Review “Uncle Vanya” (Goodman Theatre): Bursting with Character

Thursday, February 23, 2017 Permalink 0

Goodman Theatre presents UNCLE VANYA. Scenic Designer Todd Rosenthal solidly sets the tone of past grandeur. His estate has well-worn elegance. The walls have a weathered appearance, yet, they create a solid fortress. The height suggesting old money contrasts dramatically with the mismatched furniture.  With or without the ensemble, this room is bursting with character. Rosenthal ...

Review “The Illusionists” (Broadway in Chicago): Un-freaking-believable!

Thursday, February 23, 2017 Permalink 0

Reviewed by Abby Simon As a lover of the unbelievable, I have a fond likeness to magic. There are incredible moments when watching a magician perform and truly being in pure awe. I don’t care how it’s done or if it’s real (much like my understanding of gravity, coding, or taxes), the sheer fact that seeing ...

Review “Monster” (Steppenwolf Theatre): Stellar Acting

Tuesday, February 21, 2017 Permalink 0

 Steppenwolf for Young Adults presents the world premiere adaptation of MONSTER. A teenager wrestles with his conscience about his participation in a crime. Daniel Kyri (Steve) is engaging as the young man.  Kyri narrates the tale as if he's writing a screenplay. He describes the incidents with mechanical logistics using words like 'exterior,' 'close-up,' and 'camera pans.'  The ...

Review “Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus” (Broadway in Chicago): Hilarious Date Night

Monday, February 20, 2017 Permalink 0

Reviewed by Abby Simon Broadway in Chicago presents "Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus." A hilarious one man show adapted from the 1992 hit book written by John Gray. Just one day after Valentines Day, a day in which most relationships put aside their differences and indulge in all things love. On the flip ...

Review “Straight White Men” (Steppenwolf Theatre): Oh, Brothers!

Sunday, February 19, 2017 Permalink 0

Steppenwolf Theatre presents the Chicago premiere production of  STRAIGHT WHITE MEN. Playwright and director Young Jean Lee takes us home for the holidays.  A widower (played by Alan Wilder) hosts his three adult sons Madison Dirks (Jake), Ryan Hallahan (Drew) and Brian Slaten (Matt) for Christmas.  The anticipated traditions like matching pajamas, Chinese take-out and movie night ...

Review “Love’s Labor’s Lost” (Chicago Shakespeare Theater): Boys Meet Girls = Love

Chicago Shakespeare Theater presents LOVE'S LABOR'S LOST. Four guys. Four gals. Four couples!?  It's not quite as simple as 1, 2, 3, 4.  This Shakespearean romantic comedy will test affections using secret love letters, clandestine meet-ups and lovers in disguise.  The Bard puts his would-be lovers through a dating game of word play.  The king and ...

Review “Quest” (The Actors Gymnasium): “OH MY GOSH!”

Tuesday, February 14, 2017 Permalink 0

The Actors Gymnasium presents the world premiere of QUEST, an original circus-theatre production. The show starts out with Flora Bare facilitating an animated game show.  The contestants must answer questions before the buzzer goes off.  The Q&A pace is rapid-fire until Kate Braland pauses to ask three important questions.  The questions stump the panel and send ...

Review “The Scottsboro Boys” (Porchlight Music Theatre): Must See!

Porchlight Music Theatre announces the Chicago premiere of the Broadway musical The Scottsboro Boys. Nine African American teenagers falsely accused of gang raping two white ladies is not your typical basis for a musical. The creative team behind other unconventional musicals like Chicago, Kiss of the Spider Woman and Cabaret tackle civil rights in this mockery of injustice. John ...

#AlternativeTweets

Friday, February 10, 2017 Permalink 0

Dear President Trump, Twitter seems to be your favorite platform to speak to the people.  On one hand, it is admirable that you use technology to be more accessible to the American people.  On the other hand, it's an in-the-moment communique so it tends to be reactive and impulsive. And unlike a person tweeting their opinions ...

Review “Cymbeline” (Strawdog Theatre): Storefront Theatre at Its Finest!

Sunday, February 5, 2017 Permalink 0

Strawdog Theatre Company presents CYMBELINE.  Small stage. Large ensemble. Huge story. Director Robert Kauzlaric navigates this Shakespearean dark fairy tale with finesse and humor.  The show starts with the entire 15 member cast forming a circle.  Each person is clad in black. They take a moment for a collective sigh.  They then don their role defining garments ...