Wednesday March 21 10:33 pm

Spotlighting events along the south shore of Lake Michigan

Spotlight on Equity Theater Reviews

"Hang Man" - Review by Alan Bresloff


★★ Over my years of covering local theater companies, I have found that The Gift, the very quaint storefront in Jefferson Park, has given us some of the sharpest and smartest productions in all. Despite the intimacy of this very small space, they have even done some large -scale shows. I was anxious to see the new production, a World Premiere as the first production of their 17th season of work on Milwaukee Avenue at Lawrence. This new work, written by Stacy Osei-Kuffour, is supposed to be a haunting drama that takes us to the back woods in a Southern town, as we deal with a Black man, found hanging from a tree, and how the residents of the community, Black and White, deal with it.

TheoUbique's “Sweeney Todd : The Demon Barber of Fleet Street” - Review by Alan Bresloff


Highly Recommended ***** As TheoUbique prepares to leave its home at No Exit Café in Rogers Park, heading further North to the border ( Evanston side of Howard Street), they are doing a production that will definitely leave its mark! Their production of “Sweeney Todd :The Demon Barber of Fleet Street” is an absolutely amazing one, to say the least. Chicago area theatergoers have had many recent productions of Stephen Sondheim’s ( book by Hugh Wheeler) near- opera. Drury Lane did a sterling production two seasons ago and last year, The Paramount in Aurora was outstanding. How can a little intimate storefront space like No Exit possibly put this on their stage? That was the question many were asking.

City Lit's Production of "The Picture of Dorian Gray" is a Disappointment


** Somewhat Recommended ** I’ve only been to City Lit Theater a couple of times, but that was enough to raise my expectations to the highest level, so I was really looking forward to seeing Paul Edwards’ new adaptation of “The Picture of Dorian Gray”. Although it only ran a little over two hours, it felt like four, or maybe even longer. I thought the cast was just going through the motions. 2 Spotlights

BoHo's "Cyrano" was Thoroughly Enjoyable!


**** Recommended **** BoHo Theatre has put together an updated but still charming and thoroughly enjoyable production of “Cyrano”. It’s a more modern Cyrano but he’s still the anti-hero with the humongous schnoz. “Cyrano” is still a swashbuckling adventure story but it’s also got enough tongue-in-cheek humor and sight gags to keep everyone entertained. 4 Spotlights

Everyone loves "Just Dance Live"


**** Recommended **** “Just Dance Live” is a family dance extravaganza. In case you didn’t know – and I didn’t – “Just Dance” is a popular video game in which the players mimic the choreography shown on the screen. Almost everyone else in the Aon Ballroom at Navy Pier - moms, dads, and kids of all ages – must play the game, because they were out on the dance floor, dancing their hearts out! 4 Spotlights

Lifeline's "Anna Karenina" is Dramatic, Intelligent and Stage-Worthy


**** Recommended **** There are 864 pages in Leo Tolstoy’s novel, “Anna Karenina”, so I had to wonder how anyone could adapt it into a 2 or 2 ½ hour stage play. I also knew that if anyone could do it, it would be the folks at Lifeline Theatre, since that’s what they do. Time after time! Jessica Wright Buha’s adaptation is dramatic, intelligent, true to the story and very stage-worthy. I really enjoyed it. 4 Spotlights

"You for Me for You" - a Scary Trip to North Korea


**** Recommended **** “You for Me for You” is a thought-provoking paean to the power of sisterly love. It’s also downright scary, in a ‘I’m so glad I don’t live in North Korea’ kind of way. With North Korea in the news a lot lately, the Sideshow production is very well-timed. Coincidentally, the press opening was the same night that the White House announced that President Trump and Kim Jong Un would meet. 4 Spotlights

"Dontrell, Who Kissed the Sea" - Review by Jeffrey Leibham


****RECOMMENDED**** Dontrell Jones III is certainly a very intelligent and insightful young man. The title character of Nathan Alan Davis' play "Dontrell, Who Kissed the Sea," currently receiving its Chicago premiere at the First Floor Theater, is an 18 year old spending the final days of his summer vacation before his freshman classes begin at Johns Hopkins University. 4 Spotlights