Saturday November 17 4:04 pm

Spotlighting events along the south shore of Lake Michigan

Spotlight on Equity Theater Reviews

Love and Longevity - “Having Our Say: The Delaney Sisters’ First 100 Years”


****Highly Recommended **** Sometimes a simple conversation with extraordinary people can become a heart-warming play. Such is the case with Goodman Theatre’s new production, “Having Our Say: The Delaney Sisters’ First 100 Years”, a conversation with two delightful, articulate, educated and very opinionated maiden ladies. If you’re looking for action, this is not the play for you. This is love, family lore, American history, and pearls of wisdom gained through experience. 4 Spotlights

"Waiting for Godot" - Review by Jeffrey Leibham


****HIGHLY RECOMMENDED**** If you have never seen "Waiting for Godot" on stage before you may rarely ever get another chance to see such a definitive production of Samuel Beckett's masterpiece than the one presented by Ireland's Druid Theatre Company which played a far too brief limited engagement at Chicago Shakespeare Theater as a part of the Chicago Shakespeare WorldStage series. Avid Chicago theater-goers were fortunate to see a strongly acted and deeply passionate interpretation of this work which is often taught and analyzed by older high school students or young college theater majors. It is considered one of the most revolutionary works of the 20th century and a profound meditation on the state of mankind. Director Garry Hynes has made this a glorious and theatrical "Godot" and, unlike other versions that you may have seen, Hynes has found the beating heart at its center and infused all of the proceedings with copious amounts of love. 4 BIG SPOTLIGHTS

Meet the 'Kinder, Gentler' Antonin Scalia in Court Theatre's "The Originalist"


**** Highly Recommended **** Honestly, I didn’t expect to like Court Theatre’s production of “The Originalist”, since I completely disagreed with the politics of the principal character, Antonin Scalia. Much to my surprise, I did enjoy “The Originalist”. While I’m sure that the real Antonin Scalia was a brilliant, arrogant and dogmatic know-it-all, playwright John Strand’s portrayal of a ‘kinder, gentler’ Scalia made for a good play. I thought it was well written, letting us meet a wonderfully adversarial Scalia with all his human frailties. 4 Spotlights

"Buried Child" was Weird and Depressing!


*** Recommended *** Frankly, I found the Writers Theatre production of “Buried Child” to be very heavy going. It’s weird, depressing and way too long (at nearly three hours). All of the characters are selfish and detestable people with the exception of the outsider - but she’s pretty selfish herself. I couldn’t find any redeeming characteristics in any of them. The acting was superb, however, so I give “Buried Child” 2 ½ Spotlights

One Hit after Another in “A New Attitude: in Tribute to Patti LaBelle”


**** Highly Recommended **** Black Ensemble Theater has scored another hit with, “A New Attitude: in Tribute to Patti LaBelle”. This jukebox musical celebrates the career of Patti LaBelle, and it’s terrific, with one hit after another, performed by two amazingly talented women, Dawn Bless and Cherise Thomas. Hurry and get your tickets, “A New Attitude: in Tribute to Patti LaBelle” will have you dancing in your seat! 4 BIG Spotlights

"The Days Are Shorter" - Review by Jeffrey Leibham


***RECOMMENDED*** Evanston-based playwright Corinne J. Kawecki's world premiere of "The Days Are Shorter" is an often humorous and somewhat mystical look at the life and travails of its female protagonist. What is most refreshing about this play is that it contains not only well-constructed dialogue for its four characters but also shows us the journey of self-discovery and eventual unraveling of a middle-aged female who happens to be surrounded by fellow same-sex loving women. It is not often that you get to see such an intimate exploration and sometimes brutally honest depiction of sapphic attraction and understanding that spans multiple generations. Far from the bitterness and self-hatred that permeates "The Boys in the Band," these women do not tear each other down but rather seek to restore their own inner drive while bravely facing the challenges of aging. 3 SPOTLIGHTS

"Suddenly Last Summer" - Review by Jeffrey Leibham


***RECOMMENDED*** For the longest time the final show to conclude Raven Theatre's 35th anniversary season was listed as a To Be Determined slot on the company's promotional material. When it was finally announced that "Suddenly Last Summer" would be the show to fill that slot many people assumed that they chose a Tennessee Williams play to be an artistic tie-in to their hugely successful play "The Gentleman Caller" which is still playing in the smaller, West Stage of Raven's complex. Since "The Gentleman Caller" revolves around the personal life of a very young Tennessee Williams, this would allow them to showcase the great American playwright's own work and give audiences a chance to see one of his most unknown plays. For at its very dark and sinister core, "Suddenly Last Summer" is really about the great lengths that a financially powerful individual with clout will go to silence someone -- a female, no less -- from telling the truth. 3 SPOTLIGHTS

Take Your 'Munchkins' to see "The Wizard of Oz"


*** Recommended *** A charming production of “The Wizard of Oz” blew into Chicago for a short stay at the beautiful Chicago Theatre. All of your favorite characters sing all of your favorite songs, and there’s a couple of surprises, too. I thought the special effects, mostly projections, were disappointing – and rather fake. As my friend Nancy pointed out, there aren’t any hills in Kansas! Dorothy’s house is a broken-down shack, but the 'munchkins' in the audience didn’t seem to mind. My advice, take your family to the Emerald City. I give “The Wizard of Oz” 3 ½ Spotlights.