Saturday October 20 1:41 pm

Spotlighting events along the south shore of Lake Michigan

Spotlight on Reviews

Dael Orlandersmith's "Until the Flood" - Review by Jeffrey Leiham


****HIGHLY RECOMMENDED**** Dael Orlandersmith, the playwright, poet and solo performance artist who is a Goodman Theatre Artistic Associate and Resident Artist, has made a remarkable career of creating works that use multiple characters' perspectives to shed light on very dark or controversial subject matter. A Pulitzer Prize finalist (for 2002's "Yellowman") she continues to put various and varied characters under her microscope in an attempt to take a bold look into the souls of the determined individuals that come to life in her works. These creations are invigorated by the razor sharp and precise words that Orlandersmith uses to make each of her diverse characters a unique entity. Many of her plays are stunningly galvanic and "Until the Flood" is no exception. 4 SPOTLIGHTS

Paramount Theatre's "Once" is a Must-See!


**** Highly Recommended **** “Once” is a unique story about two people brought together for a very short amount of time by their love of music. It’s sweet - but definitely not saccharine – poignant, funny, and full of fabulous music. You just can’t resist the magic! Paramount Theatre’s production of “Once” is an absolute must-see. I loved the music of “Once” so much that I bought the soundtrack. By the way, I think the Paramount production might just be better than the national tour! 4 BIG Spotlights

Put Teatro Vista's "The Madres" on Your Must-See List!


**** Recommended **** When there’s a disaster or a catastrophe somewhere in the world affecting lots of people – a war, a bombing, a mass shooting, an earthquake, a hurricane – it is individual stories which help us to understand what happened. The “Dirty War” waged by the Argentine military junta against their own people is one of those events. In an effort to bring attention to their children who ‘disappeared’, never to be seen again, the mothers of Argentina organized and marched in front of the presidential every Thursday from 1976 to 1983. Teatro Vista’s production of Stephanie Walker’s gut-wrenching play, “The Madres”, brings our focus to just one mother and her efforts to find her daughter. 4 Spotlights

Lucky Plush "Tab Show" - A Unique Theatrical Dance Experience


The Lucky Plush “Tab Show” was a humorous and colorful theatrical dance work choreographed by Julia Rhoads. The company is committed to something they call a “palpable live-ness” shared by the performers in real time with the audience. Where most dance companies use a musical accompaniment, Lucky Plush often generates their own, with speech and/or song. The experience is unique! 3 Spotlghts

Porchlight's "Memphis" had Me Dancing in My Seat!


**** Highly Recommended **** In Memphis, Tennessee, most mainstream radio stations were playing the same old songs by Dean Martin and Perry Como. Meanwhile, the clubs on Beale Street were playing something called rhythm & blues, an exciting blend of blues, swing, country, jazz and soul. Although no one is exactly sure when/how R & B became rock ‘n roll, “Memphis”, Porchlight Theatre’s new musical, is one way it might have happened. “Memphis”, a rock and roll lover’s dream, had me dancing in my seat! 4 Spotlights

Kokandy Productions' Opulent "Grand Hotel" at Theater Wit


*** Recommended *** I love to find a seat in an airport or a busy hotel lobby and people watch. If I were a novelist or a playwright, that hotel/airport or hotel could be a goldmine. Think of all the juicy stories you could make up about those busy people! “Grand Hotel”, based on Vicki Baum’s 1929 novel and play, “Menschen im Hotel” (People in a Hotel), spends a weekend observing the guests in an opulent Berlin hotel. Kokandy Production’s “Grand Hotel” is opulent yet understated, and amazingly well adapted to Theater Wit’s space. 3 ½ Spotlights

Joffrey Ballet’s “Midsummer Night’s Dream” is Magnificent


**** Highly Recommended **** The Joffrey Ballet’s “Midsummer Night’s Dream” is magnificent. If you’re a ballet traditionalist, it might not be the ballet for you. It’s abstract, avant-garde and maybe a bit confusing, but it fascinated me from start to finish. 4 Spotlights

"A Blue Island in the Red Sea" - Review by Jeffrey Leibham


***RECOMMENDED*** While Chicago lost out a few years ago on the opportunity to build the Lucas Museum here (George Lucas broke ground in Los Angeles just last month on the future Lucas Museum of Narrative Art) and the Barack Obama Presidential Center doesn't begin construction until late in 2018, the residents of Chicago do have a new museum that they can now visit. The Chicago Racism Museum is located on the third floor of the Flat Iron Arts Building. But you better hurry if you want to gain admission to witness the shameful exhibits on display in this ignoble institution. Its doors will be shuttered on May 20. 3 SPOTLIGHTS