WBEZ | A Little Night Music http://www.wbez.org/tags/little-night-music Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Daily Rehearsal: (Chicago) Shakespeare in the Park http://www.wbez.org/blogs/onstagebackstage/2012-06/daily-rehearsal-chicago-shakespeare-park-100223 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/taming of the shrew.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, serif; "><strong>- Writer&#39;s Theatre has extended</strong></span></span> <a href="http://www.writerstheatre.org/boxoffice/production?id=0084"><em>A Little Night Music</em></a> <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blogs/onstagebackstage/2012-05/don%E2%80%99t-miss-list-may-17-23-may-musicals-and-sports-theater-99203">again</a>, but it needs to close August 12 so don&#39;t go thinking this will happen again.&nbsp;</p><p style="text-align: center; "><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/rdM_iAZN4J4" width="560"></iframe></p><p><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, serif; "><strong>-&nbsp;<a href="http://www.chicagoshakes.com/main.taf?p=2,76,10">Chicago Shakespeare Theater</a></strong></span></span> is taking their work outdoors; they&#39;re calling their upcoming summer of free Shakespeare productions Chicago Shakespeare in the Parks, without any apparent fear of litigation from the <a href="http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&amp;rct=j&amp;q=&amp;esrc=s&amp;source=web&amp;cd=1&amp;ved=0CHMQFjAA&amp;url=http%3A%2F%2Fshakespeareinthepark.org%2F&amp;ei=VODgT62ABoSE2QWPvqnFCw&amp;usg=AFQjCNFOxHeQjBMEyh1xoatUNz56HGANbg&amp;sig2=7GreR78XbrE8vRMG7HH-Yw">New York original</a>.&nbsp;&quot;From July 29 to August 19, a specially equipped truck will roll into each park, a stage will unfold, and a company of professional actors will perform a 75-minute production of <em>The Taming of the Shrew</em>.&quot; The program is free and being funded with grants from Boeing, BMO Harris, Sara Lee and the Chicago Shakespeare Trust. They&#39;ll start with the&nbsp;South Shore Cultural Center on July 29.</p><p><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, serif; "><strong>- Want to know more</strong></span></span> about the story <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blogs/john-r-schmidt/2012-06/eastland-disaster-99730">behind Lookingglass&#39;&nbsp;<em>Eastland</em></a>? Read this.</p><p><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, serif; "><strong>- Cameron Esposito</strong></span></span> will be performing at Zanie&#39;s for the month of July as house MC.&nbsp;</p><p>Questions? Tips? Email <a href="mailto:kdries@wbez.org">kdries@wbez.org</a>.</p></p> Tue, 19 Jun 2012 11:53:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/onstagebackstage/2012-06/daily-rehearsal-chicago-shakespeare-park-100223 Working for the Weekend: Critics picks for 4/29-5/1 http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-04-28/working-weekend-critics-picks-429-51-85811 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//blog/photo/2011-April/2011-04-28/The_Cast_Of_A_Little_Night_Music.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><u><strong>Kelly Kleiman</strong></u></p><p>According to legend, when <a href="http://www.chicagoshakes.com/main.taf?p=2,51"><strong><span style="font-style: italic;">The Madness of George III</span></strong></a> was made into a movie, Hollywood suits insisted on a name change because they feared the audience would skip it, thinking they'd missed <span style="font-style: italic;">The Madness of George</span> and <span style="font-style: italic;">The Madness of George II</span>. Happily, Chicago Shakespeare has more faith in its audiences, so Alan Bennett's play about the demented King of England appears there under its original title.</p><p style="text-align: left;">While the movie focuses on the king's illness (a sudden descent into insanity later thought to be caused by porphyria), the play concerns itself largely with the machinations of the Prince of Wales and his allies in the Whig Party, who see--and exploit--an opportunity to push the king aside in favor of his son. This is why <span style="font-style: italic;">The Madness</span> . . . belongs on the Chicago Shakespeare stage: because Bennett has taken this historical incident and created his own Shakespeare history play, complete with tragic flaws, evil conspirators, factions, and a distraught queen. If you get all the references to Hamlet and Lear, it's an extra fillip of fun; if you don't, Bennett's own writing will grip you and not let you go.<br> <br> And Harry Groener as George III gives the performance of a career.&nbsp;<span style="font-style: italic;">Madness</span> plays through June 12; if you're under 35, you can get $20 tickets.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><br> <img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-April/2011-04-28/The_Cast_Of_A_Little_Night_Music.jpg" style="width: 500px; height: 357px;" title="(Photo by Bob Knuth)"></p><p style="text-align: left;"><br> And speaking of elaborate period costumes: Stephen Sondheim's waltz musical <a href="http://www.circle-theatre.org/shows/little-night-music.shtml"><strong><span style="font-style: italic;">A Little Night Music</span></strong></a> opened last night at Circle Theatre in Oak Park. This beautiful show, based on Bergman's only comedy <span style="font-style: italic;">Smiles of a Summer Night</span>, is just a little bit beyond the reach of the company: most but not all of their voices are up to it; several cast members are adapting to Circle's enlarged space by making their performances bigger than the still-intimate 1010 West Madison requires; and the two leads are significantly older than the characters they portray. It's nonetheless a delightful evening, highlighted by Jeremy Rill's turn as the pea-brained dragoon Karl-Magnus and by Anita Hoffman's absolutely perfect rendition of "Send in the Clowns." Through June 5, with tickets $22-$26.</p><p>It seems the Dueling Critics agree on some things, because this week, they're both vouching for <em>A Little Night Music</em>...</p><p style="margin: 0.6em 0px 1.2em; padding: 0px;"><u><strong>Jonathan Abarbanel</strong></u></p><p style="margin: 0.6em 0px 1.2em; padding: 0px;">What do you get when you take Ingmar Bergman’s film&nbsp;<em>Smiles of a Summer Night</em>&nbsp;and combine it with 16 Stephen Sondheim tunes, all of them variations on ¾ time? The answer, of course, is the splendid pseudo-belle époque musical&nbsp;<em><strong>A Little Night Music</strong></em>, which has just opened at Circle Theatre in Oak Park, a reliable veteran theater troupe which knows how to do these things well. The surroundings are nothin’ fancy, but street parking is easy to find and Oak Park abounds in good restaurants.&nbsp;<em>A Little Night Music</em>&nbsp;runs through June 5.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><object height="349" style="height: 349px; width: 560px;" width="560"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/4GBxsXTvS0M?version=3"><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"><param name="allowScriptAccess" value="always"><embed allowfullscreen="true" allowscriptaccess="always" height="349" src="http://www.youtube.com/v/4GBxsXTvS0M?version=3" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="560"></object></p><p>Also just opened is&nbsp;<a href="http://www.google.com/search?sourceid=chrome&amp;ie=UTF-8&amp;q=rantoul+and+die" style="color: rgb(2, 122, 198); text-decoration: none;"><strong><em>Rantoul and Die</em></strong></a>, a comedy by Mark Roberts, presented by American Blues Theater at Victory Gardens on Lincoln Avenue. One presumes it will be funny but facile, as Roberts is one of creators of TV’s&nbsp;<em>Big Bang Theory</em>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<em>Two-and-a-Half Men</em>. What it REALLY has going for it is a dream cast featuring American Blues ensemble members Kate Buddeke and Cheryl Graeff, plus two guest artists from the Steppenwolf ensemble, workhorse actor Francis Guinan and Tony Award winner Rondi Reed.&nbsp;<em>Rantoul and Die</em>&nbsp;runs through May 22.</p><p><u><strong>Laura Molzahn</strong></u></p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-April/2011-04-28/James Gregg.jpg" style="width: 500px; height: 334px;" title="James Gregg"></p><p>Coming up quickly, like tomorrow: DanceWorks Chicago’s <a href="http://www.danceworkschicago.org/dance-bytes.html">free <strong>Dance Bytes</strong> program</a>, Friday at 12:30 PM. You get a glimpse of a DWC premiere by <a href="http://www.danceworkschicago.org/choreographer_bio.html">James Gregg</a>, followed by munchies and jawing over the raisons d’etre of the piece. Gregg has danced for some heavy-hitting choreographers (Frank Chaves, Aszure Barton, Crystal Pite, Danny Ezralow…), and the piece he choreographed for River North a few years ago, “Redlight,” riffed ingeniously on the tango. The new work for DWC, “S 5,” riffs on Vivaldi arias. “The feeling I envision is very sensitive and sensual,” Gregg says.</p><p>If you miss that event, DanceWorks Chicago—definitely a group worth watching—also has <a href="http://www.danceworkschicago.org/dance-chance.html">a <strong>Dance Chance</strong> affair coming up Monday</a> at 6, for the amazing sum of $3, featuring the choreography of newcomers Sarah Strackany, Lizzie Leopold, and Dayton Castleman; it’s moderated by Surinder Martignetti of the MCA. Basically a dance incubator, DWC provides training to a select troupe of young dancers, choreographic opportunities to fledgling and established artists alike, and behind-the-scenes info about dance to audiences.</p></p> Thu, 28 Apr 2011 19:27:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-04-28/working-weekend-critics-picks-429-51-85811 Morning Rehearsal: Chicago theater 4/21 http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-04-21/morning-rehearsal-chicago-theater-421-85493 <p><p>1. Alan Cumming is <a href="http://chitheatreaddict.com/2011/04/15/tony-award-winner-alan-cumming-brings-his-blue-car-to-harris-theater/">coming to Chicago</a> (how many times has that pun been made?)! He'll be performing his one man cabaret show <em>I Bought a Blue Car Today</em> <a href="http://www.harristheaterchicago.org/calendar/performance?id=2770&amp;mos=7">on May 28th</a>. Yes, that's a long time from now, but he's a big deal, so get on it. Cumming was actually in the Broadway production of <em>Cabaret </em>in 1994, and his television show <em>The Good Wife</em> is set in Chicago (though disappointingly&nbsp;not filmed here) so this seems like a natural melding of the two.&nbsp;</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img border="0" height="0" src="http://c.gigcount.com/wildfire/IMP/CXNID=2000002.0NXC/bT*xJmx*PTEzMDM*MDA1Mzc4NzYmcHQ9MTMwMzQwMDU*MTg4OCZwPTEyNTg*MTEmZD1BQkNOZXdzX1NGUF9Mb2NrZV9FbWJlZCZn/PTImbz1iMzJlMTgxODBkOGU*OTQ*YTY1YTZiNTg5NzAzYmFiNyZvZj*w.gif" style="visibility: hidden; width: 0px; height: 0px;" width="0"><object classid="clsid:D27CDB6E-AE6D-11cf-96B8-444553540000" codebase="http://download.macromedia.com/pub/shockwave/cabs/flash/swflash.cab#version=9,0,124,0" height="278" id="ABCESNWID" width="344"><param name="movie" value="http://abcnews.go.com/assets/player/walt2.6/flash/SFP_Walt_2_65.swf"><param name="quality" value="high"><param name="allowScriptAccess" value="always"><param name="allowNetworking" value="all"><param name="flashvars" value="configUrl=http://abcnews.go.com/video/sfp/embedPlayerConfig&amp;configId=406732&amp;clipId=8891789&amp;showId=8891789&amp;gig_lt=1303400537876&amp;gig_pt=1303400541888&amp;gig_g=2"><param name="allowfullscreen" value="true"><embed allowfullscreen="true" allownetworking="all" allowscriptaccess="always" flashvars="configUrl=http://abcnews.go.com/video/sfp/embedPlayerConfig&amp;configId=406732&amp;clipId=8891789&amp;showId=8891789&amp;gig_lt=1303400537876&amp;gig_pt=1303400541888&amp;gig_g=2" height="278" name="ABCESNWID" pluginspage="http://www.adobe.com/shockwave/download/download.cgi?P1_Prod_Version=ShockwaveFlash" quality="high" src="http://abcnews.go.com/assets/player/walt2.6/flash/SFP_Walt_2_65.swf" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="344"></object></p><p>2.&nbsp;<em>Merrily We Roll Along</em> is getting consistently consistent reviews; Onstage/Backstage's own Kelly Kleiman <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-04-07/working-weekend-critics-picks-84873">was looking forward to it</a> a few weeks ago, the Hedy Weiss of the <em>Sun-Times</em> <a href="http://www.suntimes.com/entertainment/stage/4872653-421/merrily-we-roll-along-a-worthwhile-time.html">calls it</a> "a worthwhile time", and Chris Jones of the <em>Tribune</em> <a href="http://leisureblogs.chicagotribune.com/the_theater_loop/2011/04/merrily-youthful-creativity-invigorates-sondheim-production.html">says </a>"The vibe is young and fresh." So it's not blowing anyone out of the water, but it is plodding comfortably with a warm glow about it.</p><p>3. Another Sondheim classic, <a href="http://www.circle-theatre.org/shows/little-night-music.shtml"><em>A Little Night Music</em></a> is set to open in previews tomorrow night at the Circle Theatre, which has had a particularly exciting season - they've done everything from <em>Kiss Me, Kate</em> to <em>The Wedding Singer</em>, and after <em>A Little Night Music</em> will have <em>The Women</em>, and <em>Urinetown </em>later in the year. A word to the wise: Don't brush up on the plot of <em>The Women</em> by seeing the movie. Meg Ryan's face isn't the same since <em>When Harry Met Sally</em>, Annette Bening doesn't save it, and I'm pretty sure we all hate change.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-April/2011-04-21/King_and_I.jpg" style="width: 250px; height: 288px;" title=""></p><p>4. <a href="http://www.stage773.org/showDetail.aspx?uniqshow=46"><em>The King and I</em></a> opens at Stage 773 tomorrow night as presented by Porchlight Music Theatre. So it's not Sondheim, but Rogers and Hammerstein will probably do the trick.&nbsp;</p><p>5. Blink and you missed it (until next month): <a href="http://ww.belmontburlesque.com/home.">The Belmont Burlesque Revue</a> is sold out this Saturday. Why so popular? After May 28th, they'll be retiring their monthly open run of shows at the Playground Theater. In a note from the director and founding member of the troupe, Paris Green emphasized that they are "*not* breaking up, closing down or otherwise ending our time together as a troupe - we're simply moving on to other burlesque projects as a group."</p><p>Questions? Tips? Email kdries@wbez.org.</p></p> Thu, 21 Apr 2011 14:59:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-04-21/morning-rehearsal-chicago-theater-421-85493