The Midnight City

firecap projects
The Midnight City

By Tony Fitzpatrick
with Stan Klein

Adapted and directed by Ann Filmer

Film/Video Art by Kristin Reeves

Music by John Rice & Anna Fermin

Produced by Firecat Projects

At Steppenwolf Garage, Chicago

Tony and Stan are at it again!

Let me repeat my description of Tony Fitzpatrick: “He is large, bald with tattoos and he wears a cut-off T-shirt, jeans and sneakers. He uses salty language, honors his friends (especially his sidekick Stan Klein) and he shares his past, warts and all in total honest storytelling.  He is never shy about his political, social, political and ecstatic views of the world. He is a Chicago original, an icon of the liberal,with a  gritty artistic temperament grounded in Chicago self-expression. He is Tony Fitzpatrick – a force of art.”

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Let me add:  Stan Klein is not only Tony’s business partner and friend by his calmness balances Tony’s flamboyance. Stan is steady, low-key and a pure artist whose alter ego:  Vito Desalvo is his painting soul and Stan now goes by “Leo.” the name that got Stan the job as a ‘greeter’ at Wrigley Field for all 82 Cubs games.

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These two have now mounted four storytelling multimedia performance art shows. This one is titled The Midnight City as Tony reminisces about  the changes in Chicago over the years.  Tony has announced that he is moving to New Orleans at the end of 2014. Tony wants to stay warm and paint birds…he also laments all the violence here. Stan, who clearly wants Tony to stay, points out: “What makes you think things are any different in New Orleans ? “

The Midnight City is more than simply Tony and Stan telling stories yet the stories combine humor, wit and nostalgia but adding terrific visuals by  Kristin Reeves and fine atmospheric songs by Anna Fermin and John Rice. This 90 minute piece is a captivating show that features the urban provocateur bent from Tony Fitzpatrick and the quirky artistic psyche  from Stan Klein under the smart adaptation from director Ann Filmer. Tony’s bird art is also featured.

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This show is wildly entertaining as Tony explains how important painting birds has been to him. He quotes Wallace Stevens’ poem “Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird, ” a meaningful poem to Tony. To visit several artists and urban personalities to get an unique view of their take on Chicago, birds and, of course, artistic mentors is well worth a trip to Steppenwolf Garage. Tony and Stan are folks worth getting to know. Their honesty, outspokenness and talent shines in this special show that easily makes us laugh and appreciate these characters. I guess Tony will always be a “Chicago legend” even if he leaves for the Big Easy. Spend 90 minutes with Tony and Stan to appreciate these 21st Century urban hippies. You’ll be glad to did.

Highly Recommended

Tom Williams

At Steppenwolf Garage,  1624 N. Halsted, Chicago, IL, www.steppenwolf.org, tickets $25, students $15, seniors $20,  Thursdays & Fridays at 8pm, Saturdays at 5 & 8 pm, Sundays at 6 pm, rinning time is 90 minutes with intermission, through October 19, 2014