Thursday April 26 1:43 am

Spotlighting events along the south shore of Lake Michigan

Spotlight on Equity Theater Reviews

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

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*** 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

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**** 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"

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**** 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

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**** 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

Towle Theater's "Pageant Play" is Hilarious

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**** Recommended **** What is worse - a stage mom, a dance mom or a pageant mom? When I conducted an informal poll on Facebook, two out of two votes were for pageant mom! Hmmm! I’ll bet those voters have seen “Pageant Play”, the Towle Theater’s hilarious take on child beauty pageants. The whole topic of little girls in beauty pageants might be fraught, but don’t worry, there are no actual children involved in “Pageant Play”, just lots of laughs! 3 ½ Spotlights

Theatre at the Center's "Steel Magnolias" is an Emotional Roller Coaster

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**** Highly Recommended **** Theatre at the Center’s production of “Steel Magnolias” is an emotional roller coaster, heartwarming humorous ups followed by heart-wrenching downs. In other words, it made me laugh, it made me cry, I loved it! Kudos to Linda Fortunato and the women in the cast for an outstanding production. 4 Spotlights

An Open-and-Shut Case falls Apart in Keith Huff's Gritty Police Drama, "Six Corners"

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**** Recommended **** As I started thinking about what to write about American Blues Theater’s production of Keith Huff’s noir police drama, “Six Corners”, I wanted to use words like intense, gritty, gripping, depressing – but while every one of those words apply, I think futility, frustration and anger would be better choices. The story reminded me of a runaway train – you can see where it’s going to end up but you don’t want to miss the journey. This production is so strong that, at the end, there was total silence before the audience broke into applause. 4 Spotlights

“Surely Goodness and Mercy” - Review by Alan Bresloff

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Highly Recommended **** One of my favorite “storefront” theaters is Redtwist, a PURE storefront on Bryn Mawr Avenue in the Edgewater neighborhood. This intimate space allows the audience to become the perverbial “fly on the wall” almost feeling as if they can reach out and touch the actors. In fact, we could. Today, while witnessing a “rolling World Premiere” of “Surely Goodness and Mercy”, by Chisa Hutchinson, there were times I had to uncross my legs so that the actors could get off the “stage” (if you have ever been to Redtwist, you know there is no actual stage). They keep you on your toes for sure.