Theater Report: PLANO, Here Lies Henry, Theater Transportation Options

PHOTO CREDITScott Sawa in a publicity image for Interrobang Theatre Project’s revival of Here Lies Henry. Photo by Salar Ardebili.

Below is a lightly-edited transcript of the Playtime Chicago Theater Report for February 3rd, 2020.

Audio archives can be found on Facebook (at about the -48.05 mark), at WCGORadio.com (February 2nd, 2020 episode, starting around 51:23), and Soundcloud.

Playtime airs live every Sunday from 1-3pm Central on WCGO Radio: 1590 AM and 95.9 FM in the Chicagoland area and streaming live via the station’s website and SmartTalk app.

Show Announcement: PLANO

First Floor Theater is pleased to continue its eighth season with the Chicago premiere of Will Arbery’s dark comedy PLANO, directed by Steppenwolf ensemble member Audrey Francis. PLANO will play February 16 – March 28, 2020 at Steppenwolf’s 1700 Theatre.  PLANO is the tale of three sisters and their various plagues, described as both “funny” and “disturbing,” other stagings of the show have received rave reviews from critics.

Previews begin Sunday, February 16 running through the 19th, then the regular run starts on February 21st, running through March 8th. Preview tickets are $10, with regular selling for $25  through $35, student and industry tickets are available.

Tickets: Previews: $10. Regular Run: $25 – $35. Students $20. Industry $15. Tickets are currently available at www.steppenwolf.org or by calling (312) 335-1650.

Show Announcement: Here Lies Henry

Starting in late February, Interrobang Theatre Project revives its very first production: Daniel MacIvor’s one-man drama Here Lies Henry, newly staged by Artistic Producer Elana Elyce* and featuring Scott Sawa. Here Lies Henry plays February 28 – March 28, 2020, at Rivendell Theatre.

This is a one-man play in which we the audience get to know Henry, who has a lot to say, but it may not all be true. Decide for yourself at one of the upcoming shows. preview tickets are $16, regular tickets are $32, and group, student, and industry discounts are available.  Tickets are on sale now at interrobangtheatreproject.org or by calling (312) 219-4140.

Chicago Theater Tips: Winter Transportation

Given the cold and gloomy weather we’ve been having, I wanted to take the time to talk about transportation and parking when you are out seeing a show. For many people, public transit or even walking to a theater is unappealing when it is cold, dark, rainy or snowy, and the sidewalks are treacherous.  Unfortunately, other options have their shortcomings. Parking can be difficult to find and expensive. Rideshares and taxis are an option, but present their own difficulties, particularly if you are seeing a show at a major venue.

My first tip is to check out the theater’s website: Most have a “plan your trip” section which you can find on the main navbar. From there, you can get details about parking. Neighborhood theaters may be able to recommend lots in the area, though you might have to rely on paid parking apps like SpotHero to find a space. If you are going to a major theater in the Loop or Lincoln Park, check to see if the house has its own parking, if not, it may have an arrangement with a local parking garage that can give you a significant discount on parking rates. Ask about this and make sure you learn how to validate your ticket before making your departure.

When it comes to rideshares, I’ve found them to be excellent when heading off to neighborhood theaters, but less useful when in the Loop. Here’s why: First of all, rideshare service in the Loop can be a bit chaotic. Add the fact that streets are sometimes closed or redirected around the big venues on show nights, and connecting with your driver can be a mess.

Unless you or someone in your party has a mobility issue, my suggestion might be to walk a few blocks away from the venue and call your rideshare from there. Make sure to turn your ringer back on so that your driver can call you if needed.