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Friday, June 18, 2010

Note to Chicago-area people:

Go see The Face of A Ruined Woman by Mia McCullough at Stage Left's Leapfest.

 Showtimes are tonight at 7:30 PM, Sunday 6/27 at 7:30 PM & Saturday 7/3 at 2 PM, at Stage Left's space on 3408 Sheffield.

I haven't seen it yet, but Mia's last play, Lucinda's Bed, at Chicago Dramatists, was one of the best new plays of 2009, in my opinion. It took a funny, sexy and also dark look at sex and monogamy through the lens of childhood fears. And it was a damned good play. Face, which is a monologue play about plastic surgery and the North Shore suburbs is sure to be equally entertaining and complex.

Full disclosure: I took a play-writing class at Northwestern with Mia, and I'm good friends with Zev, (who is in the play and their new co-literary manager) and know a few other Stage Left company members. That doesn't alter the fact that Mia is a gifted playwright with an amazing talent. Go out and support her and Stage Left.

Monday, June 14, 2010

"Send in the clowns"...no, really, send them in, they're supposed to be on camera

I watched the Tonys last night with a bunch of friends (including Mr. Z of On Chicago Theater & Mr. T of Antagony & Ecstasy) and, among many other surprises (few of them good), was the fact that Green Day had four different songs performed on the broadcast.

It's Stephen Sondheim's 80th birthday, and he had two shows with nominations this year. He got a snippet of song in the opening medley and "Send in the Clowns", as performed by noted songstress Catherine Zeta-Jones. Yeah.

Now, to be fair, I like Green Day. Not as much as other bands of their era/scene, some of whom are admittedly worse (sorry, The Offspring, I still love you). But when a punk band who used to barely play three chords and the keyboardist of Bon Jovi (who can't even write lyrics other than "na na na") are both in the Tony spotlight, it's time to start considering who else could provide a jukebox musical.

My nominees:

  • Rainbow! (in the Dark): The Dio Musical - Hey, the dude just died. He's due a re-evaluation. Plus, his songs do have a range that would let someone show off some pipes. If not Raul Esparza, maybe Kristen Chenoweth?
  • Unsolved Child Murder: The Luke Haines Musical - What can I say, the subject matter worked for Parade?
  • Let's Go Dancing [On the Backs of the Bruised]: The Trent Reznor Songbook - Liza Minelli. The Hand That Feeds. Bring the curtain down.
  • Songs About F***ing: The Words & Music of Steve Albini. Choreographed by Twyla Tharp, of course.
  • I Am Kurious Oranj. The Fall provide the score to a ballet about William of Orange... Wait, what? That already happened? Gosh darn it....