Week 3: Conventional Performances in Unconventional Spaces
Updated: Oct 4, 2019
Hello there, and thanks for joining us! We are well on our way in the triathlon bringing it in at week number three.
This week's Theatre Crush Thursday was The Yard Ensemble. And our Follow Friday included shout outs to Chicago Park District Arts Partners in Residence and Chicago Period Project. Great artists and organizations, give'em some love folks. Let's check out what happened this week!
Well, look at that. A nice, neatly organized recap to catch you up on our first week. What a great way to start the week :)
More plays should be set in bars. Yes, I said it. Films, television shows, even songs are galore. I feel like it offers not only an opportunity for a lot of slice of life plays, but several plots and delightful non-sequitur characters to breeze in and out. Daphne's Dive definitely captures that sense of play and opportunity that come from bringing together a vast array of personalities with a lot of love. Hudes always holds such a special place in my heart. A play that can warm your soul on any day with a nice hot toddy for good measure.
I ventured out into the night and found myself in a delightful Irish pub with some chips and water (girl's on a budget). I attended my first Story Lab Chicago event at Mrs. Murphy & Sons Irish Bistro. Love, laughter, and a lot of deep self-realizations that made me weep internally. This event made me want to touch down on the large storytelling scene that is rampant in Chicago. The art of storytelling is more alive than ever, and why not go back to basics with hearing about people's lives in an open mic setting? Among some familiar and not so familiar faces, it's amazing our capacity to listen and trust one another when we take the time to do so.
Well, well, well, what do we have here? Two weekly recaps in one week?! It's ghastly, unheard of, I mean how absurd. Yet here we are. These weeks are flying by and you gotta make sure to stay in the loop somehow.
Sometimes you want the feeling of going to a bar or a cabaret without physically being there. Especially when you live in a city where the weather makes you wish you were somewhere else. Throw in that feeling of wanting adventure (yet in close proximity), a dash of the past, and some smooth, sultry vocals by not one, but two legends, and you have Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill. This performance is the epitome of heartbreak in real time. Thank goodness you're not going out tonight as you're too busy sobbing and being thankful for those you love and those you no longer have to hold. It made me feel all the things, and more.
Yes to various performances. Yes to intimate, inviting spaces among strangers. Yes to co-productions (more in 2019 please)! I managed to weather the storm and cozy on up amidst a sizable crowd for Pop Magic Productions and The Martin's The Monsters We Create. We all have our monsters. Some look at us in the mirror, hide under our bed, in our medicine cabinets, the bottom of a bottle or in the eyes of another. Fear is very much alive in our media and how can that consumption not seep into ourselves? This jamboree of spoken word, music, dance, and slideshows fully encompassed the range of being wary and also accepting these monsters. I laughed, grieved, and felt such comfort to be living in a city I love with art that is so wild and contagious it bounces off the walls (and that lighting though!)
While not a bar or cozy playing space, Chicago Dramatists is a hidden gem. Tucked away, but in nice proximity to the Blue Line, you could blink and miss it. It almost seems like you'll never find it unless you click some ruby slippers together or find a Janet close by. But once you do, you're definitely in the good place. Chicago Dramatists was a perfect spot to host Pegasus Theatre Chicago's 32nd Annual Young Playwrights Festival. Three short plays that ranged from the streets of Chicago to a coffee shop fighting against the gentrification of its neighborhood to prom! This selection of plays reminded me of the amazing depths young people are willing to go to have their ideas heard. To be dark, unsure, and searching, are all great places to be and I found myself seeing ideas more radical than some of my fellow peers or even figures whom I look up to. Inspiration comes from all different kinds of people, especially those who we may underestimate or feel we know more than.
Until next week friends!