and yes - that's right we all do, even if we ignore them or deny them or create them from whole cloth- we all have families... we came from two people and they each came from two people and so on and so on...
Last night's production of The Herd at Steppenwolf - hit Phil's sweet spot... he thought it was terrific. He said he hadn't seen anything as good since Clybourne Park. I found it very good but wasn't as enamored and would disagree with the length of time since we had seen anything this good. I LOVED The City and the City (Lifeline) and also loved Bill Nighy and Carrie Mulligan in Skylight and I had a (positive) visceral reaction to The North China Lover (Lookingglass) and found Chesapeake (Greg Matthew Anderson at Remy Bumppo) to be a masterwork. And, I was really engaged with Timeline's Concerning Strange Devices from the Distant West. I also enjoyed, in the more traditional vein, The Big Knife (Raven) and another family story Other Desert Cities.
Don't get me wrong - this was a very good play with excellent performances, but it was not pushing the boundaries and was very straightforward theater. The things I have really found memorable over time, have generally had elements outside the traditional multi-generational family story presented in The Herd.
Looking back over the last several years of theater, because we see many things over the course of a year, I see how many things are good (like The Herd) and some are bad (like Creditors, the Strindberg mess we saw a couple of years ago at Remy Bumppo) but only a few stand out in my memory after several years - and those are the ones I keep returning to in my thoughts again and again. And LOL frequently these are ones Phil will grumble to me "what the hell was that ABOUT?" He likes narrative - plain and straightforward... which is why I was much more taken by Title and Deed (Lookingglass) than he was. I also find whimsy and off beat amusing and entertaining and he often harrumphs...
But the difference of opinions is what makes it all interesting and creates opportunities to see and hear different view points- so Phil gives this one a BIG thumbs up and I give it a moderate thumbs up (based on performances by Molly Regan and Lois Smith who were both terrific.)
so tonight it is another show - in a different media (film) and one I have seen and LOVED - we will see how Phil feels about this - "The End of the Tour"...
and we are trying a new restaurant as well- Knife & Tine - which is having a special James Beard Menu to celebrate James Beard week here in Chicago - the award ceremony was Monday at the Civic (Lyric) Opera House- here is the menu:
Muesli Oyster, champagne granita, pickled celery
Inspired by Erling Wu-Bower from Nico Osteria
Rabbit and white asparagus terrine, fava beans, cremini mushrooms, hazelnuts, pickled garlic
Inspired by Curtis Duffy from Grace
Pork sausage, crispy sweetbreads, farro, beer jam, fennel and cherry kraut
Inspired by Paul Virant from Vie
Lemon chamomile cheesecake, lemon curd, white chocolate crumble
Inspired by Andrew Zimmerman from Sepia
so we will report back on this in due course- and tomorrow is -
which we managed to squeeze in during its last week of presentation before they move n to Tapas...