WBEZ | Annoyance Theatre http://www.wbez.org/tags/annoyance-theatre Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Daily Rehearsal: Angel Busque's Eggroll invitational benefits the Lupus Foundation of America http://www.wbez.org/blogs/onstagebackstage/2012-08/daily-rehearsal-angel-busques-eggroll-invitational-benefits-lupus <p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/angel%20busque.jpg" style="height: 139px; width: 300px; float: left; " title="" />-&nbsp;<strong><em>Angel Busque&rsquo;s Eggroll Invitational: Chicago </em></strong>is a&nbsp;stand-up comedy show where the proceeds will go to benefit the Lupus Foundation of America. Busque died in June from lupus; this performance is on September 20 and will feature comedians like James Fritz, Mike Lebovitz, CJ Sullivan, Sean Flannery and Chad Briggs, and will be hosted by the Puterbaugh Sisterz.&nbsp;Comedian Mike Bobbitt <a href="http://offthemike.com/tag/angel-busque/">wrote a nice goodbye to Busque</a>, who was his former sister-in-law. It&#39;s at the<a href="http://www.thelincolnlodge.com."> Lincoln Lodge</a>.</p><p><span style="font-family:georgia,serif;"><span style="font-size: 14px; "><strong>- A review of the Annoyance&#39;s </strong></span></span>25th anniversary show: <a href="http://timeoutchicago.com/arts-culture/comedy/15616681/the-annoyance-25th-anniversary-celebration-at-park-west-comedy-review">Jenna Marotta wrote</a>&nbsp;that&nbsp;&quot;...parts of the evening had a funereal feel to me. A video montage featuring a few seconds from almost every Annoyance show&mdash;&lsquo;Look what&rsquo;s been accomplished in 25 years;&nbsp;now what?&rsquo;&mdash;reminded me of a slideshow at an end-of-season party for high school athletes.&quot;</p><p><span style="font-family:georgia,serif;"><span style="font-size: 14px; "><strong>- <a href="http://www.congosquaretheatre.org/#!season/c24bb">Congo Square Theater</a> </strong></span></span>announced their full season roster, where they&#39;ll be exploring identity.</p><p>- <strong>&quot;<a href="http://www.suntimes.com/entertainment/stage/14766981-421/pirates-literally-sets-sail-in-chicago.html">&lsquo;Pirates&rsquo; literally sets sail in Chicago</a>.&quot; </strong>Never have I ever seen a better or happier headline.</p><p>Questions? Tips? Email <a href="mailto:kdries@wbez.org">kdries@wbez.org</a>.</p></p> Tue, 28 Aug 2012 13:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/onstagebackstage/2012-08/daily-rehearsal-angel-busques-eggroll-invitational-benefits-lupus Daily Rehearsal: A 30th anniversary for Raven Theatre http://www.wbez.org/blogs/onstagebackstage/2012-08/daily-rehearsal-30th-anniversary-raven-theatre-101678 <p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/big%20knife.jpg" style="float: left; height: 225px; width: 300px; " title="" /><span style="font-size: 14px; "><span style="font-family: georgia, serif; "><strong>- If you go to&nbsp;<a href="http://www.raventheatre.com">Raven Theatre</a>&#39;s&nbsp;30th Anniversary</strong></span></span> &lsquo;Raise the Curtain!&rsquo; Benefit Performance you&#39;ll get to hang out with their Board of Directors and see their first production for 2012-13, <em>The Big Knife</em>. Tickets are $50 and reservations are suggested. You&#39;ll also get some &quot;pre-play libations&quot; from Broadway Cellars, Castle Food and Liquors and Fritzy&#39;s Tavern, the last of which sounds like a delightful joint we should all go to as soon as possible.</p><p><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, serif; "><strong>-&nbsp;Sideshow Theatre Company&#39;s 2012-13 season</strong></span></span> &quot;brings to light lingering secrets and apocalyptic preparations.&quot; They&#39;ll have <em>Idomeneus</em>, <em>Maria/Stuart</em> and <em>The Burden of Not Having a Tail</em>.</p><p><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, serif; "><strong>- <em>Sordid Lives</em>&nbsp;is getting <a href="http://www.ludicroustheatre.com/Documents/Ludicrous_SordidEncoreWeekend_PR.pdf">an additional weekend</a></strong></span></span>. The playwright Del Shores will be at the midnight showing on September 7 because he&#39;ll be here for his own one-man show&nbsp;<em>Naked. Sordid. Reality.</em> which is at Mary&rsquo;s Attic. Now it&#39;ll close for sure the 8th.</p><p><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, serif; "><strong>- I would tell you to read</strong></span></span> <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/entertainment/theater/theaterloop/chi-jones-loop-annoyance-theatre-20120809,0,7249868.column">this story</a> about the Annoyance&#39;s 25 years but you have to sign in to read it which might suck.</p><p>Questions? Tips? Email <a href="mailto:kdries@wbez.org">k</a><a href="mailto:dries@wbez.org">dries@wbez.org</a>.</p></p> Mon, 13 Aug 2012 12:52:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/onstagebackstage/2012-08/daily-rehearsal-30th-anniversary-raven-theatre-101678 Daily Rehearsal: 'Hit the Wall' brought back for a summer on the lake http://www.wbez.org/blogs/onstagebackstage/2012-05/daily-rehearsal-hit-wall-brought-back-summer-lake-98780 <p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/110613_theater_on_the_lake-585x391.jpg" style="float: right; width: 300px; height: 201px; " title="Theater on the Lake (Courtesy of the Chicago Parks District)"><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family:georgia,serif;"><strong>1. <em>Hit the Wall</em>, </strong></span></span>which everyone and the world loved, is being brought back at <a href="http://www.theatreinchicago.com/newswire.php?newsID=722">Theater on the Lake this summer</a>&nbsp;for their 60th season. The line-up looks particularly good; it's reboots of old productions, like&nbsp;<em>TJ &amp; Dave</em>,<em> Moby-Dick</em> from the Building Stage, <em>Farragut North</em> and <em>Sweet Confinement</em> from SiNNERMAN, among others.&nbsp;Additional programming apparently includes an "Opening night birthday party with cake and cocktails June 13" and a "A singles networking event with Mingle Around."</p><p><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family:georgia,serif;"><strong>2. It's the sixth anniversary of Jokes and Notes</strong></span></span> this weekend, and they'll be celebrating with local comedians and house MCs, owner <a href="http://www.redeyechicago.com/news/local/southside/redeye-jokes-and-notes-performance-this-weekend-20120502,0,3987953.story">Mary Lindsey told the RedEye</a>. She also sounds like a taskmaster, in the best of ways:&nbsp;</p><blockquote><p style="text-align: left; ">I am a time titan. They have to respect the time. For national acts, I do have them sign a form that says that you will have to pay a fine if you go over the time. It's not a banquet hall where we're just having a party. There's a format here; it's a business and I try to be consistent so that people waiting for the second show aren't sitting outside in the cold or the heat when they could be enjoying themselves and having some cocktails.</p><p style="text-align: left; ">I also require them to have good stage presence physically, to project a professional image. Because I think that if you want to be taken serious, you gotta dress the part.</p></blockquote><p><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family:georgia,serif;"><strong>3. You can still register</strong></span></span> for summer classes at the Annoyance; do so before May 10 and get a discount.</p><p><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family:georgia,serif;"><strong>4.&nbsp;<em>The Butcher of Baraboo </em></strong></span></span>at A Red Orchid has been extended for two weeks, through June 3.</p><p><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family:georgia,serif;"><strong>5. "It’s a long way from the planet Naboo</strong></span></span> to Athens, Greece. For actor Ian McDiarmid, the journey took seven years." That's the beginning of Hedy Weiss' profile on&nbsp;McDiarmid, <a href="http://www.suntimes.com/entertainment/stage/12278141-421/speaking-with-ian-mcdiarmid-050412.html">formerly of<em> Star Wars</em> and now in <em>Timon of Athens</em></a>.</p><p>Questions? Tips? Email <a href="mailto:kdries@wbez.org">kdries@wbez.org</a>.</p></p> Thu, 03 May 2012 16:46:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/onstagebackstage/2012-05/daily-rehearsal-hit-wall-brought-back-summer-lake-98780 Daily Rehearsal: Annoyance Theatre looks to leave Uptown http://www.wbez.org/blogs/onstagebackstage/2012-04/daily-rehearsal-annoyance-theatre-looks-leave-uptown-98423 <p><p>&nbsp;</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/history-mainphoto.jpg" style="width: 620px; height: 216px; " title=""></div><p><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family:georgia,serif;"><strong>1. News from the Annoyance Theatre</strong></span></span>: Mick Napier and Jennifer Estlin <a href="http://www.wbez.org/annoyance-celebrates-25-years-late-night-memories-98415">revealed on<em> Eight Forty-Eight</em></a> that they're looking for a new location for the theater, which turns 25 this year. "We're actually looking at a fourth phase for the Annoyance; we're looking at the possibility of moving again," he told host Tony Sarabia. "We're always up for changing, not only artistically though, but also where we're at, and we've done that throughout the time."&nbsp;The theater originally started on Belmont and Broadway; at the link, you'll read Justin Kaumann's fond memories of his time there, and listen to Napier describe it as "kind of a party place."</p><p><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family:georgia,serif;"><strong>2.&nbsp;<a href="http://www.remybumppo.org">Remy Bumppo</a> has extended <em>Chesapeake</em></strong></span></span><em> </em>by a week, with three additional performances. It'll now close with the matinee on May 6.&nbsp;</p><p><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family:georgia,serif;"><strong>3. Simon Callow <a href="http://www.windycitymediagroup.com/lgbt/Out-theater-icon-Simon-Callow-does-it-the-Bard-way/37313.html">talked</a></strong></span></span><a href="http://www.windycitymediagroup.com/lgbt/Out-theater-icon-Simon-Callow-does-it-the-Bard-way/37313.html"> to the Windy City Times</a> about his show at Chicago Shakes&nbsp;<em>Being Shakespeare </em>which closes at the end of next week.&nbsp;"I am being worked within an inch of my life while I am in Chicago," he says. "I am doing matinees and evening shows, benefits, galas and so forth." Take a nap Simon!</p><p><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family:georgia,serif;"><strong>4. More on Portage Theater</strong></span></span> -- a lot more, even if this author Dan Kelly <a href="http://gapersblock.com/ac/2012/04/19/celluloid-graft-puppies-the-abbreviated-portage-theater-story/">calls this piece in <em>Gaper's Block</em></a>&nbsp;an "abbrieviated" story. Revealed: "Yes, the Portage almost became Chicago's Grand Ole Opry."</p><p style="text-align: left;"><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family:georgia,serif;"><strong>5. A live cabaret dating show is at Collaboraction</strong></span></span> this weekend;<a href="http://collaboraction.typepad.com/collaboraction/2012/04/looking-for-love-spring-cleaning-issue-8-the-spring-cleaning-issue-with-the-sun-blisters.html"><em> Looking for Love</em></a> wants you "to open your hearts and believe in love again." For $8 you get a donation-fueled bar, music from The Sun Blisters, a Violent Femmes cover band (!!!), a dance party and extra-comedy from Jason Economus.&nbsp;Looking for Love stars Carolyn Hoerdemann and Maggie Graham, and Carolyn wrote it because she says, "If I can't find love, I'm finding it for others."</p><p>Questions? Tips? Email <a href="mailto:kdries@wbez.org">kdries@wbez.org</a>.</p></p> Fri, 20 Apr 2012 14:18:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/onstagebackstage/2012-04/daily-rehearsal-annoyance-theatre-looks-leave-uptown-98423 Annoyance celebrates 25 years of late-night memories http://www.wbez.org/annoyance-celebrates-25-years-late-night-memories-98415 <p><p>Today, Mick Napier and Jennifer Estlin join Tony Sarabia in our WBEZ studios to talk shop. Specifically, their shop.</p><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/the-annoyance-theatre.jpg" title="The players of Annoyance past. (Courtesy of The Annoyance Theatre)"></div></div><p>This is the 25th year for the famed <a href="http://www.annoyanceproductions.com/">Annoyance Theatre</a>, and Napier and Estlin have been there since the beginning. The Annoyance has grabbed Chicago media headlines for the talent they've produced at the comedy theater (Andy Richter, UCB, Jeff Garlin, Jane Lynch, etc). Local media loves that story. And why not? It's great to know that the people that make us laugh on the television or movie screen came from Chicago.</p><p>But what really stands out is the Annoyance's relationship with Chicago. A whole generation of young Chicagoans stood in a line, laughed like they didn't know they could laugh and watched young, fresh and raw improvisers and comics tear up the precious theater stage. That is what the Annoyance was for me. A place where comedy and theater could be performed with no censor, no pressure to conform.</p><p>Shows like <em>Co-Ed Prison Sluts</em>, <em>Manson the Musical</em>, <em>Screw Puppies</em> and hundreds more became instant memories for young city and suburban kids looking for identity. Not unlike <em>Too Much Light</em> from Andersonville's The Neo-Futurists, the Annoyance served as a great city alternative to bars and clubs that young people couldn't partake in. It became part of a night out: first you went to Reckless, then you went to Annoyance, maybe hit up Tower Records on Clark Street and finished up at Peters on Fullerton. Something like that.</p><p>The Annoyance continues to mold young performers in their permanent space in Uptown. But it will be the memories from the theater across from Reckless Records on Broadway that will live forever. Or the memories of seeing a young <em>Upright Citizens Brigade</em> at the Annoyance on Clark Street in Wrigleyville. Not to mention following the careers of Chicago luminaries like Mick Napier (director, Second City), Susan Messing (actress, everywhere), Joe Bill (improv teacher and guru) and Jimmy Carrane (Studio 312, Improv Nerd). Listen to Napier and Estlin join me on<em> Eight Forty-Eight</em> and reminsce about the good old days -- and what's to come.</p></p> Fri, 20 Apr 2012 12:29:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/annoyance-celebrates-25-years-late-night-memories-98415 Daily Rehearsal: Shake-ups from the Neo-Futurists http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-11-29/daily-rehearsal-shake-ups-neo-futurists-94427 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/photo/2011-November/2011-11-29/ensemble2009-2-small.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><span style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;"><strong>1. Samantha Irby, our usually NSFW friend</strong></span></span> at <em>The Paper Machete</em>, <a href="http://timeoutchicago.com/arts-culture/books/15025409/samantha-irby">is profiled in the latest <em>TimeOut</em></a>. She's available if you want to take her out: "I’m hoping this article gets me laid." Direct quote. Learn more about Irby's loves (like New Kids on the Block) in <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-11-04/5-machete-questions-samantha-irby-nkotb-fan-93763">our <em>Machete</em> extra with her from a few weeks back</a>.</p><p><span style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;"><strong>2. A <a href="http://reviewsyoucaniews.blogspot.com/2011/11/sweet-confinement-sinnerman-theatre.html">new Review You Can Iews</a></strong></span></span> -- and this one comes with an A+ rating! In it, <a href="http://reviewsyoucaniews.blogspot.com/2011/11/sweet-confinement-sinnerman-theatre.html">John Moran compares</a> SiNNERMAN's <em>Sweet Confinement&nbsp;</em>to<em> The Walking Dead.</em></p><p><span style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;"><strong>3. At the Annoyance tonight at 9:30:<a href="http://www.annoyanceproductions.com/inaworld/"> <em>In A World</em></a></strong></span></span>, which "creates an entire universe of comic characters and situations" from one suggestion. So, improv. These characters are played by Aidy Bryant, Chris Day, Nancy Friedrich, T.J. Jagodowski, Conner O’Malley, Rebecca Sohn, Rich Sohn, Chris Witaske and special guests depending on the evening.</p><p><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-November/2011-11-29/ensemble2009-2-small.jpg" style="margin-right: 10px; margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px; float: left; width: 300px; height: 200px;" title="(Photo by Andrew Collings)"><span style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;"><strong>4. A lot of news from the Neo-Futurists</strong></span></span>: you can now get advance reservations for <em>Too Much Light</em>, they'll have a New Year's show, and also special 23rd anniversary shows coming up. Of course, lots of catches with this news: The advance reservations are $20 (at least 5 more than usual) and not applicable on Friday and Saturday nights. And the New Year's show will include a toast and pizza (all for $50). They've ALSO welcomed new ensemble members:&nbsp;Brenda Arellano, Trevor Dawkins, Tif Harrison, and Leah Urzendowski.</p><p><span style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;"><strong>5. <a href="http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-11-25/dueling-critics-black-ensemble-theater-revives-jackie-wilson-story-94336">Hear the Dueling Critics talk</a> all about Black Ensemble Theatre's new space</strong></span></span> -- and their new show,<em> The Jackie Wilson Story -- </em>on <em>Eight Forty-Eight </em>last week. While Jonathan Abarbanel says that there's always "a certain cookie cutter-ness" to their productions, and a selective history of the black experiencec about them, he praises Kelvin Rosten Jr.'s performance. Kelly Kleiman tells us that the new "space is beautiful" and is "really going to boost the attractiveness of the neighborhood", which is Uptown.</p><p>Questions? Tips? Email <a href="mailto:kdries@wbez.org">kdries@wbez.org</a>.</p></p> Tue, 29 Nov 2011 18:01:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-11-29/daily-rehearsal-shake-ups-neo-futurists-94427 The 'Nutcracker' is back, without the ballet but with puppets http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-11-10/nutcracker-back-without-ballet-puppets-93884 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/photo/2011-November/2011-11-09/NutcrakerPoster_2011_300w.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><u><strong>Kelly Kleiman</strong></u></p><p><img alt="" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-November/2011-11-10/NutcrakerPoster_2011_300w.jpg.jpg" style="margin-right: 10px; margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px; float: left; width: 300px; height: 400px;" title="">If you just can't wait for the frigid days to come, check out tonight's opening of <a href="http://www.maryarrchie.com/">Adam Rapp's icy drama <strong><em>Red Light Winter</em></strong> at Mary-Arrchie Theatre Company</a>. Rapp, who on the basis of this Obie Award-winning offering might be competing with Neil LaBute for the Contemporary Misanthropic Playwright prize, is nonetheless a smart and agile writer whose bleak view of the world can't be dismissed.&nbsp; Through December 18 at Angel Island, the upstairs theater at 735 West (note, <em>West</em>) Sheridan Road; tickets $18-$22 but only $11 tomorrow (11/11/11). No one under 18 will be admitted.</p><p>Something a bit more pleasantly in keeping with the season, you say? Try <a href="http://www.annoyanceproductions.com"><strong><em>Fa-La-La-La F*ck It!</em></strong> at Annoyance</a>, opening Saturday at 10 p.m. and running in that slot through December 23. This comedy of family breakdown brought on by the holidays---which succeeds, though it probably can't replace, Annoyance's beloved long-running <em>Co-Ed Prison Sluts</em>---is only one of many which will grace our stages in the weeks to come, but Annoyance gets points for being first. And there's something to be said for getting your Xmas angst out of the way before Thanksgiving. The theater's at 4830 N. Broadway; tickets are $15, $10 for students. All ages admitted, but parents shouldn't blame the theater if the kiddies hear something crude.</p><p>And on Sunday comes the formal opening of <a href="http://thehousetheatre.com/">House Theatre's version of <strong><em>The Nutcracker</em></strong></a><em>,</em> a ballet-free rendition of the weird tale of the kitchen implement which becomes a prince (or whatever the hell the story is). This reprise of last year's human-puppet collaboration features original music and "spellbinding spectacle," or so says the press release. Thursdays-Sundays through December 30 at the Chopin Theatre, 1543 W. Division; tickets are $25, but only $10 for students. &nbsp;</p><p><u><strong>Laura Molzahn</strong></u></p><p><a href="http://www.chicagoreader.com/chicago/dancer-choreographer-adam-rose-holocene-overkill/Content?oid=4624044">Adam Rose is not your everyday choreographer</a>—or your everyday guy. A quintessential soloist, he delivers no-holds-barred performances based on apocalyptic scenarios. “The human is about to mutate to something other,” he says on <a href="http://www.antibodycorp.org/">his website</a> about his newest piece, a trio, <strong><em>Holocene Overkill (Phase 2)</em></strong>. “It’s our own choice as individuals whether we want to jump off the cliff with humankind or take our chances with whatever biological escape plan we can scrape together.” Friday and Saturday at <a href="http://www.dfbrl8r.com/DEFIBRILLATOR/NEXT_NOW.html">Defibrillator gallery</a>.</p><p>Ever lost yourself on the dance floor? If not, it belongs on your bucket list. <a href="http://honeypotperformance.com/">Meida McNeal’s <strong><em>The Sweet Goddess Project</em></strong></a> explores that transcendental state as well as the sensual role that women play in the culture of house music and dance. Four performers and DJ Jo de Presser perform Thursday, Friday, and Sunday at Experimental Station.</p><p style="text-align: left;"><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-November/2011-11-10/Liz Lerman Dance Exchange in The Matter of Origins.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 397px;" title="Liz Lerman Dance Exchange, 'The Matter of Origins'"></p><p>Choreographer Liz Lerman never pulls her punches, never backs off a subject. In <strong><em><a href="http://mcachicago.org/performances/now/all/2011/741">The Matter of Origins</a></em></strong>, she tackles nothing less than the physical and philosophical beginnings of the universe. The second act is a sort of salon, or “tea,” that seats audiences at tables for conversation. And chocolate cake, using a recipe from Edith Warner, who hosted atomic-bomb scientists at her Los Alamos roadhouse restaurant. Thursday through Sunday at the MCA.&nbsp;</p><p><u><strong>Jonathan Abarbanel</strong></u></p><p><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-November/2011-11-10/David-and-Brian.jpg" style="margin-left: 10px; margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px; float: right; width: 199px; height: 300px;" title="Seven Doors">“May the Farce be with you,” and with Mark Sleepwalker as well. This mantra indicates that Evanston’s Piccolo Theatre once again is presenting a <strong>British-style panto</strong> for the holiday season, this time <a href="http://www.piccolotheatre.com/The-Plays/space-wars-the-panto.html"><strong><em>Space Wars</em></strong></a>, a world premiere by Jessica Puller. It’s not a pantomime, mind you, but an audience-interactive fantasy musical comedy with particular traditions which originated in English 19<sup>th</sup> Century family entertainment. Those traditions may include a “britches role” in which a girl plays the lead boy, and a “Dame” in which a man plays a Gorgon of an old woman. Pack up the kids (even ones as young as four) for <em>Space Wars</em>, which continues at the Evanston Arts Depot through Dec. 17.</p><p>Premiere Theatre and Performance is offering a new staging of its 2008 hit, <a href="https://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/40401"><strong><em>Seven Doors</em></strong></a>, by prolific contemporary German playwright Botho Strauss, translated by Peter K. Jansen. Usually described as a dark comedy, the play offers nine vignettes of contemporary life and, most significantly, what may lie beyond. Remember, seven always has been a number with particular spiritual and mystical potency. Premiere Theatre and Performance is one of the few local troupes (Trap Door is a significant other) dedicated to bringing Chicago audiences contemporary European drama beyond London’s West End or the boulevard theatres of Paris. <em>Seven Doors</em> is performed at DANK Haus, 4740 N. Western, through Dec. 11.</p></p> Thu, 10 Nov 2011 16:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-11-10/nutcracker-back-without-ballet-puppets-93884 Daily Rehearsal: Dionne Warwick, interior designer? http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-10-07/daily-rehearsal-dionne-warwick-interior-designer-92929 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/photo/2011-October/2011-10-07/dionnewarwick_flickr_istolethetv.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><span style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;"><strong>1. Dionne Warwick, interior designer?</strong></span></span> The singer you know best from your easy-listening radio days in the 60s, 70s and 80s (and today!) has <a href="http://www.suntimes.com/8072248-421/dionne-warwick-to-design-black-ensemble-theater-interior.html">taken on the job of redoing the&nbsp;Black Ensemble Theater Cultural Center</a>. "The color scheme will be in hues of reds, oranges, beiges, browns and grays," said Warwick. "It will be a vibrant, classy, comfortable space, with a modern chandelier and memorabilia of the theater’s decades of past productions exhibited on the lobby walls."&nbsp;I hope hope hope the theater isn't singing this tune:</p><p style="text-align: center;"><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="360" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/nFvLcCDvdEA" width="480"></iframe></p><p><span style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;"><strong>2. The Pavement Group has announced their 2012 season</strong></span></span> with two world premieres; "Girl You Know It's True" and "Breaks and Bikes." None of this will open until the spring, but Pavement's Amuse Bouche will be at Collaboraction in December. That piece is a 24-hour play style situation, except there are 72-hours and six plays. Look for that December 9.</p><p><span style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;"><strong>3. The <a href="http://imeoutchicago.com/arts-culture/comedy/14973981/live-review-doug-stanhope-at-mayne-">reviews </a>are in for Doug Stanhope</strong></span></span>'s <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-10-04/daily-rehearsal-yellowman-extended-92801">performances this week</a> at Mayne Stage. Also performing at the show was one Junior Stopka, who <em>TimeOut Chicago </em>calls out as potentially "the biggest breakthrough right now in Chicago comedy." And though the end of the show got a little rowdy, Jason Heidemann writes&nbsp;"I liked Stanhope so much that I wanted to knock on Stanhope's door in Bisbee, Arizona holding a bottle of whiskey. I don't think Stanhope would appreciate that, but I do think he'd let me in."</p><p><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-October/2011-10-07/welts.jpg" style="margin: 10px; float: left; width: 225px; height: 300px;" title="Um, ew."><span style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;"><strong>4. Remember when Chris Jones <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-09-13/daily-rehearsal-joe-frank-returns-steppenwolf-91914">went to New York</a> to see <em>Follies</em>?</strong></span></span> You know, because <em>Follies </em>was coming to Chicago and it's important to do comparisons? He wasn't overwhelmingly excited about the New York production, but he's taken a look inside the future Chicago Shakes production helmed by Gary Griffin, and things are looking up. Though the subject matter seems to be repeatedly hitting close to home; "At the end of the night," <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/entertainment/theater/ct-ott-1007-jones-loop-20111005,0,5749907.story">writes Jones</a>, "you can stage it one way or another, play it on a dozen instruments or power up twice that number. <em>Follies </em>is about our inability to stop the debilitating passage of time."</p><p><span style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;"><strong>5. Tonight it's <a href="http://www.annoyanceproductions.com/welts/index.shtml"><em>Welts </em></a>at the Annoyance</strong></span></span>, which sounds actually painful, if not metaphorically so. "Armed with a different type of weapon each week, the Welts Players inflict excruciating physical pain on one another while improvising a montage of freely associated scenes, based on a suggestion from the audience. Only two rules apply. Rule one: do not acknowledge the weapons. Rule two: use your weapon whenever you want." I hope for everyone's sake this is stage acting at its finest.</p><p>Questions? Tips? Email <a href="mailto:kdries@wbez.org">kdries@wbez.org</a>.</p></p> Fri, 07 Oct 2011 15:09:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-10-07/daily-rehearsal-dionne-warwick-interior-designer-92929 Daily Rehearsal: how do you write about writer's block? http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-07-29/daily-rehearsal-how-do-you-write-about-writers-block-89813 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/photo/2011-July/2011-07-29/TF.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><span style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;"><strong>1. Check out this <a href="http://bombsite.com/issues/104/articles/3148">sort-of scary photo of Will Eno hunting</a></strong></span></span>. Oh, and the accompanying article, which is a thorough, largely unedited, interview done in many different locations. When asked what makes an actor right for a part, Eno replied, "I think you have to be honest. Honest and humble. I think you have to say to yourself, as an actor, as any kind of artist, here are the rules, here are the boundaries, and, within these limits, I will do everything I can to create an effect of infinity."</p><p><img alt="" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-July/2011-07-29/unscripted romance.jpg" style="width: 225px; height: 291px; margin: 7px; float: left;" title=""><span style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;"><strong>2. If you're special, you might <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/entertainment/theater/theaterloop/chi-macarthur-offers-1-million-for-international-projects-20110729,0,2725068.column">get some dollaz from the MacArthur Foundation</a></strong></span></span>; they're making $1 million available to local Chicago arts groups. The Foundation has a long history of giving arts money in the region, which makes sense -- this is where their headquarters are.</p><p><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;"><strong><span style="font-size: 14px;">3. <a href="http://www.annoyanceproductions.com/unscriptedromance/index.shtml"><em>An Unscripted Romance</em></a> is up at Annoyance </span></strong></span>for the second time. Just see it for the poster, which is super cute and retro. An improv show that's closing this weekend after it's second run, <em>An Unscripted Romance</em> features a "modern-day couple [that] incorporates the real-life relationships of its audience members into a two-act story that follows the trajectory of a (mostly) typical relationship." Make a reservation and eat dinner there too, as Derrick Aguis and Lindsey Finn entertain you. They've covered this ground before, so you're in good hands -- you may remember <em>Him + Her</em> and <em>A Valentine's Show</em>.</p><p><img alt="" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-July/2011-07-29/TF.jpg" style="width: 225px; height: 250px; float: right; margin: 7px;" title=""><span style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;"><strong>4. <a href="http://www.redtwist.org/Productions/ThatFace/Production.html"><em>That Face</em></a> is at RedTwist</strong></span></span>, and includes Jacqueline Grandt, who is doing double-duty in <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-04-07/working-weekend-critics-picks-84873"><em>Bug </em></a>as well. That Face was written by British playwright Polly Stenham (19 when she wrote it), and was in New York City at the Manhattan Theatre Club last spring. In his review of the New York rendition, <em>New York Times</em> reviewer <a href="http://theater.nytimes.com/2010/05/19/theater/reviews/19that.html">Ben Brantley wrote</a>, "Not since Shelagh Delaney’s 1958 drama,'A Taste of Honey,' another work featuring a mother from hell, had an angry adolescent playwright caused such a stir."</p><p><span style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;"><strong>5. Neofurtist and <em>The Paper Machete</em> performer</strong></span></span><a href="http://www.2amtheatre.com/2011/07/29/writers-block-isnt/"><span style="font-size: 14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia,serif;"><strong> Bilal Dardai</strong></span></span> writes about writer's block</a>, which seems like it couldn't work, right? And he admits that yes, technically, he didn't have writer's block, because he was writing things, just maybe not everything: "I can’t with any credibility refer to it as block. If I assign an arbitrary date of affliction; say, four months past, an honest assessment of my output leaves me with several exhibits of undeniable evidence that indeed, writing has occurred."</p><p>Questions? Tips? Email <a href="mailto:kdries@wbez.org">kdries@wbez.org</a>.</p></p> Fri, 29 Jul 2011 16:21:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-07-29/daily-rehearsal-how-do-you-write-about-writers-block-89813 Morning Rehearsal: Chicago theater news 4/18 http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-04-18/morning-rehearsal-chicago-theater-news-418-85334 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/photo/2011-April/2011-04-18/HearbreakHouse_Web_180x266.jpg" alt="" /><p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-April/2011-04-18/HearbreakHouse_Web_180x266.jpg" style="width: 250px; height: 369px;" title=""></p><p>1. George Bernhard Shaw's <a href="http://www.writerstheatre.org/boxoffice/production?id=0080"><em>Heartbreak House</em></a> starts its run at the Writers' Theatre tomorrow night. If you can't tell from the title, it's an uplifting play, to say the least.</p><p>2. Profiles Theater <a href="http://www.profilestheatre.org/season.html">has announced</a> their 2011-2012 season and in the words of Artistic Director Joe &nbsp;Jahraus, they plan to "continue our ongoing pursuit to produce work from the most talented, unique female voices in the country." This includes productions of the world premiere of <em>Assisted Living</em> directed by&nbsp;Deirdre O’Connor, and <em>Bachelorette</em>, the Off-Broadway hit directed by&nbsp;Lesley Headland. <a href="http://theater.nytimes.com/2010/07/27/theater/reviews/27bachelorette.html"><em>The New York Times</em> called</a> <em>Bachelorette</em> "as witheringly funny as it is bitterly sad."</p><p>3. Rahm Emanuel, in <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blog/justin-kaufmann/2011-04-05/lost-weekend-where-should-rahm-emanuel-party-next-84766">his neverending quest</a> to prove an adoration and support of the Chicago arts scene, <a href="http://leisureblogs.chicagotribune.com/the_theater_loop/2011/04/rahm-zod-take-in-carnage.html">was at</a> the Goodman production of <em>God of Carnage</em> on Saturday night.&nbsp;</p><p>4. Emanuel was <em>not</em>, however,<em>&nbsp;</em>at this weekend's production of <em>BOOBS and GOOMBAS: A Super Mario Burlesque</em> at the Gorilla Tango Theater, but you can be! Next <a href="http://www.gorillatango.com/cgi-bin/public/gttv2.cgi?location_number=2&amp;shows=yes">Friday at 8pm</a>, "This sexy burlesque tribute is a send-up of the famous Mario Bros. video games. Join us to discover whether the world's most adventurous plumbers will finally rescue the Princess and consummate years of amorous toil, or be seduced along the way by their alluring enemies." Not for kids (obviously), the show is produced by&nbsp;GTT/Geek Girl Burlesque.</p><p>5. Spend your Sundays a little less lethargically than usual, and hit up&nbsp;<em><a href="http://www.wesingyoulaugh.com/">Happy Karaoke Fun Time</a>.</em>&nbsp;At the&nbsp;<a href="http://annoyanceproductions.com/happykaraoke/index.shtml">Annoyance Theatre</a>, this production creates a musical as it progresses, but if you're not into audience involvement, this might not be the place for you.</p><h1 style="margin: 0px 0px 5px; padding: 0px; font-size: 17px; line-height: 19px; font-weight: bold; letter-spacing: -1px;">&nbsp;</h1><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="349" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/vZ2bqfkTMfQ" title="YouTube video player" width="560"></iframe></p><p>Questions? Tips? Email kdries@wbez.org.</p></p> Mon, 18 Apr 2011 15:03:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-04-18/morning-rehearsal-chicago-theater-news-418-85334