Archive for August 2013

"Conversations on a Homecoming" (Strawdog Theatre): Drunken Perfection

"Conversations on a Homecoming" (Strawdog Theatre):  Drunken Perfection
Four friends reconnect over drinks. Sounds like a pleasant evening, right?! Not the way Playwright Tom Murphy tells it. Murphy uses a guy’s hometown return as the impetus for a drunken sh#tstorm. As the drinks go down, the tension goes up and the gloves come off. Murphy’s characters grapple with politics and religion. And just below those... Read more »

"The Color of Purple" (Mercury Theatre): Perfect Shade of Triumph Over Adversity

"The Color of Purple" (Mercury Theatre):  Perfect Shade of Triumph Over Adversity
The Mercury Theatre presents the Award-winning THE COLOR PURPLE, The Musical About Love. Years ago, I saw the movie version of Alice Walker’s novel.  My primary recollections are it starred Oprah and Whoopie and was a downer. Since the musical’s successful debut on Broadway that garnered 11 Tony Awards, I was curious about how this... Read more »

"The Lockout: A Musical" (Six Hours Short): How do you spell sports musical? ESPN + NBA

"The Lockout: A Musical" (Six Hours Short):  How do you spell sports musical?  ESPN + NBA
Six Hours Short presents the World Premiere of The Lockout: A Musical. How does the traditional musical theatre genre broaden its appeal beyond the geriatric set and the gay community? The creative team of Ben Fort and Jason Gallagher might have found the carrot to dangle to ensnare the sports-minded. Fort and Gallagher wrote the book, music and lyrics for a... Read more »
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"The Birds" (Hell in a Handbag): Riotously Funny!

"The Birds" (Hell in a Handbag):  Riotously Funny!
When it came to finding a leading lady for the follow-up to his 1960 hit Psycho, Alfred Hitchcock cast a wide net after being rebuffed by his original choice, Grace Kelly. He eventually discovered a blond-haired, blue-eyed doppelganger in the form of a young Midwestern model named Nathalie “Tippi” Hedren who made her screen debut in “The Birds”... Read more »

First Look (Steppenwolf Theatre): New Playwrights Debut Their Works

Steppenwolf Theatre presents 2013 First Look Repertory of New Work.  The mission of the annual initiative is to develop new plays for future production at Steppenwolf Theatre and theatres across the country.  All the shows are being performed at the Steppenwolf Garage Theatre running times between 80-90 minutes.     Buena Vista A new play by Edith Freni... Read more »

"Enchanted April" (Idle Muse Theatre): Step in to a little Enchantment, See this Show

"Enchanted April" (Idle Muse Theatre):  Step in to a little Enchantment, See this Show
“To those who appreciate wisteria and sunshine…and who have ever hoped, on occasion, that a little Enchantment might step in…” Enchantment is the word to describe this old-fashioned girls getaway.  Playwright Matthew Barber captures the essences of Elizabeth von Arnim’s novel about four women in post WWI England.  The unacquainted ladies are all drawn to the same advertisement.  They... Read more »
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"Pink Milk" (Oracle Theatre): Unforgettable Stunner

"Pink Milk" (Oracle Theatre): Unforgettable Stunner
Oracle Productions, in conjunction with White Elephant, presents PINK MILK.  Once upon a time, a man introduced the world to artificial intelligence.  His name was Alan Turing and he is often referred to as the Father of Computers.  He was brilliant and advanced the field of science.  He was also gay.  The criminal punishment for... Read more »

"Comedy of Errors" (Chicago Shakespeare Theatre): Welcome Diversion from the Parental Grind

"Comedy of Errors" (Chicago Shakespeare Theatre): Welcome Diversion from the Parental Grind
Reviewed by Chad T. Volkers Chicago Shakespeare Theater in the Parks presents A Comedy of Errors. It turns out that the audience of a Shakespeare play, when set in a Chicago park on a Sunday Afternoon, tends toward the string-cheese side of life. I should have anticipated this, and yet, here I was, gobsmacked by... Read more »

Flashdance (Broadway in Chicago): What a Feeling!

Flashdance (Broadway in Chicago):  What a Feeling!
Broadway in Chicago presents FLASHDANCE. First, when there’s nothing but a slow glowing dream That your fear seems to hide deep inside your mind All alone I have cried, silent tears full of pride In a world made of steel, made of stone Full disclosure: I cried.  It was a mixture of Irene Cara’s lyrics,... Read more »
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"Invasion" (Silk Road Rising): Abulkasem

"Invasion" (Silk Road Rising):  Abulkasem
Silk Road Risings presents the Midwest Premiere of INVASION. Within the first ten minutes, this show establishes itself as unconventional… startlingly so. And then the avant-garde artistry continues. Sometimes, the play is a play within a play. Sometimes, it’s a TV show or a lecture with an interpreter. Playwright Jonas Hassen Khemiri used multiple mediums... Read more »