WBEZ | Regina Taylor http://www.wbez.org/tags/regina-taylor Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Daily Rehearsal: Olivia Newton-John, naturally http://www.wbez.org/blogs/onstagebackstage/2012-07/daily-rehearsal-olivia-newton-john-naturally-101057 <p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/210255319_623332b72a_z.jpg" style="height: 393px; width: 300px; float: left; " title="Newton-John at the 61st Academy Awards in 1989. Amazing. (Flickr/Alan Light)" /><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, serif; "><strong>- Coming to the Paramount</strong></span></span>: Olivia Newton-John! November 10, 8 pm. Tickets vary in price from $50 to $75.</p><p><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, serif; "><strong>- Regina Taylor of <em>Crowns</em> </strong></span></span>stopped by <em>Afternoon Shift </em><a href="http://www.wbez.org/blogs/bez/2012-07/regina-taylors-crowns-lifts-lid-violence-family-and-faith-101036">yesterday</a>.</p><p><strong>-&nbsp;First Folio Theatre</strong> is doing a staged reading of<em> Shylock and his Daughter</em> by Maurice Schwartz&nbsp;on Thursday, July 26 and Thursday, August 2, 9, and 16, all at 8:15 pm. It&#39;s <em>The Merchant of Venice</em>, but from the perspective of Shylock, as the title would suggest.<span style="font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 11pt; ">&nbsp;</span></p><p><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, serif; "><strong>- And a shameless plug</strong></span></span>: check out my <a href="http://www.wbez.org/tags/hungry-artists">Hungry Artists</a> series about young Chicagoans try to make it in creative, performance-related fields.</p><p>Questions? Tips? Email <a href="mailto:kdries@wbez.org">kdries@wbez.org</a>.</p></p> Fri, 20 Jul 2012 09:21:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/onstagebackstage/2012-07/daily-rehearsal-olivia-newton-john-naturally-101057 Don't-Miss List July 5-11: A pair of worthy rivals, and a pair of worthy revivals http://www.wbez.org/blogs/onstagebackstage/2012-07/dont-miss-list-july-5-11-pair-worthy-rivals-and-pair-worthy-revivals <p><p><u><strong><em>A Steady Rain</em></strong>, The Chicago Commercial Collective at Chicago Dramatists, 1105 West Chicago Avenue; first preview this Saturday (the 7th) at 8 pm, opening night Tuesday (the 10th) at 8; tickets $35-$40.</u><br /><br />The original cast and crew reunite to stage Keith Huff&rsquo;s powerful two-character police drama, which investigates the nature and extent of friendship as well as the impact of crime on the people whose job it is to solve it. The piece had its 15 minutes of fame when Hugh Jackman (Wolverine) and Daniel Craig (007) did it on Broadway; but having seen both that production and the original in Chicago, I strongly recommend this one. Director Russ Tutterow understands every nuance of the piece and actors Randy Steinmeyer and Peter de Faria are so authentic as to be terrifying. Through September 2; the perfect play for our long hot summer. -KK<br /><br /><u><strong><em>Crowns</em></strong>, The Goodman Theatre, 170 North Dearborn Street, opens this Monday (the 9th) at 7 pm; tickets $29-$88.</u><br /><br />The press for <strong><em>Crowns</em></strong> describes it as &ldquo;the most-produced new musical in the US over the past decade.&rdquo;&nbsp; Now the show returns to its roots at the Goodman, with author Regina Taylor at the helm, bringing Gospel music and a sure feel for the world of the African-American church and the Southern ladies who keep it going.&nbsp; Any show featuring E. Faye Butler and Felicia Fields is worth watching for them alone. Through August 5. -KK</p><div><u><strong><em>Electra</em></strong>, <a href="http://www.maryarrchie.com">Mary-Arrchie Theatre</a>, 735 W. Sheridan Road (at Broadway), second floor;&nbsp;through July 29; tickets $15-$20.</u></div><div>Of the hundreds of Greek tragedies written over the centuries of the Athenian Golden Age, only 32 survive. We presume that those 32 are among the finest and most popular of their kind, so it&#39;s good that several of them still are performed fairly frequently. But why-oh-why can&#39;t directors leave them alone? Are they so afraid of history and antiquity&mdash;or ignorant of them&mdash;that they can&#39;t find an honest translation of a play and stage it as it is? Why must they always &quot;re-imagine&quot; or update or&mdash;worse still&mdash;pretend they are poets and classical scholars and &quot;adapt&quot; the texts?&nbsp;&nbsp;Do they think modern audiences won&#39;t get it otherwise? Hey, audiences&nbsp;will&nbsp;get it if a Greek tragedy is staged with the simplicity, directness and vigor of the original. Be that as it may, our long and hot summer is bringing re-conceptions of three of the most famous Greek tragedies.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Mary-Arrchie Theater, going strong after 26 years, is presenting Euripides&#39;&nbsp;<strong><em>Electra</em></strong>, adapted by notable director Sonja Moser, and staged with an ensemble of undergraduate theater students from Illinois State University, which has a highly-regarded School of Theatre. Moser sets&nbsp;<em>Electra</em>&nbsp;&quot;in John Deere country,&quot; which actually is Moline, IL, and is bringing rock music, meta-theatrics and teen angst to this tale of daughter-and-son revenge on Mom. Since the real John Deere started the company in 1837 when American still was an agrarian nation, the rock music might be unnecessary. And pure Greek tragedy, by definition, is meta-theatrical (hey, masks, music, chant, dance, verse, etc.), so are we reinventing the wheel here? -JA</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/pp-oedipus-nu.png" style="float: left; " title="'Oedipus el Rey' at Victory Gardens Theater" /><u><strong><em>Oedipus el Rey</em></strong>, <a href="http://www.victorygardens.org">Victory Gardens Theater</a>, 2433 N. Lincoln Ave.;&nbsp;through July 29; tickets $15-$50.</u></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Victory Gardens is the venue for a broader re-conception, this one based on the most famous of all Greek plays, Sophocles&#39;&nbsp;<em>Oedipus the King</em>. Latino playwright Luis Alfaro has not adapted any translation of the play, but uses the well-known story as the basis for his original work,&nbsp;<strong><em>Oedipus el Rey</em></strong>, in which the city-state of Thebes becomes the Los Angeles barrio, and Oedipus is an ex-con gangbanger who rises to power. Alfaro achieved considerable national success in 2004 doing something similar with&nbsp;Electra, retitled&nbsp;Electricidad&nbsp;(performed locally at the Goodman Theatre). Victory Gardens artistic director Chay Yew has staged&nbsp;<em>Oedipus el Rey</em>. - JA</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><u><strong><em>Antigone</em></strong>, <a href="http://www.coldbasement.org">Cold Basement Dramatics</a>, Oracle Theatre, 3809 N. Broadway;&nbsp;Aug. 2-19; inquire for tickets.</u></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Although it won&#39;t overlap the first two plays, down the road apiece we&#39;ll see an update of Sophocles&#39;&nbsp;<strong><em>Antigone</em></strong>, a stand-alone play that nonetheless functions as a sequel to&nbsp;<em>Oedipus the King</em>&nbsp;(even though it was written earlier), and focuses on the fate of Oedipus&#39;s children in the form of a metaphysical argument about obedience to the law vs. obedience to the gods. It will be presented by Cold Basement Dramatics as staged and&mdash;what else&mdash;adapted by the troupe&#39;s artistic director, Jack Bourgeois, who is setting it in 1964; an era several decades before he was born. Warning: those who are nostalgic about the 1960&#39;s either don&#39;t remember them or weren&#39;t there. It will be an extremely intimate production in the tiny Oracle storefront space. - JA</div><br /></p> Thu, 05 Jul 2012 11:50:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/onstagebackstage/2012-07/dont-miss-list-july-5-11-pair-worthy-rivals-and-pair-worthy-revivals Daily Rehearsal: Second City opens teen company http://www.wbez.org/blogs/onstagebackstage/2012-05/daily-rehearsal-second-city-opens-teen-company-99562 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/4460272059_b269562f13_z_0.jpg" alt="" /><p><p style="text-align: center; "><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/_oNFOwnoldo" width="560"></iframe></p><p><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, serif; "><strong>- Now&#39;s your chance to become that teen superstar </strong></span></span>you&#39;ve always dreamed of!&nbsp;<a href="http://www.secondcity.com/training/chicago/news/detail/1548692134423998525/1863527738242952316/">Second City is opening a teen company</a>; auditions are June 1 and 2 for those 13 to 17, though it seems as though you would have had to be a go-getter and sign up for those already....&quot;In the past five years we&#39;ve seen tremendous growth and incredible talent coming out of our youth classes and summer camps,&quot; Second City&#39;s CEO/Executive Producer Andrew Alexander said in a statement. &quot;It seemed only fitting that we provide more resources to these talented teens and a regular stage to share their unique voices.&quot; These summer classes they speak of run from June 11 to August 31 and you can pay for those.</p><p><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, serif; "><strong>- Regina Taylor</strong></span></span>, the playwright and director <em>Crowns </em>at the Goodman, has chosen a person for <a href="http://www.chicagoreader.com/gyrobase/theaster-gates-acre-restaurant-alexander-mqueen/Content?oid=6398257&amp;storyPage=1">her <em>Reader </em>Culture Vulture pick</a> this week: Theaster Gates.</p><p><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, serif; "><strong>- Stage 773</strong></span></span> hosts&nbsp;<a href="http://www.sgtheatre.org/?page_id=99"><em>Honest</em>&nbsp;<strong>| Fair </strong></a>(emphasis theirs) this Sunday for one performance either, from&nbsp;Protégé Ensemble: &quot;Since early September...[they&#39;ve] been exploring the rehearsal and devising techniques of contemporary American practitioners including Moises Kaufman, Robert Wilson and Anne Bogart. Focusing on the Nunnery Scene from&nbsp;<em>Hamlet</em>&nbsp;as source material,&nbsp;<em>Honest</em>&nbsp;<strong>| Fair</strong>&nbsp;is the bad-ass culmination of this year&#39;s work. Experience a portal into Hamlet and Ophelia&#39;s disintegrating relationship as you&#39;ve never seen it: Shattered.&quot; Tickets are free.</p><p><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, serif; "><strong>-<a href="http://paramountaurora.com/"> Paramount Theater</a>&nbsp;is extending&nbsp;<em>Route 66</em></strong></span></span> for two months, until&nbsp;August 19. And because you&#39;re marking your calendars for January 2012, William Shatner will be there with his show <em>Shatner&#39;s World: We Just Live In It</em>.&nbsp;</p></p> Fri, 25 May 2012 10:38:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/onstagebackstage/2012-05/daily-rehearsal-second-city-opens-teen-company-99562 What Color Is Your Theater? http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-05-03/what-color-your-theater-86018 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/photo/2011-May/2011-05-03/Chay Yew.jpg" alt="" /><p><p style="text-align: center; "><img alt="" class="caption" height="300" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-May/2011-05-03/Chay Yew.jpg" title="Chay Yew, artistic director of Victory Gardens" width="200"></p><p>Recently I've been pursuing a story about the many changes in Chicago's African-American theater community. I'll be asking artistic and managing directors from as many companies as I can find what role remains for African-American theaters now that a black man is leading a "white" theater (Remy Bumppo) and a black woman seems to be the heir presumptive at the city's most established "white" theater (Regina Taylor at the Goodman).&nbsp;<br> <br> And then two announcements appear, one right after the other, in my e-mail inbox. First is the announcement that <a href="http://leisureblogs.chicagotribune.com/the_theater_loop">Victory Gardens has chosen Chay Yew</a>, a leader in the national Asian-American theater community, to be its new artistic director. Next is a press release from Silk Road Theatre Project, Chicago's premier Asian-American theater company, announcing its production of David Henry Hwang's Tony-award-winning play <span style="FONT-STYLE: italic">Yellow Face</span>.&nbsp;<br> <br> And suddenly it all became clear to me: of course the need to do plays by David Henry Hwang and other Asian playwrights--and nothing but--does not disappear because an Asian man will be running a "white" company. I'll still ask the question about the role of black theaters because I'm incapable of embarrassment and want to hear what each of the veteran theater-makers has to say on the perennial subject of race in Chicago theater. But the answer is almost literally staring us all in the face.</p></p> Tue, 03 May 2011 18:23:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-05-03/what-color-your-theater-86018 Actor and playwright Regina Taylor talks about her work, 'The Trinity River Plays' http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/actor-and-playwright-regina-taylor-talks-about-her-work-trinity-river-plays <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/Flickr Regina Taylor Trinity Rivers Plays.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>In the Goodman Theatre&rsquo;s latest production a teenager named Iris undergoes a traumatic experience just as she&rsquo;s dreaming about college and a better life. That turning point is just one of three moments in her life that make up <a href="http://www.goodmantheatre.org/season/Production.aspx?prod=111" target="_blank"><em>The Trinity River Plays</em></a>. <a href="http://www.reginataylor.com/" target="_blank">Regina Taylor</a> is the playwright behind the new production. She says she&rsquo;s been undergoing her own personal turning point.<br /><br />WBEZ&rsquo;s Richard Steele recently talked to her about what inspired her new play. Monday, Feb. 7, Regina Taylor will speak about her play on the Goodman Theatre stage.</p><p><em>Music Button: This Will Destroy You, &quot;Threads&quot;, from the CD This Will Destroy You, (Magic Bullet)</em></p></p> Tue, 01 Feb 2011 15:46:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/actor-and-playwright-regina-taylor-talks-about-her-work-trinity-river-plays