As a seemingly endless January comes to a close, the Hideout is preparing to host a handful of never-before-seen residencies this coming February and for the months to follow. The onslaught of weekly and bi-monthly residencies kicks off the first Tuesday in February (2/7) with the premier of Alexander Grelle’s “The Grelley Duvall Show.”
The show, a three-night residency showcasing Grelle’s trove of cine-musical infatuations through an array of farcical renditions, creates a new genre of canonical homage and empowering spectacle inspired and brought to life by a crew of Chicago’s underrated scene-stealing actors. The idea for the show, originally cajoled into Grelle’s repertoire via the mind of David Cerda, who recognized the inherent hilarity of Grelle’s theatrical intuition, has morphed and grown with Grelle’s ongoing infatuation with the multi-faceted, Shelley Duvall, the actress in which the show is based. “Her unique look [is what drew me to her]. The Shining sealed the deal for me when I was growing up. It’s iconic and one of the best performances ever to me. She’s best when she’s a mom. Anything she did with Robert Altman is great too. Three Women is perfect. Nashville. Even the scene with the octopus in Popeye. Shelley was up for a Razzi for the Shining; I guess that just shows my taste level.” Embellished with a touch of make-up, wigs and sometimes a pair of tights, Grelle assumes the a multitude of Duvall’s infamous characters and scenes in a blending of recreation, satire and reverence.
Grelle, whose love for the stage was galvanized by a childhood filled with choreographed Paula Abdul dance routines and weekend nights in front of Saturday Night Live, writes, directs and stars in the Grelley Duvall Show, which has been created and recreated as it passed through various veins of Chicago theatre tropes. A show that started at Hell and a Handbag, blossomed at Salonathon and was finally brought to life at Steppenwolf theatre, has arrived at the Hideout. While at Steppenwolf the show took on the name ‘Shelley Duvall’s Women Under the Influence Theatre,’ which was received with broad adoration, but this isn’t exactly that. For the first time, Grelle is looking to incorporate music into the show, “I’m figuring out that my stuff is site specific. Every time I’ve come to the Hideout I feel that music really plays a big role in my visit. That fact really motivated me to incorporate as much music as I possibly can in this next rendition of the show.”