Review “The Good Fight” (Babes with Blades Theatre Company): Inspiring Present-Day Gumption

Babes With Blades Theatre Company (BWBTC) continues its 20th Anniversary Season: “Origins” with the Chicago premiere of The Good Fight. Christabel Pankhurst, Emmeline Pankhurst, Gertrude Harding, Harriet Kerr, Grace Roe, Emily Wilding Davison were women suffragettes in London. Playwright Anne Bertram gives us a peek into the turbulent era that secured a woman's right to vote. Bertram starts her ...

Review “Turandot” (Lyric Opera of Chicago): Puccini, Pageantry, Performances to love!

11/27/17 6:31:58 PM Lyric Opera Chicago's production of Puccini's Turandot.©†Todd Rosenberg 2017 Lyric Opera’s new-to-Chicago production of Turandot.  Production Designer Allen Charles Klein provides an imaginative backdrop for Puccini's last opera. The focal point is an over-sized dragon lounging on his back. One claw serves as the pulpit for the Emperor. The other claw holds a mystical ...

Review “Lettin’ the Good Times Roll” (Kicky Productions): Faye, Felicia, Fabulous!

Sunday, December 31, 2017 Permalink

Steve Abrams & Kicky Productions presents E. Faye Butler & Felicia P. Fields in LETTIN' THE GOOD TIMES ROLL. This show was thirty-one years in the making. Butler and Fields met at The Wiz auditions over three decades ago. Their friendship started in mutual admiration and grew into sisterhood. In the LETTIN' THE GOOD TIMES ROLL, these ...

I am 54 today… no exclamation mark.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017 Permalink

I'm 54 today... no exclamation mark. Typically, I make my birthday a big fricking deal. MY birthday!!! I spend the day doing exactly what I want. I like to plan a full day focused on myself. It typically is about reflection and goal setting plus a big ass party. After spending a day in contemplation, I ...

Review “Red Velvet” (Chicago Shakespeare Theater): Powerful Look Behind The Curtain

Chicago Shakespeare Theater presents Red Velvet, staged by Broadway and Chicago director Gary Griffin and starring celebrated Shakespearean actor Dion Johnstone. After legendary English actor Edmund Kean collapses onstage as Othello, Ira Aldridge is brought in to replace him. In 1833 London, the decision is considered controversial. Aldridge is a black actor playing opposite a white woman. Playwright Lolita Chakrabarti ...

Review “Beautiful The Carole King Musical” (Broadway in Chicago): STILL Beautiful!

Thursday, December 7, 2017 Permalink

Broadway in Chicago and Producers Paul Blake and Sony/ATV Publishing present a limited eight-week engagement of BEAUTIFUL -THE CAROLE KING MUSICAL. I love this show. When I saw it two years ago( My 2015 Review ), I was blown away by the depth of Carole King's impact on music. Aside from her own Grammy Award-winning albums, King was ...

Review “Pine”: Pretty Damn Clever!

Sunday, December 3, 2017 Permalink

The U.S.A. premiere of PINE is at Uncommon Ground Edgewater for a limited holiday engagement. After seeing PINE at the Hampstead Theatre in London in January 2016, Director Arianna Soloway was inspired to bring it to Chicago. Soloway cleverly presents the play outdoors in a Christmas tree lot at Uncommon Ground Edgewater. The makeshift theatre has ...

Review “The Minutes” (Steppenwolf Theatre): Our Worst Political Nightmare

Thursday, November 30, 2017 Permalink

Steppenwolf Theatre presents the World Premiere of THE MINUTES. My world turned upside-down with last year's election. Every day since then has introduced political buffoonery that has me in a constant state of duress. I walk around dazed to the ongoing daily attacks on truth and decency. Award-winning Playwright Tracy Letts illustrates my 2017 nightmare. He ...

Review “Lizzie” (Firebrand Theatre): Killer Rock Opera Slays!

Tuesday, November 28, 2017 Permalink

Firebrand Theatre presents its inaugural production, the Chicago Premiere of LIZZIE. Artistic Director and Founder Harmony France debuts her new theatre company with a killer rock opera. The creative team of Steven Cheslik-deMeyer (concept, music, lyrics), Alan Stevens Hewitt (music, additional lyrics) and Tim Maner (concept, book, additional music) tell the story of the brutal Borden ...

Review “Hellcab” (Agency Theatre Collective): Reality-based Christmas Angst

The Agency Theater Collective announces the Chicago holiday classic HELLCAB. Playwright Will Kern penned a memoir to his Chicago cab driving days. Kern gives us a day-in-the-life-of a cab driver on Christmas Eve. He features a series of snippets from a myriad characters. He has couples going to church, going into labor, and going down on ...