Wednesday March 20 4:01 pm

Spotlighting events along the south shore of Lake Michigan

Spotlight on Equity Theater Reviews

"Short Shakespeare! Macbeth" - Review by Carol Moore

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**** Recommended **** I am always in awe when I see one of Chicago Shakespeare Theatre’s “Short Shakespeare!” performances. The very idea that someone can abridge one of Shakespeare’s complicated plots into 75 minutes is mind-boggling. That said, “Short Shakespeare! Macbeth” is an intense immersion into a dark world of greed and ambition. Although geared to younger audiences, Marti Lyons’ original adaptation doesn’t lose a thing in the translation. This is dynamite! 4 Spotlights

“Seussical” the Musical - Review by Alan Bresloff

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Highly Recommended***** Hats off to Marriott Theatre for its “theater for young audience” program. The sparkling one hour shows they bring to families is both educational and very rewarding. Exposing live theater to children at a young age has been a great thing for our family. My kids grew up on theater and now my grandkids are doing that as well. The problem for me is that as they get older, they are becoming too old for the one hour shows geared for the younger crowd.

"The Abuelas" - Review by Carol Moore

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**** Recommended **** Last year, in the Teatro Vista production of Stephanie Alison Walker’s gripping drama, “The Madres”, we watched a mother’s desperate search for her daughter, one of Argentina’s disappeared. This winter, Teatro Vista brings us the sequel, “The Abuelas”, an equally gripping drama about a modern and very successful young woman living in Chicago, whose DNA leads us right back to that mother. 4 Spotlights

“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” - Review by Alan Bresloff

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Highly Recommended **** There is no question that August Wilson was a genius. His works that composed the “American Century Cycle”, brought the inner feelings of the African-American during those decades to light for many an audience who neither experienced or knew the plight they were experiencing. His stories, were ones of real experiences, and in many cases were about real people who lived during these trying times. While his focus was on Pittsburgh, one of his plays, “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” takes place in Chicago, in a recording studio, where we learn a great deal about how the White producers used the Black entertainers to sell records.

"Dear Evan Hansen" - Review by Carol Moore

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**** Recommended **** Watching “Dear Evan Hansen” is a gut-wrenching experience. It’s like watching a train wreck – you know it’s coming so you just sit back and wait for the fall out. On the other hand, it’s a hauntingly beautiful musical about a troubled teen complete with redemption in the end. By the way, the actor who plays Evan Hansen, Ben Levi Ross, has a gorgeous voice! In case you haven’t figured it out, I thought it was magnificent, and I’ll even admit to a tear or two, too. 4 Spotlights

"A Doll's House, Part 2" - Review by Carol Moore

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**** Recommended **** Sometimes, after reading a really good book or seeing a really good play, I wonder what happened to the characters after the story ended. Apparently playwright Lucas Hnath liked to speculate about that same topic. Evidently his curiosity led him into writing “A Doll’s House, Part 2”, a sequel to Ibsen’s classic play, “A Doll’s House”. Fifteen years after she left her husband and children, Nora has returned. “A Doll’s House, Part 2” is both funny and insightful as it takes on the pitfalls and complexities of relationships. 4 Spotlights

"The Producers" - Review by Carol Moore

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**** Highly Recommended **** There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that the Paramount Theatre has a huge hit with “The Producers”, the outrageously funny musical based on Mel Brooks’ 1968 Academy Award winning black and white cult classic film. An outrageous plot, fast-paced dialogue, clever lyrics, slapstick comedy, pratfalls and sight gags, guarantee you’ll love this show. No matter how many times I’ve seen “The Producers”, it always makes me laugh. It’s totally worth the drive to Aurora. 4 BIG Spotlights.

"The Roommate" - Review by Alan Bresloff

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★★★★★ A little over a year ago, Steppenwolf Theatre did “The Roommate”, a 90 minute story about two women, who for reasons of their own, become “Roomies”. Jen Silverman is the playwright of this stunning little story about two women from different backgrounds, who have lived completely different lives, match up, become “friends ( loosely), and then allies. These two ladies are probably the most unlikely of matches one can imagine. The production at Steppenwolf was outstanding and I wondered how a suburban, in particular, Lake Forest suburban, could pull this off.