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Showing posts with label Terry McCabe. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Terry McCabe. Show all posts

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

REVIEW: Voice of Good Hope at City Lit Now Playing Through February 23, 2020

ChiIL Live Shows on our radar
VOICE OF GOOD HOPE
by City Lit’s resident playwright Kristine Thatcher
Directed by Terry McCabe
January 10 – February 23, 2020



FINAL 2 WEEKS! Don't miss this Chicago Reader Recommended and 4-Star 
Sun-Times show!

"FOUR STARS...captures the sense and sensibility of a bonafide powerhouse."
-Chicago Sun-Times

"Recommended...Voice of Good Hope comes just in time"
-Chicago Reader


Andrea Conway-Diaz as Barbara Jordan
Photo credit for all, Steve Graue


Review:
by Bonnie Kenaz-Mara

As the senate impeachment hearings wrap up, caucus votes roll in, and the 2020 campaigns amp up, political plays are filling the stages of Chicago as well. I was finally able to catch City Lit's excellent production, Voice of Good Hope last night. It was great to learn so much about Barbara Jordan, the first African American congresswoman from the Deep South, that I was unaware of before. This production is a gem of wit and wisdom. Women like Barbara Jordan give me hope for our democracy and our country's future. If you're tired of the lies and lunacy that have infiltrated Washington DC, come spend a few hours at City Lit and recharge. Recommended. 

There are numerous strong shows on stage right now in Chicago, if you prefer your political figures to be articulate, intelligent and female. We recommend catching Voice of Good Hope at City Lit (Barbara Jordan), The Adult in the Room (Nancy Pelosi) at Victory Gardens, and A So-Called Qualified Woman (Sandra Day O’Connor), part of Valiant Theatre's New Works Festival. We also highly recommend Roe at The Goodman, for the back story on the Roe V. Wade ruling.


Voice of Good Hope
left to right: McKennzie Boyd, Jamie Black

The storyline of Voice of Good Hope is delightfully nonlinear and I enjoyed meeting her first as a politician, before delving into her childhood to meet the Texas child she was. Heart (Barbara as a child) was deftly played by McKennzie Boyd the day I caught the production, alternating with her sister, MiKayla. It was stellar storytelling to see the seeds of Barbara Jordan's determination, intelligence, perception and personality already in play as she interacts with her relative (Jamie Black) and discovers early lessons on racism, religion, and character. 

Her fierce determination, despite physical limitations is an inspiration. Although she ultimately died young, before age 60, of pneumonia and complications of leukemia and multiple sclerosis, her words and example live on. Now that we have another impeached president currently in the white house, Barbara's legendary history with Nixon's impeachment is all too timely. It was fascinating to me, how she protected her integrity and principles even after retirement, and wouldn't endorse or clear a fellow politician just because they were both black women, if she wasn't on board with her views. Conversely, it was a joy to see her navigating the good old boys network of cigarette smoking, whisky swilling Washington power brokers, and winning at it. She was truly an inspiration and a trailblazer today's women in politics might do well to emulate. 


Andrea Conway-Diaz (left) as Barbara Jordan and Susie Griffith as Nancy Earl 

Don't miss this. We're nearing the end of the run for Voice of Good Hope, so catch it while you can. City Lit does an excellent job of keeping her legacy alive and inspiring audiences. Do leave extra time to search out parking. It can be a challenge around Edgewater.

Bonnie Kenaz-Mara is a Chicago based writer-theater critic-photographer-videographer-actress-artist-general creatrix and Mama to two terrific teens. She owns two websites where she publishes frequently: ChiILLiveShows.com (adult) & ChiILMama.com (family friendly). 



Kristine Thatcher’s VOICE OF GOOD HOPE is a bio-drama of Barbara Jordan, the first African American congresswoman from the Deep South. Jordan earned national stature in the 1970’s as a member of the House Judiciary Committee that considered articles of impeachment against Richard Nixon and as the keynote speaker of the 1976 Democratic National Convention. Kristine Thatcher, who is City Lit’s playwright-in-residence, was nominated for Best New Work in the 2019 Jeff Awards for her play, THE SAFE HOUSE, which premiered at City Lit last fall. VOICE OF GOOD HOPE premiered at Victory Gardens Theater in 2000 and has been produced across the US since then. 

The play follows Jordan from her childhood in Houston’s Fifth Ward through her receiving the Medal of Freedom from President Bill Clinton, and deals with her pivotal role on the House Judiciary Committee during its hearings concerning the possible impeachment of President Richard Nixon, her complex political relationship with Texas power broker Robert Strauss, her struggle with MS, and her twenty-year relationship with Nancy Earl, her companion and occasional speechwriter, and ultimately her caregiver. The play premiered at Victory Gardens Theater in 2000 and has been produced from New York to San Francisco in the years since then.



left to right: Paul Chakrin and Andrea Conway-Diaz

The role of Barbara Jordan is played by Andrea Conway-Diaz. Also in the cast are Susie Griffith (Nancy Earl), Sahara Glasener-Boles (Karen Woodruff), Jamie Black (John Ed Patten), Paul Chakrin (Robert Strauss), Noelle Klyce (Julie Dunn); and McKennzie Boyd and MiKayla Boyd, who will alternate as “Heart” – Barbara Jordan as a child. The design team includes Ray Toler (set design), Katy Vest (costume design) and Daniel Salazar (lighting design).


left to right: Andrea Conway-Diaz, Sahara Glasener-Boles

Regular run Sunday, January 19 - Sunday, February 23, 2020
Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 pm, Sundays at 3 pm. Mondays February 10 and 17 at 7:30 pm

Regular run ticket prices $32.00, seniors $27.00, students and military $12.00 (all plus applicable fees).

Performances at City Lit Theater, 1020 W. Bryn Mawr Ave. Chicago 60660 (Inside Edgewater Presbyterian Church)
773-293-3682
www.citylit.org



ABOUT CITY LIT
For forty years, City Lit Theater has been dedicated to the vitality and accessibility of the literary imagination. City Lit produces theatrical adaptations of literary material, scripted plays by language-oriented playwrights, and original material. City Lit Theater was founded with $210 pooled by Arnold Aprill (at the time the Body Politic Theatre’s box office manager), David Dillon, and Lorell Wyatt on October 9, 1979 and was incorporated on March 25, 1980.  There were still so few theatres in Chicago that at City Lit’s launch event, they were able to read a congratulatory letter they had received from Tennessee Williams.

City Lit is in the historic Edgewater Presbyterian Church building at 1020 West Bryn Mawr Avenue. We are two blocks east of both the Bryn Mawr Red Line stop and the #36 Broadway and the #84 Peterson buses. We are one block west of the #147 Sheridan and #151 Sheridan buses. Divvy bike stations are located at Bryn Mawr & Lakefront Trail, and at Broadway & Ridge at Bryn Mawr. The metered street parking pay boxes on Bryn Mawr have a three-hour maximum duration and are free on Sundays. $10 valet service is available at Francesca's Bryn Mawr at 1039 W Bryn Mawr diagonally across the street from us on the SW corner of Kenmore and Bryn Mawr and is available whether you are dining at the restaurant or not. There are additional details about parking and dining options at www.citylit.org.

City Lit is supported by the Alphawood Foundation, the MacArthur Funds for Arts and Culture at the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, the Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, the Ivanhoe Theater Foundation, the Paul M. Angell Family Foundation, the Illinois Arts Council Agency and is sponsored, in part, by A.R.T. League.

Thursday, October 10, 2019

REVIEW: The Hound of the Baskervilles Via City Lit Theater Now Playing Through November 10, 2019

The Hound of the Baskervilles
By Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Adapted and Directed by Terry McCabe



Now playing through November 10, 2019
*running time is 2:15 including one 10-minute intermission*

REVIEW:
by bonnie kenaz-mara

Does fall put you in the mood for a misty moors mystery? It was my pleasure to catch City Lit's excellent, Jeff recommended production of The Hound of the Baskervilles last Sunday. They've created an intriguing set and cast top Chicago actors worthy of bringing Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's iconic characters to life. Why mess with success? Dynamic duo, James Sparling and Adam Bitterman return to play Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson, as they did in City Lit’s prior productions of THE SEVEN PER-CENT SOLUTION and HOLMES AND WATSON. These two are the epitome of Holmes and Watson and a joy to see in action. The rapport of these consummate storytellers is palpable and makes this production a must see. 



If I have one complaint with the production it's that their hound sounds more like a duck call or a kazoo and nothing like the baying or howling of a giant canine. It's more humorous than harrowing and distracts from the plot. I've seen other productions of THE HOUND OF THE BASKERVILLES where the hound sound cues were haunting and chill inducing. City Lit's is sadly not one of those. 

Conan Doyle’s novel was published in book form in 1902 and over 20 film and television adaptations of it have been produced, so the bar is high to make yet another production unique. City Lit's live violin player in the audience adds much to the atmosphere. With a strong supporting cast and an interesting adaptation to work from, overall this rendition is a standout. 


Bonnie Kenaz-Mara is a Chicago based writer-theater critic-photographer-videographer-actress-artist-general creatrix and Mama to two terrific teens. She owns two websites where she has published frequently since 2008: ChiILLiveShows.com (adult) & ChiILMama.com (family friendly).



City Lit Theater’s Artistic Director Terry McCabe directs the company’s new staging of his 2007 Jeff Award-nominated adaptation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's THE HOUND OF THE BASKERVILLES. THE HOUND OF THE BASKERVILLES is one of four novels Conan Doyle wrote featuring the master detective Sherlock Holmes. THE HOUND OF THE BASKERVILLES will play through November 10, 2019.

They will be joined by Dylan S. Roberts (Dr. James Mortimer), Dylan Jost (Sir Henry Baskerville), David Fink (Stapleton), Rebecca Sparks (Beryl Stapleton/Mrs. Barrymore), Hilary Hensler (James/Laura Lyons), T.C. Fair (Hotel Clerk /Barrymore), Alex Demetralis (Cabman/Postmaster/Selden/Inspector Lestrade), and Jerry Bloom (Perkins/Frankland).



The design team will include Ray Toler (set), Daniel Salazar (lighting), and Lily Grace Walls (costumes). The production will feature an original musical underscoring composed by Ben Chang and performed live on the violin by Eugene Kaler during performances.


Top row L-R: James Sparling, Adam Bitterman.
Second row L-R: Jerry Bloom, Alex Demetralis, T.C. Fair, David Fink.
Third row L-R: Hilary Hensler, Dylan Jost, Dylan S. Roberts, Rebcca Sparks.
All Production photos by Steve Graue 

THE HOUND OF THE BASKERVILLES follows Holmes as he investigates one of the most extraordinary cases ever to challenge his brilliant analytical mind.  The sudden death of Sir Charles Baskerville reignites rumors of a legendary hound said to haunt the Baskerville family, and Holmes and Watson are asked to ensure the protection of Sir Charles' only heir, Sir Henry. In an isolated mansion surrounded by mile after mile of wild moor, Holmes and Watson come face to face with a terrifying evil that reaches out from centuries past. 

Season subscriptions good for all performances are available at $90.00, and preview performance subscriptions are available for $68.00. Subscriptions may be ordered online at www.citylit.org. Single tickets priced at $28 for previews and $32 for regular performances are on sale at www.citylit.org  Senior prices are $23 for previews and $27 for regular performances. Students and military are $12.00 for all performances.



THE HOUND OF THE BASKERVILLES
by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Adapted and Directed by Terry McCabe
Now playing through November 10, 2019

Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 pm, Sundays at 3:00 pm and Mondays October 28 and November 4 at 7:30 pm.

Regular run Sunday, October 6 - Sunday, November 10
Regular run ticket prices $32.00, seniors $27.00, students and military $12.00 (all plus applicable fees)
More info and tickets available at www.citylit.org or 773-293-3682

The death, quite suddenly, of Sir Charles Baskerville in mysterious circumstances is the trigger for one of the most extraordinary cases ever to challenge the brilliant analytical mind of Sherlock Holmes. As rumors of a legendary hound said to haunt the Baskerville family circulate, Holmes and Watson are asked to ensure the protection of Sir Charles' only heir, Sir Henry - who has travelled all the way from America to reside at Baskerville Hall in Devon. And it is there, in an isolated mansion surrounded by mile after mile of wild moor, that Holmes and Watson come face to face with a terrifying evil that reaches out from centuries past.

Terry McCabe (Artistic Director, Director) has been City Lit’s artistic director since February 2005 and its producer since July 2016. He has directed plays professionally in Chicago since 1981. He was artistic director of Stormfield Theatre for four years, resident director at Wisdom Bridge Theatre for five years, and worked at Body Politic Theatre three separate times in three different capacities over a span of 14 years. His City Lit adaptations of HOLMES AND WATSON, GIDGET (co-adapted with Marissa McKown), THE HOUND OF THE BASKERVILLES, SCOUNDREL TIME, and OPUS 1861 (co-adapted with Elizabeth Margolius) were Jeff-nominated. He won two Jeff Citations for directing at Stormfield and has been thrice nominated for the Jeff Award for Best Director, for shows at Court Theatre, Wisdom Bridge, and Victory Gardens. He has directed at many Chicago theatres either long-gone or still with us, as well as off-Broadway at the Cherry Lane Theatre and at Vienna’s English Theatre.  His book MIS-DIRECTING THE PLAY has been denounced at length in American Theatre magazine and from the podium at the national convention of The Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas but is used in directing courses on three continents and is now available in paperback and Kindle e-book.



ABOUT CITY LIT
For forty years, City Lit Theater has been dedicated to the vitality and accessibility of the literary imagination. City Lit produces theatrical adaptations of literary material, scripted plays by language-oriented playwrights, and original material. City Lit Theater was founded with $210 pooled by Arnold Aprill (at the time the Body Politic Theatre’s box office manager), David Dillon, and Lorell Wyatt on October 9, 1979 and was incorporated on March 25, 1980.  There were still so few theatres in Chicago that at City Lit’s launch event, they were able to read a congratulatory letter they had received from Tennessee Williams.

City Lit is in the historic Edgewater Presbyterian Church building at 1020 West Bryn Mawr Avenue. We are two blocks east of both the Bryn Mawr Red Line stop and the #36 Broadway and the #84 Peterson buses. We are one block west of the #147 Sheridan and #151 Sheridan buses. Divvy bike stations are located at Bryn Mawr & Lakefront Trail, and at Broadway & Ridge at Bryn Mawr. The metered street parking pay boxes on Bryn Mawr have a three-hour maximum duration and are free on Sundays. $10 valet service is available at Francesca's Bryn Mawr at 1039 W Bryn Mawr diagonally across the street from us on the SW corner of Kenmore and Bryn Mawr and is available whether you are dining at the restaurant or not. There are additional details about parking and dining options at www.citylit.org.

City Lit is supported by the Alphawood Foundation, the MacArthur Funds for Arts and Culture at the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, the Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, the Ivanhoe Theater Foundation, the Paul M. Angell Family Foundation, the Illinois Arts Council Agency and is sponsored, in part, by A.R.T. League.






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