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Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Chicago Theater Review: THE ROYAL SOCIETY OF ANTARCTICA (The Gift Theatre) by Barnaby Hughes

SMART DRAMA REVEALS POLAR ATTRACTION A world premiere production, Mat Smart’s The Royal Society of Antarctica at The Gift Theatre is easily one of the year’s best new plays. Smart, who w…

SOURCE: Stage and Cinema at 02:34AM
Saturday, February 28, 2015

Chicago Theater Review: YANKEE TAVERN (American Blues Theater at the Greenhouse Theater Center) by Barnaby Hughes

YANKEE DOODLE DUD Of all the plays inspired by the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, Yankee Tavern has got to be one of the worst. Steven Dietz’s play, which takes place in New York…

SOURCE: Stage and Cinema at 12:28AM
Monday, February 16, 2015

Chicago Theater Review: REALLY REALLY (Interrobang Theatre Project at The Athenaeum Theatre) by Barnaby Hughes

A REALLY REALLY TIMELY PLAY 29-year old playwright Paul Downs Colaizzo’s Really Really premiered at Virginia’s Signature Theatre in 2012 before heading to Off-Broadway, where it was helm…

SOURCE: Stage and Cinema at 11:14AM
Sunday, February 15, 2015

Chicago Theater Review: FIRST DATE (Royal George) by Barnaby Hughes

EVERYTHING A FIRST DATE SHOULD BE First Date, an enjoyable new musical comedy that opened on Broadway in 2013, should really be called Blind Date. Its two principal protagonists, awkward Aar…

SOURCE: Stage and Cinema at 03:07AM
Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Chicago Opera Review: TANNHÄUSER (Lyric Opera) by Barnaby Hughes

TANNHÄUSER TIES TOSCA IN TERMS OF SIMILARLY SHODDY DIRECTION From the highpoint of Mozart’s Don Giovanni, Lyric Opera’s 60th anniversary season has been on a slow downward arc. That in…

SOURCE: Stage and Cinema at 01:18AM
Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Chicago Theater Review: WAITING FOR GODOT (Court) by Barnaby Hughes

BECKETT’S RIDDLE CONTINUES TO CONFOUND Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot is not an easy play to write about, let alone produce, act, or even watch. It’s challenging, opaque, and ambig…

SOURCE: Stage and Cinema at 02:37AM
Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Chicago Opera Review: TOSCA (Lyric Opera) by Barnaby Hughes

WHEN IN ROME, DO AS THE ROMANS DO (NOT THE BRITISH) With Puccini’s Tosca, Lyric Opera has done one update too many this season. Don Giovanni was bumped up 300+ years in time to the 1920s, …

SOURCE: Stage and Cinema at 12:52PM
Monday, December 15, 2014

Chicago Theater Preview: BURNING BLUEBEARD (The Ruffians at Theater Wit) by Barnaby Hughes

THE HOTTEST SHOW IN TOWN One of the best-reviewed and most popular Christmastime shows, The Ruffians’ Burning Bluebeard, returns beginning tonight for three weeks only through Jan. 4, 2015…

SOURCE: Stage and Cinema at 06:04PM
Friday, December 12, 2014

Chicago Theater Review: PERICLES (Chicago Shakespeare Theater) by Barnaby Hughes

CST STAGES A FRESH AND FANTASTICAL PERICLES William Shakespeare is a man of many faces. To most, he is quite simply a master of the English language and one of the greatest playwrights who e…

SOURCE: Stage and Cinema at 02:47AM

Chicago Opera Review: ANNA BOLENA (Lyric Opera) by Barnaby Hughes

RADVANOVSKY IS REGAL IN ANNA BOLENA With so much filmed and written about the six wives of Henry VIII, the Tudor period is perhaps one of the most familiar eras in English history. Yet Gaeta…

SOURCE: Stage and Cinema at 02:27AM
Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Chicago Theater Review: THE CHRISTMAS SCHOONER (Mercury Theater Chicago) by Barnaby Hughes

THIS SCHOONER SAILS IN ON YULETIDE EUPHORIA A joyous holiday tradition, The Christmas Schooner has been warming Chicagoan hearts for nearly two decades. Following a lengthy run at Bailiwick …

SOURCE: Stage and Cinema at 02:59AM
Sunday, December 7, 2014

Chicago / Tour Opera Review: WILLIAM TELL (Teatro Regio Torino at the Harris Theater) by Barnaby Hughes

TELL US SOME MORE Turin, Italy’s Teatro Regio Torino opened its first ever North American tour with a magnificent concert performance of Gioachino Rossini’s William Tell at the Harris Th…

SOURCE: Stage and Cinema at 02:49AM
Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Chicago Theater Review: H.M.S. PINAFORE (Hypocrites) by Barnaby Hughes

THE HYPOCRITES PLAYFULLY ROCK THIS BOAT A nautical joyride of musical mayhem, belly laughs, and unadulterated fun, this world premiere adaptation of H.M.S. Pinafore completes The Hypocrites…

SOURCE: Stage and Cinema at 03:47PM
Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Chicago Theater Review: SHINING CITY (Irish Theatre of Chicago; formerly Seanachaí Theatre Company) by Barnaby Hughes

ARMACOST LIGHTS UP THE NULLITY OF SHINING CITY Hot on the heels of Steppenwolf’s production of Conor McPherson’s newest play The Night Alive comes Irish Theatre of Chicago’s current pr…

SOURCE: Stage and Cinema at 02:39PM
Thursday, November 27, 2014

Chicago Theater Review: DESPERATE DOLLS (Strawdog) by Barnaby Hughes

HOLLYWOOD HORROR STORY Director Michael Driscoll brings B-movie exploitation antics to Strawdog’s Hugen Hall stage in Darren Callahan’s Desperate Dolls. This over-the-top, no-holds-barre…

SOURCE: Stage and Cinema at 04:21PM
Sunday, November 23, 2014

Chicago Theater Review: THE TESTAMENT OF MARY (Victory Gardens Theater) by Barnaby Hughes

MARY, MARY, QUITE CONTRARY It begins with a woman taking a bath. The lighting is low and there are dozens of candles spread about the set. She slowly gets up and dries off, donning a linen s…

SOURCE: Stage and Cinema at 08:01PM
Saturday, November 22, 2014

Chicago Opera Review: PORGY AND BESS (Lyric Opera) by Barnaby Hughes

LYRIC DOES THE BESS THAT IT CAN After two outings to Spain (Don Giovanni and Il Trovatore) and one to Paris (Capriccio), Lyric Opera is bringing audiences something homegrown, composed by an…

SOURCE: Stage and Cinema at 08:35PM
Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Chicago Theater Review: THE HUMANS (American Theater Company) by Barnaby Hughes

A HOLIDAY FOR HUMANITY Playwright Stephen Karam’s Sons of the Prophet was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in 2012, and his Speech and Debate—with its with crackling humor and vivacity…

SOURCE: Stage and Cinema at 12:52PM
Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Chicago Opera Review: IL TROVATORE (Lyric Opera) by Barnaby Hughes

A TREASURE TROVATORE There’s nothing subtle about Verdi’s ambitiously conceived Il Trovatore (The Troubadour). Grandly realized and magnificently staged by Lyric Opera, it is one of the …

SOURCE: Stage and Cinema at 12:41PM
Monday, October 27, 2014

Chicago Opera Review: GLI EQUIVOCI NEL SEMBIANTE (Haymarket Opera Company) by Barnaby Hughes

EXCELLENT BY ALL APPEARANCES It is rare enough to find early operas staged in the U.S., so to find a whole company devoted to their performance is truly extraordinary. Haymarket Opera Compan…

SOURCE: Stage and Cinema at 02:12AM
Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Chicago Theater Review: ALL GIRL EDGAR ALLAN POE (The Chicago Mammals) by Barnaby Hughes

WHERE BLACK BOX EQUALS COFFIN Just in time for Halloween, The Chicago Mammals are performing their All Girl Edgar Allan Poe. Apart from the original source material, most everything about th…

SOURCE: Stage and Cinema at 12:44PM
Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Chicago Theater Review: AMAZING GRACE (Pre-Broadway World Premiere at Bank of America Theatre) by Barnaby Hughes

GRACEFULLY AMAZING John Newton (1725-1807) was many things: a slave trader, a sailor and a clergyman. Yet today he is chiefly remembered as the author of “Amazing Grace,” perhaps the mos…

SOURCE: Stage and Cinema at 02:25AM
Sunday, October 19, 2014

Chicago Theater Review: ANIMAL FARM (Steppenwolf) by Barnaby Hughes

THE FARM-TO-FABLE REVOLUTION IS HERE One of the most extraordinary things about George Orwell’s novels is their prophetic power; they are perhaps even more relevant now than when he wrote …

SOURCE: Stage and Cinema at 02:58AM
Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Chicago Theater Review: SWEENEY TODD: THE DEMON BARBER OF FLEET STREET (Porchlight) by Barnaby Hughes

A CONFESSION ABOUT SWEENEY TODD Bless me, Father, for I have sinned. It’s been four days since my last confession. I saw Porchlight Music Theatre’s production of Sweeney Todd at Stage 77…

SOURCE: Stage and Cinema at 01:23AM
Monday, October 13, 2014

Chicago Theater Review: LA CHUNGA (Aguijón Theater) by Barnaby Hughes

MISSING MECHE Although Nobel Prize-winning writer Vargas Llosa is known primarily as a novelist, he has also written nine plays spanning a period of sixty years. La Chunga,written in 1986, i…

SOURCE: Stage and Cinema at 01:57AM
Thursday, October 9, 2014

Los Angeles / Tour Theater Review: THE MAGIC FLUTE (Isango Ensemble at The Broad in Santa Monica) by Barnaby Hughes

SOME MAGIC IS ADDED, SOME MAGIC IS TAKEN AWAY South Africa’s Isango Ensemble is undoubtedly full of talented actors, singers, and musicians, but doesn’t quite have the specialized skills…

SOURCE: Stage and Cinema at 07:01PM

Chicago Theater Review: THE WILD PARTY (Bailiwick Chicago at Victory Gardens) by Barnaby Hughes

PARTY LIKE IT’S 1928 A riot from start to finish, Bailiwick Chicago’s The Wild Party is a breathless, exuberant, fast-paced production running for an hour and forty minutes without pause…

SOURCE: Stage and Cinema at 12:50PM
Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Chicago Opera Review: CAPRICCIO (Lyric Opera) by Barnaby Hughes

THIS CAPRICCIO IS NO CAPRICE The brooding romanticism of Capriccio’s opening sextet sets the tone for the introspection that is to follow. Instead of a dramatic overture and crowd-pleasing…

SOURCE: Stage and Cinema at 03:52PM
Monday, October 6, 2014

Chicago Theater Review: THE CRYPTOGRAM (Profiles) by Barnaby Hughes

PUZZLING THROUGH THE CRYPTOGRAM IS WORTH THE EFFORT The title alone should have been clue enough that this was going to be a difficult play, but nothing could have prepared me for the lack o…

SOURCE: Stage and Cinema at 12:07PM
Friday, October 3, 2014

Chicago Theater Review: THE VANDAL (Steep Theatre) by Barnaby Hughes

A VANDAL OF AN ENDING Thirty-something actor and writer Hamish Linklater’s The Vandal is one of those plays that starts well and ends poorly. It begins with a middle-aged woman waiting at …

SOURCE: Stage and Cinema at 12:27PM
Monday, September 29, 2014

Chicago Opera Review: DON GIOVANNI (Lyric Opera) by Barnaby Hughes

THE MANY LOVE(S OF) DON GIOVANNI Why does Chicago love Mozart’s Don Giovanni so much? Well-received as Lyric Opera’s first production back in 1954, and revived many times over the ensuin…

SOURCE: Stage and Cinema at 01:39AM

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