Wednesday February 20 12:08 pm

Spotlighting events along the south shore of Lake Michigan

Spotlight on Reviews

"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

"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!

"The Woman in Black" - Review by Alan Bresloff

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★★★★★ It is great to see the main stage at The Royal George Theatre back “in business ” again! A beautiful venue with great sight lines and very comfortable seating ( with leg room) that deserves more use. When Hershey Felder was doing a new show every year, this was the home he chose, and based on my knowledge of his works, he only will use a venue that he feels will allow the audience to see all that happens on the stage. The current production, “The Woman in Black”, as directed by Robin Herford, proves this to be an accurate statement.

"La Ruta" - Review by Alan Bresloff

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★★★★★ With all the talk about Mexico and the United States border of late, it seems very fitting that Steppenwolf Theatre would host the World Premiere of ” La Ruta” by Isaac Gomez. La Ruta is a bus route that the factory workers use to get from their small towns to the U,S, owned factories in Ciudad, Mexico. There are not many Americans who know about the women who have been known to disappear as they are returning home from the tedious work they do ( for little pay, as it turns out). What happens to them? They are found, in most cases, dead!

Broadway in Chicago's "Fiddler on the Roof" is a Must-See

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**** Recommended **** Although “Fiddler on the Roof” is considered by many to be a classic, it’s not one of my favorite musicals because it’s so sad – and I don’t think musicals should have a sad ending. That said, the Broadway in Chicago touring production of “Fiddler on the Roof”, with a really talented cast, is an excellent production. With Israeli actor/director Yehezkel Lazarov starring as Tevye, it’s a must-see. 4 Spotlights

Chicago Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream" is Magical!

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**** Highly Recommended **** I really enjoyed Chicago Shakespeare’s new production of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”. One of Shakespeare’s most magical plays with its three different sets of people who would probably never interact in real life, is funny, romantic and fun to watch. They’ve added music and dance, and the set is simply spectacular. 4 BIG Spotlights

"Barney the Elf" - Review by Jeffrey Leibham

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***RECOMMENDED*** If you have never seen the holiday show "Barney the Elf" before, right now may be just about the perfect time to enjoy this LGBTQ+-focused musical satire. This is the fourth annual production of "Barney the Elf" but the first at its new home, Pride Films and Plays. Written by Bryan Renaud and Emily Schmidt in 2015, the book of their musical still contains the optimism that was present in this country before the presidential election the following year. Thankfully, it still maintains its welcome pro-feminist stance as well. However, the way in which this show really connects on multiple levels is how it addresses issues which are based on the current darker elements that have crept into the public consciousness within the past several months. 3 SPOTLIGHTS