Not That Will Rogers

I’ll be back in…
April 17, 2009, 11:47 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Hello all.  Just wnated you all to know I will be taking a short break from updating this blog while I work on developing a few other projects.  I hope to be back shortly and I hope you will join me.


History Boys are swell
April 17, 2009, 11:09 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized
Here they are, all of them.  Reading my article.  Thanks boys.!

Here they are, all of them. Reading my article. Thanks boys.!

You can read the article by clicking here.

Orpheus and Eurydice…serioulsy, what’s up?
April 17, 2009, 10:51 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized
Marie Chouinards Orpheus and Eurydice

Marie Chouinard's Orpheus and Eurydice

On Sunday I’m going to see Orpheus and Eurydice at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago.  This time it will be a dance/performance piece created by “the high priestess of the avant-garde”,Marie Chouinard.  I don’t really know what to expect, except to say it is certainly going to be unlike the other two adaptations of the same myth I’ve seen in less than a year.  I have to admit the first two have been rather great.  So Chouinard, you have big shoes to fill.  I mean Ricky Ian Gordon rocks my face off and so does Chicago Opera Vanguard.  And Sarah Ruhl got a pretty great production at Victory Gardens.  What you got Chouinard?  And why this sudden onslaught of Orpheus and Eurydice?  It is just coincidence or do the morals and themes have a particularly current relevance? Anyone? Anyone?

Sarah Ruhls Euridice at Victory Gardens

Sarah Ruhl's Euridice at Victory Gardens

Ricky Ian Gordons Orpheus and Eurydice at Chicago Opera Vanguard

Ricky Ian Gordon's Orpheus and Eurydice at Chicago Opera Vanguard

Alejandro’s got a new dance!
April 4, 2009, 5:07 pm
Filed under: Companies, Dance, People
Alejandro Cerrudo

Alejandro Cerrudo

This weekend is Hubbard Street Dance Chicago’s Spring Series.  Woot! I can’t wait.  Alejandro Cerruda has a world preiere called Off Screen.  I’ve been pretty smitten with his work Extremely Close, so my dance pants are tingling.  His movement is so organic and weird and wonderful.  His movement for partners is light and so so complicated.  Check out clips of both of those works here. I wonder if he has any interest in an Artisitc Director or Associate Artistic Director at title.  What is to happen as Artistic Director Jim Vincent departs in June?

I”m going to miss Alvin Ailey tonight…you shouldn’t

Men of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater

I’m so bummed.  Tonight is the opening of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater at the Auditorium Theatre and I”m in Philly.  So in my absence you should go check them out.  They are premiering a couple of new pieces in Chicago and tonight only they are performing with Sweet Honey in the Rock live….that is too much awesomeness for one stage i think.  Here is the feature i did for Newcity with some fun links.
“There was such a great energy in the theater; the performance was so magical,” Antonio Douthit says about dancing for President Barack Obama and his family earlier this year.   The young dancer from St. Louis has been with Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater (AAADT) for five seasons now and from the time he signed his contract he has been living dream moments like this one.

AAADT is celebrating its fiftieth anniversary through 2009.  Since its inception, the company has become one of the most recognizable names in American dance. A U.S. Congressional resolution recently recognized the institution as a vital “American Cultural Ambassador to the World.” Barbie even got into the action this year with the first doll inspired by a dance company. Generations of young people, specifically young African Americans like Douthit, have grown up with the solitary dream of one day joining the company of modern dancers known for their strength , athleticism and grace.

“I knew this is where I wanted to be when I started dancing,” Douthit says.  He was 16 and performing at a school dominated by young white girls when he remembers discovering AAADT. “I was taken to a whole other place I never thought dance could go.  I had never been around a group of men that performed like men and looked like men and that was something I wanted to do.”  And so go the dreams of young artists all over the country.

Now Douthit finds himself on a fifty-city U.S. tour celebrating a golden anniversary.  This week is stop fifteen, five days at the Auditorium Theatre.  With an ambitious series of programs, AAADT will be dancing pieces that range from the company’s iconic centerpiece, Ailey’s “Revelations,” to contemporary work like that of Robert Battle’s “Unfold.” In addition, Chicago will get a first chance to see company member Hope Boykin’s “Go in Grace,”  a collaboration with Grammy Award-winning female a capella ensemble Sweet Honey in the Rock.  The ensemble will accompany the dancers live on stage opening night.  Though the dancers are not even to the halfway mark of their marathon tour, it is bold programming like this that keeps them invigorated.

“We get tired.  It is the organization that keeps you going,”  says Douthit.  “I feel like we always give dance back to the community. Dance is so accessible on television and the Internet, people are learning more about the company than they ever have before.  He [Alvin Ailey] would be so thrilled that his dance is for everyone.” (William Scott)

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater performs at Auditorium Theatre, 50 E. Congress Parkway, through April 5.

Review: The Dastardly Ficus and Other Comedic Tales of Woe and Misery/The Strange Tree Group
Geneva (Carol Enoch) and Jennifer (Nancy Freidrich) give a funeral to a dead cat found by the road

Geneva (Carol Enoch) and Jennifer (Nancy Freidrich) give a funeral to a dead cat found by the road

RECOMMENDED – see my original post on

The Strange Tree Group’s current production of Emily Schwartz’s The Dastardly Ficus and other Comedic Tales of Woe and Misery has been getting a lot of buzz within theater circles and there is a clear reason.  This artfully constructed gem, directed by Amanda Berg Wilson, is the kind that you want to take home in your pocket so you can get a closer look whenever its macabre imagery pops in your head, which will be often.  Everything I love about Edward Gorey, Roald Dahl, and any fairy tales with wicked stepsisters or spinster aunts is currently living warmly in the basement of the Chopin Theater, nestled in the lovely scenic work of Kate Nawrocki and the playwright.  The story is that of the Derbyshire sisters, Geneva (Carol Enoch), the buttoned-up matriarch and Jennifer (Nancy Freidrich), the disheveled free spirit who would rather be bogging for dead things than suffering under her sister’s conservatism.  The series of scenes in the first act sets up a codependent, dysfunctional family relationship that comes to a whirling cacophony when Jennifer invites home a gentlemen suitor for Geneva in the second act. What makes The Dastardly Ficus so fun is the talent of these two women.  Enoch can stare daggers through a coffee table and elicit fear from a potted plant while Freidrich is devilishly childlike in a way that leaves the most delicious taste in your mouth.  This production is a special engagement of the show that started the company five years ago and I’m left with one big question.  Where is the sequel?  These characters have way more life in them.

At The Chopin Theater, 1543 W. Division, (773)598-8240, Through April 4.

February 21, 2009, 9:16 am
Filed under: Companies, Offers, Shows | Tags: ,

I can’t help it.  The longer I sit with the memory of About Face’s Stupid Kids, the more I love it.  You can read my full review a few posts down, but I thought I would share this offer.  This offer came across About Face’s eblast and I’m certain I know a few people who coudl use it.  So take advantage, and take a friend to see the show this weekend.  Here it is….

This Saturday and Sunday at 4pm!
Center on Halsted – 3656 N. Halsted
Get TWO TICKETS for $20
when you use code STUPIDSWEET
($10 student rush tickets* available at the door)