Saturday October 20 1:04 pm

Spotlighting events along the south shore of Lake Michigan

Spotlight on Reviews

London 'Below' is a Strange and Dangerous Place Where Nothing makes Sense - in "Neverwhere"


**** Highly Recommended **** Neil Gaiman’s fantasy novel, “Neverwhere”, is on my top 10 list of favorite books, so I was beyond excited when I had the opportunity to see Robert Kauzlaric’s 2010 adaptation at Lifeline Theatre. That production had me on the edge of my seat. This time around, my friend Karen, another Gaiman fan, went with me. The 2018 version “Neverwhere”, directed by Ilesa Duncan, has a different look but was just as engrossing. The audience was spellbound. 2 hours seemed like 20 minutes! 4 BIG Spotlights

"20,000 Leagues under the Seas" has Plenty of Swashbuckling Derring-Do

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**** Recommended **** If you’re looking for adventure in a live theater this summer, then Lookingglass Theatre is the place to go. Their production of “20,000 Leagues under the Seas” is a whopping grand summer adventure! “20,000 Leagues” has a bit of swashbuckling, a touch of aerial derring-do, a brooding anti-hero, a brilliant female scientist and all the creatures of the sea! By the way, I’m not quite sure when summer and adventure became synonymous, but since that’s a Lookingglass specialty, you can’t go wrong. 3 ½ Spotlights

"Flies! The Musical!" - Review by Jeffrey Leibham


****HIGHLY RECOMMENDED**** "Flies! The Musical!" which is receiving its world premiere at Pride Films and Plays, is a thoroughly entertaining and highly hilarious musical parody with a very clever book and surprisingly intelligent and sharp-witted lyrics by Larry Todd Cousineau. Clearly an audience favorite, the show has been extended to mid-June and is one of the best original musicals to be presented in Chicago within the past year. The numerous aspects of this production that help to solidify that endorsement are the catchy tunes composed by Cindy O'Connor, the lively direction of Michael Driscoll, the inventive choreography of Sawyer Smith and a very youthful and energetic cast of eight that give it their vigorous best throughout the entire show. Oh, and did I mention those precise, hysterically complex lyrics by Cousineau? 4 BIG SPOTLIGHTS

Love and Longevity - “Having Our Say: The Delaney Sisters’ First 100 Years”


****Highly Recommended **** Sometimes a simple conversation with extraordinary people can become a heart-warming play. Such is the case with Goodman Theatre’s new production, “Having Our Say: The Delaney Sisters’ First 100 Years”, a conversation with two delightful, articulate, educated and very opinionated maiden ladies. If you’re looking for action, this is not the play for you. This is love, family lore, American history, and pearls of wisdom gained through experience. 4 Spotlights

"Waiting for Godot" - Review by Jeffrey Leibham


****HIGHLY RECOMMENDED**** If you have never seen "Waiting for Godot" on stage before you may rarely ever get another chance to see such a definitive production of Samuel Beckett's masterpiece than the one presented by Ireland's Druid Theatre Company which played a far too brief limited engagement at Chicago Shakespeare Theater as a part of the Chicago Shakespeare WorldStage series. Avid Chicago theater-goers were fortunate to see a strongly acted and deeply passionate interpretation of this work which is often taught and analyzed by older high school students or young college theater majors. It is considered one of the most revolutionary works of the 20th century and a profound meditation on the state of mankind. Director Garry Hynes has made this a glorious and theatrical "Godot" and, unlike other versions that you may have seen, Hynes has found the beating heart at its center and infused all of the proceedings with copious amounts of love. 4 BIG SPOTLIGHTS

Meet the 'Kinder, Gentler' Antonin Scalia in Court Theatre's "The Originalist"


**** Highly Recommended **** Honestly, I didn’t expect to like Court Theatre’s production of “The Originalist”, since I completely disagreed with the politics of the principal character, Antonin Scalia. Much to my surprise, I did enjoy “The Originalist”. While I’m sure that the real Antonin Scalia was a brilliant, arrogant and dogmatic know-it-all, playwright John Strand’s portrayal of a ‘kinder, gentler’ Scalia made for a good play. I thought it was well written, letting us meet a wonderfully adversarial Scalia with all his human frailties. 4 Spotlights

"Buried Child" was Weird and Depressing!


*** Recommended *** Frankly, I found the Writers Theatre production of “Buried Child” to be very heavy going. It’s weird, depressing and way too long (at nearly three hours). All of the characters are selfish and detestable people with the exception of the outsider - but she’s pretty selfish herself. I couldn’t find any redeeming characteristics in any of them. The acting was superb, however, so I give “Buried Child” 2 ½ Spotlights

One Hit after Another in “A New Attitude: in Tribute to Patti LaBelle”


**** Highly Recommended **** Black Ensemble Theater has scored another hit with, “A New Attitude: in Tribute to Patti LaBelle”. This jukebox musical celebrates the career of Patti LaBelle, and it’s terrific, with one hit after another, performed by two amazingly talented women, Dawn Bless and Cherise Thomas. Hurry and get your tickets, “A New Attitude: in Tribute to Patti LaBelle” will have you dancing in your seat! 4 BIG Spotlights