The Beginning: May 29 – June 2 (This week’s chart and belated preview)

This week's chart is ready for you to roll!
This week’s chart is ready for you to roll!

As you may have already noticed, I am late with a few entries.  This is because I’ve been spending most of the first part of this week preparing for a show that I’m producing at The Den.  I won’t be reviewing my show, for what I hope are obvious reasons.  However, I would encourage you to come on by to “Master Works: The Degas Plays” to see six short plays by some of this city’s best up-and-comers.

I mentioned before, but I should reiterate now, that when I am in production myself, I will call on one of my pinch hitters.  That is, two of my friends whose opinions on theatre I respect a lot and who can substitute for me and my reviewing duties.  A few weeks ago, Jackie Davies filled in for me and did an admirable job.  This week Jackie is also involved with “Master Works: The Degas Plays”, so she couldn’t step in.  Instead, Maggie Wagner will be writing in this space.  She’s going to be seeing one show, for sure.  Perhaps more.  Keeep your eyes out for her stuff.  Maggie is a playwright who has a pretty darned solid resume.  I first reviewed a play she wrote for the Minnesota Fringe Festival nearly a decade ago.  It was a stellar work.  Since then, she’s written a play for my company, and has been my theatre buddy to other shows, as well.  That means that while she’s not yet penned her own reviews for this site, she’s had some influence on what you’ve read here already.  She’ll be great.

In the next couple of hours I’ll be posting my reviews from this past weekend.  It’s how I’ll be spending the time on a train to Minnesota.  I’m headed up to see my daughter’s dance recital.  Now that my show is open, I’m able to make a 48-hour trip up there and back (second reason I’m not seeing any shows in Chicago this weekend).

Now that I’ve taken care of the housekeeping issues, I’ll just get to the random bits:

  • I’m sitting on a train, zipping past the suburbs between Chicago and Milwaukee.  Ah, Glenview.
  • The last time I headed up this direction, it was to see an opera called “Fortuna the Time Bender vs. the Schoolgirls of Doom”.  It was terrific.  I saw a reading of it a number of years ago.  It was great to see it in full production.  I used to take the Amtrak train every year to Milwaukee.  That was where GenCon was.  GenCon is the biggest annual gaming convention in the country.  The last time I attended was in the convention’s last year in Milwaukee.  The Convention is still held annually, but it is now in Indianapolis.  Since the relocation, I’ve yet to attend.  I also don’t travel to Milwaukee all that often any more.
  • Tyler Perry’s Medea character is really annoying.
  • I’m on a sentimental kick wherein I miss writing letters that are sent in envelopes.  I recently was chatting online with a friend of mine who lives in Fargo, ND.  She and I used to essentially be penpals.  I’m pretty sure the last time I wrote her a letter was over 10 years ago.  Internet chats are so quick and immediate, but they miss the indepth thought and writing of a real letter.  Not that I was ever a really good letter writer.  In my reading I come across so many great writers whose more intimate thoughts have been chronicled in their preserved letters.  I am always impressed by the ideas that were once committed to paper and then only transmitted to one other person through the post.  Whether it is the philosophy of Cicero, the pleadings of Vincent Van Gogh to his brother Theo, or Mark Twain’s witty missives and epistles, I suffer from letter envy.  I want to write letters like that.  Maybe someday I will.  It just seems less and less likely, though, since the internet doesn’t lend itself to that sort of thing.
  • Something’s happening here.  What it is ain’t exactly clear.
  • Look!  A Monkey!
  • A random bit of trivia!  Today’s trivia comes from Mental Floss: “Neil Armstrong stepped onto the moon with his left foot first.” — Perhaps he was a ballroom dancer.  Most steps start with the man’s left foot first.  I mean, did you see how gracefully he moved out there.  He was a spacefaring quick stepper!
  • Nifty. Keen.  Far out!