Neutrino Project returns


Well, it's been lurking up there on the calendar for a few weeks now, but I finally got the poster done, which seems like a good excuse to formally talk about the show. To wit, the Neutrino Project is back!

If you're a new FuzzyCo reader, the Neutrino Project is a unique film-theater hybrid: we create an entire movie while the audience is watching it. That's cool if you want to take a moment to wrap your head around that -- it blew my mind at first, too. The show was created by Neutrino in NYC and Shaun and I were the first outside group to ask them if we could develop the show in our own city, back in 2002. There are now versions of the show in Seattle and Washington, DC, too.

It's been a year and a half since we've done a run of the Neutrino Project in Chicago, and that run at the Three Penny Cinema was, frankly, a little rough. At the start of the run we overlapped with the Cubs play-offs appearance and at the end of the run we had problems getting paid by the Three Penny management. (Actually, we've never been paid. Fie on them, I say.) So that put us off the show for a while. But over the interval, I went to the Edinburgh Festival with the NY Neutrino, we took the show to Toronto Second City, and teamed up with the Seattle Neutrino Project to do the show at the Phoenix Improv Festival. All of which kept reminding us how much we enjoyed doing the show.

So Shaun has been on the prowl for a venue for a while and recently got us hooked up with the Improv Kitchen (3419 N Clark). The Improv Kitchen does an interesting short-form show with green-screen work, but the big attraction for us was that they have a full video set-up backstage and a big plasma screen at every table. No more setting up a projector and screen minutes before the show!

A big change for this run is that we brought in an outside director. Well, outside as in "outside of Shaun and I" as we've both directed the show in past runs. Lillian Frances has been an actor in previous runs of the Neutrino Project, but is an accomplished and acclaimed director and she and we all leapt at the chance to have her direct the show. Greg Inda, whose been integral to the show from the beginning as our tech manager is now also the assistant director. Looking back, I think we spent a lot of time in past runs on getting the show to work, and now Lillie is really making us all think about how to make the show work well.

There are a few new faces on the cast as well as plenty of old hands (alphabetical by first name, since that's how it comes out of my email program): Adam Devlin-Brown, Alison Mayer, Andrea Swanson, Ben Taylor (musical director), Bob Ladewig, Brian Goodman, Cesar Jaime, Chad Reinhart, Erica Reid, Fuzzy Gerdes, Jacqueline Stone, Jin Kim, Josh Chamberlin, Megan Diemer, Michael Starcevich, Patrick Brennan, Rebecca Hanson, Sean Cusick, and Shaun Himmerick.

The show will play Friday nights in August and September at 9 PM. The Improv Kitchen has a full bar and (of course) kitchen, but there's no two-drink-minimum or anything -- you can just come and watch the show if you want. But the food's really yummy...

Other exciting Neutrino Project news is that we'll be book-ending our Chicago run with trips up to Ann Arbor to Neutrino-alums Dan and Trish Izzo's Improv Inferno. I've been trying to get up there since it opened (and I have a computer to give back to Dan) so it's nice to be forced to go up and do a show.

We're halfway through our rehearsal process now and Shaun and I have been taking a few Behind the Scenes shots. Unfortunately, during the active part of rehearsal, we're usually too busy to take any pictures. So most of our shots are of people sitting on couches watching a TV or listening to Lillie give notes.

Like this.

Jin burger head
Adam hungers for Jin's head-burger

Over Adam's shoulder
Adam films Bob and Erica