Friday, May 21, 2010

Cherrywood. Is. COMING.

David Cromer, whose career has been on a meteoric ascent recently (Our Town is into its second year Off-Broadway, he has two shows scheduled on Broadway next season, and his production of A Streetcar Named Desire is getting raves and selling out at Writers') has not forgotten where he came from. And that would be tiny storefront theatres, like Mary-Arrchie, which has been producing for 25 years and performs above a liquor store in Lakeview.

The play they're doing is Cherrywood, a remarkable piece by Kirk Lynn, which premiered at the Rude Mechanicals in Austin, in 2004. It's written as a series of lines, with no characters listed at all. The cast and director decide who says what and the story they tell. It takes place at a party, where people who feel their lives aren't what they want gather to drink, dance, and fall in love. Except there are jello shots, a gun goes off, and people are turning into werewolves. It's pretty wild, and exactly the kind of thing that thrives in awesome Chicago storefronts.

On an interesting side note, I have a history with this show: I actually appeared in the first Chicago production, which was Shade Murray's first-year MFA project at Northwestern. I was playing a character of surpassing social awkwardness and poor fashion sense: I grew out a full, bushy beard, wore ugly, scotch-taped glasses, a too-small polo shirt tucked into too-baggy pleated courduroy pants, in clashing shades of beige, and sandals with socks. There are some awsome blackmail photos of me out there.

The show runs June 24-August 8, and Mary-Arrchie just announced the cast. Of 49 people.

Seriously, 49 actors. How will anything else in town run? I'm not sure how many seats the theatre has, but if there are more than 50, it's not by much. And while the stage is very deep, it's certainly not huge. Not to mention the storytelling difficulty--wrangling 49 people and creating an arc for all of them, not to mention telling the story coherently, is going to be a monumental task. I trust they are up to the task, and am crazy excited to see what the result is.

For those who didn't follow the Time Out link, by the way, here's the cast list:

Adam Hinkle, Aileen May, Alexander Ring, Alice Wedoff, Allison Cain, Andre LaSalle, Andrew Hanback, Anthony Demarco, Brian Hinkle, Briana De Giulio, Bries Vannon, Candice Gregg, Carlo Lorenzo Garcia, Caroline Neff, Chris Ward Blumer, Colleen Miller, Craig Cunningham, D’wayne Taylor, Dereck Garner, Derek Brummet, Ebony Wimbs, Eileen Montelione, Elliot Ivins, Gavin Robinson, Geoff Button, Jennifer Santanello, Jeremy Noll, Joseph DeBettencourt, Kasia Januszewski, Katherine Schwartz, Keely Brennan, Kevin V. Smith, Leslie Frame, Lindsey Barlag, Lindsey Pearlman, Marika Engelhardt, Michael Dice, Michele Gorman, Molly Reynolds, Nick Mikula, Noah Simon, Ramon Madrid, Raymond Shoemaker, Richard Cotovsky, Rob Fenton, Rudy Galvan, Ryan Bourque, Ryan Martin and Shannon Clausen.

Okay, here's one blackmail photo. Not the worst, at all.


mpjedi2 said...

That doesn't seem much different from how you normally dress. Well, without the beard and glasses, anyway...


Monica Reida said...

The picture keeps making me laugh.

Anonymous said...

Not only does the picture make me laugh, but it doesn't do justice to have awkward & poorly put together the character was! ;-D