Review "Spectacle": Whimisical Frivolity Mania!

Spectacle 09: Last of My
Species The Fearless Songs of Laarna Cortaan

Redmoon Theatre at

Belmont Harbor
Chicago, Illinois

September 10, 2009

For just three more days, a chunk of Belmont Harbor will remain transformed
into the backdrop for Spectacle 09: Last of My Species The Fearless
Songs of Laarna Cortaan
. Redmoon’s very ambitious production is
put up in a public park between the bike path and the cruising rocks. Setting up
extensive lighting and sound equipment plus choreographing 60+ actors all within
a wide open space, Redmoon creates what is best described and named a SPECTACLE
for Chicago’s amusement.

Oversized big red shoe cut-outs, cymbal hats, seussical-type vehicles, it’s
hard for me to let go and just enjoy the whimsy. I’m always looking for the
point and some solid dialogue to engage me in a performance. (It’s why it takes
me at least two days to actually BE on vacation and why I didn’t love
Wall-E like the rest of the world!) Redmoon is always
about a frenzy of frivolous fun. Spectacle 09, in
particular, beckons the audience to escape from job pressures and the economy
for 75 minutes and remember our childhood delight pretending a cardboard cutout
was a playable violin. The last fifteen minutes were my favorite! A man and
woman dancing a courtship ritual, two stories off the ground. Ariel acrobatics
from a suspension ladder complete with long flowing drapes. Gorgeous!

Cancel your plans this weekend and go experience Spectacle
! Tickets are $15. I may not know you, but I’m pretty certain
you wouldn’t be doing anything as satisfying as Spectacle
at that price point. Here are some pointers to make your show
more enjoyable:

1. Do not sit on the bleachers! Even sitting on cute little Redmoon pads, the
bleachers are uncomfortable.

2. Arrive early with a blanket, wine and nibbles. Arrange a picnic area in
front of the bleachers.

3. Soak yourself in insect repellant. Although I really didn’t get bitten,
with the hordes of mosquitoes, I would have felt more secure if I knew I was

4. Let go! For 75 minutes forget that you hate your job, your life, your hair
and just let the frenzy of frivolous fun sweep over you!

My bleacher buddy Bill announced, “Best Redmoon production I’ve ever


Sipping champagne at Belmont Harbor watching the sailboats on a beautiful
September evening at dusk, this has to be my favorite pre-show drink ever! A
guest of one of the board members, I tried the almond infused champagne (smelled
great, too sweet) and settled into a nice Brut. Redmoon roped off the area
closest to the lake and brought in couches and comfy chairs as a pre-show
champagne and cheesecake fundraiser. Except for the moment when a jogger tried
to crash the soirée, the serenity of the hour was a perfect transition from work
to theatre.

Post show, we were introduced to a new BYOB Mexican tapas place: Chilam Belam
(3023 N. Broadway) at Steve’s suggestion. The name means an awakening of
consciousness and spirituality, it’s not the end, it’s a new cycle of naturalism
and peace. Love that! We were greeted by the owner and served by her brother.
The underground cozy nook of a place was packed out. Instead of waiting for a
table, we arranged ourselves around the bar and enjoyed five small plates from
guacamole to hanger steak. The food and service were stellar! The owner and her
brother checked on us numerous times to ensure our experience was optimal. So,
why then in a place harboring an awakening of spirituality and peace would I
cause my dinner companions to scurry home to shots of Pepto Bismal? Because
having eventually allowed myself to let go and feel the whimsy, by the end of
dinner, reality was back and I realized I still hate my hair. Life imitating
art. I became Spectacle 09: The Sequel.

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