Sophomore Class

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frat-new-colony.jpgI’m very thrilled to report that, despite the continuous doom and gloom naysaying of glass-half-empty-watchers, Chicago’s storefront theater scene is vibrant, busy, alive and kicking.  New theater companies, making the most out of limited finances but abundant soul and artistic aspiration, continue to sprout all over the place.  I was very excited to spend the previous weekend going to see the sophomore productions of two theater companies that are just a year old, but who’ve been having much-sought after buzz swirling around them:  the New Colony, which focuses on original work, is staging Producing Director Evan Linder’s site-specific new work Frat, about, well, southern fraternities and fratboys, in the meeting hall of Dank Haus, the German cultural center in Lincoln Square, while Theater Mir, which deals with globally-oriented work, is running British playwright Robin Soan’s play about the political-socio-cultural climate of the West Bank as refracted through it’s citizens’ cooking and eating practices, The Arab-Israeli Cookbook, at the Storefront Theater.  Although, I personally feel there’s room for improvement in both, I think they are very strong productions and bode well for the future of storefront theater in Chicago, economic crises notwithstanding.

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Welcome Wintry March

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our-town-warming-up-new-york.jpgIs it March already?  It seems like I spent most of the first quarter that is about to end waiting in tundra-like winter weather for the Brown line to get me to and from the Goodman Theater.  Although I’m out of town this weekend, and will have to miss the final entry in the brilliant Eugene O’Neill Festival, the Neo-Futurists’ four and a half hour production of Strange Interlude directed by Greg Allen, I have to say that the Festival is an unqualified success.  This city owes a tremendous amount of gratitude to Bob Falls and the Goodman staff for enriching our artistic lives permanently, and here’s hoping to more world-class theater in the future!

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