When civility dissolves into chaos in the riotous ‘God of Carnage’ at Goodman Theatre

The claws come out in Goodman Theatre’s production of Yasmina Reza’s “God of Carnage.” The last Yasmina Reza play I saw I absolutely hated. So, when all my New York friends were flipping out over her latest play, God of Carnage, which opened on Broadway and won the 2009 Tony for Best Play, I took… Read More When civility dissolves into chaos in the riotous ‘God of Carnage’ at Goodman Theatre

Goodman Theatre’s ‘Mary’ will aggravate you to no end — but is that a bad thing?

A tense and twisted family Christmas in Thomas Bradshaw’s “Mary,” playing at the Goodman At the end of Thomas Bradshaw’s Mary, you’re not quite sure if you should clap or slip quietly out the doors. It seems inappropriate — and perhaps supportive of a belief that goes against everything you hold near and dear —… Read More Goodman Theatre’s ‘Mary’ will aggravate you to no end — but is that a bad thing?

Belarus Free Theatre delivers a fearless and sobering ‘Being Harold Pinter’

A scene from “Being Harold Pinter” Belarus Free Theatre’s Being Harold Pinter is political theatre to the core. These artists, who fled their country late last year to perform this piece in New York as part of the Public Theater’s Under the Radar festival, are risking it all for their art, and we must sit… Read More Belarus Free Theatre delivers a fearless and sobering ‘Being Harold Pinter’

Goodman’s transformative ‘The Trinity River Plays’ inspires while it meanders

The introverted Iris (Karen Aldridge) gets a makeover by her street-wise cousin (Christiana Clark) in Regina Taylor’s “The Trinity River Plays.” In three interlocking pieces, playwright Regina Taylor charts the process of growing, grieving and growing again. A transformation. Very much in the spirit of Harvey Fierstein’s Torch Song Trilogy, which focuses on three key… Read More Goodman’s transformative ‘The Trinity River Plays’ inspires while it meanders

Risking it all for their art: Belarus Free Theatre comes to Chicago

Belarus Free Theatre in performance. [photo credit: Greg Wood] Yesterday, Goodman Theatre announced that they, in cooperation with the League of Chicago Theatres and Northwestern University, are bringing Belarus Free Theatre to Chicago in early February (see the blurb from their press release at the end of this post). I hadn’t heard of the group… Read More Risking it all for their art: Belarus Free Theatre comes to Chicago

Two days; two wildly different ‘Christmas Carols’

Christmas Carols, Goodman and Klingon style. “Bah! Humbug!” Can you believe I’ve never seen an on-stage adaptation of that Charles Dickens classic, A Christmas Carol? Not even Goodman Theatre’s production, now in its 300th year (or something). But that’s all changing tonight! It’s Gerald and my tenth anniversary today, and I thought: what lovelier way… Read More Two days; two wildly different ‘Christmas Carols’

Goodman’s emotionally dense ‘The Seagull’ goes back to basics

Arkadina (Mary Beth Fisher) passes the afternoon on the family’s estate with Dr. Dorn (Scott Jaeck) as the cast of Robert Fall’s production of “The Seagull” looks on. Anton Chekhov’s The Seagull is a play about actors and artists. Fitting that Robert Fall’s stirring and intimate production is stripped of any flashy theatrics or production… Read More Goodman’s emotionally dense ‘The Seagull’ goes back to basics

Goodman’s ‘Candide’ attempts to solve a muddled masterpiece

Jesse Perez, Geoff Packard, Lauren Molina and Hollis Resnik contemplate this best of all possible worlds in Goodman’s “Candide.” First things first: I’ve never experienced a live production of Candide before last night. However, I’m familiar with Leonard Bernstein’s score (it’s one of my faves — I’ve four different recordings of the show in my… Read More Goodman’s ‘Candide’ attempts to solve a muddled masterpiece

‘The Sins of Sor Juana’: less romance, more passion, please

Juana (Malaya Rivera Drew) pens out her frustrations. “I shall never write again!,” declared 16 year-old prodigal poet Juana Inés de la Cruz in blood in 1693. Playwright Karen Zacarias extracts this dramatic moment from the pages of 17th century Mexican history and imagines what drove this free thinking beauty — one of the first… Read More ‘The Sins of Sor Juana’: less romance, more passion, please

Powerful ‘The Good Negro’ examines civil rights movement from the inside out

Demetrios Troy, Billy Eugene Jones and Teagle F. Bougere seek to inspire in “The Good Negro” Four year old Shelly Sullivan just wants to use the bathroom. Problem is, it’s 1962 in the deep South, and the facilities assigned to African Americans are broken. Her mother, Claudette (a fierce Nambi E. Kelley), decides rather than let her daughter go… Read More Powerful ‘The Good Negro’ examines civil rights movement from the inside out