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2008-2009 Performance Season Preview

Oct 1, 2008 – May 31, 2009

The MCA announces the core programs of the 2008-2009 Performance Season. Additional programs will be announced at a later date.

Tickets go on sale August 1, 2008.

Mike Daisey: If You See Something Say Something
Friday-Sunday, October 10-12, 2008
Master storyteller, acclaimed author and humorist Mike Daisey’s new monologue explores the history of the Department of Homeland Security, played in counterpoint to the untold story of Sam Cohen, the inventor of the neutron bomb.

Cie Heddy Maalem: Le Sacre du Printemps (The Rite of Spring)
Friday-Sunday, October 17-19, 2008
Heddy Maalem’s explosive interpretation of Stravinsky’s Le Sacre du Printemps, inspired by the dense city of Lagos, Nigeria, features 14 dancers from West Africa, who are trained in both contemporary dance and the traditional dance forms of their countries of origin – Mali, Benin, Nigeria, Togo, Mozambique, and Senegal. Maalem’s dynamic and energetic dance is bookended with atmospheric film projections.

Elevator Repair Service: Gatz
Friday-Sunday, November 14-16, 2008
Undeniably ambitious, Gatz is a seven-hour theatrical presentation of the entire text of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, verbatim and unabridged. The play begins in a modern but derelict office with a stressed, white-collar employee picking up the book and reading it aloud; eventually, parallels between his colleagues and characters in the book begin to emerge. Gatz brings together the literary virtuosity of an American masterpiece and the mischievous creativity of one of New York’s most celebrated ensembles.

Blair Thomas & Company: The Ox-Herder’s Tale
November 19-30, 2008
Featuring larger-than-life puppets, performers on stilts, and fantastical costumes, Chicago’s quintessential visual theater company creates an inspired spectacle in this interpretation of a Zen-Buddhist tale about a man who searches for a bull to capture, tame, and ride home on a journey of enlightenment. Set in a contemporary, western world, The Ox-Herder’s Tale employs Japanese bunraku-style, large-scale puppets, each manned by three masked puppeteers. The performance showcases a dynamic percussion score played live by celebrated artists Michael Zerang and Hamid Drake.

Court Theatre: The Wild Duck
January 15 – February 15, 2009

Humor meets tragedy in Ibsen’s classic tale of an idealistic, young man who shatters the lives of the Ekdal family in an attempt to liberate them from the web of lies that keep them sane. With a new translation by playwright Richard Nelson and stage design by architect Leigh Breslau, Charles Newell brings his uncompromising approach to this rarely staged play to reveal the real humanity of the characters.

chelfitsch: Five Days in March
Friday-Saturday, February 20-21, 2009
Leading a new generation of experimental theater artists, Toshiki Okada’s award-winning play from Japan is set on the eve of the U.S. and British offensive in Iraq, when Japan rejoined the ranks of the armed nations for the first time since 1945. The play’s main characters, a young couple of Japanese drifters who meet and spend five days in a Shibuya “love hotel,” are completely disconnected from the world events. Characterized by stylized scripts and unique body movement, chelfitsch’s work has garnered attention from the contemporary dance world for their “physical richness,” and earned the 2004 Kishida Kunio Drama Award, Japan’s most important theatrical accolade, for Five Days in March.

Teatro de Ciertos Habitantes: De Monstruos y Prodigios
Friday-Saturday, March 13-15, 2009
Direct from Mexico City, Claudio Valdés is causing a worldwide sensation with his award winning theater/opera about the castrati – boys castrated before puberty to preserve the soprano range of their voices, an 18th century practice that propelled many boys from poverty to stardom. Through brilliant musical performances and extreme physical comedy, De Monstruos y Prodigios offers a humorous and sophisticated satire of Baroque opera and a century of music ruled by the castrati.

Marc Bamuthi Joseph: the break/s
Thursday-Saturday, March 26-28, 2009
Poet and performer Marc Bamuthi Joseph conveys the history of the hip-hop generation through his own personal coming-of-age story using verse, dance, and film in this dramatic multimedia performance, a “mixtape for the stage.” Joseph collaborates with award-winning author Jeff Chang, whose book Can’t Stop Won’t Stop captures the creation of the hip-hop culture as a local, political, and artistic movement. To embrace the power of improvisation, the sound score and visual projections are mixed in the moment by a DJ and a beatboxer.

Contempo with Leny Andrade and special guests
Saturday, April 4, 2009

The critically acclaimed music ensemble performs a double-bill concert with samba-jazz great Leny Andrade, the Brazil’s history-making vocalist who has recorded with the leading orchestra of our time. Contempo’s own illustrious history spans 44 years performing music at the highest level by the most innovative composers of our time. This program features Contempo’s Grammy Award-winning ensemble-in-residence eighth blackbird, lauded for their signature style of playing from memory with virtuosic and theatrical flair.

Compagnie Marie Chouinard: Orpheus and Eurydice
Friday-Sunday, April 17-19, 2009
Always innovative and often provocative, artist and choreographer Marie Chouinard’s newest work is a dramatic ballet for 10 dancers. Based on the Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice, Chouinard’s version features elements of experimental theatre, dramatic lighting, and powerful body movement in Chouinard’s signature style – intense, adventurous, and sensuous.

Chicago Chamber Musicians: Strange News
Friday, May 8, 2009

Inspired by news reports of child soldiers in Africa, Norwegian composer Rolf Wallin created this musical documentary together with director Josse de Paauw for actor, ensemble, surround sound, and video screen. Despite the harrowing stories that the artists captured through interviews in Uganda and the Congo, the work offers a glimmer of hope in the ceremonies of song and dance through which these brutalized children are re-integrated into society.