1.19.2020 Playtime Chicago Theater Report Transcript

Below is a lightly edited transcript of Lainie Petersen’s Playtime Chicago Theater Report. Due to a scheduling issue, the audio was not aired on the January 19th episode of Playtime. Some segments from this report were interspersed within the January 26th report, which can be found at:

Listen to the show:

WCGO Radio Site (scroll down to January 26, 2020, 2nd hour, starts at about 3:08.

Facebook video (Theater report starts at about 1:10)

Steep Theatre is proud to announce the premiere of The Leopard Play, or sad songs for lost boys, premiering this Friday, January 24th, at 8pm.

From the press release:

“All families have secrets, but some live in an underbelly too dark to even whisper about. After ten years of walking away, Son returns to his home along the U.S./Mexican border searching for answers about his uncle’s mysterious death, but what he finds there are the men he tried to escape and the memories he thought he left behind.”

The show runs through February 29th. General Admission Tickets: $27, Reserved Seat Tickets: $39, Access Tickets: $10 (Steep’s universal discount for students, artists, whomever), (773) 649-3186, www.steeptheatre.com.

Steep Theatre is very easy to get to: Next to Berwyn Red Line station, multiple busses. Stop by the Boxcar next door for pre or post-show drinks.

Photo by Cheryl Mann


The Joffrey’s Times are Racing premiers on February 12th, running through February 23rd, at the Auditorium Theater.

The Times Are Racing is a mixed repertory sneaker ballet with a program that features choreography from four of the most influential artists working today.

Tickets can be purchased at the Joffrey 312.386.8905 or by visiting Joffrey.org


Photo by Jesus J. Montero.

I was able to attend Strawdog Theater Company’s production of Thirst this week, this is an intense, moving post-apocalyptic drama that appears to be set in a future that may feel a little too close for comfort.

Greta and Samira are two women living with their child, Kalil, in the woods, living off the land and by bartering labor for food and other goods with their in-town neighbors. The community is a relatively peaceful autocracy that’s been established by the powers of charisma, firearms, and muscle, all of which control the area’s water supply.

One day, an incident takes place that disturbs the life that Greta and Samira have created for themselves. It also threatens the community as a whole. Throughout the story, themes of sex, race, and gender make themselves known, but never in a way that distracts from the fact that Thirst is ultimately about a small group of individuals who have tried to continue living after civilization has collapsed.

In the grand tradition of Chicago storefront theater, the sets and lighting for this production are excellent and manage to create an atmosphere that transports, and distorts, places, times, and audience members.

I must also mention Saniyah As-Salaam who portrayed Kalil. The role of Kalil is a difficult one, as the character provides narration as well as dialog. Saniya, a student at Medgar Evers Fine & Performing Arts, is one Chicago actor to keep your eye on. The show runs through February 15th.

(Also in the grand tradition of Chicago Theater, Strawdog is moving out of its current location after Thirst ends its run. Its final show of the current season, Welcome to Keene, New Hampshire, will premiere in April at Filament Theatre at 4041 N Milwaukee.)

You can purchase tickets for Thirst at www.strawdog.com