Wednesday, February 20, 2013

ACT OUT EXTENDED: The Aliens at Red Orchid #Review


Playwright, Annie Baker knows how to get inside your head.  She's not afraid of pauses, lengthy silence and OCD rants designed to make the audience squirm.   And once her plays get under your skin, they stay there.   Come see the highly recommended Chi-town premiere of The Aliens, now extended due to high ticket demand.   

ChiIL Live Shows caught opening night and we were blown away.  Context makes a huge difference in perception and pacing is everything.   If someone sits in meditation as a monk, they're revered and respected.   If someone does the same behind a dumpster, they're a bum.  A highly ritualized tea ceremony performed for enlightenment is derelict or desired, just because the who and where changes.   The Aliens truly takes you on a deep, tangent filled journey with it's troubled trio of entirely endearing characters.

This familiar journey of failed musicians, writers and intellectuals unfolds in a "secret garden" of barren land, behind the stinking dumpsters of the Green Sheep Coffee House.   It's striking and perfect that the friends hang out in back by choice, since they hate the conventional music and vibe inside.   They choose instead to create their own space, and rituals, mentally and physically, in the land outside.

We highly recommend catching The Aliens.   You'll never hear the word ladder the same way again.

The Chicago Premiere of
The Aliens
by Annie Baker
Directed by Artistic Associate Shade Murray
Featuring Ensemble Member Steve Haggard with Brad Akin and Michael Finley.

January 17-March 16, 2013
Shows Thursday-Saturday at 8:00pm and Sunday at 3:00pm

or call the box office at (312) 943-8722

A Red Orchid Theatre announces new performance dates for its hit Chicago Premiere production of Annie Baker’s The Aliens, directed by Shade Murray.  Due to high ticket demand, the production is now extended through Saturday, March 16, 2013 at A Red Orchid Theatre, 1531 N. Wells. Tickets for the two-week extension are now on sale through the box office, (312) 943-8722 and

All day every day, two slackers hang out behind a coffee shop by the dumpsters.  These guys have elevated loitering to an almost Buddhist “tea ceremony” level, where music, Bukowski, sex, travel, philosophy, friendship, and ambition - or lack thereof - are intensely meditated upon while the busy world rushes by.  Enter a 17 year-old barista-cum-disciple, and so begins a summer where no one moves but everything changes. 

The Aliens features A Red Orchid Ensemble Member Steve Haggard (Jasper), with Brad Akin (KJ), and Michael Finley (Evan).

Title:               The Aliens
Written by:        Annie Baker
Directed by:      Artistic Associate Shade Murray
Featuring:         Ensemble Member Steve Haggard, with Brad Akin and Michael Finley
                                    Regular Run:               January 22 – March 3, 2013
EXTENSION:   Now extended through Saturday, March 16, 2013.

Schedule:         Thursdays:                  8:00 p.m.
                        Fridays:                       8:00 p.m.
                        Saturdays:                   8:00 p.m.         
Sundays:                     3:00 p.m.

Location:          A Red Orchid Theatre, 1531 N. Wells Ave.
Tickets:            $15 previews, $25-$30 regular run.  ($25 Thurs, $30 Fri-Sun),
$50 Red Night Opening & Reception on January 25 at 8 p.m.
Box Office:       Located at 1531 N. Wells Ave, Chicago, (312) 943-8722; or online

About A Red Orchid
Since 1993 A Red Orchid Theatre has been an artistic mainstay of the Chicago theatre community; known and praised for its powerful ensemble, creative design and its gripping, intimate productions.  The resident Ensemble maintains the conviction that passionately committed theatre will draw passionately committed audiences, and the 2012-2013 subscription season promises to bring Ensemble and audience even closer together.

A Red Orchid Theatre is: Lance Baker, Dado, Jennifer Engstrom, Kirsten Fitzgerald, Joseph Fosco, Steve Haggard, Mierka Girten, Larry Grimm, Karen Kawa, Karen Kessler, Danny McCarthy, Brett Neveu, Michael Shannon, Guy Van Swearingen, Doug Vickers, Natalie West and Craig Wright.

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