Archive for September 2013

"Broken Fences" (16th Street Theater): Mind-Broadening!

"Broken Fences" (16th Street Theater):  Mind-Broadening!
16th Street Theater presents Broken Fences. Three artistic directors, Ann Filmer (16th Street), Ilesa Duncan (Pegasus Players), and Daniel Bryant (Congo Square) unite for this multi-layered look at a neighborhood’s footprint in the past, present and future. Read the rest of my review at Chicago Theater Beat.

Joan of Arc (Chicago Opera Theater): Flashy, shocking reworking of the legend

Joan of Arc (Chicago Opera Theater): Flashy, shocking reworking of the legend
Reviewed by Tom Lawler Saint. Heretic. Brilliant warrior who saved a monarchy. Illiterate peasant who claimed divine guidance. Martyr. Joan of Arc (AKA the Maid of Orleans) answers to all of these charges and since her real life exploits in the 1400s, she has been transformed into a Che Guevara-like revolutionary icon inspiring countless plays,... Read more »

"The Wheel" (Steppenwolf Theatre): WTF?

"The Wheel" (Steppenwolf Theatre):  WTF?
Steppenwolf Theatre presents the American premiere of THE WHEEL. My initial reaction to this show was ‘I don’t know what to think.’ Undoubtedly, this is the biggest spectacle I’ve ever seen on Steppenwolf’s stage.  Director Tina Landau doesn’t just contain the action to the stage.  Landau rips out the backdrop and uses the backstage bowels. ... Read more »
Advertisement:

Evita (Oriental Theater): Star Power

Evita (Oriental Theater): Star Power
Reviewed by Jennifer Benoit-Bryan Evita engages the audience from the very beginning of the show with vintage newsreel footage of Eva’s funeral in 1952. Michael Grandage, the show’s director, uses this footage as a poignant reminder that Evita is based on a true story of a bright star that burned out so very quickly at... Read more »

"White Tie Ball" (Teatro Vista): A Familiar Dance

"White Tie Ball" (Teatro Vista):  A Familiar Dance
Teatro Vista presents the world premiere of WHITE TIE BALL. The first 60 seconds of this show captivated me.  Director Edward Torres introduces the two main characters with a sequence of blackouts.  A business man is in the forefront.  A convict is in the background and behind a cage-like wall.  As the lights go up... Read more »

"The Balcony" (Trap Door Theatre): Surreal Eroticism

"The Balcony" (Trap Door Theatre): Surreal Eroticism
Outside there is a political revolution.  Inside there is the sexual revolution.  What happens when the two collide?  Playwright Jean Genet tells the tale of a brothel known for its fantasy roleplaying.  Guests act out desires and fetishes to escape. As the war rages outside, the clientele get their freak on at Madame Irma’s. It’s bawdy make-believe... Read more »
Advertisement:

"The Crownless King: Part II" (The House Theatre): The Thrilling and Complicated Adventure Continues

"The Crownless King:  Part II" (The House Theatre):  The Thrilling and Complicated Adventure Continues
The House Theatre of Chicago presents the world premiere of THE CROWNLESS KING:  PART II. The House launched a mythical trilogy last fall with The Iron Stag: Part I.  The three part series follows the quest of an orphaned innocent named Casper.  In Part I, Casper’s identity is discovered.  His claim to the magic hammer... Read more »

"In God's Hat" (Profiles Theatre): Exactly what Profiles does best

"In God's Hat" (Profiles Theatre): Exactly what Profiles does best
Profiles Theatre presents the Midwest premiere of IN GOD’S HAT. This show kicks off Profiles’ 25th Anniversary Season.  Throughout this performance, my resonating thought was IN GOD’S HAT is pure Profiles.  It’s an edgy drama with bursts of dark comedy about the underbelly of society. The portrayal of humanity is both disgusting and endearing.  ... Read more »

"9 Circles" (Sideshow Theatre): Must Be Seen

"9 Circles" (Sideshow Theatre):  Must Be Seen
Sideshow Theatre Company, in association with the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, presents the Chicago premiere of 9 CIRCLES. Playwright Bill Cain’s story is set in 2006 Iraq but it could as easily be 2013 Syria.  The play’s underlying questions of ‘what is the USA doing? And why?’ are timely to today’s... Read more »
Advertisement:

EXTENDED Thru Oct 12th "Hank Williams: Lost Highway" (American Blues Theatre): Hank Williams Resurrected

EXTENDED Thru Oct 12th "Hank Williams:  Lost Highway" (American Blues Theatre):  Hank Williams Resurrected
American Blues Theater presents HANK WILLIAMS:  LOST HIGHWAY. I wasn’t a particular fan of Hank Williams until I saw this show.  I thought he was a country singer.  I found out he was a genius.  He informally taught himself to play guitar, write songs and sing a cross-genre of blues meets country on their way... Read more »