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Friday, May 28, 2010

Eric & Andy Make Rare Public Appearance!

Hello Iews Fans!

Eric & Andy will be performing a live reading Saturday May 29th at 3pm at Chris Piatt's The Paper Machete!!! Located at the beautiful Ricochets in lovely Lincoln Square in Chicago!

We'll be doing some classic Iews, and presenting our Summer Movie Preview Extravamazing 2000!

Don't miss this! I said DON'T, goddammit!!!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Taming of the Shrew- Chicago Shakespeare Theatre (Theatre Review)

Hey Iews fans! So, we got to see CST's Taming of the Shrew last night because we are heroes and CST gave us free tickets because we dared to tell the truth in a world of LIES! Here's how it all went!

Eric

So, Andy...what did you think of the framing device written by Mr. LaBute? Do you think that it served as an apology for Shakespeare's misogyny within the play that has posed a problem for a very long time?

Andy

I think all about that.

For example, when Lucentio comes on with Tranio and then they decide to switch clothes because the girl needs to learn at school

but the director older lady is banging the actress

man, those lobster claws were so good right?


Eric

Oh man...America, if you haven't gone to Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. yet, do yourself a favor. They were so good. And the cajun spices?

Andy

Man, I can't say enough good things about the spices. The whole environment there, really was incredible. So friendly.

Eric and I both had speckled lemonades from a very nice waitress.

Eric

She was a sweetheart, and knew so much Forrest Gump trivia. Like, did you know what kind of party Forrest got in trouble at with Jenny?

Andy

I said a "weird sex" party, and that scared her off a little, but she came back because she had to.

Eric

Right, because we had our "Stop, Forrest, Stop" license plate up.

Andy

That's what you put up when you want the waiters to come to your table.

Eric

Or to confuse them.

Andy

It's hard to say enough great things about Bubba Gump Shrimps Company.

Eric

Man, everything on the menu looked so good. I could just talk about the menu for an hour. I should have gotten the shrimp cocktail...DAMMIT!

Andy

You should've. I ordered a piece of shrimp cheesecake, but cancelled it at the last moment, because I can't just eat like that. I give myself excuses, and then I will become a blimp!

Eric

Shut up, you look great! Besides, it's just an excuse to get to the gym in the morning.

Andy

You are so right.

We also had a picture with a very "solid" Bob Newhart!!

Eric

Ha ha! That was so much fun. These pics make it look like we were having an incredible time.

Andy

Remember when we went to those statues of kids and we took one where you were getting kicked?!

Eric

Those were statues?

Andy

AHAHAHAHA!!!

Eric

AHAHAHAHAHAHAH!

Andy

So then we had some shrimp, like we said before...

Eric

Right, and some cajun fish meat. The dish was called a "Bucket of Boat Trash" which is weird because most humans have an aversion to eating trash.

Andy

Not us though.

We paid $19.99 for some trash.

Eric

We go for the gusto.

Andy

Speaking of trash, when dinner was over, we headed over to the play.

Eric

Did we ever. Did you see how nice out it was Andy? I could have sat on that pier all night, eating scrimps, drinking lemonade, having a terrific evening.

Andy

Yeah! My lady friend came and met us too! Also, we met some other friends down there, and sat at the cheeseborger cheeseborger place and had $8 beers.

Eric

Oh boy...things were getting SO great. And then the play started.

Andy

Well, first of all, I tried to bring in some of that great lemonade from before.

Eric

You got reprimanded.

Andy

The "saint" (the old people that usher so that they can see plays for free) told me that there was no way I could bring it inside.

Eric

NO WAY.

Andy

I promptly told him that this was strike 1.

Eric

The theater is pretty nice though.

It's state of the art, because that's what is most important. Not the play, or the acting or anything.

Andy

Right. It's a state of the art update to the Globe Theatre in London England.

Same number of seats and everything.

Eric

Except much less black plague.

Andy

Also, less interesting plays.

Eric

It kind of made me long for a stabbing amond the groundlings...like in olden times.

Andy

Wait, do you mean among the groudlings?

Or stabbing almond groundlings?

Eric

Either way, someone dark skinned is gonna die.

Andy

Here Here!

Eric

The play starts with the LaBute induction scenes, which establish that we are watching a "dress rehearsal" of Taming of the Shrew.

Andy

Now, this rehearsal is just like a regular tech rehearsal, with all the zany characters you really meet in a cast, except there are also tons of hot lesbos that are getting it on all over the stage.

Eric

It was a total boner factory at first. I thought I was in boner town!

Andy

You were, because I was sitting next to you, and I had a boner too.

So once the play began, we were transported to fair Padua, in Italy.

Eric

We all know the story, right? Do we REALLY have to get into it? I mean, they even pulled this shit out on Moonlighting.

Young sister = hot.

Older sister = hot, but a total bitch.

Andy

Well, apparently Chicago Shakespeare Theater didn't think there were enough subplots going on, so they added a few.

To their point though, there are only 73 substories in Shrew.

Eric

It's like Shakespeare used a Magic 8-Ball to write his plays.

"Should I have a master and servant do a switcheroo here?"

"SIGNS POINT TO YES."

Andy

"Should Bianca get wooed by servants for 3 scenes?"

"Ask again later."

Eric

And he did.

Andy

And the 8 ball said yes.

Eric

And the play was 3 hours long.

Andy

Anyway, the point is...

Character actor Mike Nussbaum has an enormous horse penis.

#2. Why does one person in the cast have a South African accent?

#3. Can't you make a Tuesday thru Thursday version that is shorter?

Because once you are on the Pier, it's fucking impossible to get home.

and #4

go ahead Eric.

Eric

Why is the men's bathroom so small? It was like we were at a Minor League game.

Andy

There were some good looking dudes in the audience though.

Eric

Amen to that. Very manly.

Andy

Anyway, the actors are all good, I guess.

The standouts were the Chicago storefront guys.

AS USUAL.

Why does Shakes have to get all these douches from New York?

We aren't good enough?

Eric

No, Andy, we aren't.

Andy

That one guy went to Yale, and all I got from him was that they spit a lot.

At Yale.

Eric

And the Katerina went to the trembling lip school of acting, which is right down the road from the George Clooney Acting with a Smirk college.

Andy

Which is right down the road from Devry.

Eric

Which is where I'm going this summer, did I tell you?

Andy

NO!

That's great Eric!

Eric

I know!

I'll finally make a career!

Andy

Thanks America for your time!

Be sure to go to Bubba Gump Shrimp Factory!!

Eric

No regrets!


Taming of the Shrew
C+
Bubba Gump Shrimp House
A+

-Anderson Lawfer, Eric Roach
-Eric Roach, Anderson Lawfer

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Nick's On Wilson- Restaurant (GUEST REVIEWER JOSH VAUGHN)


Whaddup botches! Josh Vaughn back with another Bar review you can eiws! This time, I checked out Nick’s on Wilson. This one is important cuz normally, I don’t go farther north than Irving Park (unless I’m gonna get some. I’m not a dunce, yo.)

I mean, Wrigley Ville is my set. Every door guy knows me. I got mad cred. That, and, let’s face it, Uptown ain’t exactly Naperville, bro. I heard some dude got a Columbian necktie up there once.

Normally, Nick’s Uptown is my cutoff, but lately, it’s a meat market, total butcher’s sausage shop. Wall to wall dude. And that bitch behind the bar charged me for shots, AGAIN, so I’m boycotting that shit.

It was late on a Tuesday, and this totally hot chick that I worked with (and who totally wants me, she just don’t wanna admit it, I’ve-got-a-boyfriend crap) was in town getting work done at Tattoo Factory. So she’s all “Let’s go to Nick’s, but I’m not drinking.” And I’m all like, “oh, sure thing, doll. Whatever you want.” Meanwhile, I’m fishing in my pocket for that extra GHB (Always be prepared, fellas).

So we got to the place on Wilson and Racine and I’m like, bro. Yikes. It’s like a good night in South Detroit. (Fuckin JOURNEY!!!!). We get to the place, and it ain’t bad. Got a nice layout, like a speakeasy or something. Cool old school bar. They got these weird porno paintings on the wall. The best part, though, is they got one of those mini shuffle board games in the back! Hey man, best way to score some beer money is to school some dumbass on this thing.

But, man, the bartender, first off, was a DUDE! Some fuckin’ heavy metal guy who kept playing Cannibal Corpse or whatever on his I-pod. I mean, would it kill you to play some Kings of Leon, or Three Doors Down!? Those guys rock! And he was all too cool for school, and I’m like, fuck you, bro! Go get your roadie job for Slipknot back!

And the place was empty, which is another reason you need some hotness behind the bar, like Coyote Ugly, or Duffy’s. I mean, I barbacked, bro. I know the business.

So they got a decent selection on tap. I rocked the PBR, so I could get some Jaeger Bombs (always budget, dudes. That way the girl thinks you give a fuck.) They got other weird stuff, too, like Shiner Bock, and that Revolution Brewery place. They got decent specials depending on the night ($4 Blue moon, $4 Jameson shots). And they’re open till 4am, which is the main attraction.

I totally ran into some buddies, we hung out, got some shots, but it was my girl that took priority. But she’s all, I gotta drive home to Champaign or wherever, and I’m all like, Fine! I get you ginger ale, and tell you you’re beautiful, and I ain’t getting any play!?! So the bouncer threw me out, but it was close to closing anyway.

So, wrap up. Nick’s on Wilson, it’s all right, but it should be called Uptown Cock Block. Next time I’m going to Big Shitty.



C+

Thursday, May 20, 2010

The Odd Couple- Raven Theatre (Theatre Review)


It's 1965.
Martin Luther King Jr. makes his historical march to the Alabama capitol. The first wave of US troops are ordered into Vietnam. Joe Namath becomes the Jets quarterback. The Who release their first album. The Palestinian al-Fatah Organization forms...
THE WORLD IS IN PERIL.
With the world on the brink of turmoil and the United States turning the page from a simpler time to an era of upheaval and disobedience, playwright Neil Simon wrote a ground breaking play about two Jews in a Manhattan apartment who argue over dirty socks.
Timeless dirty socks.

The play concerns a man named Oscar (an amazingly beautiful Eric Roach) who loves sandwiches and scotch and hates to clean up. He has recently gone through a divorce, and told his family to move to California. He plays poker with some dudes, one guy is a cop (Larry Cirani, a brilliant actor that may or may not have had a stroke before because I thought he kept winking at my wife, but maybe it was just that he had a stroke before, or maybe it was a character choice. But who would make the choice for a police officer with a firearm to have suffered a crippling stroke? That's why you get Larry Cirani, because he blows the lid off of expectations.)
Speed, a disco guy in 1965, I guess (played with great abandon and hair by Anthony Tournis). Edward Grimly (Greg Kolack as himself) and a guy that looks like he molests his students at the University (a hungry-for-more Greg Caldwell).
Well these guys play poker all the time with their friend Felix Unger (a John Stienhagen-esque Nathan Lane) who has just been kicked out of his house by his wife for acting too effeminate.
So he moves in with Oscar and still acts like a big lady all the time, always cleaning and cooking and maybe giving hand jobs to his buddies because once you walk through that doorway you jump right in to all sorts of weird shit.
"Felix, I'd like a sandwich please, and a back rub, and knit me a sweater."
What do you think is going to happen next?

Anyway, they learn all about each other, and have a date with some broads from England that are divorced and slutty but Felix starts crying in the middle of the date and Oscar fucking loses his mind because these were the last two girls on the planet or something, and can't cut his friend a break even though he is going through a horrible divorce and all he needs is a friend.
But NO! Oscar has his own agenda. He wants to eat garbage and sleep in filth and his friend is getting in the way of this by cleaning all the time and being respectable.
In the end, Oscar kicks out Felix and somehow it's ok because Felix is homeless now and doesn't hold grudges, even though Oscar has a huge apartment, and now his best friend is living on the street and will probably get robbed and raped since he is sleeping in Central Park in the 60's.
Raven Theatre does a great job with this timeless script, and uses props and the Assistant Stage Managers look like maids.
This timeless piece shows no sign of growing into an outdated sitcom script, and Raven Theatre's upcoming season suggests that they remain on the cutting edge of Chicago experimental theatre culture.
In the end, if you want to see a play where two very large men are unreasonably sweaty for such a chilly room, or you like to laugh, then Neil Simon's "The Odd Couple" is the show for you!

The Odd Couple
B+


-Anderson Lawfer, Eric Roach

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

I MAKE SPORTS BETTER!!! (Sports Review by Anthony Tournis)


No one can do anything right (except for James Hetfield (he is a fucking GOD (understand METALLICA!!!))). Look at how many stupid ass sports there are out there. I mean really dumb ones like golf (don’t get me started on the Scottish bastards who invented that piece of shit game), Greco-Roman Wrestling (in my opinion Greco and Roman have a great idea but need a lot help), and one of the dumbest sports of all…polo (you dodged another bullet Basketball (your days are numbered)). Instead of mercilessly tearing these dumb ass sports to pieces, I have decided to make them better (how very nice of me). So without further ado (that is how smart people talk to each other) I’m dropping this A-GASM on how to make crappy sports better!


GOLF – Wow! Have you ever watched golf? It blows (not in a lady on man way)! To be fair, it’s okay to play (if you have nothing (and I mean nothing) better to do (seriously, anything would be better than playing golf (let me spoil the surprise…you are going to suck))), but it is so mutha-humping (that means “motherfucking” in the hood) boring to watch. I have fixed that (strap your asses in!)! First of all, golf is too damn long. My golf is 3 holes long and each match will take less than fifteen minutes from start to finish. The course will only be 500 yards long (so we can take the rest of what used to be the golf course and turn it into a big ass paint ball battlefield (paintball…fuck yeah)). Golf will be played the same way, but I am releasing a pack of man eating tigers to the mix. These guys will pick off any golfers that they come across so you better be quick, but that’s not all. All golfers have to wear pants made out of a rotting Caribou carcass. The smell of rotting meat strapped to your junk is the ultimate test of stamina (it’s also like a turducken for the Tigers). Oh, and there is also a 50/50 chance that a highly venomous snake is in mixed in with your clubs. ENJOY YOUR AWESOME GAME!!! That is how you make something fun. It’s not all challenges. If you win you get to bone the losers wife (pretty good prize, huh? (if the loser isn’t married than you get to hump his Mom (if there is no Mom than it goes to his hottest looking sister (I have a flow chart)))).


GRECO-ROMAN WRESTLING – This sport is old. Really old. Like a hundred years old (damn that is old). It was invented by Torvald Greco and Mitch “The Meat” Roman. These were two guys that bitter rivals but were strangely attracted to each other. So, they came up with a method of fighting that involved a lot of hugging and holding. Don’t get me wrong I like violence (violence makes everything better (except for sex (violence makes sex AWESOME (remember your safe word (mine is Gerald Ford))))). All this guy-on-guy holding makes Greco-Roman Wrestling a little awkward( a lot awkward (it’s like watching your Dad make out with your babysitter (she is really put together (wonder if he makes Mom do that (AWKWARD!))))). So how do we keep wrestling violent and still make it fun to watch? Two new rules: 1. No clothes. 2. Man on Woman wrestling only. IT’S LIKE I’M PRINTING MONEY! The rules for winning would be the same (3 count pin) but I will add two new stipulations: 1. Men can win by full on penetration (take your pick (you have seven holes to select from)). 2. Women could win by convincing the man to take her shopping, or nagging him into submission (advantage: Woman). It’s sports! It’s porn! It’s sports porn, and it’s a metaphor for life! Who wouldn’t want to watch that? I’m a GOD!


POLO – What do you get when you mix all the shitty parts of golf with dumb ass horses (question: why do rich, stuck up, teenage girls like horses (answer: enormous horse wangs (those girls are into some kinky stuff)))? You get polo. It takes a certain type of person to enjoy polo. Those people are called assholes. You hit a ball with a club from the back of a horse. That is it. NOT ON MY WATCH! Remember Rambo III? Polo will be replaced with Buzkashi! What is Buzkashi (BUZKASHI…not Bukk..nevermind(pervert))? How do you play? The goal of a player is to grab the carcass of a headless goat or calf and then get it clear of the other players and pitch it across a goal line or into a target circle or vat. FUCK YES!!! How can you not watch that? Grabbing the carcass of a headless calf off a field while riding a horse at full gallop is not only the essence of sports, it’s also really fucking BAD ASS!!! Now add in full contact punching and beating the shit out of each other the whole damn time, and you have the GREATEST SPORT IN THE WORLD!!!! Plus, STEAKS FOR EVERYONE! Two birds…one stone! You are welcome, America!


I need to stop now because I have just blown my own mind at how I blew your minds! Until next time, America!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Dio...R.I.P. (Music Review by Scott OKen)


Ronald James Padanova..better known as Ronnie James Dio. He passed away this past Sunday from stomach cancer. This one hit me hard (as hard as a death can of someone you don’t know personally). You see, Dio, musically changed my life. Up until my early 20s I was basically a British Invasion/60s rock guy. That was basically ALL I listened to. I was introduced to Black Sabbath by having to learn a few songs in a battle of the bands I was in just out of high school. I purchased Black Sabbath’s Greatest Hits and kept in on my record shelf, every now and then putting it on to “slum it”, or as I thought. I was young…



It was 1986. I was at THE local record store in my part of town, Rolling Stone. This was the ONLY place to buy records, they had everything…also hot chicks at the register..but I digress. I was there most likely looking to buy some old Yardbirds album or something, when my friend Nick (future WGN radio personality Nick Digilo..HA! Revealed!), who was somewhat of a metal head at the time, brought me over to the side wall, pulled out Heaven and Hell, said “buy this”, then pulled out The Last in Line, and demanded that I buy that as well. Yeah, those were old albums at the time, but I was slow…



That was it. It was over. After side one of Heaven and Hell, I was officially a metal head. All other bands followed, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Ozzy, etc. I’ll never forget those first jammin’ chords of “Neon Knights”. The power of ROCK coursed through my body! Dio’s powerful, operatic voice inspired me to knock over tables, put one foot up on a chair and scream to Valhalla!!!!!!



You must understand…this completely changed how I listened to music forever! I was not a concert goer, but I saw Dio 8 times, 2 with Black Sabbath and 6 with his solo group. He, to me is simply the greatest voice in Classic Metal.



There are 3 albums with his first band Elf. If you know Dio, it’s kind of weird, because it’s basically Boogie-Woogie rock, or Dio..in New Orleans. It’s not bad, but different.



Then we get to Rainbow….classic. There’s a lot to cover, so I’ll just give the OKen’s Ultimate Rating and recommendations:



1. Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow- 9/10..buy it
2. Rising- 9/10 buy it.
3. Long Live Rock and Roll- the best of the lot! 15/10 RUN OUT AND BUY THIS NOW!


Now we move on to Sabbath/Heaven and Hell
1. Heaven and Hell- 40000/10 CALL IN SICK TO WORK TO STAY HOME AND DOWNLOAD, OR GO BUY NOW
2. The Mob Rules- 10/10 buy it.
3. Dehumanizer- 7/10 not bad, but not essential if you are the casual fan.
4. The Devil You Know (as Heaven and Hell) – 7/10 if you like extra dirge, this is for you.


Now onto the solo lps
1. Holy Diver- 10/10 If you don’t have this in your collection…you will cry every night.
2. The Last In Line- 10/10..every song is a classic! Buy it!
3. Sacred Heart- 8/10..still..buy it.
4. Dream Evil- 10/10 my personal favorite. Buy it and do not go to sleep until you listen to it.
5. Lock of the Wolves-6.5/10 Great title…a chink in the armor.
6. Strange Highways- 7.5/10 Nice comeback. Buy it.
7. Angry Machines- 6/10 This was a stealth release…nobody knew it came out.
8. Magica-8.5/10 A concept album…buy it..it’s fun.
9. Killing the Dragon- 9/10 Back to the basics! Go get it!
10. Master of the Moon- 7/10 Solid effort on what would be his final solo lp.

He never lost it…ever…his voice always carried through…He was a true icon…thanks Ronnie…may you Rock the Heavens…

Monday, May 17, 2010

The Good Soul of Szechuan - Strawdog Theatre (Theatre Review)


When I woke up on Saturday, I didn't know I was going to be punched in the face by talent. But there it was, standing over me at 11pm like Cassius Clay beating up some white dude. Luckily, I only got punch drunk on beer and not on internal injuries. This talent came in the form of Strawdog's latest foray into theater no one should be able to get away with, The Good Soul of Szechuan, by Harold Brecht.

This show was directed by Shade Hawkins, and does it make you think of other plays? Maybe, but let's get to the gristly meat of the review, shall we? Nope, you say? Okay.

I started the evening at Holiday Club, and tried their beer. They serve it cold, and with no real bullshit "ID checks" or "dog-collars" so that was nice. My wife politely listened to my tirade about Jews owning the Fort Knox and using aliens to defeat the blacks, and we were politely escorted from the establishment when I used my fork to stab the jukebox. No Steely Dan, so fuck Holiday Club (mini-review: F).

We arrived at Strawdog, and immediately I noticed this crowd was ready for a real game-changer. Unfortunately, we were not there to see Avatar (mini-review: Mehhhhh.) so I started hitting on young theater women. Sarah Goeden was there, and she's pretty like a Japanese cartoon girl so I enjoyed her company. She smells like apricots and a rainstorm.

My wife and I sat in the front, and they had a live band playing Rock and Roll music as we all got to our seats! John Henry Roberts was belting out "Passenger", and that was pretty neat, because he looks like Iggy Pop and he should have taken off his goddammed shirt and smeared peanut butter on himself. But, I'm a purist.

So, the concept is the "let's dress in crap from a thrift store and do a play!" concept, which works really well for this play. It also worked for Red Noses, Cabaret, and the magic show I saw my neighbor's kids do last week. The show starts with all the actors telling you that the show was starting, which I can really appreciate because sometimes I don't know what the fuck is going on at theatre shows. All of the sudden the lights go out and you hear some kind of voice tell you to turn off your cell phone and I'm like "What kind of fresh hell is THIS?" So, at least they don't try and scare you at this theatre show.

The story is started by Wang (god damn it) who is played by Carmen Grisolia, a beefy and hairy wunderkind. He says that there are no good souls left in the province, and the gods need to come and help. Well, they show up alright. The gods tell him that if they can get a room for the night, they'll help. We all know this is pure nonsense, so we chuckle. He finally takes them to the protagonist of the story, Shen Te the hooker with a heart of gold. Shen Te is played by Michaela Petro and she is dressed in clothes that made me want to take off my wife's clothes. Miss Petro is a formidable actor with abilities above and beyond most people. She should win everything, because she's already won my heart and now I have to stop typing about this because my wife is reading over my shoulder and OH GOD CALL THE POLICE.

Whew, that was close.

So, the gods love Shen Te and give her some money to stop working the streets like a ho and open a tobacco shop. She does and then everyone starts to take advantage of her kindness, because she's just a sweet innocent in a land of assheads. Gosh, I hated those people taking advantage of her! Harold Brecht knew what he was doing, because he was making me feel things. One person taking Shen Te for a ride was Mrs. Chin, played by Shannon Hoag who makes me wish she was my sister so we could talk about boys and girls and relationships. Her comedy is a force.

The other jerks taking Shen Te for a fool leave some heroin behind in her store. This is foreshadowing. Shen Te's cousin, Shui Ta shows up and he is a real can-do kind of guy and starts running things like Jay-Z used to run the rap game. But...OH BOY! Shui Ta is is actually Shen Te! She's too kind and timid to get what she wants, but Shui Ta isn't! That's great. Until Shen Te meets Yang (god damn IT), played by John Henry Roberts who is just good at everything, let's admit it, and falls in love with him as he is attempting suicide. Well, turns out she should have just let that whiny little punk hang himself, because Yang only wants her for her money.

Things are going so bad for Shen Te, but then she just decides to be Shui Ta and SELL THAT DAMN SMACK FROM ACT ONE!!! Reversal! Now she's a heroin kingpin, and Yang is an addict. The gods show up again, and Brecht ends it all with irony! DAMN, Y'ALL!

Listen, this show is good sauce. I was clapping and laughing. There is a lot of talent who I didn't even mention yet: Paul Fagen is super as Shen Te's almost husband, and Amy Dunlap is strong and hilarious as one of the three gods. The ensemble is already Jeff Recommended in my brains, plus the actors/musicians are great. See, Shade also knew to make the songs in the show into rock songs and have the actors sing and play. You are literally getting so much bang for your bucks....a rock concert, really talented actor/artists, and a message about not being a heroin kingpin because that's bad. It's wrapped up in a package and distilled into a liquor and poured into a capsule which dissolves on your tongue and enters your bloodstream and alters your mind. And isn't that what theater is supposed to do when it doesn't suck so bad it makes you wonder why you keep going back? Answer: YES.

The Good Soul of Szechuan.

A.

-Eric Roach, Anderson Lawfer

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The Pillowman- Red Twist Theatre (Theatre Review)


Red Twist, the hottest theater in town, has done it again with The Pillowman, a play by the late Martin McDonagh. McDonagh, known in most circles as the scribe of fascinating and lyrical and not at all too long dramas such as The Pillowman has the ability to stare deeply into the hearts of civilization and turn it into a Totalitarian Dreamscape full of suffering, strife, and just maybe, a little bit of fun!

This particular production, after numerous unauthorized changes to the script, begins with a young man named Kurkijan (portrayed with blatant earnestness by a nimble Andrew Jessop) blindfolded and brought into a dark room with two cops on the edge of justice, handily portrayed in suits by Tom Hickey (an understudy) and Johnny Garcia (an attractive fella, but not the kind of guy you want to bring home to meet the folks because your Dad might be intimidated and your Mom might leave your Dad for just one sensual night in the bathtub with him). They reveal that this young man has written stories that are in direct opposition to what Totalitarian states stand for, which is not murdering children.
It appears in any Totalitarian state, children are the real hot button topic, and should be treated with love and respect and not given soda late at night because childhood obesity runs rampant in Totalitarian states.
(This also makes me think that we should take a long look at becoming a Totalitarian state in the U.S.A. because of all the fat kids and women.)
The two policemen tell Kurkijan that the stories he has written, but not had published, tell the tales that closely resemble the torture and murder of 3 or 5 youngsters in the area. Kurkijat says he doesn't know what they are talking about, but the cops ain't trying to hear dat. They want someone to pay for these kids being all hurt and shit, and Kurmijam is just the man.
The two officers have also taken into custody the young writer's brother, Frank, (played with creativeness and foresight by Peter Oyloe) whom as we find out is not retarded but pretty close. You see, Frank can form complex sentences and take care of himself and walk upright and feed himself and have emotions and junk.
They think having Frank will help convince Kurkilbore to confess.
This is not the case.
Kurmitjak begins to tell his stories, and as he does, the worlds he has created reveal themselves onstage, with a stellar cast to boot.
Performances are too great and too many to be named here, but the real stars of this show are the... oh. They don't list the cast on the website, but there was one dude named Katherine, and another named Jeremy. Also, there was this really awesome kid named Jimmy who is really good in the show and some girl that plays Jesus that is good too. Anyway, everybody is great, even if they don't have names.
My only major issue with the show is that sometimes they say words that are British or Irish or something and when they say them in their American accents, it's as if we have entered a Totalitarian state, which we haven't in real life. Even though they said we did in the play, but we haven't.
I can't really say anything else about the show because every line in it is a twist, which is why Red Twist decided to do this play.
After viewing Red Twist's mission statement on their website, this piece is directly in the wheelhouse of their sort of stuff-
"Red Twist Theatre thrives to engage the audience with art that has lots of twists and has the word "man" in the title."
Well, kudos, Red Twist, you have done it again!
As a big fan of director Kimberly Senior's work around town, I was completely blown away, mainly because this wasn't a Chekov piece or a weird child written show at the Pegasus Theater.
This show has been running for 2 years now, and the theater seats a comfortable 17 people, so don't miss out on this production!
If you love dead kids and men in suits, this is surely the show for you!


The Pillowman-
A

-Anderson Lawfer, Eric Roach

Restaurant Review- Beckett's (RESTAURANT REVIEWER JOSH VAUGHN)


Whats up, bros?!



Josh “ Don't Call me J. V.” Vaughn here. I'm writing a new column for Eric and Andy! I'm a graduate of Southwest Missouri State, where I am career assists leader for Bears Lacrosse! Go Bears! I graduated (“D” is for diploma) with a degree in communications, and now I'm in personal banking for Morgan Stanley downtown.



But I love to party, bro. Cubs games, frat reunions, St. Patty's day, whatever. So I'll be reviewing bars from all over ----wait, hold up...getting a text.................dude.



Alright anyway, I'm going all over town, cuz, you know, that's what I do, bruh. I'll give you the scoop on all the places I go. If they rule. If they suck. Specials. Throw some bags. Brunch it up with some bloodies. Whatever, bro---hold up, getting a call......Trent!....Trent!.........yeah, bro, I got the tickets......I got the tickets!!.......third baseline...yeah, by Ram, dude.....fuck you, dude!......yeah....yeah.....lates.



So my first review is some English place called Beckett's, on Lincoln and Belmont.



So I walk in there, bro, and I'm like, bro. I mean, its huge. Got like seats for 800 people. And I guess for people who like to read, cuz there were books on all of the walls. And like really nice, too. Like wood, everywhere.

I guess the place is named after Samuel Beckett, some queer bait writer like in Shakespeer time. I learned that in English Survey class. GO BEARS! Lacrosse rules!!!



Yeah, so, me and my buddy Travis sat at the bar. Decent beer selection, Miller Lite and Bud Lite. I didn't see if they had any Jaeger, but they got Red Bull in the can, which is so much better that that Banzai shit in the gun. When I was barbacking I 'd be doing bombs with that and it was nasty bro!



The bartender was a for real Irish guy, named Seamus or something. Travis couldn't remember his name so we were like, “Hey, Bro-ny Danza!” or “Hey, Bro Namath!” Pretty cool dude. Didn't give us free shots, though. I mean, bro, we dropped some cake! Hook a brother up!



The place was layed out kinda cool, though. Big tall booths along the back wall. Tables everywhere. Fireplace in the back. Chicks dig fireplaces, bro. Got one in my condo. South Loop, HOLLLAAA! And these paintings of old dudes on the walls. Fuckin creepy.



We were there during the day, so it was pretty much empty except for us, being awesome. The way I see it, the earlier you start, you can recover more quickly. Gotta maintain, bro, so you can get to Sound Bar or Rockitt when the chicks are out. Fuck yeah, bro. Fuckin PHD in Playernomics!



You gotta give yourself time to go home and change shirts. I just got this awesome Affliction tee, the one Chuck Liddell wears, fucking bad ass.



Decent menu, they got buffalo wings, burgers, and weird stuff, like Shepard's Pie and fish and chips. But the one thing they got going for them are the specials. We were there on a Tuesday and all the beer is half price!! We hooked it up bro! I asked Bro Piscopo if we could play beer pong, but like I said, he was Irish, so he didn't speak English. Fuckin dick. Get a green card, Bro Jackson!



On Thursday the draft beer is half price, and they got shot specials all week, and a cheap brunch all weekend.



So we got hammered. Travis was all like, dude, let's got to Wiener Circle, and I'm like, bro, that's not fun til closing time. They don't start swearing at you til then. So we paid our tab and went to Wrigleyville to watch the game at Cubby Bear.



So, overall...place is alright. They just need to hire some American chicks, dude. Oh, and get some girls in there hanging out, man. You ain't gonna stay in business long without some 'tang. But it's the right price and a cool place to go when you're recovering, or if you wanna like, read poetry or something.



Alright, bitches, gotta get back to work. Got a guy on the other line interested in a 401k. Peace. GO CUUUUUBBBBBBSSSSS!!!!!

Beckett's
Overall grade: B

Monday, May 3, 2010

Cabaret - The Hypocrites (Theater Review)


Cabaret is a highly celebrated musical by the dynamic and homosexual Cy Kander and Julius Ebb. It concerns a young American who goes to Berlin for no real reason and starts banging dudes and chicks because everyone in Germany is a whore until the Nazis come and then everyone is a soldier. Well...everyone is a soldier that loves to sing. When I was in the Army, we had a special name for those kind of soldiers.
So natch, I was thrilled to take the train downtown in the middle of rush hour to see this highly acclaimed production by the Hypocrites Theater Collective at the DCA. DCA stands for Department of Cultural Affairs, so you know it had to be good, because it's presented by a city run organization.
When I first arrived, I was early, so me and my friends Anita and Loretta went to the Elephant and Castle for french fries with curry. These were not as good as I remember them being before, plus we were surrounded by douchebags named Tanner and Chad and Brad and Cody who made more money in an hour then I will all year. Luckily for us, they weren't going to the theater with us.
But their grandparents were!
When we arrived at the DCA, I was shocked to notice that we were the youngest people there by at least 45 years. The line for the water fountain was scattered with peril, but I insisted to myself that I would have some. You see, those curry fries weren't as good as I had remembered them being, and since it is a government run theater, there is nowhere to get a soda. Kind of like Nazi Germany. Nice place to do a play, Hypocrites.
Once we were herded into the theater (the same way a certain kind of people herded a certain other kind of people), I was in the mood for a play about the struggles of whores and rich Americans.
Before I continue, let me just say how awesome this cast is. They do things in this show that I would never do in a million years, and they do it for "art".
The opening of the show is a legendary dance number when a MAN known as the Emcee (a firey Jessie Fisher) comes out and sings this song that's sort of like Will Smith's "Welcome to Miami", except in this version, he welcomes us to the Cabaret. A place called the Kit Kat Bar in Berlin where it's always a party and everyone has mobile telephones. I didn't understand why they couldn't just go up and talk to each other, but I didn't live back then, so I can't say for sure. During this first big dance sequence we meet all of our whore characters for the show. If you guys like to look at chicks butts, this is the place to be. There were some old people asleep in the front row, which made me feel like I was at a strip club inside a Shoney's but I didn't care, because there were so many incredible vaginas in my face.Even the Stage Managers had great vaginas.
I wished I had a vagina because I would ask all of these girls what they do to keep them so nicely manicured and there wasn't a single butt zit in the entire cast. It was truly remarkable because I'm pretty sure I've banged most of the people in this show, and they ALL had butt zits then, but times change, and we grow older.

Well everyone is having the best time ever at the Cabaret and this dance number is among the best I've seen in that particular theater.
Next we are taken to the train station for the introduction of two of my favorite characters. Cliff O'Houlihan, the show's canvas, a young American from America who has come to Berlin from America to write a novel (played aggressively and vigorously and goodly by Michael Peters) about something...I'm not sure. I don't think whoever wrote this was particularly worried about everything having to make sense all the time, they just wanted to see some box like the rest of us. We also are introduced to Ernst (a sexy-as-hell Rob McLean), a guy who apparently goes back and forth to Paris to send letters to people or something or to smuggle something(?). Again, coherence is secondary here to vaginas. Well, Ernst and Cliff hit it off and Ernst helps Cliff find a place to stay while he writes his novel about who-knows-what.

We have now almost met all the characters. Only, like, 4 more.

Cliff arrives at his new home run by a lady named Frau Schneider (a brilliant Kate Harris).
Side note: Guys, I had heard stories about the magic of this woman before,but she truly is a Chicago theater treasure that we cannot lose. I looked in the phone book and there are only like 1500 Kate Harrises left in Chicago, so next time you see one, give it a few dollars or something, I'm not really sure what Kate Harrises eat or what impact it will have on the environment.

Anyway, Cliff moves in with this freakin lady, and we find out that she has other tenants too. One young slut named Kost (a slutty Laura Ewing) and an old fruity Jew stand owner named Herr Schultz.Oops, I mean an old Jewy fruit stand owner ( a too good for this Jim Heatherly)
Side note: Listen, I don't pretend to know all the ins and outs of business or theater stuff, but this dude, Jim Heatherly, must've really pissed someone off down the line somewhere. There is no reason that a man who is this age that is this good and has that good of a voice should be doing non-equity theater unless he continuously shows up drunk and/or is in the middle of some sex game with Sean Graney, the Artistic Director of the Hypocrites. All I knew was that I was in an ugly sex game with the character Hamburg (a naughty Doug Pawlik).
So Cliff starts teaching English lessons to Ernst (who already speaks English) and starts going to the Kit Kat Bar to bang this dude named Bobby (a sweet piece of ass named John Ferrick) who's banging this other dude named John Moran (an entitled John Moran) when he meets this bitch named Sally Bowles (a full chested and nicely faced Lindsay Leopold).
Now listen, I know this Sally character is a character that everybody wants to play and has become a big deal or whatever, and she has some good songs and everything, but what a whore. All this bitch does is take from everyone and then leaves you standing there, holding your dong while she's off for some more cocaine and abortions. FUCK SALLY BOWLES.
Well, needless to say, Sally moves in with Cliff because she is a whore and they fall in love.
Well, while all this is happening, you can start feeling a gentle shift in the tone behind Ernst. He has become a little more present onstage, and you learn that maybe he is working for the Nazi movement. In our culture, we have become so inured to the thought of Nazis that it isn't as shocking for us that the Nazi is the bad guy as it should be for the Jew in this show. But this seems to be on the Jewish agenda throughout history. They don't take any threats seriously until it's too late! Egypt?
"Oh, don't worry, Sol, this will all blow over."
The Crusades?
"I wouldn't get too excited, Moishe, this will be over soon."
The Bubonic Plague?
"They say it's all our fault, Jackie, but let's see how this winds up."
The Pale of Settlement?
"So they are asking us to move, what's the big deal? Surely we won't have to eat each other."
JEWS!!! WHAT WILL IT TAKE FOR YOU TO LEARN?!!
Maybe at the next Protocols of the Elders of Zion meeting, you guys should talk about getting some sort of warning system in place. I'm just saying.
But this section got me thinking about what it meant to be a Nazi. It seemed that all Nazis did, from the depiction in this play, was bang whores and try kill old people. Was I a Nazi?
I wasn't getting any help from the boy with no name (too cute for his own good Kyle Erkonen) or from Raja (a tigress named Dana Omar).
My mind was trying to work this out when I was distracted by the best part of this production, the band.
Jesus Christ are they good or what?
Led by 2 beautiful women, they played the shit outta that show.
The 2 women, ( the luxurious Britni Tozzi and the insatiable Nikki Klix, undoubtedly have the best names in the production and are undoubtedly the hottest, especially Klix, she also has the best vag and plays the violin like it's going out of style, which will never happen) and lead musically by the always dominant Mike Przygoda, Brandon Campbell and Kristina Lee, with KOD (Kevin O'Donnell) on the wheels of steel!
So, the play went on some more, and the Nazis are really coming now and by this point I was wishing for a Pizza Holocaust because I was so hungry from watching all that Nazi stuff and dancing.
So I don't want to give away the ending, but here are a few spoilers...
SPOILER ALERT!!!
1. None of the men who wear suits know how to iron.
2. No one dies from machine gun fire, which was a pretty big let down.
3. The costumes are in the style of "steampunk" which means, either dress like you are a gang in "The Warriors", or like you are an Indian that just found a bag of American officer's clothes.
4. Shannon Welling is in this play and trips over the stage all the time, because she is the biggest clunkiest whore of them all.

There is a great scene with a Gorilla that they stole from the zoo, and all the dancing girls are tremendous. I especially loved Chelsea Paice as the big breasted dancer and Dana Tretta as the little whore.
To give away the ending to this play would be like giving away the ending to "National Lampoon's Vacation", so I will refrain from doing so, but... things aren't looking good for the Jews again.
There is some gunfire, so be prepared to...hear gunfire, I guess. I know I haven't mentioned all the wonderful people in this show, including Eric Schroeder as the creepy sex guy, and the real winner of this show, Heather Gilbert (lighting designer) but everyone else can suck it because this review is so long already.
Go see Cabaret and get ready for the best Aryan party you can find this side of the Mason Dixon line!!


Cabaret
A+


-Anderson Lawfer, Eric Roach

Choosing a pet for your child (Parenting review by KRISTIN ENKVETCHAKUL)



As a parent, you are under a constant barrage of pressure to do certain things with your kids. You are pressured to select at least one activity, if not ten activities, for your kids, which will promote self-esteem, social skills, and good health. You are also quietly pressured to provide some sort of pet at home. The household pet: the icon of a well-balanced family. Proclaimed to give a child a sense of responsibility and companionship, a pet is seen as an enriching, necessary component of your child’s formative years. It’s only a matter of time before a study emerges that suggests bank robbers and other criminals were not given pets as children, because everyone knows grant money for studies is fueled by some maniacal rich person’s desire to make parents feel guilty about something, as revenge for their own childhood’s shortcomings.

As you begin to cave into this pressure to provide a pet, however, you are faced with the enormous question of what pet to get. For your convenience, I have listed a few pet possibilities and graded them with my own biases.

Dog. Boasted as loyal, cheerful, and caring, a dog is commonly selected as the family pet. The urge to get a dog goes back to our primal heritage. After all, what animal was beside the first humans as they lobbed rocks at charging mastodon? It certainly wasn’t a cat. The cat was on the sideline, waiting to see who won. The dog and humans go way back, and we continue to pursue that ancient relationship today. However, before you go bounding off to the kennel to get a dog, consider this: Everyone likes to think about the positives of the dog- the “so happy to see you even though you were only in the bathroom for three minutes” attitude, the Frisbee play, the snuggles, but let’s talk for a moment about the less-than-positives: the walking the dog in the rain when you are at death’s door with the flu, the muddy paw prints, the robust, offending smell of wet doggie. Don’t get me wrong, I grew up with dogs and love them. I’m just trying to say having a dog isn’t all dandelion fluff.
Grade of a pet dog: B+


Cat. A cat is elegant, relatively easy to care for, and definitely something furry to snuggle with, assuming it will actually come to you. That a cat will use a litter box is appealing in that it eliminates the need to take them outside. While some cats are friendlier than others, however, it seems all cats exude, to at least some degree, the attitude of, “If you are going to die, please open a can of cat food first.” (With the “please” being optional.) Still, a cat is an appealing family pet as a way to have a living creature in the house that doesn’t require much care or attention.
Grade for pet cat: B+

Horse. Every little girl wants a horse. While the benefits of horses for special needs kids are undeniable, think carefully before you buy a horse. A horse is a machine that converts your cash into pasture fertilizer at a shockingly efficient rate. Caring for a horse is even harder than caring for a dog. Caring for a horse means shoveling tennis-ball sized piles of bodily output and hefting hay bales, regardless of the weather. You can have this taken care of for you by boarding your horse somewhere, but that exponentially increases the machine’s money-to-manure converting rate. And if you think they convert at an impressive rate when they are healthy, wait until they are sick or injured.
Grade for pet horse: C

Python: I have an axiom that states: “Never get a pet that can swallow the children whole.” I know there are those reptile enthusiasts out there. I just don’t know why they mix creatures that make a living in the wild by eating donkeys with their own offspring.
Grade for pet python: D

Fish: Fish can be a good answer to the whole pet question, especially the venerated Beta fish for small children. However, you can’t hold a fish, pet a fish or ride a fish. The longevity, or perhaps more appropriately, shortgevity of fish can be a little disappointing. Many a tearful child has presided over long goodbyes before the final flush. On the positive, fish don’t require a lot of maintenance and care.
Grade for fish as a pet: B

Sea Monkeys: Considering you can buy everything you need to get Sea Monkeys started for under ten bucks, that you never have to clean the tank, and they only need to be fed once a week, Sea Monkeys can be a great answer to the pet quandary. They are active and fun to watch. There is no sense of loss when one dies because there are so many, who can tell? Sure, like fish, you can’t ride, pet, or hold them, but they do teach an important lesson: Nothing’s perfect.
Grade for Sea Monkeys as a pet: A

Whatever pet you choose for your children, I wish you the best of luck. I have to run- it’s time for the Sea Monkeys weekly feeding.