*** Recommended *** The Court Theatre’s production of Henrik Ibsen’s "The Lady from the Sea" is visually stunning and very well acted, but I just couldn’t relate to these characters, and their inexplicable behavior. Then there’s the language, which is so repetitive I found myself zoning out, especially during the first act. The language in Act II is still repetitive, but at least something happens! Honestly, I expected to enjoy "The Lady from the Sea" more than I did. 3 Spotlights
**** Highly Recommended **** When I went to see "Hadestown" I had a vague idea that the story was based on Greek mythology, but I had no expectations. Now that I’ve seen the show, I have to say, it blew me away! "Hadestown" doesn’t wait for you to get into the story, it reaches out and grabs you with its hauntingly beautiful music, glorious voices, joyous dance, and a sense of joie de vivre on stage. Even though it doesn’t have a ‘happily ever after,’ it does end on an upbeat note! The coolest thing of all, "Hadestown" was written and directed by women, Anaïs Mitchell and Rachel Chavkin respectively! 4 BIG Spotlights
*** Recommended *** Hell in a Handbag’s unauthorized parodies of those old black and white films and TV shows from the fifties are always packed with double entendres, puns, running sight gags and bad wigs. Their revival of their 2019 hit, "The Drag Seed" – a parody of the 1956 film, The Bad Seed – has all of that and more – in pink – with bling! Be prepared for murder, mayhem and a lot of laughs. 3 Spotlights
**** Highly Recommended **** The Towle Theater’s production of "Murder for Two" is fresh, fun and full of melodramatic moments (a lot like silent film). High energy, fast-paced dialogue and lyrics, plenty of zany suspects, campy, vampy characterizations, a spooky mansion, a silly twist and a pratfall or two make this whodunit so much fun. One or both of the stars play the piano throughout the show, sometimes playing at the same time – over, under and around each other! "Murder for Two" is a definite must-see. 4 Spotlights
The evening started with a nice salute to the Grave Digger Monster Truck. This year commemorates it’s 40th Anniversary as a member of the Monster Jam assemblage. My attending crew for the event are ages 11, 6 and 4 and everyone had a blast. Definitely mark this as a family friendly event.
**** Highly Recommended **** It’s official! Come from Away is on my list of top 10 musicals ever! I can’t remember when a production moved me like this one did. It was an emotional rollercoaster; it made me laugh, it made me cry, it made me cheer – and more of the same! Out of the tragedy on 9/11 comes a story of hope and friendship. I wish it were playing in Chicago for more than 2 weeks! 4 BIG Spotlights
**** Highly Recommended **** Teatro Zinzanni was an absolute blast!!!! Take the best of cabaret, burlesque and cirque, with artists from around the world, add about 50 pounds of sequins, shake it all up, add dinner and drinks served ringside, and that’s Teatro Zinzanni, where guests are invited to wear their own sequins and feathers! If you love the circus – or a good cabaret – this is the show for you! 4 BIG Spotlights
**** Recommended **** Porchlight Music Theatre’s production "Blues in the Night" is smart, sophisticated and sassy. Oh, and let’s not forget sexy and slightly suggestive. "Blues in the Night" is essentially a revue without dialogue, or even a story. It does have a powerhouse cast singing the blues with a live combo playing the music right on stage. Director/Choreographer Kenny Ingram has put together a terrific show. On a personal note, title song, "Blues in the Night (my mama done told me… when I was in pigtails)", was one of my mom’s favorite songs – she sang it all the time! 4 Spotlights
**** Recommended **** Marriott’s energetic production of "West Side Story" is an amazing dance spectacular – and Marriott’s in-the-round layout allows the audience to see the dance moves up close and personal – as they say in sports. Combine Leonard Bernstein’s glorious music and Steven Sondheim’s amazing lyrics, and you have one of the best musicals ever written. Although it premiered more than fifty years ago, “West Side Story” is continues to be relevant. The star-crossed lovers, Tony (Jake David Smith) and Maria (Lauren Marie Median), just reach out and grab at your heart strings. In fact, I was entranced whenever they sang together! I had tears in my eye at the end, so I give “West Side Story” 4 Spotlights.
**** Highly Recommended **** Mercury Theater’s production of "Women of Soul" is nothing short of spectacular. This revue has all the glitz, glitter and glamour anyone could ask for! "Women of Soul" also has eight of the best voices in Chicago theater paying tribute to everyone from Mahalia Jackson to Janet Jackson, and more. The voices are awesome, the costumes beyond gorgeous. Angela Weber Miller’s elegant yet intimate set provides the perfect backdrop for all those sequins. I was dancing in my seat! 4 BIG Spotlights