Wednesday December 12 9:37 pm

Spotlighting events along the south shore of Lake Michigan

Spotlight on Reviews

Meet Ann Landers, "The Lady with All the Answers" at Theatre at the Center

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**** Recommended **** Theatre at the Center’s production of "The Lady with All the Answers" is a perfect play for these hot summer days/nights. It’s a warm, humorous and very personal glimpse into the life of Esther Pauline “Eppie” Lederer, the woman behind “Ask Ann Landers”. I remember watching ‘Ann Landers’ on Irv Kupcinet’s TV show – a long, long time ago – and I think Janet Ulrich Brook was perfect in the part. In addition to Lander’s signature ‘helmet’ hairdo, she also mastered her unusually sharp speech patterns. Don’t miss “The Lady with All the Answer”, you’ll really enjoy it. 4 Spotlights

“The Csárdás Princess” is a Delightful ‘Rich-Guy-falls-for-Poor-Girl’ Story

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**** Recommended **** Folks Operetta’s production of “The Csárdás Princess” is a delightful ‘rich-guy-falls-for-poor-girl’ story with lots of obstacles in the path to true love. As most of you know, I’m not an opera fan, but the combination of a talented cast with gorgeous voices, a story with a happy ending and a surfeit of Viennese waltzes made it enjoyable. 3 ½ Spotlights

Tennessee Williams' "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" smolders at Drury Lane

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**** Recommended **** I have to hand it to Drury Lane Theatre! Instead of their usual tried and true Broadway-style musical, they decided to go with Tennessee Williams’ smoldering melodrama, “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof”. While most families have a secret or two, the Politte family has skeletons – maybe even elephants – lurking in their closets. Those secrets become weapons in the war to win Big Daddy’s favor and ultimately control of the family estate/money. “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” is Tennessee Williams at his best. 4 Spotlights

2 Actors play 13 Roles in Zany Comedy "Murder for Two"

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**** Highly Recommended **** I can’t remember when I’ve laughed as much and as hard as I did at Marriott Theatre’s “Murder for Two”. If you like a good murder mystery, you’ll love this whodunit. High energy, fast-paced dialogue/lyrics, campy, vampy characterizations, plenty of zany suspects, a spooky mansion, a silly twist and a pratfall or two make “Murder for Two” so much fun. I loved this show! 4 Spotlights

"Waitress" - Review by Alan Bresloff

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Highly Recommended **** Chicago theater audiences have been waiting for the arrival of “Waitress”, making its Chicago debut, but a musical that has some unique ties to our city. The workshop and Broadway opening starred Jessie Mueller in the title role of Jenna. While I am sure that her followers were hoping that she would have done at least the Chicago portion of the tour, the young lady that is playing this role, Desi Oakley, is wonderful and will fill your heart and soul with the same emotions that Jessie would have.

"The Cher Show" Dazzles!

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*** Recommended *** Prepare to be dazzled, “The Cher Show” is in town. It’s fun, it’s glamorous, it’s got great music, but it really needs work. Playwright Rick Elice has chosen to frame Cher’s story inside a TV special, so a TV producer decides what will fit TV time constraints, instead of letting Cher tell her own story. Cher is unique. She’s got that great contralto voice. She can deliver a snarky one-liner without cracking up. She wears Bob Mackie’s outrageously sexy clothes with aplomb. I was ready to love “The Cher Show” but they need to let Cher be Cher! 3 Spotlights

The View Upstairs - Review by Jeffrey Leibham

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*** RECOMMENDED *** Not many people may remember the anti-gay massacre that occurred in New Orleans on June 24, 1973. The very popular LGBTQ bar, The UpStairs Lounge, was the location of a vicious and to-this-day unsolved arson attack that claimed the lives of 32 people. On the 40th anniversary of that tragedy the city of New Orleans finally recognized the victims and the atrocity was just beginning to be addressed openly. Subsequently, in 2015, Robert L. Camina's documentary film "UpStairs Inferno" as well as journalist Clayton Deleny's book "The UpStairs Lounge Arson" inspired two different playwrights to create their own versions of that fateful event. One of those works, Max Vernon's "The View UpStairs," is receiving its Chicago premiere by Circle Theatre at The Broadway at Pride Arts Center. 3 Spotlights

Hubbard Street Dance Chicago Summer Series, “Decadance/Chicago”

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It was an absolute pleasure to attend the Hubbard Street Dance Chicago Summer Series, “Decadance/Chicago” by Ohad Naharin at the Harris Theatre. The performance was amazing. As always when I watch Hubbard Street, I am in awe of the grace and strength displayed by the entire ensemble. My friend Karen and I had a lovely discussion about the performance on the way home. We both loved it! 4 Spotlights