The Beginning: July 16 – July 21 (Chart and Musings)

Fifteen shows on "Table XV"!  Grab two 10-siders and roll them bones!
Fifteen shows on “Table XV”! Grab two 10-siders and roll them bones!

For the second week in a row fewer than 20 shows are on this week’s chart.  In fact, the number of shows that qualify for inclusion has fallen even further.  Only 15 shows are listed on the chart.  Things will pick back up in a few weeks.  For now, though, summer reigns supreme over the schedules of the theatre community, despite the fact that the weather isn’t entirely summer-like.

As things pick up again, I’ll also be adding other writers more frequently.  We lost one of the major reviewing sites a few weeks ago.  As you know, I wrote for Centerstage Chicago, which has been sold and is no longer publishing reviews.  I don’t know that the legality is on possibly reprinting the reviews that I wrote for them on here.  I’m looking into it.  If I can, I’ll reprint those reviews so that there is a complete record off all the shows I’ve reviewed this year.  If not, at least the Dice Ratings and 10-Word Summaries (which were native to this site only) will still be present.  Anyway… my goal is to give better coverage on here, to the tune of at least 3 shows per week.  That will require adding more reviews by Maggie and Jackie.  That’s especially true because I’m going to be in two shows this fall.  I’m starting rehearsals in a couple of weeks for a Gilbert & Sullivan operetta, “The Grand Duke”.  And then, after 6 years off, I’ll be returning to the cast of “A Klingon Christmas Carol”, although not as the part that I originated (QachIt).  Instead, I’ll be the Vulcan narrator.  It’s going to be fun.  Needless to say, I won’t have as much time to be writing reviews.  So, I’ll cover one show per week, and then let the ladies do some, too.

Looking at this week’s chart, you’ll notice a children’s show or two.  I thought I should mention my policy on reviewing children’s shows.  If a play is intended for children and performed by adults, then I will review the play as I normally would, while taking into account the target market.  However, a show performed by children or even young adults in an educational setting will never be reviewed by me or this column.  Children who are learning how to be a part of the theatrical world do not need outside criticism to help them grow.  It would be much more likely to damage them and their education, no matter if the review were good or bad.  So, while there is at least one child-performed show on this list, I will not be attending it.  If my dice roll that show, then I will roll again.  It is included on the chart entirely so that you may roll it and enjoy the performance, if you entrust your theatrical viewing to random chance.

And now for some completely random thoughts about nothing in general:

  • I just turned to my daughter and said, “Quick!  Give me one word to write about!”  She countered with “I don’t know”.  Now, that’s not technically one word, it’s three.  But, I will go with it.  I’m writing about “I don’t know”.  The first thing that phrase makes me think of is the TV show that aired on Nickelodeon, back in the early 1980’s, called “You Can’t Do That On Television”.  Anyone who grew up about the same time as I did knows that by saying “I don’t know” the kids on that show would earn a bucket of green slime which was dumped over their heads.  In fact, that’s where the whole green slime on Nickelodeon shows started.  Eventually it carried over to Double Dare and a number of other programs.  Now, the host of “You Can’t Do That on Television” was named Christine, but more often than not her co-stars called her Moose.  I’ve never understood why one would go by that nickname if you aren’t a rather bulky individual, but she did.  That ties back to my daughter a bit, too, as she has a tendency to make moose antlers on her own head with her hands.  When she does this she declares, “I’m a moose”.  It’s something that she and her mother do between them.  I’m not sure if there’s more to this game or not, but every once in a while my daughter tries to pull me into the whole “moose” game without explaining what I’m supposed to do.  Anyway… The second thing that I think of when I hear “I don’t know” is … Third Base!  I love baseball…and Abbot and Costello.
  • I have been to Six Flags a total of 5 times in my life.  Two of them have been within the last two weeks.
  • Of all the things I might want boxed up from a restaurant, leftover sushi isn’t one of them.  If a sushi place served me day-old sushi I’d be livid.  Why would I want to essentially make myself eat it the next day?
  • Why are there so many Chicago theatre companies with the word “Red” in their name?
  • An image search for “Demon Meerkat” results in this: demonmeerkat
  • Trivia time!  Today’s trivia comes from Hooked On Facts: “Nutmeg is extremely poisonous if injected intravenously.” – I’m not sure why you’d try to shoot yourself up with nutmeg.  I mean, I know it’s a potent hallucinogenic if you eat enough of it, but I can’t even figure out how one could make themselves eat large quantities of the stuff.  I like it fine when it’s a required spice in pumpkin pie and the like, but nutmeg has never seemed to be a flavor I just had to have.  Maybe I’m doing it wrong.  Only thing I know for certain, though, is that if you’ve just put a syringe of nutmeg in your arm, you’re really doing it wrong.
  • Abbie Fest is one month away!