Showing posts with label Timon of Athens. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Timon of Athens. Show all posts

Wednesday, December 26, 2012


Tis the season for fabulous films and music and Music Box Theatre makes our ChiILpicks List as one of the city's best.   We adore the vintage decor, and their excellent lineup.   The Music Box is brimming with fam friendly sing alongs, Oscar winning classics, and new release international, indie and art films.  

Music Box & The Stage
In 2012 we caught a number of The National Theatre of Great Britain's excellent live theatre productions, filmed and shown around the world, like Frankenstein staring dual Sherlocks (Benedict Cumberbatch from the BBC revival and Jonny Lee Miller from Elementary).   Check out our review here.  And more of our past coverage here.

Live theatre on film is an acquired taste, and many film critics dislike the genre, but theatre people are flocking to the shows.   Folks dress up for the films, more like a night out at a Broadway in Chicago show, and applaud like a live performance.   We think they're a hoot, and relish the opportunity to see world renowned stars on stage without a pricy flight across the ocean!   We hit up press previews of most of Music Box's National Theatre offerings.   The Last of The Haussmans, and Timon of Athens which we had just seen live at Chicago Shakespeare, were some of our favs pf 2012.   Keep an eye out for more in 2013.   Highly recommended.


Presented by National Theatre Live

Julie Walters plays Judy Haussman with Rory Kinnear and Helen McCrory as her children in this eagerly-anticipated new play: a funny, touching and sometimes savage portrait of a family that’s losing its grip.
Anarchic, feisty but growing old, high society drop-out Judy Haussman remains in spirit with the Ashrams of the 1960s while holding court in her dilapidated Art Deco house on the Devon coast. After an operation, she’s joined by wayward offspring Nick and Libby, sharp-eyed granddaughter Summer, local doctor Peter, and Daniel, a troubled teenager who makes use of the family’s crumbling swimming pool. Together they share a few sweltering months in this chaotic world of all-day drinking, infatuations, long-held resentments, free love and failure.
One of Britain’s best-loved and most versatile actors, Julie Walters has wonBAFTA, Golden Globe and Olivier Awards for her work. Her screen credits range from Educating Rita to celebrated work with Victoria Wood, from lead roles in the movies of Mamma Mia! and Harry Potter to portraying Mo Mowlam for Channel 4.
Rory Kinnear recently won the Evening Standard Award for Best Actor for his performance as Hamlet at the National Theatre. Helen McCrory’s acclaimed work includes the films The Queen and, recently, Hugo.


Simon Russell Beale takes the title role in Shakespeare’s strange fable of consumption, debt and ruin, written in collaboration with Thomas Middleton.
“A perfect parable for our times in Nicholas Hytner’s exhilarating production featuring a compelling central performance by Simon Russell Beale.”

The Guardian
The National Theatre’s acclaimed contemporary staging of Shakespeare’s strange fable, set against a backdrop of modern-day London where money is power, has enjoyed a sell-out run at the theatre.
Wealthy friend to the rich and powerful, patron of the arts and ostentatious host, Timon of Athens suddenly finds his coffers empty. When he calls for upon his friends for help, they hang him out to dry. So begins Shakespeare’s strange fable of conspicuous consumption, debt and ruin.
Simon Russell Beale, who has been described by the Independent as ‘the greatest stage actor of his generation,’ takes the title role in Nicholas Hytner’s (HamletOne Man, Two Guvnors) bold production, which makes Timon of Athens more relevant and compelling than ever before.

One showing, Thursday, December 27, 7:30pm at Music Box Theatre

We had the great pleasure of catching a press preview and were blown away by Christopher Plummer's Barrymore.   We've been giving you the heads up on this one on our FB and Twitter feeds since the first week of December.   Check back January 10th to see if rumors of Oscar nominations for this film come true and absolutely catch it if you can.

BARRYMORE, a captured-live stage production, stars Academy Award winner Christopher Plummer as American acting legend John Barrymore. In a career defining performance, Plummer (as Barrymore) reckons with the ravages of his life of excess while rehearsing a revival of his 1920 Broadway triumph in Richard III

Music Box is pleased to offer BARRYMORE, plus "making of" documentary BACKSTAGE WITH BARRYMORE featuring Helen Mirren, Julie Andrews and Zoe Caldwell, on Thursday, December 27, 7:30 p.m. at Music Box Theatre, 3733 N. Southport Ave.

BARRYMORE, based on the 1997 Broadway production, is set in 1942, and follows acclaimed American actor John Barrymore, a member of one of Hollywood’s most well-known theatrical dynasties, as he rehearses the Shakespearean triumph that made him a household name, Richard III. The film finds Barrymore in his faded glory reckoning with the ravages of his life of excess, only months before his premature death. The film is directed and written by Érik Canuel, based on the play by William Luce.

Barrymore is played by Academy Award winner and master thespian Christopher Plummer, reprising his 1997 Tony Award-winning role. His nuanced performance has earned him rave reviews and, for a film that didn’t find a distributor after its World Premiere at the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival, talk of a third Academy Award nomination, and more importantly, a nomination for Best Actor after three nominations and one win for Best Supporting Actor. Could this staged one-man play, where Plummer chews the scenery for the entirety of its running time, get him that nomination? 

“I’m all but convinced he has the Oscar in the bag,” Hollywood Elsewhere critic Jeff Wells exclaimed after seeing it. 

David Edelstein of New York Magazine says, “God, I love Plummer’s performance — the twiddling fingers, the tipsy sway of the head, the reverberating roar, as well as the pathos of a man who can’t stop acting long enough to hear the cry of his own soul.”

There is a precedent for plays on film getting Academy love.  A 1965 filmed version of Britain’s National Theatre presentation of Othello earned acting nominations for its cast. In 1975, James Whitmore was nominated in the Best Actor category for the production of his one-man show Give ’Em Hell, Harry!

The December 27 showing includes a ”making of” documentary, Backstage with Barrymore, featuring Helen MirrenJulie Andrews, and Zoe Caldwell.  Total running time of the film (84m) plus the documentary (45m) is 129 minutes.

Starring Christopher Plummer, directed and written by Érik Canuel, based on the play by William Luce. In English, 129 minutes.

About the Music Box Theatre: 
For nearly 30 years the Music Box Theatre has been the premier venue in Chicago for independent and foreign films, festivals and some of the greatest cinematic events in Chicago. It currently has the largest cinema space operated full time in the city. The Music Box Theatre is independently owned and operated by the Southport Music Box Corporation. SMBC, through its Music Box Films division, also distributes foreign and independent films in the theatrical, DVD and television markets throughout the United States. For additional information please visit 

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Chi, IL Shows and More On Our Radar Tonight-Timon of Athens Opens at Chicago Shakespeare & Marla Rose at Women & Children First


Timon of Athens

by William Shakespeare

directed by Barbara Gaines

April 24 – June 10, 2012

ChiIL Live Shows will be there for opening night of Timon of Athens tonight at Chicago Shakespeare Theatre.   We can't wait to see renowned actor, Ian McDiarmid in the lead.   Check back with ChiIL Live Shows like we vote in Chi, IL...early and often.   We'll have a full review up shortly.

In a high-risk world of quick profits and borrowed luxury, Timon is a god among men. But can this titan survive when the tides of fortune turn? From performances with the Royal Shakespeare Company and on Broadway to the Star Wars film series and beyond, internationally celebrated actor Ian McDiarmid is brilliantly matched to the challenging role of Timon. And Artistic Director Barbara Gaines' gripping new production features the kind of inventive staging and electrifying performances that always makes an evening at Chicago Shakespeare one to remember—book your tickets today!

Approximate Running Time: 2 hours, 10 minutes


Marla Rose (vegan agitator, author, and local mother to young son, Justice, speaks at Women & Children First in Andersonville at 7:30pm)    Marla's quite a character and a long time friend of ours.   She's recently written a new book, The Adventures of Vivian Sharpe, Vegan Superhero which we'll be reviewing soon at   

Tonight she's on with Geeta Maker-Clark, reading from This I Believe on Motherhood.

This I Believe: On Motherhood
This I Believe, Inc.
An offshoot of the popular public radio series This I Believe, This I Believe: On
Motherhood is an inspirational compilation of original essays, offering the insight and
wisdom of sixty contributors—celebrated and unknown—exploring what is arguably the
most complex of all human relationships: that between a mother and her children. Two
local contributors, Geeta Maker-Clark and Marla Rose, will share their stories from a
collection that would make a wonderful gift for all mothers and mothers-to-be.

ISBN-13: 9781118074534
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: John Wiley & Sons, 4/2012

Check out the event details here.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Talk Like Shakespeare Day TODAY-Great Contests And More #Theatre Review

Happy 448th Birthday to the bard! 

Today (Monday, April 23rd) is annual talk like Shakespeare day.
Talk Like Shakespeare Day,
an occasion for citizens from Chicago and across the globe to celebrate
Shakespeare's 448th birthday by bringing the spoken words of
Shakespeare into their daily lives. The holiday, which originated in
Chicago in 2009, became a worldwide sensation garnering extensive
national and international media coverage and more than one million hits
Celebrate by seeing Being Shakespeare:
ChiIL Live Shows had a chance to catch opening night of Simon Callow's show, and we recommend it.  Callow's strong stage presence among minimalist sets enhances the infamous words of the bard, interspersed with his life history.   Although much of the historical data he includes on Shakespeare's life is speculation, it's fascinating nonetheless to put the plays within a time frame of his life and outside influences.   

Tales of child deaths that plagued his birth family, and later
the death of his own son, Hamnet, at age 11, lend a human air and compelling back story.   As the parent of an 11 year old son, that particularly struck a chord with me.   Since we've been doing a long form exploration on how theatre people, musicians and other creatives balance their work and parenting, and how the two worlds collide and influence each other, this was an interesting angle.
   Simon Callow is a talented tale teller and a joy to spend an evening with.   The British film and stage actor is know for his roles in Shakespeare in Love, Four Weddings and a Funeral, Postcards from the Edge, A Room With a View and Amadeus.

*Tonight only, celebrated British actor Simon Callow's one-man show, Being Shakespeare will play a special Monday performance at the Broadway Playhouse, preceded by a birthday party for the Bard in the theater's lobby beginning at 5:30 p.m. 

ChiIL Mama's favorite words invented by Shakespeare: 

arouse amazement
barefaced bandit besmirch bloodstained blanket bump buzzer
cold blooded critic
dauntless dawn deafening discontent dishearten drugged dwindle

equivocal elbow exposure excitement  
epileptic eyeball
flawed frugal fixture
gnarled grovel gloomy gossip
hurried hobnob
impede impartial invulnerable
laughable lonely luggage label lackluster
madcap marketable metamorphize mimic monumental moonbeam mountaineer
obscene obsequious ode Olympian outbreak
panders premeditated puking
remorseless radiance rant
savagery scuffle swagger
tranquil torture 
unreal undress
Sure, some kids today (and adults, too, for that matter) think of Shakespearean language as stuffy, high brow and inaccessible, but nothing can be further from the truth.   It's not all thees and thous and M'Lord.  He wrote for the masses and in addition to his timeless archetypal characters, loads of word he made up are in common use today, like PUKING.   There's nothing snooty about puking.  

According to, The English language owes a great debt to Shakespeare. He invented over 1700 of our common words by changing nouns into verbs, changing verbs into adjectives, connecting words never before used together, adding prefixes and suffixes, and devising words wholly original.  

Below is a list of a few of the words Shakespeare coined, hyperlinked to the play and scene from which it comes. When the word appears in multiple plays, the link will take you to the play in which it first appears.  

Incorporate these down to earth words for Talk Like Shakespeare Day, then click the links to see the source:

academe accusedaddictionadvertisingamazement
arouse assassinationbackingbanditbedroom
beached besmirchbirthplaceblanketbloodstained
skim milksubmergesummitswaggertorture

 This graph can be found at

Other Chi-Town Talk Like Shakespeare Contests and specials: 
Shakespeare is being celebrated around the world this week, from Chicago
to London to Armenia, in recognition of the man who engineered more
than 154 sonnets, 37 plays, 1,700 original words and innumerable
On April 23 Shakespeare's Globe Theatre in London will launch
its Globe to Globe Festival, part of London's Cultural Olympiad,
beginning a two month international event presenting all 37 plays from
Shakespeare's canon in 37 different languages (including Chicago
Shakespeare's Othello: The Remix, The Q Brothers' hip-hop adaptation of Othello, opening in London May 5).

Talk Like Shakespeare Day has even sparked a
movement, originating in Armenia, lobbying for the inclusion of
"Shakespearean" alongside "Pirate" and "Upside Down" as an official
language option on Facebook. 

Chicago Shakespeare Theater, 2008 recipient of the Regional Theatre Tony Award, will be talking like Shakespeare throughout the upcoming birthday week. On the morning of April 23, Chicago Shakespeare's production of The Taming of the Shrew will be performed for Chicago Public School students at Sawyer Elementary School on the City's south side

At Chicago Shakespeare's home on Navy Pier, Artistic Director Barbara Gaines and Tony-award winning actor Ian McDiarmid begin preview performances of Timon of Athens, while the cast of Othello: The Remix prepares for the world premiere of its new work in London the following week.    ChiIL Live Shows will be there to review opening night of Timon of Athens as well.
Photo courtesy of Chicago Shakespeare Theater. "William
Shakespeare" (portrayed by David Wilhelm) celebrates his 448th Birthday
on Monday, April 23, 2012 in Chicago, as part of "Talk Like Shakespeare
Day" by taking in some of Chicago's best-known landmarks including the
Ferris Wheel on Navy Pier.

Among the many visitors to Navy Pier, the Midwest's most visited
tourist destination, on April 23 will be William Shakespeare himself.
Those who talk like Shakespeare to "the Bard" will receive free rides on
Navy Pier's iconic Ferris Wheel from 10 a.m. to noon.
Shakespeare will
dine at Harry Caray's Tavern on Navy Pier, where a special
Shakespeare-inspired menu will be available from noon to 2:00 p.m.
Diners who talk like Shakespeare at Harry Caray's Tavern will be entered
into a raffle to win a $100 Harry Caray's Gift Certificate, four Pier
Park Passes, free Navy Pier parking and four Tickets to Chicago
Shakespeare Theater's summer musical Disney's Beauty and the Beast
is the virtual home base for revelers. The site features activities for
celebrating Talk Like Shakespeare Day at school, at the office and at
home as well as videos of famous Chicagoans talking like Shakespeare. It
also contains information about a video contest for internet comedians
inspired by the Bard's words (deadline for submissions is Thursday,
April 19 at noon) and tips on how to talk like Shakespeare such as:
  • Instead of you, say thou. Instead of y'all, say thee.
  • Rhymed couplets are all the rage.
  • Men are Sirrah, ladies are Mistress, and your friends are all called Cousin.
  • Instead of cursing, try calling your tormenters jackanapes or canker-blossoms or poisonous bunch-back'd toads.
  • When in doubt, add the letters "eth" to the end of verbs (he runneth, he trippeth, he falleth).
  • To add weight to your opinions, try starting them with methinks, mayhaps, in sooth or wherefore.
  • When wooing a lady: try comparing her to a summer's day. If that fails, say "Get thee to a nunnery!"
For more information visit

"William Shakespeare" (portrayed by David Wilhelm) celebrates his 448th
Birthday on Monday, April 23, 2012 in Chicago, as part of "Talk Like
Shakespeare Day" by taking in some of Chicago's best-known landmarks
including Cloud Gate in Millennium Park and the bull
statue at the Chicago Cultural Center.

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