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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Thai Grilling for Summer (Asian Food by KRISTIN ENKVETCHAKUL)



The early days of summer usher in a frenzied re-acquaintance with a favorite cooking device forlorn over the winter: the outdoor grill. People flock to the grocery store to snap up brats, burgers, steaks, chicken, fish, hot dogs, and anything else that might fit on their grill. Everything seems to taste better on the grill in those first weeks, especially with taste buds primed by fun summer-time adult beverages.

Eventually, however, the rediscovered joy of grilling wanes, and the food choices can start to feel a little one-dimensional. “Brats again?” “How about pork steaks instead?” If you find yourself hitting the grill doldrums, set sail for the mouth-watering waters of Asian grill recipes. While they may sound too distant and too difficult to navigate, they are in fact as close as your computer and credit card, and well chartered, with the help of a good cookbook.

Thai chicken satay, for example, is a dependable, easy-to-do, crowd pleaser. The marinade for the chicken is a simple recipe, with “fish sauce” being the only ingredient (of my recipe) that will take a little extra planning to get. It’s not that it can’t be found- it can be easily ordered from www.importfood.com (get Three Crabs Brand), or found at many Asian grocery stores. You can find fish sauce at some chain grocery stores, but I have found Three Crabs to be far superior, not to mention you get more for your money. Don’t let the seemingly over-sized 24 oz bottle of the Three Crabs Brand fish sauce put you off- fish sauce is a basic ingredient of many Thai and Vietnamese dishes- if you find you enjoy cooking Thai or Vietnamese food, you’ll be using a lot of it. Even if satay is the only dish you would ever make, I would still get the Three Crabs Brand fish sauce. The impact it will have on your finished product will be well worth your effort of getting it, and the shelf life is years long.

When I am having a party, I have found that a menu of chicken satay, pad thai, and Thai sticky rice offers my guests a diverse, authentic, flavorful buffet without tiring me too much. While the taste of these classic dishes may be unfamiliar to some, they are usually not jarring. After all, if I am introducing Thai food to someone, the goal is to spark an interest in it, and for my guests to leave wondering where they can find a Thai restaurant, or if they could learn to make it themselves. By choosing these three, I am able to please the more cautious eaters, as well as the more daring ones.

If preparation of these dishes seems intimidating, fear not! Here is my preparation strategy: The night before the event, I start marinating the chicken, make the satay dipping sauce, and get the sticky rice soaking. (Thai sticky rice needs to soak in water for several hours before steaming it in a sticky rice steamer.) The next day I make the pad thai, steam the sticky rice, and grill the chicken, which, thanks to the thin strips the chicken is cut into, cooks in minutes. To help conserve time, I usually grill the satay or work on the pad thai while the sticky rice is steaming. Soon my Thai buffet is ready!

Other than needing to soak the sticky rice in advance, I could leave the rest of the preparation for the day of my event, but I prefer to have some of it accomplished the prior evening. This leaves more time on the day of the event for those last minute hosting tasks, like bulldozing through piles of toys that had been tidied up the day before, only to mysteriously leap from their bins again as the event time nears.

Of course, you wouldn’t necessarily have to make anything besides chicken satay to make a great meal. Or, you could choose to serve chicken satay alongside burgers and brats. The possibilities are endless. Too bad summer is not.



Kristin Enkvetchakul is the author of “Introduction to Asian Cooking”. Available at bookstores everywhere.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Anticipating "Cherrywood" (theatre preview by Don Hall)

The buzz is in the air.

Hedi LOVED it. Vire LOVED it. Jones...well...Jones admired the ambition and was afraid to criticize Cromer because it would be sacrosanct to criticize the Man Who Revitalized Wilder.

I'm gonna see it. I need to see it. Not because of the 49 effing actors - much hay has been made by this aspect and, while it's an audacious hook - HOLY SHIT! So Many Off Loop Actors I've Never Heard Of All Crammed Into One Tiny Space!! - the "must see" factor is Cromer. He did, in fact, create an indelible production of "Our Town" and, from what I hear, a strong "Streetcar" as well.

Here is my reservation. I didn't really like the house parties when I was twenty. I like them even less now. I understand that those in their college days have lots of existential angst but I found it deadly dull when I was there, pining away at my Gen X status and what Reagan meant to my generation and how awful the recession was and Can't We Just Elect Someone With Passion and Substance? From what I understand, "Cherrywood" is a modern retelling of "subUrbia" through the lens of Richard Linklater's "Slacker" (also set in Austin, TX). Which is to say, about as appealing as a punch in the nuts while listening to a vapid kid lecture me on the dangers of animal testing.

But then there's this Cromer thing.

The guy is brilliant and accomplished and is willing to follow up his huge, but fairly mainstream, successes with this potential sprawling mess.

So. Yeah. I'll be there.

Rock.

Don Hall

Your Theater Company's Sustainability (Theater)


So, I hear you theater company is broke. I hear you are waiting on grants to come in. I hear your individual donations are down. You are having a hard time keeping your board members.
Well, friends, let's take a look at this!

1. Product:
When I was a kid, a store opened by my house in Louisville, Kentucky that sold things for your kitchen with olive patterns all over them. Spatulas and martini shakers and aprons and olives. And they ALL had olive patterns on them. Now, this store didn't last too long, and do you know why? The answer is because it is a shitty idea and olives are the wrong thing. If you put penises on the aprons or Looney Tunes characters on the spatulas, maybe you would stay in business.
That's the thing with a business, you have to sell something that enough people want for you to be successful. So maybe you should think about if your theater company sucks and sells olive martini shakers when I can go to Target and get a martini shaker with the Rolling Stones logo on it.
2. Evolution:
Sometimes things don't go the way you thought they were going to go. I could've sworn I was going to be a woman. Or at least Puerto Rican or Jewish, but fate had it's own agenda. Now I'm just a regular looking white dude, which has it's benefits, but at the end of the day I look just like most other people in our industry. That means I'm competing for work against Rob McLean, Geoff Button, Rob Kauzlaric, John Steinhagen, John Wilson and Trey Maclin. How do I do that?
Well, history tells me that if you want to survive in a hostile environment, you need to grow plates on your back or get an antler or something.
You need some tool to make you different and help you fend off predators and make people want to see YOU and not the House Theater. For example, I can put my leg behind my head and I'd like to see Dave Skvarla try that.
What can you offer me that I can't get elsewhere?
Seanachai has the market cornered on Irish people for example, so don't start another Irish company or you will probably fail.
3. Survival:
Everybody needs money, but do you really think that Chase Community money will really save you? It won't. Don't get me wrong, it can definitely help you out, but in the long run, you are going to need to make some changes. Let's take a look at the Journeymen. The Journeymen began in 1994, and in 1998 David Cromer directed the definitive American production of Angels in America, which got national interest in Chicago again until we blew it with Hizzoner. But the Journeymen couldn't survive with this one show! So they hunkered down and waited for their chance to shine again and now here they are with some sort of gay Romeo and Juliet which I bet is good but I probably won't see because Shakespeare with gay characters is like an olive shaped meat tenderizer to me. But they waited and lasted for the right time to make a peice of art that they NEEDED to make for whatever reason, and now they are back on top! Way to go Journeymen!

So listen gang, let's all take care of each other and get each others backs during this financial storm and also, stop making shitty plays. People love plays about politics and Ghostbusters, so just remember that. Also, please vote for my theater company in the Chase Giving, it just takes a minute and blah blah blah ;owiugahfweab

Your Theater Company
A+

-Anderson Lawfer, Eric Roach

Monday, June 28, 2010

Kris Vire's Time Out Chicago Review of David Cromer's CHERRYWOOD (review review)

Oh, Kris.  You've really done it again.

At once, I realize that this review is wonderfully written.  They don't just hand Time Out Head Editor-ships to dyslexic abberations in this town, and Kris Vire is NO abberation.  He's also very cute and really nice.  He's even been nice to me personally once!

J-Date profile pic

Kris goes on and on about how good this show is and how David Cromer has some "ballsy" moves.  OK.  I think I know where this is going, Herr Vire.  Balls?  Moves?

But, this is about the review and how well it's structured...NOT about Kris Vire's attraction to David Cromer.  I've got to keep on point...I've had a lot of coffee and sausage this morning and the blood is REALLY pumping and I kind of want to pop this shirt off and talk in "It's Always Sunny" quotes all day.  One rock of crack, please.  Thank you for being so...so kind.

FOCUS.  So, Vire starts by quoting the play.  Pedantic, but useful...he makes you want to see it with this technique because it's a pretty good line.  He also compares the show to an express train...but then says that it makes stops.  Express trains don't make too many stops, Kris.  Strike one.

Now let's look at some of the descriptive words Kris uses...you tell me what's on his mind:

David Cromer bursts with concepts
exquisite
still-chugging
David Cromer's desire
cherry-picked
soak in

This is getting embarrassing.  Kris lays it on thick when talking about how great this show is...which it IS, I mean this is not really a show but more of a revolution in American and World theatre, and we're all lucky to be this close to it.  But, and believe me I hate to be the guy who has to do this, David Cromer isn't gay.

Kris, someday you are gonna meet a nice boy, and settle down, and go to Pride, and have fun drinking wine over a really great meal at Ante Prima with your straight couple friends, but David Cromer is just not the guy for you.  He does look really distinguished, with those silver fox temples and his biz super-casual wear...but you've just got to stop doing things like this in public.

I know you like Cherrywood, and it's a really good review.  But, please...let's try to keep it above the belt next time.  I don't need Matt Hawkins feeling awkward towards you when he sees you at Long Room.

Kris Vire's David Cromer's Cherrywood Review
B+

-Eric Roach, Anderson Lawfer

Friday, June 25, 2010

Worst Sports Movie of All Time! (sports review by Anthony Tournis)


Alright America, After my completely awesome review of the kick ass and greatest sports movie of all time(The Program (which rules! (seriously, if you haven’t seen it you should eat a bag of dicks (yes a whole bag)))) I got a lot feedback about what other people thought was the best sports movie of all time. Long story short, they all sucked (they sucked so bad it was like trying to get a handjob while watching Howard’s End (ewwww)). There was one movie, however, that was pure trash (this was more like trying to get a handjob during The English Patient (from Willem Dafoe (yikes))). This movie is incredibly racist, and I blame this movie for the L.A. Riots (these riots were started by a bunch of black people who were pissed off that O.J. Simpson isn’t in the Hall of Fame because he killed Rodney King and his lover Kato Kaelin). What movie am I talking about: White Men Can’t Jump! Man, this movie is racist. Let’s look at the title. White men Can’t Jump! Telling an entire ethnic group they can’t do something because of the color of their skin is one of the most despicable things I can think of. Why not have a movie called “Asians Can’t Drive”, “Puerto Ricans Can’t Leave Hub Caps On Your Car”, or “Black People Can’t Live In My Neighborhood.” How dare you Hollywood? Are you full of so much hate that you have to be racist? I didn’t watch the piece of shit movie ( I wouldn’t watch trashy racism so I made my dego barber (man the Italians know how to cut hair!) tell me what the movie was about ( I didn’t really understand him all that well because wops don’t know English without adding A’s to the end of every word (Italians: Learn English!))) White Men Can’t Jump is about Wesley Snipes ( “Vietnam War Story 2”, “Game of Death”) who plays basketball for money. Then Woody Harrelson (“Mother Goose Rock ‘n’ Rhyme”, “Surfer, Dude”) shows up to play basketball and gets laughed at for being white. Why does he take the ridicule? TO DEFY THE ODDS (like Rudy and Matt Damon)! In the end, he dunks (spoiler) and shows all the people watching his basketball game (God, Basketball is the worst! (Why? (soon..))) that he isn’t white anymore. Then Wesley Snipes goes to jail for taxes. The end. I was appalled by how racist this movie was. The whole thing is about putting down a people that have done nothing wrong, that their only transgression was they were born white. I blame the racists Mike B. and Kirk P. for bringing this movie to my attention. These bastards loved, LOVED this movie so much that they chastised me for not making it the best sports movie of all time! I don’t see how making fun of an entire race qualifies this piece of crap as the greatest movie of all time. Kirk and Mike have obvious problems with accepting people so if you have any problems with them I want you to take it up with them! This is where they live:


Mike B.                                               Kirk P.
2431 W. Montrose Ave.                      2520 Glendale Blvd
Chicago, IL 60618                               Los Angeles, CA 90039
(773) 477-0800                                   (213) 480-1421

Smell the finger of racial intolerance!

There you go, America! Take it up with Mike and Kirk! In fact, I am sure they want you to contact them! That is how they spread their hatred around the world! Show them that racial hatred and intolerance should be stamped OUT of America AND sports movies altogether! Let these depraved souls know that we are ONE people, with ONE common goal, of love and togetherness and equality for all! Show these human bags of evil that it is NOT okay to limit people based on what they look like! If not for your children then do it for AMERICA!!!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Neverwhere - Lifeline Theatre (theatre review)

Hainsworth and Kauzlaric enter a Neverhole

This past Saturday, I left the beautiful sunny world of Chicago Illinois and ventured into a sick, twisted dimension of beasts, weirdos, funny accents, dry ice, and stage combat at the storied Lifeline Theatre.  That's right, I saw their already number one hit Neverwhere!

So, this show is one of those shows that makes use of Magical Realism or Urban Fantasy...that is, it's the author's intent to make a show that is like a Dungeons & Dragons game, but he didn't want to use gay unicorns or bags of holding.  Seriously, if I would have known this show had griffins or minotaurs in it or something I would have Never gone There.  Yep.

The show is based on funny books by Neil Gaiman, who is like a much nicer and better smelling Alan Moore.  It was adapted once already for the BBC, and I didn't see it but I bet it had fucking Daleks in it or weird acronyms that normal people never use.  Rob Kauzlaric adapted the show, and also starred as the protagonist Richard Mayhew.  Rob is really pretty and makes you want to join him on this epic journey into a sewer.  Paul S. Holmquist directed it, and his nimble fingers make deft use of having no money to actually make awesome monsters.  Sometimes, I appreciate having to use my imagination, and Holmquist gets inside your brain and does a sexy number on your pleasure centers.

The set is the traditional Lifeline showoff set, by showoff king Alan Donohue.  I don't know how he does it, or how drunk he gets at afterparties...but it's pretty drunk, guys, really.  Also, Alan's porno name is Mr. Brute Force.

So, this Richard Mayhew is a Scotsman in London with a boring ass job and a boring fiance (the chameleon-like Elise Kauzlaric) who wants him to be the Brit equivalent of a Lincoln Park Chad...which in London is a Nigel, I'm told.  They're running along, being all United Kingdomy and run across this poor woman named Door (a subtly radiant Katie McLean) who is a denizen of London Below - sewers - and is in a lot of trouble.  She talks to some rat puppets and Richard helps her out and enlists the help of the Marquis (Chris Hainsworth, channeling a young Treat Williams) so she can get back to the underground.

Then all hell breaks loose and Richard's life has disappeared in London Above.  WTF, y'all????  So, he goes on a pretty standard Joseph Campbell style hero's quest into London Below to try and get his life back.

Did this guy just lose his marbles?  All of a sudden, he's involved with a woman who can make doors appear anywhere, two apparently ancient hitmen cutthroats (Christopher Walsh and Sean Sinitski make the most of these scumbags, evoking all the fine British comedy teams like Benny Hill and naked chicks, or Graham Chapman and bags of coke), a black huntress who MIGHT just be playing both sides against the middle (Kyra Morris brings down the house, Angela Bassett watch out!), and a fallen Angel who has a +7 Key of Opening (Phil Timberlake creeping it up).

I don't mean to be a negative nelly, but I had no idea what was going on for a while.  But then, I realized that doesn't matter.  With a crazy quest show like this, it's about the journey not the destination...and what an ambitious and whack-job journey it is!

If you are a fan of shows that explore what it means to make important decisions about life and really bitchin' lighting effects then go check out Neverwhere at the Lifeline!  Also, their staff is so sweet and nice...they even put blankets out if people are too cold in the air conditioning, which is really super since the place used to be a meat packing plant.

B, but A- if you know what your THAC0 is.

-Eric Roach, Anderson Lawfer

Friday, June 18, 2010

My World Cup runneth over…with Poop! (Sports Review by Anthony Tournis)

This A-GASM is going to be short and to the point, because talking about shitty sports makes me angry! It’s that time again. Once every 4 years every country in the world gets together to suck ass and bore the living shit out of us in the US of A (love it or leave it (unless you are Mexican than just leave it(aliens (Fox News don’t lie (Fox News: YYYEEEEEEEE---HHHHHHHAAAAAWWWWWWWWWWW!!!))))). Who plays soccer? Dumb asses. Dumb asses from other countries (why are they from other countries? (because they aren’t smart enough to be born in America (USA! USA! USA!))). Here are a bunch of European Nancy Pants that think that kicking a ball around is fun. MORONS!!! Everyone tells me ”Oh it’s such an awesome sport, and it’s so physical.” BULLSHIT! Running isn’t physical . It’s dumb. That is why people have cars (they might not have cars in Europe yet, I didn’t check (if they did they would probably run on cheese and shame)). No one I know watches soccer (or as I call it ‘football for queers’ (I’m sorry to all those who are offended by me associating gays with Soccer (it’s unfair to the gays))) Who watches World Cup Soccer? Lame ass losers who act all cultured because they like books and sucky ass sports. These are people who act all cool because they care about all the other shitty countries (and by other I mean EVERY country that isn’t AMERICA (LAND OF THE FREE!)) that are playing in the dumb ass World Cup. I don’t care what Ghana is doing (why should I care? (those bastards gave us Ghanarhea! (Thanks for making it hurt when I pee, Africans!))) as long as they do it the hell away from us!


I will say that there is one good part of the World Cup. It’s the Americans (NUMBER 1!!!). We are gracious enough to indulge these freakin’ wastes of skin and play along with the inferior countries (Because we are AmeriCANS, not AmeriCAN’TS). That is why we are awesome! We help people below us by playing dumb ass soccer.You are welcome…EARTH!!! In conclusion, soccer and the World cup is like kissing your sister: It can only end with grass stains and someone slipping one past the goalie.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Our Dinner With Dawndre

Eric

You may have seen our blog yesterday if you keep up with what PerformInk online calls "one of the funniest hunks of virtual real estate in the local theatre blogosphere," or whatever the hell that lady just called us.

Anderson

We posted an article about a young lady named Prawn Milson. A woman full of rage and hate and despair and strife.

Eric

We were only providing a public service to Prawn, and angry people like her. If you are going to post in public, the public might read it. This is why terrorists don't blog. Or blog very well, I should say. It's always 70 virgins this and Death to the Infidels that. Boring.

Anderson

Well, after our initial post, bringing attention to her initial post, everyone posted and it got out of hand. People were stockpiling virtual messages of hate for poor, angry Prawn. After some consideration, we decided to start a new blog entitled: www.prawnmilsonshoulddieinafire.blogspot.com

Eric

But then, Google called us and said that blog name was illegal and they would dropkick us through a wormhole if we tried to use it, which I know they can do, because they're Google, man.

Anderson

They are fucking Google, man. The Mary Arrchie of computers.

Eric

God, let's just stop talking about them...too creepy. So, we decided that the next best thing would be to meet up with the angrily tattooed Prawn for a tete-a-tete.

Anderson

Our journalistic sensibilities took over. We had to know why she was so mad at us. The people that made her that way. What did we do to deserve her unadulterated venom and tears? When we arrived, I was expecting to meet a weirdo, but what I found was quite the opposite. It was a person wearing all black, covered in tattoos, playing a didgeridoo.

Eric

I usually dislike didgeridoo, but I have to admit she has style on the pipe. At first, things were a little tense. I mean, we did force her into the spotlight of a cold and uncaring and VERY cruel world.



Anderson

She stood up and PUNCHED Eric with the force of a bitter 24 year old! I couldn't believe it!

Eric

I dropped like a bag of flour. Lady has arms! Felt like Chuck Wepner in the 4th round.

Anderson

You were still pretty good looking, actually.

Eric

Thanks, I just have to remember to keep the guard up and toe-in.

Anderson

Well, I thought she was just having a "lady day" because she immediately apologized. What was this thing? Doing something terrible and apologizing right afterwards?

Eric

I know! This phenomenon blows my mind. Usually when I do terrible things I get a record contract.

Anderson

I just get the punch in the face.



Anyway, we decided to put it behind us and sit down. We needed to learn about this mythical beast. The Prawn Milson.

Eric

The first thing I learned was "Dang, she's a cutie!"

Anderson

She offered to buy us drinks, which was so nice. Eric had the Pale Ale, whilst I had a Shirley Temple. Her disposition was wonderful.

Eric

She couldn't be nicer, guys. We talked about the internet, and soccer, and cheeseburgers!

Anderson

She likes all the same things we do! She talked about how work sucked and cigarettes were hard to quit. We talked about her cool glasses and how to pick a lock.

Eric

I actually was pretty fascinated by her job! Do you guys know how hard it is to be a stage manager? Probably not, because you're actors. It's REALLY hard. They have to clean up toothpaste, while you go to the bar and try to get recognized!

Anderson

I was starting to see the error of our ways. Could it be that she knew the behaviors we exhibited would not be respectable in normal life? Did she think she understood what we go through as actors? How we have to learn lines and talk to each other and maybe kiss each other? Eric tried to walk the conversation over to the issue of "Cherrywood" a play at Mary Arrchie Theatre Company that she had bad mouthed.

Eric

Listen, we all know that "Cherrywood" is going to be the best play of the year and probably start a revolution in theatre. She's gonna see it, guys. Everyone is, come on!

Anderson

But then, while I was talking, and verrry quietly, she brought out "the book." "The Book" is the unwritten book of laws created for the Chicago Theatre Community written by Rich Cotovsky with a forward by Lance Baker.

Eric

OMG, I can't believe we're gonna write about this!

Anderson

She slowly turned to Chapter 7: Stage Managers and she read aloud from this unwritten book that we all follow, but is sold out on Amazon.com so don't try to look for it…and it states:

"Every Stage Manager is allowed one time to act like an idiot and is to be granted by the community as a whole immediate forgiveness."

Eric

It's in The Book, people. Sometimes being a Stage Manager, working at Aldi, having tattoos, and dealing with actors can make you want to tunnel through the earth and use your mutant nuclear abilities to cause a singularity and destroy the entire 3rd dimension.

Anderson

Unfortunately she didn't read the part in chapter 9 that says actors are afforded nine times to act like idiots. So while she used her time up, we still have a few times left. Well, not me so much, but most of you.

Eric

Yeah, so fuck you Bob Falls! 6 more times left for me!



Anderson

We decided to hug and go our separate ways, never to meet again, but when the moon is very clear, and the darkness is calling you to a certain star in the sky...that star is Prawn Milson, and she is bright.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Stage Managers Who Hate Theatre (person review)

Oh my goodness.

Please click the link above (UPDATE: above link no longer exists) to read a review of Cherrywood, directed by David Cromer. By the way, this review was written about 2 weeks before anyone in America has even seen the production.

This review was written by one Prawn Milson, Sage Manger for the Clown tour and grocery clerk at your local Aldi.

Now, Prawn...jeez I don't even really know what to say here. I mean, I suppose I could rake you over the coals for your spelling and grammar skills (replacing the word "feat" with "feet" was a classic blunder...even fucking Balzac made that mistake) or your sub-e.e. cummings non-capitalization of words.

I guess I could verbally rape you for attacking the Mary Arrchie, a company that consistently does great work, even if their space kind of smells like the Hawks locker room after Kane just banged three groupies bent over the Cup. Or your incessant need to call actors "schmactors" and your insane generalization of storefront theatre as "shitty."

Listen Prawn, I hate most actors too. I mean, they're guilty of crazed acts of narcissism and usually so insecure you need a copy of Psych 101 just to have a cogent conversation with them. But, you're IN this business...couldn't you try to come up with some nice things to say about it? We are all in the same boat, and those shitty storefront actors are my friends, and so many of them are geniuses.

I'm also certain that you had no clue that anyone would read your blog about this particular topic. Your blog seems like a semi-private place for you to write about what's going on in your life and what not. Nothing wrong with that. Seems a bit narcissistic to me, but what the hell do I know...I'm a shitty storefront actor.

But, I'm afraid Reviews You Can Iews has to teach you a lesson about the Internet. See, what you write on a public blog can be read. By everyone. Friends, enemies, strangers. And what's more...it is saved forever in the great Borg-like interweb hive consciousness.

So, I'm to go ahead and give you a couple of grades. The first grade is going to treat your blog like the hateful, spiteful, evil writings of a 24 year old who seems pretty bitter about theatre, even as she attempts to make a living from it.

The second grade is for you attempting to make a joke and get attention. Maybe, jussssst maybe...you were trying to have some fun and give your friends something to laugh at. Could it be you are just, in the parlance of our times, TROLLING? I'll go ahead and give you a grade for that possibility, because I don't want my order fucked up at Aldi.

Evil, hateful blog: A+.
Trolling, joke blog: D-.

Good luck. Cherrywood forever.

-Eric Roach, Anderson Lawfer

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The 2010 Non- Equity Joseph Jefferson Awards (Theatrical Awards Ceremony & After-Parties)

So, Monday was when the Non-Equity Jeff Awards took place. I attended for the very first time in my life. To say that I was excited was an understatement! Before the show, my pal and co-writer Anderson Lawfer and myself went to Stanley’s for their $5 cheeseburgers. I had muenster cheese, gardeniera, special sauce, grilled onion, and sautéed mushroom. It was the best $5 cheeseburger I’ve ever had, and I’ve been to Oklahoma.

Listen, if you want to know who the winners were, go here. This review is about the opulent Awards ceremony itself, which was held at the Park West. The only other time I’ve been to the Park West was for The Polyphonic Spree show. I was tripping balls on a whole bunch of screamers that Ryan Bollettino gave me. I wished Bollo was there on Monday to give me more screamers, because this ceremony was NO Polyphonic Spree show.

CROMER!

ALLEN!

KLAPPERICH!

As we walked in, I noticed many many Chicago theatre celebrities! Look, Sean Graney! Vanessa Greenway! David Cromer! Nathan Allen! Phillip Klapperich! Anthony Tournis! Me! (I looked in a mirror) It was literally star-studded with stud stars. One thing to know about the Jeff Committee themselves…they are old but extremely helpful. I asked an old man where the bathroom was, and he couldn’t be happier to tell me! That’s committee commitment.

Drinks at the Park West are $6.50 for a little cup of booze, ice, and watery 7-Up. Strike one. This ceremony could have been held somewhere cheaper…I mean everyone was wearing dresses from Marshalls and suits from Unique Thrift. Jeff Committee…no one has any money. Please take that into account and have the next Awards at Ravenswood Pub. I’ll bar-be-cue some chicken and we can get a keg of Schlitz. Done.

There was some parts of the evening that were unforgettable. Kevin Bellie of Circle Theatre and Frances Limoncelli of whoever will do her plays hosted the event, which was great! They even did cheesy musical numbers and put their faces into the nominated Best Show pictures! They had good banter together and rushed the show along because they did not want to buy anymore $6.50 drinks either. Good choice, hosts. Note to Jeff Committee…people like awards shows that go fast. We are busy, and bars don’t stay open all damn night.

The Park West is a very lovely and scenic venue…there was ALWAYS something to look at! Whether it was the bottom of my glass, large chests, or really nice disco balls! What was also lovely: Darrell W. Cox’s hair…I wanted to run my fingers through it and tell him how his shyness is so damn attractive.

My friend Shannon Hoag said during the musical number from “Chess” (Theo Ubique gets the shout out…great work guys!) that it should have been called “Chest.” Those singers were packing hams!

Anyway, Douglas Bradburd, the Non-Equity Chair of the Jeff Committee, made a heartfelt speech when bestowing the Special Award to Circle Theater…about how it was so inspiring to see new works and enthusiastic young people who were fearless in Chicago theatre and how that made us second to none in America’s theatrical community. It was a really moving speech.

Then Twelve Angry Men won for Best Ensemble.

-Eric Roach

After the show was over, Eric, my wife and I filed our way outside through the mobs of celebrities. There was Chris Maher! I accidentally touched Chris Jones' butt! Paul Holmquist asked me for a cigarette! Rob Kauzlaric waved at me!
Once we hit the street, Eric, my wife and I ran right into old friend and self-described fan of mine, David Cromer. He told us that all the real cool guys were going up to Goldie's right next to American Theater Company. American Theater Company has a fine history of really getting along with it's ensemble members and since tonight was about togetherness, I accepted his hearty plea.

When we walked in, I knew we had made the right choice. This place was filled with celebrities! Jeff Award winner Chris Matthews was talking with Jeff Award winner Matt Hawkins (they didn't win this year)!
HAWKINS! MATTHEWS!

The evening's announcer James Anthony Zoccoli was discussing something VERRRRRRY artful with Lifeline Artistic Director Dorothy Milne. Apparently they were really talking about some important things, because they didn't want to be interviewed.
MILNE! ZOCCOLI!

Jeff Award winner Mike Smith was surprised to see us, and couldn't wait to talk all-things-theatre with us!
SMITH!

I was mentioning to Eric how I was pretty excited that Chess won so many awards, because I thought that show was really great and original. Also, the whole cast was sitting right behind us, and were very thrilled to be there. The only thing I noticed was that there were only 5 musicals nominated for everything, which made me wonder how many musicals were actually done in Chicago as non-equity shows. I hadn't seen any of them, because I don't live in the suburbs or am very old, so my educated guess was... 7 musicals done this year. Man, those other 2 must have been atrocious or really far in the suburbs.

As the party went on, I got much friendlier with these wonderful winners, and couldn't help but ask Jeff Award winner Shawn Pfautsch if he was having a great time.
PFAUTSCH!

Listen, I'm sure he's a real sweetheart, but do NOT get messed up with this guy when he is on a drunk. He will not shut up! He was running his mouth about everything! Did you know that he used to be married to Jeff Award winner Melanie Keller?

By this point in the night, I wanted to get closer to Jeff Award winner Peter Oyloe, but something inside told me to stay away, as he seemed like a tortured young soul.

Well, we waited around for a while, until it was clear that Jeff Award winners John Steinhagen and David Cromer had stood us up, so I just sold some weed to Jeff Award winner Janet Ulrich Brooks and took off.

What a great night!

I can't wait for next year!

-Anderson Lawfer

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

No Exit- The Hypocrites (Theater Review)



No Exit is a famous college play from the 40's about three people who are stuck in a little room where they have to sit next to each other.

One guy is a German Nazi who escaped the war and went to Brazil.
One lady is a Mexican postal worker that looks like Sherlock Holmes.
One lady is a whore.

In the play No Exit, these characters are forced to deal with the weirdo lesbian postal worker as she gropes at the whore and uses all the toothpaste. Then at the end, they realize that hell is actually just being around other people in a little room.

If this play was written nowadays, this would be happening on the #36 Broadway bus, right here in Chicago. Man, one time I was on that bus, and this guy was throwing up in the back and this old lady was complaining about it next to me, and then we got stuck in the Gay Pride Parade. So I know what they are going through.

Sean Graney has turned this once innocent and revealing sketch of human thoughts into another tour-de-vagina for the Hypocrites at the Athaneum Theatre. Jesus, Lord above, I have never been inside a worse theater in my life. Not only are the seats uncomfortable, but the clientele... yuck.

When the curtains opened, when I thought I couldn't take anymore of these grease balls kicking the back of my chair, I saw before me the most exhillarating set I've ever seen.

Now I know you all will think I am joking, but in all seriousness; the set is the inside of a vagina. I'm not joking. It is a cavernous pink waiting room with a sideways door (vagina opening) in the back, two globes (ovaries) downstage, and a giant clitoris statue in the middle of the room that they all rub through the show.

I'm serious.

Graney has really outdone himself this time. I had thought I had seen everything.

Now, in addition to the set, it wouldn't be a Graney play unless everyone talked at the same time with music playing too, and he would not disappoint. This play had everything.

And readers, I know you know what a huge fan I am of Rob McLean, and I was so lucky to see him in this play as Gomez or some other name that he made up when he fled the Allies in Europe. God, is he incredible. This Rob McLean has really grown as an actor in the last few years, I mean really grown into himself. Now is that because he has been gray since he was 17? I'm not here to judge him, for he is glorious.

Also in the play was Samantha Gleisten which I'm not entirely sure isn't Kevin O'Donnell with a wig on, but either way, really nice specific choices, Kev.


Erin Barlow gives the finest performance of her nubile 21 year life as a blonde girl who thinks she is better than me. And whom could forget the amazing and adaptive John Taflan as the Duke of Cercey or something, because he is dressed like an old fashioned British fellow and nobody else dressed like that, but maybe that's HIS Hell, because he just wanted to fit in, but somebody told him it was a costume party and now he's gonna go cry like a fat girl in the bathroom for an hour.

All in all, people talk a lot in Hell, about shit that doesn't always necessarily make so much sense. But you can always look into an ovary and see your family that you left behind.

No Exit

B

-Anderson Lawfer, Eric Roach

Monday, June 7, 2010

Asian Cooking (food by Guest Reviewer Kristen Enkvetchakul)

During challenging economic times, food can be a central issue. Too often cutting back on the food budget can mean saying “no” to special food that your family enjoys. If you looking for ways to cut back on your food budget, and enjoy cooking, I would suggest experimenting with Asian cooking.

Thai and Vietnamese food in particular lend themselves to cooking on a budget. These countries offer many dishes that use inexpensive ingredients and yet are packed with delicious flavor.

Asian spices and ingredients are generally low cost, and keep just short of forever. For example, the tamarind paste that I use to make pad thai is in a 17oz jar that cost around $5. The tub can used for multiple batches of pad thai, and has a long expiration date.

While making Asian food may seem intimidating, it’s really not that hard. The ingredients may seem very different at first, but new ingredients are like new people: they are only strangers until you know their names and see them a bit. Soon they are as familiar as the ones you previously knew.

If your children will try new things, there are many great Thai choices. You may want to try to make pad thai, which is a mild Thai noodle dish. Chicken satay also tends to be very popular with kids and less adventurous adults. It is a simple Thai grilled chicken dish that is served with a mild peanut sauce. Thai sticky rice may sound complicated, but it is actually quite easy to make, and never fails as a crowd-pleaser with its cool coconut taste. While Thai sticky rice does require a special Thai sticky rice steamer, and special Thai sticky rice, which is different from regular white rice, it is well worth it. As a bonus, I have often found Thai sticky rice steamers to be interesting conversation pieces, as they have an exotic look.

Vietnamese cuisine offers many great possibilities, including fresh spring rolls, which are a delightful, healthy addition to any meal. There is a learning curve to getting down the mechanics of rolling these delicious appetizers, but it is a satisfying task when accomplished, and well worth the bit of effort.

Here is a brief description of how to make them: The outside of spring rolls is dried rice paper soaked in warm water for a few seconds. Place the softened rice paper wrapper on a plate that has been covered by a damp paper towel. Place two peeled, de-veined, and cooked shrimp (with tails off) on the wrapper in a vertical column, one above the other, both flat on the rice paper (you can also slice the shrimp in half long ways to conserve the shrimp, using only two halves). Place some cooked (previously boiled to soften) thin rice vermicelli noodles (sometimes called dried rice sticks) on top of the shrimp. Then place a couple of fresh cilantro sprigs on the noodles, a couple of fresh bean sprouts on the cilantro, and then place a piece of lettuce (boston or green leaf) on the bean sprouts. Fold the top of the wrapper down, the bottom up, and roll the wrapper to one side as tightly as you can without tearing it. If the wrapper breaks don’t worry, just try again with a new wrapper. I have broken many wrappers, especially when I was first learning. The spring rolls can be served with a fish sauce or hoisin sauce based dipping sauce (a version can be found in my book, “Introduction to Asian Cooking”, or many other cookbooks). The spring rolls can be made ahead of time and kept refrigerated in Tupperware, with damp paper towels between layers of rolls. As you are making the spring rolls, keep the finished spring rolls covered with a damp paper towel to avoid them drying out as you make more.
If you are unfamiliar with Asian ingredients, finding where to buy them may seem like a large barrier. I have found www.importfood.com to be an excellent on-line source of Thai and Vietnamese ingredients. You can find Thai sticky rice and sticky rice steamers, as well as excellent fresh Thai produce such as lemongrass, there.

Fish sauce is a very common ingredient in Vietnamese and Thai cooking. Three Crabs brand is my all-time favorite. It is available at www.importfood.com, and also at some Asian grocery stores. Some western supermarkets carry fish sauce, but I have found Three Crabs brand to be by far superior. Please don’t let the name, or pungent smell for that matter, make you wary of fish sauce. It is not meant to be used straight, but rather it is mixed with sugar or other ingredients.

I hope you will consider embarking on the adventure of exploring Asian food this summer. It’s a great way to save money without sacrificing great taste.

Kristin Enkvetchakul is a self-taught chef of Asian cuisine. Her book, “Introduction to Asian Cooking”, features classic recipes of Thailand and Vietnam, as well as recipes for Chinese dim sum and Japanese sushi instructions.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Expose: God uses ‘Penis of the Sea’ to Fuck Southern California! (Expose by Anthony Tournis)

Earthquakes, fires, and oppressive heat. That used to be God’s way of dealing with the hippies that run Southern California (my uncle Dave told me all about those damn hippies ( after I got home from a trip to L.A. he had to check my whole body to make sure they didn’t give me any hippie drugs (apparently they really like to hide things up your butt because he really checked that area (he checked it so hard I couldn’t walk for a week (better safe than sorry))))). Now there is a new threat to those dirty bastards that should wipe that peace-lovin’ smile off their dumb ass grills! Humbolt squids! Squids are what I like to call the ‘Penis of the Sea’ (I call them that because they look like penises and they have tentacles (I hear if you shave your tentacles it makes your wiener look bigger (I have a lot of junk downstairs so this info is useless to me (uncle Dave says it’s the biggest he has seen and he sees a lot)))). These Humbolt squids are huge too! They can weigh up to one hundred pounds and they will eat your babies. Babies are what make squid big and strong (babies are like spinach for squids (seriously they can’t get enough of your babies! (do you love your baby? (well, keep it the hell away from Southern California (do you have a baby in Southern California? (if you do, then I hope you like your babies dead (seriously, don’t let your babies get eaten by squid (unless you are a hippy (if you are a hippy then squid are the best babysitters for your dirty, hippie babies))))))))). The problem with the Humbolt (Penis of The Sea) squid is that they are taking over the waters of Southern California looking for babies. Don’t be fooled by the lack of legs because the squid can walk in their tentacles (OUCH)! I read in the news that these squids are invading, so that means they are probably armed. Intel (that means Intelligence if you read Tom Clancy novels (I just wait for the movies)) says that they haven’t developed guns yet so that is good news, but don’t get too comfy because the squid have a secret weapon: Tanks! If these tanks get to the shore than we are fucked! I mean, SQUID TANKS!?! For real?!?!?! Why is this happening? Because Southern California hates America so God hates Southern California! Look at the facts. Southern California is where all the damn liberals and hippies are so it’s a no-brainer that they hate America. Alaska is on the Pacific Ocean and this isn’t happening to them (thank you Sarah Palin)! What more proof do you need? Those commie, hippie bastards in Southern California probably worship Hitler while they wipe their butts on a burning American flag (that is what they all do (trust me)). They don’t support the troops (because the only way to support the troops is by sending them into as many wars as you can (they love to fight for their lives (it’s their jobs))), they love illegal immigrants (c’mon aliens…we were here first!), and they like their pot drugs. I hear that you can buy pot drugs in stores out there. CRAZYNESS! It’s like Solomon and Gamera! Since they hate America and God loves us because we kick ass; God sent the squids to reclaim that land for REAL AMERICANS! Get ready to bow down to your new squid masters you commie intellectual liberals! That will learn you to hate the good old U. S. of A!

The Horrible, Horrible Squid Invasion (Humboldt Squid)

Guys?

GUYS?

Take a fucking look at this demon:


This is the Humboldt Squid, and just like Humboldt Park...it must be destroyed.

I'm certain you've heard that this monster has infiltrated our west coast over the last 7 years.  But maybe you didn't realize that these things are worse than anything in your nightmares.

They eat everything.  EVERYTHING.  They are not afraid to eat salmon, krill, trout, swordfish, anything.  There is one reported case of them ganging up and eating a human being, but of course the media won't tell you about that.

That's why you need to listen to me.  These Lovecraftian eldritch gods are not a joke.  I'm seriously scared to death.  I've taken to eating calimari at every meal, because I want to be able to say that I helped squash the squid invasion.

What can you do?  Please comment with ideas on Andy's review.  But not here.  I won't read them, because I'm in my squid-proof bunker awaiting the squidpocalypse.

THE UNIVERSE IS TRYING TO KILL US!  WHAT WILL YOU DO TO COMBAT THE SQUID MENACE???

The Upcoming Squid Invasion (Giant Squid Day)


Thousands of jumbo flying squid, aggressive 5-foot-long sea monsters with razor-sharp beaks and toothy tentacles, have invaded the shallow waters off San Diego, spooking scuba divers and washing up dead on beaches. The so-called Humboldt squid, which can grow up to 100 pounds, are native to the deep waters off Mexico, where they have been known to attack humans. Scientists are not sure why the squid are swarming off the Southern California coast, but they are concerned. In recent years, small numbers have been spotted from California to Sitka, Alaska, an alarming trend, scientists say. In 2005, a similar invasion off San Diego delighted fishermen and, in 2002, thousands of squid washed up on the beaches. This summer, the wayward squid have also been hauled up by fishermen in waters off Orange County, just north of San Diego. Research suggests the squid may have established a year-round population off California at depths of 300 to 650 feet, said Nigella Hillgarth, executive director of the Birch Aquarium at Scripps Institution of Oceanography. The swarms may occur when their prey moves to shallow waters and the squid follow, Ms. Hillgarth said. - The New York Times


So...
Are you guys ready?
Here's what's going to happen:
The oil spill will come up the rivers from the gulf, polluting all the waters and forcing us into the middle of the country, while the squid slowly evolve and make their way across California, moving that population into the Midwest also. We will be trapped between unclean drinking water and fucking goofy ass Californian people. Since we can't control the oil spill anymore, we need to figure out the best way to get rid of these squids.
I am fresh out of ideas, but I know that something needs to happen soon.
Please comment with ideas and let us stop this madness from ruining our children's children.
WE ARE ALL GOING TO FUCKING DIE HERE.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The Greatest Sports Movie of All Time!!! (Sports Review by Anthony Tournis)

Alright, America. This A-GASM is going to set you straight (straight as a direction not a sexual preference (it’s okay to be gay (just keep your a-hole away from my b-alls) about the greatest sports movie ever…EVER! “What is it?” you say? Is it Rudy? Nope (screw that whiny little d-bag (“Ehhhh…I want to play football because of Irish people and saints and a dumb ass school! (Shut it, hobbit-boy!) The Natural? Guess again (it should have been called the NAP-tural (because it makes me want to sleep (it’s a simile)))! The Blind Side? PLEASE (there was an outtake where the big, fat, dumb guy tries to tackle Sandra Bullock’s teeth (it made him cry because he couldn’t do it (then her teeth gave him a pep talk and made him a sandwich (later he falls in love with her teeth and makes love to them on a football field because he’s dumb and in love (he might be big and dumb but he sure knows how to bang her teeth)))))! Okay, you are stupid at guessing. Everyone knows (except for you) what the greatest sports movie of all time is THE PROGRAM!!!

“The Program” tells it like it like it really is. It is the story of the struggles of everyday college football players (college is for retards unless you are an athlete (except for tennis players (tennis players don’t count unless you are a girl))) dealing with the pressures of being fucking awesome! The story takes place as the ESU Timberwolves finish their previous season, and they blow (why? (DRAMA)). Their quarterback is named Joe Kane (Biblical) and he is played like a God by Craig Sheffer (“Bloodknot”, “Dracula II: Ascension”) Kane is awesome because he is good, but he like to drink like his Dad does (that shit is called conflict) and he falls in love with a tennis player who is really damn hot named Camille. Kristy Swanson (“Forbidden Secrets”, “Red Water”) is the boner raising Camille and she has a secret…her DAD is Kane’s coach (AW SHIT!!!). At the same time, Omar Epps (the other black guy) playing freshman running back Darnell Jefferson, shows up to ESU but he has two problems: he is dumb and Ray Griffen (the guy looks like Carlton from “Fresh Prince of Bel Air” (but isn’t the guy who plays Carlton from “The Fresh Prince of Bel Air”)) is the STARTING running back(TENSION!). What is he to do? Um…he only get’s Halle Berry (“B*A*P*S”, “Perfect Stranger”) to teach him how to be smart AND he is going to bang her because she is Ray Griffen’s girlfriend (WHA?!??!?!?!?!?!)! In the mean time Coach Sam Winters, who is portrayed really awesomely by James Khan (“Blood Crime”, “Santa’s Slay”), is worried about one of his players. It seems that Steve Lattimer (the muscle bound Andrew Bryniarski (“Dracula’s Guest”, “The Lobo Paramilitary Christmas Special”) is taking performance enhancing drugs. Lattimer is the most tragic character in the movie because he get blamed for date rape (she was asking for it) and he has to shove a hose in his wiener to fool the drug tests (that is commitment)! At the end, the coach is disappointed in him because he knows that Lattimer is taking the drugs, but he gets away with it so no harm is done. Anyway, all these players come together and play football but Kane has a drinking problem and get into a fight after he loses a game so he goes to rehab (this scene is the only time Kane quits ( his Dad is still a drunk so it’s alright)). The team struggles without Kane but he comes back and they win. Oh, and a trash talking guy breaks his legs and cries like a girl (pussy) and Omar Epps and Carlton become friends even though Epps is poking Carlton’s girl. Speaking of banging chicks, the coach hates that Kane is probing his daughter but they would make really strong babies so I guess it’s okay in the end. The shitty part of this movie is that there was scene where Kane and his team mates laid down in the middle of traffic and cars whizzed by to prove how awesome they were (THEIR BALLS ARE MADE FROM SEVERAL OTHER BALLS FUSED TOGETHER WITH BADASSSSSSS!)! This scene was removed and now I can’t even find it on YouTube. Just because a whole bunch of kids were hurt and killed doesn’t mean they can take away art! Those uptight pussies really burn my ass!

There you go, America. The Program is the most Bad Ass greatest sports movie of all time! If you don’t like it then you are dumb. Pure and simple. Rudy couldn’t hold Kane’s jock strap (although Rudy would probably enjoy it), The natural would NATURALLY run from Omar Epps and Carlton (metaphor), and Sandra Bullock’s teeth will get date raped by the muscle clad Lattimer while the fat dumb kid watches and cries. Until next time!

Memorable quote: “I’m not too good to tear a hole in your tiny ass!”