Step Right Up

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HIM, originally uploaded by CelticWander.

This is the show I am working on right now. Here is ticket info:

Viaduct Theater, 3111 N. Western Ave., Chicago, IL 60618 Street parking and under the viaduct; CTA accessible (Western and Belmont bus stops)
Opened Thursday, May 26, 2005, at 8 PM. Runs Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays at 8 PM, and Sundays at 7 PM through 6/25/05
Viaduct Theater Box Office, 773.296.6024 (open 7-10 PM Thursday – Saturday, and 6-9 PM on Sunday) HotTix
$15 on Thursdays/Sundays; $18 on Fridays/Saturdays Half-price on Thursday, 6/2 and Sunday, 6/5 for industry members with headshot/card.
Call for group rates.

Here are reviews:

Chicago Sun-Times: Hedy Weiss
“A “curiosity” in both concept and execution, this rarely produced work, now in an elaborate and ingenious production by the Viaduct Theater, also serves as a reminder of how Chicago theaters still will dance out on a limb to experiment.”

“Anchoring the play are brief, revealing, well-acted scenes between the artist, Him (David Schultz), and his insightful if admittedly bourgeois wife, Me (Julia Siple), which unfold in a tiny parlor seen from different angles thanks to clever set changes. There is love between these two but also a certain disconnect. And interspersed among their intimate scenes (which have some Eugene O’Neill-like echoes) are stylized routines exposing the human comedy: two clowns who burst each other’s balloons; a sweaty carnival barker and snake-oil salesman (terrific work by Paul D’Addario) who thrives on lies, and the three Miss Weirds (Ariel Brenner, Christine Cummings and Marssie Mencotti), who nearly steal the show with their hilarious, verbally brilliant riffs on men (and other strange creatures). Best of all is a circus sideshow (applause throughout for set designer Robert Whitaker, whether for his vintage folk art-style cutout curtain with openings for human heads and appendages) or his magenta burlesque stage.
Cheers, too, for Alison Siple’s marvelous costumes. Director Whitney Blakemore (working with Sheri Reda), and TS Henry Webb, the funky conductor of an onstage band, has staged “Him” with great invention. And her large cast captures the spirit of the piece.

Chicago Tribune: Chris Jones
“Whitney Blakemore’s astonishingly expansive production, which gives the work all the sets it needs and, at the core of the staging, seems to understand both its style and its pain. And, indeed, for fans or students of cummings in particular, or the literature of despair
in general, this heavy work has all kinds of interest. The language is dazzlingly rich. And you’ll probably not get the chance to see it again around here anytime soon.”

“You have to admire the Viaduct for attempting this almost impossible play – which requires some 20 actors, a live band, a re-creation of carnival oddities and a constantly changing set and frame of reference.”


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