Saturday June 23 3:13 pm

Spotlighting events along the south shore of Lake Michigan

Spotlight on Reviews

First Folio's "Mary's Wedding" - Review by Carol Moore

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**** Highly Recommended **** First Folio Theatre’s production of “Mary’s Wedding” is well written, well-acted and quite simply beautiful. A heart-wrenching story of young lovers parted by circumstances way beyond their control, “Mary’s Wedding” had me teary-eyed as soon as I figured out where it was going. Kudos to Director Melanie Keller and the cast, Heather Chrisler and Debo Balogun. 4 Spotlights

"The Gentleman Caller" - Review by Jeffrey Leibham

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****HIGHLY RECOMMENDED**** "The Gentleman Caller" by Philip Dawkins, which is receiving its world premiere at Raven Theatre, is a highly theatrical if merely speculative scenario of the relationship (possibly sexual) between two of the 20th-century's most important American playwrights: Tennessee Williams and William Inge. Constructed, somewhat, as a memory play, it is also very much informed by and alludes to both writers' major works. Look closely and you can almost see the specters of the characters that these two great authors created just floating around the periphery of the stage. A faint trace of both of their artistic voices, particularly Williams', are tinged into Dawkins' well-researched storyline and evocative prose. 3 and 1/2 SPOTLIGHTS

Bring Your Family to "The Rosenkranz Mysteries: Physician Magician"

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**** Highly Recommended **** My friend Helen and I had a wonderful time watching Dr. Ricardo Rosenkranz’s brand of magic in “The Rosenkranz Mysteries: Physician Magician”. We were seated at one of the cabaret tables, up close and personal, maybe even close enough, we thought, to spot some sleight of hand, but that just didn’t happen. I’m still mystified by magic! Bring your kids, your grandkids, in fact borrow a kid! This is a perfect show for families. 4 BIG Spotlights

Hubbard Street Dance Chicago Spring Series, “An Evening of Alejandro Cerrudo”

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It was an absolute pleasure to attend the Hubbard Street Dance Chicago Spring Series, “An Evening of Alejandro Cerrudo” at the Auditorium Theatre. The performance was amazing. I was in awe of the grace and strength displayed by the entire ensemble. In fact, my friend Helen and I had quite a discussion about whether or not the dancers actually have joints! 4 Spotlights

Remy Bumppo's "hang" - Review by Jeffrey Leibham

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***RECOMMENDED*** As the house lights fade at the beginning of Remy Bumppo's current production of "hang" the audience hears the usual pre-recorded audio message kindly requesting that all cell phones should be turned off and candy that is wrapped should be opened now. One can only assume that the male voice they are hearing is that of Remy Bumppo's Producing Artistic Director Nick Sandys, as he goes on to thank, specifically by name, several individual donors who have made this production of "hang" possible. He concludes by inviting all of the audience members to "sit forward and enjoy the show." That last part of advice, to sit forward intently listening instead of the tradition of sitting back and relaxing is particularly essential to fully appreciate this complex and intricately constructed drama, which demands that you pay very close attention as key details are divulged. 3 SPOTLIGHTS

"Smart People" - Review by Alan Bresloff

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Highly Recommended **** Racism, sexual identity, political matters! These are just a few of the topics that are addressed in Lydia R. Diamond’s “Smart People” now on the stage of the smaller, “Black Box” studio at Writers Theatre in Glencoe. The Gillian Theatre, as it is called, is a unique space that can be converted for full stages, arena-style theater, or even in-the-round. In this current production, the audience is on three sides so there is action everywhere, and we are never more than five rows away from it.

"Guess Who's Coming to Dinner" - Review by Carol Moore

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**** Highly Recommended **** When I read that the Court Theatre had a production of “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner” on the schedule, I was kind of surprised, since I didn’t know that the 1967 movie had been adapted into a play. That movie, which starred Spencer Tracy, Katherine Hepburn and Sydney Poitier, was really significant in 1967, when interracial marriage was still illegal in some states, but would it be, could it be, relevant fifty years later? A quick answer, both no and yes. The play, with all its witty dialogue, is a period piece, but the issues it raises are still relevant. 3 ½ Spotlights

"Pretty Woman" - Review by Jeffrey Leibham

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***RECOMMENDED*** It is quite clear that the die-hard fans of the film “Pretty Woman” will love the musical version that opened at the Oriental Theatre this week. “Pretty Woman: The Musical” will transfer to Broadway in mid-April. The applause was abundant as key players took to the stage and received outpourings of adoration from the opening night crowd. For the casual admirer of the film, or someone who has not seen it for many years, if ever, the show should still prove to be reasonably entertaining. 3 SPOTLIGHTS