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Make graceful and lasting change

Reckoning and Cook County Social Club

Cindy Tonkin - August 6, 2008

3 shows tonight. Saw the Frank Hayes Four (there were 3 of them this week, 2 last week…. So the numbers are deceiving). They were having a good time and I enjoyed watching them play around. The cast of three included 1 woman.
Then the Cook County Social Club (4 men). Also fun, and a little more “soul” than the Saturday night guys. They did a few in jokes (one of the characters had been to a corporate improv class). Sure crowd pleaser when every improv student gets in free to those shows. There were probably 20 people in the 100 person or so cabaret theatre who chuckled..
Both teams did around 45 minutes of improvising, no real structure, 2 or 3 recurring stories. Or maybe it was a Harold, without an opening as such, and with scenes continuing in the more “echoing” way that Jet has been teaching us, and I wasn’t seeing it.
It is certain that there is an indefinable element of “soul” that makes me want to see more of a show or not. Jet claims you can judge a show by the amount of love and grace in their opening scenes, by the quality of their scene pictures, whether they are aware of each other. Maybe so!
Now I’m on the way home from the Reckoning’s “experimental” show. They again sought a format from students. This one they called “That Guy” – describing a character and his environment and then a series of scenes with people connected to the character, ending where it began.
They didn’t quite do what the idea’s originator asked for, but it was a satisfying show.
Jet is in the Reckoning, and her range of characters is reasonably narrow (based on 3 shows I have seen her in). But her characters are consistent, consistently strange and oddly compelling.
There were 5 (2 women) in the Reckoning show tonight and it was a full house in the Del Close theatre.

Featured in tonight’s show was a bad smell, and one of them has just boarded the bus. This has happened twice in the 3 weeks I have been taking the bus. With the extreme heat and some homeless people I suppose it’s inevitable.

So closing off the nose and the blog.

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