Archive for November 2011

"Talk About God: Five Cents" (Gorilla Tango Theatre): Talk About Josh: $10 Ticket

Theatre Bob from Chicago Theatre Addict told me once buying a theatre ticket released him from the obligation of reviewing a show.  This informal understanding made sense to me.  As bloggers, we Talk About Theatre: Press Pass.  As paying customers, we maintain an anonymity and professional distance. It’s like a coffee break on the job. ... Read more »

"A Bright New Boise" (Livewire Chicago): Provokes a Strong Reaction!

This past year, I saw… A brother make out with his sister.  A bar mob eat two strangers.  A gunman kill schoolchildren.  A clown rape a little girl.  I see plays with every imaginable injustice.  But it was the religious content of this play that has left me unsettled and angry.   LiveWire Chicago Theatre... Read more »

"Burning Bluebeard" (The Neo-Futurists): Big Fireball of Entertainment!

"Burning Bluebeard" (The Neo-Futurists): Big Fireball of Entertainment!
My great grandma survived three of Chicago’s legendary tragedies:  the Great Fire (1871),  the Iroquois theatre fire (1903), and the Eastland Disaster (1915).  In its unplanned commemoration to my nanny, the 2011/2012 theatre season showcases these three catastrophes.  This is the year of cataclysms.  This fall, Lookingglass Theatre mounted the Great Fire.  In Spring 2012,... Read more »

"An Iliad" (Court Theatre): Kane Wins the War!

"An Iliad" (Court Theatre):  Kane Wins the War!
My mom once told me that-time-of-the-month rendered a woman helpless to her emotions but that every day of the month, men were at the mercy of their competitive rage.  She believes that’s why we have wars.  I’d suggest that we broaden that idea to explain boxing, video games and Viagra. Court Theatre presents a regional... Read more »

"Fiddler on the Roof" (Broadway in Chicago): Mazel Tov!

I grew up Irish Catholic… Jewish.  Since their pilgrimage to Israel, my parents re-defined themselves as Jews for Jesus. They liberally steal from God’s Chosen People.  They bake challah.  They light a menorah.  They have a mezuza on their doorpost. They love the traditions, traditions…. traditions! Broadway in Chicago presents the Tony Award-winning musical Fiddler on the... Read more »

"We Are These Hands" (The Right Brain Project): Riveting Futuristic Fantasy!

I recently read the “Hunger Games” series.  I was completely engrossed in this futuristic world.  It’s set in a time where the divide between the destitute and the privilege is massive.  The poor are starving.  The rich are gluttonous.  The disturbing storyline of these books still haunts me.  The government is starving people into submission. ... Read more »

"Memphis" (Broadway in Chicago): THE Destination for a Rock and Roll Fantasy!

"Memphis" (Broadway in Chicago):  THE Destination for a Rock and Roll Fantasy!
In the 1990’s, I went walking in Memphis.  My friends decided to have a King’s weekend.  So, we took a road trip to Graceland.  It wasn’t the impressive fortress we had imagined.  Our disappointment was only momentary.  We stumbled on to Beale Street and understood what Memphis was really famous for. Broadway in Chicago presents... Read more »

"The Christmas Schooner" (Mercury Theater): Sentimental Journey to Chicago's Past!

"The Christmas Schooner" (Mercury Theater): Sentimental Journey to Chicago's Past!
For years, my dad had a standing order for the biggest Christmas tree on the lot.  He loved to splurge on this holiday symbol.  The guys would bring dad’s tree on a flatbed and mount it in the grand room.  On Christmas, everyone would take turns commenting ‘this is the best tree yet.‘  Eventually and... Read more »

"Ariadne auf Naxos" (Lyric Opera): Seriously Playful, Playfully Serious!

I’ve gone back to my old high school to see a musical.  It was uncomfortable. After regularly seeing full-blown Chicago-based extravaganzas, the hometown version made me feel self-conscious and snobby.  I was uneasy when my friend, the director, eagerly asked me what I thought of the car.  I bit back the clarification, ‘the crappy cardboard... Read more »

"Seasons Greetings" (Northlight Theatre): Guns, Puppets, Booze... Just Another Family X-Mas!

Christmas is about family!  People, with maybe no more in common than shared DNA, gathering together in celebration.  Dates, divorces, deaths and births constantly redefine the guest list, but forced relational interface is a certainty.  When my aunt got divorced in the seventies, my mom knew Mary Catherine’s first holiday would be hard. To distract... Read more »