Friday, November 30, 2012

Eastlight Theater - 2013 Season

Dream Girls
April 19-21 and 24-27

Jekyll and Hyde
June 21-23 and 26-29

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang    
August 2-4 and 7-10    

Joseph 2013
Nov 29-Dec 1 and Dec 4-8

Youthlight show:
Disney’s Tarzan
September 13-15 and 18-21

Sunday, October 14, 2012

October Poetry Corner

The Sea And the Hills

                                                                            - Rudyard Kipling  (1902)

Who hath desired the Sea? -- the sight of salt wind-hounded --
The heave and the halt and the hurl and the crash of the comber win hounded?
The sleek-barrelled swell before storm, grey, foamless, enormous, and growing --
Stark calm on the lap of the Line or the crazy-eyed hurricane blowing --
His Sea in no showing the same  his Sea and the same 'neath each showing:
           His Sea as she slackens or thrills?
So and no otherwise -- so and no otherwise -- hillmen desire their Hills!

Who hath desired the Sea? -- the immense and contemptuous surges?
The shudder, the stumble, the swerve, as the star-stabbing bow-sprit emerges?
The orderly clouds of the Trades, the ridged, roaring sapphire thereunder --
Unheralded cliff-haunting flaws and the headsail's low-volleying thunder --
His Sea in no wonder the same  his Sea and the same through each wonder:
          His Sea as she rages or stills?
So and no otherwise -- so and no otherwise -- hillmen desire their Hills.

Who hath desired the Sea? Her menaces swift as her mercies?
The in-rolling walls of the fog and the silver-winged breeze that disperses?
The unstable mined berg going South and the calvings and groans that de clare it --
White water half-guessed overside and the moon breaking timely to bare it --
His Sea as his fathers have dared -- his Sea as his children shall dare it:
          His Sea as she serves him or kills?
So and no otherwise -- so and no otherwisc -- hillmen desire their Hills.

Who hath desired the Sea? Her excellent loneliness rather
Than forecourts of kings, and her outermost pits than the streets where men gather
Inland, among dust, under trees -- inland where the slayer may slay him --
Inland, out of reach of her arms, and the bosom whereon he must lay him
His Sea from the first that betrayed -- at the last that shall never betray him:
          His Sea that his being fulfils?
So and no otherwise -- so and no otherwise -- hillmen desire their Hills.


Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Vernissage Art Show at Prairie Center for the Arts

The Vernissage is a great success and now is the time for the public to see the talent we have here in our own backyard!
Please help us get the word out by letting folks know that the Prairie Center of the Arts is open at these times.

•Monday-Friday 10-4
•Saturday, Oct 13 1-4
•Saturday, Oct 20 1-4
•Saturday, Nov 10, 1-4

As a bonus, on Saturday, Oct 13, Ron Rae will give a guided "gallery walk" at 2 pm.

Thanks for making central Illinois a wonderful arts community.
This is the finest show I have seen in Peoria.  It is such an expansive collection of the many talented artists who call Peoria home.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

- Theater Review - 9 to 5 the Musical

Featuring the regional premier of "9 To 5 - The Musical", Peoria Players Theater opened their 2012 - 2013 season not with a bang but with a whimper.

"9 To 5 - the Musical" is based on the 1980 movie "9 to 5" starring Dolly Parton, Lily Tomlin, and Jane Fonda as three downtrodden office workers who become feminist heroes when they kidnap their mean chauvinistic boss (Dabney Coleman) and take over the company.

The stage adaptation adds musical numbers but follows the movie perhaps too closely, even using exact dialog from the film. 
In many ways this sets up a difficult challenge for the actors.  After all, Dolly Parton has awfully big ... shoes ... to fill.

There are aspects of the Players production that  should  have resulted in a fine show, but in the end it simply did not come together.

All the principals have good voices and for the most part delivered their songs well.  (Choreography, well, that's another story!)

Rachel Lewis as Doralee (the Dolly role) delivered well vocally but plodded through her numbers with a lack of energy and enthusiasm.  The number "Back Woods Barbie" is all about confidence in her identity.  It should have been a fun and rollicking number but Ms. Lewis barely cracked a smile and made it seem like a chore.

Kelli Mathis as Violet suffered from the same timidity.  Her dance numbers were painful to watch as I could almost see her counting her steps, stone faced. 

I suppose this can be chalked up to the direction.
Perhaps Director Nate Downs concentrated too much on technique rather than encouraging his actors to let go, inhabit their roles, and have fun.

The third lead, Katie McLuckie as Judy had just the opposite problem as the other two.  Her take on the character was way too much confidence!
Ms. McLuckie wowed us a season or two ago with her exceptional portrayal of Kitty in "The Drowsy Chaperone".  While that role is all about "mugging for the camera", her Judy would have been much better if dialed back a notch.

I couldn't help but imagine that the show would have been vastly improved if Ms. McLuckie and Ms. Mathis had switched roles.

The one actor who got the correct mix of technique and confidence was Carolyn Briggs-Gaul as Roz.  She stole the show with her strip-tease number on the boss' desk. 
It was the show-stopper of the evening!

Despite the problems with this show, the audience (one of the smallest houses I have seen at Peoria Players) gave the performance a standing ovation. 

I realize that an opening night audience is probably heavy with friends and families of the performers who felt obligated to give a pity ovation.

However, it drives this theater snob crazy that Peoria Players patrons think EVERY show there merits a standing ovation.  This one just didn't.

Anyone who would stand for this production has spent too many hours on the sofa anticipating the antics of Honey Boo-Boo.


Monday, September 3, 2012

Happy Labor Day - 2012

I Hear America Singing
~ Walt Whitman

I hear America singing, the varied carols I hear,
Those of mechanics, each one singing his as it should be blithe and strong,
The carpenter singing his as he measures his plank or beam,
The mason singing his as he makes ready for work, or leaves off work,
The boatman singing what belongs to him in his boat, the deckhand singing on the steamboat deck,
The shoemaker singing as he sits on his bench, the hatter singing as he stands,
The woodcutter's song, the ploughboy's on his way in the morning, or at noon intermission or at sundown,
The delicious singing of the mother, or of the young wife at work, or of the girl sewing or washing,
Each singing what belongs to him or her and to none else,
The day what belongs to the day-at night the party of young fellows, robust, friendly,
Singing with open mouths their strong melodious songs.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Corn Stock Theatre Winter Playhouse 2012 -2013 Season

       The Laramie Project

The Laramie Project: 10 Years Later

Directed by Tim Wyman

September 28-30 & October 3-6, 2012
Our opening production presents a theatrical event – the return of the popular drama The Laramie Project, performed in repertoire with the new revisit to the subject – The Laramie Project: 10 Years Later. The two productions will be performed on alternate evenings – both will be presented on Sunday, September 30. Patrons may purchase tickets to one production, and will receive a 50% discount on price of a ticket to the second show. Season ticket holders may see both productions with their season ticket.
Next to Normal
Directed by Robin Hunt
November 2-4 & 9-10, 2012
NEXT TO NORMAL is the acclaimed, groundbreaking musical "that pushed Broadway in new directions" (Rolling Stone). With a thrilling contemporary score, NEXT TO NORMAL is an emotional powerhouse of a musical about a family trying to take care of themselves and each other.
Directed by Victoria Kapanjie-Rians
January 11-13 & 18-19, 2013

Master abstract expressionist Mark Rothko has just landed the biggest commission in the history of modern art, a series of murals for New York’s famed Four Seasons Restaurant. In the two fascinating years that follow, Rothko works feverishly with his young assistant, Ken, in his studio on the Bowery. But when Ken gains the confidence to challenge him, Rothko faces the agonizing possibility that his crowning achievement could also become his undoing. Winner of the 2010 Tony Award.
Hedwig and the Angry Inch
Directed by Rachel Wooden
February 8-10 & 15-16, 2013
HEDWIG AND THE ANGRY INCH brings theater alive with the pounding sounds of rock 'n' roll and the funny sad voicing of a painful past…it is also an adult, thought-provoking musical about the quest for individuality…the kind of Rocky Horror Picture Show-style event that may inspire a rabid cult following." —NY Times.
Directed by Ryan Campen
March 8-10 & 15-16, 2013

"Structured as a prize fight between two starkly ambitious men in professional crisis, FROST/NIXON makes it clear that the competitor who controls the camera reaps the spoils." —NY Times. "…ripe entertainment…The cheerily oblivious limey lightweight and the brooding, mortally wounded political animal: Austin Powers vs. Macbeth." —Washington Post. "…nails the political, media and cultural fever of that era…" —

Tickets for individual shows are $15/Adults, $10/Student for Musicals
$10/Adult; $7/Students for Non-Musicals
Season Tickets On Sale Now by Calling 309-676-2196


Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Trolley Tours

Peoria Historical Society TROLLEY TOUR: "Lincoln & the Civil War"

Follow Lincoln in Peoria and learn about Camp Peoria and Camp Lyon. Hear the stories of our Civil War veterans and visit the GAR Hall.

This tour tells the story of Lincoln’s visits to Peoria, the Civil War troops, and the camps where they trained. See the markers where the camps once stood. Visit Springdale Cemetery and see the final resting place of many of the Civil War veterans.

Pay a short visit to the GAR Hall, built in 1909, and hear the story of Joseph Greenhut, one of the Whiskey Barons who provided much of the funding for the Hall.

The Trolley Tour runs every Friday in August (August 17, 24, 31) and October (October 5, 12, 19, 26)

Time: 10:30 A.M. (1½ hours)

The Tour leaves from Kelleher's Irish Pub, 619 SW Water Street (near State St.), Peoria, IL. Parking is available across the street from Kelleher's.

For tickets, call (309) 673-6000.

Cost: $10 tour ticket purchased at Kelleher's Irish Pub plus $1 paid to trolley driver.

Seniors 65 and older ride the trolley FREE with proof of age and a regular ticket purchase.

Monday, August 13, 2012

ICC Theater 2012 - 2013 Season

The ICC Theatre Program proudly announces the 2012-13 ICC theatre season.

"Rough Magic" - September 28 - October 7 - Friday and Saturday 7:30 pm - Sunday 2:30 pm

"Spooky Dog and the Teenage Gang Mysteries" - November 9 - November 18 - Tuesday through Saturday 7:30 pm - Sunday 2:30 pm

"Rashomon" - February 2 - March 3 - Friday and Saturday 7:30 pm - Sunday 2:30 pm

"Good Night Desdemona (Good Morning Juliet)" - April 12 - April 21 - Tuesday through Saturday 7:30 pm - Sunday 2:30 pm

For tickets and information, call the ICC Theatre box office at (309) 694-5136


Sunday, August 12, 2012

Peoria Players 2012 - 2013 Season

Peoria Players Theatre has previously announced its 2012-2013 season:

"9 To 5 - The Musical"  - Sept 7, 8,12, 13, 14, & 15 - 7:30 pm - Sept 9 & 16 - 2 pm

"Twelve Angry Men" - Oct 5, 6, 11, 12 & 13 - (7:30 pm) - Oct 7 & 14 - (2 pm)

"A Christmas Carol - The Musical"  - Dec 7, 8, 12, 13, 14 & 15 - (7:30 pm) - Dec 9 & 16 (2 pm)

"Mame" - Feb 1, 2, 6, 7, 8 & 9 - (7:30 pm) - Feb 3 & 10 - (2 pm)

"Godspell" - Mar 15, 16, 20, 21, 22 &23 - (7:30 pm) - Mar 17 & 24 - (2 pm)

"Fiddler On The Roof" - May 3, 4, 8, 9, 10 & 11 - (7:30 pm) - May 4, 5 & 12 - (2 pm)

Season tickets are $90, and can be purchased through the Box Office at 309-688-4473

Special Events not included in season subscription:

"The Wedding Singer" - Aug 8, 9, 10 & 11 - (7:30 pm) - Aug 12 - (2 pm)

"A Ring-A-Ding-Ding New Year" - Dec 31 - (7:30 pm)

"Bus Stop" - Jun 6, 7 & 8 - (7:30 pm) - Jun 9 - (2 pm)


Saturday, August 11, 2012

Bradley Theatre 2012 - 2013 Season

Bradley University Theatre has announced its 2012-2013 season:

"The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee" - Guest artist and House Theater of Chicago company member Tommy Rapley choreographs this musical by Rachel Sheinkin and William Finn - Sept 20 - Sept 30

"Philadelphia Story" - a romantic comedy by Phillip Barry - Nov 8 - Nov 18

"A Raisin In The Sun"- Lorraine Hansberry's Pulitzer Prize winning play - Feb 28 - Mar 10

"One Third Of A Nation" - Guest artist Sean Graney of the Hypocrites Theatre of Chicago adapts and directs this production - Apr 11 - Apr 21

Season tickets are $45 for adults, $38 for seniors, $23 for students
and can be purchased through the Cultural Events Box Office at 309-677-2651


Saturday, June 9, 2012

Nazis Everywhere

With all the cyberspace and printer's ink that has been used up in criticism and defense of statements made by Bishop Daniel Jenky of the Peoria Diocese, it is amazing that no one has pointed out the delicious irony in the Bishop's statements.

Jenky outraged many by invoking the name Hitler in his criticism of the President's health care policy, and yet no one has pointed out that this same bishop begins every mass with a prayer for an ACTUAL Nazi!

When Joseph Ratzinger ascended to the papacy as Benedict XVI, a damning photo circulated the web of the new Pope at age fourteen proudly sporting a Nazi youth uniform complete with swastika emblem.

Apologists for the Pope then and now have stated that the boy was forced by law into the uniform. 
Apparently all boys of a certain age were mandated into Hitler Youth membership.

While this may well be true, the Book of Saints is full of persons (even children) who held to their faith and refused to bow to evil.

 This Pope chose otherwise.

As the Peoria Bishop calls on his goose-stepping supporters to flood the newspapers and websites with words of support, it is clear to the rest of us who the true Nazis are.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Happy MLK Day

"Like an unchecked cancer, hate corrodes the personality and eats away its vital unity. Hate destroys a man's sense of values and his objectivity. It causes him to describe the beautiful as ugly and the ugly as beautiful, and to confuse the true with the false and the false with the true."

- Martin Luther King Jr.


Friday, January 13, 2012

January Poetry Corner

           - Saib-e-Tabrizi

Ah! How beautiful is Kabul encircled by her arid mountains
And Rose, of the trails of thorns she envies
Her gusts of powdered soil, slightly sting my eyes
But I love her, for knowing and loving are born of this same dust

My song exhalts her dazzling tulips
And at the beauty of her trees, I blush
How sparkling the water flows from Pul-I Bastaan!
May Allah protect such beauty from the evil eye of man!

Khizr chose the path to Kabul in order to reach Paradise
For her mountains brought him close to the delights of heaven
From the fort with sprawling walls, A Dragon of protection
Each stone is there more precious than the treasure of Shayagan

Every street of Kabul is enthralling to the eye
Through the bazaars, caravans of Egypt pass
One could not count the moons that shimmer on her roofs
And the thousand splendid suns that hide behind her walls

Her laughter of mornings has the gaiety of flowers
Her nights of darkness, the reflections of lustrous hair
Her melodious nightingales, with passion sing their songs
Ardent tunes, as leaves enflamed, cascading from their throats

And I, I sing in the gardens of Jahanara, of Sharbara
And even the trumpets of heaven envy their green pastures