Weeks 20 & 21: Fires & Furies, Strike a Pose
Hold your fierce head up high and take a stride with pride. June is just around the corner, and we couldn't wait to celebrate pride! These past two weeks we delved into stories about sisters doing it for themselves despite the pressures of family, friends, and self-doubt. We then took a turn in ramping up the stakes with divas who own on and off the catwalk.
#TheatreCrushThursday was given to A-Squared Theatre and Talk Stories. #FollowFriday went to Project Am I Right, Yellowhammer Fund, Asian Dramaturgs Network, and the South Asian American Policy and Research Institute. Now, let's vogue.
Need to catch up? Get your week started right now!
Parched for good theatre? Read our recap of Free Street Theater's youth empowering, earth quaking force of a performance.
Talk about fire. Celeste Ng and Eve Ewing have blazed paths of glory as writers, activists, and educators in digital and physical mediums. Produced by the Women & Children First Bookstore, this author interview was full of passion, introspection, and sincere advice. It had all the comfort of feeling insider for those familiar with Ng's Little Fires Everywhere (and if not get ready in time for the limited Hulu series) and those who were welcomed for the first time to the wisdom of Ms. Ng.
Fleabag. Fleabag! FLEABAG. Y'all. For a show so short, it gives us far more than we deserve. Every episode feels like a platter of desserts, each more decadent and luscious than the last. While sadly its new second season will be last, it's Phoebe Waller-Bridge's call. As someone who would rather have shorter, quality shows than to run too many seasons, I admire Bridge's choice that it's better to go out on a high note than the last one. Take your time with the second season. It's an ending of despair and hope all in one, truly magical in a world that's all too real.
Spooky theatre hell dream. The Lessons by The Passage Theatre used its site in a church basement to exorcise insecurities, sins, and secrets. For such a sacred space, it offered intimacy and inclusion to bond audience members together on an unexpected journey. Never knowing what could come next, this immersive experience was well worth the trip. If at Halloween, it would truly be bone chilling.
Talk about an awkward barbecue...Fertility, politics, and ambition are all on the patio table in AstonRep's The Crowd You're In With. Old friendish types and landlords pick and pry at each other instead of the chicken or corn on the cob. For a play with meaty topics, it takes awhile to sizzle. Fireworks aren't sparked till later on, but the display is extremely satisfying.
Havana oh na na. The music and history will sweep you away in this cascading flight of shimmering stories and hope. Once the beat gets going, it's hard to pull your eyes away from such soaring sights. My only complaint is that La Havana Madrid could live up more to its strong task. The Den Theatre doesn't give it enough space to allow full immersion and based on its history it strays from the club's original location in Lincoln Park. While La Havana has traveled around the city, it seems like its lost a little of its way here in Wicker Park.
There's nothing blue about these clues. Check out our review of Eclectic Full Contact Theatre's The Secret of the Biological Clock. Trace our steps.
A space musical is not the first of its kind to have graced the stage. Musical theatre has a history of finding inspiration in the supernatural. There's also an affinity for cult musicals, ones that attract a specific following but aren't classified as good by typical classical standards. Strawdog Theatre's Take Me is risk taking in tackling aliens, grief, and Roswell, NM all in one breath. There's a lot of moving parts and there's moments that are out of this world while others dim.
We raved and roared about the many lessons learned from The Passage Theatre. Check out our thoughts now.
Too Heavy in Your Pocket wrecked me in the best way possible. TimeLine Theatre is known for its in depth and mesmerizing lobby displays. I felt so entranced when stepping into the theatre and the powerful truth in this text took me to another level. While its first act dwells in exposition, the second act truly uplifts the characters putting them under the microscope in unfortunate circumstances. There isn't perfect solutions, only choices and the consequences we must live with from them.
Killing Game at A Red Orchid Theatre is an acid trip, an operatic feast, and in a nutshell: life. You might feel like you're itching out of your skin and constantly looking over your shoulder, but just as the whole ensemble demonstrates death will come for us all. Its many messages are mixed flipping between comedy and tragedy. Life, like death, is either all or nothing, or everything. Confused? Then, you're on the same page of this Ionesco tale.
Similar to Fleabag, I ingested Pose like a box of chocolate truffles, satisfying, but gone too fast. Thank goodness season two of this FX fabulous extravaganza is here to stay. I could live in the House of Evangelista and would give anything to be a mere fly on the dance floor of this underground ball scene. Every character is different, but so lovable, even when they stumble or spew venom instead of sharing kindness. It's humorous, emotional, and worth dropping everything to watch. While I could do without the Ryan Murphy connections and the plot that deals with Trump, Pose is a damn delight that deserves to unabashedly shine in the spotlight.
From working the floor to working the runway, The Model Play puts it all on display. Written by our guest contributor, Madie Doppelt, we were thrilled at the chance to support her staged reading at The Theatre School's annual Wrights of Spring festival. Doppelt writes her characters in a way that's not always seen. She doesn't prescribe them as likable or despised. She lets them wear their flaws on their Gucci sleeves with their insecurities buried in their Chanel bags next to their lipstick and condoms. Set in the 1980s, she peels back an industry where women are inevitably in competition with one another and controlled by predatory men. She's careful not to hit the nails too hard over heads, but still addresses issues of misogyny, mental health, and perceived notions of femininity.
From runway to runway, Ms. Blakk for President is running the show at Steppenwolf Theatre, honey. With the illuminating Tarrell Alvin McCraney in the titular role and co-creator along with Tina Landau, this show brings dance, democracy, and of course, drama. While it takes a high kick or two to sink in, once Blakk's campaign gets moving, you won't want to miss a beat. It taps into complex ideas of farce versus faux, reform versus resolution, and change versus compromise. The journey progresses as the idea of progress wains, and it's material is so strong that this unearthed history is an achievement within itself.
Strut into next week!