances.php?event_id=413">Auditorium Theatre is having a Devil&#39;s Ball</a></strong></span></span> where you can get backstage tours of the very beautiful Auditorium Theatre. It&#39;s Friday September 28 at 7:30 pm and its $65 ($75 after September 13 and<strong> $85 </strong>at the door -- by then it will be cash only). There will also be snacks and &nbsp;DJ.</p><p>Questions? Tips? Email <a href="mailto:kdries@wbez.org">kdries@wbez.org</a>.</p></p> Wed, 05 Sep 2012 15:01:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/onstagebackstage/2012-09/daily-rehearsal-goodman-theatre-expands-latino-theatre-festival