Profiles’ subtle ‘Sweet and Sad’ makes tragedy the main course

A scene from Profiles Theatre’s “Sweet and Sad.” Photo: Michael Brosilow Growing up, family dinners were a quick moment of dutiful obligation. With two parents who worked in the unpredictable and demanding medical field, we’d try to convene wherever we could to have a meal together, even if it meant joining dad at the hospital… Read More Profiles’ subtle ‘Sweet and Sad’ makes tragedy the main course

Porchlight’s ‘A Class Act’ Gives a Singular Sensation a Second Chance

Bill Larkin as Edward Kleban in Porchlight Music Theatre’s “A Class Act.” Photo: Jeremy Rill Something about A Class Act, a small musical with a big heart, captured my emotional core. The story of a talented guy who wants nothing else in life but to be publicly recognized for his true passion, but for various… Read More Porchlight’s ‘A Class Act’ Gives a Singular Sensation a Second Chance

Two things I learned at a recent blogger meet-up, or yes, Chicago does produce more than plays

At a recent blogger meet-up, I learned two things. One: If I hope to start making any real money blogging, I need to start a fashion blog. Pronto. Two: I guess I should probably gain a sense of fashion at some point. Baby steps. I also learned that people whom I’d consider uniquely tuned into… Read More Two things I learned at a recent blogger meet-up, or yes, Chicago does produce more than plays

A well-acted ‘Skin Tight’ at COR Theatre only scratches the surface

Tony Bozzuto and Tosha Fowler share a moment of passion in COR Theatre’s “Skin Tight.” Photo credit: Victoria Deiorio “And then my life flashed before my eyes.” While a cliché, have you actually had this happen to you? I have. On a horribly turbulent plane a few years ago. And it’s funny the things that… Read More A well-acted ‘Skin Tight’ at COR Theatre only scratches the surface

‘Susan Swayne and the Bewildered Bride’: A madcap murder mystery with a gender twist

Kelly Yacono and Lisa Herceg in Babes with Blades’ “Susan Swayne and the Bewildered Bride.” Photo by Steven Townshend. Susan Swayne and the Bewildered Bride, an energetic murder mystery romp by Babes With Blades ensemble member Reina Hardy, manages to insert some provocative thoughts around gender identity and independent thinking. Ms. Swayne, a level-headed-to-a-fault member… Read More ‘Susan Swayne and the Bewildered Bride’: A madcap murder mystery with a gender twist

2012 Equity Jeff nominations: A Chicago Theatre Addict’s reactions

So, I woke up from a restless sleep early this morning, checked my phone and noticed that the 2012 Equity Jeff Awards had been announced. And my first impression was: wow. No Nathan Lane. Yes, the Jeff committee overlooked Lane’s unconventional but widely praised performance as Hickey the hardware salesman in Goodman’s The Iceman Cometh,… Read More 2012 Equity Jeff nominations: A Chicago Theatre Addict’s reactions

HuffPo Review: ‘The Fall of the House of Usher’ Turns a Classic Into Creatively Creepy Camp

Christine Stulik and Halena Kays in The Hypocrites’ “The House of Usher” Welcome to the House of Usher, where not everything is as it seems and you may find yourself buried alive if you’re not careful. The Fall of the House of Usher, a compact, macabre one act adapted from the Edgar Allan Poe short… Read More HuffPo Review: ‘The Fall of the House of Usher’ Turns a Classic Into Creatively Creepy Camp

HuffPo Review: Redtwist’s Chilling ‘The Glass Menagerie’ Makes Williams’ Classic Well Worth Revisiting

Chris Daley and Sarah Mayhan Tran in Redtwist Theatre’s “The Glass Menagerie.” Tennessee Williams’ deeply personal masterpiece, The Glass Menagerie, has, perhaps in some people’s estimation, been done to death. However, lucky for me, I’ve only read the play but never seen it performed — this includes the 1950 MGM movie. And, quite honestly, I… Read More HuffPo Review: Redtwist’s Chilling ‘The Glass Menagerie’ Makes Williams’ Classic Well Worth Revisiting

‘A Steady Rain’ at Chicago Dramatists: the record-breaking cop drama returns to its Chicago roots in full force

Peter DeFaria and Randy Steinmeyer in “A Steady Rain.” Officer Denny’s the hot-headed one. When stabbed in the leg with a sharpened broom handle while on duty, he pours rubbing alcohol in the wound and goes about his day. When things get tough, he takes matters in his own hands, even if it means bending… Read More ‘A Steady Rain’ at Chicago Dramatists: the record-breaking cop drama returns to its Chicago roots in full force

Come see me, and others, make fools of ourselves in the name of Chicago theatre (and other things)

A few updates: Getting back in the swing: As you can see from my mini theatre calendar to the left of this post, I’ve got a full lineup over the next several days. Like most things in life, easing back into things is for sissies. Theatre Wars! My fearless Chicago theatre compatriot, blogger and podcast… Read More Come see me, and others, make fools of ourselves in the name of Chicago theatre (and other things)

HuffPo Review: Steppenwolf’s ‘Three Sisters’ Is Heavy-Handed Drama With Slight Emotional Weight

The cast of Steppenwolf Theatre’s “Three Sisters,” now playing through August 26. What is it about Steppenwolf’s production of Anton Chekhov’s The Three Sisters (Here, simply called Three Sisters) that left me mostly cold? Was it Tracy Letts’ vaguely contemporary new adaptation of the 1901 play that required one of its key actors to utter… Read More HuffPo Review: Steppenwolf’s ‘Three Sisters’ Is Heavy-Handed Drama With Slight Emotional Weight

Chicago Like a Local: ‘Beauty and the Beast’ at Chicago Shakespeare Theater is a Belle of a Good Time

The cast of ChiShakes’ “Beauty and the Beast.” It’s clear, based on yesterday’s sold-out performance of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, that Chicago Shakespeare Theatre has a hit. From the moment Belle (the charming Emily Rohm) comes strolling down the aisle singing that well-known passage (“Little town, it’s a quiet village…”), kids of all ages… Read More Chicago Like a Local: ‘Beauty and the Beast’ at Chicago Shakespeare Theater is a Belle of a Good Time

Rasaka Theatre’s ‘Gruesome Playground Injuries’ highlights the healing in the hurt

Tim Martin and Mouzam Makkar in Rasaka Theatre’s “Gruesome Playground Injuries.” I remember in elementary school I, along with some daredevil girls, perfected the art of the “penny drop.” This involved hanging by your knees upside-down on the monkey bars, swinging and gaining enough momentum to jump off and land right-side up. Each recess, we’d… Read More Rasaka Theatre’s ‘Gruesome Playground Injuries’ highlights the healing in the hurt

HuffPo Review: Goodman’s Joyous Crowns Gets Your Spirits Singing

E. Faye Butler and the cast of Goodman Theatre’s “Crowns” “Does anyone still wear a hat?” bellows the embittered Joanne, as memorably originated by Elaine Stritch in the 1970 musical Company. Why, yes. Yes, they do. And they’re mighty proud of it, too. Inspired by Michael Cunningham and Craig Marberry’s 2000 book that explores the… Read More HuffPo Review: Goodman’s Joyous Crowns Gets Your Spirits Singing

Soul Theatre’s ‘The Lover’ turns up the heat in a (role) play of lies

Ravi Batista and Mick Weber in Soul Theatre’s “The Lover” Every relationship needs a little spice now and then, right? Well, in Harold Pinter’s 55-minute power play, The Lover, married couple Sarah (Ravi Batista) and Richard (Mick Weber) have taken the erotic art of role play to a whole ‘nother level — to the point… Read More Soul Theatre’s ‘The Lover’ turns up the heat in a (role) play of lies