Tag Archives: TyPi

Profiles Theatre Brings the Curtain Down Permanently

~ by Ty Pi and Legendary Lew

Closed

Yesterday morning, we had published an article focusing on a group of activists in the Chicago theatre community taking action against Profiles Theatre, where decades of abuse had allegedly taken place. Later in the evening, the Chicago Tribune reported that Profiles is closing down, effective immediately.

Don’t underestimate the importance of this development. The closure–a result of pressure exerted through social media and direct action–has the beginnings of a movement.

As of today, Bill Cosby’s criminal case is ongoing. Abuse in Hollywood is ongoing. Abuse in the music industry is ongoing. God forbid, there are other theatre houses engaging in abuse and sexual assault in Chicago or anywhere else.

The Chicago theatre community, along with organizations such as Not In Our House, said to Profiles, “enough is enough.” The activists featured in the video below show that anyone can make an effective peaceful demonstration with a strong message. Profiles had to either drop Darrell W. Cox and Joe Jahraus or shut its doors.

And so, Profiles has decided to shut its doors. We support this decision.

However, the struggle does not end there. The fight for positive changes in the entertainment world continues. Physical abuse, sexual abuse and exploitation have no place in creating art that examines the human condition.

Art Activists Fight to End the Abuses at Profiles Theatre

~ by Ty Pi

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Profiles Theatre Windows of Shame (Photo taken by an anonymous tenant.)

On Thursday, June 9th, 2016, an explosive and lengthy article was released in The Chicago Reader. Written by Aimee Levitt and Christopher Piatt, the report details the abuses taking place at the famed Profiles Theatre. The alleged abuser is actor/artistic director Darrell W. Cox, with co-founder/artistic director Joe Jahraus allegedly complicit to these abuses.

The story has since been picked up by Jezebel, Playbill, The New York Times, and The Chicago Sun-Times.

The day the story went into print, a group of art activists, led by Emma Couling and Gaby Labotka, took action in front of Profiles Theatre, handing out copies of the damning article. Later that stormy night, Legendary Lew and I got to witness them put up multiple Chicago Reader front page covers and the full article on the windows of Profiles Theatre.

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Art activists in front of Profiles Theatre. “Whatever the Truth Requires” is the Profiles’ mission statement. (Photo taken by a supporter.)

In the video featured below, you’ll hear Couling, Labotka, and Anna Rose li-Epstein state why they were demonstrating.

You can also visit the activist site, Not In Our House, where their mission statement reads, “Join us as we lead a cultural shift to strengthen our collective experience by working together to protect and develop our artists, our theatres, and our Chicago Theatre Community.” The activists featured in the video are not affiliated with Not In Our House, but are acting independently.

 

 

R.I.P. Cult Character Actor Tom Towles (1950-2015)

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by Ty Pi ~ @-[->

Tom Towles was an American actor who was born and raised in Chicago, IL.  He passed away on April 5th, 2015.

He was a former U.S. Marine turned cult figure in the independent film scene with what is arguably his most iconic role as Otis Toole in the controversial John McNaughton classic, Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer.

McNaughton initially auditioned Towles for the role of Henry before asking him to play Otis.  Towles had a background in improvisational comedy, which he used in playing the darkly comic character.  His performance is instantly memorable and has become, in my opinion, a contender for one of the scariest performances captured on film.  In the scene featured below, Otis and Henry are buying a color TV in the rear garage of a pawn shop.  It is in this sequence where we see how casual Otis is in conversation, how quick he is to commit horrible atrocities, and even going as far as to take pleasure with a child-like glee.  (Warning: The scene is disturbing and NSFW.)

Other credits include Miami Vice (2006), the 1990 remake of Night of the Living Dead, and frequent collaborations with Rob Zombie with titles like House of 1,000 Corpses, The Devil’s Rejects, Halloween, and the faux trailer Werewolf Women of the SS.

Sneak Preview of Chicago’s Newest and Wildest Art Space, Deadly Prey Gallery, Tonight

Deadly Prey Galleryby Legendary Lew

It’s rare that I can approach someone to ask, “May I film your soft opening?” and receive an enthusiastic, “Yes!”

But in this case, I’m talking about Brian Chankin, one of Chicago true treasures of the indie scene. For years, he’s been running Odd Obsession Movies, one of the greatest independent video stores anywhere (catch my 2013 interview with him here).

Now he and his sister, Heidi Anne Chankin, are just about to “soft open” (the

20 Clowns by Marieke McClendon

20 Clowns by Marieke McClendon

grand opening is later this month) the Deadly Prey Gallery, a new art space in Noble Square, with the art show “Real Cool Gen X Mid-Life Crisis” featuring works by Derek Erdman & Marieke McClendon.  The event on Friday, April 3 from 7pm to 11pm at 1433 W Chicago Ave.  As the gallery’s Facebook event page states:

The show doesn’t have a theme that the title may suggest, though there will be a nod of recognition that people of Generation X are now growing old and some of the things that were once charming aren’t aging very well. Time’s inevitable hands are slowly choking the youth out of a large group of people who declared that they’d never grow old. Alas, there will also be paintings of cats & food.

It’s a one-night deal, so I guess you can consider this a sort of pop-up art event with genuine talent attached to it. Bring your cash,  as the Reggae and African tunes will help loosen your wallets.

Elvia Carreon by Derek Erdman

Elvia Carreon by Derek Erdman

Brian and Heidi will also have a selection of Ghanian movie and business poster art from their collection. If you’ve not seen any of these insanely wild  illustrations, you are definitely missing out.

TyPi and I will be along for the event and will gather up some video to present as part of TUGM’s Noble Square video series on YouTube. Go check out that page for more vids of our adventures there.

 

Mediatrocities #16: Criterion Requests and Remembering Leonard Nimoy

RIP Leonard Nimoy

RIP Leonard Nimoy

by Legendary Lew

TyPi joins me in the latest installment of “Mediatrocities,” the podcast of unusual media.  In this episode, we make an open request to Criterion DVD, asking them to take on our choices of films deserving top notch releases. The second segment is our tribute to the late great Leonard Nimoy, centering on his media work that was not Star Trek.

Give a listen and as always, this podcast is NSFW.

Included in the podcast is the audio for a Priceline commercial, the video of which is here:

Mediatrocities #15: The Yearly Post-Razzie Award Show with Guest Dominick Suzanne-Mayer

Dominick Suzanne-Mayer of Consequence of Sound and The Kelly Affair

Dominick Suzanne-Mayer of Consequence of Sound and The Kelly Affair

by Legendary Lew

This week’s episode of Mediatrocities marks our 4th (and perhaps our last?) look at the Razzie Award winners! TyPi is on hand for commentaries, as is our very special guest, film analyst & writer Dominick Suzanne-Mayer, contributor to Consequence of Sound and The Kelly Affair.

Among the topics: What’s the deal with Saving Christmas, its unnecessary continued exposure for Kirk Cameron and the general inept storytelling of modern Christian-themed movies? Can Michael Bay get anything cinematic right? What was Lew’s choice of worst 2014 film. What’s the lasting effect of the Sony Hacks and is it affecting Hollywood and even Razzie voting?

Give a listen and share, but mind you, it’s NSFW:

Mediatrocities #13: TyPi’s Top Films of 2014; Netflix as a Video Store; and the Lost Superstardom of TV’s Dagmar

Dig those crazy bumpers

Dig those crazy bumpers

by Legendary Lew

Here we are, at it again! TyPi, Mountain Drew and Legendary Lew get to yappin’ in the latest installment of Mediatrocities, the podcast of The Underground Multiplex.

TyPi comes forward with his list of what he felt were the best films of 2014. With the Razzies and Oscars winners about to be announced, it’s a good reminder of the movies we should find time for, especially with releases on DVD.

All three get into the next topic–what if Netflix was a brick-and-mortar video store. It doesn’t look good for the international internet giant from our eyes. Is Netflix exacerbating a movie drought for cinephiles already hit from the closing of Blockbuster Video and indie video stores?

Finally, Legendary Lew introduces viewers to TV’s first self-created female superstar, Dagmar. In the early 1950s, her popularity was greater than even Frank Sinatra’s, whose career was hampered by declining record sales, a tumultuous marriage to Ava Gardner, and a failed TV series. Listen in and find out all about this important, groundbreaking celebrity.

As always, this podcast is NSFW.