Tuesday July 17 5:24 am

Spotlighting events along the south shore of Lake Michigan

Spotlight on Reviews

"The Velveteen Rabbit" by Alan Bresloff

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Highly Recommended ***** When it comes to theater for children, Marriott Theatre in Lincolnshire, with its sterling Theatre for Young Audiences , offers amazing musicals. I feel that because of the production values they generate, these youngsters will grow up with a love of theater. I see it in my own grandchildren who have been attending since they were three ( the age that I suggest is perfect for almost every show they have done). As it turned out, today was not a grandkids day as Sarah and Rebecca are in Wisconsin (with mom and dad, of course) picking up their brother Adam. So, this being the case, and knowing that my readers expect a “kids eye view” in my review, I asked a young lady sitting near me to assist me. Cora is from Houston ,Texas, visiting her local family. She is 8 years old, so one could say, she is filling in perfectly for Sarah. Before I get to her reaction, let me tell you about the production.

Three Old Guys and a Sexy Girl swap Jazz and Stories in "Chops"

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**** Recommended **** Dashnight Productions’ “Chops” is a simple enough story. Three old guys and a sexy girl sitting in a bar after hours listening to jazz and swapping stories. Sounds like something out of the ‘50s, maybe, with guys from the Rat Pack; not stars like Sinatra, Sammy Davis, Jr., but maybe Dean Martin, Peter Lawford and Joey Bishop. The ultimate cool except it’s the ‘80s, and these guys got their chops a long, long time ago. I knew these characters! The very well-acted “Chops” gets 4 Spotlights.

"Eroica" by Alan Bresloff

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Recommended *** Azusa Productions is a 20 year old company that strives to create theater that is committed to working with artists looking to expand and grow their presence. While I do not recall them, since they are not a “standard” company with seasons, I was surprised to learn of the number of years they have existed. The production that I witnessed tonight at Redtwist Theatre is David Alex’s “Eroica”, making its World Premiere. David is a local talent, and as an ex-math teacher and high school coach, brings some of his life experiences to Chicago area stages. This one has no math (happily).

"Kin Folk" by Alan Bresloff

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Somewhat Recommended ** I never thought I would say that I was “lost” in a production, but tonight, while watching “Kin Folk” at The Den Theatre’s Upstairs Main Stage, it happened. This is a World Premier of a new work by William Glick that had very little story and substance for me. There was a great deal of laughter from the 20-somethings and of course the actor’s friends and family, but, from my seat, one that is known for “big laughter”, there was almost none. Let me try to explain what Glick has put on the stage with the direction of Evan Linder.

"Tomorrow Morning" by Alan Bresloff

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★★★★★ Kokandy Productions, a theater company celebrating 6 years of bringing shows to Chicago, just keeps bringing us quality shows- one after another. As someone who sees a great number of productions per year, I thank you for the choices you make and the fulfillment of your “mission” to bring quality musicals to the smaller and intimate spaces of our city. Bravo! Their current production, “Tomorrow Morning” was written by Laurence Mark Wythe (book, music and lyrics) and might be classified as a “chamber musical” due to its great intensity, emotion, and story-telling. The music is handled by a single piano, and yet, filled the theater with the richness and sound that held our attention from start to finish ( by the way, 90 minutes, no intermission).

Eamonn Walker stars in "Between Riverside and Crazy"

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**** Recommended **** Love, loyalty and friendship are taxed to the max in Steppenwolf’s new production, “Between Riverside and Crazy”. Don’t let the language put you off, this play is very, very good. I’m still not sure if I loved it or hated it, which guaranteed interesting conversation on the way home. I give “Between Riverside and Crazy” 4 Spotlights.

“WOZ: A Rock Cabaret” deserves a Regular Run

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***** Highly Recommended **** It’s a shame that “WOZ: A Rock Cabaret” is only playing at Victory Gardens for a weekend. I have to agree with my compatriot, Alan Bresloff, in saying that this show deserves a regular run somewhere. It is an amazingly fun show which roughly follows the Oz story line! Although there is a little bit of dialogue, co-creators Kimberly Lawson – who also plays Dorothy – and Will Rogers let the story unfold with a variety of rock songs. I can’t remember when I had so much fun! I give “WOZ” 4 Spotlights.

"My Son, the Waiter: A Jewish Tragedy" is Hilarious!

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**** Highly Recommended **** If you’re in the mood for some laughs, you’ll definitely want to head for Skokie to see Brad Zimmerman’s one-man show, “My Son, the Waiter: A Jewish Tragedy”, it’s absolutely hilarious! Zimmerman got everyone laughing with a ‘test’ joke, and they just kept coming after that. In a not quite stand-up routine, Zimmerman’s personal story is interspersed with jokes. I laughed ‘til my cheeks hurt at this 4 Spotlight performance!