Things to recommend in Chicago

El Barco.
Taking Ashland from the Eisenhower instead of heading almost into the Loop and then doglegging over to the Kennedy.
The Signal Ensemble Theatre's night of two one-act plays by Edward Albee (The Zoo Story) and Harold Pinter (The Dumb Waiter) at the Chopin Theatre in Wicker Park.
The willingness of the actors to perform in a small, basement-like space, only about six feet at the most from the audience. There is no place for them, or you, to hide.
The willingness of the actors to perform in a small space, allowing the audience to observe so closely that the sense of performance drops away. You can see the sweat beading up, the backlighted spit flying, the rise and then release of the actor's shoulders as he weakly tries to assert himself in Zoo Story, for example.
The honor system at the coffee shop during the intermission.
Watching the actor who played Gus in The Dumb Waiter help to dismantle the set and prep for the second play. As he dragged the heavy backdrops off stage, I kept thinking that this had to be one of the hardest working actors around. And everyone at this theater works that hard.
The Goodwill, mismatched, Art Deco living room that you wait in until the theater space opens. Could there be any more flocked velvet in one room? But isn't it nice to see how all the sofas lead people to relax, sit and read their programs, look around?

Comments

Jessica said…
Janet,
I think that you and I should go on Check Please. Do you ever watch the show? What restaurant would you recommend? I like to when I can.
Have you ever been to Adobo Grill in chicago? Its off Wells in Old Town. You may want to try it.
I like your blog I will be checking it frequently
Jessica
Chris said…
Just came across your blog review (I'm in The Zoo Story) -- Thank you so much! I'm so glad that the plays and the space affect you! You mind if we post your review on our site (http://signalensemble.com)?
JANET said…
I would be pleased. Do you want to provide a link or post the review itself (in that case, would you credit my blog at http://pegotty.blogspot.com)?
thanks -