The Sweet Side Effects of Failure
2005 came and went, and I failed to see a show in every fringe, off-loop and store-front venue in Chicago. Some of them closed this year, some didn't run any shows. Some popped up in November like mushrooms. Some were inaccessible by public transportation. Some, I was too damned lazy. In retrospect, it was a crazy idea.
Still, it was a beautiful one. And though I maintain that, if I hadn't been distracted by my paying review job at Centerstage, I could have pulled it off, I'm happy to have failed in a spectacular venture. Because here's what I did do:
In the course of one year, I saw over 75 separate pieces of live theatre.
I visited at least 54 Chicago theatre venues.
I went out every gosh-darn weekend.
I learned to take a deep breath and give my opinion.
I became a bona fide, I-know-more-about-Chicago-theatre than you storefront snob with the knowledge to back it up.
I was not at any point a dick about it.
I saw the work of countless talented people, some of whom I was lucky enough to get to know.
I had my concept of what can be done on a stage blown apart and reconstructed several times.
I cried in public, and in company.
I visited parts of the city that I didn't know existed.
I learned to use buses, not just trains.
I made a list of 22 venues that I'm going to get to by May. I swear.
Stay tuned for the 2005 year in review, and the awarding of the long awaited Loopies.