More theaters weigh in on canceled performances

 

Court Theatre in Hyde Park is at the western end of the University of Chicago campus. (J Jacobs photo)
Court Theatre in Hyde Park is at the western end of the University of Chicago campus. (J Jacobs photo)

Lights are dimming from the south side’s Court Theatre to the north side’s Raven Theatre, and even to the west suburban Aurora’s Paramount. Due to concerns about COVID-19, the closing announcements came after IL  Governor J.B. Pritzker’s edict against gatherings of 1,000 and more people and urging stoppage of smaller gatherings of even 250 people or more.

In Hyde Park

The Court Theatre canceled the production of “The Lady from the Sea” and postponed performances of “An Iliad.”

“As leadership at the University of Chicago continues to monitor the evolving status of COVID-19 in Chicagoland and across the globe, we at Court Theatre are at a critical moment in our six-decade history,” said a joint statement from Artistic Director Charles Newell and Executvie director Angel Ysaguirre.

The statement continued to say, “Theatre can’t just be seen; it must be felt. It can’t just be watched; it must be experienced. At a time of division, bifurcated attention, and growing anxiety, theatre’s power to create community out of both artists and strangers has a powerful role to play. And yet, that same communal power represents a double-edged sword for any organization striving to prioritize the health, security, and safety of all those who touch its work.”

In addition, Newell and Ysaguirre explained why they made the difficult decision to cancel current shows and postpone decisions about “The Gospel at Colonus” slated for May.

.“According to the World Health Organization and Centers for Disease Control, many of our patrons and long-term supporters are most at risk of developing serious complications from contracting this virus, a fact we take quite seriously.”

Even though “Lady From the Sea” is cancelled, Court will pay the artists so are asking patrons with those tickets to consider them a donation or credit to a future show. Because “Iliad” is merely postponed, those tickets holders can see it another time. For more information call (773) 753-4472.

At Raven Theatre

Raven Theatre at 6157 N. Clark St.is suspending all shows on its stages including Griffin Theatre Company’s Midwest premiere of Lynn Nottage’s “Mima’s Tale.

“We are, of course, saddened that we are unable to complete the run of Mlima’s Tale, but the health and safety of our artists and patrons are more important during this challenging time. It’s going to be tough few months for Chicago theatre, but we will all get through this together,” said Griffin Artist dDrector Bill Massolia. For Griffin refunds, credits or deductible donation information call (773) 338-2177. Griffin has also cancelled its touring youth production of The Stinky Cheese Man.

Raven’s performances of “A Doll’s House and the children’s production of “Aesop’s Amazing Adventures in the Land of Fables,” have also been suspended.

Raven’s staff explained the actions in the following statement: “The health and safety of our artists and community members is our highest priority. Based on recommendations from Governor J.B. Pritzker and Mayor Lori Lightfoot, we have made the difficult decision to suspend performances of all productions currently running at Raven Theatre.

“As a small, non-profit arts organization, this hurts. It hurts our hearts to not be able to share our art with you. It also hurts us financially. This is why we are asking you to consider converting the value of your ticket purchases to a tax-deductible donation to our company. Your patience and generosity today will allow us to come back with the artistic vigor you have come to expect from Raven when we are able to return to the stage.”

As with other theatres, Raven has the following options: “If the option to donate is available to you, please contact our box office so we can issue you an acknowledgment letter. Otherwise, you may move your tickets to our upcoming production of Eden Prairie, 1971 (playing May 7 – June 21, 2020), request a refund, call (773) 338-2177 to discuss the options.

In Aurora

Paramount Theatre has canceled the remaining “The Secret of My Success” performances as mandated by Governor J. B. Pritzker, and has postponed but is working on rescheduling “Killer Queen,” “Stomp,” “Straight No” and other of the venue’s shows, according to Paramount President and CEO Tim Rater.

In his statement Rater said the move was “a cautionary measure to help combat the spread of Covid-19 (coronavirus).” The statement said that ticket holders to “Success” would receive an account credit to use toward future performances at Paramount Theatre or RiverEdge Park. Ticket holders to postponed shows will be contacted with new dates. In addition, Classic Movie Monday screenings also will not be presented in March or April. For more information call (630) 896-6666.

Jodie Jacobs

Related: Chicago theatres temporarily suspend productions

 

 

 

Chicago theatres temporarily suspend productions

Goodman and many other Chicago theatres are temporarily suspending productions due to the C viru. (Photo courtesy of Goodman Theatre)
Goodman and many other Chicago theatres are temporarily suspending productions due to the C viru. (Photo courtesy of Goodman Theatre)

Lights are out not just on New York’s famed Broadway. Because the Coronavirus is so contagious, most of the stages in Chicago, considered the most prolific theater production community in the U.S, have also temporarily dimmed their lights, according to League of Chicago Theatres Executive Director Deb Clapp. (And yes, some spell theater as theatre).

The decision was made shortly after Governor J.B. Pritzker and Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot urged that public gatherings of more than 250 people be suspended until possibly May 1. The mandated temporary suspension was for gatherings of more than 1,000 people.

The safety and health of our audiences, artists and theatre staff remains our highest priority,” said Clapp. “As the situation around COVID-19 evolves, we will continue to share with our member organizations precautions they can take as outlined by federal health authorities and state and local officials to ensure that theatres are ready to welcome patrons back after this temporary shut-down.”

Capp noted that the League is working to support members with venues fewer than 250 as they decide the best course of action for their individual venues. She also suggested that theater patrons who already have tickets should contact those theaters for more information.

In a separate statement, Goodman Theatre announced its suspension of performances beginning March 13. The action affects the Chicago premiere of Jocelyn Bioh’s “School Girls; Or, The African Mean Girls Play” directed by Lili-Anne Brown that was slated to open March 16.

The opening of Brian Friel’s “Molly Sweeney” directed by Robert Falls, has been postponed to April 20.

“Goodman Theatre prioritizes the health and safety of our audiences, artists and staff,” said a joint statement released by Artistic Director Robert Falls and Executive Director Roche Schulfer.

The statement went on to say, “We hope this action will help the nationwide endeavor to contain this devastating virus. We will continue to monitor this situation as it unfolds and communicate plans for the future. We are grateful for all that our artists and staff have invested in this production, and appreciate our audience and patrons’ understanding and support during these unprecedented times.”

Goodman options for ticket holders included a credit towards a future Goodman production or a tax deduction for the total value. Goodman Patron Services will be in touch to make arrangements, or patrons can email BoxOffice@GoodmanTheatre.org or call 312.443.3800. Tickets to future productions continue to be available. Visit GoodmanTheatre.org for the latest updates.

Jodie Jacobs

 

Black Ensemble presents a battle cry

 

Legends the Musical at Black Ensemble Theater
Legends the Musical at Black Ensemble Theater

‘Legends the Musical: A Civil Rights Movement Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow’

3 stars

Jackie Taylor, the amiable creative heart and soul of Chicago’s beloved Black Ensemble Theater, has declared 2020 as the company’s Season of Change. She opens with this original, ambitious, musical battle cry, a movement against the injustice and bigotry that’s overtaking our country today thanks to an administration that has set our country back 200 years.

And this is just the beginning of Taylor’s aggressive theatrical approach to helping combat the racism that’s reared its ugly head in America.

Continue reading “Black Ensemble presents a battle cry”

Start spreading the news ‘Judy and Liza’ are fabulous!

 

Left to right, Alexa Castelvecchi and Nancy Hays star in Judy & Liza. (Photo by Tyler Core)
Left to right, Alexa Castelvecchi and Nancy Hays star in Judy & Liza. (Photo by Tyler Core)

4 stars

Imagine what it was like in 1964 when Judy Garland and her daughter, 18-year-old Liza Minnelli, performed together for the first time at The Palladium Theatre in London. This was the only time these two superstars performed in a live concert together and it was electrifying.

Now, Chicago theatre-goers can experience the thrill of “Judy & Liza — Once in a Lifetime: The London Palladium Concert – A Tribute” at the Greenhouse Theater Center. The show is co-produced by Greenhouse and Nancy Hays Entertainment, Inc.

Continue reading “Start spreading the news ‘Judy and Liza’ are fabulous!”

‘Middletown’ encapsulates the comedy and tragedy of life

 

left to right Adrian Zmed, Sandy Duncan, Kate Buddeke in Middletown. (Photo courtesy of GFrour Productions)
left to right Adrian Zmed, Sandy Duncan, Kate Buddeke in Middletown. (Photo courtesy of GFrour Productions)

3.5 stars

Be prepared to laugh and cry If you go to see “Middletown,” a GFour touring production now at the Apollo Theater.

Written by “Timekeepers” playwright, Dan Clancy, the play’s strength is how it captures some of life’s funny moments and extreme low points as they are experienced and shared by two couples.

Continue reading “‘Middletown’ encapsulates the comedy and tragedy of life”

‘Mrs. Warren’s Profession’ is no mystery

 

Left to right, Elaine Carlson, Tracey Greenwood in Mrs. Warren's Profession. (Photo by Tom McGrath)
Left to right, Elaine Carlson, Tracey Greenwood in Mrs. Warren’s Profession. (Photo by Tom McGrath)

3 stars

It is late summer 1905 and Mrs. Kitty Warren (Elaine Carlson), a seemingly wealthy woman with no known extended family, finally reveals to her curious adult daughter how she is able to support their comfortable lifestyle.

Continue reading “‘Mrs. Warren’s Profession’ is no mystery”

Good insight into teenage challenges

“I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter”

(L to R) Karen Rodriguez (Julia) and Dyllan Rodrigues-Miller (Olga) at Steppenwolf. (photo by Michael Brosilow)
(L to R) Karen Rodriguez (Julia) and Dyllan Rodrigues-Miller (Olga) at Steppenwolf. (photo by Michael Brosilow)

4 stars

Julia may or may not be the perfect Mexican daughter but Karen Rodriguez may be the perfect person to play her. Rodriguez commanded the Steppenwolf stage from the moment the lights came up and did not let go for the next 90 minutes.

Continue reading “Good insight into teenage challenges”

Black Lives Matter!

‘Kill Move Paradise’

Grif (Cage Sebastian Pierre, from left), Isa (Kai A. Ealy) and Daz (Charles Andrew Gardner) in TimeLine Theatre’s Chicago premiere of “Kill Move Paradise.” ( (Lara Goetsch photo)
Grif (Cage Sebastian Pierre, from left), Isa (Kai A. Ealy) and Daz (Charles Andrew Gardner) in TimeLine Theatre’s Chicago premiere of “Kill Move Paradise.” ( (Lara Goetsch photo)

4 stars

TimeLine Theatre is often the place in Chicago where we revisit those special individuals, real people or fictional representations, who’ve left a mark in history.

At times, these wonderful plays and musicals remind us of events from the past, taking a close look at another time and place. But once in a while this treasure of a theatre forces audiences to examine events from the present, and we are presented with history—good or bad—in the making. Continue reading “Black Lives Matter!”

‘Mlima’s Tale’

Mlima's Tale at Raven Theatre. (Photo by Michael Brosilow)
Mlima’s Tale at Raven Theatre. (Photo by Michael Brosilow)

4 stars

“Mlima’s Tale,” a Midwest Premiere by Griffin Theatre, is a sensitive and heartrending depiction of greed, and specifically, the corruption associated with the illegal sale of elephant ivory that results in the daily  slaughter of approximately 100 of these endangered animals.

The production follows the life and death of Mlima, a roughly 45-year-old male African elephant. Described as a “big tusker,” he is killed by poachers while living in a protected refuge in Kenya.

Continue reading “‘Mlima’s Tale’”

‘Hit Her With The Skates’ at Royal George

 

Hit Her With The skates (Press conference photo)
Hit Her With The skates (Press conference photo)

 

We were invited to attend a kick-off event and sneak preview for “Hit Her WithThe Skates” a new regionally inspired musical that will have its world premiere March 18, 2020, at the Royal George Theatre on North Halsted Street in Chicago.

The show is produced by Mary Beidler Gearen with book and lyrics by Lansing native and co-producer Christine Rea. The two met while working with the Bailiwick Repertory Company where Gearen earned five Jeff nominations. Continue reading “‘Hit Her With The Skates’ at Royal George”