It’s Just A Few More Hours

// September 4th, 2010 // Blog

Three Chicago performances down, two to go!

Yesterday we had adventures in street performing at Millennium Park. We knew that in theory, major cities don’t like random people performing in their streets and parks without a license, but figured that because we wouldn’t be asking for money, it might be all right. After a lot of pictures at the Bean and after Max tried to bench-press Alec (limited success), we chose a shady corner and started to sing a cappella because we’d forgotten our guitars. Soon a Segway security officer pulled up, stopped, and sat with a smile on her face, seeming as though she was listening. Figuring we had a friend in the law, I gave her a postcard and our pitch. She smiled and nodded and then told Daisuke that we couldn’t perform here without permission, but that we could go to an office nearby to try to get permission. She gave back the postcard. I was disappointed.

We marched over to the park office and asked the man at the desk if it would be possible to get permission to perform. He was immediately…not quite indignant, not quite on the offensive, but very quick to point out to us that no, that was not how it worked, we could not perform in the park without being on a stage and for street performance we would need a license from City Hall. He seemed nonplussed that we were asking him. Even the appearance of Alec and David, both wearing tuxedo jackets with tails, wasn’t enough to loosen him up. So off we went.

We decided that we should just hand out postcards on the street corner, but first the boys found a Family Fun pavilion and wanted to go hula-hooping. The pavilion was being closed, but this time the tuxedo charm prevailed and they not only got to enter but also convinced the head of the Visitor’s Center at the Chicago Cultural Center that we should be allowed to put postcards in said Visitor’s Center. So I went over there to tell the ladies at the desk that “Darryl said I could put these here.” Score one for well-dressed men!

We held posters and offered postcards and shouted encouraging things to people on the corner of Michigan and Randolph–“Come support Fringe Theatre! First year of the festival! You obviously like coffee, sir, you’d love our musical!”–with a decent amount of success. Twice we intercepted a marching protest of the Fed that held signs saying things like “End the Fed” and “Why pay taxes when we can print our own money?” Not so sure we agree with their message, but we exchanged flyers and postcards.

We had another early show, at 5:30, and even though it was still warm onstage at least the weather outside was cooperating with us–it was a windy 67 degrees out. It was a great house and a number of our friends were in the audience. The show went very well, although a number of prop or technical aspects gave us some trouble. Apparently it didn’t ruin the show for anyone, because they were very enthusiastic.

The cast and some friends got Greek food in Greektown, and about half of us went to “The Playdaters” at the Edinburgh Stage (tickets here). Hilarious meta-theatrics about online dating. My favorite was “Troll,” the imaginary girlfriend of one of the characters created as an example of why inventing the perfect S.O. for yourself is a bad idea.

Today the families descended upon us, and to save them all from feeling as though they each had to take our crew of ten voracious eaters out to dinner, we threw a picnic in Winnemac Park. Now we’re full-to-bursting of cheese, Nutella, chips, and meat (not eaten in combination) and ready for our second-to-last (can it be?) show, tonight at 7PM! It’s Family Night, so come and meet the people who made us all who we are!

Before we go, here’s our first audience review from Chicago as a little treat:

Review: Very Cute and Touching by snackshack

The cast had a lot of energy in this musical, and I enjoyed many of the songs involving creative coffee lyrics. The characters were all intriguing in their own ways. My favorites were the End of the World song by the “Evangelizer” character and a reconciliation song between a brother and sister. However, I thought the plot wrapped up a little too quickly and neatly at the end. Go see it though – was fun.

rating: 4 stars (see reviews here)

Thanks for coming, “snackshack”! Next time if you bring us Chicago-style hot dogs we’ll make sure you get in for free.


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