★★★★★ If you are a lover of the “Blues”, Writers Theatre in Glencoe has something special for you! Most Chicago theater audiences are familiar with Ms Felicia P. Fields ( Porchlight’s “Blues In The Night”, “Let The Good Times Roll” at Northlight and of course “Nothin But The Blues.). She was born to sing the blues and in her new show “Pearl’s Rollin’ With The Blues” conceived by Ron OJ Parson and Ms Fields and directed to perfection by Parson, you are in for a treat.
★★★★★I suppose one might call Madeline George’s “Hurricane Diane” , “The Housewives of Red Bank Meet The Devil Herself”!. I do have to say this is a funny play filled with characters that will have you in stitches. Those of you who might be weather buffs might recall that there was a Hurricane Diane back in the mid 50’s.
★★★★★ 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.
**** Recommended **** A luminous production of perennial favorite, "My Fair Lady", is captivating Chicago audiences! The Lincoln Center production features the golden-voiced Shereen Ahmed as Eliza Doolittle – and let me tell you, she shines! Of course, "My Fair Lady" has possibly the most beautiful score ever written, so I can’t think of a better evening. 4 Spotlights
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.
**** Highly Recommended **** "Life After" is a poignant new musical packed with beautiful songs about the way a teenaged girl comes to accept the sudden death of her father. Hard enough as an adult, right? As if that weren’t enough, 16-year-old Alice had a huge fight with her dad and stormed out. He called, left a message, but she never got the chance to call him back. "Life After" is a beautiful musical. 4 Spotlights
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.
**** Highly Recommended **** Drury Lane’s production of "Steel Magnolias" is an emotional roller coaster, heartwarming humorous ups followed by heart-wrenching downs. In case you’re thinking you’ve seen "Steel Magnolias" before, so I can skip this one, I have one word for you – don’t! The cast is magnificent. In fact, I can’t imagine anyone else in any of these parts. They made me laugh and made me cry. Kudos to Johanna McKenzie Miller, the cast and the all-female production crew for an outstanding job! 4 BIG Spotlights