Wednesday January 23 4:43 pm

Spotlighting events along the south shore of Lake Michigan

Spotlight on Equity Theater Reviews

"St. Nicholas" - Review by Carol Moore

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**** Recommended **** I must confess that I’ve had problems writing a review of the Donmar Warehouse Production of “St. Nicholas” because I ended up with such mixed feelings about it. On the one hand, I thought that Brendan Coyle’s performance as a drunken Dublin theater critic was ‘not-to-be-missed’ amazing. On the other hand, since Conor McPherson’s entire play consisted of that critic’s drunken ramblings, I didn’t just see the point. 3 Spotlights

"I Know My Own Heart" - Review by Jeffrey Leibham

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***RECOMMENDED*** It takes a great deal of strength to defy society's expectations of what it means to be a woman. This is wonderfully displayed by the four strong women found in Emma Donoghue's "I Know My Own Heart." Written in the mid-1990's by the Irish-Canadian author, the work is receiving its U.S. premiere in care of Pride Films and Plays. Donoghue, who is probably most well-known for writing the novel "Room" and also adapting it for the screenplay of the movie that was released in 2015 (which nabbed her an Academy Award nomination) stumbled upon the heavily coded diaries of Brit Anne Lister while a graduate student and felt that they would make a compelling drama for the stage. 3 SPOTLIGHTS

Young Playwrights Festival - the Future of Chicago Theater

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*** Recommended *** After a couple of weeks off, I always look forward to Pegasus Theatre’s Young Playwrights Festival which is almost always the first theatrical opening of the year. This is a chance to see the future of Chicago theater – maybe the future of American theater. If you go, you’ll see three very different plays written by three young women who happen to be all high school students so you also get some insight into the things on kids’ minds. 3 Spotlights

"Between Riverside and Crazy" - Review by Alan Bresloff

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Highly Recommended **** Redtwist Theatre is one of my favorite storefront theaters. Located on Bryn Mawr, just one block East of the Red Line “L” stop, this tiny theater has been bringing us solid theater since 2003, and I for one appreciate the work they do. They are currently producing “Between Riverside and Crazy” written by Stephen Adly Guirgis,, who many will recall as the playwright of ” Jesus Hopped The A Train”. If you liked that one, you are sure to get into this as well.

"I Call My Brothers" - Review by Alan Bresloff

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Recommended *** We all have heard the saying “Do not judge a book by its cover”, and while we pretty much think we know the meaning, many people have not translated this adage into how we look at people who are unlike us. Ever since 9/11 and the crumbling towers, many people have changed how they look at “those” terrorists! Even people who are NOT any danger to our society. Interrobang Theatre Project, whose mission is to “pose worthwhile and exciting questions which challenge our understanding and assumptions of who we are and the world in which we live” is producing the Chicago Premiere of “I Call My Brothers” written by Jonas Hassen Khemiri.

Your Tweens will love "The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical"

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**** Recommended **** I was gobsmacked when I saw all the tweens in the lobby taking pictures and eagerly waiting to see “The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical”, based on Rick Riordan’s best-selling fantasy-adventure novel. It just goes to show, kids do still read – and they really like seeing their heroes come to life. In fact, they cheered when Percy Jackson (Chris McCarrell) made his first appearance. I have to admit I didn’t know anything about Percy Jackson, but I still enjoyed this adventure. 3 ½ Spotlights

Towle Theater Season Preview

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Early in the new year, after a couple weeks without theater, I find myself getting antsy, so I always look forward to the Towle Theater’s annual Season Preview, a lovely event. It’s a short evening, about an hour and a half, with a small reception (light hors d’oevres and drinks in the lobby) followed by a season sampler.

Photo: Katherine Morzey and Laila Wenrich - “Chicago High School Edition”

"Into the Woods" - Review by Alan Bresloff

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Highly Recommended ***** I will start by saying “I LOVE the works ( and words) of Stephen Sondheim! Perhaps, Jane ( my wife) would say, this is too mild, but I find his shows to be so much fun as he creates works where he fits words into spots where they never should fit, BUT does it to perfection, so when he does it, they fit! Over the years I have seen at least 18 productions of my favorite Sondheim work, “Into The Woods” and last night, I saw the latest, and one of the best, productions over in Evanston as produced by Music Theater Works (formerly Light Opera Works). Director Rudy Hogenmiller has found some of the finest of the finest (as close to the Broadway originals as one might see on a local stage) talent to make this stylish musical that intertwines some of our favorite Grimm fairy tales a delight to experience!