Saturday October 20 12:41 pm

Spotlighting events along the south shore of Lake Michigan

Spotlight on Reviews

Women Triumph in "The Color Purple"


**** Highly Recommended **** As my readers know, I like stripped-down productions, those that eliminate elaborate scenery and props, so I can concentrate on the music. I really didn’t like “The Color Purple” because I thought the burdensome scenery got in the way of the story, so I wasn’t thrilled to see Broadway in Chicago’s touring revival, so I’m happy to say I was wrong, wrong, wrong! I could really get the nuances of the script and music without distraction. 4 BIG Spotlights

"Heartbreak Hotel" didn't live Up to the Hype!


*** Recommended *** I’ve been an Elvis fan forever, so I was really looking forward to seeing “Heartbreak Hotel”, a new jukebox musical about Elvis Presley’s early career. Although the music was toe-tapping good, the story just didn’t live up to the hype. I felt like I was watching a mash-up of “Memphis” and “Million Dollar Quartet”. If you missed those musicals, you’ll enjoy this one. 3 Spotlights

“Something In The Game: An All-American Musical” - Review by Alan Bresloff


Highly Recommended ***** We have all heard the adage” fine wines become finer with age”. Is it possible that plays can do the same? I think that in order to do so, the writer would have to go back to the “drawing board” and recreate what they started out to do. This can take place when the writer matures and starts to see life from a different angle. It can also take place when an actor returns to play a role they did years earlier, but now, understands the role more clearly. This leads me into my look at a special representation of a show we saw years ago at Theatre in the Center in Munster, “Something In The Game: An All-American Musical”, an epic look at the life (and legend) of Knute Rockne, regarded as one of the greatest football coaches of all time.

"Pinkalicious" - Review by Alan Bresloff


★★★★★ Live theater! Anything can happen when we see a production, “live”. Today, at Marriott Theatre in Lincolnshire, the youngsters who were in attendance at their opening of “Pinkaliciois the Musical”. indeed had a lesson in reality, as it happens in the theater. The full house of families (mainly little girls, dressed in pink), were ready to watch the musical adaptation of Victoria and Elizabeth Kahn’s popular children’s book “Pinkalicious”, as was I. In fact, the production began after all the typical announcements.

A Chicago Jazz Club is the Setting for First Folio's "Shrew'd"


**** Highly Recommended **** I always look forward to the evenings I spend watching First Folio’s Shakespeare under the stars. Somehow, that atmosphere – an outdoor stage set in the lush Mayslake Peabody Estate – transports me into Shakespeare’s world. That stage has been transformed into a 1930’s Chicago jazz club as the backdrop for “Shrew’d”, First Folio’s brand new musical based on Shakespeare’s misogynistic comedy, “The Taming of the Shrew”. I fell in love with this show listening to the very first song, “City of Dreams”, a tribute to Chicago. Don’t miss “Shrew’d”! 4 Big Spotlights

Meet Ann Landers, "The Lady with All the Answers" at Theatre at the Center


**** Recommended **** Theatre at the Center’s production of "The Lady with All the Answers" is a perfect play for these hot summer days/nights. It’s a warm, humorous and very personal glimpse into the life of Esther Pauline “Eppie” Lederer, the woman behind “Ask Ann Landers”. I remember watching ‘Ann Landers’ on Irv Kupcinet’s TV show – a long, long time ago – and I think Janet Ulrich Brook was perfect in the part. In addition to Lander’s signature ‘helmet’ hairdo, she also mastered her unusually sharp speech patterns. Don’t miss “The Lady with All the Answer”, you’ll really enjoy it. 4 Spotlights

“The Csárdás Princess” is a Delightful ‘Rich-Guy-falls-for-Poor-Girl’ Story


**** Recommended **** Folks Operetta’s production of “The Csárdás Princess” is a delightful ‘rich-guy-falls-for-poor-girl’ story with lots of obstacles in the path to true love. As most of you know, I’m not an opera fan, but the combination of a talented cast with gorgeous voices, a story with a happy ending and a surfeit of Viennese waltzes made it enjoyable. 3 ½ Spotlights

Tennessee Williams' "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" smolders at Drury Lane


**** Recommended **** I have to hand it to Drury Lane Theatre! Instead of their usual tried and true Broadway-style musical, they decided to go with Tennessee Williams’ smoldering melodrama, “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof”. While most families have a secret or two, the Politte family has skeletons – maybe even elephants – lurking in their closets. Those secrets become weapons in the war to win Big Daddy’s favor and ultimately control of the family estate/money. “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” is Tennessee Williams at his best. 4 Spotlights