HuffPo Review: One Man’s Journey to Self-Discovery in Compelling ‘Seek and Ye Shall Find’

Actor and playwright Sentell Harper feels trapped. As a gay black man, he’s disinterested in “throwing shade,” lip syncing for your life or being on the DL as a way to survive within this marginalized minority. He’s searching for answers, but coming up with more questions about what it means to just simply be yourself.… Read More HuffPo Review: One Man’s Journey to Self-Discovery in Compelling ‘Seek and Ye Shall Find’

HuffPo Review: Rachel York leads a deliciously zany ‘Anything Goes’

Anything Goes is one of those shows that never takes itself too seriously. It isn’t afraid to get a little bawdy and bend the rules — but it always comes out on top, full of class, champagne bubbles and loads of style. In describing the show, I’m also describing the show’s star. Rachel York is… Read More HuffPo Review: Rachel York leads a deliciously zany ‘Anything Goes’

HuffPo Review: Porchlight’s Seductively Charming ‘Pal Joey’

Susie McMonagle in Porchlight Music Theatre’s “Pal Joey” “They just don’t write ’em like that anymore!” That classic turn of phrase kept running through my head watching Porchlight Music Theatre’s seductively charming production of Pal Joey — a classic yet rarely produced 1940 musical comedy. Set in late 1930s Chicago, the musical, written by John… Read More HuffPo Review: Porchlight’s Seductively Charming ‘Pal Joey’

HuffPo Review: A Brutally Honest ‘The Whale’ at Victory Gardens

Brutal honesty. That’s playwright Samuel D. Hunter’s razor-sharp focus in his deeply significant play, The Whale. And through Charlie, a 600-pound gentle giant played by the superbly understated Dale Calandra in Victory Gardens’ uncompromising production, we see brutal honesty: in the flesh. At Monday’s press opening, there were audible “tsks” and sighs of disapproval from… Read More HuffPo Review: A Brutally Honest ‘The Whale’ at Victory Gardens

HuffPo Review: ‘Catch Me If You Can’ Tour Features a Star-Making Performance

Sometimes all you need is a star-making performance to make a show. The fresh-faced and ideally cast Stephen Anthony, who plays infamous con man Frank Abagnale Jr., offers such a performance in the first national tour of Catch Me If You Can which is playing through April 14 at the Cadillac Place Theatre. While Anthony… Read More HuffPo Review: ‘Catch Me If You Can’ Tour Features a Star-Making Performance

HuffPo Review: Artistic Home’s Steamy ‘Night of the Iguana’ Puts the Passion Front and Center

I’m all for firsts. And Artistic Home’s very solid production of Tennessee Williams’ The Night of the Iguana presented a whole world of them. It was my first time seeing any iteration of this classic Williams play, my first time seeing this well-established, small-yet-mighty ensemble, and it was the ensemble’s first production in their impressive… Read More HuffPo Review: Artistic Home’s Steamy ‘Night of the Iguana’ Puts the Passion Front and Center

HuffPo Review: A Drag-tastic ‘Priscilla, Queen of the Desert’ Pulls out All The Stops

While I’m not sure how much it cost to produce the national tour of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, I’d wager that a sizable, of not primary, chunk of the change went into the show’s outlandish costumes and towering wigs. Costume designers Tim Chappel and Lizzy Gardiner, who also designed the costumes for the movie… Read More HuffPo Review: A Drag-tastic ‘Priscilla, Queen of the Desert’ Pulls out All The Stops

HuffPo Review: Despite an excellent Norma Desmond, a dreary ‘Sunset’ at Drury Lane

Christine Sherrill has ‘New Ways to Dream’ as Norma Desmond in Drury Lane’s “Sunset Boulevard” Before I begin to discuss Drury Lane’s disappointingly dreary production of Sunset Boulevard, let me set the stage. Sunset Boulevard, the Andrew Lloyd Webber megamusical based on the groundbreaking 1950 Billy Wilder film about a faded silent film star, Norma… Read More HuffPo Review: Despite an excellent Norma Desmond, a dreary ‘Sunset’ at Drury Lane

Huffpo review: Alexis Rogers captivates as Billie Holiday in Porchlight’s ‘Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill’

In Porchlight’s seductive and sobering production of Lanie Robertson’s Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill, the moment Alexis J. Rogers makes her reluctant entrance, drink in hand, you know you’re in for a turbulent ride. Rogers, channeling the singular jazz singer Billie Holiday, known by her fans as “Lady Day,” simply captivates in the… Read More Huffpo review: Alexis Rogers captivates as Billie Holiday in Porchlight’s ‘Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill’

HuffPo Review: Mercury Theater’s ‘A Grand Night for Singing’ is ‘Something Wonderful’

It’s a very rare thing to come across a show that embraces its simplicity with virtually zero pretense. A Grand Night for Singing at Mercury Theater is such a show. This perfectly enjoyable musical revue celebrating the classic scores of Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein isn’t afraid to make the songs the star by featuring… Read More HuffPo Review: Mercury Theater’s ‘A Grand Night for Singing’ is ‘Something Wonderful’

HuffPo Review: A Flat Yet Fascinating ‘Other Desert Cities’ at Goodman

It’s not hard to understand why Jon Robin Baitz’s Other Desert Cities is such an effective play. This award-winning compact family drama addresses the notions of deception, trust, loyalty, privacy and integrity using a deliciously straightforward setup: a strong-willed novelist daughter returns home to declare to her well-bred and respected republican family that her next… Read More HuffPo Review: A Flat Yet Fascinating ‘Other Desert Cities’ at Goodman

HuffPo Review: Rivendell’s ‘American Wee-Pie’ Finds Sweet Victory in Second Chances

I remember my quarter-life crisis. Here I was, working long hours in a job I didn’t have any real passion for, broke, gaining weight, listless. I was going through the motions and letting self doubt rule my world. Seven years later, I’m in a completely different place. I’m in a rewarding career, I’ve found a… Read More HuffPo Review: Rivendell’s ‘American Wee-Pie’ Finds Sweet Victory in Second Chances

HuffPo Review: A Grand ‘War Horse’ and Giddy ‘Book of Mormon’ Burst Into Chicago

The theatrical year in Chicago has ended in full gallop with two highly anticipated shows receiving full-scale, top-notch productions, playing through the new year. War Horse, the breathtaking international hit that took London and Broadway by storm, and the Broadway blockbuster The Book of Mormon, which is now bursting into Chicago with a sure-fire Chicago… Read More HuffPo Review: A Grand ‘War Horse’ and Giddy ‘Book of Mormon’ Burst Into Chicago

Chatting With Tracy Michelle Arnold, Star of Goodman’s ‘Other Desert Cities’

When Jon Robin Baitz’s searing family drama Other Desert Cities premiered at Lincoln Center in January 2011, it took the town by storm. Not since August: Osage County can I recall an American play that’s had such buzz, with the New York Times calling it “the best new play on Broadway.” And, like most good… Read More Chatting With Tracy Michelle Arnold, Star of Goodman’s ‘Other Desert Cities’

HuffPo Reviews: Profiles’ ‘Hellcab’ and Bernstein revue at Davenport’s Piano Bar

Profile’s Ambitious Remount of Hit Hellcab Delivers Unexpected Holiday Hope Im sure we’ve all encountered a hellacious cab experience or three — the driver who used the drive from Andersonville to Boystown as an opportunity to issue a sermon about how all gays are going to hell and then proceeded to creepily hit on me;… Read More HuffPo Reviews: Profiles’ ‘Hellcab’ and Bernstein revue at Davenport’s Piano Bar