Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Nifty Theatre Podcast, and a Call to Our Readers

House Theatre studmuffins Nathan Allan and Jake Minton have an interesting podcast up:
http://blog.thehousetheatre.com/2006/02/new_house_podca.html

It's a bit unwieldy (30 minutes!) but midway through they get into a discussion on one of my favorite topics- the effect venue has on the overall theatre experience. Nate and Jake are very aware of how the grungy, underground warehouse feel of the Viaduct has contributed to most of their shows, and to their brand as a whole. I'm so glad I'm not the only one who thinks about/writes about/ gives assignments to her theatre students about this stuff! Your audience's night out starts way before the show does. Every element that you can exert some control over- the lobby, the seating, the neighborhood, even the drive/bike/bus/train over- it all counts.

I think everyone who's seen a House show will agree that the Viaduct is a perfect match. But that's not true for every production! I'd like to challenge the seven or eight regular readers of this blog- which show would you like to see in which venue, and why? This can be a current production, a past production, or an entirely theoretical production, but it ought to be a real venue.

My own pick? I'd like to see "Lulu," now playing at the pleasant but anodyne Theatre Building Chicago, restaged at the Chopin. The Chopin's wedding cake exterior and shabby, decadant Old World interior would be an ideal setting for the Silent Theatre company's dirty, black and white jewel. Show and venue share a morally bankrupt, shell-shocked chic.

What do you think?

3 Comments:

Anonymous Matt said...

An intimate (but not 'conceptual'!) production of "Sweeney Todd", in the crypt beneath St. John the Divine's, NYC.

Actually, any show that has music, multiple murders and just a soupcon of Catholic guilt, but it has to be that venue. It's a theatre experience begging to happen.

(Instead, we in the UK get "Sweeney" in the glossy, comfortably middle-class New Victoria. With the title role played by *Jason Donovan*, for crying out loud.)

8:43 AM  
Anonymous Justin said...

Caryn Churchill's A Number is an outstanding show, a father-son confrontation about cloning, playing at the Next Theatre, in Evanston.

I think it'd be even more effective in a tight space like the Side Studio, where the argument would be just a few feet away and the notion of authentic humanity would be even more contentious.

12:51 PM  
Blogger Reina said...

Awesome answers, Justin and Matt! Liz and the other five of you... I'm disappointed. Get on the horn!

11:30 PM  

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