WBEZ | Next Theatre http://www.wbez.org/tags/next-theatre Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Don't-Miss List November 15-21: Baudelaire and Bernstein, 500 Clowns and Frankenstein, plus war (and a cab) is hell http://www.wbez.org/blogs/onstagebackstage/2012-11/dont-miss-list-november-15-21-baudelaire-and-bernstein-500-clowns-and <p><p class="yiv1977399926MsoNormal" style="MARGIN:0in 0in 0pt;">&nbsp;</p><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/403.th_.th_.rv_.500Clown_1.jpg" title="500 Clown Frankenstein (Courtesy of the Viaduct)" /></div><p class="yiv1977399926MsoNormal" style="MARGIN:0in 0in 0pt;">&nbsp;</p><p class="yiv1977399926MsoNormal" style="MARGIN:0in 0in 0pt;"><u><em>Possession: Baudelaire in a Box</em>,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.theatreoobleck.org">Theatre Oobleck</a>&nbsp;at Links Hall, 3435 N. Sheffield; tickets at the door or on the Website; $15 (suggested donation); through Nov. 18 only</u><br />&nbsp;</p><p>How many composers does it take to make songs out of Baudelaire&#39;s poems? Answer: three, because they only compose with one hand while they eat madeleines with the other. Besides, Theatre Oobleck is required to give artists free rein in order to maintain its stature as one of Chicago&#39;s Oldest Established Permanent Floating Avant-Garde Theater Troupes.&nbsp;<strong><em>Possession: Baudelaire in a Box</em></strong>&nbsp;is a cycle of 16 songs written and performed by Jeff Dorchen, Ronnie Kuller and Chris Schoen, THIS WEEKEND ONLY at Links Hall.&nbsp;Oobleck says these are &quot;poems of&nbsp;<em>poison</em>,&nbsp;<em>betrayal</em>, and&nbsp;<em>shame</em>&nbsp;to be washed down with longing, lust, and liquor.&quot; Hey, sounds good to me! Mint-on-the-pillow: artist Dave Buchen provides &quot;yards and yards&quot; of painted images which will scroll by as background for the Baudelaire Slam. (JA)</p><p><u><em>One Hand, One Heart: The Musicals of Leonard Bernstein</em><strong>;&nbsp;</strong><a href="http://www.davenportspianobar.com">Davenport&#39;s,</a>&nbsp;1-773-278-1830; $13 plus two-drink minimum; Nov. 14-15, 28-29 only.</u></p><p>The musicals of Leonard Bernstein range from typical Broadway tuners such as&nbsp;<em>On the Town</em>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<em>Wonderful Town</em>, to works with profound sentiments such as&nbsp;<em>Candide</em>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<em>West Side Story.</em>&nbsp;Bookending those hits are lesser-known and failed efforts as&nbsp;<em>1600 Pennsylvania Avenue</em>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<em>Peter Pan.</em>&nbsp;This cabaret show&mdash;FOUR PERFORMANCES ONLY&mdash; is titled&nbsp;<strong><em>One Hand, One Heart: The Musicals of Leonard Bernstein</em></strong>, and we earnestly hope it will include some of his lesser-known stuff. Bernstein&#39;s always-sophisticated, melodious and complex music elevated whatever genre he touched, in part because he was smart enough to partner with the best lyricists available, among them Stephen Sondheim, Comden &amp; Green and Alan&nbsp;Jay&nbsp;Lerner. Even with his failures, the problem wasn&#39;t the music and lyrics. See for yourself at Davenport&#39;s.&nbsp; (JA)</p><p><u><span id="yiv1996665171yui_3_7_2_18_1352823200308_77"><em>500 Clown Frankenstein</em>,&nbsp;<a href="http://500clown.com/">500 Clown</a>&nbsp;at the Viaduct Theatre, 3111 North Western, Thursday through this Sunday,&nbsp;<a href="http://500clownfrankenstein.brownpapertickets.com/">tickets $20-$25</a></span></u></p><div id="yiv1996665171yui_3_7_2_18_1352823200308_79"><div>Before Halloween gives way completely to Christmas, stop in to see&nbsp;<em><strong>500 Clown Frankenstein</strong></em>, the physical-comedy company&#39;s rendition of Mary Shelley&#39;s classic about man playing god. The twist in this case is that the play is about an effort to put on a play, a situation in which one man gets to play God &mdash; but which one? The director, the &quot;star,&quot; the stagehand? The show creeps up on you, and the final moment is a fine kick in the ass. Closes this Sunday (the 18th), but if you miss it you can go instead to see the family-friendly&nbsp;<em><strong>500 Clown Trapped</strong></em>&nbsp;at the DCA Theater &mdash; and for free!&nbsp;<em>Trapped </em>runs&nbsp;December 7-8-9; call 312-742-TIXS for reservations. (KK)</div></div><div id="yiv1996665171yui_3_7_2_18_1352823200308_85"><p><span id="yiv1996665171yui_3_7_2_18_1352823200308_77"><u><em>Welcome Home Jenny Sutter</em>,&nbsp;<a href="http://nexttheatre.org/">Next Theatre</a>,&nbsp;</u></span><u>927 Noyes Street, Evanston, 847-475-1875</u><span id="yiv1996665171yui_3_7_2_18_1352823200308_77"><u>, begins previews this Thursday (the 15th), tickets $25-40</u><br /><br />And &mdash;&nbsp;</span>before Veterans&#39; Day becomes just another memory of a Monday, spend 90 minutes in the world of a returning Marine whose experience of home has been so fractured by her experience in battle that &quot;return&quot; and &quot;home&quot; are both misnomers. Jessica Thebus directs the Chicago premiere of this play about the few who have done so much for so many. Through December 23.&nbsp;(KK)</p><p><u><em>Hellcab</em>,&nbsp;<a href="http://profilestheatre.org/">Profiles Theatre</a>, 4139 N. Broadway; 1-773-549-1815; $35-$40; through Dec. 23</u></p><p>It&#39;s Xmas Eve and some starving writer of a taxi driver is working late. Finding fares ain&#39;t a problem as every drunk, fruitcake, crackpot, addict and get-a-room couple fights to flag him down. It could only be Will Kern&#39;s&nbsp;<strong><em>Hellcab</em></strong>, the brilliant Chicago and nationwide cult hit that ran for nine years in its original production as a late-nite show at the defunct Famous Door Theatre Company. That was 20 years ago, hard to believe, y&#39;know, back when taxis were cheap. Now it returns to Chicago in a holiday-season production with a cast of 34 fronted by Konstantin Khrustov as the cabbie, and staged by Profiles Theatre co-artistic director Darrell W. Cox.&nbsp;(JA)</p></div><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Thu, 15 Nov 2012 05:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/onstagebackstage/2012-11/dont-miss-list-november-15-21-baudelaire-and-bernstein-500-clowns-and Daily Rehearsal: extensions, extensions http://www.wbez.org/blogs/onstagebackstage/2012-05/daily-rehearsal-extensions-extensions-98970 <p><p><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family:georgia,serif;"><strong>1. Remember </strong></span></span><a href="http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2012-03-14/daily-rehearsal-court-theatre-brings-proof-back-hyde-park-97278"><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family:georgia,serif;"><strong>the August Wilson</strong></span></span> Monologue Competition</a>? Chicago's Christian Helem placed second, making the city&nbsp;"the only city to have placed in the top three for three years running, and is the only team to have all finalists advance beyond the national preliminary round to the main event."</p><p><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family:georgia,serif;"><strong>2.&nbsp;<a href="http://MortarTheatreCompany.org/">Mortar Theatre Company</a></strong></span></span>&nbsp;has&nbsp;<em>Bombs, Babes and Bingo</em> coming up. It's deemed an "experimental production" and will be at Luna Central (formerly Live Bait Theatre). This is not <a href="http://www.wbez.org/dont-miss-list-april-5-11-babes-blades-pippin-97957"><em>Babes with Blades</em></a>, despite the title similarity.</p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/pride_prod_01.jpg" style="float: right; " title="'Pride and Prejudice' at Lifeline Theatre"><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family:georgia,serif;"><strong>3. Next Theatre </strong></span></span>has extended <em>After the Revolution</em> through May 19.&nbsp;</p><p><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family:georgia,serif;"><strong>4. Lifeline Theatre</strong></span></span> has added a whole month to <em>Pride and Prejudice</em>.&nbsp;</p><p><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family:georgia,serif;"><strong>5. <a href="http://www.chicago.zanies.com/news.php?viewStory=937"><em>Pretty Semitic: Laughing from Right to Wrong</em></a></strong></span></span>, which consists of Jewish and Palestinian comedians, is up at Zanies May 17 starring Jess Salomon and Eman "single-handedly solving the Israeli/Palestinian confliect."&nbsp;</p><p>Questions? Tips? Email<a href="mailto:kdries@wbez.org"> kdries@wbez.org</a>.</p></p> Wed, 09 May 2012 12:03:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/onstagebackstage/2012-05/daily-rehearsal-extensions-extensions-98970 Daily Rehearsal: Profiles Theatre does 'Hellcab' again http://www.wbez.org/blogs/onstagebackstage/2012-04/daily-rehearsal-profiles-theatre-does-hellcab-again-98135 <p><p><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family:georgia,serif;"><strong>1. Next Theatre is running</strong></span></span> a 2012-13 season full of&nbsp;<em>Iphigenia 2.0,</em>&nbsp;<em>Welcome Home, Jenny Sutter,&nbsp;</em><em>Everything is Illuminated </em>(by Simon Block, adapted from Jonathan Safron Foers’ novel), and the final show of the season,&nbsp;<em>The Exonerated,</em> will be co-produced by Next and&nbsp;Interpretation Center at Northwestern University.</p><p><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family:georgia,serif;"><strong>2. Profiles Theatre</strong></span></span> also has a season for next year (what are the odds?) with&nbsp;<em>Blood from a Stone</em>&nbsp;(revised), <em>After</em>, <em>The Dream of the Burning Boy, and</em>&nbsp;Neil LaBute’s 2010 play <em>The Break of Noon</em> revised exclusively for Profiles Theatre. They'll also be redoing&nbsp;<em>Hellcab</em> by Will Kern to celebrate the 20th anniversary of that production, and want to let you all know that&nbsp;Neil LaBute and Steppenwolf ensemble member Rick Snyder joined Profiles as Resident Artists.</p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/beowulf.jpg" style="float: right; width: 300px; height: 232px; " title=""><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family:georgia,serif;"><strong>3.&nbsp;Arcas Productions&nbsp;is trying out <em>Beowulf </em></strong></span></span>as "an action theatre adaptation" May 31 through June 10 at Studio BE. "<em>BEOWULF </em>blurs the lines between poetry and movement, dance and combat, man and monster to tell this classic story as never before."</p><p><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family:georgia,serif;"><strong>4. Judah Friedlander of <em>30 Rock</em></strong></span></span> will be on <a href="http://www.wbez.org/programs/afternoon-shift-steve-edwards"><em>Afternoon Shift</em> today</a>. That is all.</p><p><span style="font-size:14px;"><span style="font-family:georgia,serif;"><strong>5. O/B blogger Kelly Kleiman </strong></span></span>was <a href="http://www.theinsightlabs.org/interview/set-the-sector-free">interviewed about her work</a> in non-profits by Insight Labs.</p><p>Questions? Tips? Email <a href="mailto:kdries@wbez.org">kdries@wbez.org</a>.</p></p> Wed, 11 Apr 2012 12:18:57 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/onstagebackstage/2012-04/daily-rehearsal-profiles-theatre-does-hellcab-again-98135 The Don't-Miss List: BONEdanse, a 'Girl in the Yellow Dress', and 'Garage Rep' http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2012-02-02/dont-miss-list-bonedanse-girl-yellow-dress-and-garage-rep-96030 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//blog/photo/2012-February/2012-02-02/bonedanse2011_7x5300dpi__photo_by_chrystyne.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><u><strong>Kelly Kleiman</strong></u></p><p><a href="http://courttheatre.org/">Court Theatre</a>'s adaptation of Ralph Ellison's<strong> <em>Invisible Man</em></strong> is a scathing portrait of racism built around the observation that the central character is invisible because the people he deals with can see only his color. But its scope goes beyond race to the existential question of whether anyone&nbsp;ever sees anyone except through the observer's own needs and concerns. Thus all the characters are invisible to one another despite the hundreds of lightbulbs over the stage.</p><p>In his stunning lighting design John Culbert has captured the work’s central metaphor-- that of the character vainly fighting the darkness while buried underground like Dostoevsky's narrator–- as well as its central irony. Director Christopher McElroen and Invisible Man Teagle F. Bougere, both making their Chicago debuts, along with adapter Oren Jacoby, deserve great credit for bringing to life this ferociously current version of a 60-year-old masterwork. And the supporting cast, including A.C. Smith as Mr. Bledsoe and Lance Stuart Baker as a representative of the Brotherhood, a thinly-veiled portrait of the Communist Party, is pretty much flawless. <em>Through February 19 in Hyde Park; tickets $10-$45.</em><br> <br> <img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2012-February/2012-02-02/YD-full.jpeg" style="margin-left: 10px; margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px; float: right; width: 288px; height: 300px;" title="'The Girl in the Yellow Dress' at Next Theatre"><strong><em>The Girl in the Yellow Dress</em></strong> at <a href="http://nexttheatre.org/">Next Theatre </a>also touches on issues of race and invisibility, albeit only en route to portraying a couple unable to connect through a thicket of their own illusions and the other’s preconceptions. Director Joanie Schultz captures every rhythm of Craig Higginson’s taut dialogue in this U.S. premiere, and Carrie A. Coon and Austin Talley are impeccable as the ill-fated pair. <em>Through February 26 in Evanston; tickets $25-$40 with student discounts available.</em><br> <br> To complete the race/invisibility trifecta there’s <strong><em>Home/Land</em></strong> at the <a href="http://aptpchicago.org/">Albany Park Theater Project</a>. The piece was devised by the teenage company about the impact of immigration policy on the diverse families in their neighborhood, those from Eastern Europe and the Philippines as well as those&nbsp;from the Middle East and Mexico.</p><p>Though the piece overstays its welcome at nearly 2 hours with no intermission, its take on this urgent topic is clever as well as thoughtful. I especially liked the game show <em>Who wants to be an American?</em> <em>Through February 25 (with extensions likely)&nbsp;at the company’s home at Eugene Field Park, 5100 North Ridgeway; tickets $6 to $22.&nbsp;</em></p><p>&nbsp;</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/2012-February/2012-02-02/bonedanse2011_7x5300dpi__photo_by_chrystyne.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 396px;" title="BONEdanse in 'This Is a Damage Manual'"></p><p>BONEdanse’s <strong><em><a href="http://www.theaterwit.org/tickets/productions/79/performances#top">This Is a Damage Manual</a>&nbsp;</em></strong>takes its title from the supergroup made up of '80s punk icons—and the advice it contains from '50s-era instruction manuals and self-help records. It’s a good bet that any actual instruction delivered by this satirical dark comedy will be oblique. <a href="http://www.wbez.org/story/atalee-judy/atalee-judy-strikes-back-empire">Atalee Judy</a>’s choreography relies on DIY fix-it books, safety operation guides, and her own dance notes from 1994. Also on the bill: <em>The Woman Who Had It All</em>, a solo by Jyl (“Jyldo”) Fehrenkamp. <em>Thursdays through Sundays at Theater Wit through February 12.</em></p><p>And, in the category of things that are not as they seem: <strong><em><a href="http://www.harristheaterchicago.org/events/calendar">This Is Not a Dance Concert</a></em></strong>, by <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-02-18/seldoms-must-see-stupormarket-82547">Carrie Hanson of the Seldoms</a>. A very funny metatheatrical piece, with texts culled from Yelp and other online sources, it’s one night only at the Harris. Audiences at each of the three separate shows are divided into four groups, then guided around the theater, including backstage, for site-specific performances. <em>Saturday at 7, 8:15, and 9:30 PM.</em></p><p>Meida McNeal remounts her <strong><em><a href="http://www.northwestern.edu/newscenter/stories/2012/01/sweet-goddess-project.html">Sweet Goddess Project</a></em></strong>, investigating the role women play in the house scene, at Northwestern University. I saw it last fall, and it’s not only great fun but puts house, a home for outsiders, in context.&nbsp;</p><p><u><strong>Jonathan Abarbanel</strong></u></p><p>I have only one choice this week because my pick actually is three-three-three shows in one (to paraphrase an ancient TV commercial for a patent medicine). My endorsement goes to the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.steppenwolf.org/boxoffice/productions/index.aspx?id=550"><strong>Steppenwolf Garage Rep</strong></a>&nbsp;at the Merle Reskin Garage Theatre.</p><p><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2012-February/2012-02-02/image003.jpeg" style="width: 300px; height: 361px; float: left; margin: 5px;" title="">Each year, Steppenwolf invites three smaller and younger Off-Loop theater troupes to stage a wintertime rotating repertory of new productions in its Garage space. Typically, the troupes have production values and techniques radically different from the realism for which the Steppenwolf Ensemble is famous. Thus, the Garage Rep has hosted wildly imaginative works featuring puppets, robots, other-worldly oddities and who-knows-what-all. It’s precisely what a troupe of Steppenwolf’s size, stature and resources&nbsp;should&nbsp;be doing to support theater arts and crafts here in Chicago.</p><div><div>This year’s Garage Rep features Bekah Brunstetter’s&nbsp;<em>Oohrah!</em>&nbsp;By LiveWire (sic) Theatre Company, the world premiere of&nbsp;<em>Hit the Wall</em>&nbsp;by Ike Holter, presented by The InConvenience (sic) and Michael Montenegro’s&nbsp;<em>He Who</em>&nbsp;offered by Theatre Zarko. It’s OK if you’ve never heard of the authors or theater troupes; it’s even as it should be. All three companies work in engaging and non-realistic styles of presentation. The darkly comic&nbsp;<em>Oohrah!&nbsp;</em>(a Marines expression) concerns the unexpected return of an Iraq vet.&nbsp;<em>Hit the Wall</em>&nbsp;uses a live rock band to explore the death of Judy Garland and the myth of the 1969 Stonewall Riots.&nbsp;<em>He Who</em>&nbsp;employs puppets, masks and live actors to explore the legacy of a life. The shows open, respectively, tonight (Feb. 2), tomorrow and Saturday and then run in rotating rep through April 8.</div></div></p> Thu, 02 Feb 2012 16:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2012-02-02/dont-miss-list-bonedanse-girl-yellow-dress-and-garage-rep-96030 The best Chicago theater directors of 2011 http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-12-20/best-chicago-theater-directors-2011-95051 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//blog/photo/2011-December/2011-12-20/_78.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Some theater folk hold that 90% of the work of a really good director is casting the show. Certainly, there are times when the quality of the talent on stage is such that a gifted director simply gets out of the way and makes him/herself invisible. But not always. Sometimes concept or interpretation make all the difference and then the director becomes the star of the show in the best sense, or at least a co-star. There were several strong examples in 2011.</p><p><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-December/2011-12-20/Kimberly-Senior-Headshot-300.jpg" style="margin-right: 10px; margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px; float: left; width: 300px; height: 200px; " title="Director Kimberly Senior">At Next Theatre Company last winter, the time-tested director <strong>Kimberly Senior</strong> again demonstrated her skill with J. T. Rodgers’s <em>Madagascar</em>, a three-person monologue play about a missing person that offers audiences a conundrum inside a puzzle. Senior guided her actors knowingly through every inch of this poetic, rich and layered work of direct address to the audience, resulting in a spell-binding piece where one might have had mere drone.</p><p><strong>Dexter Bullard</strong>, highly regarded as a director of physical theater, was at the top of his game with the February world premiere of <em>The Big Meal</em> at American Theater Company; a fast-paced and multi-scene comedy by Dan LeFranc that was both verbally and physically complex. All actors played multiple roles and ages in portraying four generations of a family (or was it five?) meeting across the holiday dinner table. Vastly entertaining and meaty as well, the play and the performances gained critical mass as the show progressed.</p><p>Director <strong>Jonathan Wilson</strong> long has been one of Chicago’s under-appreciated treasures, who combines nuanced understanding of text with a firm hand and—always—clear vision. Wilson’s merits were fully on display in <em>Yellowman</em>, produced in September by Greentree Productions. Dael Orlandersmith’s prize-winning drama has been seen in Chicago before, but never in such a funny, tender and terrifying production. A tale of love, discovery, racism and class conflict, the play is too long, but it didn’t matter this time.</p><p>September also brought us one of America’s top directors in top form as <strong>Robert Falls</strong> staged John Logan’s <em>Red</em> at the Goodman Theatre (of which Falls is the long-time artistic director). This witty two-man work about artist Mark Rothko and a fictional young assistant is surprisingly physical, and Falls made the physical business dazzling (although not unnecessarily so). However, his real contribution was an interpretation radically different from the New York/London original production; one which brought more meaning out of the text and, therefore, out of the characters.</p><p>Also in September, Seanachai Theatre tackled the great Sean O’Casey’s first important play, <em>The Shadow of a Gunman</em>. It’s a play of character and “crack” (Irish slang for talk and banter) rather than plot—which O’Casey telegraphs miles away—and Seanachai was fortunate to have <strong>John Mossman</strong> as director. Himself an actor and teacher (he and his wife run The Artistic Home), Mossman took the often-purple and poetic prose of O’Casey and turned it into intimate speech deeply rooted in the personality of each character, without ever losing the Irish charm or O’Casey’s passion.</p><p><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-December/2011-12-20/_78.jpg" style="margin-left: 10px; margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px; float: right; width: 300px; height: 200px; " title="Director Ron OJ Parson">Finally, I can’t let the year wind down without citing the astute comedic glory of what <strong>Ron OJ Parson</strong> and three superb actors are doing with Harold Pinter’s <em>The Caretaker</em> at Writers’ Theatre in Glencoe (running through next March 25). Parson’s high concept puts the audience—all 40 or so of them—<em>inside</em> the set, which is a complete four-walled room built within the already-tiny theater space. Within the confines of this space, the audience becomes one with the three distinct personalities of the characters, whom Parson and company bring to crystal-clear life.</p></p> Tue, 20 Dec 2011 16:08:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-12-20/best-chicago-theater-directors-2011-95051 Morning Rehearsal: Chicago theater 4/29 http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-04-29/morning-rehearsal-chicago-theater-429-85842 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//blog/photo/2011-April/2011-04-29/night_and_her_stars.gif" alt="" /><p><p>1. The Chicago Humanities Festival isn't all lectures and talks. The <a href="http://www.chicagoreader.com/chicago/chicago-humanities-festival/Content?oid=3684373">theater showcas</a>e begins next week, so keep a weather eye open.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="caption" height="599" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-April/2011-04-29/night_and_her_stars.gif" title="" width="440"></p><p>2. A few weeks back,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.thegifttheatre.org/now.html"><em>Night and Her Stars</em></a> at the Gift Theatre was extended, but it is wrapping up this weekend.The play is a look behind-the-scenes of the 1952 gameshow <em>21 </em>(not real), where a privileged contestant is given help in order to beat out his working-class Jewish competitor. During this Sunday's closing matinee performance, you can "Come Closer" to the production and compete in the game show, plus attend in a reception afterwards with the cast and crew. The whole thing is in keeping with the 1950s theme too, so perhaps it'll keep you tied over until <em>Mad Me</em>n comes back...oh wait...that's the 60s...nevermind.</p><p>3. <a href="http://www.latenitecatechism.info/"><em>Late Night Catechism</em></a> is, as usual, Thursdays and Saturdays at the Royal George Theatre. Pretend you're in Catholic school all over again, or replace those painful memories with something a little more uplifting.&nbsp;</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="caption" height="343" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-April/2011-04-29/the-metal-children.jpg" title="" width="288"></p><p>4. On Sunday, <a href="http://www.2ndstory.com/whatis/when.php">2nd Story teams up</a> with Next Theater at SPACE in Evanston to discuss and perform based off of Adam Rapp's <a href="http://www.nexttheatre.org/the-metal-children-shows-3.php"><em>The Metal Children</em></a> (which is in the middle of its run at Next). Don't expect lighthearted fare though; the play explores what responsibility artists have for their art, as a writer deals with the censorship of his book in small town America. Do expect to jump right in -- 2nd Story is one part storytelling session, one part performance.</p><p>5. It's not exactly theater, but it is a spectacle; early in the wee morning hours, Chicagoans watched the Royal Wedding all over town, and WBEZ's Tony Arnold went to the Globe Pub and&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wbez.org/blog/city-room-blog/2011-04-29/chicagoans-raise-their-glasses-british-royal-wedding-85830">got their thoughts</a>. Additionally, TimeOut <a href="http://timeoutchicago.com/things-to-do/this-week-in-chicago/14743279/five-questions-for-a-will-and-kate-fanatic">interviewed </a>the ultimate Royal Family fanatic, and it's Chicagoan Allison Lackey, a 24 year old who lives in Lakeview and whose apartment is plastered with memorabilia and overdue library books. The funnest fact: in college, she set up Google alerts for members of the Royal Family. Lackey was recently seen on the BBC show <em><a href="http://www.bbcamerica.com/content/428/royally-mad.jsp">Royally Mad</a>&nbsp;</em>celebrating her obsession.</p><p>Questions? Tips? Email kdries@wbez.org.</p></p> Fri, 29 Apr 2011 14:39:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-04-29/morning-rehearsal-chicago-theater-429-85842