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Amazing Grace (Comments Off)

October 21, 2014 • Category: CURRENT SHOWS, REVIEWS, REVIEWS BY, Theatre Reviews, Tom Williams

In a world premiere pre-Broadway production, Amazing Grace has some merit as an historical bio-musical. As far as it goes, Amazing Grace chronicles the early adventures of John Newton (1725 – 1807) who composed the Christian hymn “Amazing Grace” in 1772. This world premiere pre-Broadway production is a massive epic musical complete with a clipper ship set and a quasi-operatic score filled with stirring anthems and power ballads

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Whatever We Want (Comments Off)

Set over a 15 year span, Whatever We Want deals with a 10 year old (Bug) and a 12 year old (Della) as they are have a tight sister bond with Della leading the way. Bug is a precocious child who loves to invent ridiculous quotes to spout. These two yearn for adventure but they become separated by their parent’s divorce. Over the years, they struggle to retain a relationship.

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Romulus (Comments Off)

The first thing to about Durenmatt’s Romulus is that he called it a history play with no historical basis. Several different people from the period in the fifth century arbitrarily labeled “the fall of the Western Roman Empire” are conglomerated here, and their relationships are redefined for dramatic effect. But that’s alright, because this story, presented now by the capable team at Oracle, is more engaging and thought-provoking than a treatment of the actual events would likely be.

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Don Giovanni at the Lyric Opera of Chicago (Comments Off)

This production of Don Giovanni is particularly well sung, especially by soprano and Ryan Opera Center alumna Andriana Churchman making her role debut as Zerlina. Her natural melodic singing was a joy to hear! She should be proud of her debut performance. The other cast members were terrific also. Marina Rebeka, a soaring soprano and soprano Ana Maria Martinez as Donna Elvira complimented the scorned ladies.

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Animal Farm (Comments Off)

After 90 minutes of action that often confuses many middle schoolers and high schoolers, I heard several students constantly asking their parents “I don’t understand what is happening?” The lesson of how democratic values can be corrupted by the quest for power. The youngsters learn that in life, sometimes the bad guy wins that unless we stand guard, evil can win the day. They learn that change is good but it must be tempered with compassion and be aimed at the common good of all.

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At Last: A Tribute to Etta James (Comments Off)

The show’s concept is that somewhere in the afterlife, Etta James has split into five parts: one for each stage of her career. Numbered in reverse chronological order, with 1 being the oldest, the five Ettas are snapshots of James at various points in her struggles with drugs, romance, and self-loathing. The Ettas don’t get along, and always hated the hero-worship of a tribute anyway. Bringing them together to do some psychological therapy is drag queen Ms. Real (Reuben D. Echoles). As we relive (or for some people, me included, discover) James’s music, she goes on her own journey of integration.

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The Cryptogram (Comments Off)

In a baffling turn, Profiles Theatre has mounted David Manet’s 1994 utterly perplexing drama – The Cryptogram. Even after doing copious research including reading Manet’s comments on what The Cryptogram is about, I m still baffled.

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