Wednesday July 18 6:08 pm

Spotlighting events along the south shore of Lake Michigan

Spotlight on Equity Theater Reviews

"Fellow Travelers" - Reviewed by Jeffrey Leibham

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****HIGHLY RECOMMENDED**** Many people may not be familiar with Frank Kameny. A U.S. veteran who later worked for the U.S. Army's Map Service in Washington, D.C., Kameny was fired from his job in 1957 for being a gay man. He later took legal action against the U.S. Civil Service Commission in a case which is widely believed to be the first known civil rights claim based on a person's sexual orientation in an American court. Someone who may have done quite a bit of research on Kameny's career is author Thomas Mallon, whose 2007 novel "Fellow Travelers" has been adapted into an opera and presented by Lyric Opera of Chicago's Lyric Unlimited series. 4 BIG SPOTLIGHTS

"Sweet Tap Chicago" - a Musical Tap Tribute to Chicago

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My friend Helen and I had a great time the evening we went to see Chicago Tap Theatre perform at City Winery, a huge dining/entertainment venue with tables (seating on both sides) lined up diagonally around the stage in tiers. I was amazed to see that most seats were full – for a tap dance show! After a delicious dinner served by our outstanding waiter who said his name was Jamie, we watched the CTT ensemble, backed by a jazz quintet, perform “Sweet Tap Chicago”, a celebration of Chicago musicians and music. It was truly a 4 Spotlight evening.

"The Next Big Thing" - Review by Jeffrey Leibham

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***RECOMMENDED*** It's always a refreshing surprise when a playwright takes on a commonly used or even sometimes one that has been overly-used formula and by populating it with interesting characters and infusing it with a sense of purpose succeeds in creating an enjoyable experience in the theater. Such is the case with "The Next Big Thing" at The Factory Theater. 3 SPOTLIGHTS

"Hang Man" - Review by Alan Bresloff

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★★ Over my years of covering local theater companies, I have found that The Gift, the very quaint storefront in Jefferson Park, has given us some of the sharpest and smartest productions in all. Despite the intimacy of this very small space, they have even done some large -scale shows. I was anxious to see the new production, a World Premiere as the first production of their 17th season of work on Milwaukee Avenue at Lawrence. This new work, written by Stacy Osei-Kuffour, is supposed to be a haunting drama that takes us to the back woods in a Southern town, as we deal with a Black man, found hanging from a tree, and how the residents of the community, Black and White, deal with it.

TheoUbique's “Sweeney Todd : The Demon Barber of Fleet Street” - Review by Alan Bresloff

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Highly Recommended ***** As TheoUbique prepares to leave its home at No Exit Café in Rogers Park, heading further North to the border ( Evanston side of Howard Street), they are doing a production that will definitely leave its mark! Their production of “Sweeney Todd :The Demon Barber of Fleet Street” is an absolutely amazing one, to say the least. Chicago area theatergoers have had many recent productions of Stephen Sondheim’s ( book by Hugh Wheeler) near- opera. Drury Lane did a sterling production two seasons ago and last year, The Paramount in Aurora was outstanding. How can a little intimate storefront space like No Exit possibly put this on their stage? That was the question many were asking.

City Lit's Production of "The Picture of Dorian Gray" is a Disappointment

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** Somewhat Recommended ** I’ve only been to City Lit Theater a couple of times, but that was enough to raise my expectations to the highest level, so I was really looking forward to seeing Paul Edwards’ new adaptation of “The Picture of Dorian Gray”. Although it only ran a little over two hours, it felt like four, or maybe even longer. I thought the cast was just going through the motions. 2 Spotlights

BoHo's "Cyrano" was Thoroughly Enjoyable!

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**** Recommended **** BoHo Theatre has put together an updated but still charming and thoroughly enjoyable production of “Cyrano”. It’s a more modern Cyrano but he’s still the anti-hero with the humongous schnoz. “Cyrano” is still a swashbuckling adventure story but it’s also got enough tongue-in-cheek humor and sight gags to keep everyone entertained. 4 Spotlights

Everyone loves "Just Dance Live"

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**** Recommended **** “Just Dance Live” is a family dance extravaganza. In case you didn’t know – and I didn’t – “Just Dance” is a popular video game in which the players mimic the choreography shown on the screen. Almost everyone else in the Aon Ballroom at Navy Pier - moms, dads, and kids of all ages – must play the game, because they were out on the dance floor, dancing their hearts out! 4 Spotlights