WBEZ | performances http://www.wbez.org/tags/performances Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Chicago's rising stars http://www.wbez.org/blogs/leah-pickett/2013-01/chicagos-rising-stars-104952 <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/beth%20stelling.jpg" title="Chicago-based comedienne Beth Stelling performs stand-up on a July 2012 episode of 'Conan.' (TBS)" /></div><p>As I watched Tina Fey and Amy Poehler <a href="http://jezebel.com/5975641/tina-fey-and-amy-poehler-kill-it-during-the-golden-globes-opening">kill it</a> as co-hosts of the Golden Globes on Sunday, I was reminded of how they got their start in Chicago over 20 years ago. They met while taking classes at Improv Olympics, immediately bonded over Tina&#39;s recent discovery of&nbsp;<a href="http://www.vulture.com/2013/01/history-of-tina-and-amys-best-friendship.html">eyebrow waxing</a> and formed the improv comedy troupe &ldquo;Inside Vladmir&rdquo; shortly thereafter. Fey went on to Second City, and Poehler took the Upright Citizen&rsquo;s Brigade to New York. Then SNL came calling, and the rest is history.</p><p>Of course, Second City has a legendary track record of producing comic greats: John Belushi, Gilda Radner, Bill Murray, Steve Carrell and <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/entertainment/chi-091204-second-city-famous-alumni-pictures,0,3772688.photogallery">many more</a>.&nbsp;Other famous actors who honed their skills in the Chicago theatre scene include Gary Sinise, Jane Lynch, David Schwimmer, Laurie Metcalf and John Malkovich.&nbsp;</p><p>Now, a new group of rising stars has given Hollywood reason to take notice.&nbsp;Here is my list of the top Chicago-based actors and comedians poised for career breakthroughs in 2013:&nbsp;</p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Katherine Cunningham.jpg" title="(Katherine Cunningham)" /><strong>Katherine Cunningham</strong></p><p>As an alumna of Conant High School in Elk Grove Village, Cunningham has played a variety of roles on stage, television and film. Her long list of credits includes&nbsp;<em>Detriot 1-8-7</em>,&nbsp;<em>The Playboy Club</em>,&nbsp;<em>Shameless</em>, <em>The Mob Doctor</em>,&nbsp;<em>Chicago Fire&nbsp;</em>and the Michael P. Noens&nbsp;film <em>Two Days in February</em>. Cunningham most recently appeared on MTV&#39;s <em>Underemployed</em> as Natalie,&nbsp;the love interest of lead character Sophia (Michelle Ang).&nbsp;Next&nbsp;up: <em>Johnson</em>, a film co-starring Cam Gigandet (<em>Twilight</em>, <em>Easy A</em>) set to premiere in 2013.&nbsp;</p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Joe Minoso.jpg" title="(Joe Minoso)" /><strong>Joe Minoso</strong></p><p>Minoso is a graduate of Nothern Illinois University and a veteran of the Chicago theatre scene, performing with such revered companies as the Goodman, Victory Gardens, Writer&#39;s Theatre and Chicago Shakespeare. In addition to serving as the associate artistic director at Teatro Vista, he has appeared in several Chicago-filmed television shows, including <em>Boss</em>, <em>The Chicago Code</em>, <em>Shameless</em>, <em>The Beast&nbsp;</em>and <em>Prison Break</em>. His current role, the tough but lovable driver Joe Cruz on NBC&#39;s <em>Chicago Fire</em>, is his best yet.&nbsp;</p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Tawny Newsome.jpg" title="(Tawny Newsome)" /><strong>Tawny Newsome</strong></p><p>As an ensemble member of Second City&#39;s <a href="http://www.centerstagechicago.com/theatre/theatres/second-etc.html">e.t.c. Theatre</a>, Newsome brings the laughs and an added bonus of top-notch theatre training. Before joining the cast in 2012, she graduated from DuPaul&#39;s Theatre School and went on to win rave reviews for her performances at Chicago Shakespeare, Writer&#39;s Theater, Victory Gardens and American Theatre Company. Newsome is an accomplished singer as well, lending her voice to local rock bands Jon Langford and Skull Orchard, The Dirty Rooks, and This Must Be the Band (Chicago&#39;s only Talking Heads tribute). Tribune theatre critic Chris Jones named her one of &quot;10 new faces you should know&quot; in 2012, and her future only looks brighter from here.&nbsp;</p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Michael Sanchez.jpg" title="(Michael Sanchez)" /><strong>Michael Sanchez</strong></p><p>Currently one of the driving forces behind Chicago&#39;s &quot;Comedians You Should Know,&quot; Sanchez studied improv at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in New York before moving to the Windy City in 2006. He has traveled all across the country performing stand-up, including Seattle&#39;s Bumbershoot and New York&#39;s Seaport Musical Festival. In addition to writing a number of award-winning comedic shorts and opening for <em>30 Rock</em>&#39;s Tracy Morgan, Sanchez is finishing up his first feature film <em>The Return of Great Guy</em>. &nbsp;</p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Beth%20Stelling_0.jpg" style="width: 200px; height: 294px;" title="(Beth Stelling)" /><strong>Beth Stelling</strong></p><p>As Chicago&#39;s comedy It girl, Stelling did it all: studying improv at Annoyance Theatre, performing with the Chicago Underground Company, earning a 2011 Chicago Beat award nomination for Best Non-Equity play (<em>Five Lesbians Eating a Quiche</em>, which went Off-Broadway and will be published by Samuel French in 2013) and tri-hosting the popular<em>&nbsp;Entertaining Julia</em> showcase at Town Hall Pub. Since re-locating to Los Angeles in 2012, Stelling has worked with many funny people (Rob Delaney, Sarah Silverman and Kristen Schaal, to name a few) and was recently crowned #2 on <em>LA Weekly</em>&#39;s &quot;12 L.A. Comedy Acts to Watch in 2013.&quot; Check out her super-cool <a href="http://sweetbeth.com/bio">website</a> and watch her appearance on&nbsp;<em>Conan&nbsp;</em>below:</p><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/PeeiytyThms" width="610"></iframe></p><p>Follow Leah on Twitter <a href="http://twitter.com/leahkpickett">@leahkpickett</a></p></p> Thu, 17 Jan 2013 05:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/leah-pickett/2013-01/chicagos-rising-stars-104952 Eight Forty-Eight 12.21.11 http://www.wbez.org/episode/eight-forty-eight-122111 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/episode/images/2011-december/2011-12-19/mb-c-dave-glass.gif" alt="" /><p><p><em>Eight Forty Eight's</em> Jason Marck hosts this special musical edition of the show. Alison Cuddy talks to <em>Radio M's</em> Tony Sarabia and music journalist Althea Legaspi about their favorite releases of the year. Then, we revisit a profile of guitar great Michael Bloomfield. Jason Marck looks back on Bloomfield's life and music, 30 years after his passing. Then, we bring back four great musical performances by local artists-The Sea and Cake, JC Brooks &amp; the Uptown Sound, and Daniel Knox from 2011...and Califone from 2009.</p></p> Wed, 21 Dec 2011 15:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/episode/eight-forty-eight-122111 Technology infuses new dance performances http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-03-03/technology-infuses-new-dance-performances-83302 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/the-precession.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>The internet is proving substantial material for artists trying to come to terms with the pros and cons of technology, and dance is no exception.&nbsp; Two dance&nbsp; performances examine how social media might be reshaping our collective consciousness. Dance critic Lucia Mauro brings us these reviews.<br /><br /><span>Live video feeds and sound collages make regular appearances in contemporary dance performances. Yet rarely is the technology the driving force behind the movement. Performance artists Mark Jeffery and Judd Morrissey seamlessly integrate dancers and a digital environment in <em>The Precession</em>. It&rsquo;s a multi-layered piece that invites audiences into the <a href="http://www.hydeparkart.org/" target="_blank">Hyde Park Art Center&rsquo;s gallery</a> and catwalk to go on a journey through time and space.<br /><br /></span><span>The idea came from the artists&rsquo; visit to the Hoover Dam. They were struck by the two pre-modernist winged workmen sculptures flanking the Dam and the perceived merging of a large-scale labor endeavor and celestial matter. The workmen, you see, are seated within a complex celestial map. This map examines the notion of Precession, which refers to changes in the earth&rsquo;s axis of rotation. It also singles out the position of the pole star, which is aligned with the earth&rsquo;s axis. The sculptor had an intriguing futuristic intent: If extraterrestrials were to discover this map, they would be able to determine the date and time the Dam was dedicated.</span><br /><br />Jeffery and Morrissey pull the idea together by having six dancers embody the earth on a tilt and, later, circulate around a professional fire twirler as the sun. The dancers are also positioned in relation to their individual star digitally projected from above. They&rsquo;re even joined by a physicist giving a lecture. Then science and labor join hands. The performers, dressed as denim-cad laborers, don inflatable wings and move to opposite sides of the space. They recite text that they receive in earphones. These words are Twitter updates culled live from within a mile-radius of the Hyde Park Art Center and the vicinity of the Hoover Dam. So the performers themselves become a collective chorus of the people.<br /><br />Spanish choreographer Fernando Hernando Magadan has thought a lot about how an addiction to Tweeting and texting can alter the way we relate to each other. For <a href="http://www.lunanegra.org/" target="_blank">Luna Negra Dance Theater&rsquo;s</a> spring engagement, he took cues from human evolution. So, for his new work titled <em>Naked Ap</em>e, picture a graph of stooped Cro-Magnon men eventually standing upright. Except, in Magadan&rsquo;s updated version, humans have now become machines. Four dancers, and one pontificating scientist, navigate around sculptures in the shape of disembodied clothing. They begin as one amoeba-like unit struggling to break into individuals. This movement is set against a classical Bach score overlaid with electronic tracks. The dancers embark on a journey of self-discovery&hellip;from mechanical clenching to the desperate touching of another&rsquo;s face. One woman softens her fingers and loosens her torso so that her bones seem to emerge anew.<br /><br /><span>Both <em>The Precession</em> at the Hyde Park Art Center and Luna Negra Dance Theater reflect on ways technology can bring people together and tear them apart.</span></p></p> Thu, 03 Mar 2011 14:34:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-03-03/technology-infuses-new-dance-performances-83302