Tag Archives: #tyronfestivaltheatre

First Post – Buddy Guy

Krannert Center 50: ELLNORA – The Guitar Festival at the Tyron Festival Theatre

Written by Zhengqi Xu

The Buddy Guy is the second performance I ever watched at the Krannert Center. Usually I’m not quite interested in seeing any performances, but Buddy Guy was probably the one that drove me to get started.

The scene outside the Tyron Festival Theatre before the start of the performance

There seemed like hundreds of people in the Krannert Center when I walked in, and as a student who had only been to the building once, I felt really shocked by the comparison with my former experience. Before Buddy Guy, I came to Krannert Center once in the last semester to watch a drama where there were only a few people and the whole lobby was quite like a classroom. Anyway, I was not even sure I came to the right place when I walked into the Krannert Center again last Saturday. The I learned that the building was celebrating its 50 years so several events were hosted during the weekend. Buddy Guy was actually one of the performances included in The Ellnora Guitar Festival, an event featuring all kinds of guitar performances. Seeing all the crowds gathering inside the lobby, I suddenly became much more interested in the show I did not even pay attention when I heard the name of it.

The moment before the start of Buddy Guy inside the theatre with a fully loaded audience
Performers on the stage testing their instruments and other music facilities

I thought every theatre in the Krannert Center were exactly the same until I officially entered the Tyron Festival Theatre, where there were two floors and the stage was much smaller than the one I went for a drama. To be honest, it was hard for me to see the face of any performers on the stage from the place I sat, so I was concerned that the show wouldn’t reach the effect it was supposed to. However, things just turned out completely different when the music started. I wouldn’t say I’m a huge fan of Blues, but I must admit I began to enjoy the show from the beginning. The music was beautiful and I was pleased by the melody instead of all the talking by other people. Not only the performers played the music perfectly, but they also brought up something beyond my imagination of music performance. I was surprised when Buddy Guy was spinning his guitar, playing the guitar with a towel, and trying to make us think the facility was broken. All those factors Buddy Guy put into the show transformed the Blues performance in my experience from traditional to recreational, which had opened my mind that night with the guitar performance.

People leaning forward to see Buddy Guy walk around the theatre

The whole show was excellent towards the end, and I can’t help but enjoyed it that night. Just before the ending when I thought the music’s trend was getting peaceful, Buddy Guy brought another climax for us by walking off the stage and interacting directly with the audience. It was so sad to sit on the second floor because I was totally unable to see him interacting with the audience, but I felt that he surrounded the whole theatre on the first floor and walked back to the stage. Though I did not see him do that, but I did saw that the audience on the front was filming during the performance and their phones were pointing alongside Buddy Guy. I had a wonderful evening that day, and it could be the experience that would always stay in my memory of college life.

After all, I really appreciate that the FAA 110 could give me a chance to get in touch with such a beautiful field which I have little experience with, and I really look forward to learning more about art.

Crazy for a Break

“Crazy for you” was a show that never slowed down as soon as it began, and not in a great way.

By: Daniel Corry

A picture I snapped right when the first group was coming out for applause at the end. The set design was spectacular!

I have to be honest, “Crazy for you” was a bit of a disappointing show in my opinion. The story just seemed really dated, sexist, and quickly written. For starters, the “woman needing a man to rescue her” trope was painfully obvious here with the female lead singing the song titled, “Someone to watch over me”, which received a painful eye roll.

The story also just moved along at a crazy pace! First Polly does not need a man, then she falls in love with literally the first one who talks to her within an hour, then she gets mad at him and leaves him without even listening to him. The “villain” of this story only hates the main character because…they like the same woman? And then after awhile just kind of forgets that he loves her at all? And the “Ziegler” character, who hated our main character, and then is completely cool with that same character impersonating him in a small town for weeks, and then offers to completely fund the towns show on his own? The whole story just seemed very rushed and inconsistent.

And sadly, it wasn’t just the story that seemed underdone. The production seemed off as well. There were characters with speaking parts who simply weren’t mic’d up, the tap dancing sections sounded muffled, some of the actors would get so focused on dancing they would completely forget to smile and look in pain on stage, it was honestly a shame to see!

It wasn’t all bad however, the female lead truly did have a great voice and it was fun to watch her shine onstage. Similarly, there was one side character, “Moose” who really acted very well and put a lot of character into his role. You really heard the audience come to life whenever he was on the stage. And the pit orchestra really did outstanding as well.

While sadly, this was probably one of the highest budget shows I saw for this class, it also seemed one of the least produced, and I suppose it just goes to show that money does not specifically mean a show will do well.

A fun look from the other side

A friend of mine, Zoe Replinger who played one of the scientist’s in the show. It is always cool to watch a friend of yours be able to perform!

“Because I am your Queen” was a wonderful show that offered an in depth look of feminists throughout history.

By: Daniel Corry

“Because I am your Queen” was a really fun show about famous women in power such as Queen Elizabeth, Shakespeare’s Hermione, and Medea all together at a secret interstellar day spa. The spa is run by scientists who figured out how to get all these women in the same place through time. They develop a plan to change history by making each female lead more confident, but will only work if each woman learns and changes something about themselves before they leave the spa.

I know, the premise is a little out there, but honestly I really enjoyed that aspect of it. This is not some silly spin on an old story, or some throwaway plot devise, this is a completely original idea with a feminist educational aspect thrown in as well.

As a man, I obviously haven’t grown up surrounded by stories of how women are written off or looked down on, and the way this show educated it’s audience while also driving a unique plot and using multiple real women in history was just a very fun ride for me. The story was funny, sometimes self aware of it’s own zany-ness, and did a good job of speaking of topics such as space, time travel, the patriarchy, and ancient history without getting the audience lost or bored and I really counted that as a job well done!

This show was really a blast to see and I was very proud of the entire cast and crew that put it together!