Showing posts with label Adult Theatre. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Adult Theatre. Show all posts

Wednesday, May 16, 2012


Blast from the past:   
I just got an e-mail update from Andy Eninger,  a friend I've known for over 20 years and used to do improv with, waaay back in the day at Miami University.   I have fond memories of letters he sent from his grad work in Budapest, Hungary.   They were these crazy-creative stream of consciousness missives with negatives from the cutting room floor taped on and sent half way around the world (I think they're still in my basement!).   He did a riff once on my addy labels that had L as my middle initial, and he filled an envelope musing on "What does the L stand for...."

He's now a fabulous fixture at Second City, Annoyance and all over the Chicago scene.   He is currently the head of the Second City Training Center's Writing Program where he gets to warp the minds of young actors.  His rampant creativity has escalated from the back of envelopes to the classroom, and to the main stage, for all to enjoy!   These are his current and upcoming shows.   Check 'em out.

Andy says:
I have a show running now, and two coming up that I'm very proud of.  One is all girls; one is all boys; one is a mix.

A parody of Women's Retreats featuring the funniest women in Chicago.
Thursdays 8pm through May 31st
Annoyance Theatre, 4830 N. Broadway

Starring the very talented John Loos, Robyn Scott, Becca Levine, Katy Colloton, Lisa Linke, and Brooke Breit
Directed by Andy Eninger
Assistant directed by Aimee Davis 
Check out their main site here for all the info


Fall into the rabbit hole and go inside Chicago's infamous gay bathhouse "Steamworks" as only the Annoyance can imagine it: As a discosexual Alice in Wonderland.  (I play the Cheshire cat/older gay dude - a part I will have to do a lot of research for, since I'm only 29.)--Yeah, me too! :)

Previews Fridays in June at 10pm, Opens June 23rd
Annoyance Theatre, 4830 N. Broadway

Click here for all the steamy details

Process (Title TBD)
A comedy revue created through the Second City process (improvisation into written scenes and songs). A featured part of the Second City Directors Program.

Saturdays 9pm DeMaat Theater @ Second City (3rd Floor)
Tickets available at the door or at after June 10.

Read the blog about the show process -
Directed by Angie McMahon

Saturday, April 7, 2012




Goodman Theatre and Teatro Vista team up for their second world-premiere production with Fish Men, Puerto Rican playwright Cándido Tirado’s new comedic drama about a group of urban chess hustlers drawn together by a shared need to overcome their individual demons. Edward Torres, Artistic Director of Teatro Vista, makes his Goodman directorial debut with this second play of a three-year producing partnership between the Goodman and Teatro Vista, Chicago’s first and largest not-for-profit professional Latino theater company. 

Fish Men runs April 7 – May 6, 2012 (Previews start today.  Opening Night is April 16.) in the Goodman’s Owen Theatre. Tickets ($12-$42; prices subject to change) can be purchased at by phone at 312.443.3800 or at the box office (170 N. Dearborn). Sara Lee Foundation is the Owen Season Sponsor. Baxter and Blue Cross Blue Shield are Contributing Sponsors and Hoy is the Spanish Print Media Sponsor.

Cándido Tirado, Teatro Vista’s newest resident playwright and a highly-rated chess master by the United States Chess Federation, explains, “When I graduated from college, I decided I wanted to combine two great loves of my life: writing plays and playing chess. But it wasn’t until 2000, as I was walking by the chess tables in New York’s Washington Square Park, that the play suddenly revealed itself to me. Outwardly, Fish Men deals with the cruel art of the ‘chess hustle’—but underneath it is an exploration of man’s inhumanity towards his fellow man. I am thrilled to premiere this play in Chicago, with Teatro Vista and Goodman Theatre.”

Fish Men plays out in real time on a hot summer day in New York City’s Washington Square Park, where Rey Reyes (Raul Castillo), a survivor of the Guatemalan genocide who is going through his own personal hell, gets snared by a group of chess hustlers. Ninety Two (Howard Witt), a Holocaust survivor, tries to intervene, exposing Rey’s need for vengeance. As the game progresses, the circumstances that stoke the fire of each player’s obsession with the game and their inner demons are revealed. Fish Men features a multi-ethnic, multi-generational ensemble cast including Raul Castillo as Rey Reyes, Dan Cantor as Stuart, Howard Witt as Ninety Two, Cedric Mays as Cash, Ricardo Gutierrez as Jerome, Kenn E. Head as Pee Wee, Ben Chang as Dr. Lee and Mike Cherry as John. The creative team is set designer Collette Pollard, costume designer Christine Pascual, lighting designer Jesse Klug and sound designer Mikhail Fiksel.

“Fish Men is an ideal project for Teatro Vista and the Goodman,” says Edward Torres, artistic director of Teatro Vista. “Together, we are exploring the cultural intersections of our communities through ourcollaborative development of new plays by Latino writers. While Cándido’s work comes from the Latino perspective, with the multi-cultural, multi-generational cast of Fish Men, we have the opportunity to share with a large and appreciative audience what we have in common as people. This play is special and Chicago audiences are in for a real treat.”

Cándido Tirado (Playwright) is a New York-based playwright. His play Momma’s Boyz, produced by Teatro Vista earlier this season, was chosen a “Chicago Top Ten in 2011” by the Huffington Post. His off-Broadway productions include Celia: The Life and Music of Celia Cruz (co-written with Carmen Rivera) which premiered at New World Stages and was also performed in Chicago’s Athenaeum Theater, Las Bellas Artes in Santurce, Puerto Rico, Tenerife and Miami; King Without a Castle; Checking Out; First Class (Puerto Rican Traveling Theater); The Barber Shop and Momma’s Boyz (Repertorio Español). Other productions include The Missteps of a Salsa Dancer, From Dating to Death in Five Easy Steps, Ilka: The Dream, Hands of Stone, King Without a Castle (also workshopped at Sundance Theater Lab); Some People Have All The Luck, produced at the National Theater of the Dominican Republic and New York; Heart Stopping Sex, produced by Soho Rep, and The Kid Next Door, Hey There Black Cat, Abuelo, The Missing Colors of the Rainbow and Palladium. He co- wrote with Alfredo Bejar the award winning short film Getting to Heaven and was a staff writer for the TV show Ghostwriter where his episode was nominated for a Humanitas Award. His screenplays include Da Bronx, El Casique del Poker and The Milagro Boyz. He’s a four-time winner of the New York Foundation of the Arts Playwriting Fellowship. Publications include First Class, Recent Puerto Rican Theater: Five Plays from New York (Arte Publico); Some People Have All the Luck, Nuestro New York: An Anthology of Puerto Rican Playwrights (Penguin, Mentor Books); Ilka the Dream: Positive/Negative: Women of Color Living with H.I.V. (Aunt Lute Books). Mr. Tirado is a co-founder of Educational Plays Production with his wife Carmen Rivera, which tours public schools presenting plays with social issues concerning youth.

Edward Torres (Director, Teatro Vista Artistic Director) directed the world premiere of Kristoffer Diaz’s The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity at Victory Gardens Theater (produced in association with Teatro Vista) which was named Best Play of 2009 by the Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times and Time Out Chicago, was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize, and earned Jeff awards for Best Production and Best Director. He also directed subsequent productions off Broadway at New York’s Second Stage Theatre (2010 Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Play and Obie Award for Best Play), and at the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles to critical acclaim. Mr. Torres has produced more than 25 plays as the artistic director of Teatro Vista over the last 12 years. His Teatro Vista directing credits include The Show Host, Jamie Pachino’s Aurora’s Motive, Romulus Linney’s Ambrosio, Edwin Sánchez’s Icarus, Reuben Gonzalez’s The Boiler Room and Karen Zacarías’ The Sins of Sor Juana. Other Chicago directing credits include Amparo Garcia- Crow’s Cocks Have Claws and Wings to Fly and Migdalia Cruz’s Lolita de Lares. As an actor he will be seen in Victory Gardens Theater’s upcoming production of Oedipus El Rey. Most recently he was seen in El Grito del Bronx, a co-production with Collaboraction in association with Goodman Theatre; the Goodman’s production of The Cook; and Teatro Vista’s productions of Massacre (Sing to Your Children) at the Goodman and Elliot, A Soldier’s Fugue with Rivendell Theatre Ensemble as part of the Visiting Company Initiative at Steppenwolf Theatre Company. Other Chicago acting credits include roles at the Goodman, Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Victory Garden Theater, Latino Chicago Theater Company, Court Theatre, Apple Tree Theatre, Chicago Shakespeare Theater and Teatro Vista. He was the recipient of a 2010 3Arts Artist Award, and was featured as guest director at the 2011 Eugene O’Neill National Playwrights Conference. Mr. Torres has a BA in theater from Roosevelt University in Chicago and an MFA in film from Columbia College Chicago. He serves on the Illinois Arts Council, and has served on the National Endowment for the Arts Theater Panel (2005 – 2007) and on the MAP Fund Theatre Panel (2008).

Insider Access is a series of public programs that provides insight into the Goodman’s artistic process. With Artist Encounters, audiences meet the names and faces behind the work on stage, including playwrights and directors.

Artist Encounter: Fish Men Featuring Playwright Cándido Tirado and Director Edward Torres Wednesday, April 11; 6 – 7pm | Chicago Cultural Center 78 East Washington Street | Chicago, IL Free; for tickets please call 312.443.3800

Tickets to Fish Men ($12-$42) are currently on sale at Tickets and 2012/2013 subscriptions can also be purchased at the box office (170 North Dearborn), by phone at 312.443.3800 or at

Mezztix are half-price mezzanine tickets available at 12 noon at the box office and at 10am online (promo code MEZZTIX) day of performance; Mezztix are not available by telephone. 10Tix are $10 rear mezzanine tickets for students available at 12 noon at the box office and at 10am online on the day of performance; 10Tix are not available by telephone; a valid student I.D. must be presented when picking up the tickets; limit four per student with I.D. All tickets are subject to availability and handling fees apply. Discounted Group Tickets for 10 persons or more are available at 312.443.3820. Purchase Goodman Gift Certificates in any amount at The flexibility of Goodman Gift Certificates allows recipients to choose the production, date and time of their performance. Artists, dates and ticket prices are subject to change.

The Artist Encounter series brings together audiences and the artists who create the work on our stages, in an intimate environment, for a behind-the-scenes look at the plays and the playmaking process. Join us for an intimate conversation with Fish Men playwright Cándido Tirado and director Edward Torres before a 7:30pm performance.

About Teatro Vista
Teatro Vista, Theatre with a View, was founded in 1989. Today, Teatro Vista is celebrating its 22nd season, having grown to be Chicago’s largest non-profit Equity Latino theater company producing full scale, Latino oriented, theatrical productions in English. Just within the last year, Teatro Vista was celebrated as one of 25 of “Chicago’s cultural leaders” by the Arts & Business Council of Chicago, and received the League of Chicago Theatres’ 2011 Artistic Leadership Award.

Teatro Vista is firmly committed to sharing and celebrating the riches of Latino culture with all Chicago theater audiences. This commitment stems from the belief that there are as many similarities between us as there are differences, and that the answer to breaking down the walls of prejudice and stereotypes lies in understanding these differences. Ultimately, it is through this “view” that Teatro Vista bridges the gap between Latino and non-Latino cultures in Chicago.
Teatro Vista is supported in part by Alphawood Foundation, Chicago Community Trust, a CityArts Program grant from the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs, Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelly Foundation, The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, Hispanics In Philanthropy, Illinois Arts Council, Joyce Foundation, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, National Association of Latino Arts and Culture, and The Shubert Foundation. For more information, visit

Fish Men Rehearsal Photos
Playwright Cándido Tirado plays a game of chess with cast member Raúl Castillo (Rey Reyes) during a rehearsal of Teatro Vista and Goodman Theatre's Fish Men.

About Goodman Theatre
Currently on stage in the Albert Theatre (ENDING THIS WEEKEND) is Camino Real by Tennessee Williams, directed by Calixto Bieito running through April 8, 2012.

The 2011/2012 Season includes: The Iceman Cometh by Eugene O’Neill, directed by Robert Falls (April 21 – June 10, 2012); and Crowns, written and directed by Regina Taylor (June 30 – August 5, 2012).

Goodman Theatre, “the leading regional theater in the nation’s most important theater city” (Time), is a major cultural, educational and economic pillar in Chicago, generating nearly $300 million in economic impact over the past decade in its state-of-the-art two-theater complex on North Dearborn Street. Founded in 1925 and currently under the leadership of Artistic Director Robert Falls, “Chicago’s most essential director” (Chicago Tribune), and Executive Director Roche Schulfer, Chicago’s oldest and largest not-for- profit resident theater has welcomed nearly two million patrons to productions and events—including 10 festivals celebrating playwrights such as David Mamet, August Wilson and Horton Foote, as well as the biennial Latino Theatre Festival—and served legions of students through its Education and Community Engagement programs (including the FREE Student Subscription Series and other interactive programs). 

The Goodman has earned more than 90 awards for hundreds of productions, including the Pulitzer Prize for Ruined by Lynn Nottage—one of 25 new work Goodman commissions in the last decade. Ruth Ann M. Gillis is the Chairman of Goodman Theatre’s Board of Trustees and Joan Clifford is President of the Women’s Board. American Airlines is the Exclusive Airline of Goodman Theatre. BMO Harris Bank is the Major Production Sponsor of A Christmas Carol, and Aon Corporation is the Corporate Sponsor Partner. 

Visit the Goodman virtually: watch artist interviews, view production photos, catch the latest news and more at Like us on; follow us at; and peek behind the scenes at

Monday, March 19, 2012

ACT OUT: The Laramie Project: Ten Years Later at Redtwist Theatre (Review)

Where else can you currently see 8 actors take on upwards of 50 characters in two interrelated shows?!

Redtwist Theatre is one of our local favorites, with a long string of Jeff recommended productions, and an intimate performance space.   They've got a new entry way into their black box space, off the front lobby now, and a thought provoking show that provides a new entry way into the hot button issue of how hate impacts society.  We've been promoting The Laramie Project:  Ten Years Later since February, on our Facebook and Twitter streams, but if you still haven't seen it yet, you just have until April 7th to check it out.   

We were blown away by Red Twist's current and incredibly timely offering, The Laramie Project:  Ten Years Later.   The choice of simple costume pieces ...glasses here, a tie there, and the presentation of the show on a bare bones set, only serve to accentuate the immensity of the content.   Thirteen years after the horrific beating death of Matthew Shepard, hate crime protection has finally been enacted on the federal level by President Obama, after his two predecessors failed, yet hate crimes, harassment and bullying are still increasing.  As Matthew's mother so eloquently states, "These plays are not about being gay.  They are about being hurt for being different, or perceived to be different, whatever that difference may be."    As the right wing amps up the hate rhetoric to the point where gay teen suicides are in the news frequently and bullies feel sanctified in their violence against others, this production's message is as urgent as ever.

I was saddened though not surprised by the townspeople's collective amnesia, and eagerness to spin history to support a more palpable view of themselves.   A mere ten years later, people who once saw irrefutable court room proof of a heinous, lethal gay bashing, bandied about victim blaming falsehoods about a drug deal gone bad.   Who wants to openly identify with a homicidal homophobic town where peaceful college students are killed for pocket change and partner preferences?   It seems a robbery co-opted into a hate crime by liberals, to advance their politics, is an easier lie to believe.   

On a parallel note, my husband's presently on a TV shoot
with someone who was a student at Columbine during the shootings, and
she recently met with similar resistance and hostility when she wanted
to make a 10 year documentary.   Even as an insider, many of her
classmates refused to talk to her and were adamantly against the
project.   People wanted to forget and not dredge up the past, and gave her so much resistance that the project may not advance.

Still, for all the haters and amnesiacs, there is an encouragingly dogged group in Laramie and beyond, still making sure Matthew's death meant something, and will make a difference for future generations.  The scene of the gay marriage political debate and vote gave me hope, as well.   Even with our current two steps forward, one step back, politics in 2012, there are still leaders who will cross conservative and liberal lines and party views to vote with wisdom and compassion.   This courageous and vital set of shows spread the message to that many more people.   Suggested for adults audiences and mature teens.   Highly recommended.

L-R: Jan Ellen Graves, Gene Cordon, Eleanor Katz, Matt Babbs, Matthew Klingler,Lisa Herceg, Kurt Brocker, Devon Candura,  Photo: Kimberly Loughlin

The Laramie
Project: Ten Years Later

Moisés Kaufman, Leigh Fondakowski, Greg
Pierotti, Andy Paris, and Stephen

Directed by three-time Jeff Award-winner, Greg

The ten-year epilogue is a companion piece to
the iconic, The
Laramie Project

one of the most-produced plays in the U.S. and
around the world.


On October 6, 1998, a gay University of Wyoming
student, Matthew Shepard, left the Fireside Bar in
Laramie, Wyoming, with Aaron McKinney and Russell
Henderson. The following day he was discovered at
the edge of town. He was tied to a fence, brutally
beaten, and close to death.

By the following day, Matthew's attack and the town
of Laramie had become the focus of an international
news story. On October 12, 1998, Matthew Shepard
died at Poudre Valley Hospital in Ft. Collins,

On November 14, 1998, the members of Tectonic
Theater Project traveled to Laramie, Wyoming, and
conducted interviews with the people of the town.
During the next year, Tectonic would return to
Laramie several times and conduct over two hundred
interviews. The play that resulted is edited from
those interviews, as well as from journal entries by
members of the company and other found texts.


The Laramie Project premiered at The Ricketson
Theatre, performed by the Denver Center Theatre
Company in February, 2000. It was then performed at
the Union Square Theater in New York City, before a
November, 2002, performance in Laramie, Wyoming. The
play has also been performed by high schools,
colleges, and community theaters across the country,
as well as professional playhouses around the world.
In addition, the HBO film directed by Moisés
Kaufman, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in
March, 2002.

The Laramie Project: Ten Years Later is the
epilogue to the original. Ten years after Shepard's
murder, members of the Tectonic Theater Project
returned to Laramie to conduct follow-up interviews
with residents featured in the original play. Those
interviews were turned into this companion piece.

The play debuted as a simultaneous reading at nearly
150 theatres across the US and internationally on
October 12, 2009 - the 11th anniversary of Matthew
Shepard’s death. Most of the theaters were linked by
webcam to New York City where Judy Shepard and the
play's producers and writers gave an opening speech
to begin this unique memorial and evening of

Greg Kolack, former Artistic Director of Circle
Theatre, has won three Jeff Awards as Best Director,
most recently for columbinus,
at Raven Theatre.
Greg has been interested in
directing these two projects together since the
nationwide reading in 2009. Several years ago, he
visited Laramie to gather research for the project.
On January 6, 2012, Greg made his second trip to
Laramie on the cusp of the rehearsal period, to meet
with various real-life characters depicted in
The Laramie Project.
His travelogue, reported via email to the cast each
evening was filled with first-person reports shared
by the locals who lived through the experience, and
who shared with Greg their unique insights and
poignant reflections on the events over thirteen
years ago that catalyzed tectonic change in our
society. Greg’s diligent research and his eye for
detail as an award-winning director, will surely
inform and enliven this production with a unique
theatrical style.

Both shows will be performed by only eight actors,
who portray dozens of roles in our signature,
intimate space. The actors and director have
personally talked with the real characters in the
play, and also with members of the Tectonic Theater
Project. A number of post-show discussions are
scheduled for groups and upon special request.

Matt Babbs, Kurt Brocker, Devon Candura, Gene
Cordon, Lisa Herceg, Jan Ellen Graves, Eleanor Katz,
Matthew Klingler

Greg Kolack (Director), Allison Queen (Stage
Manager), Amanda Lautermilch (Assistant Stage
Manager), Justin Castellano (Tech Director), Andrei
Onegin (Set Designer), Rachel Spear (Sound
Designer), Christopher Burpee (Lighting Designer), kClare Kemock (Costume Designer), Mary Reynard
Liss (Vocal Coach) Jan Ellen Graves (Graphic
Designer), Charles Bonilla (Box Office Manager),
Johnny Garcia (Associate Producer), Michael Colucci
& Jan Ellen Graves (Producers)


The Laramie Project (the

Saturdays Mar 17, 24, 31, Apr 7, at 3pm

Running time: approx.
2:30 incl. 2 intermissions


The Laramie
Project: Ten Years Later

Performs:  Thu, Fri, Sat at 7:30pm
& Sun at 3pm, Also April 1 at 7:30pm

Sat, Apr 7, 7:30pm

Running Time:
approx. 1:45 incl. 1

Thursdays, $25; Fridays &
Sundays, $27; Saturdays, $30 (seniors & students
$5 off)

Group Rates:
Special discounts for groups
of 10 or more, and groups of 25 or more





Redtwist is located at 1044 W Bryn Mawr, 2 blks W of
LSD, 2 blks E of the Red Line El station. Street
parking (paybox/meters until 9pm) is available on
Bryn Mawr, side streets, and Broadway. Please
reserve 48 hours in advance. Credit cards accepted
by phone and via Paypal to guarantee seating.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Winners Announced for Sold Out Lost & Found and The North Plan

Congrats to this week's theatre ticket winners.    Lost & Found at The Actor's Gym is now completely sold out through the end of their run....but we still have 4 tickets today for one of our lucky readers!

Meg M.--4 tickets to (sold out) Lost & Found at Actor's Gym at 7:30pm THIS Friday night.   Click here for full show details and links to ChiIL Live Shows' review.

Aviv H.--2 tickets to teen night at The North Plan at Theater Wit THIS Saturday night.   Pre-party 7pm.   Show at 8pm.   Pizza and talk back with the actors after the show.    Click here for ChiIL Live Shows' review and show details.    

The North Plan is Jeff recommended, which complete a trifecta of
Jeff-y goodness, with all three shows currently at Theater Wit considered excellent by the hard-attending members of the committee!! Big congrats from ChiIL Live Shows. We saw The North Plan and Punk Rock and highly recommend both. Great stuff happening over at Theater Wit these days.

As always, check back with ChiIL Live Shows and ChiIL Mama like we vote in Chi, IL...early and often.   We have loads of great nationwide give aways and free Chicago concert and theatre tickets.

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