1. The Sketch Comedy Festival line-up is here. It runs over two weekend between January 5 and 15th, and includes one day of comedy for the kids. They proclaim themselves to be "the largest sketch comedy festival America has ever seen." If you go and feel clastrophobic, I guess they've succeeded.
2. Following up on the debates we've been having about cell phone use during performances, Washington Post readers agree that it's rude to live tweet during a play, and that theaters shouldn't allow that. 43 percent of readers said "People should be able to turn off their phones for two hours" and other 43 percent agreed, except for a different reason: "it's just plain rude."
3. A real child has reviewed a show for children, making her opinion basically valid over all the rest. Ada has shined a generally favorable light on Junie B Jones in Jingle Bells, Batman Smells! from Emerald City. Among some of her best criticisms, Ada chastises Emerald City for always putting on musicals (which she doesn't favor) because they make "a short story longer", praises a character that can burp the Star Spangled Banner "because that is one of the hardest songs in the whole world to burp" and says that no one under three should see this show: "I think this show should be for ages 4 and up. I'll tell you why I said that: because there was a three-year-old boy kicking me in the back the whole show."
4. More children: Hear from Shanequa Beal, an eighth grader currently starring in A Christmas Carol at the Goodman. She says she likes the play because she gets to work with kids her own age, and "surprisingly we all get along pretty well!" Additionally, the Goodman is probably glad Beal has some union backing her, with comments like these: "A Christmas Carol was not a piece of cake. It required a lot of hours of work, memorizing and tons energy! At one point we worked a 50 hour week. Yes, I was really tired and missed school often but it was totally worth it."
5. The latest conversations about theater on the Talk Theatre in Chicago podcast include an interview with Timothy Edward Kane from An Iliad, and some insights into the Neo-Futurists Too Much Light with Bilal Dardai and Greg Allen.
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