On stage at Common Room
Remember Common Room? Wednesday night was the fourth outing of this theatre taster event, and the inaugural ‘interview an audience member’ segment which – as you can see – I made it into.
And this got me thinking… man, I really need to go see more of these plays which I’m hearing so much about. And that’s how I ended up spending this afternoon chasing a rabbit with a French accent all over the neighbourhood of Andersonville in Upended Production’s Alice.
Inspired by Lewis Carroll, the audience (who all take the role of ‘Alice’) are broken into small groups – each assigned a different rabbit – and move between whimsical and fantastical scenes staged in nearby streets, bars, shops. On the routes between each ‘scene’ there are also weird and wonderful sights and mini-interactions with the audience, like this:
One of the many roaming cast members. (Hopefully.)
I have to admit, I was a little worried it would feel a little too surreal in the sense of ‘arbitrary random stuff’, but actually everything felt very carefully put together and was surprisingly thought provoking. There are so many people I would recommend this to, and most of them don’t live in Chicago, but if you do you should check it out. (And next week I am going to see another production promoted through the Common Room – hurray!)
Late night pizza bite
Have been doing a bunch of other fun stuff, too. Like meeting up with the one and only Emily Boyd, who was visiting town from New York! I also almost broke Randi’s Californian heart by introducing her to the concept of full English breakfasts, which we made this morning. (Tastes like home!)
I also saw Saved, cheered on the Baltimore Orioles in the baseball playoff season, got treated to a swanky lunch at the Art Institute by a friend of Carolyn’s (still haven’t managed to go in to the Art Institute, mind) and went to my first Chicago jazz club. Which was a bit of a fail, actually, because although the jazz was good I decided that I’d prefer to be able to actually hear the conversation I was having, so we retreated to a regular jazz-free bar instead.
Aside from my own entertainment and shenanigans, in the past few weeks I’ve also started volunteering for two separate tutoring/mentoring projects. I will probably write more about these elsewhere, after a couple more weeks, but suffice to say it’s always an interesting challenge to work with children. And I don’t mean that as a euphemism for ‘difficult’ or ‘unpleasant’ – it’s just something which demands conscious adjustment after not actually being a child for a while. Pretty rewarding if you can get it right, though.