Produced by LiveWire Chicago Theatre
At the Chemically Imbalanced Theater
Fat Petey Gets It All Wrong by Ron Frankel
Directed by Glenn Proud
The Corner of Glamis and Cawdor by Michael W. Moon
Directed by Amber Hilgenkamp
Be Written and Directed by Erin Barlow
Recognition By Elizabeth Neil Dubus
Directed by Joshua Aaron Weinstein
Canceling Christmas by James Armstrong
Directed by Erin Barlow
Waiting for Oprah
Created by Madeline Long
Six Plays=One enjoyable night of theatre
The joy of attending a festival of new works is everyone (for the most part) is experiencing the work for the first time. The plays are free of previous baggage and expectations to meet. Whether or not you are a fan of new work, I strongly advise you to make your way to LiveWire Chicago’s 2nd AnnualViVisionFest 2009: Six Worlds on One Street Corner.
LiveWire chose to use a shared environment in which 6 different worlds would unfold. Through an online poll, the public voted for “Street Corner” and playwrights from across the country submitted their original work for consideration. I commend the selection committee for finding six pieces diverse in subject, but similar in approach. The six plays were fairly simple plot lines; marital issues, Shakespeare’s Macbeth, dating, celebrating Christmas, seduction, and Oprah Winfrey. What separates these plays is a fresh perspective via deconstruction and a few Neil Labute-esque plot twists. To say anything more will spoil the fun.
What I truly appreciated was in this current economy; art is leaning towards pure escapism or making a dire statement about the world. These playwrights did neither, and thankfully chose to focus on interesting storytelling. The problem with an evening of new works, especially ones as strong as these, is there is bound to be at least one clunker. Canceling Christmas feels like an 11:55pm Saturday Night Live sketch, but the saving grace is Madeline Long in a performance that would make Amy Poehler proud. On the flipside, Waiting for Oprah is alone worth the price of admission.
ViVisionFest 2009 contains a strong collective of actors, directors, and (simple but effective) stage and lighting design. LiveWire Chicago Theatre has generated an engaging and fun evening of theatre, including free beer. It would be perfect for a date, or someone looking for an original night of theatre.