Post image for Chicago Theater Review: BOY (TimeLine Theatre Co.)

THE LOST–AND FOUND–BOY What resonates in each of the 90 minutes of TimeLine Theatre Company’s Boy is the play’s total absence of rage or recrimination. As compassionately told by Anne Ziegler, this deeply moving one-act recounts a true-life/true-love tale of what was once called in Louisiana a “crime against nature.” Boy could have degenerated into a feeding frenzy of […]

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Post image for Theater and Music Preview: IL RITORNO (Circa Contemporary Circus)

AN OPERATIC CIRCUS ODYSSEY The uber-innovative Australian performance troupe, Circa, returns to the States with its newest production, Il Ritorno, a unique production that melds circus arts with Baroque opera to explore themes of loss and displacement. This special engagement takes place one night only, Tuesday, January 23, 2018 at the gorgeous Musco Center for the […]

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Post image for Chicago Theater Review: THE ANTELOPE PARTY (Theater Wit)

MY LITTLE (PARANOID) PONY If you believe The Antelope Party, a Theater Wit two-act world premiere, fascism could soon be coming to a neighborhood near you. The “party” reference is political, not social. The blatant thrust of Eric John Meyer’s new work is that purity is no defense against paranoia. Indeed, one kind of role-playing can […]

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Post image for Los Angeles Music and Dance Preview: MÄLKKI, STRAUSS & DANCE (Zimmermann’s Cello Concerto & Alpine Symphony, Susanna Mälkki and the LA Phil)

DANCE!  U.S. PREMIERE! ALPINE SYMPHONY! One of the reasons that the LA Phil is doing better than ever is the programming variety. With plenty of classics, we are also getting a slew of new music, much of it seeing its premiere at The Walt Disney Concert Hall (there will be over 50 such works next […]

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Post image for Broadway Theater Review: JOHN LITHGOW: STORIES BY HEART (Roundabout Theatre Company)

YOU GOTTA HAVE HEART Here’s the thing: This solo show written and performed by John Lithgow, the endlessly talented star of more movies, TV shows, and plays than there are stars in the heavens, is downright delightful. Few performers possess the charisma and, frankly, the chops to straddle a stage alone and draw you in […]

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Post image for Theater Review: SMALL MOUTH SOUNDS (National Tour at The Broad Stage in Santa Monica)

YOU LEAVE SEEKING PEACE AND A PLOT When a play comes along that is entirely different from any play that has preceded it, especially in our era of over-informative white noise and copycatting creativity, it deserves attention. Even Small Mouth Sounds — Bess Wohl’s 2016 work, now stopping at The Broad Stage in Santa Monica as […]

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Post image for Chicago Theater Review: FIVE MILE LAKE (Shattered Globe Theatre at Theater Wit)

YOU STILL CAN’T GO HOME AGAIN Plays about what doesn’t happen feel a lot trickier than the action models: Exhibit A (through Z) is Rachel Bonds’ Five Mile Lake, a group portrait of five twenty-somethings held back even in motion. (One calls it “treading water,” which of course fits the title.) It’s no accident that in Shattered Globe Theatre’s Chicago […]

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Post image for Chicago Theater Review: TRAITOR (A Red Orchid)

GET THE LEAD OUT “The majority is always wrong.” Norwegian disrupter Henrik Ibsen practically carved that credo into his 1882 potboiler An Enemy of the People. In his still-seminal protest play, Ibsen lambastes the captious critics of his earlier sensation, Ghosts: He forges a plot in which Dr. Peter Stockman, a village doctor, discovers that the mineral […]

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Post image for Off-Off-Broadway Theater Review: DIVINE HORSEMEN (Primitive Grace Theater Ensemble at Access Theater)

NOT JUST HORSING AROUND After watching Paul Calderon’s quite gripping tale of thugs and scammers trying to grift a deal whatever way they can, you’ll start to wonder, “Um, wouldn’t it be easier to just get a real job?” I mean, a scam is fun, I get it – I’m a theater critic and we’ve […]

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Post image for Theater Review: ALADDIN (National Tour)

A BROADWAY AMUSEMENT PARK THAT FLIES LIKE A CARPET “Open sesame” indeed. It’s “Abracadabra” times ten as the arrival of Aladdin in Hollywood feels as triumphant as Prince Ali’s magnificent entrance into Agrabah at the top of the second act. A theme park of a musical, Disney Theatrical Productions’ eye-popping transformation of the 1992 film […]

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