Theater Thursday: “Girls vs. Boys”

Thursday, July 23

Girls vs. Boys

The American Music Theatre Project at Northwestern University in partnership with The House Theatre of Chicago

Where: Wallis Theater, NU Theatre and Interpretation Center, 1949 Campus Dr.,

girlsvsboyspicGirls vs. Boys plunges you into an all-out war of the sexes. Brother and sister find themselves thrust into a perilous, modern day Lord of the Flies – playing a game with rules they don’t fully understand. But you can’t win this game. You gotta play not to lose. Enter at your own risk. Girls vs. Boys contains strong language, violent themes, partial nudity, and really, REALLY loud music. After the show, you are invited to meet members of the cast and creative team for an exclusive meet and greet party at the Rhythm Room, located just a few blocks from the theater at 1715 Maple Avenue, Evanston.

Show begins at 8 p.m.
Event begins immediately following the performance
TICKETS ONLY $25

For reservations call 847.491.7282 and mention "Theater Thursdays."

Jeff-Recommended Shows currently playing

Jeff-Recommended Plays

Equity Wing (what’s this?)

Non-Equity Wing (what’s this?)

Wait Until Dark
Court Theatre

Wings: The Musical
Apple Tree Theatre

Arms and the Man
Oak Park Festival Theatre

Mauritius
Northlight Theatre

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat
Marriott Theatre

Our Lady of the Underpass
Teatro Vista…Theatre With a View

Our Town
Lookingglass Theatre Company

Art
Steppenwolf Theatre Company

I Am Who I Am (The Story of Teddy Pendergrass)
Black Ensemble Theater

Wonder of the World
LiveWire Chicago Theatre

Evita
Theo Ubique Theatre Company i/a/w/ Michael James

The Shape of a Girl
Pegasus Players

The Memory of Water
BackStage Theatre Company

Mariette in Ecstasy
Lifeline Theatre

Rose and the Rime
The House Theatre of Chicago

The Dastardly Ficus and Other Comic Tales of Woe..
The Strange Tree Group

The Robber Bridegroom
Griffin Theatre Company

Valentines: The House Theatre’s "Love-O-Rama", Giordano Dance Company toasts Valentine

 

Love-O-Rama to benefit The House Theatre

housetheatre-icon Hosted by The Vanguard, the Young Professionals Board of The House Theatre of Chicago, Love-O-Rama is an annual pre-Valentine’s Day benefit.  The party is on Thursday, February 5th at Nick’s Uptown (4015 N Sheridan Rd) from 7 to 11 p.m.  Guests can mingle with company members of The House as they enjoy drink specials throughout the evening along with a DJ, dancing, raffle prizes, a make-out booth and other surprises! Tickets are $15 in advance, $20 at the door. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit www.loveorama.net.  Proceeds benefit The House Theatre of Chicago.

 

GJDC's Meghan McDermott in Pyrokinesis Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago performs Impulse Photo Pedro Brenner 

 

    Centre East presents Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago Valentine’s Day

 

Centre East, in Skokie, will present the critically acclaimed Evanston-based Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago on Valentine’s Day, Saturday, Feb. 14 at 8 p.m. at the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts in Skokie. They will perform an encore of selections from their acclaimed program of new and revived works by choreographers mentored or inspired by the late founder Gus Giordano, including:

  • Jon Lehrer’s A Ritual Dynamic.
  • Gus Giordano’s solo piece “Wings, recreated by former GJDC dancer Susan Quinn Williams.
  • Sherry Zunker’s The Man That Got Away. a “pas de deux for one”
  • “Giordano Moves” (2005) co-choreographed by Nan Giordano and former GJDC dancer and company Associate Director, Jon Lehrer. This piece features 10 dancers performing to an original jazz score by George McRae.

The evening will be capped with Post-Show Champagne with the dancers!

 

GJDC's Cesar Salinas in Gus Giordano's WINGS Photo by Pedro Brenner

Non-Equity Jeff Awards Winners

Looks like there were a few big winners at the Non-Equity Jeff Awards given out last night, including 5 total awards given to Lifeline Theatre for The Island of Dr. Moreau. Another 4 awards were given to Theo Ubique for their intimate production of Cabaret.

Special Non-Equity Jeff Awards were given out to Raven Theatre’s founders – Michael Menendian and JoAnn Montemurro.

Congratulations to all!

 

Non-Equity Jeff Awards Winners

Production – Play
The Island of Dr. MoreauLifeline Theatre

Production – Musical
Jerry Springer – The OperaBailiwick Repertory Theatre
1776Signal Ensemble Theatre

Ensemble
MachosTeatro Luna

Director – Play
Greg KolackcolumbinusRaven Theatre

Director – Musical
Fred AnzevinoCabaretTheo Ubique Theatre Company i/a/w Beverle Bloch & Michael James

New Work
Teatro Luna & Coya PazMachos – Teatro Luna

New Adaptation
Robert KauzlaricThe Island of Dr. Moreau – Lifeline Theatre

Actress in a Principal Role – Musical
Elizabeth LanzaCan-CanCircle Theatre

Actress in a Principal Role – Play
Vanessa GreenwayThe Constant WifeGriffin Theatre Company

Actor in a Principal Role – Musical
Jeremy TragerCabaret – Theo Ubique Theatre Company i/a/w Beverle Bloch & Michael James

Actor in a Principal Role – Play
Sam WoottenGross Indecency: The Three Trials of Oscar WildeBohemian Theatre Ensemble

Actress in a Supporting Role – Musical
Danielle BrothersCabaret – Theo Ubique Theatre Co. i/a/w Beverle Bloch & Michael James

Actress in a Supporting Role – Play
Kathleen RuhlDolly West’s KitchenTimeLine Theatre Company

Actor in a Supporting Role – Musical
Jeremy RillJerry Springer – The Opera – Bailiwick Repertory Theatre

Actor in a Supporting Role – Play
Hans FleischmannIn a Dark Dark HouseProfiles Theatre
Ron WellsA Prayer for My DaughterMary-Arrchie Theatre Company

Scenic Design
Michael Menendian & Leif OlsenThe Night of the Iguana – Raven Theatre

Costume Design
Elizabeth Shaffer An Ideal Husband – Circle Theatre

Lighting Design
Kevin D. GawleyThe Island of Dr. Moreau – Lifeline Theatre

Sound Design
Stephen PtacekFaster – the side project

Choreography
Brenda DidierThe Life – Bohemian Theatre Ensemble

Original Incidental Music
Victoria DeIorioThe Island of Dr. Moreau – Lifeline Theatre
Gregor Mortis & Mikhail Fiksel A Lie of the MindStrawdog Theatre Company
Kevin O’Donnell The NutcrackerThe House Theatre of Chicago

Music Direction
Joshua Stephen Kartes Cabaret – Theo Ubique Theatre Co i/a/w Beverle Bloch & Michael James

Mask Design
Kimberly G. MorrisThe Island of Dr. Moreau – Lifeline Theatre

Review: "The Sparrow" at House Theatre

The_Sparrow1-small Only in the world of Chicago theatre can you find such an exciting artistic organization like The House Theatre. Now in its fourth season, The House has energized the city’s theatre audience, creating a huge following of 20-somethings that might not have otherwise gone to theatre. The company never fails to push the theatrical envelope through the combination of artistry, multi-media, and aggressive and ingenious fun – which explains their reward of consistently sold-out performances.

There are two definitive reasons for the success of The House. First of all, they only present new works that are written through a collaboration of members of the company and the actors of the play itself, and it is evident that this creative style empowers the actors and production team so that each member completely engrosses themselves into each production, sweeping the audience with them. Secondly, and most important, the fare that the company creates for their loyal audience is consistently an artistically exuberant experience. It combines engaging video and original music along with pure athleticism and inspiring energy, leaving one’s senses pleasantly exhausted by the end of each show.

In regards to these two points, House Theatre’s newest work, The Sparrow, does not disappoint. The play follows Emily Book (imagine a combination of Stephen King’s Carrie and Wicked’s Elpheba), who has the unexplained power of flight (among other things), earning her the nickname of “Sparrow”. Emily Bock (believably played by Carolyn Defrin), was the lone survivor of a school bus crash in the town of Spring Farms, IL, when she was four, after which she was quickly whisked away to a Catholic boarding school. Now, at age 17, she has come back to Spring Farms, where she has been taken in by Joyce (Evie Sullivan) and Albert (Jonathan Simpson) McGuckin, whose daughter had been killed in the same bus accident. At Emily’s new school, her school counselor, Dan Christopher (charmingly played by Cliff Chamberlain), takes Emily under his wing, introducing her to all of the students, including the school’s class president and cheerleading captain, Jenny McGrath (an enthusiastic Paige Hoffman). Emily’s powers are discovered at a basketball game, when Jenny, during a cheerleading stunt, ends up precariously hanging from a banner high above the gym. Emily flies up and saves her. Through some surprising turn of events surrounding a school dance, the overall arc of The Sparrow is completed, and the play comes to a jarring but satisfying end (fyi: the show will no doubt be the first in a series).

SpringFarm1-smallThe director (the highly-gifted Nathan Allen) and artistic team have come up with some brilliant scene changes and interludes, including a performance in the bio-chemistry lab by the teacher and a host of singing dissected pigs, (singing and big-band-dancing to a Frank Sinatra tune), and a basketball game that is infused with some fun, acrobatic cheerleading and MTV-influenced dancing.

Special kudos must be made to the music and sound design teams: Kevin O’Donnell, Mike Przygoda, Jeremiah Chiu, Michael Griggs and Phil Canzo. Kevin O’Donnell has composed a remarkable score for this play. The music in this work plays a huge role in the telling of the story, and Mr. O’Donnell will no doubt go far in the field.

The Sparrow - pulling the bullet out of teacher's chest There are a few weaknesses in the show, mostly surrounding some missing storyline and the development of the character of cheerleader Jenny McGrath. Although The Sparrow takes place in a make-believe world, there still needs to be some believability in what motivates the characters, and in Jenny’s there is no fore-shadowing to explain the events of the second act.

Nonetheless, if you have not been to a production at The House, you should make plans to sit among the audience as soon as you can. You will have to venture westward-ho of the main theatre districts, but the short jaunt to Belmont and Western is well worth it.

Rating: ★★★½