REVIEW: Snow Days and Plane Delays (The Mime Company)

        
        

The beauty of silence enhances little Christmas rituals

  
  

The Mime Company - Snow Days and Plane Delays poster

  
The Mime Company presents
  
Snow Days & Plane Delays: Evening of Holiday Mime
   
Created by Mime Company ensemble
Directed by
Amanda Brown
at Studio BE, 3110 N. Sheffield
(map)
through Jan 2  |  tickets: $12-$20   |  more info

Reviewed by Paige Listerud

Face it–Christmas is exhausting. The holiday demands physical, mental and emotional energy from everyone participating–and even from those who don’t. Decorating, shopping, cooking, wrapping gifts, assembling them, greeting friends and relatives—and then there’s the obstacle course of traveling to your holiday destination. Amanda Brown of The Mime Company directs a well honed and superbly disciplined troupe that can draw out the humor and poignancy of yearly Christmas rituals in their latest production, Snow Days and Plane Delays: an Evening of Holiday Mime. Nothing impresses like the exceeding professionalism of the total ensemble—their slightest gestures and facial expressions speak volumes, and their coordinated physical discipline astonishes.

A man packs up and prepares to leave for his flight. Interspersed between the trials and tribulations of his trip–going through security, finding a seat in the overcrowded waiting area, packing his carry-on luggage on the plane, etc.—are tales and scenes associated with Mime-Company-snow-days-square-posterChristmas. Carolers go door to door, struggling to find a receptive audience for their songs. A family struggles to take a decent Christmas photo through the years. A mother and father fuss over an assembly-required bicycle late into the night. All terribly familiar scenes, but more—the ensembles’ unity, balance and symmetry brings greater immediacy and intimacy to each relatively minor activity, evoking a closer and deeper look at each human relationship and gesture.

The Mime Company heightens the bittersweet passing of time with the shifting nature of family, as children emerge from childhood to take on the challenges of their parents’ care in “Family Photo Album.” “The Little Match Girl” resurfaces as a classic to remind audiences of the suffering of the destitute homeless during this time of year. Into the mix, the ensemble amuses with delightfully ridiculous situations—a guy just learning to ski, ballet dancers headed on a total Nutcracker train wreck, and couples losing and finding each other at the mall, while negotiating its bewildering assortment of escalators, elevators and walkways.

Snow Days and Plane Delays will only be playing over the January 2nd, so catch it in its short run as a breather from the holiday madness. Looking at all our frenzied rituals under the microscope of silence makes them special and, perhaps, even less arduous.

  
  
Rating: ★★★
  
  

Video below: The Mime Company’s A Holiday Evening of  Mime in 2008, created by Matt Paolelli.

  
  

The Mime Company on WTTW last night

There was a nice feature on WTTW’s “Chicago Tonight” yesterday evening, and I thought I’d post it today.  (hmmmm…I think that’s the first time that I’ve ever written “tonight”, “yesterday” and “today” in the same sentence).  Unfortunately it wasn’t posted on either www.wttw.com nor YouTube.  So you’ll have to *settle* for this clip that was posted on YouTube less than 24-hours ago:

Theater tidbits….Freud, Reinventing Seattle, and an Evening of Holiday Mime

Village Players of Oak Park will present the new musical Far From Freud, by Phil Riegle and directed by Christopher Pazdernik.  Running for 2 weekends, January 17th – January 25th, Far From Freud will feature Stephanie Foster, James Gavin, Sydney Genco, Michael Jeija, Jennifer Noble, Laura MacGregor, Erin Marie O’She, Andrew Toniolo, and Joe Zordan.  Production team includes Dominic Clemente and pianist Kimberly Widmer.   More info here.

 

Reflect. Reinvent. React. Reconnect:  Join more than 1600 arts professionals to learn and reflect in 50 educational sessions, reinvent with eight Innovators, react to one of 17 ARTventures, and reconnect with colleagues across the country for three days in Seattle, all part of Americans for the Arts 2009 Annual Convention.  All info can be found here.

 

A_Holiday_Evening_of_Mime

 

 

The Mime Company is extending their A Holiday Evening of Mimeat the Raven Theatre studio space.  Receiving glowing reviews, the show will now continue through December 28th.  More info here.

Chicago Theaters offer up stocking-full of Christmas Shows

A Wonderful Life  (info)   A Christmas Story  (info)
Theatre at the Center, Munster, IN   Noble Fool Theatre, St. Charles
Nov 17 – Dec 14   Nov 15 – Dec 27
     
Snowflake Tim’s Big Holiday Adventure  (info)   A Very Neo-Futurist Christmas Carol  (info)
Lifeline Theatre, Chicago   The Neo-Futurists, Chicago
Dec 14 – Jan 4   Nov 22 – Dec 23
     
A Christmas Carol  (info)   Dublin Carol  (info)
Goodman Theatre, Chicago   Steppenwolf Theatre, Chicago
Nov 21 – Dec 31    Half-Off Tickets!   Nov 19 – Jan 9
     
Radio City Christmas Spectacular  (info)   Anung’s First American Christmas  (info)
Rosemont Theatre, Rosemont   Vitalist Theatre, Chicago
Nov 19 – Dec 21   Nov 18 – Jan 4
     
Meet Me In St. Louis  (info)    500 Clown Christmas  (info)
Drury Lane Water Tower, Chicago    North Central College, Naperville
Nov 20 – Dec 7   Dec 18 – Dec 23
     
Christmas Schooner  (info)    The Santaland Diaries  (info)
Bailiwick Repertory, Chicago   Theatre Wit, Chicago
Nov 28 – Jan 4   Nov 22 – Dec 28
     
Tommy Guns Garage Holiday Show  (info)    A Christmas Memory; The Thanksgiving Visitor  (info)
2114 S. Wabash, Chicago   Provision Theater, Chicago
Nov 28 – Dec 31   Nov 10 – Dec 21
     
 Snow Queen  (info)    Black Nativity (info)
Victory Gardens, Chicago   Congo Square Theatre, Chicago
Nov 28 – Dec 28    $15 Tickets!   Nov 21 – Dec 28
     
 Winter Pageant Redux  (info)   2nd City’s Holiday Show  (info)
Redmoon Theater, Chicago   Second City Improv, Chicago
Nov 10 – Dec 21   24-hours non-stop, Dec 9 – 10
     
Jacob Marley’s Xmas Carol    Holiday Sing-Along  (info)
Theatre Wit, Chicago (info)   Porchlight Music Theatre, Chicago
Nov 22 – Dec 28   December 15th, 7:30pm
     
A Holiday Evening of Mime    A White Christmas (info)
The Mime Company, Chicago (info)   Village Players Theatre, Oak Park
December 11 – 28   December 13 – 14
     
Sexy Santa’s Spectacular    A Christmas Carol    (more info)
Gorilla Tango Theatre, Chicago   Writers’ Theatre, Glencoe
Nov 28 – Dec 20    (more info)   Dec 13 – Dec 23         Tickets for $14 !