Sometimes I Like The Theatre…

Because I am always talking about how much I hate theatre (odd for a theatre professor and director, I know), I thought I would shake it up and talk about some theatre stuff I’m REALLY excited about.

#1: That’s Weird, Abuelita. I took my three-year-old to see this yesterday and we both had a great time. It was charming, very funny, and BILINGUAL! They’re performing at the Hairpin Arts Center in Logan Square/Avondale, and honestly, my favourite part of the experience was seeing the cast and director out on the street before the show, handing out free tickets to people in the neighborhood. And some of them actually came! I’m embarrassed to admit this was my first BOM show but guaranteed, it won’t be my last!

#2: I’m catching the About Face Youth Theatre show What’s the T? tonight. Obvio, I haven’t seen it, but there’s never been an AFYT show I’ve seen that didn’t make me want to hug every teenager on the planet. Speaking of youth performance, I just heard that Free Street’s Ensemble will be opening for the Shakespeare in the Park right here in Humboldt Park! I miss my Free Street folks, and can’t wait to see them again in the fall!

#3: Hit The Wall is at Theatre on the Lake this week, so if you missed it the first time around CATCH IT IF YOU CAN! (I have a sneaking feeling it might already be sold out, but if not, RUN to your computer and book a ticket ASAP.) This piece about the Stonewall Riots was one of my favourite shows last season, and I am EXTRA excited about it this time around because my friend Ricardo Gamboa is stepping into the role that Arturo Soria played so beautifully during the first run. Want to know why?

#4: Arturo Soria is rockin’ it in Oedipus El Rey at Victory Gardens. I know that the “artistic changes” at VG have been controversial among some of the theatre folks here in Chicago but I AM LOVING IT! I feel like there is a theatre company in Chicago that is speaking directly to me, featuring urban stories with a multiplicity of voices and narrative styles. And Oedipus El Rey is no different. It closes this weekend, so get there while you can. (And keep your eyes open for the Ignition Festival, which starts next week.)

#5: Opening this week, though, is the Yo Solo Festival, a collaboration between Teatro Vista and Collaboraction. It features a rotating program of six full-length solos by Latino/a artists, including one by the wonderful Lisandra Tena, whom I just ADORE. The whole program is super exciting, and while the idea of seeing SIX plays is kind of daunting, I think I’m going to go for it! (2 a night, so 3 evenings. Who wants to babysit?)

#6: S.I.Q. is BACK! The Southside Ignoramus Quartet is a sketch comedy show that performs in an air conditioned tent in the backyard of a house in Pilsen. Hey- if there are no theaters making work by you/for you in your hood, build one yourself! This is David Pintor’s brainchild, and worth the visit.

A few other things: Teatro Luna has a one-off performance tomorrow (Friday the 27th) called Ay Mamis, featuring stories about motherhood. Yours truly will be in the house, reading a new piece about my daughter’s efforts to implement an English-Only rule in our house. And Halcyon Theatre’s Alcyone Festivalis still running, featuring 5 works by Mexican women. Chicago summer is HOPPIN’!