I’m a big fan of saying yes to things, and to buying tickets when they are cheap (read: way in advance). Sometimes this leads to me accidentally planning to attend five functions in the same weekend, which can be both lovely and exhausting. Rather than write five full length posts I thought I would give you all the Reader’s Digest version of my weekend. (As a teaser I wrote this sentence in an e-mail to Julia last week: “Important question I never thought I would have to ask: What does one wear to a show at prison that is also appropriate for a dance showcase?)
Friday Night: Bad Book Book Club at Katelin’s
About a month ago my girlfriends and I started a bad book book club, basically I needed a break from the great, but all too often, heavy picks at my other book club (which is public and at the Open Books Store!) This month we read Unsticky, or I should say the responsible members of the club read Unsticky. I couldn’t get it to download on my phone and gave up, but I was all too happy to indulge in the book club’s other aim, which is mostly drinking wine.
Saturday Afternoon: “Should I Answer the Call?” from Storycatchers Theatre at the CCTJDC
That long list of letters translates to the Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center, and Storycatchers is a truly remarkable organization that leads kids there (and at various other correctional and community facilities) through the process of writing and performing musicals based on their lives. My friend Justin is their composer and music director, so a group of us were lucky enough to go down to see their latest show. It was really inspiring to see how committed to the performance the guys were, and how positively they spoke about the process in the post show Q&A.
Saturday Afternoon pt. 2:
Saturday Evening: BLAST Show at Northwestern
Another event, another acronym, but this one’s really different. BLAST is the Northwestern Ballroom, Latin and Swing Team (or Thing…) and this weekend was their annual show. My friend Madison is one of their choreographer/dancers and her pieces were amazing. She also made a great cameo in the penultimate dance of the evening that took place on the Purple express train and combined hip hop and swing and was generally awesome.
Sunday Morning: Strangers on a Train at the Music Box
Another in the Music Box’s Hitchcock series, I knew nothing about this movie walking in except that it’s basically the only movie other than Rope that Farley Granger was in. Although visually more varied and quicker, Strangers never rises to the tension level of Rope, and the ending could not be more ridiculous, but it was a nice diversion. And I was introduced to my favorite supporting performance in a long time from Patricia Hitchcock, as Granger’s love interest’s brainy little sister Barbara who has a knack for always saying what everyone else is dreading. (Also who knew Hitch has a daughter? And that she is hilarious?)
Sunday Evening: Hit the Wall from The Inconvenience at the Greenhouse
It’s going to be hard to stay brief about this, because I feel like I could write a master’s thesis about this dramatization of the lead up to the Stonewall rebellion. I’m obsessed with a lot about this show, the performances are all captivating (personal favorites include Desmond Gray as stoop kid Mika, Steve Lenz as a hippie who feels himself drawn to a captivating transgender woman, and Mary Williamson as the conservative sister of a lesbian beating victim that gets caught up in the fray.)
A remount of a show that premiered in the Steppenwolf Garage a few years ago, I was swept up in the energy of the show from the opening minutes, where the cast mills around and greets the audience. (Gray said he liked my shoes, it was really exciting.) When things start to fall apart it gets a little overwhelming, but in the best way. These events are important American history and we need to remember not just the consequences but the particulars and this show is a good introduction.
Warning: There is a (great) band onstage, but it’s LOUD.
The show runs through June at the Greenhouse Theater at 2257 N. Lincoln Ave (and you should all go!!)