Showing posts with label horror. Show all posts
Showing posts with label horror. Show all posts

Monday, September 23, 2013

ACT OUT OPENING: The Arts Before Entertainment Collective Presents a Double Feature: Two New Horror Plays Open October 2013 at Gorilla Tango Bucktown

The Arts Before Entertainment Collective (A.B.E.) presents an alternative to scary movies and haunted houses with double horror play feature Strokes Before the Coming of Midnight and Dead. Drunk. Girls. at Gorilla Tango Bucktown, 1919 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60647. Production runs Thursdays at 7:30 pm from October 10 through October 31, 2013. Tickets are $18 general admission, $24 for onstage seating and complimentary beverages; tickets may be purchased at or by calling 773-598-4549.  

One cast performs these two new plays, starting with Strokes Before the Coming of Midnight, a surreal psychological horror play based on a French myth. Deja vu, doppelgangers, and the demons that create them appear in the limbo between good and evil. Exploiting each other's fears and secrets, the cast of characters await the arrival of the devil himself, who is set to appear at the stroke of midnight. 
Dead. Drunk. Girls., featuring the same versatile cast, explores the pop culture horror stereotype of the tragically drunk girl. Through the experience of a bartender who's seen far too much, navigate through grind house suspense and cautionary tales of good nights gone bad. Don't forget to tip your bartender...

Matthew Defiore. Caption: "Worst case scenario in Strokes Before the Coming of Midnight." Photography by Tara Kline. 

Image 2 pictures actors Virginia Robinson and Nate Ross. Caption: "Cautionary tales don't get anyone very far in Dead. Drunk. Girls." Photography by Tara Kline. 

The A.B.E. is an ensemble of Chicago-based artists who seek to advance live theatrical entertainment by collaborating across genre and involving audiences viscerally in the experience of live performance. A.B.E. includes Jysten West, Chicago director; designers Sean Stanford (sound) and Dalton Link (set). More information about upcoming collaborations can be found at
For more information or to schedule a review, please contact Gwen Tulin at or 773.798.9915. More information on Gorilla Tango Bucktown is available at or 773.598.4549.

Gorilla Tango Bucktown is a year-round performance venue featuring an 80-seat black-box theater, rehearsal rooms, and co-producing contracts providing artists with marketing, box office, and front of house support as well as  strategic business advice for creating sustainable art.
Gorilla Tango Bucktown is conveniently located at the intersection of Western and Milwaukee in Chicago’s Bucktown neighborhood. Easily accessible by public transportation, GT Bucktown is steps away from the Western Blue Line stop and the #49 Western, #56 Milwaukee, and #73 Armitage bus routes. Metered street parking is available on Milwaukee Avenue. Offering shows for a wide variety of audiences, Gorilla Tango Bucktown performances are listed in full on the website with descriptions and ratings similar to movie theater screenings. GT Bucktown now offers a selection of affordable beer and wine for purchase. Consult the website for rating information, tickets, and details about how to produce at this venue.
1919 N Milwaukee Avenue, Chicago IL 60647

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Mama Advanced Screening #review #horror

Mama gives "possessed by an evil spirit" a whole new level of disturbing meaning, as this bereft spirit saves the lives of two tiny potential murder victims.   She adopts and nurtures them, but takes the mothering instinct to lethal levels, as her psychopathic jealous streak kicks in.  She's possessive of their affections to a scary degree.  Check out the latest offering by Pan's Labrynth Guillermo del Torro as Executive Producer.

Mama hits theaters this Friday, 1/18, but ChiIL Live Shows got a sneak peek at a screening Tuesday.   Mama is archetypally creepy and compelling.   We dug the multifaceted layers of the creature under the bed, like the Mara of slovic folk tales--the biting night witch who gives you nightmares.  The character, Mama, is both protector and nurturer, as well as angel of vengeance.  Though the nightmares she projects to others are disturbing imagery, they actually make her a more sympathetic character, showing us her real back story.

Despite the PG13 rating, my kids are years away from being ready for this type of tale.   However, every kid is different, and some tweens and teens will no doubt dig it.   There are plenty of startle scares by the lethal creep in the closet or lurking under the bed.   But there are deeper, psychological layers to this disturbing drama as well.

We dug the surrogate parents, punk rock girl, Annabel (Jessica Chastain) and cool, artist uncle Lucas (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau).   If anyone could provide a creative, understanding home for the two feral, traumatized tots, these two would be my first choice, far and above the straight laced, meddling aunt.   The kids were a joy to watch and the way they moved was indelibly creepy.   One of the scariest things in Mama, however, was the betrayal by the psychologist, who should have had their safety and security as a priority. He selfishly put his own research above all, and recklessly endangered those he was supposed to be helping heal.


There was also a fascinating thread with little girl, Victoria's glasses, and her ability to see.   They broke in the initial car accident, before their abandonment, so she spent 5 years in the woods, nearly blind.   After her rescue and new life begins with a new pair of glasses, she still removes them to see the unseen, and Mama destroys the glasses she goes on a final murderous rage.   We're also intrigued with the black moths, that disturbingly emerged from her corpse and follow her spirit form everywhere, and we're super creeped out that little Lilly EATS them.   

directed by Andres Muschietti 

starring Jessica Chastain
produced by J. Miles Dale and Barbara Muschietti 
with Guillermo del Toro as executive producer

Guillermo del Toro presents Mama, a supernatural thriller that tells the haunting tale of two little girls who disappeared into the woods the day that their mother was murdered. When they are rescued years later and begin a new life, they find that someone or something still wants to come tuck them in at night. The day their father killed their mother, sisters Victoria and Lilly vanished near their suburban neighborhood. For five long years, their Uncle Lucas (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) and his girlfriend, Annabel (Jessica Chastain), have been madly searching for them. But when, incredibly, the kids are found alive in a decrepit cabin, the couple wonders if the girls are the only guests they have welcomed into their home. (c)Universal

Early reviews for Mama are mixed at best, with some critics raving about it and others slamming the lack of cohesive plot, the contrived ending and lack of truly hard core scary scenes.   We liked it, above and beyond buckets of gratuitous blood and stupid teen slasher flicks, and enjoyed the cinematography, creepy locations, and layered plot.  Mama is certainly worth a look...just don't look in the closet.

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