( Recommended) The Filament Theatre Company is a group of young actors/performers/writers who in their work emphasize; community,imagination and sustainability. To be story tellers and to include some improvisation into their productions. I just was introduced to these youngsters who have no home stage, and are doing their current show in a Wrigleyville bar called the Underground Lounge, which puts the “bar” in Bard, as they present a Shakespearean show called “Choose Thine Own Adventure” in a very small intimate space.Adapted by Allison Powell as a spoof on the works of The Bard, with a cast of four very talented performers, this is an entertaining and funny look at many of the characters we have read about or watched played on stages all over Chicago, but with a twist! The audience participates and votes on what the next scene might be, so it is possible to watch these performers do their thing on different nights and see a slightly different show.
I will say that they do know their Shakespeare and are able to switch on a dime ( or at least a vote) and are prepared for anything that the audience brings forth. Omen Sade,Marco Minichiello, Ped Nasseri and Mary Spearen handle their roles and the ad-lib/improv with great speed and style. This is a show primarily for the under 40 ( or is that 30) group who enjoys the bar scene, but instead of a loud DJ or band would prefer a little diversion from their everyday life. With this show, they do get that! Directed by Julie Ritchey, Artisitic Director of Filament, she uses the small stage area as well as the room well. here are times when none of the actors are on the stage, but yet we can view the action taking place in the seating area, which is tables and chairs, a few booths, chairs set up in rows and of course, the bar.
I am not sure if the older Shakespeare lovers would feel comfortable as this troupe combines a number of scenes from a number of plays, and although they do take liberties with the great works, they do most of their quotes from the book! Part of what “Adventure” does, is make viewing Shakespeare an adventure itself. Changing scenes on the whim of an audience and having several endings, again based on the audience response, makes the performance outcome the very creation of the audience. To have a great time or to not have a great time? That is the question! If you enter the door and go down the steps knowing that it will be “comedy tonight” and leave all your worries at that big black door, you are bound to have a fun evening. I guess the only problem with the show is that it is only an hour, so by the time you really get in the groove, it is over!
“Adventure” will continue at The Underground Lounge, located at 952 West Newport ( just East of Clark Street) through December 11th with performances as follows:
Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and a special Halloween performance on October 30th at 7:30 p.m.
Tickets are only $15 and surprise of surprises, considering we are in Wrigleyville, drinks are reasonable. Nothing fancy, but plenty of beers and FYI, you MUST be 21 to enter.
To make your reservations, call 773-270-1660 or visit www.filamenttheatre.org