2009′s Theatrical Treasures

Theater Add comments

cchad-deity-2.jpgI’m not a theater critic, nor a theater practitioner.  I’m just a regular, passionate theater aficionado who writes a blog (and who pays for most shows that I go to see).  And it was wonderful to be a regular, passionate theater aficionado who wrote a blog in 2009 in Chicago, when great-not merely good, not just serviceable-theater was available every weekend night.  2009 began with the Goodman Theatre‘s Eugene O’Neill Festival, a singular, unsurpassable program of theatrical bravado that I will always remember, and which even long time Chicago residents marveled at.  But 2009, for me, was also a year of getting a thrilling first look at world premieres; of seeing plays in random places, whether it was in a warehouse in Ravenswood, inside the rehearsal hall of the Goodman theater, or on the actual stage of the MCA; of discovering new theater companies putting on plays with so much impressive, balls-out fierceness; of finally being validated in my very firm, vocal belief that it is Chicago, not New York City or any other self-proclaiming town, that is the theater capital of the US. 

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April Showers, No…Snow

Dance, Music, Theater Add comments

aprilshowers.jpgLast Sunday evening, in what was supposedly spring in Chicago, as I miserably waited for the train to arrive on the Brown Line platform, pelted by freezing rain and snow, standing in slush, I wondered what kind of perfect past life (maybe filled with warm, tropical breezes, constant sunlight, and boys in thongs?) did I have that I should be paying for it in this life.  The weather for the rest of the month may continue to be unseasonably cold, but the city’s performing arts scene is continuing to warm up and sizzle, with tons of major theater and music events to go to.  As my monthly public service announcement to my avid blog readers, I’m giving a preview of the noteworthy performances and events I’m planning to go to in the month of April.

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Top Dogs

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fiorello-at-timeline.jpgMy philosophy of never taking no for an answer was severely tested two years ago when I was trying to get tickets for weeks for the sold-out run of Fiorello! at Timeline Theatre.  In the spring of 2006, “no available tickets” really meant “no available tickets”, and no amount of groveling, coercing, begging, flirting, and flattering, or using any of the tricks I usually employ to get my way, could produce a ticket. And so I miserably failed to see the highly-acclaimed production of this seldom-produced classic of American musical theater.  I kicked myself even more when a couple of months afterwards, Fiorello! garnered several Jeff Awards including Best Musical.  How could I, self-proclaimed musical theater diva, have missed this show?  Ugh. So when I heard late last year that Timeline was re-mounting the production in the spring/summer of 2008, I resolved that unless there was a tsunami striking the land-locked Midwest, or a plague of locusts, or a space satellite falling on Damen Avenue (yeah, cougars on the loose in Roscoe Village didn’t count), I was going to be one of the first in line to see the remount.  Last week, during the second-to-the-last preview, as I was valiantly trying to restrain myself from singing along to the wonderfully lush “When Did I Fall in Love?”, I decided that the two year wait was definitely worth it. 

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