ViVisionFest 2009: Six Worlds, One Street Corner

Produced by LiveWire Chicago Theatrevision fest 2009 by live wite 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.

VF_Recognition

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.

Recommended

Chris Arnold

At the Chemically Imbalanced Theater, 1420 West Irving Park Rd. Thursday, Friday, and Saturday at 8pm. Tickets are $15 and can be purchased through www.brownpapertickets.com, www.livewirechicago.com or by calling the LiveWire box office at 312-533-4666. Industry/senior tickets available for $10. For more information visit www.livewirechicago.com. Through August 15.