The Broadway League, a trade association for what it terms "the Broadway industry," announced today that Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn and the Illinois state legislature are recipients of a "Star of Touring Broadway" award. The legislature and the governor received the honor for passing and signing, respectively, the Live Theatre Production Tax Credit Act.
Similar to the state's film tax credit, provides breaks for commercial producers of "pre-Broadway" shows or of long runs (eight weeks or more) in houses of 1,200 seats or more—in other words, the producers and road presenters represented by the Broadway League. In a statement announcing the award, Broadway League executive director Charlotte St. Martin praised the tax credit for supporting the tryouts of Kinky Boots and Big Fish.
Because of its limitation to "pre-Broadway" shows and/or very large theaters, the act doesn't apply to Chicago's longest-running commercial productions. Million Dollar Quartet has been running for more than four years at the Apollo Theater, while Blue Man Group has logged about two decades at the Briar Street Theatre. Yet the theaters' respective capacities of 461 and 625 don't meet the tax credit's requirements.
Not all Broadway in Chicago presentations qualify, either. The League's announcement quotes Daryl Roth, a lead producer on Kinky Boots, praising Illinois's elected officials for finding "a way to entice producers like myself to think of Chicago first." Yet Roth's Love, Loss and What I Wore, which ran more than three months at BIC's Broadway Playhouse in 2011, wouldn't have earned the credit based on that theater's capacity of 549.
- 120 galleries—one-third of which are exhibiting at Expo Chicago for the first time—will participate, representing 34 cities and 16 countries (Austria, Belgium, Canada, China, Denmark, England, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Spain, Switzerland and the U.S.)
- 18 Chicago galleries are among them, 4 of which are new to Expo: moniquemeloche, Carrie Secrist, R.S. Johnson Fine Art and Zolla/Lieberman. (Last year featured 12 locals.)
- 18 galleries will exhibit in the EXPOSURE section (reserved for those that have been in operation for seven years or fewer), and 10 are participating in Expo Chicago for the first time.
- Galleries were selected by 4 committee members: Rhona Hoffman (Rhona Hoffman, Chicago), Michael Kohn (Michael Kohn, Los Angeles), Anthony Meier (Anthony Meier Fine Arts, New York) and Chris D’Amelio (David Zwirner; London, New York).
- 27,000 visitors attended the inaugual Expo Chicago in 2012, and 3,000 attended the opening-night preview, Vernissage.
- I enjoyed 17 free cocktails and 13 sliders at Vernissage. (JK)
Stay tuned for more Expo info and a countless number of enthusiastic quotes by president and director Tony Karman.
De-troit sucks! Let's go, Red Wings! We just love to yell, but if you're cheering on one team or another, make sure you check out our list of the best bars to watch the game tonight.
It was announced yesterday that Luna Negra Dance Theater is ceasing operations "due to financial constraints." Established in 1999 by Cuban-born dancer and choreographer Eduardo Vilaro, the Latino-focused company was one of the boldest and most artistically exciting contemporary dance ensembles in Chicago, even more so when Gustavo Ramirez Sansano came onboard as artistic director in 2010 (following Vilaro's departure). We remember being mesmerized by the Picasso-inspired Carmen.maquia—all the athletic, emotive movement—among his other brave choreographic feats.
TJ & Dave This two-man show puts master improvisers TJ Jagodowski and Dave Pasquesi together for an hour of long-form. iO Cabaret. 11pm. $5.
GAY & LESBIAN
Burly Burliness is optional at this night for bearded boys, funky folk and all other queers and allies. Gregg Medley spins punk, disco and new wave galore. The Burlington. 9pm.
Lots of completely unnecessary Guinness World Records have been set by Chicagoans or in Chicago. On Friday, Clinton Shepherd hopes to set another. The 32-year-old South Sider will board the Navy Pier Ferris wheel at 2:30pm. If all goes according to plan, the Pier Park operations manager will ride the wheel in the sky and keep on turning continuously (save for five-minute breaks every hour) until Sunday at 2:30pm. The 48 hours spent onboard would shatter the time for Longest Marathon on a Fairground/Theme Attraction, which the Guinness Book of World Records' website says is 25 hours (though there is a Canadian claim on a 30-hour record). Of course, all of this would be a more impressive test of stamina were the ride Raging Bull at Six Flags instead of the Pier's sluggish Ferris wheel. But over the phone this afternoon, Shepherd said slow-jamming his way to a record has its own set of challenges.
Is your life one big training montage right now? Yeah, I'm trying to stay up as long as I possibly can. If I do take a nap, it's usually five or ten minutes, because I do get five-minute breaks every hour. So my goal is to stay up four to five hours straight, so if I do need a break, I can save up the time and use it when I need it. I'm also trying to get my body prepared to take care of the proper...bladder issues. Outside of that, it's just a big mind game.
Brace yourself for Kanyemania, again. Chicago's most famous rap son hits SNL this weekend, promoting his upcoming sixth solo album, the follow-up to the critically lionized My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. The word is the record is a dark and progressive masterpiece with Skrillex and odes to Kim K. Though I love every (musical) thing the guy has made, I remain skeptical. I'm expecting 808s & Heartbreak II: Bass Drops & Teardrops. What I am certain of is that pop music is a far more fascinating and entertaining world with Kanye in it. A new fan-made documentary, Where the Lonely Kids Go When the Bell Rings, confirms this. A montage of studio footage, rants, speeches and interviews, the film assembles common clips from his career into a comically hubristic whole. "Everybody wanted to know what I'd do if I didn't win. I guess we'll never know," he remarked when picking up an early trophy. Ha. Oh, Kanye, don't ever change. Never ever change.
That Lollapalooza lineup is looking better and better. When Phoenix and Vampire Weekend were first announced, my initial thought was, Them again? But damned if the two haven't released my two favorite pop albums of the year. So far. Until next week. Both singers have a way with an exotic place name and take different shots of the upper class. Thomas Mars writes with an extra dry wit. He's French. Ezra Koenig thinks a lot about death amid the Upper West Side. Death creeps into every new Vampire Weekend track. Which is not to say it isn't a blast. Read my album review.
It's National Bike to Work Week (Chicago's own celebration is in June)—just in time for the weather to stop acting a fool. If you're inspired by all the cyclists you see taking to the streets this week but you're not quite ready to go all hardcore Critical Mass, consider joining these local cycling clubs, which have some awesome-sounding rides this week and weekend.
Tuesday Night Thing The Annoyance assembles an explosive amount of talent for this new weekly improv showcase. Performers include Tom Blandford, Bill Boehler, Chris Day, Nancy Friedrich, Beau Golwitzer, Noah Gregoropoulos, TJ Jagodowski, Jared Larsen, Beth Melewski, Linda Orr, Mark Piebenga, Jim Scheidhauer, Rebecca Sohn and Rich Sohn. Annoyance Theatre. 9:30pm. $8.
Cremaster 1 + Cremaster 2 Dir. Matthew Barney. Barney's five-part, six-and-a-half-hour film cycle is about, among other things, gender, the nature of creativity and the amazing versatility of Vaseline. Shot out of sequence (4, 1, 5, 2, 3) over ten years, the cycle has been compared to everything from Star Wars to Wagner. Barney has called the Cremaster cycle a "narrative sculpture," so watch them in any order and look for visual motifs. In 2 (1999, 79 mins) Barney uses the Columbia Icefields (a glacier in the Canadian Rockies) as a piece of sculpture or character in the film, and its creamy, textured surface resonates with the molten Vaseline that Richard Serra scoops and splatters in 3 (2002, 182 mins). In 5 (1997, 55 mins), the rising white doves tethered with ribbons to Barney's testicles (in one of his many guises) chime with the Y-shape of American football goalposts in 1 (1996, 40 mins). Gene Siskel Film Center. 8pm. $11, $7 students, $6 members, $4 students and faculty of the School of the Art Institute, and staff of the Art Institute.