Posted in Chicago, Chicago Events, events, theater, things to do, Weekend Activities, tagged Black, Emperor Jones, Minstrel, post-racial, race on January 8, 2009 |
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Stephanie S. Green, NBC Chicago Street Team
As part of my effort to compile a calendar of culturally diverse Chicago events, I routinely scour the internet looking for interesting events that tend to otherwise elude my subscribers. But, every once in a while, something even gets by me. In this case, while I picked up the Performing “Other”: Constructing Race and Gender Onstage and Off discussion, the related performance got past me – and has caused a bit of an uproar.
Yesterday marked the Chicago premiere of the Wooster Group’s take on The Emperor Jones at the Goodman Theatre, performed in “blackface” by Kate Valk. Yes, blackface. Provocative? You bet.
First released in the early 1930s, The Emperor Jones, starring Paul Robeson, tells the story of a Pullman porter who loses his temper and his job; lands not only in jail, but on a chain gang; kills a white guard, but manages to escape to Haiti where he crowns himself emperor. In this production, The Wooster Group, apparently notorious for their radical productions, clearly has a message that they find well-worth the risk of offending cultural sensibilities.
Barack Obama’s historic “post-racial” bid for presidency may, for some, signify the end of racism in America. But, we’ve got a mighty long way to go before the revival of a seemingly minstrel-like performance can escape the ire of people who routinely feel the effect of racism in this country. That being said, Goodman Theatre has an undisputed record of including culturally diverse productions – and not just during the month of February! Giving Goodman the benefit of the doubt, I would be disappointed if the use of “black face” were purely gratuitous.
I sure am curious to see what the deeper meaning of this provocative production could possibly be, so I intend to see it and judge for myself. If you’d like To-Do the same, don’t miss this short window of opportunity. The Emperor Jones continues through Sunday, January 11th. A post-performance discussion is scheduled for Saturday, January 10th and is free to the public with reservations.
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Posted in Bands, Celebrities, Chicago, Chicago Events, Chicago Gossip, concerts, events, Fitness, Live Music, music, things to do, Uncategorized, Weekend Activities, tagged fall out boy, fallout, fob, Nike, nike human race, race, run, running, Soldier Field on September 5, 2008 |
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Cara Carriveau, NBC5 Street Team
It was a thrill to bring Fall Out Boy onstage at Soldier Field last Sunday after the Nike+ Human Race. Prior to the race I had the priviledge of moderating their press conference. Here’s a behind-the-scenes look courtesy of fellow street team member Jim Grillo (you’ll also see fellow street team member Jen Knoedl ask the first question):
Fall Out Boy was quoted from this press conference in The RedEye earlier this week. In the video above you were clearly hear that I was the “reporter” who asked the question covered in the article that appeared in The RedEye on 9-2-08:
“Fall Out from Nike+ race
Fall Out Boy performed an exclusive concert on Sunday night at Soldier Field for runners who participated in the Nike+ Human Race 10K.
Before the concert, the band members talked to the press. A reporter asked Pete Wentz if there was a lot of political talk in his household, especially since his parents met while working for Democratic vice presidential nominee Joe Biden.
“My dad was a Philadelphia lawyer, so there was never an argument won by me my entire life,” Wentz said. Wentz went on to talk about how his dad was excited that Wentz performed at the Democratic National Convention.
“My dad was like, ‘Watch out for Joe Biden—tell him I say hi,’ ” Wentz said. “I was like, ‘I don’t know if I’m going to run into him, Dad.’ “
NBC5 Street Team member Theresa Carter posted great pictures of the Nike+ Human Race HERE!
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