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Daily Rehearsal: Gorrilla Tango expands north

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1. Gorilla Tango Theatre announced Friday that they’re buying the Skokie Theatre, with plans to reopen it in April, a move they say is part of their regional and national expansion goals. “It’s a beautiful venue in a great area, “ said Dan Abbate, GTT Owner and CEO in a statement. “We will run Gorilla Tango’s Skokie Theatre in a similar fashion to our Bucktown venue: where we seek out and help produce shows directed at very specific markets...We of course will concurrently run our own programming at Skokie, focusing on our successful “By Kids For Kids” shows (where young artists work with directors to produce original performances which they co-write and perform in) as well as a variety of our original parodies.” Skokie mayor George Van Dusen says the Village is not helping with financing, but of course, they’re happy about this move and helped it happen. As you well know, GTT primarily acts as a space to put up shows, and in their own words, they have “no creative agenda”, merely “a profit driven one.”

2. Sometimes criticized (by our bloggers at least) for doing too much of the same old thing, Black Ensemble Theater’s 7th Annual Playwright’s Festival runs March 19 through the 24. It “brings new scripts to the BE stage for readings after being developed through the [Black Playwrights Initiatve] in workshops and rehearsals.” This years plays were written by playwrights Leonard Ferris, Creola Thomas, Wendell Etherly and Rueben Echoles, and 10-minute works by Wendell Etherly, Loy A. Webb and Andre Wright.

3. A nice feature on Jokes and Notes owner Mary Lindsey in the Tribune, topical because Lindsey is featured in the new Showtime documentary Phunny Business: A Black Comedy. Jokes and Notes house MC and comedian Baldhead Phillips calls her “Genghis Khan.”

4. Please watch this teaser for the Goodman’s Camino Real. You will not regret it.

5. What to ask Lily Tomlin? About Meryl Streep of course! Or so says this headline.

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