Review “Algorithm Nation, Status Quo” (The Second City): Aggressive, Dark Comedy

Wednesday, December 12, 2018 Permalink

The Second City presents its 107th Mainstage Revue, ALGORITHM NATION, STATUS QUO. The new mainstage show goes aggressive and dark. The opening bit has Jeffrey Murdoch in a hostage situation. He’s in his underwear with his nipples taped. He’s being threatened and tortured. The vibe isn’t playful. It’s tense. Then, the entire troupe is onstage dressed ...

Review “Santaland Diaries” (Goodman Theatre): Clever Tale of Elf Oppression

Friday, December 7, 2018 Permalink

Goodman Theatre presents SANTALAND DIARIES. I’m a huge fan of David Sedaris. He is an exceptional satirist. His storytelling is vivid and personal. He looks at ordinary things in an extraordinary manner. And he is hilarious!  In SANTALAND DIARIES, Sedaris chronicles his work experience as an elf at Macy’s. He takes us behind the scenes to the ...

Review “Yippee Ki-Yay Merry Christmas” (Yippee Productions): LMAO!

Thursday, December 6, 2018 Permalink

Yippee Productions LLC presents Yippee Ki-Yay Merry Christmas: A Die Hard Musical Parody. ATTENTION fans of Die Hard & 80s pop culture: Christmas came early this year!  The creative team of Michael Shepherd Jordan (books & lyrics), Stephanie McCullough (music) and Alex Garday (book & lyrics) have lampooned the 1988 cult classic. The original premise of cop takes ...

Review “Plainclothes” (Broken Nose Theatre): Arresting!

Wednesday, December 5, 2018 Permalink

Broken Nose Theatre presents the World premiere of PLAINCLOTHES. Playwright and co-director Spenser Davis introduces us to the gritty underbelly of a Chicago department store. He takes us behind the camera to meet the surveillance team. Most shoppers are oblivious to the invisible people watching them. Holed up in a drab makeshift office, a security detail continuously ...

Review “Nutcracker” (House Theatre): A Wonderfully Heartfelt Chicago Holiday Tradition

Wednesday, December 5, 2018 Permalink

The House Theatre of Chicago presents NUTCRACKER. This is my sixth time (2016, 2014, 2013, 2011,  2010) seeing House’s imaginative interpretation of E.T.A. Hoffman’s story about a nutcracker. The creative team of Jake Minton(playwright/lyricist) , Phillip Klapperich(playwright), Kevin O’Donnell (composer) and Tommy Rapley (director/choreographer)spun the classic into a playful, magical and wonderfully heartfelt Chicago holiday tradition. The story is about ...

November Check-In

Saturday, December 1, 2018 Permalink

November Report Card: I love this statue. It’s on Lake Shore Drive near Hyde Park. I pass it all the time on my way back and forth to Indiana. I saw it 8 times this past month. It always makes me smile and I often muse out loud, ‘what are you looking at?’    Happy December! Chicago ...

Review “The Steadfast Tin Soldier” (Lookingglass Theatre): Uplifting and Inspirational Tale of Resilience!

Friday, November 30, 2018 Permalink

Lookingglass Theatre presents the world premiere of THE STEADFAST TIN SOLDIER. Director Mary Zimmerman creates magic on stage this holiday season. Zimmerman tells Hans Christian Andersen’s tale of a toy soldier. A one legged soldier (played by Alex Stein) is the target of a series of unfortunate events. Despite his continual mishaps, he does fall in ...

Review “Familiar” (Steppenwolf Theatre): Unexpectedly Poignant

Thursday, November 29, 2018 Permalink

Steppenwolf Theatre presents FAMILIAR. Playwright Danai Gurira introduces us to a somewhat typical Minnesota family. The Zimbabwean-American parents (played by Ora Jones and Cedric Young) bicker over TV. Their free-spirited daughter (played by Celeste M. Cooper) ruminates over the family not reading her blog. Their eldest daughter (played by Lanise Antoine Shelley) has become a fervent ...

Review “Miss Saigon” (Broadway in Chicago): Excellent!

Monday, November 19, 2018 Permalink

Cameron Mackintosh’s acclaimed new production of Boublil and Schönberg’s legendary MISS SAIGON.  This is my second time seeing MISS SAIGON. I love it hard! The score is fierce. The action is thrilling. And this production has cast powerful principles in Red Concepcion (The Engineer), Emily Bautista (Kim), Anthony Festa (Chris) and J. Daughtry (John). Plus, a ...

Review “The Last Session” (Refuge Theatre Project): Authentic and Uplifting!

Wednesday, November 14, 2018 Permalink

Refuge Theatre Project presents the Chicago premiere of THE LAST SESSION.  The creative team of Steve Schalchlin (music and lyrics) and Jim Brochu (book) tell the story of a composer with AIDS in 1990s. At that point in history, the disease carried a death sentence. Inspired by Schalchlin’s personal struggle with AIDS, the show has Gideon, ...