Monday, April 4, 2016
REVIEW: Christina, The Girl King
Chi, IL LIVE Shows On Our Radar
Last Call: Christina, The Girl King
Must Close April 9th
**Note: Christina, The Girl King is for adult audiences only. Contains sex, full nudity (both female and male), violence and blood.**
Move over Game of Thrones! Cor Theatre's Christina, The Girl King has it all... smart, powerful women, plotting men, a lesbian love affair, torture, abdication, and more, live on stage, in an intimate little venue! They even have some sweet, local microbrews from Temperance Beer Company in Evanston you can take to your seat and enjoy during the show. Each purchase directly benefits the theatre!
From the moment we entered Jackalope Theatre's territory, The Frontier Theater, to see the actors stretching and doing vocal warm ups right on stage, as the audience filtered in, we were hooked! Cor Theatre's production choice meshed so well with this quirky space and is a boon for both companies. Cor Theatre was chosen for a residence as part of Jackalope Theatre's Pioneer Series. These up and comers did their hosts proud with a daring, edgy piece of historical theatre, based on the true life of Queen Christina of Sweden, professionally and passionately enacted by Toya Turner. The entire ensemble was excellent at bringing this timely tale back to life.
Even the title "The Girl KING" speaks volumes of a gender bending, norm shattering woman, ahead of her time. This production touched on the terrible price she had to pay to be true to herself, from the bawdy barroom songs and taunts of her subjects to the torture of those she loved most.
The writing is also superb, with plenty of thought provoking turns of phrase and situations that are still all too familiar in our current political and social climate. Christina, The Girl King is highly recommended. Don't miss this!
Chicago's Cor Theatre is the first U.S. theater to present Linda Gaboriau's new translation of French playwright Michel Marc Bouchard's 2012 play Christine, la reine-garcon, which premiered in an applauded, extended run at the 2014 Stratford Festival.
Cor Theatre, in residence with Jackalope Theatre's Pioneer Series at The Frontier, 1106 W. Thorndale in Edgewater, presents Christina, The Girl King through April 9, 2016.
Remaining show times through April 9 are Wednesday through Friday at 7:30 p.m., Saturday at 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 3 p.m.
Tickets are $25; $10 students and industry. For tickets and information, visit CorTheatre.com or call (866) 811-4111.
After 30 years of war, Christina, the Girl King of Sweden, armed by the power of her crown and whip-smart intellect, is pushing her people to become a forward thinking nation. But when an unspeakable passion begins to burn underneath her androgynous visage, the Girl King's power is put to the test. Should she meet the demands of her country and birth its next heir? Should she fight the established patriarchy to rule as her own woman? Will she change? Or will she change the world around her? One thing is certain: the choice she makes will change her identity forever, and could mean certain death for the woman that she loves.
Cor Theatre, hailed for "Most Promising Debut" last season by Time Out Chicago, plans to surprise and amaze Chicago theater fans with its U.S. debut of Christina, The Girl King next month.
Christina, The Girl King is a daring, sensitive reintroduction to the enigmatic 17th century European monarch, flamboyant intellectual and feminist before her time.
Cor Theatre Artistic Director Tosha Fowler directs the play's U.S. debut. The cast features Toya Turner as Christina, with Laura Resinger as Ebba, Adam Gutkin as Karl Gustav, Will Von Vogt as Johan, Tony Bozzuto as Axel, Meg Elliott as Maria Elenora, Danny Taylor as Descartes, Bridget Schreiber as Erika and Scott Shimizu as Chanut.
Designers are Elyse Balogh (set and props), Alarie Hammock (costumes), Eric Vigo (lights), Jeffrey Levine (sound), Adam Gutkin (technical director), Elyse Cowles (dramaturg), Janelle Bourdreau (stage manager) and Stefin Seberl (production stage manager).
Tosha Fowler (director) is co-founder and artistic director of Cor Theatre, where she directed last season's A Map of Virtue and acted in Love and Human Remains. As a result, Fowler debuted on New City's "Player's 2016 The Fifty People who really perform for Chicago" list as "the fearless leader of Chicago's most dangerously sexy new company." Fowler also produced and starred in Cor's acclaimed Skin Tight in 2012, under the direction of Victoria Delorio, and co-produced, wrote and performed in her original solo show, Mami, Where'd my O go? She has produced theatre for almost ten years for companies including Mary-Arrchie Theatre, The Chicago Fringe Festival, Academy Theatre in Atlanta, and her founding company, Fowl Brick in Savannah, Georgia. Other directing credits include A Doctor's Stories, Poof! and Bash and Bully Breakdown in HD. As an actress, Fowler has performed in Chicago with Lifeline Theatre, Emerald City, MPAACT, Cock & Bull and Circle Theatre. She has worked as a playwright with American Theatre Company's "Chicago Chronicle Project," the DePaul University Diversity Initiative and the Academy Theater. She is an adjunct professor in Theatre at DePaul University, and holds an MFA in Acting from The Theatre School at DePaul.
Sweden's Queen Christina has already been the subject of theatrical and cinematic speculation. Greta Garbo portrayed her in the 1933 film Queen Christina. So did Liv Ullman in 1974 in The Abdication. History remembers her best for helping end the 30 Years War and for making Stockholm a major European capital.
Toward the end of her reign, Queen Christina summoned René Descartes to share his new ideas about science and philosophy at the time. His radical ideas about free will and reason appealed to Christina, who was struggling to reconcile tensions between her rational self and emotions she dared not name.
Rather than conform, the 26-year-old queen chose to abdicate her throne and convert to Catholicism, rendering her ineligible to rule. Was it an act of madness? Or a bold gesture of autonomy by a modern woman born ahead of her time?
Christina, The Girl King underscores Cor Theatre's mission to explore the inner truth of the human experience through storytelling that defies convention, and to engage audiences by telling stories that take courage to tell.
Cor is also proud to have been selected by Jackalope Theatre Company to receive a prime time, four-week, rent-free run of Christina, The Girl King in The Frontier through The Pioneer Series, Jackalope's continuous initiative to cultivate bold new theatre in Chicago.
SAVE THE DATES:
Up Next: The Good Person of Szechwan, August 11-September 11 at
A Red Orchid Theatre
Cor's second production in 2016 will be The Good Person of Szechwan by Bertolt Brecht, translated by Tony Kushner. Ernie Nolan will direct, and ensemble member Will Von Vogt will defy traditional casting in the title role of Brecht's parable of good and evil. Performances are August 11 through September 11 at A Red Orchid Theatre, 1531 N. Wells Street in Chicago's Old Town neighborhood.
About Cor Theatre
Cor Theatre (cortheatre.org) debuted in September 2012 with a vision to create theatrical experiences that are rarely presented in Chicago by artists who seek to defy expectation.
The company's first production, Skin Tight by Gary Henderson, produced by Tosha Fowler and Victoria Delorio, was rewarded with enthusiastic audiences, critical acclaim and made just enough money to establish a not-for-profit corporation. The company named itself Cor Theatre, deriving its name from the Latin root of courage - meaning heart.
In 2015, Cor expanded to a two-show season launched by an acclaimed production of Erin Courtney's A Map of Virtue, named Most Promising Debut by Time Out Chicago, and nominated for several Time Out Chicago Theatre Awards including Best Supporting Actress (Scottie Caldwell) and Best Design (Tierra G. Novy, set; Stefin Steberl, costumes and props; Eric Vigo, lights; and Jeffrey Levin, sound.)
Cor's second 2015 production, Love and Human Remains, the first professional staging of Brad Frasier's controversial play in Chicago in 20 years, played to numerous sold-out houses and was listed as one of the top plays to see by Windy City Times and New City.
Today, Cor is one of Chicago's newest and most ambitious Chicago professional theatre companies with a growing board and strong experience behind it. Cor Theatre company members are Chris Brickhouse, Elyse Cowles, Tosha Fowler, Adam Gutkin, Claire Meyers, Ernie Nolan, Stefin Steberl and Will Von Vogt.