Tag: John Kelly

"The Dead Prince" (Strange Tree Group): Innovative Lyrical Lark

"The Dead Prince" (Strange Tree Group):  Innovative Lyrical Lark
Strange Tree Group presents THE DEAD PRINCE. Is it a fairytale, a folktale or a muzical? Yes. Playwright Emily Schwartz has concocted a play-full original.   Schwartz’s story is about a princess and her quest for true love.  The happily-ever after is challenging because her prince charming is dead.  Imagine “Princess Bride” meets “Twilight” on the way to... Read more »

"Conversations on a Homecoming" (Strawdog Theatre): Drunken Perfection

"Conversations on a Homecoming" (Strawdog Theatre):  Drunken Perfection
Four friends reconnect over drinks. Sounds like a pleasant evening, right?! Not the way Playwright Tom Murphy tells it. Murphy uses a guy’s hometown return as the impetus for a drunken sh#tstorm. As the drinks go down, the tension goes up and the gloves come off. Murphy’s characters grapple with politics and religion. And just below those... Read more »

"Thom Pain (based on nothing)" (Theater Wit): Transfixes with Pain

"Thom Pain (based on nothing)" (Theater Wit): Transfixes with Pain
Theater Wit remounts THOM PAIN (based on nothing). Lance Baker (Thom Pain) reprises the role that won him a 2007 Jeff Award for Best Solo Performance.  Fast forward six years and it seems like Baker has been frozen in time and recently thawed out.  He is this enlightened, yet ordinary, pessimist.  Baker starts the show speaking... Read more »

"The Half-Brothers Mendelssohn" (Strange Tree Group): "Back to the Future: The 1900s Version"

"The Half-Brothers Mendelssohn" (Strange Tree Group): "Back to the Future:  The 1900s Version"
The Strange Tree Group presents the World Premiere of The Half-Brothers Mendelssohn. Two brothers.  Two mothers. One dead dad.  Playwright Elizabeth Bagby’s story begins in a funeral home.  Joseph Mendelssohn is being mourned by his wife, her son and his son by his first wife.  The service is respectfully somber until his first wife shows up.  Then, it’s irreverently... Read more »

"Maria/Stuart" (Sideshow Theatre): Quirky to Whacked Out!

"Maria/Stuart" (Sideshow Theatre):  Quirky to Whacked Out!
Sideshow Theatre presents the Chicago premiere of Maria/Stuart. Grandma Ruthie uses dementia to grow old hatefully. The crusty old hag torments her family with unapologetic meanness. Her bitchy daughters Lizzie and Marnie have inherited their mom’s maternal skills. They smother and berate their own kids and each other’s. The third daughter Sylvia is the nice but crazy... Read more »

"Allotment Annie" (Infusion Theatre): War Bride-zillas

"Allotment Annie" (Infusion Theatre):  War Bride-zillas
Infusion Theatre presents the world premiere of Allotment Annie.  It’s 1944.  Americans are fighting off the Germans overseas.  Meanwhile, war crimes are being committed right here on the home front.  A friendly Poughkeepsie, New York tavern welcomes the military.  Fran and Virginia will dance, screw and marry any service guy that walks in the door.   The gals... Read more »

"Funeral Wedding: The Alvin Play" (Strange Tree Group): Quirky and Compelling!

"Funeral Wedding:  The Alvin Play" (Strange Tree Group):  Quirky and Compelling!
#210.  Strange Tree Group presents Funeral Wedding: The Alvin Play. The Fisher family is odd.  Two scandals make them the town outcasts.  They’ve got skeletons in the closet and ghosts in the attic.  Instead of dealing with the past dalliance and more recent murders, the Fishers pretend nothing is wrong.  Dad escapes into games.  Mom escapes into... Read more »

"The Gacy Play" (Sideshow Theatre): Andy Luther is a Serial Killer! ...I'm just saying.

#138. As a single woman with skin that would make a nice dress, I’ve survived murder by putting people into two categories:  serial killers and the others. On the bus, at a restaurant, in the next door apartment: killers have to commute, eat, live… somewhere.   Being aware of this basic truth keeps me alive.  I... Read more »

"Bombs, Babes and Bingo" (Mortar Theatre): Clever Premise

In moments of great sadness, I often swallow a great one liner or life musing.  It’s a curse and a gift that in times of grief, I see humor.  Funeral, break-up, argument, it doesn’t matter the situation – something funny usually occurs to me.  Sometimes I give into sharing the joke.  The comedic release can... Read more »

"The Cripple of Inishmaan" (Redtwist Theatre): Masterful Storytelling by OUR Locals

#107. The thing about the Irish is we enjoy a good story.  The bigger the yarn, the bigger the appeal.  We amuse ourselves and each other with vivid tales of things that actually happened, could have happened or we wanted to happen. And we find stories are best told with a pint of humor and... Read more »