Thursday November 15 7:42 am

Spotlighting events along the south shore of Lake Michigan

Spotlight on Equity Theater Reviews

"Eroica" by Alan Bresloff

Eroica.jpg

Recommended *** Azusa Productions is a 20 year old company that strives to create theater that is committed to working with artists looking to expand and grow their presence. While I do not recall them, since they are not a “standard” company with seasons, I was surprised to learn of the number of years they have existed. The production that I witnessed tonight at Redtwist Theatre is David Alex’s “Eroica”, making its World Premiere. David is a local talent, and as an ex-math teacher and high school coach, brings some of his life experiences to Chicago area stages. This one has no math (happily).

"Kin Folk" by Alan Bresloff

KinFolk.jpg

Somewhat Recommended ** I never thought I would say that I was “lost” in a production, but tonight, while watching “Kin Folk” at The Den Theatre’s Upstairs Main Stage, it happened. This is a World Premier of a new work by William Glick that had very little story and substance for me. There was a great deal of laughter from the 20-somethings and of course the actor’s friends and family, but, from my seat, one that is known for “big laughter”, there was almost none. Let me try to explain what Glick has put on the stage with the direction of Evan Linder.

"Tomorrow Morning" by Alan Bresloff

TomorrowMorning-Kokandy.jpg

★★★★★ Kokandy Productions, a theater company celebrating 6 years of bringing shows to Chicago, just keeps bringing us quality shows- one after another. As someone who sees a great number of productions per year, I thank you for the choices you make and the fulfillment of your “mission” to bring quality musicals to the smaller and intimate spaces of our city. Bravo! Their current production, “Tomorrow Morning” was written by Laurence Mark Wythe (book, music and lyrics) and might be classified as a “chamber musical” due to its great intensity, emotion, and story-telling. The music is handled by a single piano, and yet, filled the theater with the richness and sound that held our attention from start to finish ( by the way, 90 minutes, no intermission).

Eamonn Walker stars in "Between Riverside and Crazy"

BetweenRiverside&Crazy-vert.jpg

**** Recommended **** Love, loyalty and friendship are taxed to the max in Steppenwolf’s new production, “Between Riverside and Crazy”. Don’t let the language put you off, this play is very, very good. I’m still not sure if I loved it or hated it, which guaranteed interesting conversation on the way home. I give “Between Riverside and Crazy” 4 Spotlights.

“WOZ: A Rock Cabaret” deserves a Regular Run

WOZ-witches.jpg

***** Highly Recommended **** It’s a shame that “WOZ: A Rock Cabaret” is only playing at Victory Gardens for a weekend. I have to agree with my compatriot, Alan Bresloff, in saying that this show deserves a regular run somewhere. It is an amazingly fun show which roughly follows the Oz story line! Although there is a little bit of dialogue, co-creators Kimberly Lawson – who also plays Dorothy – and Will Rogers let the story unfold with a variety of rock songs. I can’t remember when I had so much fun! I give “WOZ” 4 Spotlights.

"My Son, the Waiter: A Jewish Tragedy" is Hilarious!

MySontheWaiter-golf.jpg

**** Highly Recommended **** If you’re in the mood for some laughs, you’ll definitely want to head for Skokie to see Brad Zimmerman’s one-man show, “My Son, the Waiter: A Jewish Tragedy”, it’s absolutely hilarious! Zimmerman got everyone laughing with a ‘test’ joke, and they just kept coming after that. In a not quite stand-up routine, Zimmerman’s personal story is interspersed with jokes. I laughed ‘til my cheeks hurt at this 4 Spotlight performance!

"Wastwater" by Alan Bresloff

Wastwater.jpg

★★★★★Steep Theatre Company, one of the finest little storefront theater’s in Chicago, is presenting the U.S. Premiere of Simon Stephens’ “Wastwater” on its intimate stage. Wastwater is the deepest lake in England and as legend has it, many stories of many individuals have come to an end at the bottom of this lake. This play, sharply directed by Robin Witt, has three stories that are interlaced with one another. If you do not pay close attention, you may miss the link, but as it turns out, each story can survive on its own. The stories are indeed about choices that we make ,and how a decision can change the course of one’s life.

Towle Theater's Dark and Brooding "House of Mirrors & Hearts"

HouseofMirrors-tiny.jpg

*** Recommended *** The Towle Theater’s new production, “The House of Mirrors & Hearts”, is a dark, brooding yet ultimately hopeful story. It’s not quite a musical, although it has beautiful, haunting music. I would call it a play with music, instead. The subject matter is difficult, so I can’t really say I liked the play, but it had an impact, nonetheless. I give it 3 ½ Spotlights.