★★★★★ I understand the difficulty of a person not knowing exactly where he fits in. Often the family has advised of their expectations as has their school counselor. But what if he is confused? In “Choir Boy” written by Tarell Alvin McCraney, we have a story that takes place at a prep school for boys.
5 Stars! Highly Recommended! Madeline Sayet is vivacious and compelling in “Where We Belong”, a striking 85-minute autobiographical account of her life and her adventures going abroad to the United Kingdom to get a Ph.D. in Shakespeare. Her impactful narrative expresses what it is like to straddle more than one culture and love parts of both—while at the same time, she questions who she is and where she belongs. In so doing, she merges the three aspects of her life that give her the most meaning: Shakespeare’s use of language, her love for her mother’s Mohegan culture, and her desire to tell a good story.
4 Stars! Highly recommended! Brian Parry is absolutely brilliant as King Kreon, ruler of Thebes, in Sophikles’ Ancient Greek classic “Antigone”, produced by Redtwist Theatre. In this 75-minute version of the story, based on a new translation by Anne Carson, Parry has met his match in Isabel Alamin, who impressively plays Antigone. Their powerful interaction transfixes the audience, as both make imposing claims to defend widely different points of view about the relationship between government, justice, and morality. While true to the original narrative, this adaptation of “Antigone” is not your grandparents’ version. Rather, the wording is “colloquial, light-fingered, and cutting.” And under the direction of Christine Freije, the show proceeds at a driving pace.
4 Stars! The grand opening of the Rhapsody Theater in Chicago’s historic Rogers Park neighborhood was held to great fanfare on Tuesday, June 21st, coinciding with the first day of summer. Formerly the Mayne Stage, this theater, built in 1912, has now become the city’s newest destination for magic, music, cabaret, and dance. The managing partner and artistic director of the theater is Northwestern University medical professor and magician Dr. Ricardo T. Rosenkrantz, whose vision it was to rehab and repurpose this intimate venue.
Laugh, laugh, cry and then laugh more as you enjoy Steel Magnolia at the elegant Drury Lane in Oak Brook. A well adorn set down to the hanging Spanish Moss from tree limbs all bring Louisiana in the 80’s to life.
5 Stars ***** Moving, powerful, and intense, “cullud wattuh” is an undeniably phenomenal production! Sad but never depressing, informative yet never beating you over the head, the regional premier of this show is based on real events that took place in Flint, Michigan, over the past eight years.
“Walk on the Wild Side” is a collection of four short one-act plays written by John Patrick Shanley. The Chicago premiere fleshes out characters who suffer from low self-esteem and don’t know who they are or what they need to be happy. Through a series of vignettes that depict very different slices of life, we see how all the characters are miserable.
3 Stars *** Chris Woodley’s “Tommy on Top” is a tale of two plays, one overlaying the other. The primary story has to do with Tommy (Ryan Cason), who is a talented Hollywood actor who can pass as straight when, in fact, he’s gay. Because he keeps his sexual orientation hidden from the public, he struggles with inner conflict. In this show, Tommy lets his frustrations out by getting drunk and sometimes disorderly among the people he’s closest to.
★★★★★It has been a crazy and hectic world of theater in our city. Openings almost every night, making it both exciting and tiring. Just one week after an opening at Second City’s Mainstage, tonight they had a new show opening at their UP Stage ( in Pipers Alley). The show is “Queer Eye: The Musical Parody” and takes a look at the old tv show “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy” ( I think that was the show’s name) or was it just “Queer Eye”? Doesn’t matter!
4 Stars, Highly Recommended! Lewon Johnson, Rachel Blakes, and Tuesdai B. Perry astound us with their versatile acting in the dramatic play “Home”, written by Samm-Art Williams. “Home” is Williams’ best-known play and is a fictionalized biography about an African American orphan who grew up on his family’s land in Crossroads, South Carolina, and who went to prison for five years because of his opposition to the Vietnam War. Director Tim Rhoze has done a fine job with his interpretation of this minor classic, which tells a story near and dear to the director’s heart, one that he has always wanted to stage.