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The Hanslick Girls

"Three is company, safe and cheery" -Stephen Sondheim

Brave Space Talk: The New Colony’s “The Light”

As soon as the performers, Jeffery Freelon Jr. and Tiffany Oglesby, had left the stage, the space was taken over by an earnest young white man with a neatly cut beard.

“Thank you all so much for attending this evening’s production of The Light, by Loy Webb,” he beamed, as the audience began subtly pulling on their coats. “If you have the time to stay, we will be holding a talkback here in the theatre, following the performance. The New Colony is a non-profit company, and we raise much of our revenue from donations…”

The sales pitch continued. Gwen looked over at Eleanor, raising a hand to indicate interest. Do you want to stay?

Eleanor’s hands shuffled to indicate back to Gwen. If you want to.

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Founding The Father: Jackalope Theatre’s “Franklinland”

PART OF CHICAGO THEATRE WEEK 2018

 

Gwen had always been – as far as she could recall, anyway – a strong proponent of casting beyond image. When dealing with historical figures onstage, she always considered it far more important to capture the spirit and character of a historical figure, more than casting a lookalike simply for visual accuracy. Her varied opinions on cross-gender and race-conscious casting stemmed from this central belief.

Thus, she was surprised when her initial reaction to Jackalope Theatre’s Franklinland was her unease that –

“He doesn’t really look that much like Benjamin Franklin at the beginning.”

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Stretching the Canvas: Studio Gang’s Writers Theatre Building

PART OF CHICAGO THEATRE WEEK 2018

 

“I thought the show was at 2!” Gwen said defensively, walking away from the box office counter. “Most matinees are at 2 or 2:30. Who starts a show at 3?”

“Well, what would we have done if it was at 2:30?” Eleanor asked.

“Wait around, I suppose,” Gwen strained. “What we’ll be doing now.”

Dania groaned, and fell into one of the cushioned benches in the lobby. “I have, like things I need to do today.”

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Spite The Face: Abaisses Theatre’s “Joan Of Arc”

PART OF CHICAGO THEATRE WEEK 2018

 

“But why ‘Viva La Vida?'” asked Gwen, as they exited the Prop Thtr’s claustrophilic theatre space. An instrumental cover of the song had played during the play’s final moments.

“Why not Viva La Vida?” Dania asked, with a grin. “They were playing current pop songs before the show started, it’s clearly not going for an accurate time period setting.”

“Do you mean in the design or in the aesthetic generally?” Eleanor asked. “Because the design was pretty classical, to a point.”

“Well, I mean,” Dania began, with a shrug. “Mr. Evil Voice had his big red monk robe, that was pretty accurate to the time period. As far as I know.”

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