Post image for Chicago Theater Review: ANTIGONICK (Sideshow Theatre Company at Victory Gardens)

SOPHOCLES, ANCIENT BENDER OF GENDERS This “free translation” of Sophocles’ timeless tragedy about a sister against the state is only 75 minutes long. Even so, Antigonick manages to almost completely repeat itself. The catch or switch is that the protagonists’ sexes are reversed, as if to prevent a universal conflict from ever being sex-specific. Thanks to Canadian […]

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Post image for Chicago Theater Review: THE ROYAL SOCIETY OF ANTARCTICA (The Gift Theatre)

SMART DRAMA REVEALS POLAR ATTRACTION A world premiere production, Mat Smart’s The Royal Society of Antarctica at The Gift Theatre is easily one of the year’s best new plays. Smart, who worked briefly as a janitor at McMurdo Station in Antarctica, mines that experience in this story of adventurous men and women living and working […]

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Post image for Los Angeles Theater Review: FINDING NICK (Zephyr Theater in Hollywood)

FINDING JUST A BIT In his solo show, playwright Nicholas Guest describes his life and travels around the world.  He’s accompanied by Hillary Smith on the cello and by Tony Carafone on the guitar (in the play, not his travels) – and they turn out to be a helpful pair, too, because Guest intersperses his […]

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Post image for Los Angeles Theater Preview: HOW TO SUCCEED IN BUSINESS WITHOUT REALLY TRYING (Musical Theatre West)

MUSICAL THEATRE WEST KNOWS HOW TO SUCCEED Reams can and have been written about the glories of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. With music and lyrics by Frank Loesser, and book by Abe Burrows, Jack Weinstock & Willie Gilbert, the 1961 musical satire that landed virtually unanimous raves would go on to […]

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Post image for National Tour Review: DUNSINANE (National Theatre of Scotland and the Royal Shakespeare Company)

THE SCOTTISH TRAGEDY: NEVER SAY DIE You can’t kill the Scottish tragedy. Written 408 years after Macbeth, Dunsinane is the Shakespeare sequel we never knew we needed. Now on tour at Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s Navy Pier, this co-production by the National Theatre of Scotland and Royal Shakespeare Theater brings new wounds to some very different combat. David Greig’s […]

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Post image for Off-Off-Broadway Theater Review: THE NOMAD (The Bats at The Flea Theater)

KEEP WANDERING Always charming and energized, The Bats (the resident company of The Flea Theater) put forth yet another valiant effort, this time with the world premiere of The Nomad, with book and lyrics by Elizabeth Swados and Erin Courtney. Had Swados (Runaways) and Courtney (A Map of Virtue) managed to write something worthwhile perhaps […]

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Post image for Chicago Theater Review: THE SWEETER OPTION (Strawdog Theatre Company)

OPT OUT OF A PLOT THAT’S NOT The real “sweeter option” is to miss this altogether. A new work written by company member John Henry Roberts and hyper-directed by Marti Lyons, The Sweeter Option is also Strawdog Theatre Company’s 100th production. Well, purely by default, it provides a good excuse to praise the previous ninety-nine. Alas, […]

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Post image for Chicago Theater Review: YANKEE TAVERN (American Blues Theater at the Greenhouse Theater Center)

YANKEE DOODLE DUD Of all the plays inspired by the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, Yankee Tavern has got to be one of the worst. Steven Dietz’s play, which takes place in New York City five years after the attacks, thrives on conspiracy theories. While the first half is more or less a rambling […]

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Post image for Chicago Theater Review: THE GLASS PROTÉGÉ (Giant Cherry Productions at Theater Wit)

FAME BY DAY, A CLOSET AT NIGHT This retrospective 2010 drama by British playwright Dylan Costello is so well meant, you want to forgive it for its good intentions. But–well–don’t stop the presses! This tale of closeted homosexuals who defy the studios to pursue their love in 1949 Hollywood (and end up divided but not conquered), […]

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Post image for Chicago Theater Review: FOUR (Jackalope Theatre)

DEFINITIVE DATES ON INDEPENDENCE DAY In this 95-minute one-act called Four, half the “dialogue” seems unspoken but not unfelt. The audience is literally just along for the ride. Christopher Shinn (who wrote the troubled Teddy Ferrara, recently performed at Goodman Theatre) depicts two strategic couples–one straight, mixed-race, mixed-age; one gay, mixed-race, mixed-age–in Hartford, Connecticut on […]

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