Posts tagged "Jasleen Jaswal Vines"

Closer Than I Appear (Steppenwolf): This Tangent Is Going Somewhere

Closer Than I Appear (Steppenwolf): This Tangent Is Going Somewhere
Reviewed by Jasleen Jaswal Vines Towards the end of last Thursday’s show, already 40 minutes past when the set is supposed to end, Jeff Garlin flips through a notepad of ideas he brought for the evening. The jokes are straightforward – bits about his wife and kids, marriage, airports, gross seatmates at concerts. None are... Read more »

Don Pasquale (Lyric Opera of Chicago): Simple Story with Lots of Laughs

Don Pasquale (Lyric Opera of Chicago): Simple Story with Lots of Laughs
Reviewed by Jasleen Jaswal Vines Sometimes, the simplest stories are the most enjoyable. In the Lyric Opera of Chicago’s production of “Don Pasquale”, the narrative is straightforward: Ernesto is out of Don Pasquale’s will for not marrying the woman his aging uncle prefers. Dr. Malatesta comes to the rescue, plotting a way for Ernesto and... Read more »

Black Watch (Chicago Shakespeare Theater): A History of War and Its Ravages

Black Watch (Chicago Shakespeare Theater): A History of War and Its Ravages
Reviewed by Jasleen Jaswal Vines The Black Watch has a storied history in Scotland, evoking a national pride that led generation after generation of men to enlist as a tribute to their forefathers and countrymen. What happens when this tradition frays, pulled apart by a conflict whose origins are questionable at best? Playwright Gregory Burke... Read more »
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The Magic Flute (Chicago Opera Theater): Thoughtfully Modern Production Keeps This Classic Engaging

The Magic Flute (Chicago Opera Theater): Thoughtfully Modern Production Keeps This Classic Engaging
Reviewed by Jasleen Jaswal Vines Chicago Opera Theater’s The Magic Flute (in English with English subtitles) is the third time Mozart’s final opera has been produced in Chicago in the last year – but believe me when I say this production is not to be missed. Gone are traditional, staid costumes and by-the-book staging, as... Read more »

Scientist Turned Comedian Tim Lee (Chicago Fringe Festival): When Science Met Snooki

Scientist Turned Comedian Tim Lee (Chicago Fringe Festival): When Science Met Snooki
Reviewed by Jasleen Jaswal Vines Ask 100 people on the street to explain a final state diagram depicting the decline from order to chaos, and you’ll get 99 blank stares. Science isn’t something the average person pays attention to beyond required high school classes (though some of us still get excited by nerdy comic strips... Read more »

La Soirée (Riverfront Chicago): Loosen Up and Laugh!

La Soirée (Riverfront Chicago): Loosen Up and Laugh!
Reviewed by Jasleen Jaswal Vines The tents, grandstand seating, and concession stand peddling popcorn and hot dogs suggest a circus atmosphere, but variety revue La Soirée – making its U.S. premiere at The Riverfront Theatre – is so much more: equal parts cabaret, acrobatics and comedy, with a naughty adult twist. The show, which originated... Read more »
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“TJ & Dave” (Theater on the Lake): Taking the Long Way To A Good Thing

“TJ & Dave” (Theater on the Lake): Taking the Long Way To A Good Thing
Reviewed by Jasleen Jaswal Vines No matter how long you live in the same city, you’re going to have that moment when you realize you haven’t done that one thing everyone else seems to have checked out. Eventually, a friend comes to town, or you’re flipping through the Reader/Time Out Chicago/Metromix trying to find something... Read more »

“Dralion” (Cirque du Soleil): Don’t Even Pretend You Can Do This At Home

“Dralion” (Cirque du Soleil): Don’t Even Pretend You Can Do This At Home
Reviewed by Jasleen Jaswal Vines To me, the coolest part of a Cirque du Soleil show is sitting in awe of an incredibly talented troupe, oohing and aahing as they perform impossible physical acts with ludicrous ease. Balancing on one hand and very slowly contorting oneself into various pretzel-inspired shapes with careful precision? Propelling oneself... Read more »

“White Trash Wedding and a Funeral” (Factory Theater): Kicking Off a 20th Anniversary Season with a Shot to the Face

“White Trash Wedding and a Funeral” (Factory Theater): Kicking Off a 20th Anniversary Season with a Shot to the Face
Reviewed by Jasleen Jaswal Vines Big name theaters in Chicago garner a lot of attention (and deservedly so) for the quality of their productions and the stars that grace their stage (for a current example, check out the media frenzy over “The Iceman Cometh”). Often overlooked are smaller Chicago theater companies that fly under the... Read more »
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“Who Do We Think We Are?” (The Second City): Strong Ensemble Delivers Smart Laughs

“Who Do We Think We Are?” (The Second City): Strong Ensemble Delivers Smart Laughs
By Jasleen Jaswal Vines Reviewing a sketch comedy show is tough. I’ll be honest – I just want to list all the parts of this show that made me laugh. A laidback second-term President Obama confronting Speaker Boehner with “The Motto” as his soundtrack? Trust me when I say it’s a highlight of the show.... Read more »