Monthly Archives: May 2016

Fabulous! Paris je t’aime (Paris I Love You) at La Nouvelle Eve (May 5, 2016)

La Nouvelle Eve presents Paris je t’aime which translates to English as Paris, I love you. It truly is a love letter to Paris. The show begins with a fantastic cabaret dance with beautiful costumes.  Both the women and men are extraordinarily talented. A few of the women slide into splits and the crowd cheers. Then, one of the men slams down to a full split and the audience is amazed.

The performance continues as the dancers clear the stage and a pair of jugglers come on to the stage.   For their greatest trick, they invite an audience member on stage. The unknowing volunteer is from Australia.  The crowd is geographically diverse as there are people from New Zealand, USA, Turkey, and the UK in the audience. They sit their new assistant down and put a pair of glasses on his face, a cigarette in his mouth, and a hat on his head. The jugglers proceed to juggle bowling pins back and forth to each other. They knock out the cigarette, then the hat, then the glasses with a pin that bumps him on the nose! The Aussie wasn’t very pleased with the “accidental bump” but he played along and the audience loved it! The jugglers were very charming and their entire performance was fun and entertaining.

Most of the songs are in French, but all the performers address the audience in English. After another amazing dance performance with even more fanciful costumes, the next entertainer on stage is an “acrobat”.  This whimsical and quirky entertainer impresses his audience by balancing on a bunch of cylinders on their side and standing on them. The cylinders are very wobbly and he looks like he is going to fall the entire time.  The audience is delighted!

One of the best parts of the night was the dancing contest. The lead singer invites three men on stage to teach them a dance move. After a brief lesson, they dance one at a time for about 20 seconds each. It’s hilarious as they try to perform the dance move and then just improvise.

This is a must-see, English friendly, Parisian show. The balance of comedy and dance is perfect. Get your tickets now!

Quinn Delaney

Ska in the UK! Less Than Jake at the Hippodrome (May 2, 2016)

It’s a Monday night in Kingston, just outside of London, and it is packed house. It is May Day after all! It’s a young crowd that quickly gets rowdy when they play “Johnny Quest Thinks We’re Sellouts”. A decent mosh pit forms up close to the stage. Also early on, the band pulls up a 15 year old kid on stage. They comment how they are too old to have his haircut and that he should be grateful he can have medium length hair now. They allow him to watch the rest of the concert from on the stage!

In the middle of the set, one of the lead singers asks the crowd if they are too old for a circle pit. They respond by launching a massive one during the next song. Less Than Jake may have been around 24 years but they still put on a fresh energetic show.  The talking between songs is one of the best parts of the show. “Don’t throw shoes! It chipped my tooth. However, if this is the cost to do what I love for a living, it’s still worth it!”

To close the night, they pay tribute to their hometown, Gainesville, FL, USA. They invite everyone to come to their Wake N Bake Weekend in September. Then, they rock out with “Gainesville Rock City”. The crowd sings along: “All my past mistakes and every misspent day. I wouldn’t have it any other way!” It’s a perfect ska song and sends the audience out onto the streets with smiles on their faces. Catch Less Than Jake on Warped Tour this summer!

Quinn Delaney

Laughed Till It Hurt! Faulty Towers Dining Experience at Charing Cross London (May 1, 2016)

The audience laughed so hard all night that everyone’s face hurt by the end of the experience. The performance started in a beautiful room with chandeliers, artful paintings on the wall, and a full bar. Basil enters and asks Manuel to clean the glasses. Manuel starts grabbing eyeglasses off the faces of people in the audience! The crowd erupts in laughter.   “Manuel!” shouts Basil. “Not those glasses! These glasses!” as he holds up an empty drink glass. Basil takes all the eyeglasses from Manuel. “Who has the Ray-Ban Sunglasses? You don’t need these, you are in London!” “Who has the designer glasses? I see you didn’t get a coat to match it!” “Who has the non-designer eye glasses? You can see the future with these!” Basil was fantastic all night with his quick improvisation!

Later on, in the dining room, Basil hands a plate of dinner rolls to Manuel. “Roll on the dinner plate,” he tells him. Manuel looks quite puzzled at first. He is from Barcelona and his English is not so good. He then figures it out and places the plate on the floor. He steps back and looks at the plate. The audience starts a loud drum roll on their tables. Manuel runs and does a somersault on the plate! The audience erupts in cheers and Manuel jumps around in glory! Manuel starts to repeat the process when Basil comes back to stop him. “I meant the bread rolls!” Manuel was fantastic playing the fool all night!

Sybil played the “straight man” perfectly and sharply contrasted the antics of the other two which made the whole performance funnier still. The experience truly did recreate the characters from the show expertly. Even the members of the crowd unfamiliar with the show had a fantastic time. This show is absolutely a must see! Get your tickets now!

Quinn Delaney

Review: The New Colony Presents Even Longer and Farther Away at The Den Theatre (April 29, 2016)

The audience sits at tables around the room, except for two tables in the middle.  These two tables and all the space in the room are used by the actors. It’s an immersive experience that feels like you are eavesdropping on the hiking group’s conversation. We soon learn that Elliot and his friend Roy are hiking the Appalachian Trail. It was Elliot’s father’s final wish that his ashes be scattered on the trail. Roy wants to spend a night at the lodge they have stumbled upon as a break from sleeping on the cold ground in the snow. Elliot dismisses him and acts like a jerk insisting they continue on. Then, Alexis (Elliot’s half-sister) and her boyfriend Jack arrive. Elliot is pissed and accuses them of stalking him. Elliot doesn’t seem to have any redeeming qualities.

The play’s characters don’t meld together very well. Some of them are very serious and make the play dramatic. Others are goofy and make the play a light hearted comedy. It switches back and forth too often. Thus, neither the drama nor the comedy gets very deep. Everything is just surface level. The New Colony had some really excellent productions this year, but this is not one of them. Even Longer and Farther Away runs through May 15th at the Den Theatre.

Quinn Delaney



Reggae Grooves! Maoli opening for J Boog at Chop Shop (April 29, 2016)

Maoli brought the sweet reggae rock grooves to Chicago. It may have been in the 40s and rainy outside, but inside it was 75 and sunny. The great sound was exemplified on “Rock Me Sober” and “No One”. The whole crowd swayed along and couples held each other close.

At the end of their set, they paid tribute to Prince with a cover of “Purple Rain”. They put their own twist on it by adding a reggae beat after the first verse. It was a fitting tribute showing that Prince even had influence on the reggae scene in Hawaii.  Maoli are a great fit with J Boog and it made a fantastic night of reggae music.

Quinn Delaney