The City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs has announced 283 recipients of $1 million ( total ) in annual CityArts ( sic ) grants. As always, a number of LGBT-identified or LGBT-influenced artists and organizations are on the receiving end of grants ranging from $1,100 to $8,000 ( depending on the side of the organization ) . A partial list of grantees includes: Cerqua Rivera Art Experience, Chicago Cabaret Professionals, Chicago Women's Caucus for Art, Chicspeare Production Company, Gerber Hart Library, HealthWorks ( sic ) Theatre, Same Planet Different World Dance Theatre, Shattered Globe Theatre, Tellin Tales Theatre, Babes With Blades, TUTA, About Face, Bailiwick, Joel Hall Dance Center, Chicago Historical Society ( Chicago History Museum ) , Chicago Gay Men's Chorus, Deeply Rooted Productions and Porchlight Music Theatre. Notably absent this year, although a recipient in past years, is Windy City Performing Arts.
Takao Kawaguchi. Photo by Chi Jang Yin
The Shamelessboyz were in town last week for a one-night stand. Jonny's readers will recall that these Brit thespians have appeared in Chicago twice in Bailiwick Repertory's summer Pride Series ( Seduction in 2006, Dangerous in 2007 ) . This time they brought a new show in development, Strawberry Daiquiri, for a single workshop performance at Theatre Building Chicago on April 28. Although most of the developmental work has been done in London, the Shamelessboyz were invited to Milwaukee's Bucketworks Playspace for a three-night stand last week and added one night in Chicago. Both Midwest stops came about because company director Peter Bull also is associate producer of Shout! The Mod Musical, now playing the Drury Lane Water Tower Place Theatre through June 22. The real Bull tells Jonny that Strawberry Daiquiri will be performed in a play festival in the U.K. in June, after which it will play as part of the Shamelessboyz London season. 'Then, depending on how it is received in the U.S., ( we will play ) seasons in New York and Chicago,' said Bull.Read more story below....
Hubris Theatre Company and the Center on Halsted are going their separate ways. Hubris was one of four performing arts groups in residence at the Center's Hoover-Leppen Theatre for the Center's first year of operation, during which Hubris produced a three-play season. ( The other resident companies were About Face, GayCo and Windy City Performing Arts. ) A press release issued by Hubris indicates the decision to terminate the Hubris lease was made by Center management, citing a need to expand core programs, although that seems pretty vague to Jonny, as none of the other resident arts groups has been affected. Hubris will produce its 2008-2009 season at the Victory Gardens Greenhouse on Lincoln Avenue, beginning Aug. 2 with Harvey Fierstein's Torch Song Trilogy. FYI: Victory Gardens has just sold the building for $2.25 million and it soon will be known only as the Greenhouse Theatre.
Jonny's connection to things Japanese rarely is more than sushi or someone whispering 'Ai' in Jonny's ear. However, Jonny has been contacted by Miho Matsugu, a professor of Japanese literature at DePaul University, who wants Windy City Times readers to know about a special event May 23. A Perfect Life is a multimedia performance by Takao Kawaguchi, an acclaimed Tokyo-based performance artist and gay activist who is well-known in Japan. Kawaguchi uses his own experiences as the basis for A Perfect Life, which is an experimental and collaborative project. Prof. Matsugu tells Jonny that members of DePaul's queer student organizations and faculty will participate in the production, which is at 7 p.m. at the Student Center Atrium, 2250 N. Sheffield ) . See aperfectlife.kawaguchitakao.com.
Jonny always says there's nothing like planning ahead except, of course, spontaneous sex, and one should plan that ahead, too. In any case, there are several events coming up next fall that Jonny's readers may wish to put on their calendars now. First, two powerhouse sketch comedy troupes, GayCo and Schadenfreude, will team up Oct. 18 and 25—as the Presidential election campaigns reach their climax—to lampoon us all with a charming little revue graciously titled This Country's F$cked! or God Damn, America. The shows will be at the Lakeshore Theater and will benefit the Crossroads Fund. There will be two shows each night for which tickets, $20, already are on sale.
Also coming next fall are concert engagements by two favorites of LGBT audiences. First, on Oct. 27, Sandra Bernhard & The Rebellious Jezebels will perform two shows at the intimate Steppenwolf Theatre as part of Steppenwolf's Traffic Series. The show, A Sandra Bernhard Halloween, welcomes drag queens and kings—oops! Jonny means they welcome audience members in costume. Tickets ( $50-$60 ) go on sale June 19 at 11 a.m. ( and you can bet they'll sell out fast ) . Also likely to sell out—although at a gargantuan venue—is the one-night stand by Lily Tomlin at the vast Rosemont Theatre, Nov. 1, An Evening of Classic Lily Tomlin. Through May 15 you can order tickets before the general public through www.windycitymediagroup.com ( then hit the Lily Tomlin billboard link ) .