1. The "Best of" issue of the Reader is out, and there are a few surprising choices, such as Steppenwolf as runner-up for Best Off-Loop Theater Company (isn't it a little too legitimate to be off-loop?), and Octavarius of Comedy/Sportz Theatre winning Best Sketch/Improv Troupe. But perhaps best category should go to Best Dance Trance Space, which Laura Molzahn describes as an "overlooked spot has housed artists, arts teachers, and arts organizations—some 60 at the moment" that has been around for more than a century. And argue amongst yourselves: does Writers Theatre deserve a Tony?
2. Luna Negra has announced their 2011-12 season; on the roster is a new adaptation of Carmen by artistic director Gustavo Ramírez Sansano. They're also introducing a new series for families called Luna Niños, and the first piece is Moniquilla y el Ladrón de Risas (Moniquilla and the Thief of Laughter).
3. Kelly Kleiman recently reported on the developments surrounding Governors State University's Center for Performing Arts, but they've got some other exciting programs coming up in their 2011-12 season. Expect a Lyric Opera Preview with Opera Up Close in September, as well as the return of Ailey II, and the National Broadway Tour of The Color Purple.
4. Carlos Mencia is performing at Chicago Improv this Saturday at 7 and again at 9:30. They're calling this a "special event"; please go and tell me why.
5. A.V. Club has started Summer Survey, where they interview people going to specific events to see what their demographics are, and why they're there. The first one was Seth Meyers' performance at the Vic on Saturday, and though I think they need a bigger sample size, there is some valuable information; a bunch of attendees watch Saturday Night Live regularly, which is news to me -- I thought everyone watched the clips the next afternoon, after just waking up, on Hulu.
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