Friday March 22 9:25 pm

Spotlighting events along the south shore of Lake Michigan

Spotlight on Equity Theater Reviews

"Swamp Baby" - Review by Jeffrey Leibham

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***RECOMMENDED*** One of the characters in Aaron Carter's latest play "Swamp Baby" expressively states that, looking back upon one's own life, it's possible to reflect that is was all just a "convulsion of memory." This is posited by a man who, purported to be a physician yet perhaps without the credentials to prove it, seems to be more interested in the eccentricities of the human body than the pain and secrets contained within the human heart. Carter, the local writer whose work has allows been informed by his fascination with magic, sideshows and the circus, has fashioned a hauntingly poetic work detailing capitalistic gain versus scientific advancements as well as themes of miscegenation and one which allows us to embrace the sometimes unpleasant sensation of what it must feel like to be an outsider looking in. Under Lauren "LL" Lundy's sympathetic yet focused direction, this world premiere presented by MPAACT at The Greenhouse Theatre Center is radiant. 3 SPOTLIGHTS

"The Realistic Joneses" - Review by Jeffrey Leibham

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***RECOMMENDED*** Forget about trying to keep up with the Joneses. There is no competitive spirit or rivalry between the two married couples in Will Eno's quirky yet heartfelt dramatic comedy "The Realistic Joneses." Originally produced on Broadway in 2014 with an A-list cast, this quietly reflective show is receiving its Chicago premiere in a co-production between Shattered Globe Theatre and Theater Wit. Director Jeremy Wechsler, who has collaborated with Will Eno multiple times in the past, has assembled a great cast of actors and gives them all individual moments in which they shine. 3 ½ SPOTLIGHTS

"How to Catch Creation" - Review by Alan Bresloff

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★★★★★Headline: Another World Premier on a Chicago theater stage! Of course! Playwrights love our city and the audiences that we bring to see their works. As I have said many times, Chicago theater audiences make us other than the “second city”. This play is “How to Catch Creation” written by Christina Anderson. It is a play that depicts the lives of three artists, who with their partners take us on a trip through time and the trials and tribulations of lives that are “different”, both in the past and present.

"Cardboard Piano" - Review by Alan Bresloff

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Recommended *** One thing that can always be said about the productions at Timeline Theatre- they are of great importance and in most cases actual and factual! While I look forward with great anticipation to their move to their new building in Uptown, until that time, I will still attend anything they do in their present home located at 615 West Wellington Avenue ( just West of Broadway). I will tell you that during this cold snap in Chicago, you might want to wear a second ( or third) layer, as it was a bit nippy in the theater, but the show is warm and is a story that one can learn from, along with being highly entertained.

Marriott's "Million Dollar Quartet" has Everyone Rockin'!

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**** Highly Recommended **** My friend Helen said that “Million Dollar Quartet” was 90 minutes of pure joy. It’s definitely an evening of in-your-face rock and roll. While Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins and Elvis Presley are rockin’ on Marriott’s intimate stage, audiences are rockin’ right along with them! “Million Dollar Quartet” is a blast from the past! 4 BIG Spotlights

"Noises Off" at Windy City Playhouse will keep You Laughing!

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**** Recommended **** Windy City Playhouse’s production of “Noises Off” is getting big laughs. That’s because it’s a very funny play within a play in which a cast of second rate British actors is rehearsing/performing “Nothing On,” a lame comedy featuring mistaken identities, slamming doors, pratfalls, a pretty girl in her underwear and sardines. Playing comedy, particularly farce, requires split second timing – and the ability to take a fall – and this cast is brilliant. I laughed til my cheeks hurt! 4 BIG Spotlights

"Evil Dead: The Musical - Review by Jeffrey Leibham

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****HIGHLY RECOMMENDED**** As the first winter storm with measurable snowfall blew into Chicago one evening last week, the audience at the Pride Arts Center eagerly settled in for the Chicago storefront premiere of Black Button Eyes Productions riotously entertaining and completely hilarious production of "Evil Dead: The Musical." While there were plenty of liquids flying through the air on stage, they were neither white in color nor crystallized like the flakes swirling outdoors. This clever parody, a mash-up of sorts of all of the Sam Raimi classic films that inspired it, has an uproariously funny book by George Reinblatt, who also wrote the wacky lyrics. The lively score was composed by Christopher Bond, Frank Cipolla, Melissa Morris and Reinblatt. This would make a great date night for you and your bloody Valentine. 4 BIG SPOTLIGHTS

"Dada Woof Papa Hot" - Review by Jeffrey Leibham

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***RECOMMENDED*** There was a time, during the middle to late 1990's, when most of the gay men living in New York City's Chelsea neighborhood became dog owners. The logic behind this was to facilitate their chances of finding a boyfriend while taking the little pup for a walk, allowing the animal to become the catalyst for starting a conversation with a cute young guy who just wanted to pet the dog or else meeting other men who just happen to be taking their own dog for a stroll around the neighborhood. It was a great way to meet someone. Now it seems that having a child, whether through adoption or surrogacy, may have replaced dogs as a means for gay men to hook-up with one another. At least that's one of a myriad of scenarios presented in Peter Parnell's inanely titled play "Dada Woof Papa Hot" at About Face Theatre. 3 SPOTLIGHTS