by Jason Dabrowski, Jacob Christopher Green and Calidonia Olivares • Directed by Calidonia Olivares

“Throw Andrea McArdle, George Romero and Chi Chi LaRue into a blender and you’d be lucky if you get something as outrageous and sick with fun as Hubris Productions’ “Annee Pocalypse.” - Brian Kirst

That’s right folks, she’s back!  Our very own Little Whorin Annee is back in Chi-Town just in time for the elections. It’s the very near future and the world is in zombie-filled, right-wing-run, post-apocalyptic chaos. Whew! With “frighteningly funny…pseudo political content…great penis gag lines” and witty lyrics put to music reinterpreted by John Kamys (Jinx Titanic), Anne Pocalypse will have you laughing hours past its 60 minutes.  Now with MORE CAMP! So c’mon and see if the world is still here tomorrow.
 
From September 08, 2012, to September 23, 2012, with Special Election show on November 01, 2012.
Thursdays - Sundays @8:00pm • Doors Open at 7:30 • Run Time: One Hour no intermission
Price: $25 VIP: General: $15  • Tickets available at www.brownpapertickets.com/event/263374
@ Mary’s Attic • 5400 N Clark Street • Chicago, IL 60640
 
 
In The Eyes of Photographer Ed Negron .
For more info. visit www.thework-in.blogspot.com
 
 
Openly Gay Actor & Comedian JASON STUART in Chicago 5 shows only!  August 16-18 


As the first openly gay comedian to headline at The Laugh Factory in Hollywood, California, Jason Stuart has been making audiences laugh out loud since 1983. Jason came out publicly in 1993 on the Geraldo show in an episode called “Unconventional Comedians”. And with this appearance, he is celebrating 20 years of being openly gay in the entertainment biz!
Jamie Masada, The Laugh Factory’s owner, has given Jason a place to work and grow as a comedian for 30 years. In 1995, Jamie gave Jason the club for a full week to celebrate National Coming Out Day,  an event that generated a cover story in the Los Angeles Times.“Jason Stuart has always been ahead of our time.  He paved the road for gay entertainers in Hollywood and gave them to courage to be themselves.” 

With over 150 film & TV shows under his belt, and his own hour special on the gay network, Jason  always supported other openly gay actors and many events and organizations of the LGBT community. “It’s not always easy, but it became more important to me to be openly gay than to be in show biz.  I was willing to risk my career to be authentic, but it actually worked out OK”, he says. Its pioneering work includes a survey on out actors, 
He looks forward to sharing that with Chicago.  “To have the same rights is the goal for my fellow gay artists”, says Jason… a simple guy from a crazy town called Hollywood!

 •  The show on August 16th, is a Benefit for Test Positive Awareness Network in Chicago. 
For Tickets call 773-327-3175, and for more information visit www.tpan.com/about/mission.shtml
 
 
More than 700 people came to South Shore Cultural Center on Sunday, July 29 to view the FREE inaugural performance of Chicago Shakespeare in the Parks: The Taming of the Shrew.

The event included a green show featuring Joel Hall Dancers and Soul and Duende Spanish American Theater, with welcoming remarks given by program partner representatives Barbara Gaines of the Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Mike Kelly of Chicago Park District, and Nora Moreno Cargie of The Boeing Company.

Parks to be visited through August 19th,  include Tuley, Dvorak, Austin Town Hall, Humboldt, Douglas, Gateway (Navy Pier), Welles, Garfield Park Conservatory, Ridge, and Frank J. Wilson Park.

For more information on these FREE performances, visit www.chicagoshakes.com/parks.
 
 
Cultural, Civic and Corporate Partnership Launches Bold Initiative–Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Chicago Park District and The Boeing Company present. From July 29–August 19, 2012.
Chicago—June 12, 2012—Chicago Shakespeare Theater (CST), Chicago Park District and The Boeing Company announced today plans to bring Shakespeare, FREE FOR ALL, to community parks across the City of Chicago this summer. From Portage Park to Humboldt Park and Austin to South Shore, this summer from July 29 to August 19, Chicago Shakespeare in the Parks will break down barriers to arts participation and give Chicagoans direct access to their City's cultural resources by bringing free Shakespeare performances into their neighborhoods.

"Chicago Shakespeare in the Parks is a wonderful example of how arts initiatives can succeed in bringing communities together, enhancing quality of life through public and private partnership throughout the city and into our neighborhoods," said Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events Commissioner, Michelle T. Boone. "Accessibility to the arts is something we heard from residents throughout the city at our many public meetings for the new 2012 Chicago Cultural Plan. This new program is an important step in strengthening Chicago's future as a leader in the world for arts and culture."

The new citywide arts initiative, the largest of its kind in the history of the Chicago Park District, is made possible by a grant from The Boeing Company, with additional support from BMO Harris Bank, Sara Lee Foundation, and the Chicago Shakespeare Trust.

Lianne Stein, Vice President of Global Corporate Citizenship for The Boeing Company, says, "As a company dedicated to innovation and new ideas, Boeing is pleased to partner in presenting Chicago Shakespeare in the Parks. We applaud the program's aim to activate and engage communities through quality artistic programming, free of charge, which will inspire residents with the works of the world's leading playwright."

Chicago Shakespeare in the Parks is inspired by the open air setting in which Shakespeare's plays were originally performed more than 400 years ago, and Joseph Papp's twentieth century American initiative that brought free Shakespeare to urban communities. Beginning its summer tour on July 29 through each of the Park District regions, a traveling production of The Taming of the Shrew will be presented. A specially equipped truck will roll into each park, a stage will unfold, and a company of professional actors will perform. Parks scheduled to be visited, rain or shine, include: South Shore Cultural Center, Tuley Park, Dvorak Park, Austin Town Hall Park, Humboldt Park, Douglas Park, Gateway Park at Navy Pier, Welles Park, Garfield Park Conservatory, Ridge Park and Frank J. Wilson Park.

"We are so pleased to welcome Chicago Shakespeare Theater to our parks," said Chicago Park District General Superintendent & CEO Michael Kelly. "This partnership creates a unique opportunity to enhance cultural offerings at parks across the city and hopefully begin a tradition of bringing free theatrical performances to families citywide."

Visitors to the parks will enjoy a 75-minute, daylight production of Shakespeare's enduring comedy about the battle between the sexes, The Taming of the Shrew. The wildly spirited Kate and the machismo-driven Petruchio will scream, fight and woo their way into one another's heart in Shakespeare's verse and Elizabethan dress, underscored with original rock-inspired music to connect contemporary audiences with the characters' journeys.

"As Chicago's 'home for Shakespeare' for the past quarter century, CST has delighted in introducing millions of audience members to his timeless plays," said Barbara Gaines, Artistic Director of Chicago Shakespeare Theater. "We are honored by this opportunity to make Shakespeare FREE FOR ALL Chicagoans and to share his insight and humor in a high-energy professional production, under the summer skies. Prepare to fall in love with Shakespeare—for the first time, or all over again!

For more information on Chicago Shakespeare in the Parks, visit www.chicagoshakes.com/parks.
1. South Shore Cultural Center  
Sunday, July 29 at 4:00 p.m • 7059 S. South Shore Dr.

2. Tuley Park •  Monday, July 30 at 3:30 p.m •  501 E. 90th Pl.

3. Dvorak Park    
Tuesday, July 31, 4:00 p.m   1119 W. Cullerton St.

4. Austin Town Hall Park  • 
Wednesday, August 1, 3:30 p.m   5610 W. Lake St.

5. Humboldt Park  • Friday, August 3, 6:30 p.m 
Saturday, August 4, 4:00 p.m • 1440 N. Sacramento Ave.

6. Douglas Park
Sunday, August 5, 4:00 p.m • 1401 S. Sacramento

7. Gateway Park at Navy Pier  
Monday, August 6, 6:30 p.m  Tuesday, August 7, 6:30 p.m  Wednesday, August 8, 6:30 p.m  •  600 E. Grand Ave.

8. Welles Park  •  Friday, August 10, 6:30 p.m 
Saturday, August 11, 4:00 p.m  •  2333 W. Sunnyside Ave

9. Garfield Park Conservatory*
Sunday, August 12, 3:00 p.m  •  300 N. Central Park Ave.

10. Ridge Park*
 Wednesday, August 15, 6:30 p.m  •  1817 W. 96th Street

11. Frank J Wilson Park  
Friday, August 17, 6:30 p.m • Saturday, August 18, 4:00p.m Sunday, August 19, 4:00 p.m    
4630 N. Milwaukee Ave.
 
 
Photos are courtesy of the Metropolitan Opera (from L to R): Anna Netrebko in the title role of Donizetti’s “Anna Bolena." photo by Brigitte Lacombe. Renée Fleming and Susan Graham in "Der Rosenkavalier." photo by Ken Howard. Juan Diego Flórez in “Le Comte Ory." photo by Marty Sohl. Mariusz Kwiecien  in "Don Giovanni" photo by Marty Sohl. Kate Lindsey in “Les Contes d’Hoffmann” photo by Ken Howard. Anna Netrebko in "Lucia di Lammermoor," photo by Ken Howard.

SUMMER ENCORE SCREENINGS OF SIX OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCES FROM THE AWARD-WINNING SERIES

This June and July, the Metropolitan Opera will present encore presentations of six Live in HD performances in hundreds of movie theaters across the United States.
 
The series begins June 13th with Donizetti’s Anna Bolena, with star soprano Anna Netrebko, and ends on July 25th with Strauss’s bittersweet romance Der Rosenkavalier, starring Renée Fleming in one of her most acclaimed roles.
 
ANNA BOLENA (Donizetti)
Wednesday, June 13 at 6:30 p.m. local time • Estimated running time: 3 hours, 10 minutes
Anna Netrebko sings one of opera’s greatest mad scenes as Anne Boleyn in Donizetti’s opera based on the tragic demise of the famous English queen. David McVicar’s production, which opened the Met’s 2011-12 season, also stars Ekaterina Gubanova as Anne’s rival, Jane Seymour, and Ildar Abdrazakov as Henry VIII. Marco Armiliato conducts the Met premiere of this legendary diva showcase.
 
LE COMTE ORY (Rossini)
Wednesday, June 20 at 6:30 p.m. local time • Estimated running time: 2 hours, 25 minutes
A trio of bel canto stars--Juan Diego Flórez, Diana Damrau, and Joyce DiDonato—star in the Met premiere of Rossini’s exuberant comedy, directed by Bartlett Sher and conducted by Maurizio Benini. Mistaken identities and vocal fireworks abound in the story of a count who disguises himself to seduce a lonely countess.

DON GIOVANNI (Mozart)
Wednesday, June 27 at 6:30 p.m. local time • Estimated running time: 3 hours
Mariusz Kwiecien is the world’s most famous lover in Michael Grandage's new staging of Mozart’s masterpiece. Met Principal Conductor Fabio Luisi leads the cast of gifted Mozarteans, which includes Marina Rebeka as Donna Anna, Barbara Frittoli as Donna Elvira, Mojca Erdmann as Zerlina, Ramón Vargas as Don Ottavio, and Luca Pisaroni as the Don’s beleaguered servant Leporello.
 
LES CONTES D’HOFFMANN (Offenbach)
Wednesday, July 11 at 6:30 p.m. local time • Estimated running time: 3 hours
Joseph Calleja stars as the loveless poet Hoffmann in Bartlett Sher’s production, conducted by Met Music Director James Levine. Hoffmann loves and loses three women in the course of the opera: the mechanical doll Olympia (Kathleen Kim), the frail singer Antonia (Anna Netrebko), and the greedy courtesan Giulietta (Ekaterina Gubanova).
 
LUCIA DI LAMMERMOOR (Donizetti)
Wednesday,July 18 at 6:30 p.m. local time • Estimated running time: 2 hours, 25 minutes
Anna Netrebko stars as the emotionally fragile Lucia, whose forced marriage to a man she doesn’t love leads to madness and murder. Mariusz Kwiecien sings the role of her tyrannical brother, Enrico, and Piotr Beczala is her lover, Edgardo. Marco Armiliato conducts; Mary Zimmerman’s production stages the opera as a Victorian-era ghost story.
 
DER ROSENKAVALIER (Strauss)
Wednesday,July 25 at 6:30 p.m. local time • Estimated running time: 3 hours, 20 minutes
Renée Fleming stars as the Marschallin, a married noblewoman who wistfully renounces her affair with a much-younger man, in Richard Strauss’s tale of love lost and found in 18th-century Vienna. Edo de Waart conducts a cast that also includes Susan Graham as Octavian, Kristin Sigmundsson as Baron Ochs, and Christine Schäfer as Sophie. 

Click here to find local for theaters.
 
For additional information, visit: metopera.org/liveinhd.  
 
 
Theo Ubique Cabaret Theater and The Hypocrites Take Top Honors at Non-Equity Jeff Awards, and Griffin Theater Wins Coveted Ensemble Award for "Punk Rock."

June 4, 2012 - Chicago, IL.  At the Non-Equity Jeff Awards held at Park West on Monday, June 4, Theo Ubique Cabaret Theater took most awards with 6 honors for their jewel box production of “A Light in the Piazza” including Production-Musical, Director-Musical for Fred Anzevino and Brenda Didier, Principal Actress for Kelli Harrington, Supporting Actor for Justin Adair, Music Director for Jeremy Ramey and, in a new award recognition, Dialect Coach for Eva Breneman. The Hypocrites’ avant-garde play “Sophocles: Seven Sicknesses” accrued 4 awards for Production-Play, Director and New Adaptation for Sean Graney, and Lighting Design for Jared Moore. “Punk Rock” by Griffin Theater Company collected the Ensemble award, Director-Play for Jonathan Berry, and Principal Actor-Play for Joey DeBettencourt.
 
Emcees Vanessa Greenway, an artistic associate at Griffin Theater, and Terry Hamilton, an associate artist at TimeLine Theater Company, presided over an evening that recognized 141 nominations in 25 categories from 49 productions and ultimately honored 34 recipients from 15 theaters with 31 awards celebrating excellence in all aspects of Chicago Non-Equity theater. Director for the ceremony was Ronna Kaye, and Non-Equity Chair Doug Bradburd produced the event.

The Jeff Awards has been honoring outstanding theatre artists annually since it was established in 1968. In the season ended March 31, 2012, the Jeff Awards Committee judged the opening nights of 154 Non-Equity productions from 71 Non-Equity producing organizations. Of these, 64 productions were recommended by the opening night judges and became eligible for nominations.
 
To read more, and see the complete list of The Jeff Awards go to  www.jeffawards.org.

 
 

photos by Danny Nicholas from L to R: Rashawn Thompson (Marvin Gaye), Yahdina Udeen (Alberta Gaye - Mother), Donald Barnes (Marvin Gaye Sr. – Father), Lawrence Williams (Frankie Gaye), Rueben Echoles (Berry Gordy), Rashaad Hall (Smokey Robinson), Lyle Miller (Harvey Fuqua), Dawn Bless (Gwen Gordy), Katrina Miller (Anna Gordy), and Melanie McCullough (Tammi Terrell and Jan Gaye).  The ensemble also includes A’rese Emokpae, Stori Johnson, and Cory Wright.

With a powerful voice and a commanding stage present Rashawn Thompson is outsatnding in the role of Marvin Pentz Gaye Jr.  Yesterday afternoon, at the Black Ensemble Theatre, Thompson did justice to one of the greatest talents to come out of the Motown dynasty.  

The Marvin Gaye Story revealed the struggles of the singer while also honoring his vast contributions to the music industry and the world. Gaye's sound began with Doo Wop in the ‘50s, and moved to Rhythm and Blues in the ‘60s, political awareness in the ‘70s, and sophisticated soul in the ‘80s.  Some of his greatest contributions include “I Heard It Through The Grapevine,” “What’s Going On,” and “Inner City Blues,” as well as numerous hits from his partnership with Tammi Terrel played by Melanie McCullough such as “All I Need To Get By,” “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,” and “If This World Were Mine.” 

Marvin Gaye won two Grammy Awards including Best Vocal Performance for “Sexual Healing” in 1983.  This song was one of the best the best moments of the show when Thompson electrify the audience singing the hit.

Marvin Gaye’s life was plagued with depression and drug addiction and ended in tragedy on April 1, 1984 when he was shot and killed by his own father but on stage they just refer to it and don't show the actual shooting.

Yahdina Udeen in the role of Gaye's Mother is remarkable. Her powerful voice and her ability to act won my heart and admiration as she sang her finale which was my favorite moment of the entire show. Ms Udeen is by far the best talent I witness on stage yesterday. She is outstanding, and deserve getting the best of any musical awards anywhere in the USA for her superb performance as the mother, a performance that is bigger than life!

This Black Ensemble Theater production, written, produced and directed by Black Ensemble Theater Founder and CEO Jackie Taylor, will embrace this sentiment and celebrate a legacy of beautiful music that will last forever. The Marvin Gaye Story  is a winner.

At The Black Ensemble Theater Cultural Center, 4450 N. Clark, Through July 29, 2012.  Valet parking is available. Wednesdays & Thursdays at 7:30 p.m., Fridays at 8:00 p.m., and Saturdays at 3:00 p.m.and 8:00 p.m.. Sundays at 3:00 p.m.  Tickets priced at $55-$65. A 10% discount is available for students, seniors, and groups. Available online at www.ticketmaster.com, or by phone (773) 769-4451.

 
 
photos: top: BOLERO ©Laurent Philippe • bottom: Giselle ©Christian Leiber

The Harris Theater presents the Chicago debut of the Paris Opéra Ballet from June 26 - July 1. This week long engagement marks the Ballet’s first return to the United States in more than a decade. The world’s finest ballet company will launch its national tour with two programs that have never been presented in the United States—the iconic love story Giselle, June 26-28; and The French Mixed Repertoire from June 29-July 1. This will include Suite En Blanc by Serge Lifar, Roland Petit’s L’Arlésienne, and Le Boléro by Maurice Béjart. All shows will be accompanied by the Grant Park Orchestra in a first-ever collaboration with the Harris Theater. Mayor Rahm Emanuel will be present at the Opening Night Benefit Gala, June 26 to welcome the company to Chicago. 

Additional programs: The Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, May 31-June 3 in their Summer Series. One program will feature one of the most significant contemporary choreographer William Forsythe.
The Chicago Chamber Musicians will celebrate its 25th anniversary on June 4. This magnificent program will feature many ensemble artists performing works by Wagner, Brahms and John Stevens.
 
 
Picture
PRIDE Films & Plays Presents: Man Boobs
Saturday, February 4th, 2012

Chicago, IL -  Rick Heintz and Michael Hampton have been cast as Marty and Spence in the Chicago premiere of J. Julian Christopher’s insightful new work Man Boobs, a dark comedy about love, body image, and acceptance.

Michael Hampton (Marty) was last seen as Santa Claus in Rudolph the Red Hosed Reindeer, and in staged readings of Pig and The Ritz for Pride Films and PlaysHe is an ensemble member of Hell In a Handbag Productions and he just won the Chicago Broadway World award for Best Actor in a Musical (non-equity) for his portrayal of Santa Claus last year.

Rick Heintz (Spence) has been “bearing it all” for the last year over a four-state area in a show he created called “FurrLesque.” Having taken off more than 8 years from his on-stage antics, Rick has been very active in the LGBT community fighting for equality and riding his bicycle to end HIV/AIDS. While hiding from the spotlight, he wrote/co-produced “The Family Business” for the 48-Hour Film Project Los Angeles (Audience Favorite Award) and worked for TV Guide Network in Hollywood producing such shows as “Fashion Wrap with Joan and Melissa Rivers,” “Idol Tonight,” “Reality Chat,” and Red Carpet coverage from everything from the Academy Awards to the Country Music Awards.

David Zak directs Man Boobs, PFP’s second staged production, as part of PFP’s exploration of “what’s new and what’s next” in LGBT theater and film.  Zak, PFP’s Executive Director, predicts, “As we celebrate and nurture new voices in American theater, Mr. Christopher’s fresh and provocative work will be resonating for many years to come.”

Developed at New York’s Public Theater and at workshops at East L.A , Man Boobs ran in New York City at The Fresh Fruit Festival in 2010.  It premiered in Montréal at The Rialto Theatre in 2011 and currently part of Australia’s Midsumma Festival.

Every Saturday from February 18 – March 10 + Thursday, March 8th. Shows start at 7:30 pm at Mary’s Attic, 5446 N. Clark, Chicago.

Previews, Thursday, February 16 and Friday, February 17.  Tickets can be purchased by calling 1.800.838.3006 or online www.BrownPapertickets.com.

Source: Press Release