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Showing posts with label Mayslake Peabody Estate. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Mayslake Peabody Estate. Show all posts

Saturday, February 8, 2020

REVIEW: Jeeves Saves the Day at First Folio Theatre at the Mayslake Peabody Estate in Oakbrook Through March 1, 2020

ChiIL Live Shows on our radar
FIRST FOLIO THEATRE PRESENTS 
JEEVES SAVES THE DAY 
FEBRUARY 1 – MARCH 1

All photos by Tom McGrath

Guest Review 
By Catherine Hellmann


(Setting: A walk in Rogers Park on a chilly, slushy day.)


Me: Want to see a play with me next weekend?
Emily, my oldest, who is often a theater skeptic: Hmmm...what is it? 
Me: It’s British humor. 
Emily: Okaaayy…
Me: It’s in the ‘burbs. Free parking! (Emily has transitioned to the suburbs and often praises the ample no-cost parking to me.) 
Emily: Hmmm…
Me: It’s in a mansion. 
Emily: All right. 


And so my daughter agreed to join me for Jeeves Saves the Day by First Folio Theatre at the Mayslake Peabody Estate in Oakbrook. It’s a delightful show with great characters, a beautiful set, and fun costumes. 

Dan Klarer (Egbert), Lucinda Johnston (Aunt Agatha)

There is a funny script by Margaret Raether based on the characters by P.G. Wodehouse. The play opens with Bertie in the dining room, his head down despondently on the table. He has managed to get engaged to a wealthy woman whom he doesn’t love, and now he worries how he will get himself out of this entanglement.  Christian Gray and Jim McCance have these roles down pat from having portrayed Bertie Wooster and Jeeves, respectively, in five productions now. When Bertie hears that his awful Aunt Agatha will be visiting, he wonders aloud why he dreads seeing her. “Experience,” Jeeves explains drily. 


Jim McCance (Jeeves), Sean Sinitski (Sir Roderick), Lucinda Johnston (Aunt Agatha),
Christian Gray (Bertie)

Lucinda Johnston as over-the-top annoying Aunt Agatha is perfectly irritating. She is thrilled about her nephew’s social-climbing engagement. He wants to weasel out of his situation. She tells Bertie that in order for his “spine to hurt, he must possess one.” In a word association game, Bertie refers to his aunt as “my nemesis.” (For “alcohol,”  he promptly answers, ”Always,”)

Jim McCance (Jeeves), Christian Gray (Bertie)

Dan Klarer deserves special recognition as hilarious Cousin Egbert who is on a drawn-out scavenger hunt, continually bringing home odd items. (The best one is a large birdcage with straps that he wears like a backpack.) His physicality and odd movements are very funny and really add to the character’s goofiness.    

The wordplay is clever, as when a character thinks they see “an apprehension” instead of an “apparition,” and someone else refers to the “banana peels of life.” The language is a treat, as is the entire play.


And you get to see a show in a mansion...with free parking! 


Cath Hellmann is an educator and theater junkie living in Chicago. 

Opening Night
From left to right: Natalie Rae, Sean Sinitski, Lydia Hiller, Dan Klarer, Jim McCance, Joe Foust, Almanya Narula, Christian Gray, Lucinda Johnston


To begin the new year with laughs a-plenty, First Folio Theatre (Mayslake Peabody Estate, 31st St & Rt. 83) presents the World Premiere production of JEEVES SAVES THE DAY, by Margaret Raether, to continue its 2019-2020 season. Based on stories by P.G. Wodehouse and directed by Artistic Associate Joe Foust, JEEVES SAVES THE DAY previews January 29-31, opens February 1, and runs through March 1, 2020.

Lucinda Johnston (Aunt Agatha), Jim McCance (Jeeves)

Jim McCance (Jeeves), Christian Gray (Bertie)

The indefatigable Jeeves and his balmy employer Bertie Wooster are back. Once again, Bertie finds himself suffering the slings and arrows of misfortune at the hands of his relatives, caught between the magisterial machinations of his fierce Aunt Agatha and the plaintive pleadings of his cousin Egbert. Throw in the imperious Sir Roderick Glossop and the sexy chanteuse Red Hot Maisie Dawson, and you’ve got another precarious predicament that cannot be overcome…unless one calls upon the redoubtable Jeeves to save the day.


Almanya Narula (Maisie), Jim McCance (Jeeves), Dan Klarer (Egbert), Christian Gray (Bertie)

“We are thrilled to present this humor-filled production of JEEVES SAVES THE DAY to First Folio Theatre audiences this winter,” said Director Joe Foust. “We’ve followed Jeeves and his many adventures since First Folio Theatre began telling the Jeeves tales in 2008, and this new tale is filled with more energy and comedy than ever! Our two leads are reprising their roles of Bertie and Jeeves for the fifth time and their characters will experience a predicament unlike any they have faced before. We know audiences will relish the hilarity, hoping that once again Jeeves can save the day.”

In their fifth foray into the roles of Bertie and Jeeves, JEEVES SAVES THE DAY stars Christian Gray as Bertie Wooster and Jim McCance as Jeeves. The production also features Lucinda Johnston (Aunt Agatha), Dan Klarer (Egbert Bakewell), Sean Sinitski (Sir Roderick Glossop) and Almanya Narula (Red Hot Maisie Dawson). 

Almanya Narula (Red Hot Maisie Dawson)

The production and design crew includes Lydia Hiller (Assistant Director), Angela Weber Miller (Scenic Design), Rachel Lambert (Costume Design), Richard Norwood (Lighting Design), Christopher Kriz (Original Music and Sound Design), Wendy Huber and Margaret Garofalo (Properties Design), Dean Gnadinger (Technical Director), Joe Foust (Movement Designer) and Sarah West (Stage Manager) with Wallace Craig (Production Valet).

Performances take place at the Mayslake Peabody Estate, located at 1717 31st St., off Rt. 83, in Oak Brook. First Folio is easy to get to via the East-West Tollway (I-88) or the Stevenson Expressway (I-55). Free parking is available on the grounds. Preview tickets are $25. Regular priced tickets are $34 Wednesdays and Thursdays (seniors and students are $29), and $44 on Fridays through Sundays (seniors and students are $39). Tickets are on sale now and may be purchased by calling the box office at 630.986.8067 or online at www.firstfolio.org.


Sean Sinitski (Sir Roderick), Jim McCance (Jeeves), Lucinda Johnston (Aunt Agatha),
Christian Gray (Bertie)

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

SHAKES UP YOUR SUMMER: FIRST FOLIO THEATRE'S HENRY V JULY 10 - AUGUST 18

ChiIL Live Shows on our radar:
Oak Brook Theater Celebrates 23 Years of Shakespeare-under-the-Stars

FIRST FOLIO THEATRE PRESENTS 
HENRY V
 JULY 10 - AUGUST 18


Ending its 23rd season outdoors, First Folio Theatre (Mayslake Peabody Estate, 31st St. & Rt. 83.) presents HENRY V for its classic Shakespeare-under-the-Stars series. Directed by Artistic Associate Hayley Rice, HENRY V focuses on one of England’s most beloved rulers as he fights to save England and prove himself the rightful heir to the French throne. Audiences will thrill to the battle scenes as they experience the play the way it was intended to be performed – outside.  Nothing beats being part of the action with the great Band of Brothers as Henry V leads them against an army ten times their own size at the Battle of Agincourt. One of Shakespeare’s most popular rousing adventures, HENRY V previews July 10 – 12, opens July 13 and will run through August 18, 2019.

“We are excited to be exploring new angles of Shakespeare’s Henry V for our 28th production on our outdoor stage,” said director Hayley Rice. “With non-traditional casting and an emphasis on the intersection of antiquity and modernity, we at First Folio Theatre are proud to be sharing this with our audiences. As this will be the final production performed on the original stage my parents built, there is an extra opportunity to play with the set and stage in a way that has never previously been possible. It is very bittersweet for all of us, but we invite audiences to leave their preconceived notions of Shakespeare and Henry V and see the story in a brand new way this summer.”

First Folio has announced that this will be the final production on its current outdoor stage, which has served First Folio since 1997. In order to properly address the needs of its aging stage structure, First Folio will be taking a hiatus from producing a summer show in 2020. After 23 seasons, the current structure is coming to the end of its usefulness and the theater needs to ensure that they have the time and funds to replace it properly. First Folio’s summer shows will return in 2021 with a new stage and they will continue on with the same quality Shakespeare-under-the-Stars, which launched First Folio back in 1997.

Starring in HENRY V are First Folio Artistic Associates Diana Coates as King Henry V and Lydia Berger Gray in the dual role of Chorus and Alice. The cast also features Robert McLean (Duke of Exeter and Mistress Quickly), Arielle Leverett (Mountjoy), Derek Jeck (Bardolph), Morgan Manasa (Fluellen), Mark Lancaster (Bishop of Canterbury and Gower) and Sean Sinitski (Pistol and the King of France). The ensemble includes Todd Douglas, Esther Fishbein, Madison Merkel, Shane Richlen, and Austyn Williamson. The production and design staff includes Angela Weber Miller (Scenic Design), Christopher Kriz (Original Music and Sound Design), Rachel Flesher (Stage Combat and Intimacy Design), Julie Ballard (Lighting Design), Stefanie Johnsen (Costume Design), Vivian Knouse (Properties Design) and Carrie Hardin (Vocal Design). The stage management team is led by Miranda Anderson (Stage Manager), with Sophie Goddard and Nikki Konomos as assistant stage managers.



Performances take place at the Mayslake Peabody Estate, located at 1717 31st St., off Rt. 83, in Oak Brook. First Folio is easy to get to via the East-West Tollway (I-88) or the Stevenson Expressway (I-55). Free parking is available on the grounds. Preview tickets are $25. Regular priced tickets are $34 Wednesdays and Thursdays (seniors and students are $29), and $44 on Fridays through Sundays (seniors and students are $39). Special $10 tickets are available for children 14 and under for all summer shows. Tickets are on sale now and may be purchased by calling the box office at 630.986.8067 or online at www.firstfolio.org.

Saturday, March 30, 2019

GIVEAWAY: WIN 4 Tickets ($176) for THE FIRESTORM Via First Folio Theatre through April 28, 2019

ChiIL Live Shows on our radar

FIRST FOLIO THEATRE PRESENTS 
THE FIRESTORM 
MARCH 27- APRIL 28



Enter Below for your Chance to 
WIN 4 Tickets ($176) 
for THE FIRESTORM Via First Folio Theatre through April 28, 2019 
(winner's choice of any performance Wednesday-Sunday). Enter through midnight 4/12.

Ready for a double date at a mansion, girls' night out, family fun with the teens...?! ChiIL Live Shows is partnering with First Folio on another fabulous ticket giveaway for our readers. Grab 3 friends and catch a great show on us! Enter early & often. We'll announce our winner Saturday, April 13th.



In its 23rd season, First Folio Theatre (Mayslake Peabody Estate, 31st St. & Rt. 83.) is exploring the consequences of today’s info-saturated environment with Meridith Friedman’s politically-charged production THE FIRESTORM. Directed by Artistic Associate Rachel Lambert, THE FIRESTORM highlights the repercussions “call-out culture” has on relationships, explores the challenges and triumphs of interracial relationships, and notes how couples can navigate the world together in a highly-politicized society. THE FIRESTORM runs through April 28, 2019.

THE FIRESTORM follows Gaby and Patrick, an interracial political power couple hot on the campaign trail. The couple is thrust into the center of a media frenzy when a racially charged incident from Patrick’s past surfaces. As the pressure intensifies, the political becomes explosively personal and the foundation of their seemingly picture-perfect marriage begins to fracture. The stunning production leaves audience members begging the question: when the past comes to haunt us, what do we do with the ghosts?

“We are excited to present The Firestorm to audiences at First Folio Theatre,” said Artistic Associate Rachel Lambert. “With focus on personal integrity, internal struggles with identity, and one’s moral compass, The Firestorm is an incredible, timely play. We are particularly thrilled to offer audiences an abstract experience that leans into the personal experiences of each of the characters in a rapidly moving and surprising way, while acknowledging the political climate of today’s society.”

Starring in THE FIRESTORM are Melanie Loren as Gaby and Steve O’Connell as Patrick, with Samuel Campbell III as Jamal, and Kayla Kennedy as Leslie. The production and design crew include Angela Weber Miller (Scenic and Lighting Design), Christopher Kriz (Original Music and Sound Design), Cassy Schillo (Properties Design) and Stephanie Nguyen (Costume Design) with Colleen Layton (Stage Manager) and Wallace Craig (Assistant Stage Manager).

Performances take place at the Mayslake Peabody Estate, located at 1717 31st St., off Rt. 83, in Oak Brook. First Folio is easy to get to from via the East-West Tollway (I-88) or the Stevenson Expressway (I-55). Free parking is available on the grounds. 

Preview tickets are $25. Regular priced tickets are $34 Wednesdays and Thursdays (seniors and students are $29), and $44 on Fridays through Sundays (seniors and students are $39). Tickets are on sale now and may be purchased by calling the box office at 630.986.8067 or online at www.firstfolio.org.





Enter Here for your Chance to 
WIN 4 Tickets ($176) 
for THE FIRESTORM Via First Folio Theatre through April 28, 2019 
(winner's choice of any performance Wednesday-Sunday). Enter through midnight 4/12.




Disclosure: It's our pleasure to partner up with First Folio Theatre once again, on a giveaway for our readers. They have given us complimentary tickets for our giveaway and for review purposes. As always, all opinions are my own.





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