Post image for Chicago Theater Review: AH, WILDERNESS! (Goodman)

HAPPY DAY’S JOURNEY INTO LOVE It’s a dramatic “one-off”: The same Connecticut domicile supplies the site of two enormously different plays by the same author. If Eugene O’Neill imagined a darker youth than his actual childhood in Long Day’s Journey into Night (a tragicomedy the playwright never meant to be seen), he doles out nostalgia for a […]

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Post image for Chicago Theater Review: JOHNNY JOHNSON (Chicago Folks Operetta)

A KURT WEILL COMEBACK Here’s another triumph worth the wait. Recently revived, City Lit’s London Assurance took 120 years to return—hilariously—to a Chicago stage. Even more inexplicably absent and a much more recent treasure, Kurt Weill’s 1936 anti-war musical Johnny Johnson has never played the town till now. With libretto and lyrics by Paul Green, […]

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Post image for Dance Review: TCHAIKOVSKY (Eifman Ballet of St. Petersburg at the Music Center)

UNDERSTANDING TCHAIKOVSKY Eifman Ballet of St. Petersburg’s production of Tchaikovsky. PRO et CONTRA explores duality, loneliness and the price of fame in an emotional and technically brilliant production that takes storytelling to new heights. Artistic director Boris Eifman’s portrayal of the composer’s life through first person perspective and a doppelganger that is at his side at […]

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Post image for Chicago Theater Review: LONDON ASSURANCE (City Lit at Edgewater Presbyterian Church)

REST ASSURED: THE LIES LOVE LIVES ON You can’t keep a good comedy down. Wildly popular in its time, Dion Boucicault’s 1841 London Assurance is a mating romp that, inexplicably, has not been performed in Chicago for 120 years. Thanks to City Lit, the city’s amazing patience since 1897 is now richly rewarded. An Irish […]

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Post image for Los Angeles Theater Review: DOG SEES GOD: CONFESSIONS OF A TEENAGE BLOCKHEAD (Worst First Kiss Productions at the McCadden Place Theatre)

A VERY GOOD GRIEF This funny but disturbing update of Charles M. Schultz’s Peanuts comic strip first arrived at the Blank Theatre, after which Worst First Kiss Productions wisely utilized the Hollywood Fringe Festival to create a six-performance extension. I certainly hope there are more performances to come, for Dog Sees God: Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead contained […]

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Post image for Chicago Theater Review: LATE COMPANY (Cor Theater)

IT GETS WORSE TOO Teenage suicide due to cyberbullying deserves its storytelling: In just 70 minutes, Canadian playwright Jordan Tannahill’s Late Company seems to cover the bases in a gamut of reactions. Like the Netflix series 13 Reasons Why, it probes self-murder from all sides, inevitably making for a very painful play. Rich or rancid with survivor […]

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Post image for Tour Preview: DAVID SEDARIS (Royce Hall at UCLA)

FINDING DAVID SEDARIS For those unfamiliar with David Sedaris’ work, he is a prolific writer, mostly of satire and non-fiction. Many of his stories revolve around his personal life and family, though–as with any great writer, and by his own admission–he does tend to embellish. His latest book, however, is a departure from his collections of […]

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Post image for Chicago Theater Review: JACQUES BREL’S LONESOME LOSERS OF THE NIGHT (Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre)

SONGS FROM THE BOTTOM OF A BOTTLE Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre really loves the sad songs of Jacques Brel. First came A Jacques Brel Revue: Songs of War and Love in 2005. Three years later they created Jacques Brel’s Lonesome Lovers of the Night, now revived by artistic director Fred Anzevino. Delivered by four ardently […]

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Post image for San Diego Theater Review: WITHERING HEIGHTS (The Roustabouts at Diversionary Theatre)

HOW’S THE WITHER? (JUST IN CASE YOU WERE WUTHERING…) A complicated nineteenth-century story of love and retaliation, featuring 13 characters, could be tough to pull off in ninety minutes in any case. For playwrights and co-performers Phil Johnson and Omri Schein, the challenge is heightened by the pair opting to play all thirteen in their two-man show. It […]

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Post image for Los Angeles Dance Review: TCHAIKOVSKY IN BALLET (American Contemporary Ballet)

BALLET’S HIDDEN BEGINNINGS “There is only now.” American Contemporary Ballet (ACB)’s Artistic Director, Lincoln Jones, quoted famed choreographer George Balanchine at the premiere of the company’s latest performance high above the Los Angeles skyline on the 32nd floor of downtown’s BLOC building. The quote described the fleeting nature of dance, which has always been difficult […]

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