By Leigh Austin
The Hypocrites has always stood out as bold, experimental company willing to take big risks and to make every performance, at the very least, a unique experience. Their latest undertaking of Margaret Edson’s Wit, however, falls short of any such nomenclature. An uninspiring, low energy take on Edson’s darkly comic play, the production ultimately lacks the ingenuity to breathe new life into this well-loved script.
Random Acts is thrilled to announce the casting for the world premiere of Strangest Things! The Musical by Bryan Renaud and Emily Schmidt. The production, directed by Tommy Rivera-Vega, will open at the Greenhouse Theater Center on March 3rd, 2017. Set to the intoxicating beats of your favorite 80's hits, Strangest Things! is a new musical mystery from the twisted minds behind the smash-hits Barney the Elf and Ladies Night of the Living Dead.
By Jackson Riley
Strawdog's productions are always surprising in that, depending on the production team, the quality can span from community theatre to astounding, breathtaking masterpieces. Unfortunately their adaptation of Cymbeline, which continues their 29th season, is one of the laziest productions I've seen from the company. With an adaptation that slashes away the emotional core of the piece, yet still leaves the run-time at just under three hours, the company adds another production to the list of reasons why Shakespeare can be such a difficult sell.
Chicago Theatre Workshop (CTW), in association with Susan Jack and Helen R. Jack, present “Creatives,” a darkly comic pop-opera beginning February 19 at the Edge Theatre (5451 N. Broadway) under the direction of CTW’s Artistic Director Tom Mullen. By popular demand, the production is now extended an additional week through March 5. “Creatives” features an original book by “Trainspotting” author Irvine Welsh (pictured above) and “American Skin” author Don De Grazia and includes original music from “Tomorrow Morning” composer and lyricist Laurence Mark Wythe, along with songs from some of the most popular rock bands in recent decades, including Simple Minds, New Order, Iggy Pop, Oasis, Happy Mondays and more. Set in Chicago, “Creatives” showcases the cultural cross-section of young artists vying for success and affirmation while staying true to themselves among society’s challenges. Tickets for “Creatives” ($35-25) are on sale now and can be purchased online at ChicagoTheatreWorkshop.org.
The World-Premiere Opera by Stewart Copeland Debuts February 18, 24 and 26 at The Studebaker Theater
Chicago Opera Theater (COT) brings a virtual reality experience to the world-premiere opera “The Invention of Morel,” composed by Stewart Copeland, co-founder and drummer of The Police, and based on Argentinian author Adolfo Bioy Casares’ 1940 novel “La invención de Morel.” Together with Chicago-based video production company, Reel Captivation, COT invites opera-goers to step into the world of the production with the virtual-reality (VR) tour, showcasing the landscape of “Morel” with a narrated tour and stunning 360˚ views of the lush island where the futuristic opera is set. Before each performance, patrons have the opportunity to don a headset in the lobby of the Studebaker Theater and experience the four-minute tour. “The Invention of Morel” is co-commissioned by Chicago Opera Theater and Long Beach Opera, and features London-based actor, director and writer Jonathan Moore as Stage Director/Librettist together with COT’s Artistic Director Andreas Mitisek as Conductor. Performances take place at The Studebaker Theater (410 S. Michigan) February 18 at 7:30 p.m., February 24 at 7:30 p.m., and February 26 at 3 p.m. Limited VR sets are available for each prior to each performance of “The Invention of Morel;” for additional details, visit ChicagoOperaTheater.org/Morel. Tickets for “The Invention of Morel” ($39 - $125) can be purchased by calling 312.704.8414 or by visiting chicagooperatheater.org.
Quest's Founding Artistic Director Andrew Park named Artistic Director of Nebraska Repertory Theatre
Quest Theatre Ensemble announced today that its founding Artistic Director, Andrew Park, has left Chicago and his position as the company's Artistic Director for Lincoln, Nebraska, where he was named Artistic Director of the Nebraska Repertory Theatre. His new position with the 49-year-old Nebraska company also includes an appointment to the faculty of the Johnny Carson School of Theatre and Film at the University of Lincoln-Nebraska (UNL).
By Jackson Riley
The Greenhouse Theater Center's Solo Celebration series has been a wonderful experiment in our great city, even though the productions have been a mixed bag. Unfortunately, the fifteenth and final production of this inaugural (?) series, Circumference of a Squirrel by John Walch, is one of the least memorable of the entire seven month endeavor.
The watch must finally come to an end for “Thrones! The Musical Parody,” announcing today the fourth and final extension at Apollo Theater (2540 N. Lincoln Ave). The “Game of Thrones” send-up will close March 19, 2017 after an eight-month run at the Lincoln Park theater. Hailed as “a robust comical homage” (Chicago Sun-Times) and a show that has “the audience falling off their chairs” (Chicago Reader), “Thrones!” is written by the team behind “Baby Wants Candy,” “Shamilton: The Improvised Musical” and “50 Shades! The Musical Parody.” A cast of six Chicago actors recount plot highlights throughout all six seasons, complete with more than 40 characters and 21 original songs ranging in style from hip hop to traditional Broadway. Tickets ($36 - $59) for performances beginning February 16 through March 19 go on sale Monday, January 23 at 10 a.m. and can be purchased at the Apollo Theater Box Office by calling 773.935.6100 or visiting Ticketmaster.com.
By Wesley James
Sarah Ruhl’s Eurydice is a smart and innovative reversal of the Greek legend of Orpheus, the legendary musician who set out to rescue his wife from hell. Told from the wife Eurydice’s point of view, we follow the harrowing, slightly tortured, often meaningfully silly descent and decisions of an amnesia-stricken 1950s housewife archetype and her doting goofball father. In hell, of course.
Chicago Dramaworks is thrilled to announce the recent publication of Wild by Crystal Skillman. The play made its professional premiere in Chicago in 2012 followed by a critically-acclaimed run in New York City. The play has been published as an Acting Edition, available on Amazon.com.
Wild is described as follows:
One night’s infidelity sets a chain of events into motion that causes Peter and Bobby’s life to implode. Set on the shores of Lake Michigan in Chicago, Wild is a play about relationships and the destructive and healing powers of love. Wild is published alongside Crystal Skillman’s powerful one-act play Welcome to the Now Now from After Orlando, an International Theatre response to the Pulse Nightclub Shooting.
More info on Crystal Skillman & Chicago Dramaworks after the jump.
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The Audience ★★★