Post image for Theatre Review: THE TOAD KNEW (James Thiérrée’s La Compagnie du Hanneton at Chicago Shakespeare)

MORE PLAYS ON THE PIER Tuesday night’s “consecration of the house,” attended by Chicago’s Mayor Emmanuel, was a celebration that this care-ridden city badly needed. The big news is the grand opening of The Yard, Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s state-of-the-arts third theater on Navy Pier. (Its magnificent make-believe replaces the underused, open-air Skyline Stage where Cirque Shanghai […]

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Post image for Chicago Theater Review: A VIEW FROM THE BRIDGE (Goodman Theatre)

UNSTOPPABLE AND UNSPARING This week Goodman Theater’s season-opener, a landmark drama from 1955, exploded into relevance. A rarity worth a return, Arthur Miller’s original 120-minute, one-act Broadway version of an inevitable domestic tragedy focuses more on the family than the neighborhood (and shortchanges Beatrice’s anguish over her husband’s self-destructive passion for his niece). But the […]

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Post image for Chicago Theater Review: THE REMBRANDT (Steppenwolf)

A PAINTING IS A PORTAL Art is never still, not just still lifes but landscapes, genre scenes, even abstract configurations and, especially, portraits. Every painting is a time capsule that absorbed everything that was going around it as it was created—and since too. Multifaceted Rohrshack tests of perception, intuition, associations and imagination, they paradoxically measure […]

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Post image for Los Angeles Theater Review: LA RAZÓN BLINDADA (24th Street Theatre)

AN EXTRAORDINARY FIVE-COURSE MEAL Course One (Primer Plato): The Story. Two unnamed political prisoners, languishing in an Argentine maximum security prison, are allowed only one hour each Sunday to congregate: the inmates make use of storytelling, specifically Cervantes’ Don Quixote, as a means to find solace under great duress. This course feeds the spirit, for it […]

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Post image for Los Angeles Theater Review: BIG NIGHT (Kirk Douglas Theatre in Culver City)

A STAR IS BORN Paul Rudnick’s bright new comedy takes place on Oscar night. Michael (Brian Hutchison) is a journeyman actor with a career and life-changing Best Supporting Actor nomination. After years of steady theater work and occasional television guest shots, he is on the verge of becoming a star. His trans nephew Eddie (Tom […]

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Post image for Los Angeles Music Preview: 100: THE APOLLO THEATER CELEBRATES ELLA’S 100TH BIRTHDAY! (Ford Amphitheater in Hollywood)

OH, SWEET AND LOVELY Ella Fitzgerald’s history with Harlem’s Apollo Theater dates back to the fall of 1934, when she won the opportunity to compete in Amateur Night. The teenager went to the Theater planning to dance, but when the Edwards Sisters closed the main show, Ella changed her mind. She performed her rendition of […]

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Post image for Los Angeles Theater Review: WALKING TO BUCHENWALD (Open Fist at Atwater Village Theatre)

‘SELF DEPORTATION’ OR SIX STAGES OF AMERICAN GRIEF Denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. In life, death, and in playwright Tom Jacobson’s world view, these familiar five stages to acceptance are missing the one that is most important for survival: Laughing. Life is funny. People are funny. If God exists, He, She, They, or It […]

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Post image for Chicago Theater Review: 1984 (AstonRep Theatre Company at The Raven Theatre)

ORWELLIAN OR TRUMPIAN?: 1984 MEETS 2017 Everything evil is new again: What George Orwell wrote 69 years ago still remains ahead of our time—but, with a President in power who purveys “alternative facts” and denounces “fake news” (that he can’t use), it’s not nearly as much as it should or used to be. However accurately Robert Tobin’s […]

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Post image for Los Angeles Theater Preview: A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC IN CONCERT (Colony Theatre)

A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC; A VERY SHORT RUN; A MOST ACCOMPLISHED CAST Get ready for the wit, sophistication, and gentle eroticism of this most worldly and elegant of American musicals. The story is worldly, charming, and rueful—emotions eloquently displayed by Stephen Sondheim’s score, and abetted by Hugh Wheeler’s astounding book. A Little Night Music is an […]

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Post image for Los Angeles Theater Review: A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE GYNECOLOGIC ONCOLOGY UNIT AT MEMORIAL SLOAN KETTERING CANCER CENTER OF NEW YORK CITY (Geffen)

DON’T ARGUE WITH ME, I HAVE CANCER As the play begins, two women are asleep in hospital beds in a shared room with a curtain drawn between them. A tightly wound young woman, Karla (Halley Feiffer) is on one side of the curtain, with the younger of the two patients. She is an aspiring comedian, […]

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