Thespian mice discovered in Goodman Theatre’s rafters

Goodman Theatre, home of great theatre and thespian Mice.

In a major scientific discovery, Dr. Vince Shlomi from SW Labs has verified that a high-intellect species of mice has been discovered in the rafters of Goodman Theatre in Chicago’s Loop

“It was the weirdest thing,” said Anna Clifford, Goodman stage manager and Starbucks barista.  “We’d come in for rehearsals, and things would be moved around.  The lighting would be adjusted, or the scripts would be chewed on.  I just figured it was someone from the cast of Mary Poppins.” 

These 2 thespian mice from Goodman stand for their bows. The discovery occurred a week into the run of Goodman’s present production, Come Back, Little Shicksa.  On a routine check of the lighting, set designer and taxi driver Radhakant Baijpai, noticed that a Shakespeare book of plays was tucked between the rafter beams.  “I bent down to pick up the book,” said Rhada “and it started to move – so  I grabbed the book, and there underneath was five or 6 of those critters, all moving their arms wildly and emoting!” 

So as to avoid calling in health inspectors, the Goodman box office placed PETA-approved traps amongst the rafters, along with copies of  the American classic  about the downfall of a washed-up Avon lady – Dearth of a Saleswoman – as bait. The theatre-loving mice were soon caught and  trucked off to SW Labs, which is where they discovered that the mice responded more to Shakespeare than to slices of cheese. 

When Goodman artistic-director and Elvis-impersonator Robert Falls was asked for a comment regarding the theatre mice, he just offered a terse “It’s all much ado about nothing”.

Chicago Theater first – Cirque du Soleil comes out of the tent

Cirque du Soleil to premiere major new show format in Chicago this fall

It will be called “Vaudeville.”

cirque_vaudevilleAnd the new Cirque du Soleil show in the works will both rehearse and start in Chicago—most likely at the Chicago Theatre. According to information circulating in New York, Cirque du Soleil is preparing a major new proscenium-style show under the direction of David Shiner (“Kooza”) and written by Larry O’Keefe (“Bat Boy” and “Legally Blonde”). The choreographer is listed as Jared Grimes, known for his tap and hip-hop work.


Says Chicago Tribune:

The idea is to create a 90-minute hybrid of a Cirque circus-style show and a more traditional musical-theater production. This would be the Montreal-based Cirque’s first foray into Broadway-style theater. It is likely to be a high profile show in the Loop next holiday season. Plans call for rehearsals this fall in Chicago, followed by an opening here in November. Thereafter, the show will move to New York’s Beacon Theatre for a run of six months or more and, most likely, a tour elsewhere. The Beacon Theatre is owned, like the Chicago Theatre, by Madison Square Garden Entertainment.

A Chicago spokesman for Cirque wouldn’t comment about any future projects. The Cirque has long said it wanted to explore new arenas for its work. This one will be as close as Cirque has ever come to Broadway, complete with the traditional Chicago tryout.

More links:

Guilty of fraud: Poducers of “Ragtime” and “Kiss of Spider Woman”

Livent Producers Drabinsky and Gottlieb Are Guilty of Fraud, Canadian Courts Say

Garth Drabinsky of Livent Productions

Garth Drabinsky and Myron Gottlieb, the producers who gave North American theatre a shot in the arm with award-winning productions of Show Boat, Ragtime, Kiss of the Spider Woman, Fosse and more, were found guilty of fraud and forgery carried out at their production company Livent, Inc., a Canadian court ruled March 25.

Ontario Superior Court Justice Mary Lou Benotto made her judgment in Toronto, 11 months after the trial began.  The judge asserted that the producing duo’s “creative success” was “spectacular” but that “widespread and long-standing” fraud and “deliberate misrepresentation” clouded their success and theatrical contributions.

There’s a Chicago connection to Drabinsky and Livent: the company refurbished Chicago’s ornate Oriental Theatre, where they produced a successful run of their Tony Award winning musical Ragtime.  (personal note: Ragtime is easily one of my top 3 musicals, along with Parade and Sweeney Todd)

Story courtesy of Kenneth Jones of

photo by Michael Cooper