Theater Thursday: “Rewind” at the side project

Thursday, November 19

Rewind  by Laura Eason

the side project 
1439 W. Jarvis, Chicago

rewindphotoGet behind the music: join the side project as we kick off our 9th season, and be among the first to see Laura Eason’s latest play Rewind before it’s official opening! The evening includes a special session with the production team, including Sound Designer (and DJ) Misha Fiksel, who will discuss the iconic music from Chicago bands which influenced the show’s story and soundscape. Catering will be provided by Rogers Park favorite Luzzat.Starting in 1998 and told backwards, Rewind follows the life of a would-be rock musician from his premature death to his teenage dreams of a music career. Partly based on Eason’s experiences in Chicago’s independent music scene in the 90s, the play asks what success means when loyalities and lifelong dreams are intertwined.

Event begins at 7 p.m.
Show begins at 8 p.m.

TICKETS ONLY $20 

For reservations visit www.thesideproject.net or call 773-973-2150 and mention “Theater Thursdays.”

Review: House Theatre’s “All The Fame Of Lofty Deeds”

A banjo-picking, toe-tapping, tumbleweed-talking good time!

 

The House Theatre of Chicago presents:

All The Fame of Lofty Deeds

At the Chopin Theatre
Written by Mark Guarino
Based on and featuring the music and artwork of Jon Langford
Directed by Tommy Rapley
Thru December 20th (ticket info) 

Reviewed by Katy Walsh

lofty_deeds_poster Chugging whiskey, a forgotten country singer confesses his mistakes to a tumbleweed. The House Theatre of Chicago presents All The Fame of Lofty Deeds. The familiar cowboy skull and cross-guitars painting of Jon Langford is the basis for the character Lofty Deeds, an aging honkytonk singer. Playwright Mark Guarino utilizes the music and artwork of Bloodshot Records recording artist Jon Langford to create this play. As he faces his death, Lofty Deeds struggles with his past decisions. After trading love and family for life on the road under the exploitative pressures of record executives, Lofty is now haunted by the ghosts of musicians past.

Nathan Allen takes on the duality role of Lofty Deeds. He mixes the bitter drunk old man moments with flashback scenes of a naïve country singer at his happiest… on stage. The set design by Lee Keenan feels like a Jon Langford painting with its stark, gritty qualities. Where do has-been country singers go to die? A trailer in the desert, of course. Continuous reminders that this is a show about a man in a painting, director Tommy Rapley has actors don portraits to portray the ghosts of musicians past. On the stage within the stage, the live band adds to the upbeat tempo with memorable songs like “It’s Not Enough” and “The Death of Country Music.”

The story is dark; the forgotten celebrity drinking himself to death. The script is complicated; flashbacks with stories within stories. But like enjoying any country song, don’t get too caught up in the story or words. And appreciate art for art! Take pleasure in the music and the colorful images. What came first – the song or the picture? Langford created the character Lofty Deeds in his song “All The Fame of Lofty Deeds” and in his cowboy skull painting. Guarino took the song and wrote the play. The House Theatre took the play, painting and song have brought it to life on stage. The results, All The Fame of Lofty Deeds is a banjo-picking, toe-tapping, tumbleweed-talking good time.

 

Rating: ★★★

 

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