Skip to main content
  1. AXS Entertainment
  2. Arts & Entertainment
  3. Performing Arts

The Ruffians Light up the stage in 'Burning Bluebeard' Theatre Wit

See also

Burning Bluebeard, Theatre

Rating:
Star4
Star
Star
Star
Star

Commedia Del Arte comes to life onstage, performed by the Ruffians, an amazing theatre collective who brings to Chicago audiences, the emotional revival of "Burning Bluebeard," the original matinee performance during the tragic fire at the Iroquois Theatre, downtown Chicago, on December 30, 1903. Theatre Wit allows for a larger space, with colorful acrobatics, choreography and physical acting. In a panel following the show I attended, the entire cast shared some of their experiences as a cohesive, talented ensemble. "Our abilities have gotten stronger...we've developed both in character and in a physical sense." Playwright Jay Torrence shared that "writing happens in the process of rehearsing." He did a ton of research on this horrific tragedy in Chicago theatre history, and miraculously created a show with magic, clowns, humor and joy. Eddie Foy, the star of the era, vaudeville comedian extraordinaire, impeccably played by Ryan Walters, was considered the heroic figure of the tragedy. He went on to pursue comedy, as the fire's few survivors praised and loved him. The mimes in Burning Bluebeard work from a pure physical sense, revealing how the the body is one's expressive language, a quiet yet strong presence. The show stopping magical fire dance also came from improvisation, a precise art form. The show is a true medieval entertainment extravaganza, with pantomimes performed by courtesans, clowns, and fairie queens. The entire cast is full of energy and verve, as they sensitively pay homage to this tragic event. Reminiscent of NYC's historic Triangle Fire, the fire at the Iroquois Theatre, is a tragic case, where people, mostly children, were in the midst of a performance, as the theatre's doors sealed shut. The show brought to mind last year's tragedy at Newtown, with innocent children's lives jeopardized and lost. Children are our most important commodity we have in life; there is not a worse tragedy than loss of children. "Burning Bluebeard" holds a poignant message, especially at the holiday season and start of the new year, when family is accented and relationships are near and dear.

"Burning Bluebeard" Theatre Wit 1229 W. Belmont

Through Jan. 5th

(773) 975-8150 theaterewit.org

Advertisement

Today's top buzz...

  • Mariah Carey
    Mariah Carey requires kittens before a show, but that's not the strangest celebrity rider
    Music Buzz
  • Clayton Kershaw
    Watch Clayton Kershaw throw a ball at Jimmy Kimmel
    Video
    Today's Buzz
  • Jessie J
    Jessie J enlists Ariana Grande and Nicki Minaj for her new song 'Bang Bang'
    Music Buzz
  • Journey
    Journey and Steve Miller jam out at the Shoreline Amphitheater
    Camera
    16 Photos
  • Batman
    Batman and Robin Originals reveal comedy secrets at Comic-Con press conference
    Camera
    12 Photos
  • Metta World Peace
    Metta World Peace gets physical during the Venice Basketball League game
    Video
    Sports Buzz