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  WINDY CITY TIMES

STAGE DOOR JONNY
by Jonathan Abarbanel
2001-11-21

This article shared 1179 times since Wed Nov 21, 2001
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All the news from the theatrical rialto this week seems to be about the ladies. I mean, women. I mean, womyn. I mean, females. Aw, hell, I mean dolls, broads and babes.

For starters, Nov. 29 Eve Ensler's The Vagina Monologue will celebrate its first anniversary at the Apollo Theater. Loretta Swit has just completed a three-week tour-of-duty as guest star, and the cast now includes Rondi Reed, Maia Madison and Rosa Blasi ( of Lifetime TV's Strong Medicine ) as a two-week guest star. The producers of The Vagina Monologues continue to donate $10 of every full-price and group ticket sold to the V-Day Fund, with the year's donations now past the $625,000 mark. Some of those funds have been distributed, in turn, to the Chicago Foundation for Women.

Next, the Stockyards Theatre Project will offer its second annual Women's Performance Art Festival, Nov. 30-Dec. 2 at Link's Hall, 3435 N. Sheffield. Some 20 works of dance, solo performance, theater, music, poetry and storytelling will be offered. Single tickets are $10, but a three-day Festival Pass is only $20. Call ( 773 ) 377-5001, ext. 6487. Jonny is sure that the linkage between the Stockyards Theatre and the Women's Festival is NOT meant to suggest that all women are cattle.

Bailiwick Arts Center settles the women/womyn/whatever issue by calling its Dec. 1-2 event the Winter All Girl Review. Unlike the Stockyards Theatre Project, the Winter All Girl Review will offer "lesbians who sing, dance, act, perform spoken word poetry ( is there another kind? ) , and a couple who are known to crack a joke or two." Proceeds will underwrite Bailiwick's Dyke Mic series in January, and the Lesbian Arts Festival in April and May. Call ( 773 ) 882-1090 for tickets ( $25, which includes food and drink ) .

The life and career of Babe Didrickson Zaharias will be celebrated at Mary-Arrchie Theatre, 731 W. Sheridan through a limited run of Clearing Hedges on Monday and Tuesday nights, Nov. 26-Dec. 18. The one-woman show about the pioneering female Olympian and professional athlete is written and performed by Jennifer Barclay and directed by Jay Paul Skelton. Next summer, it will travel to the Edinburgh ( Scotland ) Fringe Festival. If any of you younger, sportive gals don't know who Babe Didrickson was, you oughta' find out, 'cause she was a great one.

And more women in the news: the Uptown Theatre and Center for the Arts raided the diva stash when The Full Monty and The Visit were playing downtown. The not-for-profit group, set up to buy and restore the Uptown Theatre at Lawrence and Broadway, has added Chita Rivera, Anne Reinking and Kaye Ballard to its advisory board.

O.K., Jonny lied. This column ISN'T just about women. Bailiwick Arts Center has announced that it will offer a SIGNED PERFORMANCE of Naked Boys Singing Dec. 8. Well, that should be an easy job. All the signers have to do is point! Seriously, the show is a musical revue, of course, and those interested in the interpreted performance should call ( 773 ) 883-1090.

Next Theatre Company in Evanston, 927 Noyes St., has a hit on its hands with The Laramie Project, scheduled to run only through Dec. 16. Collections are being taken at each performance on behalf of both The Matthew Shepard Foundation and A Season of Concern. Established by his parents, the Shepard Foundation supports diversity programs in education, and helping youth organizations create safe environments for young people. The Next phone number is ( 847 ) 475-1875.

GayCo, the GLBT-themed improv troupe that spun off from The Second City's outreach program, celebrated its fifth anniversary last week, with four retrospective performances featuring highlights from GayCo's seven revues. Jonny always has appreciated the clever names of GayCo's shows, such as Whitney Houston, We Have a Problem, Everyone's Coming Out Rosie and When Bush Comes to Shove.

A whole flock of shows have been extended, seeming to indicate that theatrical life has recovered swiftly from the post-Sept. 11 dip. Stephen Sondheim's Pacific Overtures, directed by Gar Griffin, will run through Jan. 6 at Chicago Shakespeare Company. Return of the King, which is the third and final installment of Lifeline Theatre's adaptation of The Fellowship of the Ring, now will play through Jan. 20.

Also, the one-man show, Incognito, written and performed by Michael Fosberg, has been extended at Bailiwick through Dec. 23. Profiles Theatre has extended the American Premiere of Dogs Barking, by Richard Zajdlic, through Dec. 9. Lookingglass Theatre will run They All Fall Down, about Chicago architectural historian Richard Nickle, through Dec. 2. And TimeLine Theatre has extended Arthur Miller's The Crucible through Dec. 9.

The Chicago Comic Opera Company has begun to sell tickets for its debut performances ... next Aug. 22-Sept. 1 at the Theatre Building! Founder and artistic director Morry Matson doesn't want anyone to wait until the last minute to reserve seats for the double bill of Gilbert and Sullivan's Trial by Jury, and the rarely staged one-act blues opera, Blue Monday, by George Gershwin and B. G. DaSylva. He promises to squeeze an 18-piece orchestra into one of the Theatre Building's 150-seat houses. And speaking of squeezing pieces, Mr. Matson is being sponsored by Steamworks Gym and Sauna of Chicago. Jonny knows that Steamworks has a penetrating interest in performance—patronage always is appreciated. Chicago Comic Opera Company ( CCOC ) tickets are available at the Theatre Building box office. For CCOC membership or sponsorship information, contact Matson at ( 773 ) 561-9060, ext. 301.

Jonny cautions you not to eat too much turkey: remember, Christmas follows fast upon Thanksgiving's leftovers.


This article shared 1179 times since Wed Nov 21, 2001
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