This Saturday 5/10:
DJ Bouncy Castle (aka Zeke Sulkes) will be spinning the best of the best in techno, disco, hip-hop, and house music! Come ready to play, and be prepared to leave your clothes on the dance floor.
The party starts at 8pm with a performance of DORIAN, with its onstage cash bar and lush, dance-fueled, promenade staging.
At 10pm, DJ Bouncy Castle takes the stage for a dance party with the cast and crew of the show. The cash bar remains and the dancing continues!
Admission is FREE with your ticket to DORIAN, and you're welcome to come when the party starts at 10:00 PM!
ChiIL Live Shows had a chance to check out Dorian on opening night and this unique production is well worth a look. Do note, there is brief nudity, and stage violence, so this show is recommended for mature audiences and not appropriate for those under 16.
Now for the rest of you...
The set of DORIAN is like an art gallery opening, and to reflect this, DORIAN is staged in promenade. Audience members experience the show by walking and standing with the actors throughout the stage space. There will be places to perch during scenes, but not regular theatre seats. With promenade staging you are encouraged to move about the stage however you like, which gives you some exciting choice in exactly how you experience this show.
For this show there's also a large bar on stage, which means during intermissions you won't have to go far for a drink! If you know you won't be able to stand for a duration, just let the theatre know and they'll arrange seating for you. Other limited seating is available... first come first served.
Current run time for DORIAN is 2 hours including one intermission.
Doors open 30 minutes before showtime, and The House Theatre encourages you to come early and enjoy the on-stage cash bar, and mingle with the performers. (Do note, unfortunately only 2 specialty show drinks are available at the on stage bar. For good Polish beer & other options, purchase in the lobby and bring it in with you!)
It's become all the rage and sometimes rightfully so. Promenade staging (or shows where the audience stands and mingles in the performance space and follows the action, moving as needed) was used to great effect for The Hypocrites runaway hit, The Mikado (coming back again this winter--yay). We've honestly never seen the 3rd wall so effectively broken down. The Mikado was playful, fun, interactive and highly effective as a promenade style piece. There's currently a promenade style Midsummer Night's Dream at Strange Loop Theatre and Red Moon Theatre's latest, Bellboys, Bears and Baggage, is billed as a promenade style spectacle, too.
Now for Dorian... We have mixed feelings about the success of this style here. On the up side, most of the action is in the New York art party scene so it makes sense to have the audience included as party goers & every night the audience is different & can truly alter the show.
Yet, promenade style can be intimidating for those more reticent audience members, and a cast of art snobs is not the most welcoming by nature. The cast in character was rude and snobbish, pushing through the audience to get to their hot, new favorite, leaving the party guests/audience members feeling brushed off at best and excluded and in the way, at worst. The sight lines were also bad for shorter people in much of the space.
Maybe they've tweaked it since the opening and this isn't such an issue, but a big percentage of the audience literally fled for the minimal seating after the first couple scenes. The sight lines looked better there (although I can't be sure as we stuck it out on the floor), but the behind the bar seating seemed problematic and a bit blocked off and detached from the action as well.
An even bigger obstacle to the Dorian promenade success is the big obstacles... ie: large set pieces. There are huge chunks of stage being shifted in and out of the space routinely, so that we were completely distracted from the dialogue and action on stage. It felt like we were constantly in the way and every few minutes someone was saying excuse me and barreling down on us with a big, rolling hunk of set.
Plot & Characters
Dorian starts slow and for all the sordid plot points, it is a stylized piece without a lot of action. We dug the giant, evolving portrait and thought that was highly effective. Otherwise the set and costumes were fairly unremarkable.
There seemed to be a lot of extraneous rushing about from the art snobs, that didn't appear organic or seem to have much point. Last December we saw We Three Lizas by About Face Theatre at Stage 773. It's been over 4 months and I'm STILL laughing about Andy Warhol's entourage club scene, and replaying it in my head. It was incredibly spot on hilarious! Dorian left me wishing for this level of pretentiousness and parody. That said, it's an interesting enough piece. Though not one of our favorites from The House, Dorian is macabre, dark, refreshingly new, and worth a look.
A DANCE-FUELED THRILLER OF VICE AND VIRTUE
By Ben Lobpries and Tommy Rapley
Directed and Choreographed by Tommy Rapley
Adapted from the novel The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
PRICE: $20-$39 for Regular Run.
TIMES: Thursdays, Fridays, & Saturdays at 8:00pm, Sundays at 7:00pm
RUN TIME: 2 hours, including one intermission
New to the big city, a young, beautiful, and fragile Dorian Gray is greedily embraced by a group of artists and art critics. Frustrated and sensitive painter Basil Howard creates a stunning portrait of the young Dorian. But wild gallery parties, heart-broken lovers, and desperate violence wreak havoc on the portrait, reflecting the scars on Dorian’s soul. Yet the man himself remains flawless for decades. What crime can ultimately break the spell?
This boldly modern adaptation reveals depth, pain, and longing beneath the surface of Wilde’s morality tale. Just like Dorian’s picture, this classic story about the creation of a masterpiece is transformed into a lush, dance-fueled stage production.
DORIAN is staged in promenade, with actors and audience sharing the stage space. If you want to join us, but won't be able to stand and move easliy, just let us know and we'll work it out.
DORIAN contains brief nudity, adult topics, and a bar on stage. Leave the kids at home on this one! Thinking about bringing your teen? Check out our Parent's Guide for more content info.
“A stunning achievement” -Windy City Times
“No question, Rapley’s appropriately stylized revision is THRILLING stuff, aesthetically consistent with Wilde… while PERFECTLY TUNED into the overkill of American affluence.” -Chicago Free Press
Show Dates: Apr 4 2014 to May 18 2014
Location: The Chopin Theatre
1543 W. Division St., Chicago, IL
Click or call 773-769-3832, use Industry code IMAKEART
Can't make it this Saturday?
Advance Industry tickets for ANY performance are HALF-PRICE! Use code IMAKEART.
Performed in promenade, driven by dance, and with a bar right on stage.
DORIAN performs Thursdays - Saturdays at 8pm and Sundays at 7pm at The House Theatre's home, The Chopin Theatre, 1543 W. Division St. in Chicago.