The Beginning: 3/30 – 4/5 (Chart and Preview)

Check out this week's chart! A bunch of stuff for you to go see! Randomly!
Check out this week’s chart! A bunch of stuff for you to go see! Randomly!

There are times when Mother Nature works against us.  This past weekend was one of those times for me.  I was scheduled to see three shows, but then my body succumbed to the joy that is the flu.  So, I only saw the one.  My review of it will be published later tonight.  I wish that had happened sooner, but said flu kept me from doing anything productive for a few days.  Now it would seem that I’m back in the saddle again, and as I ride forward into the next weekend, I can say that I’m looking forward to once again having three shows on my docket.  Maggie is back from a couple of weeks on other writing projects, and she’ll be writing up an article on at least one show.  And… the big news for this week: although she won’t be reviewing until next week, we can announce our newest reviewer!  So, without further ado…

Meet, Sarah Bowden!  Here’s Sarah’s Bio:

Sarah Bowden is a playwright. Her plays have been produced in Chicago, New York, Philadelphia, Toronto, and Stockholm. Her work has been developed and presented by the Painted Bride Art Center, the Pittsburgh Irish & Classical Theatre, the Nylon Fusion Theatre, Monkeyman Productions, the Greenhouse Theater Center, the Chicago Madness Collective, and Ohio University. Her full-length The Magnificent Masked Hearing Aid was listed as a semi-finalist in several theatre festivals, including the Capital Repertory Next Act! New Play Summit, the Actor’s Theatre of Charlotte’s nuVoices Festival, the Activate Midwest New Play Festival and the Elgin Cultural Commission Page to Stage Program. The script received Honorable Mention in the American Blues Theater Blue Ink Playwriting Award. Sarah has won the White-Howells English Prize for Drama and the Margaret W. Baker Prize for Fiction, was a finalist in the Route 66 Theatre Test Drive Workshop and a semi-finalist for the Stage Left Theatre Playwright Residency. She has developed her work as a finalist in the International Thespian Festival’s Playworks program. She has completed internships with Chicago Dramatists, Northlight Theatre, Arden Theatre Company, the Wilma Theater, the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center, and the Adirondack Theatre Festival. Sarah holds an M.F.A. in Playwriting from Ohio University and B.A. in directing and creative writing from Beloit College.

In the future, that bio will be posted on our “The Critics” page.  But, you know, it’s always nice to meet the new gal upfront.  Sarah will be tackling randomly determined plays just like the rest of us, and I’m really thrilled to have her on board.  She has written some fascinating stuff in the past, and I figure that’s an indication that she’ll do so in the future.  So… Welcome, Sarah!

Okay… shall we talk about some theatrical things that are happening in town this week?  Yeah?  Okay!

First, I want to talk about the theatre that happens beyond our realm of reviewing.  As you may know, we limit ourselves to reviewing productions that are easily accessible to the CTA.  Now, there are a lot of shows that fit that criteria.  You seldom have to look beyond the immediate confines of the city to find good theatre.  Nevertheless, I want to talk about one of the companies that you really have to drive for.  The Paramount in Aurora is currently doing a production of West Side Story that looks tremendous.  I won’t get to see it, but if you do, the lovely video below makes it look like it would be well worth the drive.  Or, you know, if you’re already in the suburbs, feel free to hop on over there and check it out.

Next up, I want to talk about something back inside Chicago proper.  The Side Project Theatre has been hosting a storytelling festival for the past couple of weeks, and the final leg of it begins this Sunday.  While storytelling isn’t often something that we review, or that gets reviewed at all by most theatre writers, I have spent many of my favorite evenings in a theatre listening to members of the storytelling community.  So, I would challenge you to take an evening between the 3rd and the 6th of April, and go see some storytelling.  In essence the art of theatre is nothing more than telling a story in a dramatic fashion to an audience.  These folks boil it down to its most concentrated form.  Pure theatre, stories.

Finally, some randomness, randomly:

  • I’ve recently gotten into reading western novels.  This after a wave of reading supernatural fantasy detective novels.  It used to be true that I’d only read one book at a time, and I would shift from genre to genre.  now I maintain about 5 books that I’m reading at any given moment, and they all seem to be along a theme.  I’m not sure what that means.  Just an observation.
  • Red.
  • One of the shows that I was too sick to attend this past weekend was “35mm: A Musical Exhibition”.  Circle Theatre is doing it at Collaboraction’s space.  I won’t get to see it now.  Schedules are cruel.  However, I would like to point out that I was really looking forward to it.  And, since I can’t review it, I’ll link to another review of it so you can get excited about it, too.
  • My cats are far more clingy than they used to be.  Also louder.  Their chattiness makes it difficult to do voice over work.  Especially the girl cat who has a piercingly bright meow that actually sounds like she’s saying “Meow”.
  • Pedir = To ask for
  • Trivia Time!  Here’s your weekly bit of trivia from “Raindrops aren’t really shaped like drops; they are perfectly round!” — This has me a bit disappointed.  After all, snowflakes are shaped like snowflakes.  I just figured that a raindrop should follow suit.
  • There are 10 mugs in front of me.  You have to figure out if I mean drinking vessels or people’s faces.  It probably doesn’t help you at all to know that seven of them are white and three are black.
  • I’m doing my taxes tonight!
  • Grey.