Archive for December 2011

"The Nutcracker" (The Joffrey Ballet): This Gift is One-Size-Fits-All Perfection!

I’ve seen The Nutcracker multiple times.  In the 70’s, my family saw a version at the Arie Crown Theatre.  Because my birthday is so close to Christmas, my parents were always trying to make it special.  So, we traveled from Indiana to Chicago to see Ruth Page’s Chicago Opera Ballet perform The Nutcracker. Even though... Read more »

"Penelope" (Steppenwolf Theatre): The Ugly Side of Men

"Penelope" (Steppenwolf Theatre): The Ugly Side of Men
I love men.  Wars, Nascar, fantasy football… I don’t always *get* men but I love them.  They are complicated.  They compete.  They want to win.  They want the corner office, the championship ring, the trophy wife.  They want the best.  But why?  What is more important:  the quest or the prize? Steppenwolf Theatre presents PENELOPE.  Four... Read more »

"Red Light Winter" (Mary Arrchie Theatre): Sublime Cast Lingers...sometimes too long!

"Red Light Winter" (Mary Arrchie Theatre):  Sublime Cast Lingers...sometimes too long!
Connection!?  It’s the perfect excuse not to pursue a relationship.  ‘I didn’t feel a connection.‘  What exactly was missing?  Sweaty palms?  Stomach fluttering?  G-tingling? We use the absence of this determining sensation to cease continuation.  When we do feel IT… some physical symptom… our pursuit knows no bounds.  We want THAT feeling to continue.  So,... Read more »

"The Magic Flute" (Lyric Opera): Spellbinds in Fervor and Funny!

‘ The 2011/2012 Lyric Opera Season is being marketed with a sassy, high-spirited campaign.  ‘More passion than the Kennedy at rush hour’ and ‘our singers don’t need microphones’ are two of the slogans promoting a softer side to the world renowned institution.  The opera roster reflects a similar frisky sentiment.  The Lyric is giving us plenty to... Read more »

"Elizabeth Rex" (Chicago Shakespeare Theater): This Superpower Dominates!

"Elizabeth Rex" (Chicago Shakespeare Theater):  This Superpower Dominates!
Breaking-the-glass-ceiling isn’t a new concept for females.  Women have always struggled to maintain authority in this male dominated world.  Maybe it was more like breaking-the-stone-pyramid or breaking-the-crown-jewels but through the ages, women have overcome major obstacles to rule.  She has battled the physical and emotional demands of a job others would kill for.  She has... Read more »

"The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey" (Provision Theatre): A Christmas Focused on Jesus and the Children...MIRACLE!

Christmas is the new offensive C-word.  To be politically correct, people say ‘happy holidays.’  They send holiday cards.  They host holiday parties.  Only in private circles in hushed tones, might I inquire casually, ‘do you celebrate Christmas?’  If the person nods affirmatively, I muster up a hurried whispered ‘Merry Christmas.’  Even on stage, The Nutcracker,... Read more »

"Nutcracker" (House Theatre of Chicago): Holiday Thriller Rated PG!

Chicago’s new holiday tradition is NUTCRACKER at The House Theatre of Chicago.  The modern spin on the Christmas classic is an imaginative and energetic  spectacle.  When I saw it for the first time last year, I was enchanted by the innovation.  I repeated the experience this past Sunday night.  Although I enjoyed the new cast in... Read more »

"A Twist of Water" Runs from Chicago to Off-Broadway!

After two successful runs, one at Theatre Wit and the remount a Mercury Theatre, “A Twist of Water” is streaming to 59th Street in New York per Chicago’s Theatre King, Chris Jones.     Congrats to Route 66, Caitlin Montanye Parrish, Erica Weiss and cast & crew!  Here was my past review…   The Route 66 Theatre... Read more »

St. Nicholas (Seanachai Theatre Company): One Critic Show Draws Blood

Once upon a time, I reviewed this show.  I became obsessed with an actor.  So, I crashed the cast party.  I got so totally wasted that I passed out in the park.  When I woke up, I stumbled into a house of vampires.  Alright, so it didn’t really happen to ME but it’s someone’s story. ... Read more »

"Hannukatz the Musical" (National Pastime Theater): Hebrew-licious Potch-in-Tuchas!

"Hannukatz the Musical" (National Pastime Theater): Hebrew-licious Potch-in-Tuchas!
For kids celebrating Christmas, there are plenty of well-known holiday icons.  Santa Claus, Rudolph, Grinch pop up repeatedly on television, in cinemas, and on stage.  Gentile kids don’t want for fantasy figures to get into the holiday spirit.  But what about the Jewish kids?  Other than Adam Sandler’s “Hannukah Song” or Ross’ Hannukah Armadillo, I... Read more »