This week’s theatre openings and closings

show openings

THE AUTOMOTIVE GRAVEYARD

  – University Theater at University of Chicago

BANANA SHPEEL – Cirque du Soleil

CAR CEMETERY – University Theater at University of Chicago

CHAD MORTON’S TV CHRISTMAS MIRACLE Village Players Performing Arts Center

A CHRISTMAS CAROL – Paramount Theatre

COLDDream Theatre

THE D-CUP DIATRIBES Gorilla Tango Theatre

THE DREAMERSTheatre Building Chicago

THE EXONERATEDGorilla Tango Theatre

FAITH OFFGorilla Tango Theatre

NAUGHTIER AND NICENew Millenium Theatre

FLORIDA DEVEREAUX DOES THE HOLIDAYSProp Thtr

GIFT OF THE MAGI EverGreen Theatre Ensemble

HANDEL’S MESSIAH – Pick Staiger Concert Hall

HOLIDAY DIVAS! – Theatre and Interpretation Center at Northwestern University

IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE: LIVE AT THE BIOGRAPHVictory Gardens Biograph Theater

LOW TONER: DECISION QUALITYGorilla Tango Theatre

MARK AND LAURA’S COUPLES ADVICE CHRISTMAS SPECIALGorilla Tango

OH COWARD!Writers’ Theatre

RUDOLPH THE RED HOSED REINDEERHell in a Handbag Productions

SHORT SHORTSAnnoyance Theatre

A SILENT NIGHT: GRANDMA GOT RUN OVER WITHOUT HEALTHCARE Gorilla Tango

TAMING OF THE FLU The Second City

TOWARDS THE SUN! Gorilla Tango Theatre

A VERY MERRY UNAUTHORIZED CHILDREN’S SCIENTOLOGY PAGEANTNext Theatre

THE WIND IN THE WILLOWSCity Lit Theater

show closings

BECOMING INGRID Rubicon Theatre Project 

DOOBY DOOBY MOOLifeline Theatre 

AN EVENING WITH CHARLES BUSCH AND JULIE HALSTON Victory Gardens

HOLESMerle Reskin Theatre

HOLIDAY HOP – Center for Performing Arts at Governors State University

PHEDRANew World Repertory Theater

RACHEL CORN AND THE SECRET SOCIETYCorn Productions

ROSENCRANTZ AND GUILDENSTERN ARE DEADWriters’ Theatre

REVIEW: Factory Theatre’s “Hunky Dory”

A little less loud. a bit more funny.

HunkyDory 

The Factory Theatre presents:

Hunky Dory

by Joe Gehr
directed byJosh Graves
thru December 19th (ticket info)

review by Aggie Hewitt

The Factory Theatre is a quirky little theatre that produces comedic farcical productions. Hunky Dory, their late night show, introduces us to a Texas family that is part “Deliverence”, part “Rosanne”. But this family is not just poor, trashy and evil – they own a coach house that is absolutely irresistible to retired Sarah Lawerence professors and Chicago doctors looking for a quiet place to write their memoirs. Why? It doesn’t matter. All that matters is that this family is going to kill those upper-crust Northerners and collect their social security checks.

Performers at the Factory Theatre like to yell. They seem to have picked up the idea that this is how humor is communicated. In the world outside the theatre, a lot of people have this misconception as well, and I have never understood it. What is there about loud noises that is so funny to these people? Are they just all fighting for one’s attention? If that’s the case I have news for the Factory Theatre bombasts: all of the chairs in the house face the stage. If you are on stage, someone will pay attention to you. Please stop screaming.

Apart from that, the whole production just seems lazy; as if no thought at all were put into any aspect of it. The story, staging and writing in this show are unfortunately equally bland – monotone and without heart. Chicago performers, writers and directors looking to work in comedy have to understand that big does not equal funny. (Of course, big can be funny if it is an aspect of the entire joke, but it’s not a secret formula for it). 

My advice? Steer clear from this production, but please do not write off the Factory Theatre. They’re a smart group that perhaps lost some guidance on this particular show. I look forward to smaller and brighter things to come in future productions.

Rating: ½

 

Cast

Elmer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Blake Dalzin
Char . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Sarah Rose Graber*
Momma . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Christine Jennings*
Aunt Sue . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Jennifer Pompa*
Guj . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Christopher Marcum
Grandpa Freddy. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Steve Welsh
Mr. Thompson/Snyder/Russell . . . . . . . .Justin Cagney
Mrs. Thompson/Snyder/Russell . . . . Erin Elizabeth Orr

Crew:

Director……………….…….…Josh Graves*
Writer……………………………Joe Gehr*
Executive Producer……………Carrie J. Sullivan*
Producer………………..……………Allison Cain*

Sound Design…………………………….Nick Booth*
Stage Manager………………….Elizabeth Boros-Kazai

* connotates Ensemble Member

for cast bios, click on “Read More”

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Wednesday Wordplay – Ben Franklin and “holiday pounds”

Inspirational Quotes

To freely bloom – that is my definition of success.
            — Gerry Spence, How to Argue and Win Every Time

Turn your midlife crisis to your own advantage by making it a time for renewal of your body and mind, rather than stand by helplessly and watch them decline.
            — Jane E. Brody

Dost thou love life? Then do not squander time, for that’s the stuff life is made of.
            — Benjamin Franklin, ‘Poor Richard’s Almanack,’ June 1746

 

Urban Dictionary

holiday pounds

The extra little bit of weight you put on during a period of being on holiday or vacation.

Man, when I get back to work I’ll have to start going to the gym again- I’ve put on some serious holiday pounds