Review “American Hero” (First Floor Theater): A Day In The Life Of The Working Poor

First Floor Theater presents the Chicago premiere of AMERICAN HERO. Walking into this theatre space is like walking into a fast food joint. Designer Jeffery D. Kmiec's set is authentically legit. He even has a splash station. Before the show started, I found myself musing about my sandwich order. Playwright Bess Wohl's story takes place in ...

Review “Little Miss Sunshine” (Chicago Theatre Workshop): Fun, Feel-good Show!

Chicago Theatre Workshop, in association with Fletcher Jones Volkswagen, presents the regional premiere of LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE. Are you looking for a little sunshine? You'll find it in this show. The creative team of James Lapine (book) and William Finn (music and lyrics) condense Michael Arndt's quirky and provocative film into a pint-size playful romp. Arndt's ...

Review “Ideation” (Jackalope Theatre): F#cking Terrifying!

Thursday, May 18, 2017 Permalink

Jackalope Theatre presents the Midwest Premiere of IDEATION. Playwright Aaron Loeb pens a thought-provoking drama riddled with humor. A consulting team needs to pitch their next project to their boss in ninety minutes. That's as much as I'm willing to reveal as to not spoil the experience for you!  This thriller is meant to be lived. The ...

EXTENDED Thru June 17 “Lady X: The Musical” (Hell in a Handbag): Cat’s Meow… Still!

Hell in a Handbag Productions presents the world premiere  of the LADY X: THE MUSICAL. These are laugh lines. - Estelle Must have been one hell of a joke! - Scarlett     HILARIOUS!!! Playwright David Cerda premiered his spoof on melodrama films from the 1930's and 40's in 2010 (my full review). Seven years later, he brings it back ...

Review “Linda Vista” (Steppenwolf Theatre): Let(ts) Down

Steppenwolf Theatre Company presents the world premiere production of LINDA VISTA. Scheduling conflicts postponed me from seeing the newest Tracy Letts' play until last night. I entered the theatre with heightened excitement. I'm a huge fan of Letts. Plus, this show has gotten terrific buzz! I was ready to enjoy Letts latest sardonic Americana dissection. The first act ...

I apologize for not writing sooner…

Wednesday, May 10, 2017 Permalink

Dear President Trump, I’m sorry that I haven’t written in awhile. It’s not because you aren’t on my mind. It’s just the opposite. You see I work for a nonprofit funded by DHHS. Our contract ends on July 31st. We’ve been waiting since January for a funding opportunity announcement (FOA) to begin the competitive bidding process. ...

Review “Threesome” (The Other Theatre Company): Compelling and Troubling

The Other Theatre Company (TOTC) announces the Chicago premiere of THREESOME. The show opens in a couple's bedroom. Demetrios Troy (Rashid) and  Suzan Faycurry (Leila) are preparing to invite a stranger into their bed. Instead of sexy and playful, the conversation is awkward and tense. The swingers' vibe is hugely absent. It's obvious that Troy is a reluctant ...

EXTENDED Thru June 18th “Shakespeare in Love” (Chicago Shakespeare Theatre): Enchanting!

Chicago Shakespeare Theater presents SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE. I loved the movie.  I loved this play. Screenwriters Marc Norman and Tom Stoppard imagined Will Shakespeare's writing process in creating his masterpiece "Romeo and Juliet." The romantic comedy has the penniless playwright (played by the charismatic Nick Rehberger) struggling to tell a story. When he falls for the ...

EXTENDED Thru June 3 “Hookman” (Steep Theatre): Twisted Caricatures and Cruelty

Friday, April 21, 2017 Permalink

Steep Theatre presents HOOKMAN. Steep steps away from its traditional British angst for some pure campy Americana. Playwright Lauren Yee pens a gory thriller. Yee anchors her story with the urban legend of a homicidal manic with a hook for a hand.  A young gal named Lexi (played by Kiayla Ryann) has suffered personal trauma. Her ...

Review “Aladdin” (Broadway in Chicago): Summer Stay-cation Destination

Thursday, April 20, 2017 Permalink

Disney Theatrical Productions and Broadway In Chicago present the North American tour of DISNEY'S ALADDIN. Who did it better? Disney animators or Disney's creative team of Alan Menken (music), Howard Ashman (lyrics), Tim Rice (lyrics), Chad Beguelin (lyrics and book).  No contest!  This live production of the beloved cartoon has more of everything! More story, more music, more action, ...