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items tagged with Jake Walker

Say "Uncle"! : Tony Nominee Lee Blessing Debuts His New Comedy at New Ground Theatre, April 29 through May 8
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Feature Stories

2016-04-21 12:00:00

Jordan Smith, Bill Peiffer, Jake Walker and Maggie Woolley in UncleAt the very end of Anton Chekhov’s 1897 tragicomedy Uncle Vanya, two of the play’s principal characters – Vanya and his niece Sonya – sit quietly at a table at their Russian estate, each lamenting the departure of their recent house guests. They’ve endured all manner of emotional hardships over the stage hours prior, and as they prepare to face more in the lonely years ahead, Sonya delivers one of theatre’s most famous closing monologues, climaxing her speech by telling Vanya not to fear – God will show pity on them. “We shall rest,” she says, gently, just before the curtain falls. “We shall rest.”

Hopefully, for Vanya and Sonya, 119 years constitutes a long-enough rest. Because thanks to a playwright’s imagination and a rather inconvenient (and fictitious) wormhole, Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya characters are continuing their sagas in author Lee Blessing’s debuting comedy Uncle, a world-premiere production by Davenport’s New Ground Theatre running at the Village Theatre from April 29 through May 8.

“Sometimes you just don’t know where things come from,” says Blessing, with a laugh, regarding his sci-fi-comedy continuation of Chekhov’s masterpiece. “I’d seen a modern update of Vanya not that long ago in Los Angeles, and around the same time I said to myself, ‘Wouldn’t it be interesting to write a play about a guy who suddenly has a cosmic wormhole open up in his backyard, but doesn’t want it? Doesn’t want the things that come out of it?’ And so, for some odd reason, I put those things together."
Read More About Say "Uncle"! : Tony Nominee Lee Blessing Debuts His New Comedy At New Ground Theatre, April 29 Through May 8...


The Princess and the PPs: "Love's Labour's Lost," at the QC Theatre Workshop through January 30
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Reviews

2016-01-26 12:00:00

Jake Walker, Stephanie Burrough, Chris Sanders-Ring, and Kitty Israel in Love's Labour's LostWhile waiting for the Prenzie Players' Thursday-night dress rehearsal of the William Shakespeare comedy Love’s Labour’s Lost to begin, I realized it had been a long time since I had seen one of the Bard of Avon’s plays performed live. I pondered whether I would be able to follow the plot and comprehend the dialogue. I worried that the show might be too stuffy for my unrefined sense of theatre. “Holy crap, I'm supposed to write a review – what if I don’t get it?” Yet as the show began, the Prenzies put my neuroses to rest very quickly.
Read More About The Princess And The PPs: "Love's Labour's Lost," At The QC Theatre Workshop Through January 30...


Neither a Borrower Nor a Lender Be: "Timon of Athens," at the QC Theatre Workhop through September 27
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Reviews

2015-09-21 12:00:00

Matt Moody in Timon of AthensI came across a quote this past week that read: “A true friend talks trash to your face and is fiercely loyal behind your back.” While the sentiment came to my attention at a particularly poignant time for me personally, it also fits almost perfectly with the core theme in William Shakespeare’s Timon of Athens, currently being presented by the Prenzie Players.
Read More About Neither A Borrower Nor A Lender Be: "Timon Of Athens," At The QC Theatre Workhop Through September 27...


The Skittish Play: "Macbeth," at Lincoln Park through August 9
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Reviews

2015-08-03 15:40:00

Sarah Ade Wallace and Todd Schwartz in MacbethBefore Saturday’s opening-night presentation, executive director Doug Tschopp took the stage for Genesius Guild’s traditional pre-show announcements and T-shirt giveaway, and kindly asked the crowd for continued financial support, especially given the organization’s decreased support since 2008 from the State of Illinois. Not to make light of a very real monetary concern, but I wish power players from Nike had been there for Tschopp’s request. Because after seeing Macbeth, they might’ve happily handed over a check, considering the motto for everyone involved in director Michael King’s inspiriting production appeared to be the same: "Just do it."
Read More About The Skittish Play: "Macbeth," At Lincoln Park Through August 9...


The Devil "Made Him" Do It: "Doctor Faustus," at the QC Theatre Workshop through July 26
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Reviews

2014-07-21 12:00:00

Kitty Israel in Doctor FaustusThere were moments during Friday’s performance of the Prenzie Players’ Doctor Faustus in which I was creeped out, but with a fascination that had me begging for more. Director Jake Walker, sound designer Elizabeth Spoerl, and lighting designer Tyson Danner create effectively ominous scenes, particularly those involving chanting or whispering from behind the black curtains surrounding the audience, or red light pouring forth from an opening in that cloth wall. Chills ran up my spine, goosebumps rose along my legs and arms, and the hair on the back of my neck stood up multiple times – all signs of a thrilling production.


Read More About The Devil "Made Him" Do It: "Doctor Faustus," At The QC Theatre Workshop Through July 26...





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