Popular wisdom says that it's a woman's prerogative to change her mind. Well, how about a theater company, too? More than a year ago, officials at About Face Theatre told your faithful correspondent, Jonny, that they would not become the resident theater company at the Center on Halsted, as had been speculated, and that the troupe and the Center had discontinued discussions. Well, apparently they kept talking in a dark corner of some Halsted Street bar, because About Face has just announced that it will produce two shows next season in the Center's 154-seat Hoover-Leppen Theatre. About Face will share the venue with Hubris Productions, GayCo and Windy City Performing Arts but, unlike them, About Face will not be one of the Center's community partners, meaning About Face will not move its offices to the Center and does not have a commitment beyond 2008.
The troupe's first production at the Center will be the regional premiere of Douglas Carter Beane's recent Broadway gay comedy, The Little Dog Laughed, to open next January. Later in the year, the company will present its annual About Face Youth Theatre production at the Center. Before that, in October, About Face will stage the world premiere of Wedding Song, by artistic director Eric Rosen, at the Steppenwolf Reskin Garage Theatre.
When Jonny heard that a gay soap opera was coming to Andersonville, Jonny said, 'So what else is new? Been there, done that.' But this one is a live theatrical soap opera, and it's going to call Mary's Attic home. A new group, Bare Boned Theatre, will present The Ville every Monday night at 8 p.m., starting July 2. The first Monday of each month will bring a new episode, with repeats on all the following Mondays of the month. The Ville features LGBT characters ( and a few straight people ) as they struggle, fail and triumph to find the best new restaurant or the correct resale shop in the Andersonville neighborhood. The Ville will be backed by Mary's Addicts, the Mary's Attic all-girl acoustic rock 'n roll house band. The soaper will be the product of eight writers and will feature an initial cast of 12. Tickets are $10 at the door.
Jonny can name that tune in three notes or less! How about you? Test your skill, and your knowledge of jazz, pop and Broadway standards, as the Chicago Office of Tourism revives the old game show Name That Tune in a series of cabaret performances—with audience participation and prizes, too! All of the performances are at swanky bar/restaurants, so you can make a night of it with dinner and the works, or just a drink or two at the bar. There's no cover charge or minimum for Name That Tune at the Whitehall Hall Hotel Club Room ( July 5, Aug. 2, Sept. 6 ) , or Red Kiva ( July 12, Aug. 16, Sept. 13 ) , or Lucca's ( June 21, July 10, Aug. 23, Sept. 20 ) , or Boystown's own Cornelia's ( June 28, July 26, Aug. 9 and 30, Sept. 27 ) . You'll note that all the above performances are on Thursdays, and all are 7-10 p.m. There also are five gala evenings ( various days ) at venues where $49.95 ( plus tax and tip ) buys you dinner, the show and a glass of wine. For details, visit www.ArtofPlayChicago.com . All Name That Tune performances feature top cabaret talent, including the likes of Audrey Morris; Beckie Menzie and Bob Moreen; Sami Scott; Kat Taylor; and Suzanne Petri. Reservations can be made directly with each venue.
Hubbard Street Dance Chicago is offering a sneak peek at works in progress at its seventh annual Inside/Out Choreographic Workshop. These dances are not those created by name choreographers, but represent efforts by HSDC main company dancers themselves, working with fellow company members to stretch their creative chops. The dancers even assume many of the technical and producing chores for the event, foreshadowing areas of expertise that may carry them to new careers in dance once their own performing days are over. The various pieces will be presented July 12 at the Museum of Contemporary Art, at 6:30 p.m. and 9 p.m; 312-850-9744; $20. Hey! As long as you're at the MCA, come early and have dinner on the terrace at the casual cafe.
The Ravinia Festival quickly and easily sold out its June 8 concert performance of West Side Story and even a limited number of seats for the dress rehearsal. Word is that tickets are selling nearly as quickly for the July 21 Ravinia concert performance of The Most Happy Fella, by the great Frank Loesser. And what a company: George Hearn and Sylvia McNair are the stars while Chicago's own Marc Robin is director and choreographer. A limited number of dress rehearsal tickets are available for this one, too, at $25 ( July 19, 8 p.m. ) ; 847-266-5100.
Gay actor, author and stand-up comic Scott Capurro ( see page 22 ) brings his view of, well, everything to the Lakeshore Theater ( Broadway at Belmont ) under its new policy of all comedy, all-the-time. Capurro will be in town June 29 and 30; 8 p.m; 773-472-3492; $15, which is cheap, even for a gay guy. You think he knows how close he'll be to Boystown?
And finally, our friend Richard Knight, Jr., returns as his alter ego, Dick O'Day, for one night only, bringing Dick O'Day's Big, Lovely Bingo to the Annoyance Theatre on June 27. Admission is only $10. What a splendid way to waste a Wednesday night!