A Musical Parody About a Group of Hipsters at Gorilla Tango Theatre

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GO GO BOBO Productions premiers with the sadistically hilarious musical parody, musicalDEEP, performing Mondays at 8pm, November 2 – 23, 2009 at Gorilla Tango Theatre, 1919 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago 60647. Tickets are $10; to purchase tickets call 773-598-4549 or visit www.gorillatango.com.

hipster-main_Full musicalDEEP is an experimental musical parody about a group of young hipsters who come together with one goal in mind: to create a DEEP piece of experimental theatre. Through musical vignettes and the mysterious guidance from an Elder Artist, the new-generation hipsters come to the conclusion that the way to successfully create DEEP experimental theatre is to corrupt their personal lives in order to create in a RAW, RISK-TAKING manner. What they come to discover is their own hopelessness, confusion, and self-worth that goes along with growing up as an ARTIST. Though their journey to the DEEP tears them apart emotionally, it DOES unite them in one finale song and dance number the whole family is bound to enjoy! Featuring original music and choreography by the cast and unique performance art opening acts for each show. Directed by Jeff nominated AND Tony nominated Howard Witt. Produced by Kate Lane.

musicalDEEP features: grace GIMPEL, ashley JENNINGS, kate LANE, arthur SORIA, & mackenzie YEAGER.

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The Mystery of Irma Vep Opens at Court Theatre Under the Direction of Sean Graney

court Court Theatre continues its 55th season with Charles Ludlam’s The Mystery of Irma Vep directed by Sean Graney. The production will run November 12 – December 13

Erik Hellman and Chris Sullivan take on innumerable dramatis personae in Ludlum’s high-camp quick-change act. The Mystery of Irma Vep satirizes all that is ridiculous in Gothic horror, Victorian melodrama, classic film, and conventional theater–and it’s also a contender for the funniest American play of the last quarter-century.

graney “I am so pleased to return to Court Theatre to helm The Mystery of Irma Vep,” says director Sean Graney. “Ludlam’s absurdist penny dreadful is the best kind of theatrical challenge – not only does it demand that two actors play eight roles, taking on hysterically rapid-fire character and costume changes, but it creates a carefully and brilliantly revalued world for both actors and audience alike.” 

The Mystery of Irma Vep features Erik Hellman as Jane, Lord Edgar and Irma Vep; and Chris Sullivan as Nicodemus, Lady Enid and Alcazar.

The D-Cup Diatribes Makes Its World Premiere at Gorilla Tango

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Melody Swink’s riotous one-woman comedy The D-Cup Diatribes, makes its world premiere at the Gorilla Tango Theatre, 1919 N. Milwaukee, previewing November 27, opening Thursday, December 3 at 8 p.m. and running through December 19, 2009.  The production is directed by Mark Contorno and stars Sara Tode. 

The D-Cup Diatribes, a new production by playwright and producer Melody Swink, is a witty and empowering celebration of womanhood and its fears and fantasies.  Poignant, intimate, and triumphant, The D-Cup Diatribes examines the diverse lives of six women and a young girl who internally struggle and externally compensate in a society obsessed with body image. From the anxiety of a girl’s pubescent transformation to the libertine life reminiscences of a 60-something former hippie wild child, this series of compelling and vulnerable monologues is a quirky exploration of women’s body perceptions in pop culture.

Hilarious and insightful, The D-Cup Diatribes addresses topics ranging from size advantage and disadvantage; size enhancement and diminishment; mother/daughter expectations and inheritances; and the male marketing agenda as witnessed throughout the 20th Century.  A dynamic story that embraces all shapes and sizes, The D-Cup Diatribes will resonate with women of all ages.

Emmy-nominated Craig Wright Joins A Red Orchid Theatre

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A Red Orchid Theatre proudly welcomed Emmy-nominated playwright Craig Wright into its Ensemble at a celebratory gathering held on Friday, October 23, 2009 at Eivissa. Wright is the most recent addition to the A Red Orchid Theatre Ensemble, which includes Lance Baker, Dado, Jennifer Engstrom, Kirsten Fitzgerald, Joseph Fosco, Steve Haggard, Mierka Girten, Larry Grimm, Karen Kawa, Karen Kessler, Danny McCarthy, Brett Neveu, Michael Shannon, Guy Van Swearingen, Doug Vickers, and Tiffany Wilson.

“We at A Red Orchid are thrilled and honored to invite playwright and dear friend, Craig Wright to join our creative family in a more formal and ongoing capacity,” says Artistic Director Kirsten Fitzgerald.  “With our firm belief that theatre is the greatest sustenance for the human spirit, our past work with Craig could only lead to ongoing work. His plays are not only fantastic stories but penetrating explorations of human experience that relate to the personal, the public, the social and the political.  I have learned so much from my collaborations with Craig just as I learn from all of my co-Ensemble Members during every A Red Orchid production.”

craig_wright_bio_pm “It is with a great sense of pride and homecoming that I accept A Red Orchid Theatre’s invitation to join their Ensemble. Even though I make a good portion of my living writing for television, my greatest loyalty will always be to the theater, since I am a firm believer in the immense value of the live, un-reproducible human moment. In the theater, all the participants are there together, alive, betting the time of their lives on the potential for meaning within this moment, this play, this night — it’s an equal exchange, an equally shared risk,” says Craig Wright. “A Red Orchid Theatre has demonstrated its commitment over the years to creating theater that is rich with risk, full of ideas, and infused from top to bottom with a faith in the magical mutuality of the live theatrical moment. I’m deeply honored to be invited to be a part of their ongoing journey.”

The World Premiere of Craig Wright’s Mistakes Were Made featuring A Red Orchid Theatre Ensemble Members Michael Shannon and Mierka Girten opened the company’s 2009-2010 Season and is currently extended through October 31, 2009. Wright’s The Unseen was produced last season at A Red Orchid Theatre, and Mistakes Were Made marks Craig Wright and Ensemble Member Michael Shannon’s third collaboration. Wright was commissioned by Northlight Theater to pen Lady for Shannon and actor Paul Sparks in 2007. Shannon also appeared at Northlight in Wright’s award-winning play Grace in 2006.

Wright’s plays include Lady, Grace, The Pavilion, Melissa Arctic, Orange Flower Water, and Recent Tragic Events. He has received several awards for his writing, including the Helen Hayes/Charles MacArthur Award for Best New Play (Melissa Arctic) and has been the recipient of fellowships from the McKnight Foundation, the Jerome Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts. For his work on Six Feet Under, he received an Emmy nomination, and a Writer’s Guild of America award for his work on Lost. He created Dirty Sexy Money for ABC. He holds a Masters of Divinity degree from United Theological Seminary and is currently creating a show about a minister for Showtime called Revelation.

Academy Award Winner Olympia Dukakis is Coming to American Blues Theater’s Rebirth Benefit

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American Blues Theater (ABT), Chicago’s second oldest Equity ensemble Company, celebrates its 24th season with The Rebirth of Blues Benefit, Monday, Nov. 16 featuring special guest Academy Award-winner Olympia Dukakis. As part of the program, Dukakis reads a passage from ABT’s Spring 2010 show “RIPPED: The Living Newspaper Project” and participates in a VIP pre-event reception. The benefit takes place at the Bridgeview Bank, 4753 N. Broadway, from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. Tickets are currently on sale.

“As a long-time friend of ABT ensemble member Carmen Roman, I’ve watched this company continuously produce incredible, groundbreaking work. The 2009/10 season is no exception. I’m honored to be a part of their benefit celebration, and fully support this inspirational Chicago
ensemble,” said Dukakis.

olympiaDuk Set in a stunning Italian Renaissance rotunda within the Bridgeview Bank, the evening kicks-off with a private reception at 5:30 p.m. where guests can spend an intimate hour with Dukakis. At 6:30 p.m., the party begins with drinks, delicious food, live music and a preview of “RIPPED.” Dukakis and Artistic Director of Victory Gardens Theater Dennis Zacek will read select pieces written by Eduardo Machado and Rick Cleveland.  An auction will offer extraordinary items, from the hottest theater tickets in town to a walk-on Broadway role. Chicago’s popular blues band, The Skirts, perform live throughout the evening. 

Tickets are $75 ($125 VIP tickets include a 5:30 p.m. private reception with Dukakis). Parking is available adjacent to the bank and is complimentary. For tickets, call 312.725.4ABT or visit americanbluestheater.com.

Goodman Theatre’s “A Christmas Carol”

AChristmasCarol_02T Based on Charles Dickens’ 1843 novella, A Christmas Carol is the tale of the miserly Ebenezer Scrooge, who is opposed to holiday cheer and indifferent to the sufferings of the poor in Victorian London. Scrooge is visited by four ghosts who offer him the opportunity to sympathize with his fellow man. Dickens’ famous characters include Scrooge’s kind-hearted clerk, Bob Cratchit, and his family, including Tiny Tim; the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future; the merry-making Fezziwig couple; and the Ghost of Jacob Marley. Throughout its history at the Goodman, over 1 million people have experienced A Christmas Carol and the production has hosted six directors, seven Scrooges, 27 Tiny Tims, and nearly 20,000 "Bah, Humbugs.”

“As the annual holiday tradition for thousands of families, as well as the entry point to theater for a legion of young people, A Christmas Carol at the Goodman has made an astonishing impact on Chicago," said Executive Director Roche Schulfer, who was instrumental in originating the production at Goodman Theatre 32 years ago. "We are proud to consistently deliver the definitive holiday theatrical offering in our region a first-rate, glorious production that has touched the lives of over a million theatergoers."

The 2009 production will feature a new hand-painted backdrop designed by Olivier- and Tony Award-winning set designer Todd Rosenthal, in addition to twelve newcomers to the production. A Christmas Carol runs November 20 – December 31, 2009 in the Goodman’s Albert Theatre. Tickets are $25 – $75 and can be purchased online at www.GoodmanTheatre.org.

New talents to this year’s production include John Babbo (River Forest) as Tiny Tim; Susan Felder (Chicago) as Mrs. Fezziwig; Jessie Mueller (Evanston) as Belle; Christine Sherrill (St. Charles) as Mrs. Cratchit; Behzad Dabu (Chicago) as Dick Wilkins; Matt Gold (Deerfield) as Turkey Boy; Lauren Patten (Downers Grove) as Martha Cratchit; Michael Perez (Chicago) as Mr. Ortle; Nathan Sabo (Darien) as Peter Cratchit and Scrooge as a Boy; Alex Weisman (Evanston) as Ghost of Christmas Past; Mackenzie Wilkin (Wilmette) as Belinda Cratchit and Fan; Andy Truschinski (Chicago) as Young Scrooge and Ghost of Christmas Future.

Veteran Chicago actors returning to the production include Tim Gittings as Topper; Caroline Heffernan as Emily Cratchit; Katie Jeep as Abby; Anish Jethmalani as Ghost of Jacob Marley; Anne Joseph as Mrs. Crumb; Adam Poss as Percy, Ron Rains as Bob Cratchit; Matt Schwader as Fred; Brett Tuomi as Mr. Fezziwig; and Penelope Walker as Ghost of Christmas Present. Also returning to the production are musicians Justin Amolsch, Greg Hirte, Bethany Jorgensen and Malcolm Ruhl (Highland Park).

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A Christmas Carol at Drury Lane

drury lane A popular holiday tradition entertaining hundreds of children and families each year is back once again this Christmas season at Drury Lane Oakbrook Terrace.  The presentation of the timeless classic A Christmas Carol opens November 18 and runs through December 21 at 100 Drury Lane, Oakbrook Terrace, Illinois, 60181.  In addition to a performance from a cast of top Chicago actors, Drury Lane Oakbrook Terrace offers families the special opportunity to have breakfast or dinner with Santa Claus on select performance dates.  Featuring a festive buffet style menu complete with holiday favorites, these events are a wonderful way to introduce children to the arts.