Archive for December 2011

"Secret Garden" (Light Opera Works): Dark, Sad and eventually Wondrous!

  A novel, two movies and a Tony Award-winning musical, “The Secret Garden” is a classic.  Even if the story is a hazy memory, most people recognize the title.  Although author Frances Hodgson Burnett penned her original tale for children, this current production leans more symbolically sophisticated than playfully whimsical. Light Opera Works presents The Secret Garden. Mary Lennox has... Read more »

2011 Top Ten Chicago Theatre Picks

2011 Top Ten Chicago Theatre Picks
From the first show of the year, Trap Door’s “HamletMachine” to the final opening of the year, last night’s “The Addams Family,” 2011 was a banner year for theatre in Chicago.  250+ theatre companies produced over 400+ shows.  Big blockbuster touring epics like Les Miserables to no-frills, all-poignant productions at ShawChicago entertained the Chicagoland masses. ... Read more »

"The Addams Family" (Broadway in Chicago): Neat, Sweet, Petite!

"The Addams Family" (Broadway in Chicago):  Neat, Sweet, Petite!
In 2009, “The Addams Family” premiered in Chicago before its Broadway debut.  The characters created by legendary cartoonist Charles Addams had already been immortalized in a television show and multiple movies.  So, it was prime time for the bizarre family to hit the stage as a musical. Chicago was there for the birth and had... Read more »

"La Cage Aux Folles" (Broadway in Chicago): Ass-Slapping Gaudy & Sentimentally Sweet!

"La Cage Aux Folles" (Broadway in Chicago):  Ass-Slapping Gaudy & Sentimentally Sweet!
Feathers and glitter I get!  But I’ve never understood wanting to wear high heels. Although they make your legs look long and luxurious, the feet cramping, back aching, knee wobbling isn’t so pretty.  Being a guy gives you the out to this painful accessory.  Or so I thought. Broadway in Chicago presents the Tony Award-winning... Read more »

"Spring Awakening" (Griffin Theatre): Profound Innovation!

"Spring Awakening" (Griffin Theatre):  Profound Innovation!
Recently, my nine year old niece, Sabrina, casually strolled right into a sex talk.  No birds and bees.  No hushed cloaked questions.  She just started girl-chat with a ‘I saw the period movie Aunt Katy.  And boys?  Uh, they have it so easy.’  I was a little stunned.  I grew up in a conservative Catholic... Read more »

"It's a Wonderful Life: Live from the Biograph" (American Blues Theater): Wonderful!

"It's a Wonderful Life: Live from the Biograph" (American Blues Theater): Wonderful!
Books adapted to plays.  Plays adapted to movies.  Movies adapted to books.  It’s the entertainment cycle of a good story.  So, why not a play about the short story adapted into a movie adapted into a radio show?  For those who love the Jimmy Stewart holiday film classic, American Blues Theater presents IT’S A WONDERFUL... Read more »

Chicago Theatre Off Book Chats with Profiles Theatre, Writers Theatre and MORE!

It’s another round of Chicago Theatre Off Book on Chicago Independent Radio Project, CHIRP. This week, we review local theatre offerings for the holidays and at Chicago Shakes.  In addition, we’ll chat with Darrell W. Cox, Profiles Theatre and Michael Halberstam, Writers Theatre.  We’ve packed a lot in thirty-some minutes.  Listen up and let us know what... Read more »

"A Christmas Story the Musical" (Chicago Theatre): Visually Spectacular AND Obstructed!

A reviewer’s job is to tell theatre-goers what s/he saw.  Well, from Aisle 2, Seat KK 318, I only saw 66% of A Christmas Story the Musical!.  This was my first play in the legendary Chicago Theatre since the 1990‘s Donny Osmond’s Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.  For that show, I sat in the balcony without any sight... Read more »

EXTENDED Thru Jan 29th "Opus" (Redtwist Theatre): Magnum OPUS...Bravo!

I played the clarinet in grade school.  I loved music and wanted to be part of creating it.  When a bass clarinet was discovered in the school basement, I was asked to play it.  Since it was old, I was told if I didn’t think I’d get the note to not try for it.  This... Read more »

"Rudolph the Red-Hosed Reindeer" (Hell in a Handbag Productions): Cerda's *Naughty* Side of Xmas

Every year, I see a lot of *nice* holiday shows.  And maybe just one *naughty* one!  Hell in a Handbag Productions presents Rudolph the Red-Hosed Reindeer.  Playwright David Cerda takes the beloved children’s classic “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” and slaps some ruffled red panties on it.  It’s a little familiar and a whole lot funny. ... Read more »