Shattered Globe announces 17th-annual season

Shattered Globe Theatre’s 2007-2008 Productions

SUDDENLY, LAST SUMMER by Tennessee Williams

Directed by Shattered Globe ensemble member Kevin Hagan, running September 16 – October 27, 2007

Featuring ensemble members Brian McCaskill, Eileen Niccolai and Linda Reiter

            In SUDDENLY, LAST SUMMER, Williams’ 1958 drama, a prominent New Orleans family gathers to contend with the mysterious circumstances surrounding the loss of one of their own. In the wildly overgrown garden of a New Orleans mansion, a family seeks the truth about the life and death of one of their own. After Sebastian Venable’s mysterious death abroad, his mother Violet calls on her niece Catharine—the family misfit and sole witness to the incident—to reveal what happened that day. Catharine, who seemed to go insane following the death of her cousin, has been institutionalized since her return for insisting on a version of events so horrific that it can’t possibly be true. Set on preserving Sebastian’s memory—and erasing her own role in the unspeakable acts that led to his demise—Mrs. Venable will go to any length to discredit Catharine’s account. But when Catharine is put under the influence of truth serum, everyone must come to terms the reality of the long-buried secrets that are finally brought to light.

REQUIEM FOR A HEAVYWEIGHT by Rod Serling

Directed by Louis Contey, running January 13 –March 8, 2008

Featuring ensemble members Maury Cooper

In the 1956 drama REQUIEM FOR A HEAVYWEIGHT—also produced as a Peabody-Award-winning 1957 teleplay and a 1962 film— washed-up prizefighter Harlan Mountain McClintock faces the sudden end of his career. Having spent 14 years in the ring, Mountain faces the prospect of a life that does not include boxing and discovers that the skills that almost made him a champion don’t count for much in the wider world. Mountain is torn between the possibility of new love and a promising future offered by social worker Grace, and loyalty to his self-serving manager Maish, who wants to exploit the fighter on the lucrative professional wrestling circuit. Widely regarded as one of the greatest sports dramas of all time, REQUIEM FOR A HEAVYWEIGHT is a gut-wrenching account of the merciless prizefight game and the human wreckage it leaves in its wake. 

A TASTE OF HONEY

by Shelagh Delaney

Directed by Dado, running May 18 – July 5, 2008 

Set in 1950s Manchester England, Delaney’s poignant and comic play tells the story of Jo, a shy adolescent chafing against the constraints of her working class life and the demands of her selfish, irresponsible mother Helen. When Helen abandons Jo to take up with a much younger man, Jo falls prey to the advances of an itinerant sailor and is left pregnant and alone. Determined not to be undone by her difficult circumstances, she creates her own sort of family with gay art student Geoffrey, who moves into Jo’s flat to help her prepare for the birth of her baby. The two settle into tentative peace and happiness—until Helen’s unexpected reappearance threatens to throw Jo’s life back into upheaval.  Grammar school dropout Shelagh Delaney was only 17 years old when she started writing her first play, A TASTE OF HONEY, a work that would propel her to literary superstardom by the time she reached her twenties. 

September 15, 2007 | 0 Comments More

Princess envy from Redmoon Theatre’s “The Princess Club”

With the looks of their blog postings, it seems that the creative gang over at Red Moon Theatre have cast down-and-dirty divas for their newest production, The Princess Club.  As one princess tells us:

…..we’re in The Club and you’re not, Sucka….

Impeccable taste, sexy humps, and good shoes to name a few. Wig decorating season is about to commence and I can’t wait. Gotta go…See you on the runway.

Hmmm…I don’t know if anyone can compete with that!

September 13, 2007 | 0 Comments More

Redmoon Theatre does “Looptopia”

Speaking of Redmoon Theatre, here’s a fun little clip I found on YouTube of their puppet gymnastics at “Looptopia”. 

September 12, 2007 | 0 Comments More

“The Crucible” at Steppenwolf – planned with the city??

I just remembered that “The Crucible” will be included in Steppenwolf’s upcoming season.  As mentioned previously, this same play is Chicago’s new book club selection, which got me wondering as to whether this was a coincidence or planned.  I am leaning on the possibility that Steppenwolf worked this out with the city.  If so, my hats off to Steppenwolf for some brilliant *free* marketing!!!

September 2, 2007 | 0 Comments More

Miller’s “The Crucible” to be Chicago’s next book club selection

Chicago has chosen it’s next selection for the “One Book, One Chicago” program: Arthur Miller’s “The Crucible”.  This Tony Award-winning play about the 17th Century Salem witch hunts and trials was Arthur Miller’s response to his censorship during the McCarthy trials in the 1950’s.  In a statement, Daley rightly equates this same sype of witch hunt to the atmosphere in today’s administration. 

“After 9/11, a lot of people have looked at the Muslim community, the Arab community in a completely different way and that’s really unfortunate. Also, many people are looking at the immigrant community in a completely different way, which is really unfortunate. We can learn from our lessons in history-and maybe we haven’t,” Daley told a news conference Thursday at the Harold Washington Library.

Daley goes on to sweep the internet into this milleu, including blogs: 

Apparently referring to modern-day political witch hunts, Daley said, “In the electronic age, anyone can say anything. It’s remarkable. You listen to radio and TV and read [Internet blogs] and they’ll say anything without any justification. It’s amazing. It’s a completely different electronic age today. Home videos, everything. People say and do things. It’s amazing what can take place. That’s why we have to be very careful and review what’s happening in America.”

Hopefully he’s not including this blog in with that group!

For the complete story from the Chicago Sun-Times, click here.

September 2, 2007 | 1 Comment More

Fun video – building the set for “Osage County”

Here’s a fun clip, showing a very sped up version of building the set for Steppenwolf’s hit show “Osage County”.  Oh, if only set-building only took this long!

August 28, 2007 | 0 Comments More

Steppenwolf’s “Osage County” moving to Broadway

Looks like this ground-breaking show will be making its way to Broadway, with almost the entire cast in tow. 

August 23, 2007 | 0 Comments More

Review: Remy Bumppo’s “Mrs. Warren’s Profession”

 

Annabel Armour and Susan Shunk, currently starring in Mrs. Warren's Profession, by George Bernard Shaw, presented by Chicago's Remy Bumppo Theatre

Prostitution and incest – topics that have fueled many a modern play, were extremely taboo subjects in 19th-century Victorian England. So it’s wholly understandable that George Bernard Shaw’s comedic drama, Mrs. Warren’s Profession, which deals with these themes (real or implied), would cause such an uproar in 1893 London. The work was completely banned for seven years. Indeed, when the play finally leapt to American shores, opening in New York in 1905, it was shut down on opening night, with two of the lead actors arrested and thrown in jail. And modern day stage actors think they have it bad!

Along with these obvious moral no-no’s, Mrs. Warren’s Profession also presented the threatening notion that women actually might have a choice in seeking a satisfying profession rather than rely on men to supply their security. Going beyond this, Shaw’s work also exposed the high emotional cost that could occur with this possible female independence.

Remy Bumppo Theatre has successfully discovered the perfect rhythm of Shaw’s flowing and introspective voice – Mrs. Warren’s Profession is darkly delightful. The two leading women are superb, accenting the directing prowess of David Darlow. Annabel Armour radiantly shines through her performance of the scandalous Mrs. Kitty Warren. Armour has created a character that, rather than reviled (or at least pitied), draws compassion. We understand her plight and are proud of what she has done with her life. Susan Shunk, playing Mrs. Warren’s Cambridge-graduated daughter, Vivie, is masterful in finding her character’s complexities – she is strong-willed in combating the social demands of a woman of the time, but reaches further into her character by communicating Vivie’s insecurities: shunning other people in her life, using her supposed resolute independence in order to avoid any situation that would make her seem vulnerable and unsure of herself to others.

Backing up these two talented leads are the charismatic Matt Schwader as perennial tease Frank Gardner (who might be Vivie’s half-brother, hence the implied incest), the fatherly Donald Brearley as Praed, Joe Van Slyke as the confused Reverend Gardner, and Kevin Gudahl as Mrs. Kitty’s shrewd (and boorish) business partner, Sir George Crofts

Mrs. Warren’s Profession is slow in the beginning, the first scene gives us the feeling that we are witnessing a study in character development rather than engrossing us in the play’s rich language. Also, George Bernard Shaw has offered up a few implausible circumstances: Why wouldn’t a grown daughter know whether her mother was married or not? Why wouldn’t same daughter be curious as to where the tuition money supplied by her mother was originating? What was her mother doing when traveling all over Europe (and why wouldn’t the well-educated daughter want to go along with her mother to such cultural cities of Berlin, Brussels and Budapest)? Perhaps these are questions that would not seem so odd at the time the play was written – that children did not question their parents or analyze their situations. Who knows?

Overall, Mrs. Warren’s Profession is an exquisite study of the struggles women once faced (and still face) when yearning to obtain a decent standard of living through an enjoyable career rather than succumb to the morally acceptable road of seeking a husband for security. Through Mrs. Warren’s Profession, Remy Bumppo has presented a highly-satisfying resonant coda to their theatrical season.  

Rating: «««

March 11, 2007 | 0 Comments More