This and that


Remy Bumppo’s only halfway through their season, and newly appointed artistic director Timothy Douglas has suddenly called it quits, much to the surprise of the theatre company’s board of directors and artistic associates. It seems like only yesterday he was saying things like, “It is with gratitude, humbleness and divinely guided purpose with which I wholly accept the invitation to join Remy Bumppo Theatre Company as its next Artistic Director!” Echoing this statement, Douglas says in his resignation: “As a result of my brief but ample tenure I came to understand that in spite of our genuine excitement for one another, I’m ultimately not a good match for the organization.” It’s a stand-up man who knows when things aren’t a fit and makes a graceful departure. However, as Douglas discussed in this Talk Theatre in Chicago podcast, he joined Remy Bumppo despite never having seen their work and them not seeing his. I thought that sounded kind of insane when I first listened to this podcast, yet I had hope the experiment would work. Yet, what I saw from Remy Bumppo’s most recent effort under Douglas’s direction, I grew a little concerned for the group.

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You may notice when looking at my “CTA tracker” to the left that I’ve a long gap between shows in late January. That’s because I’ll be in London for work. While there, I’m going to attempt to squeeze in a show. What should I see? I hear Matilda is all the rage.

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Take a look at this comment thread in response to my Chicago Like a Local post discussing the shows I’m anticipating in the first few months of 2012. It got me thinking: what constitutes a revival when talking about Chicago theatre? When a theatre company does a tried-and-true play for the first time (i.e. Court doing Angels in America)? Or is it only a revival when a company recreates their production from a previous season (I’m thinking Hypocrite‘s remounting of Pirates of Penzance)? Does the word have any relevance? I’m interested to hear your thoughts.

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Finally, have you voted in The Honor Awards yet? Hurry: the first round of voting ends tomorrow, Jan. 20! Katy Walsh of Chicago Now’s The Fourth Walsh has assembled this list based on the 247 shows she saw last year. Also, an awards celebration is in the works for February, with more details to come in the next few days. Stay tuned!

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