ML - Michigan Avenue

2014 - Issue 1 - Winter

Michigan Avenue - Niche Media - Michigan Avenue magazine is a luxury lifestyle magazine centered around Chicago’s finest people, events, fashion, health & beauty, fine dining & more!

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WINTER SIZZLERS Be transported at one of these other hot Chicago events. "I've found theater is the perfect form to explore psychology, society, politics, love, and life." —MIKE BARTLETT identity. And it's a perfect fit for Profiles, which has long demonstrated a penchant for such takeno-prisoners playwrights as David Mamet, Sam Shepard, and Neil LaBute. "It's not line, line, line," notes director Darrell W. Cox. "The dialogue overlaps; characters double back. And even though no one touches and no one takes their clothes off, the sexuality is shocking." Bartlett's first drama, My Child (about a young boy victimized by warring parents), debuted at London's Royal Court Theatre in 2007. It was a tough subject, toughly rendered, and his themes haven't gotten any sweeter—think globalization, climate change, power, and corruption. "When I was younger, theater certainly felt quite old fashioned and stuck in its ways," he says, "but I think that has changed over the last 10 years. I've found it's the perfect form to explore psychology, society, politics, love, and life. I think so much dramatic entertainment now is personal and recorded that theater seems unusual and fresh, as it's shared and live." Cock grew from personal observation. "I knew many people who had sexual relationships with both men and women, but wouldn't define themselves as bisexual," relates Bartlett. "Instead, they had just fallen in love. I felt most discussions of sexual preference, certainly in plays, hadn't spoken about this—and I wasn't sure how I felt The play Cock, written by Mike Bartlett (ABOVE), debuted in New York City (TOP) and London before coming to Chicago. about it, and the implications for progressing LGBT rights." Interestingly, Bartlett reports, audiences in London and New York seemed less interested in gender issues and the sexuality of his characters than the questions of love their predicament raised. "Most people were equally concerned with the more universal problem of falling in love with two people at the same time. It's become clear that the play is far more about indecision and love than sexual orientation." Offering his take on the play, Cox suggests, "Mike is essentially looking at how the choices we make in life and how we go about presenting ourselves to the world are dictated by our need for acceptance and love. And how it's really hard to follow your own path. And how many times, when you think you are making your own choice, you may be just accepting what's comfortable, and not even be aware of it." February 20–April 6, Profiles Theatre, 4139 N. Broadway, 773-549-1815; MA Long before Richard Nixon, Malcolm X, and Anna Nicole Smith got the operatic treatment, Duke Ellington set the life of cosmetics maven Madam C. J. Walker to music with Queenie Pie. Rarely performed, Ellington's comic, jazz-driven piece receives its local premiere by the Chicago Opera Theater. February 15, 21, and 23 and March 5, The Harris Theater for Music and Dance, 205 E. Randolph St., 312-704-8414; Gustav Mahler considered his monumental Third Symphony his "most personal and richest work," a "gigantic hymn to the glory of every aspect of creation." One might say the same of John Neumeier's dance rendition, a milestone in the choreographer's long, productive career with the esteemed Hamburg Ballet. February 19 and 20, The Harris Theater for Music and Dance, 205 E. Randolph St., 312-334-7777; Award-winning choreographer Kyle Abraham may have his hip-hop bona fides in order, but his work isn't concerned with bling. With The Radio Show, he offers a multilayered musing on events drawn from life—a family member's eclipse by Alzheimer's and the sudden shutdown of a beloved radio station. February 20–23, Museum of Contemporary Art, 220 E. Chicago Ave., 312-397-4010; MICHIGANAVEMAG.COM 062-063_MA_SC_HT_Winter_14.indd 63 63 1/10/14 10:29 AM

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