Thursday April 26 1:42 am

Spotlighting events along the south shore of Lake Michigan

Spotlight on Equity Theater Reviews

"The Wolves" - Exciting Girls Soccer on the Goodman Stage


**** Recommended **** Breaking News – this just in – I’ve always wanted to write that, and it fits into this review – soccer has come to the Goodman Theatre! There’s now a soccer pitch, complete with astroturf, stadium seating and safety netting, inside the Owen Theatre (Goodman’s smaller space). If that’s not enough of a shock to the theater-going psyche, “The Wolves” might be! “The Wolves” is an exciting, intriguing drama about nine teenaged girls who play soccer on a traveling team, the Wolves. 4 BIG Spotlights

Lyric Opera's "Cosi fan tutte" - Review by Jeffrey Leibham


****HIGHLY RECOMMENDED**** If you need a break from the cold and snow of a Chicago winter (or from the more recent flooding in some areas) but can't afford a ticket to a sunny, tropical vacation getaway there is an artistic alternative. Purchase tickets to see "Cosi fan tutte" at the Lyric Opera. This deeply affecting work will refresh your soul, rejuvenate your spirits and warm your heart just as successfully. For this particular production, Mozart's final opera (completed in 1790) has been relocated from 18th century Naples to a hotel at a Monaco resort in August of 1914. The libretto by Lorenzo Da Ponte feels almost contemporary and contains equal parts of profound wisdom and even greater humor regarding human nature and the foibles of both sexes. 4 BIG SPOTLIGHTS

I laughed - and cried - at “Bunny Bunny: Gilda Radner a (sort of) Love Story”


**** Highly Recommended **** I really enjoyed Mercury Theatre's production of “Bunny Bunny: Gilda Radner a (sort of) Love Story”. Alan Zweibel’s sweet, poignant and very funny tribute to Gilda Radner has a little bit of Saturday Night Live, a little bit of Gilda’s one-woman show, and lots of funny and very personal vignettes. Although they were friends as well as professional collaborators on SNL, Zweibel and Radner never made a romantic connection (not that Zweibel didn’t want one). 4 Spotlights

The Joffrey Ballet's "Modern Masters" - Magnificent!


**** Highly Recommended **** I’m having a hard time finding the right words to describe the Joffrey Ballet’s “Modern Masters”. Combining masterpieces by George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins with works by up-and-coming choreographers Miles Thatcher and Nicolas Blanc made for an evening of brilliant, artistic, intense, athletic, physical, cutting edge, minimalist, contemporary ballet. “Modern Masters” is quite literally a celebration of the human body. 4 BIG Spotlights

"Breach" - Review by Alan Bresloff


★★★★★ The actual title of the play now onstage at The Victory Gardens Theater is “Breach: a manifesto on race in America through the eyes of a black girl recovering from self-hate”. That is one hell of a title, and for the most part could turn off some potential audience members. Written by Antoinette Nwandu as a “love letter to Black women”, this story-line can be confusing. We start off meeting our Black woman, Margaret ( handled to perfection by Caren Blackmore) and her White boyfriend, Nate (deftly handled by Keith D. Gallagher). They are out for the evening and sort of discussing their day. In actuality, he does more discussing as he believes his days are the ones that truly matter. Their relationship is somewhat strained and at the same time, her position at the local Junior College is not going as she had anticipated. She has a new supervisor, who came in and was given the job, one that she felt was hers.

"Love Never Dies" was Underwhelming!


*** Recommended *** Although many in the audience on opening night were thrilled to see “Love Never Dies”, the sequel to Andrew Lloyd Webber’s wildly successful musical, “Phantom of the Opera”, I was underwhelmed. The cast was wonderful, the costumes and set were spectacular, but the plot, “Phantom” cloned and moved to Coney Island, was ridiculously obvious, while it was difficult to understand the words and the music was just so-so. 2 ½ Spotlights

"A Moon for the Misbegotten" was Heavy Going


*** Recommended *** I found the Writers Theatre production of “A Moon for the Misbegotten” to be really heavy going. It is very well acted, but there just weren’t any sparks. In addition, many in the audience, who laughed loudly at inappropriate points in the story, had the mistaken belief that this was a comedy. They say to write about what you know, so Eugene O’Neill wrote this play about his brother, a depressed drunk. Be warned, it’s really, really long. 3 Spotlights

"Elizabeth Cree" - Review by Jeffrey Leibham


***RECOMMENDED*** It certainly is an exciting time for the creation of original operas in the United States. While many people would think that this particular art form is on the decline, the exact opposite is actually taking place. Not only have numerous opera companies, mostly located in the Midwest and on the East Coast, commissioned artists from disparate backgrounds to contribute their prodigious talents to assist in the production of fascinating new works but even smaller, emerging companies have gotten in on all of the action as well. The result is that original operas are thriving in America and local audiences are fortunate to be able to experience many of them. A highly anticipated new piece will receive its Chicago premiere next month. Currently we have the world premiere of "Elizabeth Cree" to enjoy at the very intimate Studebaker Theater. Presented by Chicago Opera Theater, this is a co-production with Opera Philadelphia, where it made its debut in September 2017. 3 SPOTLIGHTS