Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Industry Night

For all of you theater-industry-workers, we're having the industry night for The Iliad on Monday, Dec. 6.  The show is at 7pm, and the tickets are pay-what-you-can.  But, you should call us and reserve your seats, because they're going fast.  Chicagotheaterblog.com ran this review of the play, which stands out as one of the only reviews that I've seen that wanted more from the production, specifically the langauge: "It’s passing strange that, having come so far, Wright does not simply pull whole and darkly beautiful lines from the original text."  I hadn't thought about it before, but I think it's an interesting point.

And while The Iliad continues to impress audiences, the New York production of Mistakes Were Made is doing the same.  Here's a nice bit from chicagoist.com, which applaudes the success of the Chicago-based production.  The Chicago Tribune has this piece, which praises Chicago's store-front theatres (especially A Red Orchid) for the unique, intense experiences they offer.  In both articles, you get a great sense of the pride and enthusiasm for Chicago's theatre scene.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

The Iliad is well into its run, and if you haven't seen it, you should.  The actors are receiving nothing but praise for their work, and the same goes for Steve Wilson's directing, Sarah Fornace’s fight sequences, as well as the entire design team.  For a round-up of the reviews, check out theatreinchicago.com, or click here.

As for the holiday weekend, there will be no show on Thursday (Thanksgiving), but there will be shows at the regular times for the rest of the weekend.  So that's Friday at 8pm, Saturday at 8 pm, and Sunday at 3pm.  So Happy Thanksgiving, and go see The Iliad.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Reviews Are In

The reviews for The Iliad are coming in, and they're good.  The show is "Highly Recommended" by Hedy Weiss at the Chicago Sun-Times, who wrote that the actors "impress with the ferocity of their emotions, the sureness of their intellectual attack and the force and clarity of their diction" and that the show is a "highly unusual but rewarding take on a story that bares the truth about how ego, envy and the sheer addiction to war can result in unbridled savagery."  (Full review here)  The Chicago Tribune also gave it a great review, calling it "a most remarkable theatrical experience," and adding "Wright has given these girls quite a gift. But while many people are understandably reluctant to watch children — or, at least, children to whom they have no relation — this one offers glory on all sides." (Full review here)  The Chicago Critic review is also good, claiming "The girls DID make the Trojan Wars come to life. Amazing!"  It also includes some great photos from the the performance.

And in another news, last night The Inconvenience took over A Red Orchid's theater space for their Fresh Mean Reading Series.  The play, "The Triple Dog Dare of King Pluto the Dark," was written by Aaron Weissman, and performed by five talented actors, including Walter Briggs, who was seen recently in A Red Orchid's The Louis Slotin Sonata.  The Fresh Meat Reading Series continues on Dec. 8, and more information can be found on their website.  This was my first time seeing this group, and I have to say, they have a great energy.  Before the show, the audience buzzed with chatter.  The opening acts were firery.  And the reading was funny, heart-felt, and immensely entertaining.  How refreshing to see a group of performers doing what they love, simply because they love doing it.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Two openings this weekend

The Iliad opens tomorrow, with two previews this weekend, and tickets ($15) are still available for both shows.  Monday's press opening is still sold out, and Sunday's performance is for the families of the performers.  The show begins its regular run on the 18th, with performances at 8 pm on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, and the 3 pm matinee on Sundays.

Because this is a Youth Ensemble production, and because we kept getting asked about it, we've decided to schedule some matinees during the week, especially for school groups who want to come see the show.  Tickets for those matinees have to be booked in blocks, and if you know anyone who might be interested, tell them to call us and we'll answer all their questions.  And while we're on the topic, keep in mind that we offer summer classes through the Red OrKids program, and we can tell you about those, too. 

In other Ensemble news, the New York production of Mistakes Were Made is set to open on Sunday.  So  that's two plays opening this weekend for ensemble member and playwright Craig Wright.  I haven't seen any reviews for the New York production, yet, but the NYT has the play listed in their theatre section here, with all the ticketing information and such.  There's also this piece, with one of the strangest pictures of Mike Shannon I've seen in a while. 

Thursday, November 4, 2010

The Iliad at A Red Orchid

The previews for The Iliad are just over a week away (November 12 and 13), the press opening has sold out (November 15), and we're already getting some great buzz about the show.  TimeOut Chicago ran this piece, with a great shot of the actors at rehersal: 

Also, the poster is pretty great, too:

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Corporal Show at Double Door

Last night, ensemble member Mike Shannon gathered his band, Corporal, at Double Door for a one-night-only show.  Scott Lucas and the Married Men played first, treating the audience to a great set that ended with a jam-session version of The Beatles classic, "I Got a Feeling."  Corporal took over, playing all the songs on their first album in order.  One audience member suggested the show should be called "A Corporal Experience," given the range of the kind of songs they played, some slow and melodic and others louder and even a little aggressive (including the reprise of "Obama," a timely song given the show took place on Election Day Eve).  The crowd filled out to about 100 people (a very rough estimate), and included fellow Ensemble members Guy Van Swearingen, Kirsten Fitzgerald, and Craig Wright (whose adaptation of The Iliad opens in less than two weeks).  We also spotted Walter Briggs, last seen in A Louis Slotin Sonata here at A Red Orchid Theatre.

Corporal consists of Mike Shannon on vocals and guitar, Ray Rizzo (center) on drums, and Rob Beitzel (to the left) on guitar as well.  Last night, Matt Scobee stepped in to cover the bass.  You can find the band here and on i-Tunes.  Thanks for coming, guys.