Thursday March 22 3:48 am

Spotlighting events along the south shore of Lake Michigan

Spotlight on Equity Theater Reviews

"Dontrell, Who Kissed the Sea" - Review by Jeffrey Leibham


****RECOMMENDED**** Dontrell Jones III is certainly a very intelligent and insightful young man. The title character of Nathan Alan Davis' play "Dontrell, Who Kissed the Sea," currently receiving its Chicago premiere at the First Floor Theater, is an 18 year old spending the final days of his summer vacation before his freshman classes begin at Johns Hopkins University. 4 Spotlights

About Face Theater's "Time Is on Our Side" - Review by Carol Moore


** Somewhat Recommended ** I have mixed feelings about “Time Is on Our Side”, another play that doesn’t know what it wants to be when it grows up. I’m pretty sure I figured out the most important point – one character saying that it’s her story and she’s the only one who gets to tell it – but there’s a lot of other stuff thrown into the mix. Although the characters were really one-dimensional, the actors could/should have put a little more emotion into them. 2 ½ Spotlights

"Faust" - Review by Jeffrey Leibham


***RECOMMENDED*** Just as the juxtaposition of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s epic and impactful moral tale of Faust, Part One blends with the lushly romantic and light, poetic spirit of French composer Charles Gounod, the current production of “Faust” at the Lyric Opera of Chicago is a true collaboration between six uniquely talented, but ultimately differing creative individuals. The resulting production is always visually stunning and even hypnotic at times, but not universally successful. While the narrative is so commonly known and copied in numerous art forms, there are some major gaps in the libretto by Jules Barbier and Michel Carre that require more clear delineation to be more effective dramatically, particularly in the final two acts. It may leave some patrons cold and left with a sense that the entire proceedings have been over-conceptualized. 3 SPOTLIGHTS

"Plantation!" is Funny but Uncomfortable


*** Recommended*** “Plantation!” was funny until it wasn’t. Although I laughed a lot at the absurd behavior of the Wright family, I also felt a twinge or two of discomfort. By the end of the play, I wasn’t laughing any more, having progressed to very uncomfortable. I guess I enjoyed “Plantation!” until I didn’t. 3 Spotlights

Great Music in "Hail Hail Chuck: A Tribute to Chuck Berry"


*** Recommended *** I look forward to going to Black Ensemble Theatre because I know I’m going to hear great music. Their latest production, “Hail Hail Chuck: A Tribute to Chuck Berry”, which followed Berry from “Maybelline” to “School Day” was no exception. I was tapping my toes through the whole show. 3 Spotlights

Schiller's "Mary Stuart" is filled with Plotting, Backstabbing and Whispered Lies


**** Highly Recommended **** When it comes to intrigue, it doesn’t get any better than the palace variety, what with all the plotting, backstabbing and jockeying for position at court. Friedrich Schiller adds two mercurial queens, surrounded by manipulative men declaring their love while whispering lies, to his verse play, “Mary Stuart”, written in 1800, and adapted by Peter Oswald in 2005. Chicago Shakespeare Theatre’s larger-than-life production of “Mary Stuart” is magnificent. 4 Spotlights

Porchlight Revisits "They're Playing Our Song"


**** Recommended **** Porchlight Revisits “They’re Playing Our Song” was wonderful! In fact, it was one of the best, most relaxing evenings I’ve had in a long time. The Porchlight Revisits Series brings back Broadway gems which for one reason or another have been “unsung” for a long time. If you have a chance to see one of these ‘script-in-hand’ performances, grab it. 4 Spotlights

You'll be Part of the Action in "Southern Gothic" at Windy City Playhouse


**** Highly Recommended **** Have you ever wished you were a fly-on-the-wall – say at your best friend’s house after a disastrous party? You just know you’re missing the juiciest conversation ever! If you see “Southern Gothic”, the new production at Windy City Playhouse, you’ll not only see what’s happening, you’ll be in the middle of the action! They call it immersion theatre, it’s unlike anything I’ve ever seen before, and it was a blast. 4 BIG Spotlights