Monday January 21 8:53 pm

Spotlighting events along the south shore of Lake Michigan

Spotlight on Equity Theater Reviews

Great Discussions after seeing "The Christians"

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**** Recommended **** I got a twofer at Steppenwolf the other night. I saw/heard a rousing gospel concert, then I saw “The Christians”, a really interesting play which went in an entirely unexpected direction. I like plays in which stereotypical characters don’t behave as expected. My friends and I love dissecting a character’s motivations in our discussions on the drive home. The more heated the discussion, the higher the rating! “The Christians” gets 4 Spotlights.

"Honky Tonk Angel" by Alan Bresloff

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★★★★★Attending one of the musical shows at No Exit Café, that little treasure on Glenwood where Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre makes musicals exciting and affordable, is always a treat. Whether they take on a full- scale musical, bringing it down in size to a cabaret style, or a musical that is more songs than story, one always walks away from this theater feeling “good”! Their current show is more of a musical treat than a “play”. It is called “Honky Tonk Angels” and is written by Ted Swindley, who wrote “Always Patsy Cline” which scored really big for this company back in 2014.

The Joffrey Ballet Production of "The Nutcracker" is Magnificent!

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***** Highly Recommended ***** The Joffrey Ballet’s “new” version of “The Nutcracker”, choreographed by Christopher Wheeldon is magnificent. By setting “The Nutcracker” against the Columbian Exposition of 1893, Wheeldon has given the city a unique gift. I am in awe! Loved everything about “The Nutcracker”. 4 BIG Spotlights!

Political Jokes in Second City's 105th Mainstage Revue, “The Winner … of Our Discontent” are too Angry to be Funny

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*** Recommended *** The Second City formula has been very successful. Each revue includes audience participation improv, snarky commentary on the news of the day, silly sketches, music, maybe even a little slapstick comedy. The 105th Mainstage Revue, “The Winner … of Our Discontent”, had all of the above, but the election-related humor was way too angry to be funny. This is not to say there weren’t some funny bits, but the laughs just couldn’t counterbalance the bitterness. 3 Spotlights.

New Cast brings Fresh Twist to "Twist Your Dickens" at the Goodman

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**** Highly Recommended **** “Twist Your Dickens” is an absolute hoot! While Larry Yando is taking himself way too seriously as Ebenezer Scrooge in the Goodman Theatre’s traditional production of “The Christmas Carol” in the Albert Theatre, Second City has taken over the Owen with “Twist Your Dickens” for a third season with a new cast, new director, and new sketches. You’ll laugh your head off at “Twist Your Dickens”. 4 BIG Spotlights.

"The Rosenkranz Mysteries" by Alan Bresloff

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Highly Recommended **** The Doctor is in! At least until Christmas (December 24th), at The Royal George Cabaret on North Halsted Street. The doctor is not here to practice medicine, but to bring his magic to Chicago. Doctor Ricardo Rosenkranz is a professor at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine . Being fascinated by magic in his youth, he has continued to study and master many of the ancient illusions and bring them to his instructions as a way of engaging his students and making them use their minds in a unique manor. After earning awards for his unique teaching methods, the Doctor decided that this might be the perfect time to hang his “other” shingle on a local venue allowing him to share his magic with Chicago theater audiences.

“The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time” is a Curiously Interesting Play

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**** Recommended **** “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time” is a curiously interesting play. It’s loud and discordant and incredibly creative – which describes the central character, a 15-year-old boy named Christopher, to a T. Christopher is quite intelligent, but he can’t cope with the world outside his small, circumspect world. I didn’t particularly like “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time”, but it kept my attention! I give it 4 Spotlights.

“The Little Mermaid” is Huge, Extravagant and Enchanting

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**** Recommended **** The Paramount Theatre’s production of “The Little Mermaid” is huge, extravagant and enchanting. The Paramount is such a huge space I was concerned that the children in the audience might be overwhelmed. I’m pleased to report that when asked if they were enjoying the show the overwhelming response of the small people in attendance was a definite YES! By the way, adults should enjoy it just as much as the kids. 4 Spotlights.