Showing posts with label The National Theatre of Scotland. Show all posts
Showing posts with label The National Theatre of Scotland. Show all posts

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

PLAY LOCALLY: ChiIL Live Shows On Our Radar Tonight Through Friday

There's plenty of music and theatre openings this week around Chi-town.   Fall is the perfect season to get out and see shows.   Here are our top picks this week.

TONIGHT Tuesday, 10/9 

Adam Ashbach (music 21+/ $5-$8/Double Door)

After a period of relative quiet, Adam Ashbach (ex-band leader of Lollapalooza vets Musical Outfits) will make his return to the Chicago stage with a show at Double Door on Oct. 9 (supporting local garage poppers Jonny Rumble)

Check out all the details here at Double Door's main site.

Check out Adam's FB page here. 

After living in Brooklyn for a short time to pursue the artist’s dream, Adam Ashbach came home to Chicago in 2008 and recorded the well-received EP Puzzle Pieces at CRC and Studio Ballistico.

After playing only a few shows in support of the EP, Ashbach then took time off to reflect on life and everything other than music. But once again the music bug has bit and brought him back to familiar territory. He fell right back into Tim Sandusky's Studio Ballistico to collaborate on new music with all new musicians save for Jason Angelilli (his bass player and friend from grade school), who has become a stalwart writing companion.

Joining Adam and Jason in the studio, and rounding out the live show, is Neal O'Hara, Reid Muchow and Taras Horalewskyj. These talented musicians can be found playing out in multiple bands on any given night in Chicago. Their contagious desire has rubbed off on Ashbach. Eager to release his newest EP, Too Much Left To Write, Adam brought years of experience and what he likes to call "getting old" to the studio. For this go around, Adam is happy to be playing music for the joy leaving behind the drama of old bands and he is reveling in what is happening right now.

Wednesday, 10/10

Black Watch (theatre) at Broadway Armory.  National Theatre of Scotland in conjunction with Chicago Shakespeare Theatre

Nick Waterhouse (R & B music) at Lincoln Hall

ChiIL Live Shows will be there shooting stills.   This should be one sweet show you won't want to miss.  21+

Wednesday, October 10 2012
9:00 PM | 21+

  • Bio
    Nick Waterhouse is the New Breed – An R&B fanatic who combines an uncanny old-school sensibility with a charged, contemporary style. At just 25, He joins the ranks of a growing cabale of similar acts and producers of recent times – Mark Ronson, Mayer Hawthorne, the Daptone Crew et al – that are all moving forward into the past, yet all quite different. For Waterhouse, his muse is the over-modulated sound of vintage R&B, and his take on such a time-honored tradition evokes the back-alley thrill of New Orleans, Detroit and Memphis in their heyday. He combines an astute attention to detail with an honest desire to match the emotional impact of the music that inspires him.
    When asked to pinpoint the sound or style he strives for, Nick Waterhouse simply shrugs and responds, “American music. And I know that’s pretty general, but it is what it is. I have spent so much of my life immersed in this stuff, because I wanted to figure it out, [yet] all I figured out was that there was no plan.” In other words, whatever musical style Nick may choose to espouse, it’s not done because someone else did it, but done for the same reason someone else did it. “To me, [the music I play] is not a ‘type’ of music,” he emphasizes; “it IS music. The records I listen to ARE music. A record is a moment in time, and something recorded in 1955 is the same as something recorded in 2010.” Growing up in the Southern California, Waterhouse eschewed his surroundings and found emotional authenticity in the vintage wax of Ray Charles, Roy Head, Little Willie John and the whole panoply of American music, where feel so often trumps technique. After the sold out release of his own self-produced 45, the raunchy ‘Some Place’, and a string of exciting shows with his live group The Tarots, Nick went to work on his forthcoming full-length for Innovative Leisure – continuing an undeniably raw and rhythmic take on American music.
    His approach to production – entirely vintage analog equipment, open-reel tape machines, lacquer cutting machines, and even hand letter-pressed labels – has left a few fans wondering where and when he comes from; Long-lost deadstock Rhythm & Blues artifact? White or Black? New or old? It’s a fitting recall to the days of early Rock & Roll, when rhythms crossed the tracks and no-one was quite sure WHAT or WHO this music was. As LA Record bears witness, “You’ve gotta be one kind of maniac to produce like this, and a whole other kind to shout like this, and an even more frightening kind to make the first two maniacs work together. Nick pulling this all off simultaneously means preternatural powers in play”
    Career Highlights
    Current Tours
    Tue 10/09/12
    Allah-Las, Richie Wohlfeil
    Wed 10/10/12
    Allah-Las, DJ Misa
    Thu 10/11/12
    Allah-Las, Mike 2600
    Sun 10/14/12
    Allah-Las, Gred Vandy
    Mon 10/15/12
    Allah-Las, DJ Yogoman
    Tue 10/16/12
    Allah-Las, Jonny Grayston (of the East Van Soul Club)
    Wed 10/17/12
    Allah-Las, DJ Beyonda
    Sat 10/20/12
    San Francisco
    Allah-Las, DJ Primo
    Sun 10/21/12
    Los Angeles
    Allah-Las, Aquarium Drunkard/Light In The Attic
    Fri 11/02/12

    Mon 11/05/12
    Santa Fe Brewing Company
    Santa Fe

    Wed 11/07/12
    San Diego

Thursday 10/11

The Luck of Eden Hall at The Burlington
only $5 suggested donation

Rocket Miner | The Foreign Resort (Copenhagen, Denmark) | The Luck of Eden Hall

doors 9pm
Click here for The Burlington's main site
The Burlington is at Fullerton and Kimball in Logan Square


  • ChiIL Live Shows will be there for opening night and we'll have a full review up shortly.

October 12th - November 10th , 2012

Stephen Sondheim's ASSASSINS

By examining and bringing together (in a dream-like way) the narratives of the assassinations and attempted assassinations of the US presidents during our national history, Composer Stephen Sondheim weaves together the pain that lies just beneath the surface of American consciousness – the pain of alienation, regret, and failure to achieve the “American Dream”. But in the end, who is responsible for that failure? Ourselves? Our Parents? Our Society? Our President?

And yet, in all this darkness there lies just the glimmer of hope. Each of these individuals, pushed by themselves and unseen forces to commit desperate and despicable acts, contain within them a certain sense of innocence. Buried deep in these stories is an overwhelming heart – yes, Assassins is a love story, oddly enough. A story about men and women so desperate to be heard and validated, so desperate to find love that they would do anything to get it – in a way, to achieve their manifest destiny. What’s more American than that?

Mixing dark humor with unforgettable musical numbers, and strong showcase roles for our talented cast of character actors, this show will be a wonderful way to get in the mood for the 2012 election season, no matter what your politics are!

For questions and box office issues, please contact:
(312) 212-3470 
Running time: Approximately 90 minutes 

Tickets - $45  

Local reggae crew Akasha will be supporting Hawaii’s The Green @ Bottom Lounge on Friday, Oct. 12. (17+)

Click here for all the Akasha details on Bottom Lounge's home page.

Click here for Akasha's Main Site

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

ACT OUT: Black Watch & The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart (The OTHER Scottish Plays) #review

ChiIL Live Shows photos--The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart

Ask any theatre geek what "The Scottish Play" is and he or she will undoubtedly conjure up the infamous Shakespeare play whose name must not be uttered within a theatre or it's bad luck.   Actors can be a superstitious lot.    However, in Chi-town right now, there are two authentic Scottish plays running this month, with real Scottish actors and accents, and major players from The National Theatre of Scotland!    Neither of them is Macbeth, though the troupe IS here in conjunction with Chicago Shakespeare Theatre.

Image 1: Left to right: David McKay, Alasdair Macrae, Melody Grove and Andy Clark in National Theater of Scotland’s production of The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart, presented in the Upstairs Theater at Chicago Shakespeare, now through October 28, 2012. Photo by Drew Farrell.

First up, we're super stoked The National Theatre of Scotland is presenting The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart.    Critics are just about universally raving about the show and handing out 5 stars like shots of fine Scotch whisky. 
Do not miss this limited run.   The show must close October 28th.

September 26–October 28, 2012 Tickets $45–$60

7:30 p.m.
7:30 p.m.
7:30 p.m.
7:30 p.m.
3:00 & 7:30 p.m.
3:00 & 7:30 p.m.

ChiIL Live Shows caught opening night and we loved it.  This show is wickedly funny, creative and smart without pretension.  Much of the dialogue is couplets providing a classy and classic touch.  

Scottish folk ballads and instruments that have been used for centuries effectively transport the audience out of the intimate, upstairs space at Chicago Shakespeare Theater on Navy Pier and into recreated Scottish pub.  

Image 3: Left to right: Andy Clark, Melody Grove, Annie Grace, David McKay and Alasdair Macrae in National Theater of Scotland’s production of The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart, presented in the Upstairs Theater at Chicago Shakespeare, now through October 28, 2012. Photo by Drew Farrell.

Yet cell phones, the internet, karaoke, soccer matches, and even modern pop stars are intrinsically woven throughout the story in a brilliant melding of past and present, myth and modern life.   The audience is treated to a rousing night of live theatre, Scottish folk songs, and a truly unique hybrid of classic and modern story telling.   In this interactive show, the 3rd wall is broken down and much of the action takes place among, around and on the audience and their pub tables! The audience is asked to make snow and sing along, and more than a few enjoyed doodling on the paper table cloths.   

I heard a few older patrons saying they had a bit of trouble with understanding the accents, but I'd say 95% of the dialogue and song was easy to hear and follow along with.  Luckily we were also given a "cheat sheet" that explained the most Scottish of expressions and events not universally known to Chicagoans.

The theatre has a bar in the room and the audience is treated to a free communion cup shot of smoky, rich Benromach Speyside Single Malt Scotch Whisky.   Even my decidedly non-theatre lovin' spouse was placated with a few beers and a shot of 10 year old whisky in front of him, and actually admitted he enjoyed the show!


Image 2: Left to right: Annie Grace, Melody Grove and Andy Clark in National Theater of Scotland’s production of The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart, presented in the Upstairs Theater at Chicago Shakespeare, now through October 28, 2012. Photo by Drew Farrell.

We dug the misadventures of the aptly named Prudencia Hart, the serious, prudent and prudish academic with her heart tightly under wraps.  Truly the rule of opposites does exist and apply.   Sometimes opponents are unlikely allies.

Chicago Shakespeare Theater Presents 

National Theatre of Scotland's
The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart
As Part of the World's Stage Series

Upstairs at Chicago Shakespeare Now through October 28, 2012

The theater Upstairs at Chicago Shakespeare morphs into the intimate confines of a Scottish pub for National Theatre of Scotland’s The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart now through October 28. Complete with pub-style seating and a bar, the production recounts the Faustian tale of Prudencia, an ivory-tower academic sweetly "lost" in her research on Scottish folk music, who finds her world comically unhinged as the love and mythology of her research springs to surprising life.

Winner of a Herald Angel award at the 2011 Edinburgh Festival Fringe, The Scotsman gives it five stars and The Herald declares, You shouldn’t miss this show for the world... [it’s] rambunctiously life-affirming and touchingly beautiful.”

The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart is the product of a weekend visit to a Kelso pub in the Scottish Borders by playwright David Greig, director Wils Wilson and composer Alasdair Macrae. What began as simple research on Scottish Border ballads soon became the inspiration for a story of love, music and the Devil.

Writer David Greig’s recent work for National Theatre of Scotland includes Dunsinane (Royal Shakespeare Company), Peter Pan and The Bacchae (Edinburgh International Festival). Currently, he is working on a new Broadway production of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Director Wils Wilson, a Critics’ Award for Theatre in Scotland (CATS) recipient, has previously worked on National Theatre of Scotland’s Gobbo, devised and created with David Greig, and Home Shetland, created with Jackie Kay. Composer Alasdair Macrae won a CATS for Best Music and Sound for his work on The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart. The production’s creative team is rounded out by Designer Georgia McGuinness, Composer and Music Director Alasdair Macrae, Movement Director Janice Parker, and Casting Director Anne Henderson. The cast of The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart includes: Andy Clark, Annie Grace, Melody Grove, Alasdair Macrae and David McKay.
Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s limited four-week engagement of The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart runs now through October 28, 2012, in the theater Upstairs at Chicago Shakespeare. Tickets are on sale now for $45–60. All patrons receive a 40% discount on guaranteed parking in Navy Pier garages. For more information or to purchase tickets, contact Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s Box Office at 312.595.5600 or visit the Theater’s website at

Supported by the Scottish Government, National Theatre of Scotland has been involved in creating 181 productions in 156 different locations since its launch in February 2006. With no building of its own, the Company takes theater all over Scotland and beyond, working with existing and new venues and companies to create and tour theater of the highest quality. It takes place in the great buildings of Scotland, but also in site-specific locations, airports and tower blocks, community halls and drill halls, ferries and forests. The company has performed to over 770,000 people, across three continents.

ABOUT CHICAGO SHAKESPEARE THEATER Chicago Shakespeare Theater is a leading international theater company, known for vibrant productions that reflect Shakespeare’s genius for intricate storytelling, musicality of language and depth of feeling for the human condition. Recipient of the 2008 Regional Theatre Tony Award, Chicago Shakespeare’s work has been recognized internationally with three of London’s prestigious Laurence Olivier Awards, and by the Chicago theater community with 62 Joseph Jefferson Awards for Artistic Excellence. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Barbara Gaines and Executive Director Criss Henderson, CST is dedicated to producing extraordinary classic productions, new works and family fare; unlocking Shakespeare’s work for educators and students; and serving as Chicago’s cultural ambassador through its World’s Stage Series.

Chicago Shakespeare’s presentation of National Theatre of Scotland is emblematic of the wide scope of work presented through the World’s Stage Series—a program that brings the world’s most exciting theatrical events to Chicago audiences and presents Chicago Shakespeare’s work abroad. Since the inception of the World Stage Series in 2000, CST has imported international productions ranging from pedestrian-based live art events (Australia’s one step at a time like this) to grand aerial and water spectacles (France’s Compagnie Transe Express and Ilotopie); and hosted iconic theaters such as Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre (London), The Abbey Theatre (Dublin), the Chekhov International Theatre Festival (Moscow) and La Comédie-Française (Paris). As a leading cultural ambassador, Chicago Shakespeare has presented its work at the Royal Shakespeare Company, The Donmar Warehouse and Stratford East theatres; and this past spring, was among the 37 international companies that came together for an unprecedented 37-play “Globe to Globe” festival for the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad. Chicago Shakespeare, representing North America, brought to Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in London an original CST commission and world premiere, The Q Brothers’ Othello: The Remix, presented in American hip-hop. The acclaimed production is currently playing at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Check out Chicago Shakespeare Theatre's website for advanced tickets for their prolific, professional and profound offerings.

Black Watch, also by National Theatre of Scotland is opening Oct 10th.   Click the link for video clips, behind the scenes, reviews and more.   We missed it the last time around and are eagerly awaiting it's return.  It's playing at The Broadway Armory through Oct. 21st.

Both are well worth a night out.   Get your tickets today before they sell out or ship out!   Check out ChiIL Live Shows prior coverage here.

SUNDAY IN THE PARK WITH GEORGE  |  September 26–November 4, 2012
THE STRANGE UNDOING OF PRUDENCIA HART  |  September 26–October 14, 2012
BLACK WATCH  |  October 10–21, 2012

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