This: The first ever Chicago Theatre Week launches Feb. 12, and I’ve high hopes for this unique event. Following the lead of the highly popular Restaurant Week (which is also organized by Choose Chicago), Chicago Theatre Week, in partnership with the League of Chicago Theatres, allows you to select $15-30 tickets from more than 75 productions — a great deal. Participating groups include Goodman, Steppenwolf and Broadway in Chicago, as well as a smorgasbord of storefront companies. Visit Chicago Theatre Week’s site to see what shows are available and get tickets. But hurry: Some shows are already selling out!
That: The Music Theatre Company in Highland Park is presenting a staged concert production of the hit-flop musical The Baker’s Wife Feb. 1-10. I call it a “hit-flop” because the show was a famous disaster when it premiered in ’76, closing out of town just days to its auspicious Broadway opening. But Stephen Schwartz’s score is so beloved (including the cabaret standard “Meadowlark”), the show keeps getting revived. In addition, yours truly will be hosting a Q&A with this production’s director, Dominic Missimi, on the show’s opening performance on Feb. 1. (Bonus: Check out this super rare early iteration of “Meadowlark” back when the show was struggling on the road, performed by a fresh-faced Patti LuPone.)
This: My Les Miz post below sent me on a YouTube spiral, watching performances from various productions around the world. And then I stumbled on this: Chicago actress Hollis Resnik singing “I Dreamed a Dream” from the first national tour of the show, back in ’89:
I adore Hollis, and I adore this simple, heartfelt and brave rendition of this song — probably because it’s the first version I’ve ever heard when I saw this tour in Detroit in ’89.
That: In a few short hours, I’m off to my first show if 2013: Promethean Theatre Ensemble‘s Caucasian Chalk Circle with my theatre bud, Ms. Katy Walsh. A storefront production of a Bertolt Brecht drama with my BTF (best theatre friend)? A great way to kick off a new year of theatre-going, I’d say.