“Jane Beachy’s new venture at Beauty Bar joins a growing slate of salons in saloons.
‘I’d really like this to be an incubator that’s free of all the formalities and pressures of a full production,’ Jane Beachy says of SALONATHON, the new weekly arts series she launched last month at Beauty Bar.
In its first month, the Monday-night series, which Beachy produces and hosts, has featured acts ranging from eccentric performance unit DoubleDJ (a.k.a. theater artists Dan Stermer, Donnell Williams and Jessica Hudson) to peculiar bouffon troupe Les Enfants Terrible to playwright Ike Holter reading from his work-in-progress Hit the Wall, set to premiere next year as part of Steppenwolf’s Garage Rep.
One recent evening was given over to a slate of Chicago Underground Film Festival artistic director Bryan Wendorf’s favorite shorts, while the most recent SALONATHON had performance-scene gadabouts Jyldo and DJ BoyWonder hosting a hip-hop square-dancing party. Other participants, Beachy says, have included ‘my roommate, a couple of guys who work at a restaurant with a friend, and a variety of other folks who in no way have a regular performance persona.’
Beachy, who served until recently as the marketing director for About Face Theatre, says ‘there are so, so many performers in Chicago devising small pieces for their basements, attics, backyards, what-have-you.… SALONATHON is an attempt to give those pieces a home.’
Starting this week, the evening adds a new regular feature called ‘If You See Something, Say Something,’ collecting stories and reenactments of CTA moments. ‘These can be portrayed by actors that we’ll have on hand, or people can submit their own performances as well,’ Beachy says. (Submissions and other performance proposals can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.)
Though its DJ-fueled club aesthetic sets it apart, SALONATHON joins a growing menu of regularly scheduled performance samplers.”