Wild Duck, Daisey, Gatz, the break/s Will Play MCA in Chicago

News   Wild Duck, Daisey, Gatz, the break/s Will Play MCA in Chicago Chicago's Museum of Contemporary Art has announced eclectic programming for its 2008-09 performance season, which will welcome writer-monologist Mike Daisey, Elevator Repair Service's version of "The Great Gatsby" and more.

MCA houses a 300-seat theatre, the MCA Stage, "as well as several settings for experiencing performing arts in the galleries and around the museum grounds."

The MCA Stage "celebrates artists and their creative process, connecting audiences with artists in meaningful discourse with its Artists Up Close series of post-show talks, panels, roundtable discussions, workshops, and residencies," according to MCA.

Audiences receive free museum admission on the performance date and the following week with ticket stub. The MCA is located at 220 E. Chicago Avenue, one block east of Michigan Avenue.

For tickets, call the MCA Stage box office at (312) 397-4010 or visit www.mcachicago.org.

The following is a selective list of shows in the MCA Stage season. For a complete list, visit the MCA website. Mike Daisey: If You See Something Say Something Oct. 10-12. "Master storyteller, acclaimed author, and humorist Mike Daisey's new comic monologue takes aim at the Department of Homeland Security. In addition to Daisey's amusing personal stories and eye-opening research, he weaves in the untold story of Sam Cohen, the inventor of the neutron bomb."

Cie Heddy Maalem: Le Sacre du Printemps (The Rite of Spring) Oct. 17-19. "Heddy Maalem's explosive interpretation of Stravinsky's Le Sacre du Printemps is set in the chaotic city of Lagos, Nigeria, and features 14 dancers from West Africa. Trained in both contemporary dance and the traditional dance forms of their countries of origin — Mali, Benin, Nigeria, Togo, Mozambique, and Senegal — the dancers perform Maalem's dynamic and energetic choreography as atmospheric film projections transform the stage."

Elevator Repair Service: Gatz Nov. 15-16. "Undeniably ambitious, Gatz is a seven-hour theatrical presentation of the entire text of F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby, verbatim and unabridged. The play begins in a modern but derelict office with a stressed, white-collar employee picking up the book and reading it aloud; eventually, parallels between his colleagues and characters in the book begin to emerge. Gatz brings together the literary virtuosity of an American masterpiece and the mischievous creativity of one of New York's most celebrated ensembles."

Blair Thomas & Company: The Ox-Herder's Tale Nov. 19-30. "Featuring larger-than-life puppets, performers on stilts, and fantastical costumes, Chicago's quintessential visual theatre company creates an inspired spectacle in this interpretation of a Zen-Buddhist tale about a man who searches for a bull to capture, tame, and ride home on a journey of enlightenment. Set in a contemporary, Western world, The Ox-Herder's Tale employs Japanese bunraku-style, large-scale puppets, each manned by three masked puppeteers. The performance also showcases a dynamic percussion score played live by celebrated artists Michael Zerang and Hamid Drake."

Court Theatre: The Wild Duck Jan. 15-Feb. 15, 2009. "Humor meets tragedy in Ibsen's classic tale of an idealistic, young man who shatters the lives of the Ekdal family in an attempt to liberate them from the web of lies that keep them sane. With a new translation by playwright Richard Nelson and stage design by architect Leigh Breslau, Charles Newell brings his uncompromising approach to this rarely staged play to reveal the real humanity of the characters."

chelfitsch: Five Days in March Feb. 20-22, 2009. "Leading a new generation of experimental theatre artists, Toshiki Okada's award-winning play from Japan is set on the eve of the U.S. and British offensive in Iraq, when Japan rejoined the ranks of the armed nations for the first time since 1945. The play's main characters, a young couple of Japanese drifters who meet and spend five days in a Shibuya 'love hotel,' are completely disconnected from the world events. Characterized by stylized scripts and unique body movement, chelfitsch's work has garnered attention from the contemporary dance world for their physical richness, and earned the 2004 Kishida Kunio Drama Award, Japan's most important theatrical accolade, for Five Days in March."

Dean Wareham and Britta Phillips: 13 Most Beautiful... Songs for Andy Warhol's "Screen Tests" March 7, 2009. "Indie pop darlings Dean Wareham and Britta Phillips bring their languid lyrics and hypnotic harmonies to Andy Warhol's 'Screen Tests,' rarely seen silent film portraits of fixtures of the 1960s New York art scene, including many well known celebrities such as Edie Sedgwick, Bob Dylan, and Salvador Dali. This multimedia performance features large-scale video projections and a live musical performance by Wareham, Phillips, Matt Sumrow on keyboards and guitar, and Anthony LaMarca on drums."

Teatro de Ciertos Habitantes: De Monstruos y Prodigios (Monsters and Prodigies) March 20-22, 2009. "Direct from Mexico City, Claudio Valdés is causing a worldwide sensation with his award-winning theater/opera about the castrati — boys castrated before puberty to preserve the soprano range of their voices, an 18th-century practice that propelled many boys from poverty to stardom. Through brilliant musical performances and extreme physical comedy, De Monstruos y Prodigios offers a humorous and sophisticated satire of Baroque opera and a century of music ruled by the castrati."

Marc Bamuthi Joseph: the break/s March 26-28, 2009. "Poet and performer Marc Bamuthi Joseph conveys the history of the hip- hop generation through his own personal coming-of-age story using verse, dance, and film in this dramatic multimedia performance. Joseph collaborates with award-winning author Jeff Chang, whose book Can't Stop Won't Stop captures the creation of the hip-hop culture as a local, political, and artistic movement. To embrace the power of improvisation, the sound score and visual projections are mixed in the moment by two on-stage DJs."

Compagnie Marie Chouinard: Orpheus and Eurydice April 17-19, 2009. "Always innovative and often provocative, artist and choreographer Marie Chouinard's newest work is a dramatic ballet based on the Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice. According to the 2,500-year-old legend, Orpheus travels to the underworld to win back the life of his beloved wife, Eurydice, who was bitten by a snake and died shortly after the two had wed. Chouinard's version features elements of experimental theatre, dramatic lighting, acrobatic lifts, and powerful body movement to create a production that exemplifies Chouinard's signature style — intense, adventurous, and sensuous."

Chicago Chamber Musicians: Strange News and Black Angels May 8, 2009. "Inspired by news reports of child soldiers in Africa, Norwegian composer Rolf Wallin and director Josse de Paauw create this multimedia, theatrically staged concert featuring video projections and a powerful performance by narrator Arthur Kisenyi of Uganda. Culled from disturbing interviews conducted by the artists in Uganda and the Congo, Strange News focuses on the ceremonies of song and dance that are used to reintegrate these brutalized children back into society. Renowned composer George Crumb's Black Angels was inspired by the Vietnam War and portrays a voyage of a soul's fall from grace, its spiritual annihilation, and its redemption. To achieve a highly surrealistic effect, Black Angels features an arsenal of sounds including chanting, whistling, whispering, shouting, gongs, maracas, and water-tuned crystal goblets."

International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE): Xenakis June 4, 2009. "The International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE) pairs up with world-renowned percussionist/conductor Steven Schick to perform the large ensemble works of Iannis Xenakis, one of the most important, innovative, modernist composers of the 20th century. The demanding works of Xenakis, beloved by philosophy scholars, architects, contemporary music aficionados, and indie rockers alike, are known to the public largely through recording. Live performances of these works are rare, and the performances by ICE of all five major works —Palimpsest, Echange, L'ile de Gorée, Akanthos and Ikhoor — are almost unheard of in the U.S."

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The Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago (MCA) is a private nonprofit, tax-exempt organization accredited by the American Association of Museums.

Information about MCA exhibitions, programs, and special events is available on the MCA website at www.mcachicago.org or by telephone at (312) 280-2660.

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