The principal that expertise on a certain subject can be gained through geographical proximity to it.
In Use: Gov. of Alaska, Sarah Palin, is a proclaimed expert on foreign affairs with Russia due to Alaska`s proximity to Russia and can thus be called the "Sarah Palin Effect"
Quitting when the going gets tough; abandoning the responsibility entrusted to you by your neighbors for book advances and to make money on the lecture circuit.
Cavalia, the spectacular equestrian odyssey, has extended its run in Chicago’s West Loop. The production, which makes its Chicago debut Tuesday, July 14, will now play through Sunday, Aug. 2. Cavalia will be presented under its towering White Big Top, which is pitched in Chicago’s stylish West Loop at Racine and Jackson.
For those unfamiliar with this show, Cavalia is a show unlike any other, a lavish orchestration blending multimedia theatrical spectacle with equestrian and performing arts. Acrobats, aerialists, dancers, musicians and riders are showcased on an enormous, 160-foot-wide stage; a space so expansive that it allows the horses sufficient space to gallop and cavort, at times completely unbridled. Recognized for their expertise in the realm of multimedia, Cavalia’s creators have used cutting-edge technology to create dream-like fantasy world. Large, panoramic images are projected on to a 210-foot-wide curved screen, while stunning special and lighting effects illuminate the action on the stage and in the air. Original live music and vocals accompany this feast for the senses.
Featured in Cavalia are 13 different breeds of horses, including Arabians, Spanish Pure Breeds, Lusitanos, Quarter Horses, Appaloosas and Paint horses from France, Canada, Spain and the United States. The featured artists represent talented individuals from such nations as the United States Australia, Belgium, Canada, France, Kyrgyzstan, Mexico, Morocco, Portugal, and Russia.
Opening night is Tuesday, July 14 at 8 p.m.
For its exclusive run in Chicago, Cavalia will be presented under the White Big Top pitched in Chicago’s stylish West Loop at Racine and Jackson. Tickets are on sale now. Regular tickets are priced from $45.50 to $98.50. Special pricing is available for children and seniors. In addition, special packages including an exclusive visit to the Cavalia stables are also available. Prices do not include service fees. For more information, a detailed list of show dates and reservations, call 1-866-999-8111 or visit www.cavalia.net.
From creator Bang-yao Liu:
This is my senior project at Savannah College of Art and Design. Where my idea comes from is that every time when I am busy, I feel that I am not fighting with my works, I am fighting with those post-it notes and deadline. I manipulating the post-it notes to do pixel-like stop motion and there are some interactions between real actor and post-its.
Bang-yao Liu also provides a video on the making of Stop-Motion “Deadline”.
Thursday, July 16
Come to 16th Street Theater / Berwyn Cultural Center‘s beautiful new outdoor garden before the show to enjoy a barbecue catered by Cabin Fever featuring mini burgers grilled to order and all the yummy bbq fixings. Then stay to enjoy the comedy that first put Chicago playwright Brett Neveu on the map, followed by a post-show dialogue with members of the cast and director. The Last Barbecue is an audacious and dark comedy about a ten-year reunion of a son’s high school graduation that coincides with the one-year anniversary of the next-door neighbor’s death. A remount of The Aardvark’s 2000 critically-acclaimed production. "Hilarious and ominous." (New City)
Event begins at 6:30 p.m. Show begins at 7:30 p.m.
TICKETS ONLY $22
For reservations call 708.795.6704 x105 and mention "Theater Thursdays," or buy online at www.16thstreettheater.org.
I know, this now is the 2nd week in a row for Bernadette, but can you ever get too much? This recording is from a live concert in Royal Festival Hall London.
To dream or to be responsible…
Review by Timothy McGuire
We all struggle between our desire to chase after our dreams and personal aspirations, and the responsibilities we have to take care of our finances and personal relationships. Bridget Carpenter’s “Up” now playing at Steppenwolf Theatre follows the balancing act of a middle aged man with no specific conventional goals as he tries to turn his dreams into reality and support his family in the middle of a tough economic climate. Along with the “dream chaser,” Up follows an average middle-class family proudly in love with the unconventional passions of their husband/father, but questioning the practicality of such a lifestyle as they mature and their financial security is at stake.
Walter Griffin is thoughtfully played by Ian Barford. In Walter’s youth he once achieved “stardom” when he attached 45 helium balloons to a lawn chair and took flight solo, 16,000 feet in the air. Years later Walter is still chasing after those dreams of greatness and that sense of freedom. Now married and with a teenage son, Walter spends his time brainstorming and trying to think of his next big idea while his wife provides for the family by working as a mail carrier.
In their youth Walter’s Wife Helen (Lauren Katz) fell in love with Walter due to his adventurist heart and his relentless pursuit for greatness. Their son Mikey (Jake Cohen) idolizes his father’s passion for the joys in life and his courage to pursue an unconventional lifestyle. They have always understood and respected their husband/father but when Helen’s hours get cut at the post office and Mikey meets a new friend that opens his eyes to the necessity of being able to financially provide, their patience with Walter wears thin.
With the daily stresses of bills and constantly having to be the rational mind in the family Helen asks Walter to get a job. Once smitten with the dream chaser inside her husband she now finds herself desiring the stability of a conventional man and pleads for just one day to relax and not have to worry. Helen speaks about her imaginary husband, which represents the change in her feelings towards the man that Walter is. In a flashback you hear Helen refer to her imaginary boyfriend as boring, being someone that is not as stimulating as the actual man she is with. Now married, she refers to her imaginary husband as a provider and a man that supports and takes care of his wife’s needs. Her imaginary husband represents the characteristics that Walter does not posses, but now she wishes he did.
Starting his sophomore year of high school Mikey meets a talkative pregnant classmate Maria (Rachel Brosnahan) who thoroughly makes an effort to get to know him through direct questions and honest interest. Rachel Brosnahan gives a wonderful performance of a non-stop curious teenage girl, to the point of driving you crazy as a teenage girl can do. As his relationship with Maria grows, Mikey recognizes the responsibilities that he would have to take on if he was to love her. Loosing faith in his father’s ethos of finding happiness outside of the “establishment,” Mikey wants to make plans to earn money and the stability that a 9-5 job can provide. Secret from his family, he takes on employment from Maria’s fiercely independent Aunt (Martha Lavey) and he finds a means to be a provider with his successful sales skills.
Eventually, to appease his wife and take care of his responsibilities as a father, Water accepts conventionality with a new job, and you can see his spirit breaking as he appears somber dressed in a suit and tie. Months later Walter appears up-beat and content with his new employment when he is on stage with Helen, but he demonstrates the overwhelming sense of defeat and depression when alone. His actions are peculiar for a hard working man, he still privately holds to his personal values and spits in the face of conventionality by burning and tearing-up his own money.
Bridget Carpenter has written a creative story that captures the details of an average American family and brings to stage the struggles that occur as the demands of family life take precedent over one’s individual dreams and what to do when your life partner does not choose the same path as yourself as you mature. Each character’s situation in the play and their personality are used to explore the different viewpoints, and the direction that they desire to go.
The director, Anna D. Shapiro, does a fantastic job as usual taking the time to develop each character and constructing a performance that uses the details in the dialogue and the ability of the actors to capture the emotional states of their characters to build the turmoil this family is going through.
The end of the play might leave you a little lost as to what just happened to Walter, although the symbolism of the French tight-rope walker Philippe Petit (Tony Hernandez) being incorporated in the final scene points the audience in the direction of what is taking place on stage.
A scene from Up featuring ensemble member Ian Barford with Lauren Katz
A select scene from Up featuring ensemble member Ian Barford with Tony Hernandez.
After the fold: Info regarding Steppenwolf’s Up, including all creators and personnel involved with the production, can be found after the jump (click on “read more”). Also an informative video featuring playwright Bridget Carpenter, explaining her inspirations for Up.
For 35 years, the Oak Park Theatre Festival has used its outdoor location to give their productions an authentic vibe and to allow their audiences to enjoy the summer weather while enjoying theatre. This works particularly well for staging Shakespearean works, which, after all, were originally produced in an open-air setting. In more recent years they have staged more modern plays in their slice of Austin Gardens’ park, carefully selecting plays that already have an outdoor setting, like William Inge’s “Picnic.” Set in the front rooms and yard of an old Missouri home, Lanford Wilson’s Fifth of July is a perfect fit for the festival’s aesthetic. Considering the production runs through June and July, it also helps that the play takes place on Independence Day and the morning following. The play is perfectly suited for a staging in a park, but the story and themes are muddled in their current production by some indecisive approaches to the play.
Fifth of July is part of a trilogy documenting the American experience of the Talley family living in Lebanon, Missouri, including the 1980 Pulitzer Prize winner, Talley’s Follies. The play takes place in 1977 and showcases the disillusionment of that era. The protagonist, Kenneth Talley, Jr. (Stef Tovar), is a gay Vietnam veteran who lost his legs in the war. His sister, June Talley (Lydia Berger), was a former hippie and now is struggling as a single mom. Both of them find little to celebrate on Independence Day. They have a big gathering of family and friends, including their Aunt Sally (Kate Kisner) and married friends John and Gwen (Brandon Dahlquist and Rebekah Ward-Hays). The holiday festivities quickly sour when friends and family start bickering about jobs, custody, and the price of the Talley household.
Pamela Maurer and Alexis Vejar’s set, basically a house with select cuts made in a few of the walls, makes great use of the surroundings. The setting allows for some great stage pictures; conversations could be happening in one area of the house while other characters can be chilling out on the porch or lawn, lighting up the entire space instead of just one corner.
While director Michael Weber succeeds at balancing the stage, he fails at telling a truly cohesive story. It was difficult for me to follow any particular narrative. Important plot points weren’t really served up in any way, voiding the production of an accessible story. Instead of juggling the multiple subplots while supporting Ken’s main story (a decision of whether or not to return to teaching at his old high school), all of the stories were muddled together and none of them came out fully formed. Most of the performances were decent, although some were too over-the-top. A problem that a couple of actors had, which also contributed to the garbled narrative, was synthesizing high emotional distress almost without warning. Instead of building the tension, characters would be chatting to one another and then one would be shouting or crying all of a sudden, which doesn’t work with Lanford’s script. A technical issue that might have added to this was that the set was littered with floor mics, which I suppose helped the actors’ voices compete with passing planes and cicadas, but they also amplified every step and door slam to a distracting level. It might be a necessary evil in order for the dialogue to be heard, but it also took a toll on the overall storytelling.
Still, the Oak Park Theatre Festival is a good time, and is especially suited to summer in Chicago. One thing I learned from the locals, though, is that you should bring plenty of wine, food, and bug spray. Enjoying theatre al fresco, even if it’s not of the highest caliber, is still its own fun experience.
Cast and Crew
Lydia Berger (June)
Danny Bernardo (Jed)
Brandon Dahlquist* (John)
Charles Gardner (Wes)
Glynis Gilio (Shirley)
Rebekah Ward-Hays (Gwen)
Kate Kisner (Sally)
Stef Tovar* (Ken)
Kieran Welsh-Phillips (u/s Gwen & June)
Director: Michael Weber*
Stage Manager: Robert W Behr*
Costume: Ricky Lurie
Lights: Jeremy Getz
Sound: Kyle Irwin
Set: El Fish
House Manager: Jeff Weisman
Box Office: Mary Liming
* denotes member of Actors’ Equity Association
Comment from this video’s “star”:
Well here is another dance video, first in quite some time. Again i’m utilizing a shower and all my good sides. I strip down to mostly by underwear and for anyone who thinks dancing in a shower is easy, try it Thanks Britney Spears for the song Circus. Enjoy
Total YouTube views at time of post – 363,000
Think fast: Using social media to generate audiences and market your theatre production, Antiques Roadshow, Ravinia hot dog hawkers