Both 1985 and Hunky Dory say good bye tonight, as does the Factory Theater to its 2009 season. As of this writing- there were some seats still available- so if you are looking for an alternative to that lame holiday party you were thinking about hitting tonight, you just might be in luck. Click the ticketing link on the right of this blog and come on out!
Chas Vrba's original script deftly combines the eerie, mind-controlled state of George Orwell's 1984 with the eerie, mind-controlled state of Chicago during the 1985Bears season run in this down-home, funny and thoroughly enjoyable production. Do yourself a favor and watch 1984 on Netflix before coming to the show -- at times the parody is shot-for-shot and line-for-line, with hilarious results.
Vrba not only wrote the script but portrays the lead character, Winston, with an Andy Richter-like boyishness that amps up the irony in the piece. With an outstanding supporting cast that includes Scott Oken as O'Brien, Ernie Deak as George Halas (aka Papa Bear), and Laura McKenzie as Julia, an evening spent watching 1985 is the perfect antidote to the onset of Chicago winter with it's bewilderingly early sunsets (4:20pm!), the forced gaiety of the holidays, and the Bears' current season.
Every detail is designed to transport the audience back 25 years, from the soundtrack -- featuring the likes of Wham and Howard Jones, to the hairdos and the fierce sports rivalries that will always define Chicago. The Factory's Elston Avenue ambiance and industrial rolling metal door that separates the theater space from the lobby adds to the experience of stepping into an alternate, Orwellian universe.
This is theater you can bring your husband to; my own theater-eschewing spouse, who has said things to me on the subject like: "I find theater extremely embarrassing," laughed as hard as anyone else in the audience, and spent the rest of the evening quoting favorite lines from the show. The Factory has been getting a lot of attention for this production, and for good reason -- I've seen a number of Factory shows and this is hands-down the best one so far.
Catch this show before it becomes a memory as distant as a Bears championship. Shows on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays through December 19th. For tickets and information call (866) 811-4111 or visit The Factory Theater.