Wednesday February 20 2:04 am

Spotlighting events along the south shore of Lake Michigan

Spotlight on Equity Theater Reviews

Light Opera Works' "Die Fledermaus" is Stunning

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**** Recommended **** The Light Opera Works production of “Die Fledermaus” is stunning. I’m not an opera aficionado, but I have friends, and they told me that this is the best production of “Die Fledermaus” they’ve seen. It seemed to me that “Die Fledermaus” is a perfect blend of music, melodrama and farce – and it’s performed in English! Opera is not my thing, and this was a little on the long side, but I still enjoyed it. 3 ½ Spotlights.

"The Weir" will transport You to a Pub Somewhere in Ireland

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**** Recommended **** As I remember my favorite things about Ireland, several cozy village pubs come to mind. As we sat drinking a pint or two, our new friends shared stories and songs with us. It was a marvelous and unique experience. While watching Irish Theatre of Chicago’s production of Conor McPherson's wonderful Irish play, “The Weir”, all I needed was a glass in my hand to take me right back to Ireland. I really enjoyed this evening of well-written story-telling. 3 ½ Spotlights.

"Phantom of the Opera" is Spectacular!

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**** Recommended **** As you’re getting ready for the holidays, you should leave room in your schedule for a really special treat, “Phantom of the Opera”. Cameron Mackintosh’s spectacular production is true to Andrew Lloyd Webber’s original (now celebrating its 30th anniversary), yet different enough to thrill both old and new audiences. You’ll fall in love all over again, so hurry and order your tickets, it’s here until January 4th. 4 Spotlights

"The Fabulous 50's Christmas" is a Holiday Must-See!

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***** Highly Recommended ***** I can’t quite believe it but the first time I reviewed “A Fabulous 50’s Christmas” was in 2004! The show, a tribute to the old Perry Como/Andy Williams TV specials, is always delightful. Amazingly enough, they’ve even found new (at least to me!) old carols. It’s just not Christmas without “A Fabulous 50’s Christmas”, a holiday must-see! 4 BIG Spotlights

"The Hunter and the Bear" by Alan Bresloff

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★★★★★ To many, “Musical Theater” means “Broadway-type Musicals” with big dance numbers, full orchestrations, zany characters and music to hum on the way home. In fact, even the more dramatic musicals carry that idea with it. I tell you this, because Writers Theatre in Glencoe has found a company that brings a new flavor to the “Musical Theater”, PigPen Theatre Company. PigPen began their unique brand of theater. music and film when they were college students back in 2007. They were the company that brought “The Old Man and The Moon” to Writers and opened up our eyes to this unique style of story-telling ,one that is intense and mesmerizing!

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!