Review “LOVE, CHAOS & DINNER” (Teatro ZinZanni): Equally Posh, Farce and Astonishing!

Monday, July 29, 2019 Permalink 0

Teatro ZinZanni and Randolph Entertainment presents the Chicago premiere of LOVE, CHAOS & DINNER. This theatrical experience is an immediate adventure. You have probably passed Cambria Hotel hundreds of times and not noticed it. It’s west of the James Nederlander Theatre nestled between McDonalds and Garret Popcorn. And the lobby is fairly small. The show is ...

Review “The Wizard of Oz” (Chicago Shakespeare Theater): Enchanting and Impressive!

Chicago Shakespeare Theater presents THE WIZARD OF OZ. Frank Baum’s classic is a beloved children’s story. The tale of Dorothy and Toto whisked away by a tornado, befriending a misfit crew and getting chased by a witch is well-known. The film version is iconic. And the spin-off musicals, “The Wiz” and “Wicked”, have garnered their own ...

Review “Head over Heels” (Kokandy Productions): Poppy yet Poignant!

Kokandy Productions presents the Chicago premiere HEAD OVER HEELS. Sir Phillip Sidney’s “The Arcadia” gets a modern day makeover. Jeff Whitty (conceived and original book) and James Magruder (adaptor) dust off this 17th century prose romance and spin it into a queer fairytale of a musical. They cleverly weave in the music of 80s girl band, ...

Review “True West” (Steppenwolf Theatre): Brotherly Vivisection

Wednesday, July 17, 2019 Permalink 0

Steppenwolf Theatre presents TRUE WEST. Austin (played by Jon Michael Hill) is working on a screenplay while housesitting for his mom. When his brother Lee (played by Namir Smallwood) shows up unexpectedly, the pair are forced to grapple with aspirations and competition. Austin is married and an established writer. Lee is a fast-talking drifter with big ...

Review “The Music Man” (Goodman Theatre): Fun!

Tuesday, July 16, 2019 Permalink 0

Goodman Theatre presents THE MUSIC MAN. I was giddy about this one. I grew up watching the screen version of this musical starring Robert Preston and Shirley Jones. I know all the songs by heart! Meredith Wilson’s score is distinct and infectious. The iconic “(Ya got) Trouble” and “Seventy-Six Trombones” mingle along with heart-felt ballads, plucky ...

June Check-in

Thursday, July 4, 2019 Permalink 0

July 4th     Happy Independence! This is a picture of the card I sent my sister Cindy for her birthday. I love the sentiment. Life is short! I had a reminder of that last week when I met a woman, around my age, fighting cancer. Despite being in pain, she had an amazing warrior spirit. She ...

Review “Hedwig and The Angry Inch” (Theo Ubique): Favorite HEDWIG Ever!

Monday, June 24, 2019 Permalink 0

Theo Ubique presents HEDWIG AND THE ANGRY INCH. The creative team of John Cameron Mitchell (book) and Stephen Trask (music and lyrics) launched this completely one-of-a-kind trashy, rock musical in 1998. I’ve seen five productions, including a Broadway touring troupe, of HEDWIG. Of my five experiences, Theo Ubique’s show is my favorite for two reasons: venue ...

Review “Queen of the Mist” (Firebrand Theatre): Sensational Singing!

Firebrand Theatre presents the Chicago premiere of QUEEN OF THE MIST. Firebrand has quickly established itself as a competitive musical force in Chicago. Their newest production is another showcase of beautiful harmonies. Led by the always amazing Barbara E. Robertson, the talented ensemble (Maryam Abdi, Neala Barron, Liz Bollar, Brianna Buckley, Max J. Cervantes, Liz Chidester, Hannah Starr) is pitch perfection  (Musical ...

EXTENDED Thru July 28th “Emma” (Lifeline Theatre): Imaginative Spin on a Classic

Wednesday, June 5, 2019 Permalink 0

Lifeline Theatre presents an adaptation of Jane Austen’s EMMA. The creative team of Phil Timberlake (adapter) and Elise Kauzlaric (director) put an imaginative spin on Jane Austen’s tale of a plucky 19th century matchmaker. Emma is played by Emma Sipora Tyler. And the rest of the characters are played by Peter Gertas, Jeri Marshall, Madeline Pell, ...