Saturday October 20 12:47 pm

Spotlighting events along the south shore of Lake Michigan

Spotlight on Reviews

2 Actors play 13 Roles in Zany Comedy "Murder for Two"


**** Highly Recommended **** I can’t remember when I’ve laughed as much and as hard as I did at Marriott Theatre’s “Murder for Two”. If you like a good murder mystery, you’ll love this whodunit. High energy, fast-paced dialogue/lyrics, campy, vampy characterizations, plenty of zany suspects, a spooky mansion, a silly twist and a pratfall or two make “Murder for Two” so much fun. I loved this show! 4 Spotlights

"Waitress" - Review by Alan Bresloff


Highly Recommended **** Chicago theater audiences have been waiting for the arrival of “Waitress”, making its Chicago debut, but a musical that has some unique ties to our city. The workshop and Broadway opening starred Jessie Mueller in the title role of Jenna. While I am sure that her followers were hoping that she would have done at least the Chicago portion of the tour, the young lady that is playing this role, Desi Oakley, is wonderful and will fill your heart and soul with the same emotions that Jessie would have.

"The Cher Show" Dazzles!


*** Recommended *** Prepare to be dazzled, “The Cher Show” is in town. It’s fun, it’s glamorous, it’s got great music, but it really needs work. Playwright Rick Elice has chosen to frame Cher’s story inside a TV special, so a TV producer decides what will fit TV time constraints, instead of letting Cher tell her own story. Cher is unique. She’s got that great contralto voice. She can deliver a snarky one-liner without cracking up. She wears Bob Mackie’s outrageously sexy clothes with aplomb. I was ready to love “The Cher Show” but they need to let Cher be Cher! 3 Spotlights

The View Upstairs - Review by Jeffrey Leibham


*** RECOMMENDED *** Not many people may remember the anti-gay massacre that occurred in New Orleans on June 24, 1973. The very popular LGBTQ bar, The UpStairs Lounge, was the location of a vicious and to-this-day unsolved arson attack that claimed the lives of 32 people. On the 40th anniversary of that tragedy the city of New Orleans finally recognized the victims and the atrocity was just beginning to be addressed openly. Subsequently, in 2015, Robert L. Camina's documentary film "UpStairs Inferno" as well as journalist Clayton Deleny's book "The UpStairs Lounge Arson" inspired two different playwrights to create their own versions of that fateful event. One of those works, Max Vernon's "The View UpStairs," is receiving its Chicago premiere by Circle Theatre at The Broadway at Pride Arts Center. 3 Spotlights

Hubbard Street Dance Chicago Summer Series, “Decadance/Chicago”


It was an absolute pleasure to attend the Hubbard Street Dance Chicago Summer Series, “Decadance/Chicago” by Ohad Naharin at the Harris Theatre. The performance was amazing. As always when I watch Hubbard Street, I am in awe of the grace and strength displayed by the entire ensemble. My friend Karen and I had a lovely discussion about the performance on the way home. We both loved it! 4 Spotlights

A Lot of History in "Burnham's Dream: The White City"


*** Recommended *** There’s a lot of history in “Burnham’s Dream: The White City”, a musical about the building of the ‘white city’ for the 1893 Columbian Exposition here in Chicago. I enjoyed “Burnham’s Dream: The White City”, but an historical musical is tricky to pull off. While Lost and Found Productions made a valiant effort, they seemed to be trying too hard, especially with the choreography in Act I. I’d like to see this show with some judicious pruning of Act II, which really dragged. 3 Spotlights

"Guards at the Taj" is not for the squeamish!


** Somewhat Recommended ** When I review a play, I usually cite my reasons for my recommendation: the writing, the cast/acting, the staging, the direction. I respect the actors’ ability to deliver the playwright’s words as well as the director’s vision in a way that moves me, but sometimes blood and violence overwhelms beauty. That is particularly true with “Guards at the Taj”. While I am in awe of the performances delivered by Omar Metwally and Arian Moayed, I just couldn’t watch parts of this play. Let me just say “Guards at the Taj” is not for the squeamish! 2 Spotlights

“Father Comes Home from the Wars (Parts 1, 2 & 3)” is Theater of the Absurd


*** Recommended *** Frankly, I found “Father Comes Home from the Wars (Parts 1, 2 & 3)” to be really heavy going. Even though it was superbly acted, it felt interminable, maybe because playwright Suzan-Lori Parks has adopted the techniques of ‘theater of the absurd’ as her own. Know before you go that “Father Comes Home…” is actually three hour-long plays, intertwined but strangely able to stand alone. Although belief is stretched in Part 1 & 2, belief must be completely abandoned in Part 3. By the way, forget about the ‘father’ in the title, he doesn’t exist! 3 Spotlights