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Theater Thu Dec 31 2015
I think I'll take the plunge and write the last post on Gapers Block before it goes on hiatus in an hour or so. I've been A/C page editor for a year and theater/arts writer for almost three years. Shorter tenure than many of the veteran GB writers, but I have written 284 posts during that time. I'm going to miss Gapers Block very much. It has been invigorating intellectually and emotionally to have a place to write regularly about the arts I love--theater, art, design, architecture, sometimes books or music.
My first post was in May 2013 for the Book Club page. It was a feature on Richard Hell, the punk rock performer of the '70s, best known for his "Please Kill Me" shirt. He talked, answered questions and signed copies of his new book (I Dreamed I Was a Very Clean Tramp) at the Book Cellar on Lincoln Avenue and I felt fortunate to see the bass player and singer with the Voidoids, Television and the Heartbreakers. The fact that the Book Club editor let me write a feature about him made it even more rewarding.
And I want to thank Andrew Huff and LaShawn Williams, former A/C editor, for helping me learn the ropes of writing for GB and using our creaky content management system.
My GB articles have been mostly theater reviews--I have made an effort to cover a lot of smaller, storefront theaters because they don't always get the visibility they deserve. But i've also written about productions at the larger Equity houses. Writing about theater and working to become a better reviewer and critic have been my constant goals.
I have also written on many other arts subjects. My last article was a review of the Pop Art Design exhibit at the MCA, posted a few days ago.
We have also had an amazing array of other writers on the A/C page. Nicole Lane is an artist and an arts journalist who writes interesting interviews with artists and reviews of exhibits beyond the mainstream. Adam Morgan is a fine theater and literary reviewer. Kim Campbell loves to write about circuses, puppets and many offbeat art forms. Jeanne Newman often takes a skewed personal perspective (when the production demands it) and she also likes to write about food. Her article on Chicago's Italian beef tradition received many comments. Miriam Finder has written about dance with skill and feeling. Sarah Brooks, the Transmission editor, has also written about theater and other A/C topics. Steve Prokopy can be depended upon to give a zing to his film reviews.
Those writers plus Emma Terhaar from Book Club and eight to ten other GB writers are joining me in creating a new website to cover Chicago arts and culture, which, of course, includes food. Our new website, Third Coast Review, should launch officially in about 10 days. It won't be Gapers Block, and it can never replace Gapers Block, but we'll cover our part of Chicago with as much love, passion and crankiness as we did while writing right here. So bye bye, Gapers Block, it's been fun and I wish it could have lasted longer. But nothing lasts forever, or so I'm told.