Post image for Chicago Theater Review: THE PRICE (TimeLine Theatre)

PLOYS IN THE ATTIC It’s noble to sacrifice for loved ones who need you. But what if it was for nothing? Arthur Miller’s 1968 family play The Price puts its title to rich use. Ostensibly, it’s about the purchase value of the heirlooms, keepsakes, and antiques in the cluttered attic of a Manhattan brownstone soon […]

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Post image for Los Angeles Music and Dance Preview: AUDRA MCDONALD & ABT & LA Phil (Hollywood Bowl)

AMERICAN CLASSICS WITH AUDRA MCDONALD & AMERICAN BALLET THEATRE The last time I saw the captivating singer and actress Audra McDonald in concert, she sang the Bernstein/Comden/Green tune “I’m a Little Bit in Love” from Wonderful Town: “Mm–mmm! / It’s so nice to be alive / When you find someone who bewitches you.” And when you see her upcoming […]

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Post image for Chicago Theater Review: THE JACKSONIAN (Profiles)

DIXIE DOODLES IN DISTRESS Beth Henley, author of 1979’s Pulitzer-winning Crimes of the Heart, has practically patented the Southern stereotype. Drawling in a stilted patois, Henley’s desperate, demented creatures are hell-bent on self-destruction: They’re pathologically ready to commit “crimes of the heart” to not get their way. 33 years after her masterpiece, Henley is still […]

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Post image for Off-Broadway Theater Review: WHORL INSIDE A LOOP (Second Stage Theatre)

LOOP DREAMS I’m not partial to dramas set in prisons; these tend to be ugly, depressing, violent and hopeless, or worse—sentimental, and I find myself reluctant to be transported to such worlds. Dick Scanlan and Sherie Rene Scott’s Whorl Inside a Loop, set in a maximum security correctional facility, is not one of these. Heartfelt and […]

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Post image for Chicago Theater Review: OCTOBER SKY (Marriott Theatre in Lincolnshire)

FROM THE MINES TO THE MOON A feel-good story of literal uplift, the new musical October Sky, like the 1999 film, is an anagram of Rocket Boys, the true-life confessional of Homer H. Hickam, Jr. Pushing many buttons, this 150-minute world premiere by Chicagoans Aaron Thielen (book) and actor/composer Michael Mahler (music and lyrics) spins […]

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Post image for Off-Off-Broadway Theater Review: KISS ME OR CUT OFF MY HEAD (Soho Photo Gallery)

ALTRUISM OR ARTISTRY? Margaret’s Safe Place, “a boarding facility that houses the most vulnerable students of The Kibera School for Girls” in Kenya, sheltering girls from domestic sexual violence, will receive 35% of all proceeds—ticket and beverage sales—generated by Brooke M. Haney’s Kiss Me or Cut Off My Head. This isn’t a drop in the […]

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Post image for Chicago Theater Review: THIS HOUSE BELIEVES THE AMERICAN DREAM IS AT THE EXPENSE OF THE AMERICAN NEGRO (Oracle Productions)

WAKING UP FROM THE AMERICAN DREAM The title of Oracle Theatre’s typically invigorating offering, THIS HOUSE BELIEVES THE AMERICAN DREAM IS AT THE EXPENSE OF THE AMERICAN NEGRO, is actually a proposition by the Cambridge Union Debating Chamber (called the “Arena of Ambition”) in February 1965 at England’s famed Cambridge University. Broadcast by National Educational Television […]

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Post image for Los Angeles Theater Preview: SONDHEIM UNSCRIPTED (Impro Theatre at the Falcon in Burbank)

COMEDY TONIGHT More like side-splitting by side-splitting by Sondheim, Impro Theatre–the masters of long-form improvisations in the style of famous authors and genres–are gearing up for an opening night the likes of which you will never see again. Literally. In fact, every night during the run of Sondheim UnScripted at the Falcon Theater will be opening […]

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Post image for Los Angeles Art Exhibit Review: THE CLOCK (Christian Marclay at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art)

TIME, THOU SHALL NOT BOAST Christian Marclay’s 2010 24-hour found-footage movie The Clock really is a clock: The 12,000-clip montage is only shown synchronized to local time, and through September 7 it’s running as an installation during LACMA hours. You can tell time by it. As a philosophical and spiritual reverie, it also tells time […]

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Post image for Chicago Theater Review: SOUTH PACIFIC (Light Opera Works in Evanston)

NO MAN IS AN ISLAND Whenever it’s revived, it’s hard to imagine a more necessary musical than this 1949 Pulitzer Prize winner. Seventy years after the Japanese surrender, it remains a healing tribute to resilience in adversity and tolerance in the thick of war. Consummate showmen, Rodgers and Hammerstein knew just why Americans need to […]

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