Wednesday February 20 1:15 pm

Spotlighting events along the south shore of Lake Michigan

Spotlight on Reviews

"Little Foxes" - a Guest Review by Bob Rubin and Richard Gore of TSP News

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“Little Foxes”, originally a Broadway play, which opened recently at Lake Forest’s Citadel Theater. The set, the costumes, the direction, the acting were all Broadway level. Add to this, the easy access theater location, the pleasant intimate seating, the plentiful adjacent parking and affordable ticket prices… WHY would you miss a single play!

"Gypsy" - Review by Alan Bresloff

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★★★★★If you were down near Division and Dearborn last night , and felt the earth moving, it was not an earthquake. It was the Porchlight Music Theatre’s production of “Gypsy” and the unbelievable E. Faye Butler bringing Mama Rose to life! This is “classic Musical Theater” at its best!

"Shrek the Musical" - Review by Alan Bresloff

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★★★★★ Leave it to Marriott Theatre and their staff to bring a huge musical to their in-the-round- stage with just the right touch. Under the leadership of Director Scott Weinstein, they are doing a mini version of “Shrek the Musical” that is perfect fare for the entire family. Yes, from a three year old to an 80 year old, everyone will have the time of their lives with this 70 minutes of musical merriment.

"fun Harmless Warmachine" - Review by Jeffrey Leibham

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****HIGHLY RECOMMENDED**** The creative folks at The New Colony are once again exploring a subject matter that they seem to be particularly drawn to -- the world of video gaming. In 2016, this very same company presented the world premiere of "Merge," which dealt with the people involved in the creation of and travails involved in incorporating what ended up becoming the Atari company in the late 1970's, and its eventual downfall. Their latest world premiere (New Colony's 31st) is "Fun Harmless Warmachine," written by the new Co-Artistic Director Fin Coe, which is a much more polished and decidedly darker and rewarding work. 4 BIG SPOTLIGHTS

Chicago Shakespeare's "Nell Gwynn" is a Bawdy Romp

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**** Recommended **** Sometimes I think of Chicago Shakespeare as an otherwise dignified individual with an unexpected sense of humor, which shows up in their latest production, “Nell Gwynn”, a bawdy good romp. Nell Gwynn, of course, was the favorite mistress of King Charles II, and one of the first female actresses on the London stage. “Nell Gwynn” has a fabulous cast, gorgeous costumes, funny clever dialogue and broad physical comedy. 4 Spotlights

"Eclipsed" - Review by Jeffrey Leibham

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****HIGHLY RECOMMENDED**** The name Danai Gurira may not be familiar to many of you but you certainly might recognize her from several of the appearances that she's made as an actress. Her television credits include the AMC horror drama series "The Walking Dead" and her films have included "All Eyez on Me" and this year's blockbusters "The Black Panther" and "Avengers: Infinity War." But Gurira, who is an American of Zimbabwean origin and began her career on stage, is also a highly talented playwright. Her 2009 play "Eclipsed," which made it to Broadway in 2016 and was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Play, is receiving a riveting production, under the direction of Producing Artistic Director Ilesa Duncan, by Pegasus Theatre Chicago. 4 SPOTLIGHTS

"Rock and Roll" - Review by Jeffrey Leibham

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***RECOMMENDED*** Upon entering the theater at The Artistic Home you will feel transported back in time to a more liberally-minded, free-spirited era to experience Tom Stoppard's 2006 play "Rock 'n' Roll." The stage consists of one very long, slightly raised platform which runs the length of the room from south to north and has four distinct playing areas, cozily designed by Kevin Hagan. With several selections of 1960's and 1970's British rock bands providing the pre-show recorded music, patrons are encouraged to view the art work on the walls and grab a seat anywhere. The seats run on either side of the stage, the entire length of the room, and are made up of very comfortable padded chairs and randomly placed large, over-stuffed easy chairs or compact sofas, all covered with plush velvet drapery or hand crocheted afghans. It all exudes enough grunge that you would swear you could be in a dive bar right off of Leicester Square, circa 1970. While they certainly got the vibe exactly right, Kathy Scambiatterra's loosely directed production doesn't always come off feeling cohesive. 3 SPOTLIGHTS

"La Boheme" - Review by Jeffrey Leibham

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****HIGHLY RECOMMENDED**** "La Boheme", Giacomo Puccini's 1896 opera, may arguably be the most popular opera in the world and certainly one of the most beloved. First performed by Lyric Opera during the second month of their inaugural season in 1954 and a staple during many of their seasons ever since, this sparkling new coproduction between Lyric Opera Chicago, Royal Opera House Covent Garden and Teatro Real Madrid is a joy to behold. If you have never seen an opera performed live on stage before, this is the perfect one to start with. Consisting of a fairly simple love story at its center, a luscious and swoon-worthy score by Puccini, strong acting, stunning set and lighting design and a running time of a tad over two hours this is a great introduction to what world-class caliber opera aspires to always be. 4 SPOTLIGHTS