I was not fully prepared for the new show enjoying its world premiere at Open Door Repertory Company called "Clara," by McKinley Johnson. I knew it was about Clara Ward (1924-1973), a gifted and hugely successful gospel artist of the mid-20th Century, but I guess I was anticipating either a musical revue or a dramatized history lesson.
BRAVO! is an acronym for the Band, Repertoire, Art, Vocal, and Orchestra. The fine arts department at Brooks provides learning opportunities in the arts all year long — workshops, concerts, assemblies, and musicals. "Bravo" is the summer musical theater program. The popular summer camp program provides rigorous, intense experience for the students, ranging from improvisational acting, costuming and theatrical make-up to script development, scenic design and dance.
Opening night of Oak Park Festival Theatre's Amadeus was threatened by impending predicted showers but the rain held off until literally the last lines of dialogue were being delivered. Talk about a show-biz miracle! This classy, riveting production was savored by a large, receptive audience; not one person left early despite the ominous distant rumblings of thunder.
Local restaurateur Charlie Robinson learned his 200-year-old barbecue recipe from his grandfather while growing up in the Mississippi Delta. It's been passed down in his family for, he estimates, 14 generations.
The current production at Open Door Theater, Superior Donuts by Tracy Letts, premiered at Chicago's Steppenwolf Theatre four seasons ago. This entertaining cross-racial, cross-generational comedy celebrates the power of love and friendship. It is also definitely a Chicago play with an unmistakable local feel and mood. Insightful director Mary Pat Sieck and her cast of nine actors bring out the realism and the humor in this bittersweet comedy.
It starts out as a jolly ethnic sitcom. Living Large in a Mini Kind of Way at 16th Street Theater opens with lots of one-liners that spring from assorted zany family squabbles. But it's quickly obvious that this is more than just some Latino laugh fest. It's deeper, richer, more focused and incisive.
Bobbie Raymond is talking about the subject of her one-act play, An Imaginary Interview with Elizabeth Louise Vigee LeBrun, which will be presented at the 19th Century Charitable Association, 178 N. Forest Avenue, next Monday afternoon, April 8.
Seascape by Edward Albee, Oak Park Festival Theatre's current production playing at the Madison Street Studio Theatre, is fascinating on so many levels. The play failed at the box office in 1975 yet the absurdist comedy won a Pulitzer Prize for its playwright.