Review “Sister Cities” (Chimera Ensemble): Interesting Premise

Friday, August 26, 2016 Permalink 0

Chimera Ensemble presents the Chicago Premiere of SISTER CITIES. Collette Freedman’s play was the hit of the 2008 Edinburgh Fringe Festival.  It has received international acclaim in productions around the world.  A film version is currently in post-production. “Four estranged sisters, as different as the cities they are named after, face their mother’s recent and sudden ...

Review “Good Friday” (Oracle Theatre): Explosive, Thought-provoking Drama

Wednesday, August 24, 2016 Permalink 0

Oracle Productions, in collaboration with Kristiana Rae Colón and Tara Branham, present the world premiere of GOOD FRIDAY. Oracle inaugurates its new space with an explosive, thought-provoking drama. Playwright Kristiana Rae Colón has penned a complex exploration of women’s responses to trauma. Her story made me an emotional trainwreck. Before the end of the show, the ...

Review “Bette, Live At The Continental Baths” (Hell in a Handbag): A Sure Bette!

Hell in a Handbag presents a remount of its successful BETTE, LIVE AT THE CONTINENTAL BATHS. Caitlin Jackson (Bette Midler) takes us back to the beginnings of a legend. An unknown Bette Midler accompanied by an unknown pianist, Barry Manilow (played by Jeremy Ramey), started their careers in a gay bathhouse in 1971.  The effervescent Jackson ...

Review “Toruk- The First Flight” (Cirque du Soleil): Stunning Other-World Masterpiece

Thursday, August 4, 2016 Permalink 0

Photo Credit: Jesse Faatz Cirque du Soleil, in conjunction with Visa Signature® in association with United MileagePlus®, presents its new touring show inspired by James Cameron’s record-breaking movie Avatar, TORUK –  THE FIRST FLIGHT. The lush cinematic experience of Avatar is recreated in TORUK. This stunning designer showcase is one step closer to actually being in the ...

Review “Newsies” (Broadway in Chicago): Heart-stirring, Rebel-rousing, Fun-loving Disney Magic

Saturday, July 30, 2016 Permalink 0

Broadway in Chicago has brought the Tony Award-winning Disney's NEWSIES back for a limited engagement. This show blew me away in 2014. The story is pure heart-stirring, rebel-rousing, fun-loving Disney magic. The singing sounds like a harmonious yet cheeky boys choir. And the  dancing is absolutely unstoppable and unforgettable. Choreographer Christopher Gattelli has the superb ensemble ...

Review “Direct from Death Row The Scottsboro Boys” (Raven Theatre): Must See!

Sunday, July 24, 2016 Permalink 0

Raven Theatre presents a remount of DIRECT FROM DEATH ROW THE SCOTTSBORO BOYS for a limited return engagement. I missed this original run but fortunately for me and Chicago, it’s back with the entire Jeff Award-winning “Outstanding Ensemble.” In 1931, nine African-American teenagers were falsely accused of raping two white women. No evidence linked them to ...

Review “War Paint” (Goodman Theatre): A LuPone and Ebersole Production

Friday, July 22, 2016 Permalink 0

Goodman Theatre presents the World Premiere of WAR PAINT. Two iconic women play two iconic women.  Patti LuPone (Helene Rubinstein) and Christine Ebersole (Elizabeth Arden) play the make-up mavericks who established the cosmetic industry. LuPone and Ebersole channel their inner diva to play the successful business rivals. It’s impossible to imagine this show cast any ...

Review “The Woman Who Amuses Herself” (Idle Muse Theatre): Portrait of Art

Idle Muse Theatre presents the Chicago premiere of THE WOMAN WHO AMUSES HERSELF. Mona Lisa is famous. The 16th century portrait is recognized even by people with little to no art background. Playwright Victor Lodato uses the iconic painting as the subject of his play. In 1911, Vincenzo Peruggia (played by the outstanding Nathan Thompson) stole ...

Review “Between Riverside and Crazy” (Steppenwolf Theatre): Dynamics Intrigue!

Saturday, July 16, 2016 Permalink 0

Steppenwolf Theatre presents the Chicago premiere of BETWEEN RIVERSIDE AND CRAZY. Playwright Stephen Adly Guirgis won the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for this dark dramedy.  Guirgis pens the tale of an ex-cop father (played by the commanding Eamonn Walker) and his ex-con son (played by the understated James Vincent Meredith) co-existing in one of the last great ...