Wednesday February 20 12:13 pm

Spotlighting events along the south shore of Lake Michigan

Spotlight on Reviews

"Dear Evan Hansen" - Review by Carol Moore

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**** Recommended **** Watching “Dear Evan Hansen” is a gut-wrenching experience. It’s like watching a train wreck – you know it’s coming so you just sit back and wait for the fall out. On the other hand, it’s a hauntingly beautiful musical about a troubled teen complete with redemption in the end. By the way, the actor who plays Evan Hansen, Ben Levi Ross, has a gorgeous voice! In case you haven’t figured it out, I thought it was magnificent, and I’ll even admit to a tear or two, too. 4 Spotlights

"A Doll's House, Part 2" - Review by Carol Moore

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**** Recommended **** Sometimes, after reading a really good book or seeing a really good play, I wonder what happened to the characters after the story ended. Apparently playwright Lucas Hnath liked to speculate about that same topic. Evidently his curiosity led him into writing “A Doll’s House, Part 2”, a sequel to Ibsen’s classic play, “A Doll’s House”. Fifteen years after she left her husband and children, Nora has returned. “A Doll’s House, Part 2” is both funny and insightful as it takes on the pitfalls and complexities of relationships. 4 Spotlights

"The Producers" - Review by Carol Moore

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**** Highly Recommended **** There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that the Paramount Theatre has a huge hit with “The Producers”, the outrageously funny musical based on Mel Brooks’ 1968 Academy Award winning black and white cult classic film. An outrageous plot, fast-paced dialogue, clever lyrics, slapstick comedy, pratfalls and sight gags, guarantee you’ll love this show. No matter how many times I’ve seen “The Producers”, it always makes me laugh. It’s totally worth the drive to Aurora. 4 BIG Spotlights.

"The Roommate" - Review by Alan Bresloff

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★★★★★ A little over a year ago, Steppenwolf Theatre did “The Roommate”, a 90 minute story about two women, who for reasons of their own, become “Roomies”. Jen Silverman is the playwright of this stunning little story about two women from different backgrounds, who have lived completely different lives, match up, become “friends ( loosely), and then allies. These two ladies are probably the most unlikely of matches one can imagine. The production at Steppenwolf was outstanding and I wondered how a suburban, in particular, Lake Forest suburban, could pull this off.

"The Father" - Review by Alan Bresloff

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Highly Recommended ***** Many people of my generation know the term “Gaslighting”- here is the definition :Gaslighting is a form of psychological manipulation that seeks to sow seeds of doubt in a targeted individual or in members of a targeted group, making them question their own memory, perception, and sanity. (found on Wikipedia). Tonight, as I watched the story being told in the Chicago premiere of “The Father” written by Florian Zeller and translated by Christopher Hampton, this word came to mind. instantly!

"All Childish Things" - Review by Carol Moore

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**** Recommended **** Like the characters in “All Childish Things” at First Folio, I’m an avid collector of all things “Star Trek”. Although I might pay a lot of money to get something really rare – like the ComicCon Limited Edition of the U.S.S. Enterprise – I don’t think I’d become a thief to get it, unlike the characters in Joseph Zettelmaier’s comedy. Although it’s immediately obvious that these people are obsessed with “Star Wars”, you won’t need to know anything about the movie – or the toys it launched – to enjoy “All Things Childish”. 4 Spotlights

"Elektra" - Review by Jeffrey Leibham

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****HIGHLY RECOMMENDED**** To put it quite simply, Lyric's current production of "Elektra" is electrifying! On opening night there was a pre-curtain announcement made from the stage that Swedish soprano Nina Stemme -- making her highly-anticipated Lyric debut in the title role that has earned her widespread acclaim at the Metropolitan Opera, Berlin, Munich and Vienna -- had injured her knee in a final rehearsal and that it may limit her mobility. An audible gasp rippled across the main floor. But being the consummate professional that she is, Stemme rose to the challenge and, if she was in any sort of pain, she drove it deeper into her portrayal. You never would have known the conditions she was battling, as it never once hindered her performance. As far as her voice is concerned, there is absolutely no doubt that it is in pristine condition. 4 BIG SPOTLIGHTS

"The Woman in Black" - Review by Carol Moore

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**** Highly Recommended **** Are you a fan of old-fashioned thrillers? I’m not talking about the stories about monsters that go bump in the night. I’m talking about stories with a slow build-up leading, leading, leading to some kind of a terrifying incident. You know, stories about odd people or eerie happenings, punctuated with sudden noises or shriek-y music which makes you gasp out loud. I love those stories, so I loved “The Woman in Black”, which made London audiences “shriek in fear for 30 years”. 4 BIG Spotlights