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Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Theater Review: THE MUSIC MAN (Goodman Theatre) by Lawrence Bommer

MAN, OH MUSIC MAN If ever a show spelled out summer, it’s Meredith Willson’s 1957 masterpiece The Music Man. Throughout the rollicking story, the title character exudes sunny optimism,…

SOURCE: Stage and Cinema at 03:53PM
Monday, July 8, 2019

Theater Review: THE TEMPEST (Midsommer Flight) by Lawrence Bommer

TEMPEST BELONGS OUTDOORS The words can get windblown or contend with sirens and such. But, just as food tastes different (better?) when eaten outdoors, so does the Bard. Embracing all, Shake…

SOURCE: Stage and Cinema at 01:53PM
Sunday, July 7, 2019

Theater Review: HEAD OVER HEELS (Kokandy Productions in Chicago) by Lawrence Bommer

GO-GO SEE THIS SHOW-SHOW It’s a marriage made in musical heaven: A ton of fun erupts from combining seemingly antithetical elements — a 16th-century fairy-tale/poem cycle by Sir Phillip …

SOURCE: Stage and Cinema at 01:46PM
Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Theater Review: GRINDR THE OPERA (AN UNAUTHORIZED PARODY) (Pride Films and Plays) by Lawrence Bommer

AN APP-ETITE FOR AMOUR Sooner or later you knew an Internet application would get its own show, especially when it plays Dan Cupid, hooking up randy seekers of one-night stands or permanent …

SOURCE: Stage and Cinema at 01:41PM
Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Theater Review: HEDWIG AND THE ANGRY INCH (Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre in Evanston) by Lawrence Bommer

THE WINNER BY AN INCH It’s a perverse Pride Month offering that cocks a snoot at authority and respectability: “I’m the new Berlin Wall — try to tear me down!” That defiant dare ma…

SOURCE: Stage and Cinema at 07:51PM
Sunday, June 16, 2019

Theater Review: THE RIVER (BoHo Theatre in Chicago) by Lawrence Bommer

A LITERAL STREAM OF CONSCIOUSNESS Only 65 minutes long, British playwright Jez Butterworth’s spell-casting The River manages, as few plays have, to simulate a dream on stage. Heraclitus …

SOURCE: Stage and Cinema at 07:47PM
Saturday, June 15, 2019

Chicago Theater Review: IF I FORGET (Victory Gardens) by Lawrence Bommer

THESE CASCADING CRISES ARE NOT SOON FORGOTTEN Sometimes, given the right writing, a seemingly small struggle can defy and define supposedly close kinfolk — and even stamp a society: The fu…

SOURCE: Stage and Cinema at 07:13PM
Thursday, June 6, 2019

Theater Review: MS. BLAKK FOR PRESIDENT (Steppenwolf) by Lawrence Bommer

THE ULTIMATE DRAG RACE It’s both louder than life and strident with substance. The perfect play for Pride Month and a deafening blast from the past, Ms. Blakk for President, an uproarious…

SOURCE: Stage and Cinema at 03:38PM
Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Theater Review: DESIRE IN A TINIER HOUSE (Pride Films and Plays at the Pride Arts Center) by Lawrence Bommer

POINTLESS PERPLEXITY Sometimes what you see is much less than what you get. Case in point: Pride Films and Plays is closing its season with a daunting new work written by Ryan Oliveira and d…

SOURCE: Stage and Cinema at 06:32PM
Thursday, May 30, 2019

Theater Review: FALSETTOS (National Tour in Chicago) by Lawrence Bommer

WHAT MORE CAN THEY SING? By its riveting end Falsettos, a fusion of March of the Falsettos (1981) and Falsettoland (1990), has jolted us with its heartbreak and won us with its wit. This …

SOURCE: Stage and Cinema at 12:47PM
Sunday, May 26, 2019

Theater Preview: SIX (The Yard at Chicago Shakespeare) by Lawrence Bommer

SIX CHICKS REMIX TO NIX PRICKS Singing well is the best revenge, especially if you married the spouse from hell. So runs the cunning concept behind Six. This raucous pop concert joyously re…

SOURCE: Stage and Cinema at 10:26PM
Friday, May 24, 2019

Theater Review: STYLE AND GRACE: IN TRIBUTE TO LENA HORNE AND NANCY WILSON (Black Ensemble Theater in Chicago) by Lawrence Bommer

SINGING UP STORMY STUFF With this theater everything good is new again — and never old. The latest homage from Black Ensemble Theater, Style and Grace: In Tribute to Lena Horne and Nancy W…

SOURCE: Stage and Cinema at 01:35PM
Thursday, May 23, 2019

Theater Review: MARY SHELLEY’S FRANKENSTEIN (Lookingglass Theatre Company in Chicago) by Lawrence Bommer

THE MONSTER WITHIN It was a dark and stormy night. Escaping a tempest by seeking shelter in the Villa Diodati on a summer night in 1814, good friends Mary Shelley (as she would later be call…

SOURCE: Stage and Cinema at 01:42PM
Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Theater Review: BLOOMSDAY (Remy Bumppo Theatre Company at Theater Wit) by Lawrence Bommer

DÉJÀ VU VS. NEVERMORE A very prolific playwright, Steven Dietz can deliver dense dramatic homage. In his 2013 Mad Beat Hip & Gone, now playing at The Edge Theater Off Broadway, his di…

SOURCE: Stage and Cinema at 01:28PM

Chicago Theater Review: THE CROWD YOU’RE IN WITH (AstonRep Theatre Company at The Raven) by Lawrence Bommer

RETHINKING REPRODUCTION A very pointed question arrives near the end of Rebecca Gilman’s useful 2007 drama The Crowd You’re in With, first produced in Chicago ten years ago by Goodman …

SOURCE: Stage and Cinema at 09:06AM
Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Chicago Theater Review: THE WINTER’S TALE (Goodman Theatre) by Lawrence Bommer

A FRACTURED FAIRY TALE Shakespeare’s strange romance, which begins with gratuitous jealousy and ends with gratuitous forgiveness, is best savored as a fairy tale for grownups: A virtuous q…

SOURCE: Stage and Cinema at 06:54PM

Theater Review: MAD BEAT HIP & GONE (Promethean Theatre Ensemble) by Lawrence Bommer

TAKE TO THE ROAD Walt Whitman may have patented the “song of the open road,” but the Beat Generation gave it their own course correction and made it into a map. These writers of the Eise…

SOURCE: Stage and Cinema at 06:54PM

Theater Review: THE UNDENIABLE SOUND OF RIGHT NOW (Raven Theatre in Chicago) by Lawrence Bommer

KEEPING ROCK REAL Letting a good thing go is a hard fate: Change is always constant but it’s never guaranteed to be good. A tough transition in Chicago’s indie rock scene is feelingly ch…

SOURCE: Stage and Cinema at 03:36PM

Theater Review: TOO HEAVY FOR YOUR POCKET (TimeLine Theatre) by Lawrence Bommer

ANOTHER DREAM DEFERRED The price of progress is no abstraction, not during the fully-freighted 160 minutes of Jiréh Breon Holder’s civil rights drama Too Heavy for Your Pocket. A TimeLine…

SOURCE: Stage and Cinema at 03:36PM
Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Theater Review: THE CHILDREN (Steppenwolf) by Lawrence Bommer

 THE PARENTS CRUSADE The setting is the story in The Children, Steppenwolf Theatre Company’s Chicago premiere. Set designer Chelsea M. Warren depicts a cluttered seaside cottage off th…

SOURCE: Stage and Cinema at 07:03PM
Saturday, April 27, 2019

Theater Review: HAMLET (Chicago Shakespeare) by Lawrence Bommer

THE PARALYZED PRINCE Century after century, thespian tyro after marquee headliner, something remains rotten in the state of Denmark. A defining challenge for thousands of careers, Hamlet pe…

SOURCE: Stage and Cinema at 03:14PM
Friday, April 26, 2019

Opera Review: MOBY-DICK (Chicago Opera Theater at the Harris Theater) by Lawrence Bommer

THE WHALE WINS There’s only one more performance — on Sunday at 3 at the Harris Theatre — of Chicago Opera Theater’s awesomely ambitious Moby-Dick, a nearly-three-hour 2010 epic with…

SOURCE: Stage and Cinema at 02:11PM
Thursday, April 25, 2019

Dance Review: ACROSS THE POND (Joffrey Ballet at the Auditorium Theatre) by Lawrence Bommer

BRITAIN’S BALLET FINDS CHICAGO Springing into the season, the Joffrey Ballet’s current visit to the Auditorium Theatre delivers very welcome art — two world premieres and a Chicago fir…

SOURCE: Stage and Cinema at 12:34PM
Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Theater Review: TWO DAYS IN COURT: Benet’s THE DEVIL AND DANIEL WEBSTER and Gilbert and Sullivan’s TRIAL BY JURY (City Lit) by Lawrence Bommer

TWIN TRAVESTIES (OF JUSTICE) ARE DOUBLE THE FUN Order in the court! Closing its season with dueling gavels, City Lit Theater offers Two Days in Court in only 90 minutes. Merrily combining G…

SOURCE: Stage and Cinema at 04:17PM
Monday, April 15, 2019

Chicago Theater Review: HANNAH AND MARTIN (Shattered Globe Theatre at Theater Wit) by Lawrence Bommer

CAN LOVE ENABLE EVIL? There is no last supper or cross on Golgotha but, yes, Hannah and Martin is a true passion play. What makes this even stranger is that it’s as much about clashing i…

SOURCE: Stage and Cinema at 01:30PM
Sunday, April 14, 2019

Chicago Theater Review: A CHORUS LINE (Porchlight) by Lawrence Bommer

GOTTA DANCE! Now 44 years old, which means that a third generation of hoofers is now recreating it, A Chorus Line remains the late Michael Bennett’s breakthrough backstage musical, winner…

SOURCE: Stage and Cinema at 10:00PM
Saturday, April 13, 2019

Chicago Theater Review: CAMBODIAN ROCK BAND (Victory Gardens) by Lawrence Bommer

HATE VS. MUSIC It’s impossible to grasp a monster evil like genocide as a whole, to weigh it as so many calculable, tangible acts of human failure that yield a vast vileness and a terrible…

SOURCE: Stage and Cinema at 02:30PM
Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Theater Review: JERSEY BOYS (2018-19 National Tour) by Lawrence Bommer

THE BOYFRIENDS ARE BACK Back by popular demand but for only one week at the Auditorium Theatre, the mega-jukebox musical Jersey Boys continues to stir up a perfect storm of industrial-stre…

SOURCE: Stage and Cinema at 10:00PM
Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Chicago Theater Review: ADMISSIONS (Theater Wit) by Lawrence Bommer

AFFIRMATIVE RE-ACTION Don’t let the title fool you. Produced last year at Lincoln Center Theater, Admissions arrived too early to address the recent scandal involving illegal offenses in c…

SOURCE: Stage and Cinema at 09:30PM
Monday, April 1, 2019

Theater Review: AFTERGLOW (Pride Films and Plays) by Lawrence Bommer

DOES LOVE NEED A LEASH? “The heart wants what the heart wants.” Emily Dickinson’s seemingly simple saying (akin to Gertrude Stein’s “A rose is a rose is a rose”) in fact packs a …

SOURCE: Stage and Cinema at 09:33PM
Thursday, March 28, 2019

Theater Review: YEN (Raven Theatre in Chicago) by Lawrence Bommer

TODAY’S LOST BOYS Theater takes us places and shows us stuff that we might never freely choose to go or see. Exhibits A-Z areYen, a 2013 visit to Gorki’s “lower depths” by British pl…

SOURCE: Stage and Cinema at 01:08AM

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