Credit: Eric Y. Exit

Wilfredo Rivera, artistic director of Cerqua Rivera Dance Theatre, saw:

El Nogalar at Goodman Theatre

I thought it was a very interesting take on the Anton Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard. Tanya Saracho created a very unique voice and representation of the civil and social changes taking place on the Mexican border, because of the drug cartels; their presence is changing the makeup of families and communities in, unfortunately, a bad way. What really worked, and was really fun, was that Saracho used really interesting, colorful language—and a lot of humor too, as well as tragedy. The nuanced jokes that a Latino person would understand—the familiar colloquial jokes and statements—were great.

Credit: Mark Kelly

Lisa Ridarelli, member of Octavarius, saw:

The Chi-Town Clown Revue at Neo-Futurarium

My friends and I went to this—it was my first time going. I’d taken a clowning class with Neo-Futurist Dean Evans, who performed his character the Honeybun. Before the show there were no rules, just a fun environment, with a clown playing bass, people making balloon animals, people making paper flowers. As for the show: there were different clown acts that lasted from three to probably eight minutes, and just a lot of people united in silliness. Each act was very different—juggling acts, people going up onstage with ideas for an act that would just evolve, physical comedy, and puppet work. It was just really fun. I definitely want to go back.

Tyler Wolff-Ormes, managing director of Annoyance Theatre, attended:

Credit: soulsummitchicago.com

Soul Summit at the Double Door

Every month I go to this dance party. DJs spin vintage soul records, and the venue plays eclectic movies while the DJs spin. For the most part, the crowd is made up of people who want to dance and not be afraid of looking foolish. There’s cheap beer and lots of different people from different crowds dancing. Part of the cool thing about it is that people don’t get all dressed up—they just show up and have fun. Also, there is a lot of really good music being played—some really deep tracks.

Ellyzabeth Adler, executive director of Chicago Danztheatre Ensemble, is reading:

The poetry of Rumi

Over the last year, I have been immersed in and inspired by the poetry of Rumi, after asking why he, who lived over 800 years ago, is the number-one-selling poet. This quest has inspired the newest production that I am creating with 15 dancers, actors, a musician, and a filmmaker. With new democracies being established in the Middle East and the existence of Chicago’s interfaith organizations, I wonder if we are actualizing Rumi’s poem. Is it possible that we humans are starting to break down the restrictions of our classified identities? And if we focus more on our commonalities, could we have a more peaceful, united world?

Jamie Keiles, Slutwalk Chicago co-organizer, is reading:

The Point magazine

The Point is what I imagine that one superconversational guy at every dinner party reading. This Chicago-based journal publishes the most surprising analyses of the things that you thought you already knew about. As a pop-culture and low-culture obsessive, I like it because it somehow seems to justify an appreciation for the less fine things in life—sports, porn, reality TV. I just bought my first issue this week at the Seminary Co-Op Bookstore in Hyde Park, and I’ve found it to be a nice companion for all of the afternoons I’ve been spending on the grass basking in this tardy but appreciated sunshine.