All stories by Dmitry Samarov on BroadwayStars

Wednesday, June 26, 2024

Slapstick rom-com, Asian American style by Dmitry Samarov

Wai (Wai Yim) is the flamboyant, brash host of a YouTube show called Hornyscope; David (Hansel Tan) is his buttoned-up friend, who works as a teacher but wants to be an actor. Both men are f…

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Wednesday, May 1, 2024

A gripping Hamlet by Dmitry Samarov

A tormented young man is visited by the ghost of his recently slain father, who asks the son to avenge his death at the hands of his own brother—who, to add insult to injury, has taken his…

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Thursday, March 21, 2024

The Scottish play, remixed by Dmitry Samarov

Evan Jackson directs and co-adapts (with Tristan Brandon) a new version of Idle Muse’s 2009 reoriented riff on “the Scottish play.” Told from the point of view of three young sisters a…

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Tuesday, January 23, 2024

An evergreen Mother Courage by Dmitry Samarov

Trap Door Theatre kicks off its 30th season with a bang—or, perhaps more accurately, a ceaseless volley of cannon fire—presenting the mother of all anti-war plays. On a sparse stage deco…

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Thursday, December 7, 2023

Caveman Play lets the audience decide the course of humanity by Dmitry Samarov

Clare Brennan directs Savannah Reich’s 2017 silly/smart comedy about the dawn of civilization—and the audience gets to decide how it works out in the end. Dandelion (Tess Galbiati) and R…

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Thursday, September 28, 2023

Purgatory in a dystopian disco by Dmitry Samarov

Set in a place that is equal parts dystopian disco and minimal sci-fi torture dungeon (set and costumes designed by Natasha Djukic), Zeljko Djukic directs Adam Ranđelović’s adaptation fr…

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Thursday, September 14, 2023

Dark comedy goes nuclear in Cat’s Cradle by Dmitry Samarov

Heather Currie directs John Hildreth’s laugh-a-minute adaptation Cat’s Cradle, Kurt Vonnegut’s satire about the U.S. nuclear program and all-around ignorant hubris. The story is told i…

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Wednesday, July 19, 2023

The Art of Bowing gives us too much of nothing by Dmitry Samarov

Ian Damont Martin directs the world premiere of Nathan Alan Davis’s post-everything meta intergalactic meditation on what it’s all about. Akwasi (David Goodloe)—on a bare stage save fo…

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Wednesday, July 12, 2023

Shakespearean shaggy dog by Dmitry Samarov

For Midsommer Flight’s tenth annual production of free Shakespeare in Chicago’s parks, the company has chosen as shaggy a dog story as the Bard had in his quiver. In ancient Britain, Pri…

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Wednesday, May 24, 2023

Bowie in Warsaw serves up a moonage nightmare by Dmitry Samarov

Paweł Świątek directs the U.S. premiere of Dorota Masłowska’s arch 70s-era murder mystery/comedy of manners (translated by Soren Gauger). Rumors fly wild in the streets of Warsaw about…

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Wednesday, May 17, 2023

A perfect Ten by Dmitry Samarov

What can you say in ten minutes? If the ten examples in the Gift’s triumphant return production of its long-running series are any indication, anything and everything.  Ten 2023 Through 5…

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Wednesday, April 26, 2023

Catharsis through fire by Dmitry Samarov

To break in their new North Lawndale space, Kezia Waters directs Theatre Y’s production of Jackie Sibblies Drury’s 2012 meta meditation on colonialism, genocide, and racial trauma. (The …

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Saturday, April 15, 2023

Army tales by Dmitry Samarov

Jonah Saesan and LanDis Frederick are veterans of two different branches of the U.S. armed forces. After being discharged in 2015, they started processing their experiences in the military t…

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Thursday, March 23, 2023

Fire sale by Dmitry Samarov

What does material success look like to young people in 2023? Is it possible to attain the lifestyle they see in 80s TV shows? Is that something to aspire to? A talented Neo-Futurist troupe …

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Thursday, February 9, 2023

When a chair is a springboard by Dmitry Samarov

Appropriation, wordplay, riffs on news headlines, improv skits, and a grab bag of absurdist tropes get thrown in a hat to very uneven ends in Curious Theatre Branch’s set of four half-hour…

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Friday, January 27, 2023

Viking rock by Dmitry Samarov

In a world . . . where Norse mythology meets prog rock on a set seemingly built by precocious middle-schoolers, brothers Jorik and Jarl battle one another and several deities (best known to …

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Wednesday, January 18, 2023

The backstabbers by Dmitry Samarov

In Witold Gombrowicz’s fictional kingdom of Burgundia, the royal court is bored. One day Prince Phillip (Keith Surney) and his consort, Simon (Gus Thomas) happen upon Ivona (Laura Nelson),…

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Wednesday, November 9, 2022

Trust the masks by Dmitry Samarov

Drawing from a well that’s 500 years old and who knows how deep takes nerve. Yet that’s what Laughing Stock attempts with this contemporary take on commedia dell’arte. You could […] …

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Wednesday, October 19, 2022

Windwalkers offers a tantalizing pile of questions by Dmitry Samarov

Gabriel (Dominick Vincent Alesia) and Emmett (Lucas Matteson) are strangers in a strange land. Robbed and left out in the middle of nowhere after a bar brawl with a biker […] The post <…

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Friday, October 7, 2022

Abstraction and meaning by Dmitry Samarov

It’s rare for me to be surprised by a painting show, but I didn’t see “Taking Shape” coming. The exhibition is a generous survey of abstract art made from the […] The post Abstract…

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Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Drawing on the past by Dmitry Samarov

Most people are lucky to have one act that hits. William Horberg is well into his third. Horberg was born in Chicago and grew up around Belmont and Broadway in […] The post Drawing on the …

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Friday, September 30, 2022

Riotsville, U.S.A. by Dmitry Samarov

Sierra Pettengill’s disquieting documentary uses only archival footage shot by the military and clips from period news coverage to explore this uncanny episode in the country’s history. …

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Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Temporary beauty by Dmitry Samarov

Lette (Dennis Bisto) assumes that since he’s the inventor of his company’s latest product, he’ll be the one to present it at the big upcoming corporate event. But then his […] The po…

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Thursday, September 22, 2022

Catherine Called Birdy by Dmitry Samarov

Is it a good message to send young girls that they can be bad and do what they want for a little while but when the rubber hits the road they must toe the line? The post Catherine Called Bir…

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Living on luck by Dmitry Samarov

Westley Heine never dreamed of singing for change on the streets of Chicago but life sometimes offers only stark choices. Getting by as a musician, artist, or writer is uphill […] The post…

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Monday, September 19, 2022

See How They Run by Dmitry Samarov

I have no idea how an A-list cast like this was hoodwinked into participating in this wink-wink nudge-nudge snooze fest. The post See How They Run appeared first on Chicago Reader.

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Thursday, September 15, 2022

Performance anxiety by Dmitry Samarov

“The people who pick up flyers and show up to free classes tend to be restless searchers,” John tells his students, after remarking that there must be something wrong with […] The post…

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Wednesday, August 31, 2022

A little bit bloodless by Dmitry Samarov

I love Dracula. I’ve loved him ever since a Saturday afternoon in the late 70s or early 80s when I saw Bela Lugosi portray him on TV as part of […] The post A little bit bloodless appear…

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Wednesday, August 24, 2022

Elastic Mind heralds a promising new playwright by Dmitry Samarov

Christian Alexander is the writer and co-star of this world premiere production from his brand-new company, Campfire Repertory Theatre. James (Keith Ferguson) and Michelle (Ashley Graham) co…

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Friday, August 12, 2022

Let the Little Light Shine by Dmitry Samarov

It’s a small story whose roots and branches radiate in all directions. The post Let the Little Light Shine appeared first on Chicago Reader.

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Monday, August 8, 2022

The extraordinary tragedy of daily life by Dmitry Samarov

Wolfgang Amadeus Aleksandr “Aleks” Fa has a lot of baggage. The protagonist of Joe Meno’s new novel Book of Extraordinary Tragedies has that name, after all—which also serves as a cl…

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