Sunday, March 01, 2009

Why can't we rant? It's the store blog, and thus should project an image of professionalism and responsible neutrality, but on the other hand, we should be a loyal and supportive friend to all members, customers, and associates. In that light, we must bring to your attention a most alarming story of dastardly deeds and bastardly misdeeds. It is a story of greed, self-centered ethical misconduct, and disregard of the arts and the well being of a struggling community. For the purpose of obscurity and remaining free of libel suits the story will reveal itself in code, open to interpretation and closed to lawyers.
In a former post we may or may not have promoted the career of a former stage- struck employee. We may even have released this person from his contractual obligations in the store so he could pursue his theatrical dreams, while at the same time making way for the return of a former employee who happens to be, inconsequentially, a gorgeous blonde, not that it makes any difference.
This sequence of events, later to be proved a tragedy of errors, would not have come about but for the moderately theatrical employee's more or less potentially lucrative engagement for a series of afternoon performances at a local venue, the name of which could possibly bring to mind the inventor of the telegraph. That particular venue, let's call it The Ritz for convenience, was recently inaugurated and ballyhooed as a wonderful showplace and northside destination in a neighborhood in need of some upscale muscle and cultural uplift.
The Ritz was the dream and brainchild of two forward looking arts patrons who were not named Medici and therefore needed to find a money guy to help transform some downscale property into a palace of the arts. The two patrons had the misfortune to turn to a Runyonesque character whose name, familiar to all Chicagoans, may, or may not, bring to mind the things on the face of a man who has not shaved for a few days. Not beards or mustaches, of course, but the individual units of which those decorative growths are comprised. Are we leaving too much out here? Good.
So this beard unit individual forks over a reputed six million Bush era dollars for the transformation of the Ritz, from rundown to ritzy, appropriately. The two non- Medicis are to be the producers, dreamers, idealists, and talent bookers, with the beard unit in the background as a so-called silent partner.
This being Chicago, it is well known that "silence" is solely the province of the tomb, and in the blink of an eye, in geologic time, Mr. Beard Unit is issuing orders. This turn of events escalates to a threatened shutdown of the Ritz and the consequent cancellation of scheduled acts, including the run of our pal's show. So he is to left hanging in the breeze, just a few blocks from Lake Michigan, in March, and the gorgeous blonde still ensconced and immovable back in the store.
So what's next? We have no idea; we're just sayin', is all.

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