Thursday, March 28, 2013

What the Bulls Win Meant For Me (A Personal Essay)

Sometimes in your adulthood you doubt everything you have decided to do with your life. Your life in the arts (or whatever it is for you) that is seemingly going nowhere, your career choices, what blue jeans you wore that day, etc.

You may stay up all night worrying about a single decision you made the day before. Maybe you said something that could be construed as impolite or rude to a colleague. Maybe you are getting too old for all this bullshit. Why are you still getting zits at this age? Why is everyone that you are PAYING for their services so fucking unreliable? Why can't it just be the weekend so I can be home, not look in a mirror and I can cover my head with a blanket for a few days and just try to recuperate from my own self doubt the constant let down of others. Why did the CTA prices go up if they are just going to cut service? Why are they closing all these goddammed public schools? Where are these kids gonna go? Why is this Gay Marriage thing a big deal?


and why is it still so cold? Cloudy and cold and dark all the time. Is it worth living in this city at all? I know there are other places to live that probably would be HAPPY to have a guy like me in their town. Someplace warm with a nice little community theater and people willing to help you achieve.

Selfless, reliable, happy.

You get home from another rough fucking day full of disappointing phone calls and more headaches.

"Well sir, we still can't tell ya what's wrong with your car, but we charge $80 a day in storage."

"That package you ordered got lost in the mail AGAIN, so expect it to be another 3 weeks."

"This CTA train will be delayed for another 30 minutes."

You get home and just want to watch your Chicago Bulls play a game so you can relax and what do you hear?

"At a press conference, Derrick Rose said that while he is ready to play, he still will not."

"Joakim Noah and Marco Belinelli, who were expected to be game time decisions, will be sitting out tonight."   

"Rip Hamilton's old ass is hurt again."

Which sounds like a typical end to a Chicago sports team season.
Our motto should be:

"Everyone is hurt, the future looks terrible."

Well, that's just par for the course, I guess.
What's that? Oh, we are playing the Miami Heat on a 27 game winning streak? Oh great. That sounds about right for our city right now.

Then what happens?

Nate Robinson hits a couple threes. Luol Deng matches rebounds and assists with LeBron James. Carlos Boozer pushes back for once. Kirk Hinrich rips that fucking ball out of Chris Bosh's hands!

Wait, are we winning? Are we going to win?
Why is everyone cheering? Did something good happen?

And then the buzzer sounds, and the game is over, and the Chicago Bulls have
beaten the unbeatable Miami Heat.

For the first time in a month you can go to sleep without worrying because you saw what can happen when you just stick it out with your team. When you fight, you can win.

Just don't give up. Quit thinking about giving up. Stick to the plan, however impossible or ridiculous it may seem.

Just grow some balls and elbow a motherfucker in the chest and keep walking.

and what's this?

The sunshine is out.

-Anderson Lawfer, Eric Roach

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Kill Shakespeare (Strawdog Hugen Hall) (Review by Anthony Tournis)

I was sitting on a beach drinking a Margarita. I was out. Gone. Never going to write
another review again. “Good riddance” I mumbled. It had been a while since my last review but
the image was still burned in my mind. The deadlines…the screaming…the sexual harassment.
As the sound of the surf gently lulled me into a much anticipated slumber I could make out a
man in a white suit coming towards me. This did not bode well. The concierge approached, my
palms started to sweat. “Phone for you, senor” he said with an almost innocent quality. He
didn’t know who was on the other line, and if he did he would probably pray to the god that he
held so dear that this phone call was quick. As he handed me the phone I could see a bead of
sweat trickle down the side of his forehead. That bead of sweat sealed my fate. I put the
receiver to my ear, “It’s time.” That was all that was said. The concierge looked at me with pity.
I looked at him as I rose from my cabana chair, grim determination in my eyes. “Pray for me,
Joaquim. Pray for me.”

On Monday night I saw the latest offering by Strawdog Theater in the form of a graphic
novel come to life…Kill Shakespeare. I read the Kill Shakespeare books when they first came
out. In fact, I reviewed them. I liked them a lot. Read my original view if you want my take on
the story. This version of Kill Shakespeare is unique in its own right. I have never seen anything
like it before. It has the charm of a radio play, the beauty of an art exhibit, and the communal
feeling of a silent film. A lot of thought and technical prowess went into developing this
experience and it really shows. This show is a multi media monster which is tamed by the
incredibly capable designers and crew. From the top notch vocal performances to the insanely
great original music, I and my fellow audience members were thoroughly entertained. This is
the point in the review when I would single out certain performances that I enjoyed more than
others but I can’t do that. Everyone who lent their vocal talents to this show should be
commended on a fantastic job. This is the true definition of an ensemble. The art is absolutely
stunning as well because it is the original art from the graphic novel, only projected in HD. It’s
beautiful. The staging is interesting to say the least. The audience faces two white screens
which have the panels of the comic book projected upon them. The actors stand at the back of
the space and watch the panels as they give their lines to match the panels. It does take a
second to get used to if your brain isn’t trained to read the panels of a comic book, but you pick
up on it quickly and are really able to follow the story.

This shittiest part of this show is that it is coming to an end. I wish that I had seen this
show sooner so I could tell you all to go and see it right now. If this show ever has a second
incarnation, run to see it. If you don’t, then you’re dumb.

Pulling me out of retirement – D

Show rating – A

-Anthony Tournis