OFFBEAT: Chicago Street Theatre bringing Shakepeare fun to Valpo park

Phil Potempa's daily entertainment news column
2013-07-12T00:00:00Z OFFBEAT: Chicago Street Theatre bringing Shakepeare fun to Valpo parkBy Philip Potempa, (219) 852-4327

Eric Brant of Chicago Street Theatre in Valparaiso has the ideal way to describe the theater company's new production dedicated to one of the favorite fun works from William Shakespeare.

"Seven actors playing 20 roles in CST's production of 'The Comedy of Errors' seems a lot like a 'Saturday Night Live' sketch," Brant said.

Brant suggests readers visit their web site at to check out a sample of what the cast has in mind, and also check a special video segment tease they created and uploaded on YouTube as a way for audiences to see what they have in mind for what he calls "their homage to SNL featuring the city of Valparaiso, our dining partners, and a special guest monologue by Valparaiso Mayor Jon Costas."

He said this year's Shakespeare in the Park production "The Comedy of Errors" will be "a little bit wilder and crazier," thanks to the creative adaptation by Sean Graney, the founder and former artistic director of The Hypocrites Theatre Company in Chicago.

Here are the performance details:

• 7 p.m. tonight, and 7 p.m. Saturday, outdoors at the new Central Park Plaza right in downtown Valparaiso just a block away from the courthouse, with the option of free admittance or paying for special reserved seating.

• Various performances and seating options priced at $25 during the indoor air conditioned run July 19-27 for performances at Chicago Street Theatre at 154 W. Chicago Street

As for the reserved VIP outdoor seating area in the Shakespeare in the Park Reserved Section, bring blankets or a fold up chair and have a great view of live art in a setting close to the stage. A purchased ticket includes an insulated wine tote and a tasting plate voucher. Arrivals can start at 6 p.m. with the performance at dusk (approximately 7:30 p.m.).

Ticket price range for the outdoor seating are:

• Adult: 1 spot on front lawn, insulated tote bag, 1 tasting plate voucher for $25

• Couple: 2 spots on front lawn, insulated tote bag, 2 tasting plate vouchers for $40

• Family: Spots for 2 adults and their children (18 and younger living in the same household), insulated tote bag, 2 tasting plate vouchers for $50.

Call the box office at (219) 464-1636, Ext. 1 for tickets or buy them online at

Brant said costumer JoBeth Cruz is one of the most talented and creative designers that CST has had the pleasure to work with.

"Sometimes costumes are very obvious due to the time period being created, as they are for our production of 'Comedy of Errors,' Cruz said.

"We've set it as Vaudeville 1895. What would you expect to see on the vaudeville stage? A strong man, a band leader, straight men, comedians, a ringmaster, a barker, beautiful women, and all bigger than life."

Brant said this weekend's outdoor dining tent features specialty menu favorites from Bon Femme, Pikk's, Martinis, Don Quijote, El Salto, and Industrial Revolution.

"To save $5, audience members can join our text club by texting SHAKES to 24587," Brant said, reminding there's only space for 100 people the outdoor reserved section.

He said there's also a family area featuring kid's games and activities by Perpetual Motion and inflatables by Bounce N' Around, along with Nana Claire's Kitchen and Valpo Velvet Ice Cream to round out the delicious offerings.

The opinions expressed are solely those of the writer. He can be reached at or (219) 852-4327.

Copyright 2014 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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