Lookingglass Theatre’s “Our Town” – starring David Schwimmer – the rave reviews are in!

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Check out the Looking Glass Theatre‘s “Our Town” cast photo gallery at ChicagoTribune.com, starring David SchwimmerOur Town plays at the downtown theatre through April 5th.  Info and tickets here.

UPDATE – REVIEWS

Hedy Weiss of the Chicago Sun-Times: Apart from its (“trussed up”) set, the Lookingglass “Our Town” — co-directed by Anna D. Shapiro and Jessica Thebus and featuring 13 members of the close-knit ensemble — is a fairly straightforward, gently elegiac interpretation of the play.   (Entire review here). Rating: Recommended

Michael J. Roberts at ChicagoPride.comLookingglass gives us an older but wiser ‘Our Town’.  It is in the third act, however,that Shapiro and Thebus strike gold with the Lookingglass actors and where the casting choice of using older actors to play George and Emily……there is a gravitas that can only come with the experience of life. Moreover, the final moments with Schwimmer collapsing on his wife’s tombstone left nary a dry eye in the house, including mine.  (Entire review here.)

(Catey Sullivan at Examiner.com: ‘Our Town’ a staggering take on a timeless drama (Entire review here)

Chris Jones at his Chicago Tribune theater blog The Theater Loop: Iconic play mirrors Lookingglass’ Journey…Schwimmer the emotional core of ‘Our Town’ in search of a small town. (Entire review here.)  Rating: «««

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Cast of “Our Town”.  More pics here.

Tribune photo by E. Jason Wambsgans / February 5, 2009

From YouTube: Meet the cast of “Our Town”. 

In this video: David Schwimmer, Joey Slotnick, David Catlin, David Kersnar, Laura Eason, Thomas J Cox, Andy White, Heidi Stillman, Raymond Fox, Patia Bartlett, Philip R Smith, Tracy Walsh, Louise Lamson and Kevin Douglas

More Lookingglass Theatre YouTube videos here.

 

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News from CAR (Chicago Artist’s Resource) – Theatre Mir, Ra Joy of IAA, and Rasaka Theatre

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»» Opening next week –  The Arab-Israeli Cookbook, presented by Theatre Mir, brings Arab and Israeli voices together in the stories of ordinary people living in a rich yet divided world in Israel and the West Bank.  Based on real-life interviews by playwright Robin Soans and directors Tim Roseman and Rima Brihi, this deeply human play weaves the stories and recipes of more than forty characters who reveal common culture and experiences amidst the daily conflict.  In restaurants, shops, cafes, and homes, everyone has a story to tell and a recipe to cook.  “…Cookbook” runs March 5 – April 5 at the DCA Theatre in the Loop. More info here.
   
 

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Ra Joy, Executive Director, Illinois Arts Alliance (IAA)

 

»» Ra Joy, Executive Director of the Illinois Arts Alliance (as well as artist!), speaks out about the importance of arts advocacy; speaking out and supporting the arts and arts-friendly policies.
   
 

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  Developed out of CAR’s Incubator program, Rasaka Theatre Company, the Midwest’s first South Asian American ensemble, will present the nation’s first South Asian short play festival on March 30th at 7:30pm, at the downtown DCA Studio Theatre.  All of the short plays were created during Rasaka’s first annual ‘Playwrighting Bootcamp’ held over a weekend in August 2008.  (Buy tix here)
 

 

Workshops for Arts Organizations and Individuals:

CAR

 

Key organizations who provide assistance to artists and arts organizations:

The Actors Fund •   Arts & Business Council of Chicago •  Chicago Artists’ Coalition •  Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs •   Chicago Dance and Music AllianceChicago Filmmakers •  Chicago Music Commission •   Columbia College Chicago eCenter •    Executive Service Corps •  Guild Literary Complex •  Illinois Arts AllianceIllinois Arts Council •  Independent Feature ProjectLawyers for the Creative Arts •  League of Chicago Theatres •  Links Hall •  NARAS – The Recording AcademyReeltime •  UIC Health in the Arts Program   •

Chicago theater happenings – Pegasus Players, Mary Poppins, Emerald City, and Porchlight Theatre

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»» Broadway in Chicago’s upcoming musical, Mary Poppins, has extended their run for 2 more weeks, which now will run through July 12th.  Contact Broadway in Chicago for info and tickets.
 

 

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»» Emerald City Theatre will be offering a St. Patrick’s Day special for Saturday, March 14 and Sunday March 15 – wear green to performances on these dates and receive a free special gift from the Wizard!  More info.
    
  e1235510044Porchlight Music Theatre will be holding their 3rd Annual Jazz Brunch at the Drake Hotel on Sunday, March 29th.  Porchlight is Chicago’s music theatre leader, and this annual event is an important part of raising funds to continue their award-winning productions. 
For more info, send e-mail to porchlighttheatre@yahoo.com, call at 773-325-9884, or visit their website.
 

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»» Don’t miss out on Pegasus Players newest production, the world premier of “The Shape of the Girl” by Joan MacLeod.  Starring Alice Wedoff, this one-woman show deals with the code of silence and tacit complicity surrounding the Reena Vick murder in Canada in 1997.  Directed by Ilesa Duncan, The Shape of the Girl , running March 2nd through April 12th, is the perfect production to help celebrate the 30th-anniversary (!!) of Pegasus Players, a true Chicago theatrical treasure.

 

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Xanadu – Cheap(er) tickets can make you "Happy"

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XANADU, the show that has surprised and delighted Broadway, is now delighting Chicago fans by offering a “Happy Sale” featuring $44 tickets. Reviews for the Chicago production have ranged mostly from good to exuberant (though there are a some naysayers).  But now – with this “happy” ticket deal – it could be a perfect time for you to see this 90-minutes-of-giddiness for yourself – whether seeing it for the first time or for the fifth.  Part of Broadway In Chicago 2008-2009 season, XANADU is at the Drury Lane Theatre Water Tower (175 E Chestnut St ). 

Okay, so here’s the deal: to purchase these specially priced $44 tickets (only offered Sunday – Friday performances through March, 29), contact the box office and mention the code HAPPY.  Tickets are available at the box office and www.BroadwayInChicago.com

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See a round-up of Xanadu reviews and pictures here.

Theater Thursday: Modigliani at The Artistic Home

Thursday, February 26
Modigliani by Dennis McIntyre

The Artistic Home

3914 N. Clark St., Chicago (map)

modiglianipicThe Artistic Home is proud to present Modigliani by Dennis McIntyre, a play about passion, art and everything in-between. Immediately following the production enjoy a dessert and coffee reception, followed by a discussion on the topic of process and building the title role of Modigliani with actor John Mossman, facilitated by Artistic Director Kathy Scambiatterra.
Show begins at 7:30 p.m.
Reception and post-show discussion immediately following at 9:30 p.m.
TICKETS ONLY $23
For reservations call 866.811.4111 or go to
www.theartistichome.org

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Theater Thursday brought to you by this outstanding entertainment retailer.

Theater tidbits: Lifeline Theatre, About Face, Mordine

 

 

»» Lifeline Theatre is welcoming two new members into their creative team – Robert Kauzlaric as marketing director and Lea Pinsky as the new Director of Education.  I’m sure they’ll add a lively creative energy to this remarkable theater company.  (currently playing at Lifeline: Mariette in Ecstasy)
   
»» TimeOutChicago is holding a contest for Stupid Kids over at About Face Theater. The theater company has gathered submissions of high  school triumphs and tribulations, and now they want you to vote on your favorite “Stupid Kids” moment! Lucky winners will get to present or perform their submissions for Stupid Kids audiences during the final week at Center on Halsted.          Click here to vote.   
See TimeOutChicago’s rave review of Stupid Kids here.
   
»» The Dance Center of Columbia College presents Mordine & Company Dance Theater this Thursday-Saturday (Feb 26-28, 8pm).  In honor of its 40th Anniversary (!), Mordine & Company will perform a program that symbolically acknowledges its history while also looking to its future.  As a special offer, receive a 20% discount on your tickets by entering the promotion code “Mordine 20” when ordering tickets here.
   

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“Obama On My Mind” – knew it was coming, but from London??

Barack Obama musical: “Obama On My Mind”

Okay, I knew it would appear sooner or later, but I never thought that a musical about Barrack Obama (and his campaign) would first be created in London!  It is tentatively called “Obama On My Mind.  Says CBS News:

Teddy Hayes, an American playwright currently living in London, has been inspired to pen a new and distinctive musical based upon Barack Obama’s presidential campaign”

From YouTube:

Personally, I think it looks pretty lame, but then I’ve been to many a play reading where the beginning and end product are drastically different.  (i.e., I’m giving it the benefit of the doubt).   I’m just wondering if Joe the Plumber will have a song of his own (or a duet with Sarah Palin).

Relevant blog posts:

People: Get Ready for Obama: The Musical – Barack Obama
NYTimes: Obama Musical to Have British Premiere
MTV: If Shrek Can Have His Own Musical, Why Can’t President Obama?