Tag: 16th Street Theater

Review: Muthaland (16th Street Theater)

Minita Gandhi stars in Muthaland, 16th Street Theater Berwyn 5            
      

  

Muthaland

Written by Minita Gandhi
16th Street Theater, 6420 W. 16th St. (map)
thru Oct 7  |  tix: $18-$22  |  more info
       
Check for half-price tickets   
     

September 17, 2017 | 0 Comments More

Review: Do-Gooder (16th Street Theater)

Meghan Reardon and Kyle Haden star in 16th Street Theater's "Do-Gooder" by Laura Jacqmin, directed by Ann Filmer. (photo credit: Anthony Aicardi)        
      
Do-Gooder

Written by Laura Jacqmin  
Directed by Ann Filmer 
at 16th Street Theater, Berwyn (map)
thru March 1  |  tickets: $18   |  more info
       
Check for half-price tickets 
    
        
                   Read review
     

February 3, 2014 | 1 Comment More

Review: Broken Fences (16th Street Theater)

Scott Allen Luke and Kirsten D'Aurelio in "Broken Fences" by Steven Simoncic, directed by Ann Filmer and Ilesa Duncan. (photo credit: Anthony Aicardi)        
       
Broken Fences 

Written by Steven Simoncic  
Co-Directed by Ann Filmer and Ilesa Duncan
at 16th Street Theater, Berwyn (map)
thru Date  |  tickets: $18   |  more info
       
Check for half-price tickets 
    
        
                   Read review
     

September 28, 2013 | 1 Comment More

Review: All Kinds of Crazy (16th Street Theater)

Arlene Malinowski performs her one-woman play, "All Kinds of Crazy", at 16th Street Theater, directed by Will Rogers.        
       
All Kinds of Crazy 

Written and Performed by Arlene Malinowski 
Directed by Will Rogers
at 16th Street Theater, Berwyn (map)
thru Aug 18  |  tickets: $18   |  more info
       
Check for half-price tickets 
    
        
         Read entire review
     

August 12, 2012 | 0 Comments More

Review: Nickel History – The Nation of Heat (16th Street Theater and Firecat Projects)

Tony Fitzpatrick, the co-creator of "Nickel History: The Nation of Heat", presented by 16th Street Theatre and Firecat Project, adapted and directed by Ann Filmer.        
       
Nickel History:
     The Nation of Heat
 

Written by Tony Fitzpatrick (with Stan Klein)
Adapted and directed by Ann Filmer
Steppenwolf Garage, 1624 N. Halsted (map)
thru Aug 5   |  tickets: $27   |  more info 
       
Check for half-price tickets 
    
        
        Read entire review
     

July 20, 2012 | 0 Comments More

Review: Love Thy Neighbor…Till It Hurts (16th Street Theater)

Julie Ganey performs in her one-woman show "Love Thy Neighbor...Till It Hurts" at 16th Street Theatre.       
      
Love Thy Neighbor…
    Till It Hurts
 

Written and Performed by Julie Ganey 
Directed by Megan Shuchman 
16th Street Theater, Berwyn (map)
thru July 14  |  tickets: $18   |  more info
       
Check for half-price tickets 
    
        
        Read entire review
     

July 8, 2012 | 0 Comments More

Review: THIS TRAIN (16th Street Theater at Steppenwolf)

An expressive train ride full of colorful humanity

 

this-train

   
16th Street Theater presents
  
THIS TRAIN
   
Written and performed by Tony Fitzpatrick
Directed by
Ann Filmer
at Steppenwolf’s
Merle Reskin Garage Theatre (map)
through August 1st  |  tickets: $22  |  more info

reviewed by Katy Walsh

Imagine riding the Red Line with Michael Moore, John Goodman and Mother Theresa to the Morse Stop to decipher the graffiti, enjoy the art and give money to the poor while a street musician serenaded. 16th Street Theater presents THIS TRAIN at Steppenwolf’s Merle Reskin Garage Theatre. It’s a multi-media experience written and performed by artist, poet, actor Tony Fitzpatrick. The show is a collection of this-train3 expression; projected images of art accompanied by sung verse intermingled with real life tales of vagabonds through history and on Damen Avenue. This decoupage of the plight of the hobo uses political rants and amusing side stories to get at the core illustration: ‘the greatest crime in this country is to be poor.’ With the current economic climate, THIS TRAIN is a timely ride connecting beyond people’s stations in life.

THIS TRAIN is Tony Fitzpatrick’s one hobo show. A musician trio and a Paul Shaffer-look-a-like sidekick are present but they are more props in ‘Tony’s World.’ Fitzpatrick shares personal stories of his journey as an artistic drifter. Channeling a new age hobo confidence, he likes to be paid first and in cash. Mimicking his Ukraine neighbor, Studs Terkel, or a plethora of homeless visitors to his studio, Fitzpatrick is a masterful storyteller creating visuals from his word choices. What keeps the show from being a vanity showcase is Fitzpatrick’s vulnerability, compassion and genuine fondness for the poor. He knows the impoverished by name. ‘I’m two paychecks away from being Tony and one drink away from being Wayne.’ Along with his stories, the audience gets glimpses of his art. Pictures of his art are projected with music accompaniment and Fitzpatrick’s recorded poetry. The art is folksy abstract with the fusion graphics of skeletons, words and the hobo alphabet. Fitzpatrick’s proclamations of ‘language comes from art’ and ‘art is a labor of desire’ are represented in this auto-biographical ‘wonder’ choice where he fully loves and participates.

 

ThisTrain_SallyandJohn  ThisTrainEnsemble
this-train5 this-train2

Under the direction of Ann Filmer, ‘voiceover Tony’ and ‘real life Tony’ segments transition without a hitch. The show has an unrehearsed, authentic, stopover in ‘Tony’s World’ feel. The style seems gritty and spontaneous to match the content. For the projection segments, Kristin Reeves has created a video that uses movement, people, paintings and the written word as a vehicle synced perfectly with a pre-recorded Fitzpatrick narration or Kat Eggleston’s soulful singing. The effect is breaking up the commute watching YouTube videos on an I-pod.

Public transportation is not for everyone. But for those who appreciate the colorful humanity that makes any transit ride more entertaining, Fitzpatrick drives THIS TRAIN up close and personal. Catch THIS TRAIN off the Red Line Clybourn stop or hop the Blue Line to Big Cat Press, 2124 N. Damen, for daily encore presentations.

   
    
Rating: ★★★
   
  

Running Time: 100 minutes included a fifteen minute intermission

3 WORDS: Getting on the Brown Line, James describes the show with “Next Stop: Chicago.”

July 17, 2010 | 0 Comments More

REVIEW: Our Lady of the Underpass (16th Street Theater, with Teatro Vista)

A compelling story, no matter what you see

 

OurLadyprodphotosmall

 
16th Street Theater (with Teatro Vista) presents
 
Our Lady of the Underpass
 
Written by Tanya Saracho
Directed by Sandra Marquez

at 16th Street Theater, 6420 W. 16th Street, Berwyn
(map)
through May 1 (more info)

By Catey Sullivan

Roughly mid-way through Our Lady of the Underpass, a disgruntled jogger played by Chris Cantelmi goes off on the “retards”  fucking up  his Fullerton Avenue running route as they gather to pray at the titular image.

“These Catholics,” he snarls, adjusting his scrotum through his expensive running gear, “They’re like, ‘Look at my grilled cheese! It’s Jesus! Call a press conference!”

If there’s a more authentic archetype of urban assholery on stage this month, we’d be surprised. With a wad of chewing gum and the ugly air of entitlement peculiar to 20something boys with a full head of hair and a Gold’s Gym physique, Cantalemi captures in full the egoism and the cluelessness of  fellow that’s all too recognizable.

Juan Gabriel Ruiz (photo credit: Art Carillo) He’s but one in the vivid, vibrant parade of characters that people Tanya Saracho’s docudrama centering on the image Obdulia Delgado discovered on the Fullerton Avenue underpass five years ago this month. Directed by Sandra Marquez (who helmed the same cast in last year’s world-premiere of Our Ladyat Victory Gardens), this joint Teatro Vista16th Street production offers an alternately tragic, comic, and provocative examination of faith and skepticism in Chicago.

Saracho spent months, tape-recorder in hand, at the underpass many claimed was a sacred spot after an image of the Virgin Mary (or was it a salt stain?) appeared. As the candles, flowers and petitions accrued, she interviewed the pilgrims who flocked to visit the manifestation of the Virgin Mary -  as well as those who insisted it was a bad patch job.  Our Lady captures the depth and breadth of both the spiritual and the cynical in six, captivating monologues. The disparate (and often desperate) stories are so wholly compelling, it becomes easy to overlook Saracho’s formidable powers as a reporter. At the underpass, complete strangers unburdened  their darkest secrets to her – hopes, hurts and emotions that, in many cases, they had never uttered aloud. If the playwriting thing doesn’t work out for Saracho, she’s surely got a career as an investigative journalist.

In contrast to Cantelmi’s masterstroke as the quintessential tool, Our Lady presents Suzette Mayobre as a Huppie (an upwardly mobile Latina) inexplicably shuddering through a complete breakdown in pink monkey pajamas and Uggs. Her story of a fairy tale relationship (“It was like we were trapped in an ad for a cruise”) that suddenly, literally turns to shit is as hilarious as it is upsetting. If doesn’t matter if you can’t directly relate to the plight of a woman whose perfect boyfriend takes an unforeseen  scatological swerve. Anyone who has ever  been forced to deal with the unthinkable  – and gone a little crazy trying to do so – will recognize themselves in this  moving, tragically funny portrait.

Equally compelling is Gabriel Juan Ruiz as Tony, Elgin resident, aspiring deacon and self-appointed guardian of the Underpass.  Ruiz creates a marvelous trajectory from soft-spoken reason to feral, screaming misogyny  in the space of a single monologue. Women are god’s creatures, Tony rhapsodizes with the gentle, doe-eyed wonder of a lamb -  until (and here, Ruiz captures the distilled essence of bug-eyed mania) they turn into the “beast of the Revelation.”  With Tony’s parting words, Ruiz’ unleashes a neediness that’s downright scary: “I’ve been on television four times!” He yells, and in that frenzied distress, one gets the sense of a desperation that’s almost sociopathic.

underpass1 On the other end of the spectrum is Charin Alvarez, as La Tia, the aunt of a severely disabled boy who is the love of her life. Her story unfolds in the self-effacing tones of a woman who has always put herself a far distant second behind anyone else she might encounter, from immediate family to factory co-workers. Recalling a  transnational Monterrey-to-Chicago love story, the family reunion that upended her life and her abiding devotion to a child not apt to live past one more birthday, Alvarez speaks with a melodious, near-hypnotic tone that is both her artistic signature and the voice of a unique character. It’s a sad, lovely and powerful story.

The one piece in Our Lady that does not work quite so well this time around is the nurse’s tale, the narrative of a Polish-American RN whose bitter recollections of growing up the daughter of a cleaning lady have shaped her angry world outlook. Amanda Powell – the sole newcomer to the cast since it’s premiere last year – leans too hard on the trash-talking vitriol, giving the piece an unvarying rage that doesn’t allow for an emotional arc.

That, however, is largely a quibble –  our sense is that the nurse’s mono-rancor will settle into more varying depths as the run continues.

Between the monologues, Saracho places brief choruses of prayer to Our Lady of the Underpass, of The Botanica that Also Sells Phone Cards, of the Puerto Rican Day Parade, of Affordable Duplexes and all the other causes the Virgin takes on as Fullerton Avenue becomes a shrine. The scenes play out on Brian Sidney Bembridge’s startlingly accurate replication of the underpass and the image on it. Mike Tutaj’s projections of flickering candles, graffiti and shimmering auras instill the piece with both a sense of mysticism and the harsh urban reality of disfigured concrete. No matter what you see as you gaze on the Underpass, Saracho’s story of its power is compelling.

 
Rating: ★★★
 

     
April 3, 2010 | 0 Comments More