OFF BEAT

OFFBEAT: Final week for LiveWire Chicago Theatre's look at workplace 'right hands' in 'Assistance'

Phil Potempa's daily entertainment news column
2014-03-08T00:00:00Z OFFBEAT: Final week for LiveWire Chicago Theatre's look at workplace 'right hands' in 'Assistance'By Philip Potempa philip.potempa@nwi.com, (219) 852-4327 nwitimes.com

The thought of having a "personal assistant" sounds like a "dream come true" for many.

But having to work as a personal assistant can be a nightmare.

LiveWire Chicago Theatre, in association with the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, kicked off its 2013-14 season with the Chicago premiere of the comedy "Assistance," by Leslye Headland, directed by LiveWire Executive Director Joshua Aaron Weinstein, running through next weekend to close March 16, 2014 at The DCASE Storefront Theater, 66 E. Randolph St. in Chicago.

The production features Brian E. Crawford, Krista D'Agostino, Lauren Fisher, Matthew Nerber, John Taflan and Hilary Williams.

"Assistance" poses the question: if your job is so mind-numbing why do you keep coming back?

When Nora, an awkward young woman, takes a job as one of Daniel Weisinger's assistants, she and her fellow co-workers quickly learn that there is a heavy cost to being successful in the business. Executing completely pointless tasks everyday can either drive you to run from your desk in tears, or make you laugh at the absurdity of your actions.

The production team for "Assistance" includes: Anders Jacobson and Judy Radovsky (scenic designers), Rachel Parent (costume designer), Eric Branson (lighting designer), Stephen Ptacek (sound designer), Vivian Knouse (properties designer), Michael Trudeau (technical director), Christina Lepri (production Manager) and Caitlin O'Rourke (stage manager).

Leslye Headland, the playwright, is also a filmmaker living in New York and classifies "Assistance" as the "greed" play in her "Seven Deadly Plays" series.

The series includes "Reverb," "Cinephilia," "Surfer Girl," "The Accidental Blonde" and "Bachelorette."

Tickets are $15 or $12 for students and seniors at nickandnora.brownpapertickets.com or (312) 533-4666.

Chicago Cultural Center Presents is an ongoing performing arts series that showcases both emerging and established music, theater, dance and multi-disciplinary artists at the Chicago Cultural Center and other venues. Dedicated to capacity building in the arts, the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events hires the artists and provides performance space as well as technical and marketing support.

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

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

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