You would be forgiven if you mistook the characters and wrestling in The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity for the “real” thing. The production does everything in its power to create an uncanny representation of a WWE match: a small scale wrestling ring, video / light shows, giant character entrances and audience participation cues are all used to get the crowd in the same head space as die-hard wrestling fans. It is incredibly easy to get swept up in the pure entertainment of what is on display. However, as soon as you are sold on the show’s setting, Chad Deity utilizes this immersion to deliver powerful messages on racial appropriation within the American dream.
Blue Man Group, celebrating 20 years at Chicago’s Briar Street Theatre (3133 N. Halsted), announced today that its casting department will host an open call for auditions Wednesday, September 6from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. at the Briar Street Theatre. Blue Man Group is searching for talented individuals with the unique set of skills to be a Blue Man, including excellent acting and drumming and/or musical skills.
Random Acts, the micro-budget theatre company behind the recent smash-hit STRANGEST THINGS! THE MUSICAL, welcomes Alexandra Alontaga as Company Manager. Alontaga, who has recently worked with Munroe Park Theatre Guild, Latitude 41, Joliet Drama Guild and Summer Place Theatre, hails from the southwest suburbs and joins Random Acts after originating the role of Eleven in STRANGEST THINGS!. She begins her new role with Random Acts effective immediately.
“How does that make you feel?” has an identity problem. The story itself is promising; a narrative that approaches mature themes of mental health mixed with comedy gives the story a potential for impactful scenes punctuated by well-timed humor. This is stated in the program materials, which mention “dark subjects that often receive the most stigma surrounding them such as therapy, depression, and suicide… [and toes] the line between dark comedy filled with dramatic elements.” It is disappointing, then, to see the previously mentioned dark comedy morph quickly into shock humor which only serves to undermine any real impact of each character’s self-discovery for an ultimately fruitless show.
“‘It takes a long time to be a diva. I mean, you gotta work at it,’” Trevor explains to his friend, channeling his beloved idol Diana Ross, in a scene from Writers Theatre world-premiere Trevor the Musical. The quote is indicative of the events to come as we watch Trevor, a 13 year old boy grappling with his emerging sexuality in an intolerant environment - one which hasn’t quite recognized homosexuality, let alone found language for it that Trevor can use to better understand his feelings. And while Trevor’s feel-good story is one packed full of laughs, tears, and engaging musical numbers, the show itself still needs to do some soul-searching before it reaches diva status.
“Everything is happening at The Station” is the happy slogan for Chicago Children’s Theatre’s first full season in its new home, The Station, in the heart of Chicago’s West Loop community. After 11 years of itinerancy, all of the company’s family-friendly performances, classes and camps will finally take place in one location, Chicago Children’s Theatre’s new permanent home, a repurposed former Chicago police station at 100 S. Racine Ave., starting this fall.
Pride Films and Plays today announced a new monthly series of shows spotlighting a cross-genre feast of queer and queer-ally local performers. Titled “PAC THE HOUSE” (using an acronym for Pride Arts Center), the series will debut on Sunday, September 17th at 8pm with a show hosted by out comedian and radio host Scott Duff and featuring hip hop/soul/RnB artist King Reza, female female impersonator Maureen SanDiego, storyteller James Anthony, drag performer Mikki Miraj and Lady Crush, an all-female improv group.
Other Theatre will continue its 4th season with the third revival of its holiday hit BARNEY THE ELF, a campy and irreverent musical comedy, written by Bryan Renaud with lyrics by Renaud and Emily Schmidt. After helming the 2016 production, Tommy Rivera-Vega returns to direct and choreograph.
I have always hated the musical Hair. When I saw a production for the first time several years ago, my high expectations were crushed by the long-winded, richly-scored but sloppily written musical; an Across the Universe-esque collection of beautiful songs haphazardly strewn together by a messy, almost non-existant plot. I have since seen the play numerous times, ending each with the feeling of exhaustion and boredom by the show’s final number.
One Night Only --August 21st!
Eclectic Full Contact Theatre continues its new monthly “Grab Bag” series with This Eclectic Life -- a storytelling event revolving around those moments that made a huge impact on our lives. The event will take place on Monday, August 21st at 8:00 PM at the Pendulum Space, 1803 W Byron #216.
The Hawk was a common name for the cold, winter wind in Chicago, possibly even predating "the Windy City." Additionally, a hawk can see up to eight times more clearly than the human eye.