WBEZ | The Moth http://www.wbez.org/tags/moth Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en The Moth joins WBEZ weekend schedule http://www.wbez.org/moth-joins-wbez-weekend-schedule-104616 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/mothradiohr-web.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Starting Saturday January 5, WBEZ 91.5 will make a schedule adjustment.&nbsp; We are excited to announce <em>The Moth Radio Hour</em> will begin airing weekly on WBEZ.</p><p>In our search for programming that fulfills the mission of Chicago Public Media we believe that the personal stories of <em>The Moth Radio Hour</em> deliver&nbsp;a diverse expression of viewpoints and experience that, when shared; create connections between storyteller and audience that are unmatched in other formats.</p><p>For those not familiar with <em>The Moth Radio Hour</em>, <em>The Moth</em> is storytelling at its stripped down best. Each show is built around an individual theme in which storytellers explore and interpret though the lens of their human experience. <em>The Moth</em> describes itself as &ldquo;a dance between documentary and theater, creating a unique, intimate, and often enlightening experience for the audience.&rdquo;</p><p><em><a href="http://www.prx.org/themoth" target="_blank">The Moth Radio Hour</a>&nbsp;</em>is produced by Jay Allison, <em>The Moth</em>, Atlantic Public Media, and presented by PRX.&nbsp;</p><p><em>The Moth Radio Hour</em> will air on Saturdays at 2 p .m. following <em>Re:Sound</em>.</p><p>More information about <em>The Moth Radio Hour</em> and <em>The Moth</em> storytelling events, in Chicago and across the country, can be found at <a href="http://www.themoth.org/" target="_blank">themoth.org</a>.</p><p>To accommodate this change <em>Day 6</em> will move from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday as a new lead in to <em>Weekend All Things Considered</em>. <em>On The Media</em>, which is currently heard at 3 p.m. Saturday and 12 p.m. Sunday will continue to air at 12 p.m. on Sunday.</p><p>Here is a short list of the moves being made to accommodate <em>The Moth Radio Hour</em>:</p><p><strong>ADDED</strong></p><p><em>The Moth Radio Hour</em> will air Saturdays at 2 p.m.</p><p><strong>MOVED</strong><br /><em>Day 6</em> will move to Saturdays at 3 p.m.<br /><em>On The Media</em>&rsquo;s Saturday broadcast is being removed but the rebroadcast on Sundays at noon will remain.</p><p>We would love to know what you think about <em>The Moth Radio Hour</em>. Please send an email with your comments to <a href="http://mailto:Questions@wbez.org" target="_blank">Questions@wbez.org</a>.</p><p>As always, thanks for listening!</p></p> Sat, 29 Dec 2012 10:57:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/moth-joins-wbez-weekend-schedule-104616 The Moth GrandSLAM winner Stephanie Douglass breaks the new SimCity game down http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2012-03-24/moth-grandslam-winner-stephanie-douglass-breaks-new-simcity-game-do <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//blog/photo/2012-March/2012-03-21/SimCity_3000.jpeg" alt="" /><p><p><img alt="" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2012-March/2012-03-21/SimCity_3000.jpeg" style="margin-right: 10px; margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px; float: left; width: 300px; height: 300px; " title="">Last week, Stephanie Douglass rocked the <a href="http://www.facebook.com/events/300234746695910/">Peter Sagal-hosted The Moth GrandSLAM</a>. She followed up that win with thoughts about the fifth installment of the SimCity computer game, to be released in 2013. The game will reportedly be notable because it will be the first that allows multiple players playing together (online), and will include an environmental theme.</p><p>Douglass -- an apparent fan of the Sim universe -- has a few strong feelings on these changes. Read an excerpt or listen below:</p><p><em>"In this month of record-breaking temperatures, and news that the Swiffer Wet Jet may&nbsp;exacerbate&nbsp;asthma and disrupt hormones, it's good to know that there's a place we can go where none of our actions have any real consequences. An ultimate judgment-free zone. A place where everybody knows your name, because they're programmed to. A place, like SimCity.</em></p><p><em>You know this place. You were sent here by your non-existent softball ability and&nbsp;fluorescent&nbsp;plaid skids in the 5th grade. And a part of you never left because you, the kid who couldn't get Chrissy Werner to pass you an English ditto even though you had grown up across the street from her, you could be the mayor of this town. You could build empires, sensible small town and medium-sized empires, where everything you did mattered, but only within the cuddly ombre boundaries that really didn't matter at all.</em></p><p><em>And that was safe. Because every time you tried something in your non-Sim City, it failed. You sucked at smiling, at cigarettes, at not eating tear-drenched baloney sandwiches alone in the teacher's lounge. But the Sims, they could love you for who you really were, because of course, they cannot love.</em></p><p><em>Maybe it was 1989's </em>SimCity<em>, or 1993's </em>SimCity 2000<em> or 1999's </em>SimCity 3000<em>. Or, if your compulsive escape from any meaningful interaction with your age-assigned peers continued and was more recent, 2003's </em>SimCity 4 <em>or 2007's fraternal twins, </em>SimCity DS <em>and </em>SimCity Societies.</p><p><em>Maybe you even scoffed at the egg-baby assignment in sociology because you had been keeping a family alive for years since 2000's </em>The Sims<em>."</em></p><p><span class="filefield_audio_insert_player" href="/sites/default/files/stephanie douglass.mp3" id="filefield_audio_insert_player-128204" player="null">stephanie douglass.mp3</span></p><p><a href="http://thepapermacheteshow.com/" target="_blank">The Paper Machete</a><em>&nbsp;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&nbsp;</em>The Paper Machete Radio Magazine<em>&nbsp;needs filled&nbsp;<a href="http://wbez.org/thepapermachete" 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> Sat, 24 Mar 2012 13:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2012-03-24/moth-grandslam-winner-stephanie-douglass-breaks-new-simcity-game-do Chicago's new salon culture http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2012-01-23/chicagos-new-salon-culture-95746 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//segment/photo/2012-January/2012-01-23/3547401942_f54f39704f_b.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Regular WBEZ listeners may have heard about <em><a href="http://themoth.org/events" target="_blank">The Moth</a></em><em>: </em>It's not only on the air but has also become a live event where folks get together and share stories on stage, and is hosted by several WBEZ staff members, like Brian Babylon of Vocalo's <em>The Morning AMp</em> and Events Coordinator Don Hall.</p><p>But <em>The Moth</em>'s not the only game in town--there are other, similar events in Chicago that involve not only readings but theater, music and sometimes, the genres are juxtaposed, and have been been called the "<a href="http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-08-30/salonatopia-look-salon-renaissance-sweeping-chicago-91203">new salon culture</a>" here at WBEZ. <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blog/claire-zulkey/2011-10-24/abraham-levitan-funny-ha-ha-talkin-about-good-wet-dumpling-93391">WBEZ blogger and host of <em>Funny Ha-Ha</em> Claire Zulkey</a>&nbsp;joined host of <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2012-01-20/dyan-flores-breaks-down-myth-behind-meat-filled-midwest-95678"><em>The Paper Machete</em></a> (which <a href="http://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-paper-machete-radio-magazine/id450280345">WBEZ also podcasts</a>) Christopher Piatt, as well as Brian Babylon and&nbsp;Robert Valadez, a Pilsen gallery owner, to talk about this resurgence. Below is are some highlights of their thoughts.</p><p><em>On the resurgence of salon culture in Chicago:</em></p><p><strong>Piatt:</strong> There is a history in Chicago of sort of, you know, pointy-headed intellectual types that are kind of mouthy, getting together in a bar, in an environment where there are readings….It was also very big in the 90s; you know, Laura Links, Milly’s Orchid Show,&nbsp; David Sedaris and writers like that, came out of a reading tradition that was sort of mixed up with some first person reporting, some essays, some stand-up, some slam poetry.</p><p><em>On the importance of humor in these salons:</em></p><p><strong>Zulkey:</strong> When I started <em>Funny Ha-Ha</em>, I wanted to showcase the funnier parts of Chicago literature. Whenever I would go to a reading, there’d be two funny readers and three serious ones, and I’d always think ‘I want more of the funny’, just because I didn’t want reading series' to be so serious.</p><p><strong>Zulkey:</strong> I prefer, if we’re having a stand-up comedian, I will ask them maybe to do something that’s more like a one-man show or a reading, as opposed to doing like five minutes of stand-up, just because I want them to stretch their definition of what they do a tiny bit. I still want them to do what they do, but it’s not a stand-up show. It’s not Zanies. It’s <em>Funny Ha-Ha</em>.</p><p><em>Who attends the salons, and whether it matters where they are:</em></p><p><strong>Piatt:</strong> They’re very populist.</p><p><strong>Zulkey:</strong> I think we always want to get more people in, but it’s also sort of a recurring cast of characters. I’ve borrowed readers from<em> Paper Machete</em>; I know Christopher has seen friends of mine at <em>Funny Ha-Ha</em>.</p><p><strong>Piatt:</strong> Yeah, we poach each other’s talent. There’s like a Greek mythological level of incest among the series around town…you see the same faces at a lot of these events.</p><p><em>Where are salons in Chicago? Are they just on the North Side, with a primarily White audience? Is there a difference depending on location?</em></p><p><strong>Babylon:</strong> How to get people out on the South Side is different than the North Side, proximity of the locations, the bars, the South Side is more spread out, so it’s harder to go out.</p><p><strong>Valadez:</strong> What we’re doing in my gallery and studio is we’re providing an open door and an opportunity for people to express themselves in various ways.</p><p><strong>Zulkey:</strong> I’m always open to changing venues if they’re available, but the Hideout is our home and we have a soft spot in our heart there.</p><p><strong>Babylon:</strong> When <em>The Moth</em> actually went outside of Martyrs', and they called me and they said ‘We want to do an event on the South Side’ I was like ‘Uhhh.’ I mean, at first. It was going to be kind of tough, I felt, to get people out. But they moved it to the sort of south loop side, west area, and it’s been a pretty good crowd…So if you build it, as they say in New York City, The Moth folk, that is, they will come.&nbsp;</p><p><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/segment/insert-image/2012-January/2012-01-23/photo.JPG" style="width: 600px; height: 448px;" title="Through the looking glass -- Christopher Piatt and Claire Zulkey join Tony Sarabia to discuss salon culture."></p></p> Mon, 23 Jan 2012 15:37:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2012-01-23/chicagos-new-salon-culture-95746 SALONatopia: A discussion about the salon renaissance sweeping Chicago http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-08-30/salonatopia-look-salon-renaissance-sweeping-chicago-91203 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//blog/photo/2011-August/2011-08-29/tn-500_julia-jenniferbaker.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Ever since I saw <em>Midnight in Paris</em>, I can't get Gertrude Stein out of my head: She was the queen of the salon scene that made and broke some of the 20th century’s greatest artistic talents. But I’m not sure Gertrude would be proud of or feel connected to Chicago's current crop of&nbsp; salons. They run the gamet from glorified cabaret to a bunch of authors sitting around and reading stuff and they seem to be gaining more and more traction. (See <a href="http://timeoutchicago.com/arts-culture/theater/14899103/salonathon-and-other-bar-based-performance-samplers">this recent piece in <em>TimeOut</em></a> for a few of the newest examples.)</p><p>Christopher Shea has written for the aforementioned <em>TimeOut</em>, as well as for Steppenwolf, and is a script reader for the Goodman Theater. We decided to take a look at the city's salon spectrum and parse what they might mean for Chicago culture.</p><p><strong>WBEZ: </strong>This year, it seems everywhere I go I step on a salon espousing the endless brilliance of "culture," running its mouth on pop culture, high culture, low culture, performance culture, etc. So Christopher, tell us a little bit about the two salons we've specifically chosen to examine as examples of this new movement.</p><p><strong>SHEA: </strong>We spent a few lovely evenings together at Beauty Bar for&nbsp;<a href="https://www.facebook.com/Salonathon"><em>Salonathon </em></a>and at<em> <a href="http://castpartynyc.com/">Cast Party</a></em>, the New York-based cabaret which seems to be aiming to be a recurring presence at the Mayne Stage in Rogers Park. But there’s also <a href="http://thepapermacheteshow.com/"><em>The Paper Machete</em></a>, which, for full disclosure, I've performed in. [<em>WBEZ: And which I am <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-07-13/introducing-paper-machete-radio-magazine-89106">clearly connected to</a></em>.] There's also <a href="http://www.theplagiarists.org/">the Plagiarists</a>' salon, a monthly gathering where theater groups host an evening of their own work. Then there’s some different but maybe like-minded outlets like <a href="http://writeclubrules.com/"><em>Write Club</em> </a>and <a href="http://themoth.org/events"><em>The Moth</em></a>.</p><p>It's interesting that we both had the impulse to group these as salons. They do (mostly) share a common format: a series of 5-minute-long performances, held in bar-ish locales. And they're often forums where emerging artists can perform snippets of their work in front of people, or established performers can branch out a bit from their standard repertoire (a combination I've noticed across the board).</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-August/2011-08-29/tn-500_julia-jenniferbaker.jpg" title="Billy Stritch, Jim Caruso and performers Julia and Jennifer Baker at 'Cast Party' in Chicago (Photo by Steve Handwerker)" width="600" height="398"></p><p>But I feel like their goals are also surprisingly diverse -- something that really struck me when we saw <em>Cast Party</em>. In some cases (<em>Salonathon</em>, for example), the goal is more, like, Mlle. Lespinasse 18th-century Paris salon. The lineups -- a playwright reading from an old journal, Dean Evans performing dressed as some sort of donut figure -- are usually either laugh-out-loud funny, or sort of intellectual, bent towards achieving an “a-ha” moment. Emotionally wrenching moments -- like the moment when I fell in love with one of the actors in <em>Salonathon </em>-- are mostly accidental. I sort of expected something similar from <em>Cast Party</em>, albeit in a setting that harkened back to whiskey-swirling 1950s Manhattan (or, you know, whiskey-swirling 1950s Hoboken). But the lineup there was almost all numbers from great musicals sung by local performers (who ranged from middle school students to Jeff Award winners), and it felt eventually like the goal was to elicit an endless stream of emotional peaks and troughs. It was like a dozen tearjerker musical moments crammed into one short evening, strung together by jokes from our very shticky host. So is <em>Cast Party</em> just the outlier, as it's a bit more of a “cabaret”? Does every other salon aim for some more balanced blend of the funny and the intellectual? Or does each of these salons aim for something entirely different from the others?</p><p><strong>WBEZ: </strong>It could be argued that it's unfair to compare <em>Cast Party</em> to something like <em>Salonathon</em>, or even <em>The Paper Machete</em>. Musical theater is, even at it's best, going to be just so campy, no matter what you do. But the participants of <em>Cast Party</em> like it that way. The best description of it is a open mic for musical theater dorks -- but that doesn't make it less of a salon, in my opinion. I think these different shows can be compared because they’re all so thoroughly shaped by their organizers. Jim Caruso's <em>Cast Party</em> is just that -- it's Jim Caruso's. He's hosted his New York show for seven years at Birdland, and has featured "real" stars like Matthew Morrison (now known more for <em>Glee</em> than his storied Broadway career), Liza Minnelli and Alan Cumming. When the show first came to Chicago in April, <a href="http://chitheatreaddict.com/2011/04/11/a-packed-jim-carusos-cast-party-gives-chicago-performers-a-chance-to-show-their-stuff/">critic Bob Bullen wrote</a> that he was disappointed that Caruso had "no clue who some of Chicago's well-known musical theatre talents are," and that he hoped as the show returned, Caruso would become more acquainted with the scene here. Refresh my memory Christopher, but I'm not quite sure that happened this time around.</p><p>Or take the special edition of <em>Salonathon</em> we saw a few weeks back. It featured films from the Chicago Underground Film Festival, which one wouldn't necessarily put in the "salon" category (after all, the people performing weren’t doing so live). But I feel like it still rocked that format because of how outspokenly the hosts defined their interest in the pieces, and how invested they were in the vision. But when does this vision become derailed into something else? Are popular programs like <em>The Moth Storyslam</em> salons, too?</p><p>Maybe they are, if only because they all have this insider feel. "Insider," in that the people at each one do seem to just be a bunch of friends, hanging out, getting each others' jokes. Perhaps this thing we’re debating semi-seriously is just a bunch of glorified friend groups.</p><p><strong>SHEA: </strong>That's an interesting point about the forceful curatorial hand you see across these salons. I know that <em>Salonathon </em>has already had at least three curators (two "in-house," plus our Film Fest hosts), while the Plagiarists rotate performer-curators every salon. It’s a welcome way to protect against the “public party” factor, which is a slippery slope indeed. The trouble is that you (or at least I) want to go to something that’s informal, fun -- like a party that happens to have the most sterling, most articulate guests around. But there's nothing quite as unpleasant as showing up at a public forum and realizing you've stumbled into someone's best friend circle -- a risk a curator runs if the mood gets too lax. That happened to me once in high school. I went off to some ostensibly public cabaret, and ended up witnessing a sort of lackluster re-hashing of <em>Avenue Q</em> from mediocre puppeteers who laughed blowhardedly at their own in-jokes.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-August/2011-08-29/288895_229480960429228_214620925248565_658322_6531905_o.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 405px;" title="Les Enfants Terribles at Salonathon"></p><p>I'd say that across the board the salons that are most enjoyable are those that have cornered their niche. <em>Salonathon</em>, for example, has-- in just a few weeks-- come to signify something in my mind: I’ve gone for the fly honeys and open bar; I’ve stayed for the talented young theater practitioners doing something a bit off-the-cuff. And <em>Cast Party</em>, too: bless it. If you're looking for showstoppers made famous by Bernadette Peters, there is probably no better place to find them.</p><p>I feel that another thing that binds these together is the air of subversiveness. It might be my imagination. But all of these salons feel kind of speakeasy-ish, while also evoking <em>Cabaret </em>in some half-kidding, non-political way. Maybe it's because the hosts revel in a highbrow/lowbrow thing: "Here you'll see those glittery starlets and politicos talking the smack they can't say in the <em>Tribune</em>." And a lot of the pleasure comes from seeing a relative square perform next to some outrageous queer dance troupe.</p><p><strong>WBEZ: </strong>Gee whiz, I agree with just about everything you say here. And I love that you've pointed out the speakeasy vibe they all have -- some more than others, of course -- because it seems like an important part of how those who attend salons, and those who organize them, view themselves.</p><p>But I still wonder if the difference between these salons is simply age. Not the age of how long a given one has been doing it's thing, but the age of the given participants and organizers. Salons at large seem like a young thing. Were they always that way? Not really -- but maybe I just think of Gertrude Stein as permanently ancient and wise.</p><p>Along this note, they might just be a way to keep your college-age desire for learning-while-drinking in check. You know, grab a drink, talk about some "stuff" and then just hit the road. As much as I admittedly enjoy them, are they really teaching you anything profound? (And "does it even matter?" is a whole other question). We may exalt the salons of the past for bringing together some of our favorite artists, but as we weren't there, it could have just been an excuse to hang out and talk shop.&nbsp;</p><p><strong>SHEA: </strong>I’m pretty sure that Ben Franklin was all over the salon scene in his day. So, take that for what you will.</p><p>That said, I <em>completely </em>agree with you that this is largely a young people’s forum.</p><p>And a happy one at that. The salons I’ve been to in the past year have for the most part been such a welcome way to casually see a whole slew of new work that I wouldn’t have sought out on my own. Maybe even better, I feel like they showcase a range of odd talents that don’t have an outlet anywhere else. I was just at the Plagiarists’ salon and I heard a friend make a strange, seductive sheep-bleating noise, and I thought, “well thank heavens this is happening.” Because even in storefront shows, there’s not always a place for you to voice that kind of talent. That special kind of sheep-bleating talent.</p></p> Tue, 30 Aug 2011 14:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-08-30/salonatopia-look-salon-renaissance-sweeping-chicago-91203 Daily Rehearsal: 'en route' extended, selling out along the way http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-08-12/daily-rehearsal-en-route-extended-selling-out-along-way-90546 <p><p><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family:georgia,serif;"><strong>1. Unfortunately, our deep look into the world of Britney Spears</strong></span></span> this week apparently wasn't. Deep, that is. According to<a href="http://www.chicagoreader.com/Bleader/archives/2011/08/12/britney-spears-and-the-search-for-meaning"> Sam Worley of the Reader</a>, "The first hour-plus of the event was characterized by a rambling reading of Spears’s bio, some technical difficulties, irritating interjections from the crowd...and at least one misplaced 'virgin/whore' reference."</p><p><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family:georgia,serif;"><strong>2. There's a <a href="http://findlocal.chicagotribune.com/listings/the-moth-standing-up-chicago">special performance of The Moth</a></strong></span></span> tonight at the Chicago History Museum. It's "a night of storytelling inspirited by the film <em>The Help</em> [that]<em>&nbsp;</em>features local high school students trained by The Moth's team."</p><p><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family:georgia,serif;"><strong>3. <em>en route</em> extended its run</strong></span></span> and <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/krisvire/status/102038086367719425">sold out tickets today in 45 minutes</a>, though it had opened yesterday for those on the waitlist. That's speedy man. The show will be extended through September 17. Why the hustle? Remember, the show has a very small list of people who can see it at a time, because of <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-07-07/critics-theater-picks-78-712-88822">its unusual format</a>.&nbsp;</p><p><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family:georgia,serif;"><strong>4. <a href="http://chicagoplays.com/">Chicago Plays</a> is having <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/LoCTindustry/status/102102202025394177">an open house today</a></strong></span></span> (right now?) at the League of Chicago Theatres. I really wish I had more information about this, but I don't.&nbsp;</p><p><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family:georgia,serif;"><strong>5. The beginning of September won't be too bad</strong></span></span>; the <a href="http://chicagofringe.org/pilsen2011_shows_name.php">Chicago Fringe Festival</a> has announced their line-up, with plays titled things like <em>Mama Juggs</em>, <em>Miss Fortune</em>, <em>Nearly Naked</em> and <em>Seeing Red</em>. Maybe they all are in this together with the names that sound like other things? The festival runs from September 1 to 11. And remember <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blogs/onstagebackstage/2011-08-08/daily-rehearsal-tim-j-macmillan-bikes-theater-90252">Tim MacMillan</a>? He'll be there with his play.</p><p>Questions? Tips? Email <a href="mailto:kdries@wbez.org">kdries@wbez.org</a>.</p></p> Fri, 12 Aug 2011 20:08:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-08-12/daily-rehearsal-en-route-extended-selling-out-along-way-90546 Daily Rehearsal: Trib redesigns their theater section http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-07-07/daily-rehearsal-trib-redesigns-their-theater-section-88824 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//blog/photo/2011-July/2011-07-07/theaterloop.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><span style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;"><strong>1. The <a href="http://www.neofuturists.org/">Neo-Futurists</a> have announced their 23rd season</strong></span></span>. They'll be running&nbsp;<i>Chalk and Saltwater: The Ladder Project</i>&nbsp;by&nbsp;John Pierson,&nbsp;<i>Burning Bluebeard</i>&nbsp;by&nbsp;Jay Torrence, and&nbsp;<i>The Strange and Terrible True Story of Pinocchio (the wooden boy) as Told by Frankenstein's Monster (the wretched creature)</i>&nbsp;by&nbsp;Greg Allen. The most promising looks to be <em>Chalk and Saltwater</em>, which "dissects the failure of Edgar Davis’ 1926 Broadway production of <em>The Ladder</em>, the longest running flop in American theatre history."&nbsp; It all starts in September, and of course, <em>Too Much Light</em> is still running, forever and a day.</p><p><img alt="" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-July/2011-07-07/Hamlet.jpg" style="width: 300px; height: 201px; margin: 10px; float: left;" title=""><span style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;"><strong>2. <a href="http://www.oracletheatre.org/Hamlet_free.htm"><em>Hamlet </em></a>opened at the Oracle last night</strong></span></span>, and features a motley crew of actors, some of whom have performed at Shakespeare in the Park, and others of whom have just graduated college. Can YOU tell who's who? (Well maybe, but only by age.)</p><p><span style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;"><strong>3. <em>Here's the Story</em>,<a href="http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-06-29/daily-rehearsal-start-planning-your-4th-july-88498"> The Moth</a>-with-food show</strong></span></span> where people tell stories, <a href="http://heresthestory.org/2011/06/july-6ths-show-featuring/">was last night</a>, and is every first Wednesday of the month at Theater Wit. This months performance included Susan Messing, who remarked on how rare it was for her to be telling a <em>true </em>story (<a href="http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-06-22/daily-rehearsal-chicago-theater-622-88196"><em>Messing With a Friend</em></a> is not so autobiographical), and she jokingly passed out non-disclosure agreements to those present.</p><p><span style="font-size: 14px;"><strong><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;">4. Meghan Beals McCarthy was chosen out of a nationwide search</span></strong></span> as the Chicago Dramatists new Associate Artistic Director. Her position was originally created via a grant, and because that money is ending, McCarthy will also be part-time Director of Youth and Community Programming.&nbsp;</p><p>5.&nbsp;<span style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;"><strong>The Trib has redesigned their Theater section</strong></span></span>, dubbed "<a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/entertainment/theater/theaterloop/" style="color: rgb(2, 122, 198); text-decoration: none;">The Theater Loop</a>." You'll get: "News. Criticism. Commentary. The shows not to be missed — and the showso avoid at all costs." It looks like its all part of the Trib's new redesign&nbsp;that&nbsp;<a href="http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2011-06-16/news/chi-reaction-to-the-chicago-tribune-redesign-20110616_1_gerould-w-kern-readers-special-report" style="color: rgb(2, 122, 198); text-decoration: none;">launched a few weeks ago</a>.</p><p><span style="font-family: 'Arial','sans-serif';"><o:p></o:p></span></p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-July/2011-07-07/theaterloop.jpg" style="border-style: none; width: 500px; height: 267px; margin: 10px;" title=""></p><p>Questions? Tips? Email <a href="http://kdries@wbez.org">kdries@wbez.org</a>.</p></p> Thu, 07 Jul 2011 14:09:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-07-07/daily-rehearsal-trib-redesigns-their-theater-section-88824 Daily Rehearsal: start planning your 4th of July http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-06-29/daily-rehearsal-start-planning-your-4th-july-88498 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//blog/photo/2011-May/2011-05-05/323.th_.th_.op_.WillEnoNEW2.jpg" alt="" /><p><p> <style type="text/css"> p { font-size:10pt} #s1 {font-size:13pt; color:#494646; font-family:georgia}</style> </p><p><span id="s1"><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-May/2011-05-05/323.th_.th_.op_.WillEnoNEW2.jpg" style="width: 400px; height: 268px; margin: 10px; float: left;" title="Will Eno doesn't look too worried about 'Middletown' reviews">1. The comment police is reporting for duty: <a href="http://leisureblogs.chicagotribune.com/the_theater_loop/2011/06/middletown-at-steppenwolf-theatre-small-town-battles-of-life-death-and-the-trickier-stuff-in-between.html">Chris Jones' <em>Middletown </em>review</a></span> is blowing up, and it's all due to one particular commentor by the name of&nbsp;Mister Middle Town. He's written a comment the length of a review of his own where he calls out Jones' rave: "All I can say is, if you want to twist yourself into imagining profundity in this drivel, well, rather than criticize you, I'll just say that I'm awe0struck [sic] by your power of imagination." Let the debate begin on who said commenter is; a pleb, or a disgruntled theater rockstar?</p><p>But not before Mister Middle Town leaves us with this: "Basically, what we have here is Reality Show theatre-for-the-bland (which is to say Un-reality Show theatre), all cautiously dunked in lukewarm water for folks who need to keep their blood pressures monitored. If memory serves, I think there were even nurses in the aisles to ensure that all the patrons were perfectly comfortable with this theatrical pillow." <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-05-05/morning-rehearsal-chicago-theater-55-86108">Will Eno's <em>Middletown </em></a>opened at Steppenwolf two weekends ago.</p><p><img alt="" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/sites/default/files/RBT-webstory.jpg" style="width: 300px; height: 150px; margin: 10px; float: right;" title=""><span id="s1">2. <a href="http://www.remybumppo.org/artistic-director-transition-pages-345.php">Remy Bumppo has announced</a> that founding Artistic Director James Bohnen</span> is finally stepping down, after <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blog/city-room-blog/about-damn-time-loop-theater-hires-african-american-artistic-director">announcing his intentions</a> to do so in January of 2009. He will be replaced by Timothy Douglas, who starts July 1, and who will oversee the 2011-12 season theme of "<a href="http://www.remybumppo.org/shows-pages-17.php">The American Evolution</a>". When he leaves, Bohnen will have directed 30 of the companies 38 mainstage productions.&nbsp;</p><p><span id="s1">3. Speaking of Remy Bumppo; they'll be helping you celebrate July 4th</span> in style, with a <a href="http://grantparkmusicfestival.com/2011-season/independence-celebbration">musical and theatrical production</a> that will include&nbsp;"over 100 theater and cultural leaders" reading the Declaration of Independence. It's at 5:30 on the Sunday afternoon in Millenium Park, so go get your history on.</p><p><span id="s1">4.&nbsp;<a href="http://themoth.org/" style="color: rgb(2, 122, 198); text-decoration: none;">The Moth</a>&nbsp;StorySlam last night was won by Eric Budzynski,</span> an organist who wore a&nbsp;<em>Chorus Line</em>&nbsp;t-shirt and whose story was largely about his last name.</p><p><span id="s1">5. And the love for <em>Chinglish </em>keeps coming;</span> after just opening at the Goodman, it will make its <a href="http://www.broadwaysbestshows.com/news/1509">Broadway debut this Fall</a>. If you're interested in a look at the behind-the-scenes of theater, take a gander at the effort it took to&nbsp;<a href="http://goodman-theatre.blogspot.com/2011/06/look-inside-ministers-cabinet.html">get the props just right</a>.</p><p>Questions? Tips? Email <a href="http://kdries@wbez.org">kdries@wbez.org</a>.</p></p> Wed, 29 Jun 2011 14:32:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-06-29/daily-rehearsal-start-planning-your-4th-july-88498 Peter Sagal to host the Moth GrandSLAM http://www.wbez.org/blog/city-room-blog/peter-sagal-host-moth-grandslam <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//moth-sagal.jpg" alt="" /><p><p style="text-align: center;"><img style="width: 486px; height: 486px;" title="" alt="" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-January/2011-01-11/42_01_ARTS_COURTESY_MOTH.jpg" /></p><p><em>Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me's</em> Peter Sagal is teaming up with our friends at <a href="http://www.themoth.org/">The Moth</a> to host the first-ever Chicago Moth GrandSLAM event.&nbsp; According to The Moth's Sarah Austin Jeness, the GrandSLAM will take place on Wednesday, January 26th at the Park West in Chicago's Lincoln Park.</p><p>&quot;I'm a great enthusiast for telling stories, as my exhausted and bored friends and colleagues know, so I'm happy to see anecdote-spinning become a competitive event,&quot; Sagal told us. &quot;By supporting the Moth, I'm hoping that anecdotage might someday become an Olympic sport.&quot;</p><p>The GrandSLAM pits the winners of the previous 10 Chicago Moth StorySLAMS&nbsp; against each other to decide who's the 'best-of-the-best'. The winner gets a shot at The Moth mainstage in New York.</p><p><a href="http://www.themoth.org/about">The Moth was founded New York in 1997</a> and features real-life, first person stories told before a live audience.&nbsp; Since it's debut, The Moth has achieved popular and critical acclaim in such cities as New York,&nbsp;Los Angeles, and Detroit .&nbsp; More recently, it's podcasts have become a huge hit on iTunes and spawned a series of <a href="http://www.prx.org/themoth">new public radio specials via PRX.</a>&nbsp;</p><p>The Moth launched <a href="http://www.themoth.org/storyslams_chicago">Chicago StorySLAMS </a>in collaboration with WBEZ in late 2009.&nbsp; They take place on the last Tuesday of every month at Martyr's.</p><p>Each StorySLAM features a theme.&nbsp; Aspiring storytellers put their name in a hat, hoping to be picked to tell their story before the live audience.&nbsp; A three-member panel of audience-member judges then decides the winner.</p><p>Doors open for the The Moth GrandSLAM in&nbsp;Chicago at 6pm and stories start at 8pm.&nbsp;&nbsp; The event is ticketed - not first come, first serve. &nbsp;Details can be found at&nbsp; www.etix.com.</p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Tue, 11 Jan 2011 21:52:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blog/city-room-blog/peter-sagal-host-moth-grandslam