Review “For Peter Pan on Her 70th Birthday” (Shattered Globe): Missing Some Whimsy and Drama

Shattered Globe Theatre presents the Chicago premiere of FOR PETER PAN ON HER 70th BIRTHDAY. Live theatre provides its own unexpected moments of magic.  In last night's show, I sat in front of Playwright Sarah Ruhl as she watched her mom (Kathleen Ruhl) perform.  Sarah had penned this play based on an actual event in her mother's life. ...

Review “The? Unicorn? Hour?” (Neofuturists): YES!!!

Tuesday, April 11, 2017 Permalink

The Neo-Futurists are proud to present a world premiere created and performed by Leah Urzendowski and Anthony Courser THE? UNICORN? HOUR? Are you feeling depressed?  Do you need a shot of joy?  Well, Urzendowski and Courser are offering up big buckets of shiny, sparkly pleasure.  As the creators and performers behind THE? UNICORN? HOUR?, Team U&C fabricate a womb ...

Review “Spamilton” (Royal George Theatre): Perfect Spoof for “Hamilton” Fans

I saw "Hamilton" this past Fall.  I fell in love...hard.  I want to see it again and again and again. Since tickets are scarce and expensive, I pacify myself with listening to the complete cast recording at least weekly. For people like me salivating for another slice of Ham, I suggest a hunk of Spam.  SPAMILTON ...

Review “Beyond Caring” (Lookingglass Theatre): Uncomfortably and Heartbreakingly Real

Wednesday, April 5, 2017 Permalink

Lookingglass Theatre Company, in association with Dark Harbor Stories, presents the U.S. premiere of BEYOND CARING. This show is uncomfortably and heartbreakingly real. It's the working poor up close and personal. Playwright and director Alexander Zeldin forces us to experience the lives of four temps on the third shift of a meat-packing company. He immediately spills us ...

Review “The Great and Terrible Wizard of Oz” (House Theatre of Chicago): Good and Terrifying

The House Theatre of Chicago announces the final production in their 15th season, The Great and Terrible Wizard of Oz. To be clear, this isn't Judy Garland's "Wizard of Oz." Although House Theatre recommends this production for ages 10 and up, I'm not as certain. I don't want to spoil the dramatic roll-out so I'll just simply say witches are ...

Review “The Scullery Maid” (Idle Muse Theatre): Caked with Classism

Idle Muse Theatre presents the Chicago premiere of THE SCULLERY MAID. The war is over.  The plague is regressing. King Edward III (played by Dave Skvarla) has returned from the battlefield to face domestic disturbances in his castle.  Playwright Joseph Zettlelmaier drops us into 1300s England where the kitchen staff is baking a cake for the ...

Review “Picnic” (American Theater Company): Making Something Old Very New Again

Reviewed by Tom Lawler Who should this see this: Fans of intimately staged, lushly realized theatrical experiences. Anyone curious to see how ATC’s young new artistic director, Will Davis, is putting his stamp on his first season with the company after arriving from New York late last year. What’s it all about: William Inge’s 1953 Pulitzer-winning drama ...

Review “Circus 1903” (Broadway in Chicago): Rare Experience of Being Taken Back in Time

Thursday, March 23, 2017 Permalink

Reviewed by Abby Simon Broadway in Chicago presents CIRCUS 1903 This show was a truly unique experience, being taken back to the golden age of the circus – when going to the circus was a town holiday. It was interesting to think that during this time, a circus coming into town was THE entertainment that entire towns ...

Review of Hubbard Street Dance Chicago Season 39 Spring Series: Rhythmic & Enchanting

Sunday, March 19, 2017 Permalink

Reviewed by Abby Simon As a former dancer, seeing a well-executed dance can lift the spirits and leave you thinking about what you’ve seen over and over again. This spring series was no exception. This show opens with a slightly jarring, uneasy movement with dancers briskly walking across the stage with turtle necks pulled completely over ...