The Beginning: April 10 – 14 (Preview & Chart)

Hey!  It's a chart full of shows!  Grab your dice, roll it, and go see some theatre!
Hey! It’s a chart full of shows! Grab your dice, roll it, and go see some theatre!

This week’s beginning is being published a little late.  Sorry about that.  The first half of this week was unexpectedly busy, and this preview got away from me.

I’ve noticed a growing trend over the last couple of years in Chicago.  Namely, the tendency to hold “Opening Night” on a Monday.  I was aware that a few places were doing this, but now it seems like every week includes at least one show that is opening after the weekend is complete.  Traditional opening nights are Friday and Saturday, but because there are so many companies in town who all want the major press to come to their shows, they try to find a night that will be devoid of other openings, thereby being the only show in town (so to speak) and the reviewers will be there to see and review the play.

That works, so long as not everyone else is doing it.  But, the thing I noticed is that this past Monday had two of press openings right on top of each other.  Remy Bumppo had the opening for Our Class (which I reviewed here), and Next had The Great God Pan at exactly the same time.  This is the first time that I’ve been aware of two companies managing to do the same Monday.  Granted, that’s only two shows on that night, rather than dozens of shows that might share an opening night on some Saturday, but still… it’s of note to me that there is a critical mass of Monday openings now.

This is why I normally post my “The Beginning” articles on Tuesdays or Wednesdays.  I decided to treat things that open on Monday as part of the previous weekend, and therefore, Monday is now the end of the theatrical week.

So, there are fewer openings this upcoming weekend than there were last weekend.  But, as it so happens, many of those openings are ones that I’m assigned to cover for CensterstageChicago.com.  I’ll be seeing Suitcase Shakespeare’s The Tempest on Saturday night, Dorian at The House on Monday night, and The Way West on Tuesday night.  All of those reviews will be posted on Centerstage.  I’ll have a link to them here in my weekly round-up.  Which, incidentally, we didn’t do one this past week because of microphone difficulties.  That issue has been remedied, so watch this space to hear a wonderful theatrical chat about the shows that my theatre buddies and I saw this week.

I will be seeing one show for this column on Sunday night.  I rolled a 14, which is sending me to Oracle’s new show The President.  As of a few minutes prior to this post’s going live, they had tickets left, if you want to see what I’m seeing.  That being said, their tickets are free, so they go fast.

I want to mention a show that I am really intrigued by, but won’t get a chance to see.  New theatres are a dime a dozen in Chicago.  What do you call three actors in Chicago sitting together in a bar?  A theatre company!  But, one of the new companies that I’m excited about is Deluge Theatre Collective.  They are producing a show currently called Raw, which will drop off the chart after this weekend.  The show is directed by Tara Branham, who I met through a day job a couple of years ago, and then re-met when I was talking to Prologue Theatre (for whom she also directs) about working on one of their shows.  I’m really interested to see how this show goes.  From the photos on their website, it looks like a sharp, well-done production for such a new entity on the theatre scene.

And now for some randomness:

  • Earlier this week, while driving down Lake Shore Drive, I couldn’t see the top 20 floors or so of the Sears Tower due to the clouds.   I love that that happens.
  • Get better, Craigory!
  • Oh, skidamarink a-dink, a-dink, skidamarink a-doo, I love you.

  • Only 4 more days until Tax Day.  Only 2 more days until the Ides of April.  Dear local newscasters: The Ides doesn’t always fall on the 15th… That’s March you’re thinking of.  Annual jokes declaring “Beware the Ides of April” on Tax Day are not only unfunny, they show that you’re ignorant and uninformed.  That’s exactly what we’re all looking for in our news.
  • It has been far too long since we held a board game party.  That must change.
  • Mental Floss has a random trivia page that I’ll be using from now on: “Just as some people talk in their sleep, sign language speakers have been known to sign in their sleep.” — That sounds like it could be dangerous for the person sleeping next to them.  That being said, talking in one’s sleep can often be dangerous, too.  I’ll sometimes have entire conversations while I’m asleep.  I have no idea what I’m saying, but apparently it is funny as hell sometimes.