Thursday September 20 10:12 pm

Spotlighting events along the south shore of Lake Michigan

Spotlight on Equity Theater Reviews

Marriott's "Sister Act" is a Joyful Romp

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***** Highly Recommended ***** “Sister Act” is a longtime favorite movie of mine, so I was really excited about seeing Marriott Theatre’s production of “Sister Act: A Divine Musical Comedy!” I’m happy to say it totally met my expectations. In fact, Director Don Stephenson’s “Sister Act” is one of the most joyful shows I’ve ever seen. I give it 4 BIG Spotlights.

Steppenwolf's Production of "The Flick" is Perfectly Cast & Superbly Acted!

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**** Recommended **** In a lot of ways, Steppenwolf's production of “The Flick” reminded me of vacation trips when my children would ask “Are we there yet?” every five minutes. My “C” crew - Cindy, Colleen and Crista – were all in agreement, “The Flick” could use some judicious pruning. On the other hand, it is perfectly cast and superbly acted, and it has an interesting story to tell. I give "The Flick" 4 Spotlights.

"In A Word" by Alan Bresloff

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★★★★★One of the incredible things about the Chicago “theater scene” is that we are offered all types of theater. New plays, prior to Broadway, have become something that we take for granted, and now, one of our smaller companies is participating in a “National New Play Network” presenting what they call a Rolling World Premiere of a new work by Lauren Yee, “In A Word”. A brief explanation of what this means is that this play, which is now in its final home on the “Rolling” has been produced in other cities along its way to Strawdog Theatre Company, its final resting spot for the now completely finished play. In fact, the playwright was here prior to opening at their space located at 3829 N. Broadway, to make some final changes and tweak where it should be tweaked.

"Marc Salem's Mind Over Chicago" by Alan Bresloff

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Highly Recommended ***** The Apollo Theater Chicago has a new tenant. It is Marc Salem, the world’s foremost mentalist and purveyor of mind games. This is not a play, but is an evening of entertainment that you will want to partake of, and possibly participate in. It is called “Theater Art”, and this man, comes before an audience and with his mind, gets into our heads. Not knowing what to expect, we assumed that it would be an evening of typical “mind-reading”(as they refer to it on the circuit), but Mr. Salem is far from typical, in any way , shape or form.

"Far from Heaven" by Alan Bresloff

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Recommended *** I must start by congratulating Michael Weber and Porchlight Music Theatre on bringing us a variety of work to view on their intimate stage at Stage 773. Most smaller companies take the “tried and true” path of doing the old standby musicals to fill their seats. However, the board of Porchlight feels that developing new works and re-imagining classics while giving young talent of Chicago the opportunity to be seen by their followers is the path they want to take. Their current production, a Chicago Premiere by the way, is “Far From Heaven”, a musical version of the Award-winning motion picture.

"The Shape of Things" by Alan Bresloff

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Recommended *** The newest production brought to the stage by the Eclectic Full Contact Theatre (I will make an effort to explain this, as best I can) is a difficult one to review. The play, “The Shape of Things” is written by a name very familiar to Chicago Theater audiences, Neil LaBute. In fact, I was truly surprised to see this five year old company reach out to his work, but in all fairness to the company, they surprised me with an excellent production.

"American Buffalo" by Alan Bresloff

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★★★★★ This is a hard review to write. Not because of the production, or in fact, anything to do with the sterling performances now on stage at Angel Island a/k/a Mary-Arrchie Theatre Company; David Mamet’s “American Buffalo”. This is a superb cast well directed by Carlo Lorenzo Garcia that will be the final chapter in a 30 years life of a small theater company that” chugged along like the little train that could”! This company did! They overcame all the obstacles producing some of the finest ensemble work in Chicago (or any other city, for that matter). They have taken risks as to content, language and subject matter, and all the while, they have brought the highest of quality to the audience that came out.

Windy City Playhouse Production of Silly Spoof, "The Explorers Club" will keep You Laughing!

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**** Recommended **** During the reign of Queen Victoria, many members of the British upper-class belonged to exclusive clubs, often devoted to specific – and frequently eccentric – goals. Because they took themselves so seriously, it’s easy to poke fun at them. The Windy City Playhouse production, “The Explorers Club” is a silly, rather slapstick spoof of one of those clubs. Under David H. Bell’s direction, the cast members deliver their silly lines with panache. I laughed until my cheeks hurt, so I give “The Explorers Club” 4 Spotlights.