The Beginning: April 17 – 21 (Preview and Chart)

This week's chart.  Grad 2 10-siders and roll to your heart's content.  Then go see a show!
This week’s chart. Grab two 10-siders and roll to your heart’s content. Then go see a show!

Well, I had an interesting last 7 days or so.  A lot of theatre.  Most of which I saw for CenterStageChicago.com, which means that I wrote very short reviews (some of which have yet to be put online, but will be soon) that left out many of the things that I wanted to talk about.  I’d assumed that I would get a chance to chat about them in a podcast, but when it comes down to it, if you’re seeing 5 shows in one weekend, it’s not likely that you’ll be sitting down for a few hours of talking and editing.  And herein lies the basic problem that I’ve discovered.  I don’t have time to do weekly round-ups.  That makes me sad.  So, I’m going to do a monthly round-up instead.  Watch for it at the end of the month, obviously.

Now, for the weekend ahead.  I’m not sure why it is, but there are no major shows opening this weekend.  None.  Ruined at Eclipse (at the Atheneum) opens on two consecutive nights (you read that right… they need two opening nights!) on Monday the 21st and Tuesday the 22nd.  And so it is that this weekend extends well into the following week, yet again.  I’m reviewing that show for CenterStageChicago.com, so you won’t see the whole review here.  I will link to it, though, once it is posted.

So, with no openings this week, the chart changes little, right?  Nope.  It changes drastically, because a lot of shows drop off.  In fact, there aren’t enough shows to fill out my standard roster of 20.  That’s because a whole bunch of shows close in the next two weeks, and that goes back to my earlier entry about how things get on the chart to begin with.  Anyway… You’ll notice that this chart requires a person to use a “d%”.  That’s an abbreviation for “Percentage Dice”.  And that that really means is using 2 10-sided dice, rolled at once.  One represents the 10’s column.  The other represents the 1’s column.  a roll of “00” = 100.  Normally, any given show on my chart has a 5% chance of being selected.  This week the odds improve for any given show to between 6% and 7%.

Many of you already know, but I run a theatre company myself.  Oddly enough, I will never review our shows.  That’s a conflict of interest.  But, I wanted to mention that I keep my eyes peeled for shows that my company members are doing elsewhere.  While they aren’t company members, yet, there are two guys who are currently doing shows that I’ve got my eye on.  One is Spenser Davis.  Spenser wrote one of the plays that will be part of my company’s Master Works: The Degas Plays in late May.  He is currently in The President at Oracle Productions.  He plays two characters in that show and does a stellar job.  There are few people in this town funnier than Spenser.  You can, of course, read my review of the show here.  But, I didn’t have a chance to mention Spenser in that article.  What I can say here is that I really enjoy his work.  I’m glad that I get to work with him later this year.  If you want to know why, you should check out the Oracle show before May 25th.  Also, the show is free, so you can’t go wrong with the price.

The other fellow I’m keeping my eye on this week is Billy Bullion, or professionally Wm. Bullion.  Billy is one of the directors for Master Works: The Degas Plays.  I met Billy this past summer when I was participating in the DirectorsLabChicago.  He’s a great guy, and has been doing this theatre thing for quite a while in Chicago.  I’ve not yet rolled his current show, and there’s no telling if the dice will go that way or not, but I can tell you that with Billy at the helm, L’Imbecile at Babes with Blades is a show that I can recommend just on his involvement alone.  This is one of the weaknesses of the die-rolling system.  Sometimes the shows I’m excited about don’t cross my path.  But, I hope that if they sound interesting to you, then you can steer your own path towards them.

Now for some randomness:

  • Next week there will be a substitute reviewer for this column.  I’ll be out of town, but Jacqueline Davies will still hit a couple of random shows and give you her thoughts as well.
  • I found my Seattle Sounders FC hat.  I am relieved.  I bet you didn’t even know it was missing.
  • Random trivia from Mental Floss:Walt Disney’s famous ‘logo’ signature wasn’t really his; it was designed by a staff artist.” — Somehow this doesn’t surprise me at all.  Not that Disney isn’t just teeming with authenticity in everything it does, but it doesn’t.  This has got me wondering if the Jim Henson signature is really his.  And what about other famous signatures?  I wonder who designed John Hancock’s signature on the Declaration of Independence… hmm…
  • ’93-’96, then ’04-’07
  • I will serenade you, all along the way
    I will serenade you, anyway you say
    I’ll take you to the country, take you to the shore
    Show you to my garden, I know you’ll make it grow”
  • I’m not sure what to eat for lunch.
  • I know that I won’t be seeing a show this Sunday.  That’s because I’ll be doing a bit of Storytelling.  I’m going to the Pub Theatre to record a tale about finding “The Truth” as part of the Nerdologues‘ monthly event.  You should come, too.  Hear a bunch of cool stories, or tell one of your own.