Thursday January 18 8:38 pm

Spotlighting events along the south shore of Lake Michigan

Spotlight on Reviews

Twitch Your Nose - Hell in a Handbag's "Bewildered" is Magical!

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**** Recommended **** I loved Hell in a Handbag’s “Bewildered: A Bewitching New Musical”, a campy, laugh-out-loud musical parody of TV’s comedy hit “Bewitched”. Although Hell in a Handbag did “Bette, Live at the Continental Baths”, in which Caitlin Jackson channeled the Divine Miss M in song and innuendo, this is actually their first full out musical with an original score by Aaron Benham and Ron Weaver. I see more musicals in the Handbag future. You can’t help but laugh at “Bewildered”. 4 Spotlights

Other Theatre's "The Making of a Modern Folk Hero" is a Modern Cautionary Tale

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**** Recommended **** Other Theatre’s “The Making of a Modern Folk Hero” is a modern cautionary tale, a sharply satiric story involving a lousy actor looking for meaning in his life; a manipulative politician looking for a patsy, and a blogger. The story is funny, until it’s not, as it builds to its inevitable and tragic conclusion. 3 ½ Spotlights

"St. Joan" by Alan Bresloff

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★★★★★There is a new theater company in town, Or at least, new to me. They are called the Poetic Forum Collective and at present they are presenting a new look at “Saint Joan” by George Bernard Shaw, and as they say on their Facebook page (they as yet, do not seem to have a website) this version, directed by Marylynne Anderson-Cooper is presented with an all female cast.

"Into the Woods" by Alan Bresloff

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★★★★★ It has been awhile since I have enjoyed a production at The Metropolis Performing Arts Centre in Arlington Heights, and to be honest, I went tonight, to see one of my VERY favorite Sondheim shows, “Into The Woods”, thinking I would be disappointed. Guess what? I was not! In fact, I was utterly surprised to see that director Robin M. Hughes, has indeed captured the true essence of what Sondheim (music and lyrics)and James Lapine (book writer) were after. A dark comedy featuring many of the Grimm Fairy Tale characters along with the “Baker and His Wife” all “wishing” for something!

“Quixote: On The Conquest of Self" by Alan Bresloff

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★★★★★Leave it to Writers Theatre to bring us a story or an interpretation of the story from the classic novel by Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quixote de la Mancha taking us across time periods. This is a 90 minute (no intermission) piece written by Monica Hoth and Claudio Valdes Kuri (with an English translation by Georgia Escobar) and it is directed by Kuri. Who would you imagine bringing this character to life? It is none other than Henry Godinez, a name in the Chicago Theater Community , that everyone knows. Many have seen plays he has directed as well as those where he has performed, but in this particular production, we get to see Godinez as never seen before. His energy is so high, even those who came into the theater tired, became more alert.

"Becky Shaw" - the Blind date from Hell

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*** Recommended **** OK, you just had a bad blind date. What do you do? Typically, you delete that person from your contacts and move on. But what if he/she keeps turning up everywhere you go? Is he/she just plain pathetic or is he/she a stalker? Gina Gionfriddo’s “Becky Shaw” is a funny – creepy, chalk-on-a-blackboard kind of funny – take on that blind date from hell. The best part, you don’t have to go on a date! You can just kick back, relax in one of Windy City Playhouse’s comfy armchairs, and watch it all play out. 3 Spotlights

Jeffrey Leibham reviews Raven Theatre's "Choir Boy"

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***RECOMMENDED*** "Choir Boy" may be Tarell Alvin's McCraney's most conventional work to date. Perhaps it's just this production, under the work horse direction of Michael Menendian, that makes it seem that way. Written in 2012, the play was most recently presented at the Manhattan Theater Club at City Center and featured Mr. McCraney's fellow Steppenwolf ensemble member Austin Pendleton in the role, ironically, of Mr. Pendleton. This Raven Theatre ensemble is made up of a core of young, locally trained aspiring actors who all do very solid work. 3 SPOTLIGHTS

Interrobang Theatre Project's "Foxfinder" by Jeffrey Leibham

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***RECOMMENDED*** British playwright Dawn King has created a very intriguing work with her 2011 piece "Foxfinder," which is receiving its Midwest premiere in a solid production by Interrobang Theatre Project. Part of the wonder of this play is the fact that it seems to be floating in an almost ageless realm. The program notes simply indicate that the time is "Soon." However, the action could very easily be taking place in 1910. The only clue in the text itself is the fleeting reference of placing a call on a telephone, so we know this isn't 1610. 3 ½ SPOTLIGHTS