Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Hot, Hot August Coming Up in Area Theaters

Yes, it's true. August is here, and a whole lot of hot entertainment comes with it. As well as my birthday and my wedding anniversary, in case anyone wants to send me a gift. Look at the shows below for gifting possibilities!

If you haven't been out to Ewing Manor yet, time's a-wasting. The Illinois Shakespeare Festival continues performances of "As You Like It," "Othello" and "The Rivals" through August 11, with a little "Comedy of Errors" on the side. Evening performances start at 7:30 on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays, with an 8 pm curtain on Fridays and Saturdays. Theatre for Young Audiences presentations of "The Comedy of Errors" are completely free and performed on the grounds at Ewing Manor on Wednesdays and Saturdays at 10 am. These special short-form Shakespeare shows last about 45 minutes. Click here for the Festival calendar and ticket info.

The BCPA/Bloomington Parks and Rec production of "Cats" outside at Miller Park also continues this weekend, with 8 pm performances on August 3 and 4. If you'd like a sneak peek at the Feline-O-Rama, you can look at the Cats 2012 album posted on their Facebook page.

Champaign-Urbana Theatre Company begins its production of "Legally Blonde," the musical version of the movie about a seemingly vapid blonde who takes law school by storm, tomorrow night at Parkland Theater. Director Garth Gersten kept a blog for the show, which stars Arri Pittman as the titular blonde. You have a choice of performances on August 2, 3, 4, 9, 10 and 11 at 7:30 pm, or August 5 and 12 at 2:30 pm.

You can see the baseball musical "Damn Yankees" from Prairie Fire Theatre this weekend, with shows August 4-5 and 10-12 on the Normal Community High School stage. Jennifer Lumsdon directs "Damn Yankees," with Kyle Wynn as the devilish Mr. Applegate, Whitney Spencer as Lola the temptress who always gets what she wants, and Chris Stanford as baseball phenom Shoeless Joe from Hannibal Mo. You gotta have heart for this one!

"Moonrise Kingdom," a movie I absolutely loved, comes to the Normal Theater August 9-12, followed by "To Rome With Love," the newest film from Woody Allen, August 16-19. "Rome" is the latest in Allen's series of European love stories, this one starring Allen himself, along with Alec Baldwin, Roberto Benigni, Penelope Cruz, Judy Davis, Jesse Eisenberg, Greta Gerwig and Ellen Page in separate stories about an opera director and his wife visiting Italy to meet their daughter's fiance, an overnight sensation hounded by his sudden fame, an American architect with a girlfriend who is tempted by a new roommate, and a pair of newlyweds led astray by a movie star and a high-class hooker. "Rome" hasn't received the same kind of acclaim as "Midnight in Paris" did last year, but it's worth a look if you're an Allen fan.

The classic comedy "You Can't Take It With You" sneaks into the end of August at Community Players, opening with a pay-what-you-can preview on August 30, with performances continuing through September 9. Jeremy Stiller directs a cast that includes Judy Stroh and Tom Smith as Mom and Pop Sycamore, and Melissa Fornoff and Spencer Powell as young lovers Alice and Tony.

Also opening August 30 is the Alan Ball bridesmaid play "Five Women Wearing the Same Dress" as the first show in Eureka College's fall season. Although he's written a few plays, Ball is better known for his screenplay for "American Beauty" and as the creator behind "Six Feet Under" and "True Blood" on HBO. "Five Women" is an offbeat piece of Southern Gothic, and it will be directed by Eureka College senior Becky Collins for three performances from August 30 to September 1.

Rounding out the month is the return of Lynn Nottage's "Fabulation, or the Re-Education of Undine" from New Route Theatre. Last time, director Gregory D. Hicks staged the show for one night only in the intimate confines of the Eaton Gallery; this time it will be a full production at the YWCA from August 31 to September 9. Melissa James-Shrader plays Undine, with an ensemble cast that includes Leola Bellamy, Jennifer Cirillo, Corey Hardin, Gabrielle Loft-Rogers, John D. Poling, Miles Spann, and Skylar Tempel. Check out rehearsal photos here and my thoughts on the first New Route incarnation of "Fabulation" here.

Happy August!

No comments:

Post a Comment