Thursday, September 15, 2016

LAST CALL: Irrational Tales Ends 9/18

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REVIEW: Get Lit With Irrational Tales

Though simple in scale, this production makes a great date night for lit geeks. Denman has adapted heavy hitters like Nathanial Hawthorne, F. Scott Fitzgerald and Clark Ashton Smith, rounding out the show with an original piece, Reflections. We had the chance to catch opening night of Irrational Tales at The Broadway and it's refreshing to see some classic and original tales of terror that don't involve the disturbing real life tales that recently shuttered Profiles in this very space. We're happy to support the new ownership, Pride Arts Center, and look forward to seeing what they bring to the space. 

Sure, the show's campy and low budget, but that's part of it's charm. Although I do wish they'd gone with actual liquid, since they're drinking in just about every story, and the mime pouring and drinking was distracting. The story telling is fun, though, and with tickets going for just $15, you'll still have cash to grab drinks and dinner before or after the show.

This show is a bit of a homecoming for David Denman, the Artistic Director of Clock Theater, and author of the 4th piece in this production. He was a company member of the National Pastime Theater who had the space for years before Profiles. The past is prologue and Profiles is past. Now it's Clock Theater's time. Come on out and support the arts.

Irrational Tales
The Broadway

4139 N. Broadway
Chicago IL
Through September 18, 2016

Part of The Pride Arts Center 
Thursdays Fridays Saturdays 8 PM. Sundays 3 PM.

Tickets $15

"Too many fake British accents and huffy turnings on the heel mar David Denman and Clock Theater's macabre revue Irrational Tales. Denman barely revises three works of spooky American short fiction, rounded up to four with something of his own, "Reflections."
Most of the pieces could have used more actual adaptation, but there's one exception: "The Gorgon" by Clark Ashton Smith, which first appeared as a short story in the April 1932 edition of the pulp magazine Weird Tales. That it does beautifully as a one-act, clearly edging out midcareer works by Nathaniel Hawthorne and F. Scott Fitzgerald, is a testament to the unbalanced calculus of theatrical adaptation. The only genuine fear I felt throughout Tales came in "Gorgon" while watching Jennifer Cheung play a witch—her vituperative cackles are excellent. —Max Maller

Clock Theater Live

Clock Theater endeavors to combine compelling storytelling, with strong use of all the productions elements, to create a memoriable theatrical experience.

Clock Painting and Design

In his scenic designs, as well as his personal work, David Denman likes to avoid subjects that are over-approached, using color and contrast a strong sense of drawing and perspective.


A Chicago-based theater and film production company, established in 1999, David Denman's Clock Productions has produced The Visit(1998), Einstein's Dreams (2000), Savage Love (2001), The Big Funk (2001), Mommy Abdula's Miraculous Traveling Carnival of Wonders (2002), Ocean Sea (2003), The Pinter Plays (2003), The Three Sisters (2003), The Love of a Good Man (2004), Einstein's Dreams (2005), *The Firebugs and the Good Citizen (2006), *The Magician (2007), The Quiltmaker's Gift (2007), *Alice of the House of Carol (2009), The Tumultuous Tale of the Tragically Transparent Tunic (2010), Six Scary Tales (2010), *Street Scene (2010), Six More Scary Tales (2011) and Counterpoint (2012).

indicates co-production with The National Pastime Theater
Chicago venues include The National Pastime TheaterChopin TheaterAthenaeum Theater and City Lit; regional venues includeKalamazoo Civic CenterThunder Bay Theater, and the Whitehall Theater.
David Denman, founder of Clock Productions, is also a set designer and a painter. In 1994 he became a member of the National Pastime Theater Company in Chicago. In 1998, he formed Clock Productions, becoming its Artistic Director and co-producing with other companies, as well as mounting shows on his own.
David is the writer for the Scary Tales series, adapting old campfire tales, folk tales, and urban legends for the stage.


Clock Theater will be the first theater company to make use of The Broadway, (formerly Profiles Theatre) at 4139 N. Broadway, Chicago, part of the Pride Arts Center

Artistic Director of Clock Theater, David Denman, was a company member of the National Pastime Theater which resided in the space for many years prior to Profiles moving in. Says Denman, “ It is very ironic that as a former resident of the space with National Pastime, my theater is returning to the space once again.”

Clock’s production of “Irrational Tales” includes a number of vignettes based on stories of terror.  Included in the stories are “Dr. Heidegger’s Experiment” by Nathaniel Hawthorne, “The Gorgon” by Aston Clarke Smith,  “A Diamond as Big as the Ritz” based on a short story by F. Scott Fitzgerald and “Reflections.”

The production runs through September 18 with performances on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm and Sundays at 3pm. Tickets are $15.

Appearing in the production, which is produced and adapted by David Denman and directed by Lesley Fisher Chapman, are CJ Chapman, Jennifer Cheung, Amanda Forman, David Meldman, Sarah Mergener, Whitney Pipes and Mark West.   Stage Manager is Amber Mandley, Costume Design by Arin Mulvaney, Lighting  and Mask Design by Ben Dionysus, Sound Design by Sheri Tatar, Fight Choreography by Danielle Stahl and Scenic Design by David Denman. 

Tickets are available through Brown Paper Tickets at

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