Watching The Gospel at Colonus at The Getty Villa is like watching a live resurrection. A theatre piece becomes a fossil on closing day, an antiquity to be dusted off and given new life. Mark J.P. Hood and Charlie Newell have rolled their stone all the way from Chicago, IL to the mountains of Los Angeles, California. It’s a muscular act that requires the utmost attention, and like a resurrection, no one knows quite what to expect. The performers glide gently down the stone steps of the aisles, greeting us individually as the congregation gathers to testify to Theseus’ (Mark Spates Smith) tale of Oedipus. As an audience we feel a sense of comfort and home as we’re encouraged to talk back to the production. We’re a part of the story. Continue reading “The Death of Oedipus and The Departure of Charlie Newell: ‘The Gospel at Colonus’ Heralds The Court Theatre Into a New Age”
In the fallout of Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer, Lifeline Theatre brings the end of the world to the stage with an adaptation of Kurt Vonnegut’s timeless cautionary tale, Cat’s Cradle. This 1963 satire follows a freelance writer and his research into the enigmatic life of Dr. Felix Hoenikker. This fictional Nobel Prize-winning scientist, loosely inspired by J. Robert Oppenheimer and Irving Langmuir, is renowned for his pivotal role in the creation of the atomic bomb. As the narrative unfolds, the writer becomes increasingly ensnared in the surreal and apocalyptic consequences stemming from Hoenikker’s final creation. Lifeline Theatre ensemble member John Hildreth’s adaptation of Vonnegut’s classic novel is a relevant retelling amplified by director Heather Currie’s explosive production.
Today Tonight Soon is a world-premiere post-apocalyptic play set on an island inhabited by the last women alive on earth, as they wait for the last living man on earth, staged as the sun sets on the devastatingly beautiful and unfortunately (for the sake of the storytelling) populated Loyola Beach. This production is site-specific, so there is no set or sound design, but the costumes, designed by Benjamin Mills, feature a delightfully modern cacophony of Steampunk and Regency dress. Continue reading “The Setting Sun Lingers on ‘Today Tonight Soon’ at Theatre L’Acadie”
The Fly Honey Show returned to Thalia Hall for its 13th season Labor Day weekend, and it did not disappoint. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the institution that is The Fly Honey Show, for the past thirteen years this burlesque, comedy, and variety show has entertained Chicago audiences. Continue reading “The Fly Honey Show is a Seductive Smash Hit at Thalia Hall”
I entered The Edge Theater already wary. I was going into The Writer knowing nothing of the play except what the title tells me. That it’s about, well, a writer. A playwright.
Plays about plays tend to be didactic and masturbatory. Artists are so close to the subject that it renders the play incapable of complex analysis. As it turns out, masturbatory didacticism is intentionally the driving force of The Writer, and playwright Ella Hickson weaponizes these themes in such a way that complicates it further than other plays of the genre.
The Writer is about escapism. Continue reading “Steep Theatre’s ‘The Writer’ is a Surprising Escapist Meta Adventure”
Suspended in front of a blank white slate is a proscenium inside a proscenium (scenic, Andrew Boyce). Two men sit inside, each uniquely unpleasant, each reaching desperately to the other for an emotional connection. Hirst (Jeff Perry), the rich “man of letters” and owner of the decadent home, and Spooner (Mark Ulrich), a random man he met in a bar, proceed to engage in a battle of words. As the scene goes on, I become keenly aware Spooner is taking more than his fair share of the conversation. I seriously thought Spooner was going to grow horns at some point, he’s so whimsical it is hardly trustworthy, but it is fantastic to watch. As Spooner gets more animated, seemingly feeding on Hirst’s apathy, Hirst gets quieter, and harder to understand. I suddenly realize what is happening – he is extremely drunk and slowly shutting down.
Co-signed by Lauren Halvorsen and edited by Regina Victor.
With thanks to Stephanie Ybarra for always daring me to speak my ideas – Annalisa Dias
Editors note: This eco-driven essay urges us toward regenerative strategies and will also be published in Halvorsen’s newsletter: Nothing for the Group! This brain trust and resource sharing is a natural development as Annalisa dives into the collective wisdom of mycelial networks, and what they can teach us about supporting each together through this abrupt change. – Regina Victor
Author’s note: One of the biggest obstacles to systemic change is the unwillingness to move beyond the current paradigm we inhabit. We won’t be able to identify solutions or viability / scalability of those solutions until we move beyond an economic paradigm driven by scarcity. This essay is for those interested in using the imagination to push past the limitations of our current social and economic containers. – Annalisa Dias
at the time all we knew was the story had run out. all the stories. of staying young to cheat death. of thinking young people wouldn’t die. of immortality via “making a difference.” of genetic imprint as stability. of stacking money and etching names on buildings. people used to do those things before. not to mention that they would not mention death and would hide the dying away and strive to protect the eyes of the children who already knew everything.
at some point. all the dead being here anyway and all of us here being obviously doomed, we let go of that particular game. and started breathing. and saw our hands.
we let go.
i felt like i could fly.
alexis pauline gumbs. M archive.
The Fly Honeys are back and the bees are a-buzzing baby! If you have a pulse and live in Chicago, you should know who the Honeys are by now, but let me tell the new post-panorama generation what’s good. The Fly Honeys are a femme-led, party-starting, ass-shaking, glitter-bombing, sex-positive queer punk performance group born from a legendary annual event, The Fly Honey Show, founded in Chicago in 2010. They are best known for their saying “everybody, no matter what your body.” Having personally experienced the Hive as a dancer prior to the pandemic, they practice what they preach!
The Art of Bowing by Nathan Alan Davis presented by Haven Chicago is an experimental must-see and galvanizing production for anyone uncertain about their role in the performing arts, whether patron or performer. Directed by Haven’s Artistic Director Ian Damont Martin, The Art of Bowing honors and eviscerates the theatre in equal measure, and left me thinking about my role as an artist, critic, and patron in theatre’s survival. Continue reading “Haven Chicago Presents ‘The Art of Bowing’ A Muscular and Engaging Ode to Artists”
Lucy and Charlie have an instant attraction, as dangerous as it is romantic. Likening themselves to a modern-day Bonnie and Clyde, these two get hitched on a whim and head out on their honeymoon looking for trouble, only trouble ain’t that hard to find. Before too long, Lucy and Charlie find themselves on the run from the law and an international criminal organization. Featuring original country western and folk songs, Lucy and Charlie’s Honeymoon by Lookingglass Artistic Associate Matthew C. Yee, is a whirl-wind adventure about two First Generation Asian-American renegades.
Charlie (Matthew C. Yee) and Lucy (Aurora Adachi-Winter) are the embodiment of chaotic good. Their outlaw behavior is a reclamation of their identity, and a rejection of stereotypes. Charlie is a “cool cowboy” and Lucy is an unstoppable force. Together, they barrel across the Midwest headed toward Charlie’s family cabin, getting tangled up with a hilarious cast of characters along the way. Directed by Amanda Dehnert, Lucy and Charlie’s Honeymoon is a hilarious runaway train chock full of comedic partnerships. Continue reading “Lucy and Charlie’s Honeymoon is a New Take on the Classic (mid)Western”