The Beginning: 4/9 – 4/13 (Preview and Chart)

Roll the dice.  See a show tonight!
Roll the dice. She a show tonight!

We’ve got a chart on here this week that is filled with solid war-horse type shows.  Big companies and small companies alike are tackling works with storied histories or established successful runs.  That means that you can bet that you have a 50-50 chance at minimum of rolling a show that is safely going to meet a minimum level of good quality.  That’s something.  Right?  Let’s look more closely:

As a big house, the Lyric is obviously normally known for its operas.  After all, it is an opera company.  However, its current offering is “Carousel”.  That’s the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical based on the play “Liliom” by Ferenc Molnar.  It was an instant classic when it first hit the stage, and it continues to be, even though its approach to an abusive relationship seems rather dated in this day and age.  And yet, I’m sure it still resonates, or it wouldn’t be staged as often as it still is.  Billy Budd will probably hit women and polish stars into the distant future.  Some of the songs from this musical will be forever stuck in my head.  And that, I presume is the reason for the show’s staying power.

Color Box Theatre is presenting “The Glass Menagerie”.  Fearless Theatre is putting forth “Spring Awakening” in non-musical form.  And, Definition Theatre Company is doing “A Doll’s House”.  I reviewed Definition Theatre Company’s “Genesis” back in September, and given the production quality of that show, I would encourage you to consider seeing their take on Ibsen.  It’s a multi-racial cast, and the show is sure to be more deeply layered than a traditional production of the Norwegian play.   Were I not doing the random thing, I would personally skip “The Glass Menagerie”.  When it comes down to it, I love Tennessee Williams, but this is the one play of his that I never need to see again.  As for “Spring Awakening”?  I don’t know much about the theatre company, nor their particular take on the Frank Wedekind tale of youthful indiscretions.  I’m a lukewarm fan of the musical version.  This adaptation of the German original is not the musical, but I have no idea if it will stand on its own merits.  Let’s call it a risk-reward selection for this week.

So… I’m in tech rehearsals this weekend for “The Bloodhound Law” at City Lit.  And my current show (“Master Works: The Intuit Plays“) closes on Saturday night.  All that means is that I can only see a show Sunday night.  Maggie will be on the scene this weekend, though.  She’s reviewing Shattered Globe’s opening on Sunday afternoon.  For myself, I’ve not yet heard back from the show that I rolled on the chart.  That may mean I am not seeing anything.  Cross your fingers for me.

Onward to the randomness:

  • So… it wasn’t on our chart this past weekend, because we took the week off and that means that there was no chart.  But… I went to see “Jesus Christ Superstar” this past Sunday night at Theo Ubique.  It was really cool to see how it was staged in their tiny space.  The whole show was a great experience, despite the fact that I believe that the guy playing Simon was the only true tenor in the show.  So many of the melodies were taken down an octave or altered to fit the range of the plethora of lyric baritones in the production.  Annas and Judas were especially frustrating to listen to, as they weren’t anywhere close to singing the parts as written.  As one who works in musical theatre/opera I know that guys are at a premium in the field, especially tenors.  Yet, it was an otherwise brilliant show.  Though this isn’t technically a review, let’s say I recommend it.  (d12 = “Heckuva Good Show”, for those keeping score at home).  The show just extended and will now be running through May 17th.  Get more info at Theatre In Chicago.
  • We’re going up to 70 degrees today.  Why the hell are my radiators going full blast?!  C’mon!  Ah, life in a building with only one thermostat…
  • Today is the 150th anniversary of the surrender of the Confederate States of America to the United States of America at Appomattox .
  • Edvard Munch.
  • “Black and orange stray cat sittin’ on a fence
    Ain’t got enough dough to pay the rent
    I’m flat broke but I don’t care
    I strut right by with my tail in the air”
  • Trivia time!  Thanks to the folks at The Random Trivia Generator: “Richard Cadbury invented the heart-shaped Valentine’s Day candy box”. — I know it’s a long time since February 14th, but I still have half a bag of candy hearts in my cabinet right now.  Snack time!
  • Is this guy having fun?