Upcoming Theatre

Kimberly Katz

Kimberly Katz

Tuesday, 08 January 2008 00:00

Happy New Year!

Geoff Tate and Kim KatzWell, 2007 flew by and had lots of amazing developments for us here at Buzz, including our brand new partnership with NBC5.com’s “Chi Town After Dark”. The New Year always makes me wonder what the numbers mean so I looked it up and it turns out the number seven is the number of investigation...

Tuesday, 05 February 2008 00:00

Happy Valentine’s Day?

Louie AndersonI used to love Valentine’s Day. I remember in grade school buying boxes of those cute little cards and candies that said “ I Love You” and “U R the 1” and excitedly giving them to everyone in my class, including the girls. I always got at least as many as I handed out and felt a little sorry for the kids who only got one or two...

Tuesday, 11 March 2008 01:00

Happy Birthday to Me

Jamie KilsteinWow! What is it about my birthday (March 5th) that brings up such conflicting emotions for me? Even more than New Year’s, birthdays make me feel that I must take stock of my life and somehow give it thumbs up or thumbs down and make life-changing resolutions to affect my future...

Monday, 07 April 2008 01:00

Assault with a deadly cellphone

Kim Katz and Colin Quinn Photo

Since its invention, the telephone has always been a favorite way for lovers to connect. How exciting it must have been for couples to stop relying on mail carriers whose message took days or weeks to arrive, or the telegraph, which delivered your brief but urgent message dictated through the chilly third person of a telegraph operator - I love you - stop - see you in New York - stop - kisses and hugs - stop.

Monday, 09 June 2008 01:00

I can't dream about you

Dreams are funny things. It is a universal fact of life that every night all human beings lay down to sleep and dream.

During sleep your soul is free to roam the planet and visit places and people that your waking life won't allow.

I think my dream weaver is on the fritz because I just can't dream the things I want to! For years I was actually afraid to dream because nightmares about work and people I loved would make me wake up more tired and upset than when I went to bed.

Friday, 08 August 2008 01:00

Kevin Costner to the rescue!


Kim Katz with Kevin Costner at the House of Blues in ChicagoLast month my column was about the lame quality of my dreams at night and how I seem to be unable to dream about anything with more than a PG-13 rating. Well, this month I get to write about a dream that came true, literally.
Sunday, 21 September 2008 19:00

The Marrying Kind in Sin City

Las Vegas is such a sexy town. Between the hot dry desert nights filled with dazzling lights, sensual performers and sparkling, sun kissed days one can’t help but feel extra sexy cruising around there. But I have a confession to make: In all the times I’ve visited Vegas, I have never sinned in Sin City.

I’m single and each time I go to Vegas to work or vacation, I pack a “just in case” bag with new lingerie, a disposable toothbrush and scented travel candles. I have always ended up using the candles alone in bubble baths in my hotel suite and when I get back to Chicago I sigh deeply and unpack the lingerie, brand new, yet again. I asked a friend why he thinks I have been “sin- free” for the last few years and he said, “It’s because you are the marrying kind. A man falls for you and wants it all or nothing.” Well, if that’s true, it sucks to be me, cause as far as I’m concerned a taste of honey is not worse than none at all, it’s a taste, by gum and I’m starving!

Kim Katz and Amazing Johnathan

It’s ironic because although I am a serial monogamist and my last two relationships lasted almost ten years apiece, I have never dreamed of being married. As a little girl I never dreamed of my wedding or a fluffy white dress. The whole process of getting married seemed the very antithesis of romance. I dreamed only of the honeymoon, of an ultra romantic trip to an exotic island with my man still in the first flush of new love. As Gauguin said, “Over there in the silence of tropical nights I will be able to listen to the soft music whispering the motions from my heart.”

Since time is ticking away, and I really want my mom to be well enough to attend the party, I’m going to give prospective beaus a little heads up on what I’m looking for. The first essential element that attracts me can only be described as chemistry. Chemistry to me is when you literally can’t take your eyes or your hands off each other. You laugh easily because you get each other’s sense of humor. You feel like they could play some Cole Porter and you’d be able to dance with this person like Fred and Ginger. Deeper than love at first sight, it’s a sense of instant recognition, a familiarity not of this world. You think- this is one of my kind, a kindred spirit. You feel that you have been both launched into the atmosphere and placed firmly on the ground of your own creative potential. It’s like the first day of college and there are all these exciting new courses to explore. It’s like when two friendly doggies meet in the park and do that silent wrestling, neck-biting thing, rolling over and over in the grass. Chemistry insures much exciting conversation, my favorite aphrodisiac. Chemistry is joyfully instantaneous, and requires no effort. It can’t be hidden cause it’s written all over your face and it can’t be manufactured. If it’s there, the sky’s the limit. If it’s not, there won’t even be a first date.

My kind of lover is assertive and ambitious like me, with lots he still wants to achieve. I admit, I’m pretty impatient when that old black magic is in play, especially after four years on the sidelines, so if you feel it too- please be a straight shooter! Don’t drag your feet or be wishy-washy and incommunicative. At this age, honey, we all have baggage and complications to work out but I need bold, direct contact. If you ring the bell, baby, deliver the pizza, don’t just run away scared when I answer or I’ll lose respect for you and interest in the whole affair.

You can always win me back with flowers, water and surprises. If there is water on our date, whether we eat near it, swim in it, or sail on it, I’ll be a happy camper. I love gallant, romantic surprises, but there is a difference between a surprise and an emergency. A happy surprise is when he calls and says he is taking you to Hawaii next month. But if he calls and says pack and be at the airport, we are going to Hawaii tonight, that’s not a surprise, it’s a fire drill!

This last trip to Vegas was no exception as yet another promising romance misfired, but as I strolled past the wedding chapels in each hotel and saw tuxedo and gown wearing families happily hugging or laughing, drunken, bachelorette parties wandering the hotels wearing veils and penis shaped balloon hats, I had a new idea about marriage. I realized the wedding isn’t for you so much as it is a celebration for your family and friends. It reassures them that you really have someone special to grow with. It makes me sad that so many of my close family members are gone now that my wedding guest list probably wouldn’t exceed a dozen people. My first two relationships lasted longer than many marriages; they were faithful, creatively productive, caring alliances and deserved to be celebrated at the time. The next time I fall in love, we may not get married, but we will have a wedding party and a honeymoon- but not in that order!

Amazing Johnathan – Magically funny!

Okay maybe romance fizzled for me in Vegas but friendships blossomed when I met Jon and Penny of the show Amazing Johnathan at The Harmon Theatre. They are two of the coolest, sweetest people I’ve met in Vegas. Not only did they give me a very funny interview for my show, “The Greenroom”, but they also played a mean game of water volleyball at Carrot Top’s house that filled my day with laughter and joy. Check it out now at www.Buzznews.TV.
 
It’s “A Katz Life” so get in on the action TV Producers!

My good friend, writer Sue Allor, has created a wonderful reality show concept about my glamorous and sometimes not so glam life writing in Chicago, caring for my mom, and my work interviewing and writing about celebrities. It’s called “A Katz Life” and we really need help getting it on a good channel like A & E, WE, Bravo or IFC. We are looking for Executive Producers to help us direct the pilot episode. Do you know somebody who knows somebody in the biz who might want to invest his or her time in this awesome project? Ask and we shall receive -we hope! So send us an email or call Buzz at (708) 485-9390 and get in on the ground floor!

“O” that “Thunder from Down Under”!


Also in this special Vegas issue, check out my reviews of two very sexy, sensual yet classy shows ”O” from Cirque De Soleil at the Bellagio and “Thunder from Down Under” at Excalibur. I highly recommend them both to get you in the mood for lovin’ while on vacay’ in Vegas.

Love ya Kit Cats! Keep scratching and meowing!
Kim Katz

 

Am I the only person who cries during Beauty and the Beast?

Not when Belle and the Beast get together - but when Belle trades her life to save her quirky, inventor father from the Beast’s cold dungeon. I just love this story for little girls. Of all the popular fairy tales offering up Princesses saved by the handsome Prince to young people today, only Beauty and the beast extols the virtues of being a common girl with more book-loving brains that the common folk can stand to appreciate.

 

I loved seeing all the little girls in the audience thrilling to this colorful and lavish production that really encourages them to be courageous and unique and not settle for either the macho town cutie in Gaston or the brutish untransformed Beast that is unable to express his love for her in a considerate, loving way.

 

Liz Shivener, as Belle, was lovely in the role with just the right amount of imperious defiance. Justin Glaser, as the Beast had a nice stage presence but seemed a little too nice and not quite princely enough to make us want him to win Belle.

 

He had some tough competition from Nathaniel Hackman who really stole the show with his very funny, sexy Gaston, the town bully. Hackman, who has solid physical comedy skills under his belt also has a standout singing voice and is definitely a musical theater star in the making.

 

All of the supporting characters, were quite funny, and warmly played, particularly Sabina Petra's Mrs. Potts.  Some of the great ensemble dance numbers like “Be Our Guest” literally exploded into the excited young audience with canons shooting metallic streamers.  You really can’t miss by taking your kids to see this lavish magical and uplifting production of a classic fairy tale about a smart young girl whose true beauty comes from her brains and deeply unselfish loving nature.

It is a chilly Irish seaside town, he loves her, and   she loves him but he drives her away with his chilly intellectual life view and marries a more compliant version of her, and she marries a more life loving but less intelligent version of him. Forty years later he is told he only has a few months to live and tries to mend and make sense of the life he chose.

 

The casting of “A life” is absolutely perfect with John Mahoney turning in another razor sharp portrayal of an Irish mind fraught with both pride and regret in the character Desmond Drumm.  Linda Kimbrough plays Mary, the woman he should have married and allowed to conquer his fears with a feisty, uncompromising intelligence.

 

The entire cast was wonderful. I was especially impressed with the “young Mary” and Desmond portrayed by Matt Schwader and Melanie Keller. They not only looked like a young Mahoney and Kimbrough, you really got the sense, as is crucial to the play that you were indeed actually watching a flashback from their lives forty years prior.

 

My only suggestion is to slow down the pace of the first act. The rapid fire pace is hard to keep up with and took away a little bit of the sense that one is eavesdropping on a small town rap session that I so enjoyed later on in the show.

 

As always, John Mahoney’s work is a pleasure to watch and anchors the show with a gritty realism that only he can deliver.

 

 

"A Life" is playing at Northlight Theatre through April 25th. For more information, visit www.northlight.org.

 

Phillip R. Smith and Allison Torem star in Lookingglass' "Trust" directed by David Schwimmer and Heidi Stillman

When you enter the lobby of Lookingglass Theater to see the play “Trust” which details the rape of a 14 year old girl by an internet pedophile, you will see a table set up by Rape Victim Advocates to provide information and support after the show.  The startling statistics they provide, including the fact that 13 percent of teenagers reported receiving an unwanted sexual solicitation online each year and that one in three children admit they considered meeting face to face with someone they met on the internet indicate what an important cautionary message this play is trying to convey. 

 

Co- writers David Schwimmer and Andy Bellin (co-directed by Schwimmer and Heidi Stillman) all did a great job of bringing the script to the stage, which is also now being completed as a feature film starring Clive Owen. 

 

I was extremely impressed by the use of photography and video screens to dress the stage. A picture really is worth a thousand words when you see the safe, colorful and intimate confines of a girl’s upper middle class bedroom change to depict the various portions of the rape kit used to examine her in the hospital. 

 

I also liked the way the constantly changing background images of familiar locales, including O’Hare airport, Old Orchard shopping mall, and other recognizable locations give the play a modern immediacy. The screen of her brand new Mac Pro is shown as she receives instant messages from the predator online, which effectively convey the fast paced world we live in today, that looks so safe, warm and cozy but in actuality is exposing young people to far more stimulation and encroachments on their privacy and safety than a parent would like to admit. 

 

Allison Torem gives a strong and subtly nuanced performance portraying Annie, the slightly awkward, sensitive, once spunky soccer-playing child who is seduced bit by bit and ultimately has difficulty even realizing that she was raped by a serial pedophile. 

 

Phillip R. Smith, who plays her father Will also gives a strong performance culminating in his anguished, gut wrenching cry of “Something… happened!” to his son returning from college unaware of what has transpired.  Smith’s characters’ disintegration into anger and depression displays sharply how parents and eventually the whole family unit are slowly destroyed by a crime like this. Also how the family unit and even investigators burned out by the ultimately futile search- as is true in many cases- for the criminal and the resulting extension of feelings of corrosive guilt to everyone involved. 

 

“Trust” is an important play, not just for young people and their parents who need to be reminded how easily this kind of crime can occur but also for anyone who has been the victim of a sex crime or molestation because it does a wonderful job of showing that rape is rape, even if you were manipulated into participating in the crime. Perhaps, especially so, because the play demonstrates so effectively that the feeling of “I allowed this… it was my fault.” is an insidious virus given by the perpetrator that causes a victim and their family to spiral downward into dark prisons of guilt and accusation long after the crime has been committed. 

 

Kudos to David Schwimmer, a long standing proponent of Rape Advocacy for using his star power and time and effort to bring attention and illumination to such an important and difficult issue. In fact, Lookingglass’ production of “Trust” has teamed up with the Rape Victim Advocates in which a member will be available after each performance to inform those interested on sexual crime prevention and coping. For more information on their wonderful organization, visit www.rapevictimadvocate.org

 

For many years I have written about and feared the upcoming tsunami of child molestation and rape that the internet has made possible to pedophiles and am very impressed that David Schwimmer has had the guts to go out on a limb and create a vehicle to convey this.  I highly recommend seeing “Trust” and hope that in time it will become required viewing for grade school students aged 11 and up. “Trust” is playing at Lookingglass Theatre through April 25th.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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