Toad kissing in Chicago theaters...

DBH and I are back in Chicago and hitting the theater circuit again.  Not that we don't do theater in Tucson - that has become a joy for us.  But here there are so many theater groups that our Wednesday - Sunday calendars are frequently booked up.  And then there is HotTix - 50% off most tickets + a service charge.  It's run by the League of Chicago Theaters and the box office is just down Michigan Avenue in the Water Works building.  So here's our rundown since May 11th.  For those of you new to toad kissing, that's what you have to do to see really great theater.  You kiss a lot of toads until you find a prince...

The Creditors, written in 1889 by Strindberg produced by Remy Bumpo -  about an ex-husband, a current husband and the wife.  Excellent production with all the dark, cruel scheming you might expect from turn-of-the-century Scandinavian author.


Smokey Joe's Cafe: The Songs of Leiber and Stoller - produced by Theo Ubique Cabaret.  Just music and all the greats from the 50's and 60's.  Charlie Brown, Up on the Roof, Poison Ivy,  etc, etc.  This is the same group that did the full production of Cats on a 10 x 30 foot stage in a room seating less than 100 people.  Fantastic.

Spoon River Anthology - Edgar Lee Masters' stirring 1915 poem cycle transformed into an emotional theatrical experience, as the deceased citizens of one small American town tell their stories from their home on cemetery hill - it's a musical!  The Provision Theater Company hit this one out of the park.


Barnum - The life of P.T. Barnum with songs by Cy Coleman, produced by The Mercury Theater Group.  Excellent.  A tiny stage filled with circus performers, high wire acts, singers and dancers.  I loved it.   

This House - UK's National Theater live telecast to the Music Box Theater.  Shows the action in the Whips' offices of Parliament in the years leading up to the change in government from Labor to Tory with the election of Margaret Thatcher.  Excellent.  Aided greatly by watching several months ago the original BBC production of House of Cards. 

The Emigrants by Slawomir Mrozek, produced by The Organic Theater Company.  Excellent acting - almost three hours on stage by two actors.  But what a boring script.  James Joyce would be stimulating after Morzek.  Next time, we'll look at who is the playwright as well as what the reviews say about the acting.             


The Audience - Written by Peter Morgan and starring Helen Mirren.  Another National Theater Live performance - 110,000 watching around the globe, largest audience ever.  Stunning, as Queen Elizabeth trots through her 11 PMs and their weekly 20 minute update.  All as imagined by Peter Morgan.  I laughed, I cried, it's so much better than Cats.

More information on the National Theater Live events.  Check them out in your city.

 © 2013