Saturday October 20 1:58 pm

Spotlighting events along the south shore of Lake Michigan

Spotlight on Reviews

"The Cake" - Review by Alan Bresloff

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Recommended *** Often, I look closely at our tiny venues, the “store-fronts” that define Chicago’s true theater scene, and tell people that this is what makes our city great! One of these smaller venues is Rivendell, a company that has been around since 1994 (over 20 years) bringing to our city the only Equity company dedicated to producing new work with women at the very core. They are in an unusual space, next to a pizza joint on Ridge Avenue, about one block south of Senn High School. Their current production, in its Midwest premiere is “The Cake” written by Bekah Brunstetter.

"Oklahoma" - Review by Alan Bresloff


Highly Recommended **** In 1943, a new musical by Rodgers & Hammerstein opened on Broadway. Based on the 1931 play, “Green Grow the Lilacs” written by Lynn Riggs, this new musical told the amazing story of a territory, known as “Oklahoma !” was ready to mature and become a state. 75 years! Wow!

“The Doppelgänger (an international farce)” is a Brilliant Satire!


**** Recommended **** “The Doppelgänger (an international farce)” is funny, fast-paced and frenetic, with plenty of pratfalls, puns and mistaken identities. “The Doppelgänger” spoofs international greed and back-room deals so well it could scare the socks off the conspiracy-under-every-rock crowd. Good satire will do that, and this is very good satire, indeed. I laughed until my face hurt! 4 Spotlights

Hersey Felder is Amazing as "Our Great Tchaikovsky"


**** Highly Recommended **** It’s difficult to classify Hersey Felder’s “Our Great Tchaikovsky”. A one-man show, it’s not exactly a play, but it’s not a musical either. It’s not a concert, although you will hear a concert-level piano performance. As with all of his previous meticulously researched characters, Felder becomes Tchaikovsky in an enthralling performance in Steppenwolf’s Upstairs Theatre. 4 Big Spotlights

Sondheim's "Company" sparkles in Mercury Theater's New Venus Cabaret


**** Highly Recommended **** Mercury Theater is celebrating the grand opening of their brand new venue, the Venus Cabaret Theater (right next door), with a party! Guests (that means all of you) are invited to enjoy party appetizers, birthday cake, maybe an adult beverage (at the cash bar), and Stephen Sondheim’s birthday party musical, “Company”. Kudos to Director L. Walter Stearns for his spot-on casting. Gotta love those clever, complicated Sondheim lyrics! 4 Big Spotlights

"Il Pigmalione and Rita" - Review by Jeffrey Leibham

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****HIGHLY RECOMMENDED**** Chicago Opera Theater has devised a brilliant concept for its third and final production of the 2017/2018 season. They have chosen to present two works of Italian composer Gaetano Donizetti. The first is "Il Pigmalione" which was the first opera that Donizetti composed followed by "Rita" which was one of the very last. Both are one act operas that are being performed in Chicago for the very first time. In the course of two hours you get to hear how advanced Donizetti's sound became over the course of his career. It is truly remarkable that Donizetti composed nearly 70 operas in his lifetime, considering that he perished at the age of 51. 4 BIG SPOTLIGHTS

Catch Caroline Neff's Tour de Force Performance in "Tillie" at Victory Gardens


**** Highly Recommended **** It can’t get more real than “Lettie”! What happens to the children when a parent goes to jail? Can the parent-child bond weather the separation? In Boo Killebrew’s gripping play, Lettie tries to pick up the pieces of her life and deal with the gap between her expectations and her children’s reality. Caroline Neff gives a tour de force performance at the title character. 4 Spotlights

Drury Lane's "South Pacific" is Still Relevant - Review by Carol Moore


**** Recommended **** “South Pacific” is a romantic tour de force and amazingly relevant to this day. Based on James Michener’s “Tales of the South Pacific,” this 1949 Rodgers and Hammerstein musical won the Pulitzer Prize as well as 10 Tony Awards. “South Pacific” was way ahead of its time in its sensitive and candid exploration of racial prejudice. Drury Lane Theatre’s talented cast does full justice to the lush musical score. 4 Spotlights