Wednesday, September 05, 2012

The Mighty Ted: An Unexpected Journey, Written and Performed by Ted Waltmire

Ted Waltmire just wants to be "An Average Guy" again, as he tells us in song in his short musical comedy The Mighty Ted: An Unexpected Journey, performed each Saturday night this September at Donny's Skybox Theater in Pipers Alley in Chicago. He's getting there, as we learn in his funny look at his recovery efforts from the stroke that nearly killed him in 2009.

Ted has been the musical director for community and college theaters in the Chicago area for several decades, as well as being the computer guy at the Downers Grove Public Library. Bonnie and I have attended numerous musicals (Into the Woods, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Godspell, 1776, and more) where he would direct the pit orchestra (often including his wife Michelle) from the piano. Of course, some of the pits were under the stage and hardly visible, but we would always see him at intermission or after the performance. So he was a natural to turn his own experiences into a performance. After the stroke, his colleague and friend Dale Galiniak (who is in the cast) suggested that they take an improv class at Second City. Ted eventually also took a writing class and from that came the script, which was accepted for performance.

For the debut performance, there were many of Ted's family and friends as well as his nurses and therapists in the audience watching him graduate from wheelchair to walker to cane. There was even a song about his many canes. Some got to see themselves comically portrayed. Of course, comedy can include anger, and in this case most was directed at Social Security and impatient people unwilling to give stroke victims time to do the things they are relearning to do. It was an emotion-filled performance with lots of laughs and lively tunes.

Of the remaining four shows, one is already sold out. Go to the Second City website to get tickets. If you decide to go, the best parking deal is at the Treasure Island supermarket across the street.

1 comment:

Ted Waltmire said...

If you missed this the first time, an expanded version is plaing through November 16 at MCL
for the specifics go to www.mclchicago.com