Wednesday October 17 12:10 am

Spotlighting events along the south shore of Lake Michigan

Spotlight on Reviews

Paramount's "Hairspray" is an Exuberant Romp through the Sixties!

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**** Recommended **** The Paramount Theatre production of “Hairspray” is an upbeat, exuberant romp of a show. “Hairspray” isn’t afraid to bring serious issues like bullying, bigotry stereotyping and segregation to the table, handling them in a totally upbeat way. Your toes won’t stop tapping, so hurry and get your tickets to “Hairspray”, which I give 4 Spotlights.

"The Man Who Murdered Sherlock Holmes" is the Must-See Show this Winter!

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***** Highly Recommended ***** I can’t think of a thing I’d change about “The Man Who Murdered Sherlock Holmes”, and that’s something I’ve never said before. In fact, Mercury Theatre’s delightful musical whodunit is the must-see show this winter! Actually, I think it’s ready for Broadway, so I give it 4 BIG Spotlights.

Gorgeous Spectacle in "Another Word for Beauty"

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*** Recommended *** There are a lot of words to describe “Another Word for Beauty”, the Goodman’s new production about the strangest beauty contest ever. I’ve struggled to write this review because I couldn’t seem to come up with the right combination of those words – interesting, beautiful, flawed, tragic – never could figure it out. I’m still not sure if I liked “Another Word for Beauty”, but it sure has a strong message. I give it 3 ½ Spotlights.

Drury Lane's "Bye Bye Birdie" is a Blast from the Past

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**** Recommended **** If you’re looking for a delightfully irreverent blast from the past, take in Drury Lane’s production of “Bye Bye Birdie”. Drury Lane’s new production of the 1963 pop culture satire is fast-paced, clever and colorful. Before the Beatles hit the American pop charts, there was Elvis Presley. “Bye Bye Birdie” pays delightful homage that time. I give it 4 Spotlights.

"Satchmo at the Waldorf" is a Fascinating Picture of a Legend

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**** Recommended **** I was absolutely fascinated watching Barry Shabaka Henley’s performance in the Court Theatre’s production of “Satchmo at the Waldorf”. Although I was certainly aware of Louis Armstrong as a performer, I knew very little about him as a person. Henley’s raspy-voiced portrayal made him real for me. I give “Satchmo at the Waldorf” 4 Spotlights.

"Sunset Baby" Review by Alan Bresloff

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★★★★★ Those of you who attend Timeline Theatre Company productions ( and have for 19 years), know that they present “Yesterday’s stories, Today’s topics”! With all that has been happening in Chicago ( as well as other major cities) dealing with race problems, their current production, the Chicago premiere of “Sunset Baby” has even more meaning than it might have a few years ago. Written by Dominique Morisseau, “Sunset Baby” is a deep, powerful story that deals with a father and his daughter.

"Animals Out of Paper" Review by Alan Bresloff

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Recommended *** When one thinks of “origami, the art of folding paper in just the right artistic way to create a work of art, itself, unless, you are into the art, it just passes us by. In Rajiv Joseph’s “Animals Out of Paper”, now being presented at Theater Wit as part of Shattered Globe Theatre’s 25th anniversary season, we see how this art form connects and or disconnects three lonely souls with deep personal troubles during a solid one hour and forty minutes of story-telling (no intermission). There are three characters in this story. Well, there are three that we meet and learn about. There are few others that are referred to as part of the story that help us to see things about the three we get to know.

Marriott's "Spring Awakening" will Move You

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**** Highly Recommended **** Marriott’s “Spring Awakening” is one of January’s must-see musicals. The compelling story moved me to tears. In fact, it’s up there in my top ten list of Marriott productions since I’ve been reviewing. I give “Spring Awakening” 4 Big Spotlights.