Happy Halloween!! iO Theater on making fake blood

This morning on NBC5-Chicago, Nick Hausman of iO Theater and ComedySportz shows us the Hitchcock-method of making fake blood.    (Believe me, there’s nothing more amateurish than a theatre production that uses blood that is bright red)

Being that this concoction is mostly chocolate syrup, I love the idea of making “blood sundaes” using the recipe. I bet my nieces and nephews would love it!

By the way, this type of thing is a great way for theater companies to get free press.  I’m not sure if NBC5 sought out Nick or vice versa, but I’m sure that – after seeing this spot on TV – many viewers checked out the theater companies on the web.

Sunday Night Sondheim – Korean “Sweeney Todd”

I have to admit that I was blown away by this recording of “Green Finch and Linnet Bird” from Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd.  This clip is part of a Korean on-air radio recording. The singer, Esther Ryu, possesses a truly angelic voice.  And this beautiful song is even more lyrical when sung in Korean.  Trust me on this one.


Chicago Theater extensions – Steppenwolf and Lifeline

It’s always great news for the Chicago theater community as a whole when one hears that – due to popular demand – a production has been extended.  You might ask – isn’t this just good news for the specific theater company doing the extension?  I know it’s more than that – I call it the “putting-your-toe-in-the-water-syndrome”.  In other words, when new theater-goers attend a play (i.e., put their toe in the water), they usually say to themselves “I enjoyed this, and would like to do it again”.  Over the last few years (maybe 4-5 years) I’ve seen an uptick of play extensions – there must be a lot of toe-testers out there who are concluding that the water is fine, and whole-heartedly jump in the water (hopefully for multiple laps).  Point in fact:

"Dublin Carol" at Steppenwolf


Steppenwolf Theater has announced, even before the opening on November 6th, that Dublin Carol will now be extended past Christmas, through December 28th.  Dublin Carol, by Conor McPherson, will be directed by Amy Morton, and will feature Stephen Louis Grush, William Petersen and Nicole Wiesner.




"Dorian Gray" at Lifeline Theatre

"The Portrait of Dorian Gray" at Lifeline Theatre



Lifeline Theatre is extending their exciting new adaptation of Oscar Wilde’sThe Portrait of Dorian Gray a full 2 weeks, moving closing from November 8th to November 16th.  CTB gave Dorian Gray a much-deserved 4-stars (review here), so we can see why the show’s popularity has called for extra performances to be added.  Dorian Gray is adapted by Lifeline ensemble member Robert Kauzlaric, directed by Kevin Theis.  The production features Nick Vidal as Dorian Gray.




Congrats to both theatre companies!!!

Anne Hathaway on Broadway???

rachel getting married 211008 According to internet reports, Anne Hathaway is in negotiations to play the lead in “Promises, Promises”, the musical adapation of Billy Wilder’s “The Apartment”. Also in the negotiations – co-starring with Ms. Hathaway will be Sean Hayes of “Will and Grace” fame. 

Hmmmm….can’t wait for this one…  🙂

Wassup at *Village Players* ??

Due to popular demand, world-premier musical The Medium at Large, starring Tony & Jeff Award Nominee John Herrera, has added an extra weekend of shows, extending the run through Sunday, Novebmer 23rd. The production is co-written by Julia Cameron (international best-selling author of The Artist’s Way) and Emma Lively; directed by Carl Occhipinti. (blog aside: Carl is my neighbor! Hey Carl, when are you going to return that Tupperware I loaned you?)


Betrayal, by Harold Pinter, is also currently running in the black box space at Village Players Performing Arts Center.

Also at the Village PlayersAt Large! will be presented in their black box space November 20-23. This one-woman show, which tackles weight issues head on, is written and performed by Keri Marcouillier, and directed by Christopher Pazdernik

For more information, including tickets, call 866-764-1010 or visit www.village-players.org

Broadway In Chicago: Skate to "Xanadu"

On Friday, October 24th, be one of the first 20 people to skate to the Drury Lane Theatre Water Tower Place box office (175 E. Chestnut, Chicago) and receive a pair of tickets to the first performance of “XANADU” on Friday, January 16, PLUS a copy of the original Broadway cast recording!

"Xanadu" is making its Chicago landing this winter - don't miss it! .

What is XANADU??? 


ANSWER: Put a bunch of smash pop songs, the Tony® Award nominee Douglas Carter Beane and the cutest couple in town into a Broadway blender, and what do you get? A roller-skating, disco-dancing, glow-stick-waving smash-hit musical! Taking audiences back to 1980 California, this hilarious new musical follows the beautiful Kira, who travels to earth to inspire a struggling young artist named Sonny. A vision in leg warmers and wind-swept hair, she helps this hunky painter find his voice, discover true love and build the world’s first roller disco (not necessarily in that order).

Politics and Leonard Bernstein…

Bernstein's sex appeal didn't exactly hurt his pop-culture popularity

In the Newsweek article “The Original Cultural Warrior”, Jeremy McCarter looks at the ways that Leonard Bernstein’s music combined forms of low and high art, challenging today’s unfortunate conservative political narrative which crucifies cultural “elitism”.

Money quote:

..consider how, at this year’s Republican convention, Barack Obama was mocked by the multimillionaire former mayor of New York City and prominent opera buff Rudy Giuliani for being “cosmopolitan.”

Check out the entire article here.