The Beginning: 5/18 – 5/24 (A Chart with Opera and Extensions)

A chart of theatrical performances!  Whoever came up with this had their thinking caps on!
A chart of theatrical performances! Whoever came up with this had their thinking caps on!

It is Wednesday.  Here at Theatre By Numbers (or TBN, as some of our staff call it) we start our week on Wednesday.  We do that so we have time to reserve the tickets in time to review the shows that we’re going to cover any given week.  We actually roll the dice on our chart on the preceding Sunday evening.  So, when we put the chart out on our site here, we already know what shows we’re going to see. If you roll on Wednesday, you are in essence a few days behind us in the process, but catching up quite rapidly.  Why does this matter?  It doesn’t.  I’m basically just rambling to put some text up at the top of the page next to the chart.  If you keep reading, however, you’ll learn about some cool stuff going on this weekend and in the near future.

Opera in Rogers Park

kor productions' "Le Nozze di Figaro"
kor productions’ “Le Nozze di Figaro”

The run of “Le Nozze di Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro)” as produced by kor productions is only two weeks long.  This past weekend the show was at Berger Park.  This weekend it will be at The Growling Rabbit.  It’s a novelty to see an opera presented in promenade style.  It’s even more novel to see the machinations of Mozart’s farcical piece moving about in the Rogers Park cafe at 6981 North Sheridan Road.

I took in the show last weekend, and it was the best promenade production I’ve seen in some time, and I’ve seen a few.  In fact, this isn’t the first opera I’ve seen while walking around in the Berger Park Coach House.  It is, however, the first that has provided surtitles via my own cellphone!  I was amazed by the quality of the singing, the acting, and the staging.  Director Kristin Davis puts the varied locations to work for the piece.

The Countess (Johanna Moffitt) charmingly starts the show in a silent scene which fleshes out the opera’s famously familiar overture.  Sally Olson brings life to Susanna with a natural flair for building a character that is both believable and funny.  And Peter Morgan’s Figaro has a fun bit of swagger that goes nicely with his rich voice.

The setting of the production is updated to the modern day.  Cellphones and selfies come into play, as to office managers and human resources executives. The show is a lot of fun, and a great way to experience one of Mozart’s most famous works.

The show only runs one more weekend (this upcoming one):  Here’s the link you’ll need to get tickets!

Strawdog Extends “Once in a Lifetime”

Well, we just reviewed this show, and it isn’t a huge surprise that Strawdog’s last stand has grown legs and will be standing a bit longer.  Actually, through June 11th.  In a move that not only extends the show, but celebrates the end of the run in gala-like fashion (perhaps with a little classic Hollywood flair) the June 10th performance will have a party both beforehand and afterward.  That performance will also cost $100 to attend.  The June 11th performance is only accessible to a select few.  In fact, for those who would like to attend the absolute final performance at the Broadway location, a lottery is being held.  To make my own life easier, I’m just going to directly quote the blurb I got from their press agent:  “Those interested in attending the final performance Sunday, June 11 at 8 p.m., must email boxoffice@strawdog.org and include name, email, phone number and mailing address to be placed into the lottery. Names will be drawn Thursday, June 9 at 12 p.m. with Strawdog notifying winners immediately.  There is one entry per person with a limit of two tickets per entry. Tickets are $30 each for this final performance. Deadline to enter lottery is Wednesday, June 8 at 11:59 p.m.

Previewing what we’re viewing:

Maggie is getting our week started tonight at the Boho stage.  She’s taking in “Eurydice”.  Sarah is seeing “The Seagull”.  And I’m going to “Chicago Doo-Wop Dreams”.  Each of us has only one show this weekend, but that’s still three new reviews.  Right?  Plus I have two more to release over the next couple of days from this past weekend.  Exciting stuff, truly.  So… grab dice and roll for yourself on the chart at the top right. You will see some fresh theatre!  That’s always a good thing!