Monthly Archives: October 2017

Teenage Musician: Sammy Brue opening for Rodriguez at the Vic Theatre (October 11, 2017)

At just 16 years old, Sammy Brue shows a lot of maturity with the way he handles himself on stage in front of a large audience. It’s just him and his acoustic guitar playing songs from his debut album, “I Am Nice.” What a great title for an album from a young man from Utah. And the music matches the title as he displays his talent. He moves with the songs, and at one point his guitar cord comes loose and cuts out. He doesn’t lose a beat and just holds up his guitar to the microphone like a pro. The song “I Know” is a highlight of his set. It’s quite fun and catchy. Even though he only had 30 minutes at the Vic tonight, it was enough to see that he has a bright future ahead of him.

 

Quinn Delaney

World Class! Visceral Dance Chicago Fall Engagement at Harris Theatre (October 7, 2017)

Minor Threat (1996 | Company Premiere 2017)

Choreography: Mark Godden

Music: (Piano Concerto No. 20 in D Minor, K. 466) Performed by Friedrich Fulda, Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra & Claudio Abbado

 

The choreography matches the music perfectly in this piece. Every dance move is synchronized, note by note. It’s incredibly impressive as the dancing captures the grace and beauty of the music.

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9/16/17 3:27:00 PM Visceral Fall Season © Todd Rosenberg Photography 2017

Ruff Celts (2016)

Choreography and Concept: Marguerite Donlon

Music: Sam Auinger, De Dannan, Luke Kelly, Kila, Sinead O’Connor, Clas Willeke

This piece was also performed at Dance For Life Chicago on August 19th. It uses an interesting mix of music by Irish and German composers. They often throw chalk in the air which creates a cool visual effect with the sharp lighting. The men wear kilts as they dance and yelp. It’s a performance that really exemplifies their name, Visceral.

Pick a Chair (World Premiere)

Choreography: Danielle Agami

Original Music: Glenn Kotche

This is a very unique piece. A single dancer enters the stage carrying a violin. She sits down and tells the crowd that her mother died of a rare STD. Two dancers come out and do a dance simulating sex that almost looks more like wrestling. The man walks off but the woman just lies there, dead. She is then dragged off. It’s all done in a comical manner that has the audience cracking up. The dancer with the cello then describes meeting a guy that she really likes and having the best two weeks of her life. The dancer representing her goes and gives a huge hug to a male dancer. Then, they dance together with other couples in a very joyful manner. To close out the piece, she sings “Sugar, We’re Goin” Down by Fall Out Boy.  It’s a great close to a very fun performance.

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9/16/17 5:41:52 PM Visceral Fall Season © Todd Rosenberg Photography 2017

Synapse (2017)

Choreography: Nick Pupillo

Original Music: Darryl Hoffman

Long thin bright lights hang from the ceiling around the dancers. They flash in sync with the music. Then the lights rise up and the dancers move to the electronic beats as if they are in a club. It is quite a visual feast.

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9/16/17 6:16:00 PM Visceral Fall Season © Todd Rosenberg Photography 2017

The entire night is excellently programmed. It’s actually very similar to the Joffrey’s Global Visionaries program. They both start with a classical piece, have a joyful piece in the middle, and end with a sleek modern electronic dance with long thing white lights. And also, they are both world class productions!

Quinn Delaney

Southern Rock: Will Hoge at Joe’s (October 6, 2017)

Will Hoge is a singer songwriter that plays a style of southern rock . Tonight at Joe’s, he plays a whopping two hours with 29 songs. This is quite a long set for such a small standing room only venue, especially when there is an opener. During this long set, there were definitely some slow parts where the crowd wasn’t really into it, specifically in the first half. It seemed like he was trying to play as many songs as possible, instead of taking a relaxing pace.

 

For those who stuck around for the second half, things picked up. He mentioned that when he last played Joe’s, on October 17th last year, he promised that if everyone sang along on the next song, the Cubs would win the World Series. He then made the same promise for this year, and everyone sure did sing along to “Even If It Breaks Your Heart”.  This bit of stage banter was a bit of what usually makes a Will Hoge show great. It was unusual that it was at a minimum on this night.

To close out the night, he played “Till I Do It Again”. He sings “It’s the last time I’ll do it, till I do it again!” It’s an incredibly fun song that is a great way to end the night.

Quinn Delaney

What is Truth? Interrobang Theatre Presents Foxfinder at Athenaeum Theatre (October 2, 2017)

William Bloor is a new Foxfinder. He has been training for this task since he was five years old. His job is to determine if farms are not meeting their quotas due to foxes. However, these aren’t your ordinary foxes. They have supernatural powers such as the ability to change the weather and affect your dreams. On the contrary, there is a movement that says foxes are almost extinct in England. They claim the government is just using Foxfinders to take over farms. What is the truth? Do these monstrous foxes even exist?

Foxfinder-3

Bloor shares many qualities with Chris Cooper’s character in American Beauty. They are both forced by society to live in a certain way that is against their wishes. This restrain leads both of them to shocking climaxes.

The set design by Eric Luchen is fantastic. It looks like they cut a house from rural England in half and planted it on the stage. Oftentimes, it is raining and you can see actual water falling on the characters as they enter or exit the house. The sound design and original music by Jesse Case is also excellent. It sets up the eerie atmosphere and provides great transitions between scenes.

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The play does drag on a bit in parts. Perhaps this is because the image of foxes isn’t very frightening. Maybe if it was a wolf or a monster, the suspense would be heightened. Also, the play is a bit long, an hour and 40 minutes, to not have an intermission. But these faults are minor and overall it is a great production.

Get your tickets for Foxfinder now through November 5th!

Quinn Delaney