CHICAGO – Lucky Plush Productions returns to Chicago’s Harris Theater in Millennium Park Thursday and Friday, April 26 and 27, with Tab Show, featuring two works – Rink Life and Curb Candy – that highlight the company’s signature blend of layered choreography, witty dialogue, and socially relevant storytelling.
Tab Show takes its name from an early 20th century short – or “tabloid” – version of a musical comedy, usually performed alongside other sampler-style entertainment as part of a traveling road show.
Tab Show opens with Rink Life, a dance theater work loosely inspired by classic roller rink culture, where people seamlessly move between anonymity and community, individual stylings and group dynamics, movement and song. The sound design is entirely generated by the performers and builds upon disparate fragments of information – partially overheard conversations, musical scales, and pop-song earworms. Rink Life builds upon Cadence, a work that Lucky Plush artistic director Julia Rhoads created for Hubbard Street Dance Chicago in 2017 with music collaborator Bethany Clearfield (Grant Park Chorus, Chicago Symphony Chorus, and the band Outertown).
The second act features Curb Candy, which includes re-mixed excerpts from Lucky Plush repertory presented in an entirely new work. Look for favorite moments from the Lucky Plush dance theater canon including Surrelium, Endplay and Punk Yankees, performed by Lucky Plush ensemble members Kara Brody, Michel Rodriguez Cintra, Elizabeth Luse, Rodolfo Sánchez Sarracino, Aaron R. White and Meghann Wilkinson. Guest performers Enid Smith, Jacinda Ratcliffe, and Ethan Kirschbaum join the company for this special performance.
Tab Show begins at 7:30 p.m. both nights. Tickets are $25-$70. The Harris Theater for Music and Dance is located at 205 E. Randolph St. in Chicago’s Millennium Park. Purchase tickets online at HarrisTheaterChicago.org, or call the Harris Theater Box Office,
Note: On Friday, April 27, in conjunction with Tab Show, Lucky Plush will host its annual benefit bash, PLUCKY LUSH 2018. Long-time friends and new fans of Lucky Plush will enjoy a pre-show cocktail (6:30-7:30 p.m.), performance (7:30-9 p.m.) and mingle with the artists in the Level 1 Lobby for heavy appetizers and bottomless drinks (9-11 p.m.) Tickets to PLUCKY LUSH 2018 are $150 and $200 and include the best seats for the show.
For tickets, visit pluckylush18.eventbrite.com or call Kim Goldman, Managing Director, Lucky Plush Productions, (917) 903-5783.
Rink Life is supported by a project grant from the Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation and production residency support from Door Kinetic Arts Festival (Bailey’s Harbor, WI).
Additional support for Lucky Plush’s 2017-18 season is provided by Arts Work Fund for Organizational Development, Grover Hermann Foundation, Alphawood Foundation, MacArthur Funds for Arts and Culture at the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, Martha Struthers Farley & Donald C. Farley Jr. Family Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, Illinois Arts Council Agency, The
Peter G. & Elizabeth Torosian Foundation, City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, Grosvenor Capital Management, L.P., Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, LinkedIn, and Melaleuca.
About Lucky Plush – Reinventing contemporary dance with humor and storytelling
Now in its 18th season, Lucky Plush Productions (luckyplush.com) is a Chicago-based dance theater company led by founder and artistic director Julia Rhoads and managing director Kim Goldman.
Lucky Plush is committed to provoking and supporting an immediacy of presence – a palpable liveness – shared by performers in real-time with audiences. A unique hybrid of high-level dance and theater, Lucky Plush’s work is well-known for carefully crafting dramatic and rhythmic arcs, pushing its artists to move beyond the predictable by earning the exciting slippage between – and surprising coherence of – pedestrian action, realistic dialogue, abstract choreography and humor. Though rigorously composed, much of the company’s work feels like it is generated spontaneously.
Since its founding in 2000, Lucky Plush has created 30 original dance-theater works including 12 evening-length productions. In addition to regularly performing in Chicago, the company has presented in over 40 US cities from Maine to Hawaii, and its international partners span from New Zealand to Cuba. Commissioners include the Harris Theater for Music and Dance, Krannert Center at the University of Illinois, Flynn Center for the Performing Arts (VT), Links Hall Chicago, Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center (MD) and Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago. Lucky Plush has also collaborated with Lookingglass Theatre, Redmoon, Walkabout Theater and M5. Most recently, Lucky Plush presented the world premiere Rooming House last fall at Steppenwolf’s 1700 Theatre, where it ran for three weeks with 12 sold out performances.
Lucky Plush Productions is the first and only dance company to receive the prestigious MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions, a recognition of the company’s exceptional creativity and impact. Other awards include creation, residency, and touring awards from National Endowment for the Arts, National Dance Project, and National Performance Network; exchange awards from the MacArthur Foundation International Connections Fund; a presentation award from MetLife Foundation; and an achievement award from the Lester and Hope Abelson Fund for the Performing Arts at The Chicago Community Trust.
Press features include the Boston Globe’s “10 Best Dance Performances of 2013,” Chicago Public Radio’s “Best of 2011”; the Chicago Reader’s “Best of Chicago 2010”; Time Out Chicago’s “The Decade’s 10 Best Original Dance Works”; the Chicago Tribune’s “Best of Dance 2008”; Chicago Sun Times’ “Lasting memories in Dance” for 2005 and 2007, and a Time Out Chicago cover story “5 reasons to love dance in Chicago,” among others.
Lucky Plush Productions is a Harris Theater for Music and Dance resident company.
Lucky Plush Productions Tab Show biographies
Julia Rhoads (founding artistic director) has created more than 25 original works for Lucky Plush, several of which have toured extensively throughout the U.S. Additional choreography credits include Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Steppenwolf Theatre, Lookingglass Theatre, Walkabout Theater, Redmoon and River North Dance Chicago, among others. Rhoads is the recipient of an Alpert Award in Dance, a fellowship from the Maggie Allesee National Center for Choreography, a Chicago Dancemakers Forum lab award, a Cliff Dwellers Foundation choreography award, two Illinois Arts Council choreography fellowships, a Jacob K. Javits fellowship for graduate studies, and a 2014 Fractured Atlas Arts Entrepreneurship Award for spearheading Creative Partners, an innovative nonprofit financial model shared by Lucky Plush Productions, Eighth Blackbird and Blair Thomas & Company. Rhoads is a former member of San Francisco Ballet and ensemble member of XSIGHT! Performance Group. She received her BA in History from Northwestern University, her MFA in Performance from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and she has taught in the dance and theater programs of several Chicago-area colleges and universities. She is currently a part-time lecturer and dance advisor at the University of Chicago’s Department of Theater and Performance Studies.
Kara Brody is in her second season with Lucky Plush Productions, where she joined the touring company of Trip the Light Fantastic: The Making of SuperStrip, and is an originating member of Rooming House. She is a native of Detroit, Michigan and graduated Summa Cum Laude from Wayne State University in 2016 with a BFA in Dance. As an undergraduate student, she performed works by Doug Varone, Dwight Rhoden, Trey McIntyre, Steffanie Batten Bland, and Ron de Jesus. In 2014, she was nationally recognized for her performance in Rhoden’s Hissy Fits by ACDA/Dance Magazine. Brody recently performed in Brendan Fernandez’s Art by Snapchat at the Museum of Contemporary Art. She is currently in a project with Khecari under the direction of Jonathan Meyer and Julia Antonick and is working with the Cambrians for their new project, Chicago Dances.
Michel Rodiriguez Cintra joined Lucky Plush as a touring member of The Better Half, and is an originating ensemble member for The Queue, Trip the Light Fantastic: The Making of SuperStrip, and Rooming House. Born in Havana, Cintra is a former principal member of Danza Contemporanea de Cuba, and also danced with Hedwig Dances, and Concert Dance Inc., and as a guest artist with Hubbard Street Dance Chicago. As a founding member and co-choreographer with The Cambrians, Michel was named one of Dance Magazine’s “25 To Watch” in 2014. Choreography credits include works for Hedwig Dances, one of which was a finalist in the A.W.A.R.D Show 2010, Visceral Dance Chicago’s Solus and Dance in the Parks, among others. Cintra was named one of “The Men of 2010” by Time Out Chicago, and is the recipient of the 2013 3Arts Award in Dance. In addition to being an ensemble member of Lucky Plush Productions. Cintra is an adjunct faculty member at Columbia College Chicago and has taught master classes nationally and internationally.
Elizabeth Luse is originally from Orlando, Fl and began dancing at The School of Performing Arts. She holds a B.S. in Ballet Performance from Indiana University where she studied with Leslie Peck, Violette Verdy, and Guoping Wang. Since moving to Chicago, Luse has danced with Winifred Haun and Dancers, Nomi Dance Company, Dance in the Parks, and Lyric Opera of Chicago. She has worked as a guest artist with Ballet Quad Cities, Madison Ballet, Ron de Jesus Dance, and Emily Stein Dance. In addition to performing, she has taught for Visceral Dance Center, The Actors Gymnasium, and is currently on faculty at the Joffrey Academy of Dance.
Rodolfo Sánchez Sarracino was born in Cuba where he graduated from the National School of Arts Instructors and studied at the University of Arts. He was a principal dancer with Danza Teatro Retazos from 2007-2016 during which time he toured internationally to Italy, Sweden, the U.K., the U.S., Uruguay and Argentina. He has danced in choreography by Isabel Bustos, Stéphane Boko, Miguel Azcue, Pepe Hevia, Venetia Stifler, among others. In addition to working with Lucky Plush, Sarrancino is a member of Concert Dance Incorporated.
Aaron R. White, a Chicago native, earned his MFA from New York University Tisch School of the Arts and his BFA from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, both in Dance Performance and Choreography. White’s performance experience includes the Sean Curran Company, Project 44, and Trainor Dance, along with a host of other choreographers primarily based in New York City. As a choreographer, he has created work with Opera Lafayette of Washington D.C, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s Theater Department, Dance Africa Pittsburg, and for a variety of summer programs. As a master instructor, he has taught at The American Dance Festival, New York University Tisch School of the Arts, Point Park University, Barnard College at Columbia University, University of Hawaii – Manoa, Towson University, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Gibney Dance and Dance New Amsterdam. Most recently, White participated in the prestigious SpringBoard Danse Montreal, which invites 120 dancers from 36+ countries to work with various international dance companies and choreographers. As a Reiki Master-Teacher, White wishes to be a beacon of Light to support others, illuminate fears, and facilitate healing through Reiki, education, dance, and dialogue.
Meghann Wilkinson has been an ensemble member with Lucky Plush Productions since 2004, where she has originated roles in Lulu Sleeps, Cinderbox 18, The Sky Hangs Down Too Close, Punk Yankees, The Better Half, Cinderbox 2.0, The Queue, Trip the Light Fantastic: The Making of SuperStrip and Rooming House, among others. She has also been a recurring ensemble member of The Arrow with The Neo-Futurists. She is a former company member of Mordine and Company and has performed in Chicago with Smith/Wymore Disappearing Acts and Peter Carpenter Performance Project. Wilkinson has been a guest teacher and choreographer for Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival, Cecchetti Council of America, and Evanston Dance Ensemble. She was Assistant Choreographer for Lookingglass Theatre’s The Great Fire and movement director for Walkabout Theater’s Crow. In 2016, she was a participant in Urban Bush Women’s Summer Leadership Institute and completed a certificate in Permaculture Design with Midwest Permaculture. Wilkinson has organized for the Chicago Seminar on Dance and Performance and the Society of Dance History Scholars. She has taught at Northwestern University, Dance Center Evanston, Thodos Dance Chicago, and Visceral Dance Chicago, as well as national and international master classes with Lucky Plush Productions. She is currently a part-time faculty member in the dance and theater programs at Columbia College Chicago.
Originally from Oakland, CA, Ethan Kirschbaum (guest performer) began his dance career as an apprentice with the Savage Jazz Dance Company while still in high school. Travelling to New York City to attend the Ailey School/Fordham University B.F.A. program, Kirschbaum graduated summa cum laude with departmental honors in dance performance. While in his junior year, he joined Hubbard Street 2, dancing and teaching workshops around the globe while concurrently completing his degree. He has performed with the Santa Fe Opera, and danced internationally including Canada, Mexico, Holland, Germany, Israel, Switzerland, Luxembourg, France, and Russia. In 2011, Ethan moved to Saarbrücken, Germany to dance with Donlon Dance Company at the Saarländisches Staatstheater under the direction of Marguerite Donlon. He is currently on faculty at the Lou Conte Dance Studio. After completing five seasons with River North Dance Chicago, Kirschbaum is a freelance artist performing at the Lyric Opera of Chicago, choreographing locally, and teaching nationally as a guest to dance studios and university programs alike.
Jacinda Ratcliffe (guest performer) graduated from Northwestern University with a BA in Dance and Psychology, then trained on scholarship at Lou Conte Dance Studio under Claire Bataille. She has received additional training through intensives at Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, San Francisco Conservatory of Dance, Washington School Of Ballet, and Ballet Híspanico. While living in Chicago, she danced as an apprentice with Project Bound Dance in addition to working freelance. Most recently, she performed in Frankenstein AI: A Monster Made By Many at Sundance Film Festival. She is currently based out of New York City.
Enid Smith (guest performer) earned her BFA in contemporary dance from the North Carolina School of the Arts. In New York City, she performed with Ivy Baldwin Dance, The Merce Cunningham Repertory Understudy Group, Anita Cheng Dance, and MAC Cosmetics among others. Since moving to the Chicago area in 2007, she has presented her own work under the name enidsmithdance, collaborated with The North Shore Choral Society and the artists of Articular Facet, and worked extensively with The Evanston Dance Ensemble and ede2. She can be seen in The Retreat: One Week with Khecari in June of 2018. She currently teaches advanced modern at Dovetail Studios and Dance Center Evanston and maintains a massage therapy practice.
Bethany Clearfield (music collaborator, Rink Life) earned a masters degree from the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama in Glasgow, then she returned home to Chicago to quickly become a fixture on the vibrant choral scene. Specializing in early and new music, Clearfield performs as both soloist and ensemble member with the Grant Park Chorus and Orchestra, Music of the Baroque, and the William Ferris Chorale, and is also a member of the Chicago Symphony Chorus. Clearfield also holds a jazz studies degree from Roosevelt University and remains in demand as a jazz, folk, and session singer, performing her original compositions with the band Outertown.