Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Bailiwick Closing

According to Chris Jones' theatre blog at the Trib site, the Bailiwick Repertory in Boystown is closing. I'm not sure how expected this was: on the one hand a friend of mine who is doing a show there was surprised to hear it, but then again everyone knew they were having money problems.

Their track record wasn't perfect (What on earth did David Zak see in Bare?) but I did see some wonderful things there in the past five years--Tim Miller for the first time, a lovely production of The Tricky Part, and the Hypocrites' Angels In America, to name a few. Plus, they were one of this city's most consistent providers of naked men onstage.

It's a shame any time that a theatre closes down, especially one that produced so consistently, and rented out to so many small companies. Was the financial and administrative mismanagement a sign that it was time to close? Has Bailiwick's moment of being necessary in Chicago passed? I'm not sure. I hope they continue to produce in rented spaces once in a while.

It is very encouraging that Theatre Wit is taking the building over--if they really do give it such a nice refurbishment and open it with three stages, this loss will be a little easier to take. The great thing about this city is that rental stages are always full--someone always wants to do a show!

Does anyone who has actually worked for Bailiwick have an opinion on this? I speak only as an audience member, so I recognize my perspective is skewed at best.


Leonard Jacobs said...

Holy crap, Bailiwick is closing? That's major news, dude. Welcome to the blogosphere, by the way.

pashaviancritic said...

Good to have you out here Zev, any luck with Radio? Remember what i said....love to hear you read your future reviews.

David August said...

It seems they're leaving their space, and will still produce shows. I blogged some of the news coverage, and will ask David Zak for his comments: Bailiwick Not Closing, Entirely.

Anonymous said...

Glad to hear it really. David cheated so many actors, musicians etc. our of money - he should have been run out of town long ago. I speak from experience. Bailiwick really was an insult to the Chicago theatre scene, and that was David Zac's fault, for being a cheat, lier and bad businessman.