Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The Sharp End of the Sword

On Saturday I and fellow Treasure Island castmates Patrick Blashill, Rob McLean and Sean Sinitski along with fight director Geoff Coates sat down for the Talk Theatre In Chicago podcast to discuss our show and the art of staged violence. It was a huge thrill for me as I've never been interviewed before. The interview took place in Lifeline Theatre's rehearsal space, and you can hear the El going by the window every couple of minutes.

We followed this interview with our first two-show Saturday of the run. By the time I got home that evening I was so tired I couldn't even sleep. I've lost twelve pounds since we started tech. And if we can maintain audiences like these for the next few weeks we'll probably extend the run into November. By the time we close I should be lookin' GOOD.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

I Don't Mean to Toot My Own Horn...

... but BEEP BEEP, people! The reviews for Treasure Island have been rolling in, and it looks like we're a hit! I've linked below to several of the reviews, and included a few choice excerpts here and there.

Chicago Sun-Times - Dig up 'Treasure' at Lifeline show - "The ensemble is terrific, with Chris Hainsworth, Christopher M. Walsh, Ezekiel Sulkes, C. Sean Piereman and Eduardo Garcia as a fine bunch of battered and battering gold-diggers."

Chicago Theater Blog - Lifeline creates an all-hands-on-deck winner - "Chief among equals: Christopher Walsh as the rum-and-rickets-infused Billy Bones, a rogue whose “thundering apoplexy” proves the catalyst for the story’s rollicking treasure hunt."

Chicago Tribune - Full-blown 'Treasure Island' sails into Lifeline: Prepare to be boarded - "Thanks to the inventions of designer Alan Donahue and a slew of deliciously droll performances from the likes of Robert McLean, Christopher M. Walsh and young Warren Weber, this is an engrossing adventure that Kauzlaric unfolds at break-neck pace."

Chicagoist - Shiver Me Timbers! Lifeline's Treasure Island Is Explosive - "This show is as close to perfection as they come, and if you have a thing for pirates, it’s just that much better."

Dining Chicago - Fabulous coming-of-age classics: ‘The Fantasticks’ and ‘Treasure Island’ - "Along with Sinitski, Christopher M. Walsh, as Billy Bones, and Patrick Blashill, as Dr. Livesey, deliver exceptional performances, and director Robert Kauzlaric’s staging is impeccable."

Gapers Block - A Pirate's Life for Me

Newcity - Review: Treasure Island/Lifeline Theatre

I am tired and bruised, but immensely proud of this show. Yar.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Dead Men Don't Bite

I am sore and exhausted and it feels fantastic. Lifeline Theatre's Treasure Island has occupied all of my free time for the last month and will continue to do so for the next couple of weeks. We have this brief respite tonight and for the next twenty-four hours. I'm not sure if we have the day off because it's Labor Day or because the designers have more work to do or just because they thought we'd need a break right about now, but whatever the reason the respite is more than welcome. This just might be the most physically challenging show I've ever worked on. Defiant's A Clockwork Orange was a beast but I was five years younger and I think that makes a huge difference. Plus, Clockwork didn't have the crazy costume changes that TI has. I'm sweaty and out of breath in the first five minutes.

The show is coming together swimmingly. We had one casualty: An actor dislocated his kneecap during a fight scene last week and now his understudy is doing yeoman's work getting up to speed. He's doing a great job, and we'll get the original actor back in a few weeks, but the whole thing has served to focus the cast as a unit. Today we finished our cue-to-cue and accomplished the first full tech run of the show. We avoided a clusterfuck because we were able to dig in as a group and look out for each other as we made our mad dashes from one entrance to another while scrambling out of one costume and into another. There was a fair amount of rough spots but nothing beyond what one should expect from a first run. It's gonna be a good show.

To add to my fun, I may have a small fight choreographer gig coming up as well, which I will discuss when I know more details. It's for a group I'm fond of, and a cool script, so I'm keeping fingers crossed. Scheduling is tricky, so it's not a done deal as yet.

As much as I'm loving keeping busy in theater, I must confess I am looking forward to my self-imposed break after Treasure Island ends. I'm not committing to any more acting jobs that start rehearsal before next January 1. If the itch is there I may try to get a show that starts around then just to keep busy until Neverwhere begins. Oh, did I mention that I got cast in a stage version of Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere? Hmm. Well it's true. As you can imagine I completely jazzed about this development, but we've got a while before we start work on it. After my Treasure Island experience, however, I do feel like I may want to consider some real physical training to get ready for it. I play several parts, most of whom have some serious violence work attached to them. Should be fun, but I don't want my ass kicked again the way it is now.

We shall have to see about that, though. I want to join a gym but I'm not sure where yet, and we are having some apartment issues that may have us moving sooner than we had planned, so we shall have to see. Until then, Treasure Island is giving me about all the workout I can handle.