The Chorus Girl Playsby Tennessee Williams
A burlesque show with dancers and chorus line provided the framework for the world premiere of Curtains for the Gentleman - a comic thriller written by Tom Williams before he became "Tennessee."
directed by Robert Chevara
choreography by Paula Frasz
featuring Lefty Lucy (Miss Coney Island 2011)
Danszloop ChicagoChicago, IL
Event Originally Sponsored By:
Free Lunch Foundation
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- The 3 Mrs. Stones - The Roman Spring of Mrs.Stone
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- Homage to Valeska Gert
- The Demolition Downtown/The Municipal Abaittoir
- Three More Films - The Red Devil Battery Sign, Noir et Blanc, and The Migrants
- Tennessee Rocks
"The laughter ... enchanted me. Then and there the theatre and I found each other for better and for worse. I know it's the only thing that saved my life.”
About the Play
Music and mischief made this an unforgettable Williams WORLD PREMIERE in 2013.
Experience these poigniant plays again in Chicago, where you'll be dazzled with dance, and delighted with overtones of Film Noir.
The Chorus Girl Plays are a bouquet of highjinks written by a young Tom Williams, in which good time girls play central roles.
Featured three short plays:
In Curtains for the Gentleman, Flossie, the Gentleman’s flame, unknowingly leads him to a rubout. Provincetown audiences were the first ever to see this early play.
Bessie’s down on her luck, back home in Mississippi in At Liberty.
Mae-West-like Millie and her friend Aileen pick up two sailors and bring them home to the Bronx in Cairo! Shanghai! Bombay! a play that hasn’t seen a stage since 1935.
About the Creative Team
DanszLoop Chicago specializes in dance interpretations of the written word, specifically plays. DanszLoop collaborated with renowned Flamenco artist Luis Montero in 2007 to create a modern dance adaptation of "The House of Bernarda Alba," the iconic Spanish play by Garcia-Lorca. The company presents bi-annual concerts in Chicago.
Paula Frasz (Choreographer) Frasz is the Artistic Director of DanszLoop Chicago, a professional dance company which the Chicago Tribune calls “…a driving force on the Chicago dance scene.” Tribune critic Lucia Mauro calls her, “…a standout.” Her many achievements include: Mordine & Company featured dancer and featured dancer at the Lyric Opera of Chicago. She danced with the Chicago Repertory Dance Ensemble, was named Outstanding Choreographer at the Midwest American College Dance Festival and has had works in the ACDF Gala performances in Rochester, Michigan and in Raleigh, North Carolina. Her choreography has been commissioned by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Elgin Symphony Orchestra and the Fox Valley Symphony Orchestra. She is one of the founding choreographer’s of Chicago’s Next Dance Festival, who’s work has been called “powerfully modern” by Lynne Voedisch of the Chicago Sun Times. She received the 1999 Ruth Page Award for Artistic Achievement in Choreography from the Chicago Dance Coalition, and the 2002 Artists Fellowship Award in Choreography from the Illinois Arts Council. Frasz is the Artistic Director of DANCELOOP CHICAGO, a professional dance company which the Chicago Tribune calls “…a driving force on the Chicago dance scene.” Ms. Frasz was a faculty member at the Dance Center of Columbia College for eight years. She is currently Professor of Dance at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, where she teaches Advanced Modern Technique, Choreography, Improvisation, Professional Seminar in Dance and Tap. She also teaches Musical Theatre and choreographs the musicals for the School of Theatre and Dance. This master teacher has also been in residence at many colleges and universities, including St. Mary’s College in Notre Dame, IN., the University of Wisconsin at LaCrosse, Southern Illinois University, Winona State University and St. Mary’s College in Minnesota, Harper College and College of DuPage in Glen Ellyn, Illinois. In 2002, in association with her partner, Russian-born Dmitri Peskov, she started DanceLoop Chicago, a theatrical modern dance company performing in Chicago and the surrounding Metropolitan area. They performed at nearly 50 venues in their first year. DanceLoop has gone on to present choreography in and around Chicago, most recently in Barefoot Flamenco, a cross-cultural collaboration with Flamenco artist Luis Montero, at the Ruth Page Center in Chicago. The offshoot of DanceLoop Chicago is Zyngara: The Mysterious Carnival, a poor man’s cirque that has performed in the Chicago area, Ohio and at the Georgia State Fairgrounds.
Lefty Lucy is known for her singular style of slapstick burlesque and her active role as the Vice President of Miss Coney Island. She performs regularly around New York, teaches Stage Kittening for the New York School of Burlesque, and is an original troupe member of Epic Win Burlesque. Additionally, Lucy is the social media manager for the New York School of Burlesque, manicurist at the original Beauty Bar, co-creator of Storybook Burlesque, works with the Coney Island Dancers, and co-produced Drive Thru Burlesque with Sizzle Dizzle for two years. In Winter 2012, she danced across the country with the original Circus Emporium Roadshow Tour. She has also performed at conventions including Nerdapalooza, the biggest nerd arts, music, and culture festival on the East Coast, the Underground Monster Carnival, and the Coney Island Film Festival to name a few. Since Hurricane Sandy, Lefty has focused her efforts on Coney Island and is looking forward to being a part of what promises to be one of Coney Island's best summers in years!
Margaret Reynolds (Millie, Bum) Margaret has been dancing professionally in the Chicagoland area for the past 30 years. During that time she has worked with countless dance and theatre companies, independent choreographers, UrbanG ateways and even the Shrine Circus. What was her favorite performance experience? Collaborating with the American Theatre Company, the always exciting trips to Provincetown to celebrate the works of Tennessee Williams, and of course the circus. For the past 20 years Margaret has been the owner/director of the Belle Plaine Studio in Chicago. Her studio has passionately supported the visual arts by offering classes, teaching opportunities and rehearsal space. It has been a beautiful space to explore, create and learn. Margaret recently accepted the position as executive director of DanszLoop Chicago. She is excited about working with Paula Frasz and DanszLoop's new board of directors to help the company maintain a strong foundation, develop a broader audience base, and gain national recognition.
Paul Christiano (Chuck, The Patch) trained pre-professionally in the Chicago suburbs for eight years before joining Hubbard Street II in 1998, Thodos Dance Chicago in 1999, and The Lyric Opera of Chicago in 2008. Paul’s first choreographic effort, "Miracle, Interrupted", formerly in the repertory of The Joffrey Ballet of Chicago, merited a 2001 Ruth Page Award and inspired the Chicago Tribune to designate Paul one of sixteen “Chicagoans of the Year.” In 2003, Paul was voted “Best Dancer in Chicago” by Chicago Magazine. Paul also received the 2003 Dance Chicago Choreography Award for" Balada para un loco", currently in the repertory of River North Chicago Dance Company, and was nominated one of TimeOut Chicago’s “Dancing Men of 2010” for his work with Dmitri Peskov Dance Theatre.
Tarah Hartung (Popeye, Mike) graduated from Northern Illinois University with a Bachelor if Fine Arts in Dance Performance. She has been in the company of Danszloop Chicago since it's inception. Tarah has danced professionally since 2000 and has had the opportunity to work with many great artists and choreographers. Company credits include Thodos Dance Chicago, Cerqua Rivera Dance Theater, and Same Planet Different World. Tarah currently is the Director for the dance company at Deerfield High School.
Christina Diane Eltvedt (Aileen, Gloria) Over the past many years, Christina Diane Eltvedt has worked tirelessly throughout Chicago's dance community. Previously trained in classical ballet, Christina began her professional career dancing jazz for the Joel Hall Dance Company. It was through the Joel Hall Dance Center that she was introduced to celebrated choreographer Paul Sanasardo with whom she forged a lasting relationship. Under the tutelage of Mr. Sanasardo, Christina began training in modern dance later to be featured as a soloist in his new and historically recognized works. Furthering her development as a dancer and beginning to explore choreography, Christina co-founded Fôr Dance Company meanwhile pursuing a fine arts degree at Northeastern Illinois University under the dance direction of Venitia Stifler. Within Christina's dance time line a substantial portion was dedicated to working with Paula Frasz and dancers in Dansz Loop Chicago. She joined the company in 2006.
Todd Rhoades (Dancer), BFA Point Park University, past company member with Ballet Austin, Luna Negra Dance Theater, guest artist with Pittsburgh Ballet Theater, Pittsburgh Symphony (and Pops), The Seldoms, Chicago Opera Theater and Lyric Opera of Chicago. Regional Theater: Aida (Drury Lane Oakbrook); All Night Strut (Marriott Theater); Annie, Fiddler on the Roof, Music Man (Assoc. Choreo), My Fair Lady (Paramount Theater); Camelot (Choreo), Carousel (Light Opera Works); The Land of Smiles (Choreo), Peter and Paul in the Land of Nod(Chicago Folks Operetta).
Katie Matteson (Dancer) With a dance performance degree from NIU, she has danced professionally throughout Chicago for nearly eight years. She has previously had the pleasure of working with Mordine & Company Dance Theater, Emily Stein, Hedwig Dances, Joel Hall, as well as running away with a mysterious circus a few years back. Furthermore, she has the pleasure of collaborating with Synapse Arts, as well as Lauren Warnecke/ Art Intercepts.
Robert Chevara (director) is an award-winning freelance theatre and opera director who divides his time between London and Berlin. He is currently an Associate Director at the King's Head Theatre in London, and was previously a Director of Productions at the English Touring Opera. An original member of The Old Vic Youth Theatre, Chevara started his first theatre company (Rollercoaster) when he was nineteen years old and directed "Mary Rose" by J.M. Barrie, Hamlet and his own play, Larks, to critical and commercial success. He made his London opera debut directing Bruno Maderna's Satyricon for the Opera Factory. He has since directed operas around the world, among them, Zürich Opera, Dublin Grand Opera, Banff in Canada, New Zealand Opera , Det Kongelige Teater and the Opéra Comique, Paris and both directed and designed a triple-bill of Gershwin, Samuel Barber and Bernstein operas at the Barbican Centre, London. In 2002 he directed Top Girls by Caryl Churchill for The English Theatre, Berlin. He adapted and directed The Canterbury Tales as an inter-active promenade play in Gatton Park. He directed a highly admired production of Dardanus by Rameau at The Royal Academy of Music and the world premiere of Lionel Bart's Quasimodo at The King's Head earlier this year. In 2012 he staged a critically acclaimed version of Tennessee Williams' Vieux Carré and is currently writing an English version of Die Fledermaus which he will also direct at The King's Head at Christmas. Future plans include directing Tennessee Williams' In The Bar of a Tokyo Hotel at the Charing Cross Theatre, London in March 2014.