Sex, Schemes & Silliness in Machiavelli’s The Mandrake

December 25, 2013 § Leave a comment

Opening Saturday, January 11 at Raven Theatre!The Mandrake

Sex, lies and cunning villainy abound in this manic modern translation of the classic satire! Wealthy playboy Callimaco will stop at nothing to bed the world’s most beautiful woman, who is unfortunately both quite virtuous and quite married. The solution can only be chicanery! With the assistance of a manipulative schemer, a corrupt priest, and a certain aphrodisiacal plant, a plot to dupe the old and foolish husband is set in motion. Will the deception be revealed, or will Callimaco get his satisfaction? The ends obviously justify the means in Niccolò Machiavelli’s The Mandrake

This latest translation by my friends at Commedia Beauregard is a big, fun, gleefully wicked romp that makes a mockery of all that is good and pure, so of course I love it! It’s a hell of a fun show, especially for something that was published in 1524!

The Mandrake opens January 11 and runs through February 9, 2014:
Thursdays, Fridays & Saturdays at 8:00pm, and Sundays at 3:30pm.

Raven Theatre Complex, 6157 N Clark St (at Granville Ave), Chicago, IL 60660.

$25 tickets are available at 800.838.3006 or CBTheatre.org.

But you can also catch the “Twitter Preview” on Friday, January 10 at 8:00pm! Tickets are only $12 and audience members are encouraged to take photos and tweet, instagram and share their experience via social media during the show!

The Greater Chicago Food DepositoryAnd if that wasn’t enough, you can also see the show FOR FREE at the “Pay With Your Can” Matinee on Sunday, January 12 at 3:30pm! Just like Commedia Beauregard has done with A Klingon Christmas Carol, this special show is a food drive to benefit the Greater Chicago Food Depository! Bring in 1 non-perishable food item for a $10 discount. Bring 3 food items and get into the show for FREE!

Discounted tickets are “first come, first served” and only available at the door, so get there early!

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Compassionate Klingons Help the Hungry with Special “Pay With Your Can” Performance

December 1, 2013 § Leave a comment

Clark Bender as SQuja' in A Klingon Christmas Carol

My friends at Commedia Beauregard are once again doing their annual “Pay With Your Can” food drive for the Greater Chicago Food Depository, and that means if you bring in non-perishable food items, you can get a discount on your ticket or even see A Klingon Christmas Carol for FREE!

Monday, December 2 at 8:00pm.
Raven Theatre Complex
6157 N Clark St (at Granville Ave), Chicago, IL 60660.

Bring 1 food item, you get $10 off your ticket, or bring 3 food items and you get in to the show for free!

Any canned goods are welcome, but here’s a list of what the GCFD needs the most

 marlI' (Jovan King) confronts SQuja' (Kevin Alves) in A Klingon Christmas Carol

• Beans
• Canned Fruit
• Canned Vegetables
• Cereal
• Chili
• Jelly
• Macaroni and Cheese
• Pasta
• Pasta Sauce
• Peanut Butter
• Rice
• Shelf-Stable Milk
• Soup
• Stew
• Tuna

Keep in mind, this deal is only on December 2 and a long line usually forms so get down there early!  The tickets are first come first serve at the door, so if you want to guarantee your seats for that performance, you must pay for them in the normal way via 773.338.2177 or CBTheatre.org!

Revamped “Klingon Christmas Carol” Goes Where None Have Gone Before…

November 30, 2013 § 1 Comment

 Clark Bender and Kevin Alves in A Klingon Christmas Carol

It’s a whole new world this year in Commedia Beauregard’s A Klingon Christmas Carol, which opens this Saturday at Edgewater’s Raven Theatre.  After doing essentially the same show for the last 7 years, creator Christopher Kidder-Mostrom decided it was ripe for reinvention. And reinvent they did, with new “Steampunk Klingon” costumes, a gritty new multi-level set, new weapons, new soundscape, new cast, and even a new Scrooge with Clark Bender stepping into the cowardly boots of SQuja’!

Bender is one of the few returning cast members this year, all of whom are in new roles as no actors were allowed to return to the same parts. Everyone will be in brand-new costumes, designed by kClare Kemock to be a mash-up of Klingon garb and the frock coats of Victorian England, and on Ian Mostrom’s exciting new multi-level set with the industrial feel of a roughed-up space outpost. With the transformation complete, Commedia Beauregard is ready to unveil its new Carol at tonight’s “Twitter Preview” (where the audience is allowed to live-tweet the show), and then at their opening night tomorrow!

If you haven’t heard, A Klingon Christmas Carol is the hilarious and surprisingly heart-warming translation of Charles Dickens’ classic holiday tale into the language and culture of Star Trek’s famous warrior aliens, the Klingons.

A Klingon Christmas Carol is indeed the first full-length play ever to be produced entirely in the Klingon language. Yes, there is a real, actual, honest-to-god Klingon language. It was invented by renowned linguist Marc Okrand (a big fan of the show) at the behest of Paramount Pictures during the production of Star Trek III. (See him explain the process in the videos below!)

So how do Klingons celebrate Christmas? Well, they don’t. Klingons can’t celebrate the birth of the son of god because they don’t have any gods. Because they killed them. Long story short, the equivalent is the Feast of the Long Night, a kind of winter solstice that’s big on the Klingon home planet, Kronos.

And it’s on Kronos that we find SQuja’, counting his money and berating his employee QachIt. He is the worst kind of man in the Klingon culture: a coward with no honor. But when the ghost of his business partner marlI’ attacks to warn him of the eternal torment that awaits him, he is given a chance at redemption. Three spirits will visit SQuja’ to convince him to regain his honor and become a proper Klingon warrior… but will he see the light in time to save QachIt’s weak son, tiny tImHom, from certain death?

It is a tale full of fierce combat, time travel, and guttural snarls, all drolly narrated by a Vulcan representative from the Vulcan Institute of Cultural Anthropology.

Don’t speak Klingon? Don’t worry, there are English supertitles projected above the stage.

A Klingon Christmas Carol
A Klingon Christmas Carol

Nov 30 through Dec 29, 2013.
Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays at 8:00pm; Sundays at 3:30pm.

Additional late-night Saturday performances on Dec 14, 21, and 28 at 10:30pm.

Special “Pay With Your Can” performance on Monday, Dec 2 at 8:00pm.

Raven Theatre Complex
6157 N Clark St (at Granville Ave), Chicago, IL 60660.

$20-30 tickets are available at 773.338.2177 or CBTheatre.org. Only 57 tickets are available for each performance and most will sell out, so early reservations are encouraged!

A Klingon Christmas Carol… REINVENTED!

October 11, 2013 § Leave a comment

A Klingon Christmas Carol reinvents itself for 2013!

Friends, in case you didn’t know, Commedia Beauregard is a small professional theatre company that recently became a resident company at the Raven Theatre Complex. They’ve been around since 1999 (starting in Minneapolis/Saint Paul) and have put up 30 productions over the last 14 years. Their specialty is translation: translation from other languages into English, translation of other art forms to the stage, etc. And once a year they translate Dickens into Klingon.

Their holiday hit A Klingon Christmas Carol has all the elements of the Dickens classic but adapted to the Klingon warrior culture and  meticulously translated into tlhIngan Hol (that’s Klingon for Klingon). It is a terrific show that far more earnest and heartwarming that you would expect from something so silly. You don’t even have to love Star Trek to get this show and have a blast. And if you do love Star Trek, well, you can only imagine the nerd heaven you’ll ascend to!

This year, CB is totally overhauling the show and they need your help!

The goal this year is to make the show unlike it has ever been before: A new multi-level set, new costumes that blend Victorian England with Klingon aesthetics (think steam-punk-Klingon), a new much smaller venue that creates an up-close intimate experience, new fights, new sound-scape… everything is being redone from the ground up.

Check out their Indiegogo campaign and make a donation to support a bigger, meaner Klingon Christmas Carol this year!

 

tlhIngan maH!

 

“Master Works: The Van Gogh Plays” Brings Paintings to Life with Proper Amount of Insanity

April 22, 2013 § Leave a comment

Arne Saupe in Master Works - The Van Gogh Plays

Arne Saupe in Smoke If You Got ‘Em by Ellen Cribbs.
Based on Van Gogh’s Skull with Burning Cigarette.

Skull with a Burning Cigarette by Van Gogh.jpgMy friends at Commedia Beauregard are at it again with another festival of twisted short plays, running for one weekend only at Edgewater’s Raven Theatre!

Stabbings, weddings, manifestos, and a post-apocalyptic wasteland. These are a few things that happen when Commedia Beauregard’s Master Works series once again brings fine art to life. This time six Van Gogh paintings were chosen: Night Cafe, The Man is at Sea, Skull with Burning Cigarette, Undergrowth with Two Figures, Doctor Gachet, and The Drinkers (which can be seen at the Art Institute of Chicago). Six locally & nationally recognized Chicago playwrights then brought their imaginations to bear and created an original play based on the painting they were assigned. Finally, Commedia Beauregard chose six up-and-coming directors to take these new works and bring them to life on stage. Now see these short plays presented together back-to-back in Master Works: The Van Gogh Plays. Like the great painter himself, it promises to be an inspiring blend of genius and insanity!

According to Mexican poet Octavio Paz, “Translation is an art of analogy, the art of finding correspondences,” and Master Works is one more way in which Commedia Beauregard follows its mission of exploring cultures through the art of translation.

Master Works: The Van Gogh Plays
VinnieNew plays by Ellen Cribbs, Christopher Kidder-Mostrom, Rory Leahy, Jason Lindner, Alberto Mendoza, and Sean Margaret Wagner. Directed by Niki Dreistadt, Celia Forrest, Toma Langston, Richard Paro, Erik Parsons, and Brittany Westfall.

Thursday, May 2 @ 8pm,
Friday, May 3 @ 8pm,
Saturday, May 4 @ 8pm,
Sunday, May 5 @ 3:30pm.

Raven Theatre Complex – West Theatre, 6157 N Clark St (at Granville Ave), Chicago, IL 60660.

$15 tickets are available at 800.838.3006 or CBTheatre.org.

"Night Cafe" by Vincent Van Gogh. Inspiration for the play "The Night Cafe" by Rory Leahy, which is directed by Erik Parsons.

Night Cafe by Vincent Van Gogh.
Inspiration for the play The Night Cafe by Rory Leahy.

Creator of Klingon Language to Attend A Klingon Christmas Carol!

December 5, 2012 § Leave a comment

A Klingon Christmas Carol - Kevin Alves as SQuja'

The latest Klingon news! Dr. Marc Okrand, the creator of the Klingon Language, will be flying to Chicago to once again see A Klingon Christmas Carol (now playing at Raven Theatre).

Dr. Marc Okrand - courtesy Wikipedia - public domainDr. Okrand, a renowned philologist, is recognized for his work with Native American languages, as well as his work with the first closed-captioning system for hearing-impaired viewers. He was hired by Paramount Pictures to develop tlhIngan Hol (Klingon) as a fully functional language. Since then, the Klingon language has become an integral part of the Star Trek universe. It has been featured in the various Star Trek television series, in several movies, as well as in numerous novels associated with the franchise. Dr. Okrand has also written a Klingon dictionary, and other books about the Klingon language and Klingon culture.

Some vocabulary created by Dr. Okrand has been used for the first time ever in A Klingon Christmas Carol. Scenes added for the Chicago production in 2010 required the addition of new words to the Klingon lexicon. Dr. Okrand specifically created these new words for use in the show.

 

A Klingon Christmas Carol

In Commedia Beauregard’s hilarious yet heart-warming melding of Charles Dickens’ morality tale with the Klingon language and culture, SQuja’ (Scrooge) has neither honor nor courage and is in peril of suffering eternal torment if he is not brought into line with his culture’s values. He is aided by visits from three spirits who work to guide him to fulfill his true potential and save Tiny Tim from a horrible fate.

Every Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday through December 30, 2012.

Raven Theatre, 6157 N Clark St (at Granville Ave), Chicago, IL 60660.

$20-28 tickets are available at 800.838.3006 or CBTheatre.org.

 

A Klingon Christmas Carol Returns! New Venue! New Director! Still Klingon!

November 26, 2012 § Leave a comment

Unless you’ve been serving time at the penal colony of Rura Penthe, you know that Minneapolis theater company Commedia Beauregard relocated to Chicago three years ago, bringing along their hit holiday show, A Klingon Christmas Carol, which immediately become a Chicago sensation as well.

That’s right.  A Klingon Christmas Carol.  Dickens’ beloved classic adapted to reflect the Klingon Warrior Code of Honor and meticulously translated into the Klingon language.

Yes.  The entire show is performed IN THE ACTUAL KLINGON LANGUAGE, with English supertitles projected above the stage for those who are not fluent in tlhIngan Hol (Klingon).  Plus, there’s droll narrative analysis from a representative of the Vulcan Institute of Cultural Anthropology.

If you’re like me, you’re already dying to buy your tickets.

But there’s more because this year’s production is going where no version of A Klingon Christmas Carol has gone before: Edgewater’s Raven Theatre!

And this year the show is being directed by Eric Van Tassell, who brings fresh eyes to this complex work of genius.  And along with a new leader at the helm, the production also has eleven new cast members learning Klingon and stepping into these challenging roles.  Several favorites from the past remain though, such as Kevin Alves reprising his role of SQuja’ (Scrooge), and veterans Philip Zimmermann, Christina Romano, and Clark Bender.

A Klingon Christmas Carol opens at the Raven Theatre with a big gala event  this Saturday, December 1, featuring a silent auction, live music, Klingon-themed munchies, and door prizes… and of course, the opening night performance!

A Klingon Christmas Carol

Every Friday, Saturday and Sunday, December 1 – 30, 2012.

Raven Theatre, 6157 N Clark St (at Granville Ave), Chicago, IL 60660.

Tickets are available at 800.838.3006 or CBTheatre.org.

Can three ghosts help Scrooge become a true warrior in time to save Tiny Tim from a horrible fate?

Ah, the suspense!!

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