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  Performance Spotlight

No-Passing Zone: Parking the Taxi for Hellcab

Hellcab at Profiles TheatreWhen Will Kern's Hellcab Does Christmas first opened in 1992, technical director Robert G. Smith had to remove the street doors of the Hull House at Broadway and Belmont in order to squeeze the front half of a Yellow Cab into the multi-purpose facility. Profiles Theatre's twentieth anniversary revival of the long-running hit, now titled simply Hellcab,.... Read More

 

Play List 2012: Top Shows Of The Year

Best Plays in 2012Theatre In Chicago presents its annual list of the top-rated plays that were produced in the Chicago area for 2012. The list was compiled objectively from critics' reviews, based on the Highly Recommended to Not Recommended scale.

There are 20 shows on the list, produced by 14 different theatre companies. There were five repeats: Chicago Shakespeare Theater shows.... Read More

 

Stage Directing: William Brown goes for the contact of conversation

William BrownAt heart, director William Brown is a minimalist, or perhaps more accurately, chamber musician. The Chicago theater veteran, who early in life saw his future as an opera singer, loves those intimate scenes for two or three actors getting deeply into the characters' lives -- what he calls parsing a text.

"I've been an actor.... Read More

 

Saving Face: Alien Visages In A Klingon Christmas Carol

A Klingon Christmas CarolIf you don't know what a Klingon is, any Star Trek enthusiast will be happy to acquaint you with this tribe of warriors recognizable by their distinctively scarred foreheads—a hereditary deformity tracing its source to a plague centuries earlier. As with such fantasy-epics as The Lord of the Rings or the Harry Potter series, the culture of the.... Read More

 

Bathing Beauties: Splashing and Shivering in Bulrusher

BulrusherIn the Chicago Theater roster of aquatic spectacle, Mary Zimmerman's Metamorphoses first comes to mind. Then, there was Pegasus Players' production of The Frogs in the Truman College swimming pool or The Neo-Futurists' Fake Lake in the Welles Park natatorium. Storefront-circuit regulars might even recall Michael Shannon, Amy Landecker and Guy Van Swearingen wrestling in a spa-sized hip-bath.... Read More

 

Theatre In Chicago's 2012 Holiday Show Round-Up

Holiday Plays In ChicagoBy now it's no secret that, every holiday season, the Goodman Theatre puts on a classic production of A Christmas Carol, that the House Theatre puts on a hip production of The Nutcracker, or that several theatres put on competing productions of It's A Wonderful Life. I have written about each of those in the past,.... Read More

 

Black Ensemble Announces 2013 Season of Treasures and Tributes

Black Ensemble Theatre ChicagoJackie Taylor, Founder and Executive Director of the Black Ensemble Theater, announces the Black Ensemble Theater's 36th Season of Excellence titled "Treasures and Tributes." The 36th season includes original musicals paying tribute to the Doo Wop era, Curtis Mayfield, Howlin Wolf, and Chicago's Golden Soul.

"After our record breaking first year in.... Read More

 

Fifty Shades musical parody SPANK! opens at Royal George Theatre

SPANK! The Fifty Shades ParodySPANK! The Fifty Shades Parody, the hilarious and naughty new musical parody of Fifty Shades of Grey, will dominate willing audiences at the Royal George Theatre Main Stage, 1641 N. Halsted, in a limited three-week engagement starting Wednesday evening, November 28. The production, which premiered in Springfield, MA earlier this month, is co-produced by the Just for.... Read More

 

Jeff Awards Announces 2012 Equity Awards Recipients

Jeff AwardsAt the gala 44th Annual Equity Jeff Awards held at Drury Lane Oakbrook on Monday, October 15, Goodman Theatre's "The Iceman Cometh" took top honors for a play in the large theatre tier with a total of six awards, including Production-Play, Director Robert Falls, Supporting Actor Brian Dennehy, Scenic Designer Kevin Depinet and Lighting Designer Natasha Katz. The.... Read More

 

Minnie's Private Wrangler: Live Mice On Stage in The Woman In White

The Mouse from Women in WhiteIn Wilkie Collins' early Victorian thriller, The Woman In White, the villainous Count Fosco is fond of small animals—even to traveling accompanied by a collection of caged birds and mice. Robert Kauzlaric's adaptation for Lifeline Theatre dispenses with the portable aviary, but retains the rodent contingent with a cameo appearance by a genuine live mouse.

"Fosco's affection for.... Read More

 

Watch Your Tail: Creatures From The Blue Lagoon in Seascape

Seascape at Remy BumppoYou almost expect to hear squeals of "Look! Dinosaurs!" the moment they appear. Indeed, so fascinating are the pair of reptiles who constitute half the onstage personnel in Remy Bumppo's production of Seascape that at one performance, an ostensibly adult theatergoer, finding herself in close proximity to one of the scaly beasts, couldn't resist trying to pull.... Read More

 

What's For Supper? Edible Props in Steep Theatre's Moment

Moment Steep TheatreMoment opens on the Lynch family preparing a dinner to celebrate the homecoming of the clan's prodigal son. Frozen microwavable quiches have been purchased, celery and carrots are chopped on the counter, a carton of eggs is dropped on the floor. One sibling munches a sandwich, visitors sip chilled beer and the hostesses maintain their serenity with.... Read More

 

Turning On The Waterworks: Rain Effects in Fall of The House of Usher

The Fall of the House of UsherEdgar Allen Poe's tale of the doomed twin siblings in The Fall of the House of Usher is a classic in American literature. In the original telling, the fate of the doomed mansion is to sink into the marshy New England soil. In the film version, it's destroyed by fire. Sean Graney's adaptation, however, has the family.... Read More

 

Straight Up, No Chaser: Directors In the Spotlight for ETA's 2012-2013 Season

ETA Creative Arts FoundationThe ETA Creative Arts Foundation was conceived as a self-contained organization, developing original scripts through its education and training programs, and then performing them under the supervision of artists affiliated with its teaching staff. The slate for their upcoming 2012-13 season, however, reads like a history of African-American Theater, with plays ranging from 1954 to 2007, each selected.... Read More

 

Jeff Awards 2012 Equity Nominations Announced

Jeff AwardsThe Jeff Awards Committee today announced 197 nominations in 34 categories for Chicago Equity theatrical productions, which opened between August 1, 2011, and July 31, 2012. The Jeff Awards judges attended opening nights of 118 Equity productions offered by 55 producing organizations. From these openings, 96 productions were "Jeff Recommended," which made them eligible for award nominations. .... Read More

 

When The Ground Hits Back: Rubber Floors in The Monument

The MonumentAt first, it appears to be simply a painted floor, part of the decor in the Side Project's storefront black-box auditorium, but playgoers entering Idle Muse Theatre's production of The Monument may suddenly find themselves walking on a springy surface, not unlike that of a mattress. Closer inspection reveals it to be a thick layer of shredded.... Read More

 

The Bare Facts: No-Clothes Acting at the Naked July Festival

National Pastime TheatreOnstage nudity—the artistic variety, not the Gentlemen's Club kind—is nothing new. Experimental theatre groups in New York's Greenwich Village like the Living Theatre took it all off back in the 1950s, as did the casts of Hair and Oh, Calcutta in the 1960s. Steppenwolf actor Jim True skinny-dipped in full view of playgoers for the 1989 premiere of.... Read More

 

Here's What In Your Eye: Slinging Mud in Mary-Arrchie Theatre's Electra

ElectraEven to urban dwellers many generations removed from the soil, mud is a profoundly disturbing image—representing, as it does, both the source of all life on our planet and the ultimate fate lying at the end of its existence. So when Sonya Moser, in adapting Euripedes' tragedy of Electra for modern audiences, searched for a Central Visual.... Read More

 

Stage Directing: Nick Bowling changed his tune about theater

Nick BowlingNick Bowling doesn't beat around the bush about directing: "I'm all about finding the conflict in a play, that's what I'm all about. It's conflict that generates dramatic energy and drives a play toward its climax."

You're thinking this is one serious theater guy, and he is. But what Bowling's terse self-analysis doesn't reveal is the heart of a.... Read More

 

Priscilla Queen Of The Desert and Catch Me If You Can coming to Chicago

Priscilla Queen Of The Desert and Catch Me If You CanBroadway In Chicago announced two Chicago premieres in their 2013 Spring season: Tony Award-winning Priscilla Queen Of The Desert and Catch Me If You Can. Priscilla Queen Of The Desert will play the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University (50 East Congress Parkway) for two weeks only, March 19 - 31, 2013. Catch Me If You.... Read More

 

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