WINDY CITY TIMES
||The Buttcracker, A Nutcracker Burlesque
by Mary Shen Barnidge
This article shared 1227 times since Tue Dec 4, 2018
Playwright: Scripted by Jaq Seifert and choreographed by Darling Shear
At: ( Sub )version Productions at Reggie's Music Joint, 2105 S. State St. Tickets:. TheButtcrackerBurlesque.com; $20-$40. Runs through: Dec. 26 ( Wednesdays only )
When the Uptown Underground abruptly ceased operations earlier this year, Jaq Seifert's annual Yuletide revue found itself searching for a place to pitch its tentnot just any church basement or banquet hall, either, but a campground capable of hosting pyrotechnics, floor acrobatics and exotic acts of nebulous infrastructure. Furthermore, the location of this vaudeville also needed to promise a comfortable environment for audiences entering into the spirit of its gender-fluid body-positive manifesto.
Fortunately, the once-desolate district just south of Roosevelt Road is well on its way to becoming one of the city's trendiest neighborhoods, its former automobile showrooms now providing nightlife activities for a youth culture steeped in egalitarian diversity. To be sure, the play ( as Shakespeare noted ) may still be "the thing," but there's no discounting the advantages of a sophisticated light and sound system, a full-service bar and grill, nearby parking, public transportation and copious pedestrian traffic.
The show's improved morale was immediately apparent on its opening night. Based on the 18th-century fairy tale, the story recounts the adventures of meek office manager Clara, whose hired Holiday Party entertainmenta Father Christmas surrogate whose mischievous antics veer a little too far into Tim Curry territorymeets with her workplace supervisor's disapproval. The contrite Kriss Kringle comforts his humiliated sponsor with a nutcracker in the shape of a soldier, whose candy ration transports them both to the Land of Sweets, where Clara's royal reward for bravely helping her GI Joe defeat an army of ratsno helpless damsel, sheis a sumptuous confection-related entertainment, set to jazz arrangements ( chiefly those of Duke Ellington, Glen Miller and Billy Strayhorn ) of Tchaikovsky's classic melodies.
The emcee trio of Squeaky Bubbles, Fay LaVerte, and Stevie Kinks keep the action progressing at sprightly pace in a spectacle clocking in at a brisk 60 minutes. Returning are belly-dancer Kamrah Raqs, vodka-swilling sequin-scattering Emma Glitterbomb, Gaea Lady ( aka "Hot Chocolate" ) nibbling daintily on flaming torches, and Evelyn "Mother Ginger" Tension, clad in a layer-cake gown and inviting favored spectators to lick frosting from her hand. Newcomers include Claira Bell, a Calavera Catrina slight-of-hand artist fond of smashed crockery, and Pierre LaChance as a Drosselmeyer far younger and more seductive than his traditional geriatric white-ballet counterpart.
This article shared 1227 times since Tue Dec 4, 2018
| ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE|
|THEATER A Red Orchid Theatre running magical 'Missed Connections' Feb. 2-28 2021-01-19|
- A Red Orchid Theatre is presenting Missed Connectionsa live, interactive play with magic, conceived for virtual experience, co-written by Jon Tai and Alex Gruhin, performed by magician Jon Tai and produced by Alex Gruhinon Feb. 2-28. ...
|Virtual OUTspoken storytelling event Feb. 2
- The next virtual OUTspoken Storytelling Night will take place Feb. 2 at 7 p.m. The speakers will be as follows: Donald Bell is a third-generation Chicagoan, South Sider and White Sox fan who is a retired ...
|'Dixie's Happy Hour' streaming Jan. 26-31
- On the heels of Dixie's Tupperware Party and Dixie's: Never Wear a Tube Top While Riding a Mechanical Bull (and 16 other things I learned while I was drinking last Thursday), drag personality Dixie Longate is ...
|Hell in a Handbag Productions to present
Out, Darn Spot! 2021-01-15|
--From a press release - CHICAGO (Jan. 15, 2021) — Hell in a Handbag Productions is pleased to present the campy comedyOut, Darn Spot!, written by and starring ensemble member Tyler Anthony Smith* and directed, filmed and edited by Stephanie Shaw. ...
|Artemisia Theatre announces entirely virtual 2021 season 2021-01-13|
--From a press release - CHICAGO - In order to continue its strong feminist story-telling tradition, Artemisia Theatre announces an entirely virtual 2021 season. The new season includes two World Premiere theater productions and eight audio performances airing on its podcast ...
|SHOWBIZ Laverne Cox, lesbian coach, Jim Parsons, 'Brokeback,' theater items 2021-01-11|
- Laverne Cox is teaming with Meryl Streep and Rashida Jones to executive-produce a new documentary exploring one of the most critical issues at the intersection of race, feminism, and power: the sex industry, out.com noted. Sell/Buy/Date ...
|African American Arts Alliance, Black Ensemble to present MLK event Jan. 18
- The African American Arts Alliance of Chicago and Black Ensemble Theater will present the 10th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day Celebration on Monday, Jan. 18, at 6 p.m. The online event will be free. This ...
|Rip Nelson Holiday Quarantine Special extended through Jan. 17 2021-01-06|
--From a press release - CHICAGO (Jan. 4, 2021) — Hell in a Handbag Productions is pleased to announce one additional week of performances of its streaming holiday hit The Rip Nelson Holiday Quarantine Special, now playing through Jan. 17, 2021. ...
|Hell in a Handbag announces annual benefit, "The Morning After" 2020-12-23|
- CHICAGO (Dec. 17, 2020) — Hell in a Handbag Productions is pleased to announce its annual benefit "The Morning After," featuring the streaming world premiere of the smash hit musical that started it all for them, ...
|PrideArts to screen one-night-only live virtual readings 2020-12-21|
--From a press release - PrideArts series of one-night-only live virtual readings resumes with TWELFTH NIGHT on the Twelfth of January Peter Vamvakas to direct a cast of seven Click here for a Word doc version of this release CHICAGO — ...
|Bechdel Fest 8 to highlight femme, female-identifying, non-binary, trans, queer actors 2020-12-21|
- Broken Nose Theatre (BNT) will present Bechdel Fest 8: Realign—the company’s annual festival of new short plays featuring an ensemble of femme, female-identifying, non-binary, trans and queer actors talking about things other than men.
|OUTSpoken: LGBTQ storytelling event Jan. 5 on Zoom 2020-12-16|
- Another OUTspoken Storytelling Night will offer the perspective of four Chicagoans telling life stories from their LGBTQ+ viewpoint or that of their close friends and relatives, Tuesday, Jan. 5, starting at 7 p.m. on Zoom. The ...
|Pegasus holding Young Playwrights Festival Jan. 7-31 2020-12-10|
- On Jan. 7-31, Pegasus Theatre Chicago is presenting the 34th Young Playwrights Festival (YPF), which selects winning high school-age scribes to apprentice with theater professionals to workshop and produce their ...
|THEATER About Face airing festival with Black LGBTQ+ artists
- About Face Theatre is launching its 25th season with Kickbackan online festival of 10 newly commissioned short plays and performances by Black LGBTQ+ artists, inspired by the Rebuild Foundation's collections at the Stony Island Arts Bank. ...
|Black Ensemble Theater's 'Holiday' event Dec. 18-25 2020-12-03|
- The Black Ensemble Theater is celebrating the 2020 holiday season with The Black Ensemble Virtual Holiday Extravaganza, written and directed by Producing Managing Director Daryl D. Brooks. Filmed from the performers' homes and the theater, the ...