Archive for the ‘Goodman Theater’ Category

01/31/2007

A great play on Frank Lloyd Wright….
is still waiting to be written.

Isherwood in the New York Times agrees with me.

“It’s hard to do much with a play so unrelentingly dour and lacking in either thematic or narrative shape…”

Kuchwara of AP agrees with me.

“Richard Nelson’s disappointing play, (Frank’s Home) which opened Tuesday at off-Broadway’s Playwrights Horizons…

Winer in Newsday agrees with me.

“What we do not feel, alas, is more than mildly engaged.”

Remember what I wrote when Frank’s Home had its world-premiere? That the script is as flat as a .

So I continue to wait for a dramatic treatment of the dramatic life of Frank Lloyd Wright. One disappointment in Frank’s Home was when Wright gets the telegram that the Imperial Hotel in Tokyo has in fact survived the earthquake, contrary to what he had been told. This moment needed to be a climax, instead it came and went and ruffled little.

Frank Lloyd Wright! The Opera. It’s waiting for you to write it.
—-
The Price is Wright.
In the meantime, if you’re in Chicago, see the exhibition on FLW’s Price Tower in Bartlesville, OK, at the Chicago Architecture Foundation. If you’re in Bartlesville, (and don’t say, “I would prefer not to“) go see the real thing.

The exhibition is revelatory. In addition to drawings for Price Tower and some original furniture, it features some large scale drawings of “The Golden Beacon” that Wright planned for Chicago.

But what really adds zip is the design for the installation of this show in the atrium lobby of the Santa Fe building (1904, D.H. Burnham & Co.) It comes to us from the office of Zaha Hadid. She has designed an addition to Price Tower, which is now an Arts Center. It’s good to see ‘Zaha’ in Chicago. Her dynamic shapes energize the historic Santa Fe lobby.

All best,
-Edward

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01/31/2007

A great play on Frank Lloyd Wright….
is still waiting to be written.

Isherwood in the New York Times agrees with me.

“It’s hard to do much with a play so unrelentingly dour and lacking in either thematic or narrative shape…”

Kuchwara of AP agrees with me.

“Richard Nelson’s disappointing play, (Frank’s Home) which opened Tuesday at off-Broadway’s Playwrights Horizons…

Winer in Newsday agrees with me.

“What we do not feel, alas, is more than mildly engaged.”

Remember what I wrote when Frank’s Home had its world-premiere? That the script is as flat as a .

So I continue to wait for a dramatic treatment of the dramatic life of Frank Lloyd Wright. One disappointment in Frank’s Home was when Wright gets the telegram that the Imperial Hotel in Tokyo has in fact survived the earthquake, contrary to what he had been told. This moment needed to be a climax, instead it came and went and ruffled little.

Frank Lloyd Wright! The Opera. It’s waiting for you to write it.
—-
The Price is Wright.
In the meantime, if you’re in Chicago, see the exhibition on FLW’s Price Tower in Bartlesville, OK, at the Chicago Architecture Foundation. If you’re in Bartlesville, (and don’t say, “I would prefer not to“) go see the real thing.

The exhibition is revelatory. In addition to drawings for Price Tower and some original furniture, it features some large scale drawings of “The Golden Beacon” that Wright planned for Chicago.

But what really adds zip is the design for the installation of this show in the atrium lobby of the Santa Fe building (1904, D.H. Burnham & Co.) It comes to us from the office of Zaha Hadid. She has designed an addition to Price Tower, which is now an Arts Center. It’s good to see ‘Zaha’ in Chicago. Her dynamic shapes energize the historic Santa Fe lobby.

All best,
-Edward

12/06/2006

A Wright play in need of a Playwright

Initial thoughts after seeing the World Premiere of the play on
Frank Lloyd Wright ‘Frank’s Home’ – at Chicago’s Goodman Theater.

If you’re in Chicago and you want drama, visit


There’s far more drama just walking through any Frank Lloyd Wright-designed house, such as this one, the Robie House.

Unfortunately, the play’s script – and direction – are flatter than


Wright’s roofs.

We don’t even get a great set, just a desert landscape, outside FLW’s Hollyhock House.

It’s 1923, Wright has heard there’s been an earthquake in Tokyo, and that his Imperial Hotel has fallen. We wait for the drama.

Most of the lack of action takes place while

sitting around, on that desert landscape.

We do learn from playwright Richard Nelson, born in Chicago in 1950, that Frank Lloyd Wright was not a great father. And that great artists can be complicated people. Who knew? But we gain little insight into why that might be. We don’t we really see how others are affected, except that they become frustrated – who knew? And the play skims the surface exploring how the trade-off of family for creation might be worthwhile, even necessary.

Frank and Louis (Louis Sullivan in Los Angeles! I don’ t think so! In the year we’ve burned down three Sullivan buildings here, now we do this to him!) – they convey a few interesting thoughts on how beauty is a moral issue, it is ‘right and wrong,’ ‘life and death. ‘ And about how one can find comfort in this crazy world by drawing.

“Frank’s Home” wants to explore the minds of these two urban geniuses. But if this play were a building it would have to be a suburban home.

Probably the best line in the play is, “I told him, ‘if you want to be an architect, you have to drink.'”

I started squirming in my seat and thought, ‘the only chair less comfortable than one at this play would be

one of those straight-back Frank Lloyd Wright chairs.

And I could only dream of

how comfortably Wright’s houses sit in their environments.

This production of “Frank’s Home” will run at Playwrights Horizons in New York City from January 12 to February 18. Peter Weller and Harris Yulin will remain as Frank Lloyd Wright and Louis Sullivan, and they’re very good.

So what’s the best play ever about an architect,
Henrik Ibsen’s The Master Builder ?

-E

Update: 1/31/07 The New York reviews are in.

Photo from the play: Jay Whittaker (FLW’s son Lloyd Wright), Harris Yulin (Louis Sullivan) and Peter Weller (Frank Lloyd Wright). Photo by Michael Brosilow.

12/06/2006

A Wright play in need of a Playwright

Initial thoughts after seeing the World Premiere of the play on
Frank Lloyd Wright ‘Frank’s Home’ – at Chicago’s Goodman Theater.

If you’re in Chicago and you want drama, visit


There’s far more drama just walking through any Frank Lloyd Wright-designed house, such as this one, the Robie House.

Unfortunately, the play’s script – and direction – are flatter than


Wright’s roofs.

We don’t even get a great set, just a desert landscape, outside FLW’s Hollyhock House.

It’s 1923, Wright has heard there’s been an earthquake in Tokyo, and that his Imperial Hotel has fallen. We wait for the drama.

Most of the lack of action takes place while

sitting around, on that desert landscape.

We do learn from playwright Richard Nelson, born in Chicago in 1950, that Frank Lloyd Wright was not a great father. And that great artists can be complicated people. Who knew? But we gain little insight into why that might be. We don’t we really see how others are affected, except that they become frustrated – who knew? And the play skims the surface exploring how the trade-off of family for creation might be worthwhile, even necessary.

Frank and Louis (Louis Sullivan in Los Angeles! I don’ t think so! In the year we’ve burned down three Sullivan buildings here, now we do this to him!) – they convey a few interesting thoughts on how beauty is a moral issue, it is ‘right and wrong,’ ‘life and death. ‘ And about how one can find comfort in this crazy world by drawing.

“Frank’s Home” wants to explore the minds of these two urban geniuses. But if this play were a building it would have to be a suburban home.

Probably the best line in the play is, “I told him, ‘if you want to be an architect, you have to drink.'”

I started squirming in my seat and thought, ‘the only chair less comfortable than one at this play would be

one of those straight-back Frank Lloyd Wright chairs.

And I could only dream of

how comfortably Wright’s houses sit in their environments.

This production of “Frank’s Home” will run at Playwrights Horizons in New York City from January 12 to February 18. Peter Weller and Harris Yulin will remain as Frank Lloyd Wright and Louis Sullivan, and they’re very good.

So what’s the best play ever about an architect,
Henrik Ibsen’s The Master Builder ?

-E

Update: 1/31/07 The New York reviews are in.

Photo from the play: Jay Whittaker (FLW’s son Lloyd Wright), Harris Yulin (Louis Sullivan) and Peter Weller (Frank Lloyd Wright). Photo by Michael Brosilow.

12/06/2006

A Wright play in need of a Playwright

Initial thoughts after seeing the World Premiere of the play on
Frank Lloyd Wright ‘Frank’s Home’ – at Chicago’s Goodman Theater.

If you’re in Chicago and you want drama, visit


There’s far more drama just walking through any Frank Lloyd Wright-designed house, such as this one, the Robie House.

Unfortunately, the play’s script – and direction – are flatter than


Wright’s roofs.

We don’t even get a great set, just a desert landscape, outside FLW’s Hollyhock House.

It’s 1923, Wright has heard there’s been an earthquake in Tokyo, and that his Imperial Hotel has fallen. We wait for the drama.

Most of the lack of action takes place while

sitting around, on that desert landscape.

We do learn from playwright Richard Nelson, born in Chicago in 1950, that Frank Lloyd Wright was not a great father. And that great artists can be complicated people. Who knew? But we gain little insight into why that might be. We don’t we really see how others are affected, except that they become frustrated – who knew? And the play skims the surface exploring how the trade-off of family for creation might be worthwhile, even necessary.

Frank and Louis (Louis Sullivan in Los Angeles! I don’ t think so! In the year we’ve burned down three Sullivan buildings here, now we do this to him!) – they convey a few interesting thoughts on how beauty is a moral issue, it is ‘right and wrong,’ ‘life and death. ‘ And about how one can find comfort in this crazy world by drawing.

“Frank’s Home” wants to explore the minds of these two urban geniuses. But if this play were a building it would have to be a suburban home.

Probably the best line in the play is, “I told him, ‘if you want to be an architect, you have to drink.'”

I started squirming in my seat and thought, ‘the only chair less comfortable than one at this play would be

one of those straight-back Frank Lloyd Wright chairs.

And I could only dream of

how comfortably Wright’s houses sit in their environments.

This production of “Frank’s Home” will run at Playwrights Horizons in New York City from January 12 to February 18. Peter Weller and Harris Yulin will remain as Frank Lloyd Wright and Louis Sullivan, and they’re very good.

So what’s the best play ever about an architect,
Henrik Ibsen’s The Master Builder ?

-E

Update: 1/31/07 The New York reviews are in.

Photo from the play: Jay Whittaker (FLW’s son Lloyd Wright), Harris Yulin (Louis Sullivan) and Peter Weller (Frank Lloyd Wright). Photo by Michael Brosilow.

12/04/2006


Robocop as Frank Lloyd Wright.


I’m off to see Peter Weller as Frank Lloyd Wright, (standing)
Harris Yulin as Louis Sullivan, (sitting).

and a host of others in Frank’s Home at the Goodman Theater.

I’ve seen a scene, which didn’t do much for me, but, full report tomorrow.

I can’t wait to see the set – the Goodman always does a great job with sets,
and the action takes place on the grounds of

the Hollyhock House,
in Wright’s quirky Mayan style,
in Los Angeles. Los Angeles?!

It’s hard to imagine Louis Sullivan in Los Angeles, isn’t it? Well, this play notwithstanding, our Mr. Sullivan did not accept Wright’s invitation to visit him there.

Full report tomorrow,
-Edwardo

12/04/2006


Robocop as Frank Lloyd Wright.


I’m off to see Peter Weller as Frank Lloyd Wright, (standing)
Harris Yulin as Louis Sullivan, (sitting).

and a host of others in Frank’s Home at the Goodman Theater.

I’ve seen a scene, which didn’t do much for me, but, full report tomorrow.

I can’t wait to see the set – the Goodman always does a great job with sets,
and the action takes place on the grounds of

the Hollyhock House,
in Wright’s quirky Mayan style,
in Los Angeles. Los Angeles?!

It’s hard to imagine Louis Sullivan in Los Angeles, isn’t it? Well, this play notwithstanding, our Mr. Sullivan did not accept Wright’s invitation to visit him there.

Full report tomorrow,
-Edwardo

12/04/2006


Robocop as Frank Lloyd Wright.


I’m off to see Peter Weller as Frank Lloyd Wright, (standing)
Harris Yulin as Louis Sullivan, (sitting).

and a host of others in Frank’s Home at the Goodman Theater.

I’ve seen a scene, which didn’t do much for me, but, full report tomorrow.

I can’t wait to see the set – the Goodman always does a great job with sets,
and the action takes place on the grounds of

the Hollyhock House,
in Wright’s quirky Mayan style,
in Los Angeles. Los Angeles?!

It’s hard to imagine Louis Sullivan in Los Angeles, isn’t it? Well, this play notwithstanding, our Mr. Sullivan did not accept Wright’s invitation to visit him there.

Full report tomorrow,
-Edwardo

02/08/2006

The Goodman is gone.

Don’t know if you’ve been by the corner of Monroe and Columbus Drive lately.
I hadn’t – until last night on my way to the Art Institute.

Where once stood the stately – very stately – Goodman Theater — is now a large hole in the ground. The Goodman is gone.

Forever. Never again to walk down those stairs and into that very dignified, intimate, column-free, wood-paneled “living room” (it felt like you were in a friend’s living room.)

It was there that I learned about theater as a child. Especially serious theater. The Shubert, and other Loop theaters were for more commercial runs. The Goodman was smart. Now those memories are

blurred.

And aren’t we about to start a Mamet Festival soon? Many have Mamet memories, at the Goodman. Some of my strongest are August Wilson memories.

Who remembers what the quote said engraved over the front door? Something about art being fleeting, or, “Oh enlighten thee all who enter here.” What was it again?

Photo on the left shows the site looking west from Columbus Drive at Monroe. Above this will rise the new Modern Wing, of the Art Institute.

Photo on the right is looking north, at the Sullivan arch from the Stock Exchange, in front of it was a garden and a fountain. The arch is shrouded in black, at the loss of its neighbor, the old Goodman Theater? It too remembers being torn down.

Piano’s glass pavillion for the Modern Wing of the Art Institute should be nice, tho’ the backlash against it in arch. circles has started – “Not risky enough.” “A safe choice.” “Piano has already done too many museum additions in too many cities.” “What about local talent – this is Chicago!”

But I’d like to know why we tore down Howard van Doren Shaw’s Goodman Theater, which would have easy to save since it was mainly underground.

And what’s this I spy?

“Historic preservation is based on the premise that the past, present, and future have a continuity that is essential to the health of our society.”

Oh, that’s from the School of the Art Institute itself. Which offers a Master of Science in Historic Preservation. Couldn’t save the old Goodman.

The new Goodman, stands at 170 North Dearborn Street. (Complete with very tacky “Grand” staircase.) I know, I know, the offices are much better for the staff and the acoustics are better and there’s more flyspace. But I never saw a play at the fine old Goodman and said to myself, “Gosh, I wish they had more flyspace.” It was a classy place to listen to serious writing. Seems there’s no place for that anymore. And I always wondered, because the acoustics were bad, did that make you listen harder, and help you have the deep experiences so many of us had there?
-Edwardo