1. Jeff Awards' nominations were announced. I'm not going to rundown all of them, because you can look at them yourself and there are a lot, but here are some brief noticings: the Marriott Theatre's got a bunch of nominations for A Chorus Line, 42nd Street, and Shout!. Theater companies hit up for multiple awards include Porchlight, Timeline, Goodman, Remy Bumppo, and Writers' Theatre. And lots of love to actors in Porgy and Bess as well as The Homosexuals. And Mike Tutaj was involved in the behind-the-scenes work that earned the nominations for a few of those awards, so read Laura Molzahn's timely piece about him published today. The Jeff award ceremony will be held November 7.
2. Head to iO's Del Close theater for Murderers ("improvised tales through a somewhat twisted lens") tonight at 10:30. What's it about? "Made up of improv veterans from all over town, this new show focuses on the dark parts of humanity, telling completely improvised tales through a somewhat twisted lens. No more kids play. This is improv left for dead."
3. Hamburger Mary's, home of the former lesbian nightclub called Star Gaze in Andersonville, might be turned into a performance space again. Justin Kaufmann (full disclosure: obviously my boss) tells us about the space's former use before it was either Hamburger Mary's or Star Gaze. "Before it was Star Gaze (a lesbian night club), it was a Serbian bar/grill called Café Ashe," Kaufmann writes. "And it had a little stage in the back that hosted comedy by a new company called The Playground. This was 1997. And Playground had a hard time filling the midnight slot, so they gave it to a brand new comedy group to do weekly sketch. Yep, it was Schadenfreude (my comedy group). We did 10-15 shows there before moving on to the Heartland Studio Theater. Note to Hell in a Handbag: Ask us back for the grand opening. Let's recreate the sketch show we did there. Lots of Godzilla jokes and I believe a sketch about a napalm train derailment in Gary? Current events."
4. Halcyon Theatre and Caffeine Theatre are doing a reading on September 11, about September 11. Called Return to the Upright Position, the piece, to be read at Greenhouse, was written in the six months following the terrorist attacks online by a plethora of writers. The whole project was conceived and edited by Caridad Svich, a New York-based playwright who has written works like The House of Spirits and In the Time of Butterflies.
5. Jon Lovitz will be at the Improv Comedy Club this weekend Friday through Sunday. You may remember Lovitz from his seminal scene in the television show Friends, during which he played, on two occasions, a wacky, friend of Phoebe's who seems constantly in a shame spiral. Or, you may not remember that role. Your loss.
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