WBEZ | cabaret http://www.wbez.org/tags/cabaret Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en The Don't-Miss List: A special Richard Pryor event http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-12-15/dont-miss-list-special-richard-pryor-event-94907 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/photo/2011-December/2011-12-15/4182963569_35cb815190.jpg" alt="" /><p><div><p><strong><u>Kelly Kleiman</u></strong></p><p><span class="diffchange"><span><a href="http://www.chicagoshakes.com/main.taf?p=2,64"><strong><em>Elizabeth Rex</em></strong></a>: The late Canadian novelist/playwright Timothy Findley teased every dramatic possibility out of the fact that Shakespeare's company performed for the mis-described Virgin Queen on the eve of the execution of her long-time lover Robert Devereaux, Earl of Essex. The Queen is heartbroken over the beheading notwithstanding having ordered it herself, and she and the actors become locked in a competition over who is the greater performer of the role of man-dressed-as-woman. The gender-bending and feminism of the piece are right up director Barbara Gaines' alley, and Diane D'Aquila, who created the part at the Stratford Festival in Canade, hits every note and nuance in a performance so layered that my companion wondered whether Elizabeth was, in fact, being played by a man. Through January 22 at Chicago Shakespeare.</span></span></p><p><span class="diffchange"><img alt="" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-December/2011-12-15/4182963569_35cb815190.jpg" style="margin-right: 10px; margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px; float: left; width: 250px; height: 250px; " title=""><span>Barbara Robertson is another woman who gives impeccable performances at Chicago Shakespeare, including an unforgettable turn as Kabuki Lady Macbeth, but on Monday night (the 19th) she'll be exercising a different part of her considerable talent, singing cabaret in a performance entitled "<a href="http://www.explorechicago.org/city/en/things_see_do/event_landing/events/dca_tourism/Cabaret_with_a_View_Presents_Barbara_Robertson.html"><strong>Stages of My Life</strong></a>." It begins at 7:30 onstage at the Pritzker Pavilion, with tickets $25 if you want to sit at stage level and drink, $15 if you're willing to be parched in the choir balcony. It's a one-night stand, so don't put off 'til tomorrow what's only available today.</span></span></p><p><span class="diffchange"><span>A very different sort of one-night stand will play tomorrow (Friday): an industry reading of <strong><em>Unspeakable</em></strong>, a work-in-progress biographical show about Richard Pryor. Co-author James Murray Jackson, Jr. plays Pryor, a role for which he won an Outstanding Actor Award at the 2005 New York International Fringe Festival. A number of other New York actors are participating in the reading, along with Chicagoans Wandachristine and Stef Tovar. The reading is free, but attendance is by confirmed reservation only. For reservations write to Unspeakablenyc@<span>mail</span>.com, providing your name, the number in your party and your industry affiliation. </span></span></p><p><strong>Laura Molzahn</strong></p><p>I’m running out of non-<em>Nutcracker&nbsp;</em>options here—but please don’t assume that the following shows aren’t worthy. No matter what the season, <a href="http://seechicagodance.com/reviews/#review_539">these artists promise good things</a>. &nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-December/2011-12-15/Khecari_photo_by_Dan_Merlo.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 399px; " title="Khecari"></p><p><a href="http://www.khecari.org/events.html">Khecari</a> deconstructs the fairytale (take that, <em>Nutcracker</em>!) in <strong><em>The Clinking</em></strong>, performed by Jonathan Meyer and Julia Rae Antonick—who are real-life as well as onstage partners. Accompanied by multi-instrumentalist (and frequent player of inanimate objects) Joe St. Charles, Meyer and Antonick will heighten, not sugarcoat, the anxieties inherent in fairytales. <a href="http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/210471">Thursday and Friday at the Hamlin Park Field House.</a></p><p>And to rouse yourself from any and all sugar-induced slumbers, try <strong><a href="http://www.tsukasataiko.com/">Tsukasa Taiko at JASC</a></strong>, performing its eighth annual show <a href="http://www.mcachicago.org/performances/now/all/2011/743">at the MCA Saturday and Sunday</a>. Chicago’s leading Japanese drumming ensemble this year also features a collaboration with AACM jazz musicians Edward Wilkerson and Coco Elysses-Hevia as well as “stylized kimono dance.”&nbsp;</p></div></p> Thu, 15 Dec 2011 10:46:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-12-15/dont-miss-list-special-richard-pryor-event-94907 Daily Rehearsal: High Concept Laboratories' most recent experiment http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-10-24/daily-rehearsal-high-concept-laboratories-most-recent-experiment-93 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/photo/2011-October/2011-10-24/kasey-foster.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><span style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;"><strong>1. Polarity Ensemble's&nbsp;<i><a href="http://www.petheatre.com/kabulitis.html">Kabulitis</a>&nbsp;</i>wraps up this weekend</strong></span></span>. The play "gives an intimate look into the life of an American woman married to an Afghan and living in Kabul, Afghanistan." Playwright Keith Anwar based it all on his real family; his father was from Afghanistan, and while living in the country with his American-born wife, received death threats because she wouldn't wear a veil, eventually forcing them to leave the country. The play is directed by Lavina Jadhwani, Artistic Director of Rasaka Theatre Company.</p><p><img alt="" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-October/2011-10-24/kasey-foster.jpg" style="margin: 10px; float: left; width: 300px; height: 234px;" title=""><span style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;"><strong>2. Last week, High Concept Laboratories put up&nbsp;</strong></span></span><a href="http://www.highconceptlaboratories.org/2/kasey-foster.html"><em><span style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;"><strong>project title</strong></span></span>: assignment #403 </em></a>by Kasey Foster. The production includes original compositions, with creative shadow puppetry and video production, but otherwise, according to my men on the inside, it was somewhat "staid." Bottom line: it's enjoyable but not much more, and is good for families (the final show is tomorrow).&nbsp;The&nbsp;real stars of Saturday's performance were the middle school band playing upstairs, <a href="https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-UnGnomes/137682259631925?sk=wall">The UnGnomes</a>, who had tried unsuccessfully to get a gig at the Hideout across the street, but were told that since they weren't 21, no dice.&nbsp;</p><p><span style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;"><strong>3. Thoughts on cabaret from Bob Bullen</strong></span></span>, who <a href="http://chitheatreaddict.com/2011/10/24/the-energetic-catalyst-cabaret-sings-about-a-few-of-their-fearfullest-things-in-new-halloween-show/">went to Catalyst Cabaret's Halloween show</a>: He doesn't like it when performers spend time "justifying" their song choice to the audience. "I don’t care about the thought process that went into putting your show together," writes Bullen. "Just do the show, and make it compelling through a clear through-line, unique story and inspired song. Reasoning your song choices by simply telling us why you chose your song (i.e., 'this is a favorite audition song of mine') is lazy. Tell a story. Create a context. Build a cohesive evening." Don't be lazy!</p><p><span style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;"><strong>4. The first bad review I've read of <em>Follies</em></strong></span></span>, be still my beating heart, <a href="http://www.chicagoreader.com/chicago/stephen-sondheim-can-do-no-wrong-right/Content?oid=4844155">comes from the <em>Reader</em></a>. Reviewer Justin Hayford is primarily critical of the concept of Sondheim's&nbsp;<em>Follies</em>&nbsp;(perhaps because he <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-09-13/daily-rehearsal-joe-frank-returns-steppenwolf-91914">may not be going through the throes of a midlife crisis</a>), than Chicago Shakespeare Theater's actual production.</p><p><span style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;"><strong>5. Tonight, DCA's Incubator series will present</strong></span></span> a workshop performance of <em>Homefront</em>. The play was developed by Ron Popp, Artistic Director of Project 891 Theatre Company, and it "takes a closer look at a family in rural America with one son who has recently been deployed to Afghanistan." It's at 7:30 pm at the DCA Studio Theater in the Chicago Cultural Center.</p><p>Questions? Tips? Email <a href="mailto:kdries@wbez.or">kdries@wbez.or</a><a href="mailto:kdries@wbez.org">g</a>.</p></p> Mon, 24 Oct 2011 14:42:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-10-24/daily-rehearsal-high-concept-laboratories-most-recent-experiment-93 Morning Rehearsal: Chicago theater news 5/10 http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-05-10/morning-rehearsal-chicago-theater-news-510-86318 <p><p>1. Tuesday at 3pm (hurry up and take a long lunch) at&nbsp;Maxim's, Richard Klein will host "<a href="http://www.explorechicago.org/city/en/things_see_do/event_landing/events/dca_tourism/JulieWilson.html">The Life of Cabaret Star Julie Wilson</a>." Klein will discuss <a href="http://www.citycabaret.com/jwilson/">Wilson's </a>70-year career with a sound and slideshow presentation of the famous cabaret star. It's part of Maxim's&nbsp;<em>Tea at 3</em>&nbsp;series every second Tuesday of the month.</p><p>2. Does children's theater get a bad rap? Mary-Kate Barley-Jenkins thinks it shouldn't. She's the Director of Programming at the Chicago Humanities Festival, as well as the curator of <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-04-29/morning-rehearsal-chicago-theater-429-85842"><em>Stages, Sights and Sounds</em></a>, CHF's performing arts festival focusing on family audiences.&nbsp;<a href="http://www.chicagohumanities.org/Blog/Mary-Kate-Barley-Jenkins/Upping-the-Ante.aspx">Jenkins' wrote a post</a>&nbsp;that touts the importance of good storytelling in theater, especially in theater for children.</p><p>"When you hear the phrase children’s theater, I’ll bet you wince and groan inside," she writes. "Probably much of what you’ve seen that calls itself children’s theater has been very unsatisfying. This genre has a bad reputation and for good reason. At times, when this work is being created, the audience is not taken seriously."</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://www.wbez.org/sites/default/files/blog/insert-image/2011-May/2011-05-10/Playhouse%20cross%20section.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 188px;" title="Plan of the Emerald City Playhouse"></p><p>3. In the vein of trying to take children more seriously,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.emeraldcitytheatre.com/">Emerald City Theatre</a>&nbsp;is opening a new space specifically for babies. To be called the Emerald City Playhouse, their first show will open in May 2012 at 2933 N. Southport Ave (right next door to the Emerald City Theatre).&nbsp;It's called&nbsp;<em>Goodnight Gorilla</em>, and is based off the children's book of the same name.</p><p>The Theatre plans to use this space for developing shows specifically for children ages 0-3. They have also created a new position of "Eduturg", which is essentially a dramaturg whose job is focused on shaping the programs for <em>very </em>young minds.</p><p>4.&nbsp;WBEZ's Events Coordinator Don Hall spent the other day tweeting some theater tips for the masses, or #thtrtips as he called them, and they are <a href="http://donhall.blogspot.com/2011/05/thtrtips.html">all lovingly consolidated here</a>. My favorite? "Re:Acting: Be at rehearsals on time - eat before you f***ing get there. #thtrtips."</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="caption" height="600" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-May/2011-05-10/Thumb_thatsthegig.jpg" title="" width="365"></p><p>5. It's Tuesday, but I'm sure we all wish it was the weekend right about now, especially with this 80 degree weather. Set your Sunday sights on the opening of&nbsp;<a href="http://chicago.ioimprov.com/io/shows/241" style="color: rgb(2, 122, 198); text-decoration: none;"><i style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px;">That’s The Gig</i></a>&nbsp;at iO, which is billing itself as "a live, scripted sitcom."</p><p>The show runs from May 15 to July 3, just in time for all your favorite shows to take their summer siesta, leaving you bored and sweaty on the couch, watching reruns of&nbsp;<em>The Event</em>...bleak.</p><p>Questions? Tips? Email kdries@wbez.org.</p></p> Tue, 10 May 2011 14:46:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-05-10/morning-rehearsal-chicago-theater-news-510-86318 Broadway's Queen of Hearts returns to her hometown stage http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-02-08/broadways-queen-hearts-returns-her-hometown-stage-81969 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/Karen as queen of hearts.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Actress and singer <a target="_blank" href="http://www.karenmason.com/">Karen Mason</a> came back to Chicago just in the nick of time. She&rsquo;s been wowing crowds in New York, performing in dimly lit cabarets and under the bright lights of Broadway. But Arlington Heights is where Mason grew up and it&rsquo;s in Chicago that she&rsquo;ll host her one-woman-show, <em>Setting New Standards</em>.<br /><br />The run starts tomorrow night at <a target="_blank" href="http://www.davenportspianobar.com/">Davenport&rsquo;s Piano Bar and Cabaret</a> in Wicker Park. To learn more about her solo act, Karen Mason joined <em>Eight Forty-Eight</em>. Karen Mason&rsquo;s one-woman-show, <em>Setting New Standards </em>begins a six-day run Wednesday night at Davenport's in Wicker Park.<br /><br />She&rsquo;ll then return to New York where she&rsquo;ll prepare for her role as the Queen of Hearts in <a target="_blank" href="http://www.wonderlandonbroadway.com/index.html"><em>Wonderland</em></a>.</p></p> Tue, 08 Feb 2011 14:21:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-02-08/broadways-queen-hearts-returns-her-hometown-stage-81969