The Beginning: Jan 7, 2016 – Jan 11, 2016 (Preview and Chart)

The first chart of the year!  Grab %-dice (2d10) and roll.  The selections is limited, but still worth taking in!
The first chart of the year! Grab %-dice (2d10) and roll. The selections is limited, but still worth taking in!

It is a completely new year.  Winter has finally arrived, and in this early part of January, we enter what I like to refer to as The Dark of Winter.  Not only does that refer to the weather conditions with which we are confronted in the Midwest, but also the conditions of theatre activity.  There aren’t too many shows on the chart this week because many companies are still dark (not producing) in the post-Holiday lull.  Theatre seems to pause a bit for a couple of weeks.  Everyone takes a moment to revel in the fact that their holiday shows made money that can fund the rest of the season, or they pause and assess how they’re going to survive the snowy months when audiences may or may not brave the trip out for entertainment once they’ve made it home from a twilight commute. Additionally, I see this as a “dark” time of year because one can often find the heavier offerings in a company’s season right about now.

Maggie is taking the week off.  She has a project of her own this weekend.  I am only reviewing one show, myself.  Although things aren’t on the stage much right now, there are a lot of productions and projects that are in the beginning stages currently.  One of which is the show that I’m directing next, out in the suburbs.  It isn’t a show that we can review, because it doesn’t match our criteria (namely, it’s not easily accessible via the CTA), so I can mention here without any fear of a conflict of interest that I’ll be spending many of my nights over the next two months in production for BrightSide Theatre’s “Not Now, Darling”.  Rehearsals start Sunday.  I’m quite excited.

Another project to keep your eye on:  Stage 773’s Artists Lab just started its year-long adventure in comedic collaboration.  The first performances aren’t until February, but the writers, directors, and actors are now hard at work.

So, I’m still looking for one more reviewer to join our staff.  Assuming that I find one, it is my goal that we’ll never have fewer than two reviews posted each week, and will hopefully have far more most weeks.

Oh!  A bit of news I forgot: I’m no longer writing for Newcity Magazine.   I’m focusing all my writing efforts here and in the realm of playwriting for the time being.  There may come a point at which I do the freelance thing again, but for now I’ll not have to limit my thoughts to punchy 350-word-or-less snippets.  I hope that will enable me to provide more indepth and thoughtful criticism.  Do not misread this as a criticism toward the style of reviews at Newcity.  The short and sweet, and easily consumable, reviews over there are a huge boon to the community of theatre-goers.  We are just trying to provide a slightly different boon.

Alright… the previous chunk of stuff was pretty random in and of itself, but I’ll provide a little more… starting now:

  • It’s that time of year again!  Time to make your reservations for Chicago Restaurant Week! I can’t attend this year. I’m saddened by this, as my wife and I have made this an annual tradition since we first met. So… go try a new place on my behalf and tell me all about it! I’ll live vicariously through you.
  • The Factory Theatre will be opening their new digs in 2016!
  • “The Big Short” and “A Very Murray Christmas”
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  • Pinewood derby cars