As a companion piece to my last “what I’m looking forward to” post, here are some additional things — all new, original works — that have me all jazzed up:
MilkMilkLemonade | March 17 – April 17: I’m drawn to the device of pairing children’s theatre to tell very adult coming-of-age tales, and buzz has been strong for this piece — which is penned by young playwright Joshua Conkel — mainly thanks to Time Out Chicago‘s enthusiastic preview coverage.
11-year-old Emory dreams of being a singer and a dancer. His plans to ribbon dance his way to television’s “Reach For The Stars” are thwarted by his Nanna, who is determined to mold Emory into a normal American boy, and erase his days of Jazz hands and Nina Simone covers. A children’s play definitely not for children, milkmilklemonade is a queer pondering of gender, identity, and the need to dream up a world where you can be who you are.
The Warriors | March 17 – April 17: Not that I’m a stalker or anything, but when I first saw actress Mary Hollis Inboden in New Colony’s Tupperware: An American Musical Fable, I Googled her — and stumbled on something surprising. Apparently, when she was a a sixth-grader in Jonesboro, Ark., two boys opened fire on the playground of her middle school in 1998. Her best friend died along with three fellow students and a teacher. Horrible. Inboden recalled this life-altering event on NPR a few years ago, and now the ever-inventive New Colony team has taken that traumatic experience to the stage.
At 12 years old, Chicago actress Mary Hollis Inboden survived the Westside Middle School massacre, one of the most shocking events of the 90s. But who writes history when nobody’s the victor? In an honest and irreverent homecoming that mixes fact, fiction, identity, and history, Mary Hollis recruits an ensemble of her former classmates to help capture their stories, not of the tragic event that unites them, but of the daily battles and triumphs that define their present.
White Noise | April 1 – June 5: The news surrounding this production is that producer Whoopi Goldberg is prepping this show in Chicago before it heads to Broadway. But what draws me is the daring and powerful premise. As Hedy Weiss reported, the show “follows the rise of a white separatist duo discovered by a New York manager who believes he can propel the women to Top 40 status by coding the lyrics to their hate songs.” But you’d never get that from the vague press notes:
White Noise is a provocative new rock musical that follows a pair of sisters who are discovered by a powerful record producer, and groomed into a well-packaged rock/pop band, which mixes irresistible harmonies with coded rhetoric into chart-blazing hits. Inspired by real life, White Noise fuses today’s headlines and blogs into a cautionary tale that challenges conventional notions of free speech, media and the power of pop culture.
Dixie’s Tupperware Party | March 18 – May 15: Before that Neo-Nazi rock musical takes residence at Royal George Theatre, the zany Dixie’s Tupperware Party struts in for a two-month run. The show stars Los Angeles actor Kris Andersson, who also conceived and wrote the piece, as “Tupperware lady” Dixie Longate, and it just sounds like a campy good time:
Dixie’s Tupperware Party stars Dixie Longate, as the fast-talking Tupperware Lady, who has packed up her catalogues and left her children in an Alabama trailer park to journey across America. Critics and audiences have howled with laughter as Dixie throws a good ol’ fashioned Tupperware Party filled with outrageously funny tales, heartfelt accounts, FREE giveaways, audience participation and the most fabulous assortment of Tupperware ever sold on a theater stage
What are you looking forward to? Comment away!