Archive for April 2013

"The Mother" (Oracle Productions): Truax's Heart-pounding Triumph

"The Mother" (Oracle Productions):  Truax's Heart-pounding Triumph
This MOTHER blew me away! Oracle Productions presents a musical by Bertolt Brecht, THE MOTHER. First, it’s a spectacle from entry.  The theatre has been converted to a workhouse.  The intimate space is filled with long, high tables.  The audience sits around the tables on stools.  On the front and back walls, black and white... Read more »

"The Lake Effect" (Silk Road Rising): Surpising Depth and Humor in the Lake

"The Lake Effect" (Silk Road Rising):  Surpising Depth and Humor in the Lake
Silk Road Rising presents THE LAKE EFFECT, a play originally commissioned by Silk Road Rising and Crossroads Theatre (New Brunswick, New Jersey) with development support from the Lark Play Development Center (New York City). This guy walks into a restaurant.  The guy behind the counter says, ‘we’re closed.‘  The first guy, a gregarious man, continues... Read more »

Othello (The Joffrey Ballet): Haters gotta hate

Othello (The Joffrey Ballet): Haters gotta hate
Reviewed by Tom Lawler The Joffrey Ballet presents OTHELLO. You know the story: Othello, a Moorish general in the Venetian army, gets married to a local girl and sets off a chain reaction of jealously, prejudice and mistrust when one of his subordinate commanders, Iago, starts a whispering campaign that ends very badly for all... Read more »
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Off Book Chats A Red Orchid, Second City and unlocks casting secrets at Chicago Shakes and Steppenwolf

Off Book Chats A Red Orchid, Second City and unlocks casting secrets at Chicago Shakes and Steppenwolf
Today, Chicago Theatre Off Book reviews “In A Garden” at A Red Orchid Theatre and “Let Them Eat Chaos” at Second City.  Our special guests are Erica Daniels, Associate Artistic Director at Steppenwolf Theatre and Bob Mason, Artistic Associate/Casting Director at Chicago Shakespeare Theater. This April 26th episode of Chicago Theatre Off Book was partially underwritten... Read more »

"Still Alice" (Lookingglass Theatre): Exceptionally Moving from Inside Out

"Still Alice" (Lookingglass Theatre):  Exceptionally Moving from Inside Out
Lookingglass Theatre presents the world premiere adaption of the award-winning novel STILL ALICE. I can’t imagine having Alzheimer’s… or maybe now I can.  Using the novel by Lisa Genova as her foundation, Adapter and Director Christine Mary Dunford skillfully puts us in the room and in the head of a professor battling the disease.  Dunford... Read more »

"Anything Goes" (Broadway in Chicago): De-lovely and De-lightful

"Anything Goes" (Broadway in Chicago):  De-lovely and De-lightful
Reviewed by Jeanette Hamel The classic and timeless musical comedy, Anything Goes, is a breath of fresh air during our drama filled days.  Set in 1934, which was another period fraught with economic, financial and international “stress,” this lighthearted production of toe tapping Cole Porter tunes is good for “what ails ya.”  The storyline of... Read more »
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"Pal Joey" (Porchlight Music Theatre): McMonagle Bewitches!

"Pal Joey" (Porchlight Music Theatre):  McMonagle Bewitches!
Porchlight Music Theatre presents PAL JOEY.  Porchlight secured the rights to the 1940 original version of this Broadway musical play.  So, Chicago has the opportunity for the first-time ever to hear the full compilation of songs, including the restored number “I’m Talking to My Pal” that was cut before the premiere opening night.  Of course,... Read more »

"James Barrie's Quartets" (ShawChicago): Engaging Triple-Play

"James Barrie's Quartets" (ShawChicago):  Engaging Triple-Play
ShawChicago Theatre Company presents James Barrie’s Quartets. Steering away from their namesake, ShawChicago closes its season with a tribute to the man behind “Peter Pan.”  For this showcase, Director Robert Scogin has selected three one-act plays to perform by a quartet.  Scogin expertly directs the same four actors playing all the parts.  As is the ShawChicago hallmark, the talented... Read more »

"The Happiest Song Plays Last" (Goodman Theatre): Stories Bury the Story

"The Happiest Song Plays Last" (Goodman Theatre):  Stories Bury the Story
Goodman Theatre presents the World Premiere of THE HAPPIEST SONG PLAYS LAST. In the more intimate second stage space at the Goodman, Scenic Designer Collette Pollard constructed a 2 story building. The building is on the diagonal with the lengthy depth of the side as the main view.  The visual is a surprising choice.  There... Read more »
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"Big Love" (Strawdog Theatre): is Big Love!

"Big Love" (Strawdog Theatre):  is Big Love!
Strawdog Theatre Company presents BIG LOVE. The love starts immediately.  Walking into the theatre, I’m enchanted by the garlands hung all over the place (Scenic Designer Mike Mroch).  Strings of light bulbs are intermingled with the flowers.  A pianist is playing wedding tunes.  The mood is ripe for some good lovin.’   Cue the bride… Stacy... Read more »