“Spectacle 09” Theatre Review: A Frenzy of Frivolous Fun!

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 09! Tickets are $15. I may not know you, but I’m pretty certain you wouldn’t be doing anything as satisfying as Spectacle 09 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 repelling.

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 seen!”


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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