Archive for June 2013

"The Half-Brothers Mendelssohn" (Strange Tree Group): "Back to the Future: The 1900s Version"

"The Half-Brothers Mendelssohn" (Strange Tree Group): "Back to the Future:  The 1900s Version"
The Strange Tree Group presents the World Premiere of The Half-Brothers Mendelssohn. Two brothers.  Two mothers. One dead dad.  Playwright Elizabeth Bagby’s story begins in a funeral home.  Joseph Mendelssohn is being mourned by his wife, her son and his son by his first wife.  The service is respectfully somber until his first wife shows up.  Then, it’s irreverently... Read more »

"Mahal" (Bailiwick Chicago): Genuine Family Affair

"Mahal" (Bailiwick Chicago):  Genuine Family Affair
Bailiwick Chicago presents the World Premiere of MAHAL. “Family can be a lot!”  This sentiment is stated and reinforced in Playwright Danny Bernardo’s engaging story of the Reyes.  Mom has just lost her battle to cancer.  Her kids and husband are dealing with it… each in their own way.  Dad is redecorating.  Jun is skyping.... Read more »

A Clown Car Named Desire (Second City e.t.c.): Firing on all cylinders

A Clown Car Named Desire (Second City e.t.c.): Firing on all cylinders
Reviewed by Tom Lawler Second City e.t.c. presents A Clown Car Named Desire. With the recent passing of Bernie Sahlins, the last surviving member of the trio that opened The Second City in 1959, it’s a worthy time as any to reflect on how this venerable comedy institution is holding up in its middle age.... Read more »
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"Mine" (Gift Theatre): Gripping Content and Authentic Acting

"Mine" (Gift Theatre):  Gripping Content and Authentic Acting
A woman is grunting in the dark.  The lights come up to showcase Mari in labor.  She is surrounded by a man and two women coaxing her through the delivery process.  She is submerged in a rubber wading pool.  On the side of the oversized blown-up monstrosity, it says ‘birthpool in a box.‘  Already, this... Read more »

"Kate's Dates" (Waltzing Mechanics): Smart, Sexy Dating Documentary

"Kate's Dates" (Waltzing Mechanics): Smart, Sexy Dating Documentary
Waltzing Mechanics presents the World Premiere of KATE’S DATES. Kate Loftus kissed a lot of frogs until she met her prince.  She endured date after date trying to connect to someone special.  She met a lot of Mr. Wrongs in her quest for love.  She pursued online dating, impromptu wedding hook-ups, and tipsy new encounters... Read more »

"Brothers Beckett" (Black Fox Theatre): Cute Summer Romp

"Brothers Beckett" (Black Fox Theatre): Cute Summer Romp
Black Fox Theatre presents the Midwest Premiere of Brothers Beckett. Two brothers share bunk beds in a pigsty of a room. What’s so odd about that? Well, Kevin is a 26 year old playwright and Brad is a 32 year old unemployed philosophy major. Their best friends are their goofy, toilet-clogging neighbor and a sweet, germ-phobic meteorologist.... Read more »
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"LIVES OF THE PIGEONS" (Side Project Theatre): Quirky

"LIVES OF THE PIGEONS" (Side Project Theatre):  Quirky
Reviewed by Sara Eisenbaum “Lives of the Pigeons” turned out to be as quirky as it’s title. It left a lasting impression, although what the impression was is still very confusing. However, that may be the point. The main premise of the play is two gentleman playing a few games of chess. They have an... Read more »

"Uncle Bob" (Mary Arrchie Theatre): Needs Heat

"Uncle Bob" (Mary Arrchie Theatre):  Needs Heat
Playwright Austin Pendleton ‘goes there’ in his tip-toe-through-taboo-territory.  Pendleton explores the long-term connectivity of two men. Uncle Bob is a cantankerous hermit. Josh is his highly-agitated nephew.  Their relationship is built on raw honesty and a tortured kinship.  They spar with intellectual acidity.  Both men believe they are ‘uncompromising failures.‘  They are stuck together in a misery-loves-company... Read more »

Ain’t No Crying the Blues (Black Ensemble Theater): The Real Deal

Ain’t No Crying the Blues (Black Ensemble Theater):  The Real Deal
Reviewed by Tom Lawler Black Ensemble Theater presents AIN’T NO CRYING THE BLUES (IN THE MEMORY OF HOWLIN’ WOLF).  If there was a Mount Rushmore of the all-time blues greats, Chester Arthur Burnett, AKA “Howlin’ Wolf,” would certainly be carved on it, joined by a select group  including Robert Johnson, Charley Patton, Willie Dixon and... Read more »
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EXTENDED Thru July 28th "The Pride" (About Face Theatre): A lot to be proud of

EXTENDED Thru July 28th "The Pride" (About Face Theatre):  A lot to be proud of
About Face Theatre presents the Chicago Premiere of THE PRIDE. What a difference a day makes…. times 365 x 50.  Playwright Alexi Kaye Campbell explores the emotional entanglements of homosexuality in 1958 vs 2008.  Campbell imagines the same three people living out their lives at different points in history.  He skillfully intertwines the stories using... Read more »