Saturday October 20 1:45 pm

Spotlighting events along the south shore of Lake Michigan

Spotlight on Reviews

"Little Shop of Horrors" - Review by Jeffrey Leibham

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***RECOMMENDED*** "Little Shop of Horrors" is one of those musicals that seems to be almost foolproof. With a zany book and razor-sharp lyrics by Howard Ashman and wonderful music by Alan Menken how could any production fail? This extremely talented duo is pretty much single-handedly responsible for the rebirth of the Disney studio with such classic animated features as "The Little Mermaid," "Aladdin" and the 1991 version of "Beauty and the Beast." There may be better productions of "Little Shop of Horrors" out there, with stronger acting in some key roles, but you may never hear a better version of this show than the one currently being presented at Drury Lane Theatre in Oakbrook Terrace. With some new vocal and orchestral arrangements, under the meticulous music direction of Roberta Duchak, those of you who are only familiar with this show if you have heard the soundtrack from the 1986 film version are in for a sonic -- and all-around -- blast. 3 SPOTLIGHTS

"Sweet Charity" - Review by Jeffrey Leibham

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****HIGHLY RECOMMENDED**** One of the reasons that the musical "Sweet Charity" is rarely performed anymore may have to do with the fact that it is a marathon of a role for any female to attempt. Not only must an actress be able to sing and have great comic acting abilities but, most importantly, she must be a dynamite dancer. After all, this is a show that was originally developed, directed and choreographed by the legendary Bob Fosse. Thankfully, Marriott Lincolnshire landed a stellar star in casting Anne Horak as the title character and director/choreographer Alex Sanchez (who actually appeared in "Fosse" on Broadway during its initial run) has recreated amazing dance sequences. 4 BIG SPOTLIGHTS

“Avenue Q” is Just as Much Fun the Second Time Around!

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**** Highly Recommended **** I loved the Mercury Theater’s 2014 production of “Avenue Q” so I was delighted to learn they were bringing it back. Unfortunately, I couldn’t make the opening, so I thought I’d missed it for the year. Luckily for me, the run has been extended through November 4th, so I got to see it after all. Guess what? “Avenue Q” was just as much fun the second time around. 4 Spotlights

The Towle's "Cockeyed" was a Charming Rom-Com

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**** Recommended **** Towle Theater’s production of “Cockeyed” was a charming rom-com (romantic comedy) about unrequited love, philosophy majors, and the guy in the office nobody ever notices. By the way, that guy, Phil (Khyel Sherman Roberson), is so darn cute you’ll want to take him home! Kudos to Co-Directors, Jeff Casey and Suzanne Nyhan, for another terrific show. 3 ½ Spotlights

Dunes Summer Theatre premieres Delightful New Play, "After Paul McCartney"

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**** Recommended **** A good storyteller can hold the attention of his/her audience whether the story is simple or complicated, short or really, really long. Sometimes he/she even acts out the characters in the story. Jeffrey Baumgartner is a very good Storyteller in Dunes Summer Theatre’s final production of the 2018 season, “After Paul McCartney”, an amusing story about two friends on a crazy quest. I really enjoyed this show. 3 ½ Spotlights

Paramount's "Legally Blonde" is Downright Funny!

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**** Highly Recommended **** Casey Shuler absolutely sparkles in Paramount Theatre’s exuberant production of “Legally Blonde”. Her Elle Woods is fierce, caring and very, very smart as well as drop-dead gorgeous. Harvard Law never saw her coming! “Legally Blonde” is well-written, has clever songs and is downright funny. I loved “Legally Blonde” and I think you will too. 4 Spotlights

Two Sisters separated by Distance and War try to connect in "A Shayna Maidel"

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**** Highly Recommended **** Your sister is your sister forever. There’s all that history, after all. But what if you and your sister didn’t grow up together? What if you were separated – by distance and then by the war? How do you build sisterhood? In TimeLine Theatre's production of Barbara Lebow’s moving play, “A ShaynaMaidel”, the war is over and two sisters, one growing up safely in Brooklyn, the other surviving the horrors of the Holocaust in Poland, must try to find a way to connect. By the way, a shayna maidel is a pretty girl. 4 Spotlights

"El Grande de Coca-Cola" will keep You Laughing!

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**** Recommended **** If you’re looking for ambiance with your theater experience, then the Waterfront Café & Summer Stages’ production of “El Grande de Coca-Cola” is the show for you. In addition to an uproariously funny slapstick comedy – which would be all you’d get at any other venue – you’ll get delicious food and the beauty of the lakefront before the show. Add “El Grande de Coca-Cola” to your must-see list. 4 Spotlights