Tonya & Nancy The Rock Opera

This is a wildly paced and extremely loud production that tells the story of the 1990's ice skating scandal that marred the rivalry between American Olympic ice skaters Tonya Harding ( Amanda Horvath) and Nancy Kerrigan (Courtney Mack). The production take a tabloid approach to the story of rivalry and desperation as the quest for Olympic stardom overtakes each skater. We see the role of the mothers both played by Veronica Garza as she belts her way through the opera. Read more

Pygmalion – Remy Bumppo think theatre

Pygmalion. Shaw’s most popular play was written in 1912 and first performed in 1914. It became the great musical My Fair Lady in the 1950's that used much of the original Shaw script including much of the dialogue in the song lyrics. Pygmalion, in its initial script, had a different ending that many producers and Shaw himself changed several times. This production used Shaw’s original ending which may be a surprise to My Fair Lady and fans of the 1930’s film of Pygmalion. Kudos to Remy Bumppo for sticking to the initial ending. They did use a framing device that has an older Eliza visiting Higgins' Whipple Street flat after his death in the lat 1940's. This didn't effect Shaw's ambiguous ending. Read more

Winterset

Winterset is certainly a political drama, but one that is more timeless than it is merely timely: Anderson composed his script with a keen and empathetic, poetic eye, and his voice is as sympathetic toward justice and truth as it is understanding toward those who hide from it with violence or fear. Under the guidance of director Jonathan Berry, Griffin’s production of Winterset is one of the few Chicago shows I’d say demonstrates the potential of theatre in Chicago. Read more

Disney’s – The Little Mermaid

Without question, The Little Mermaid at Paramount is no less than astounding! Based on the 1989 Disney film and original story by Hans Christian Andersen, this show is directed and choreographed by Amber Mak, music direction by Tom Vendafreddo and the beautiful under-seas puppetry design by Jesse Mooney-Bullock, fantastic costume design by the amazing Theresa Ham. This tale will appeal as much to adults as it does to children. Read more

Don Quichotte (Don Quixote)

Jules Massenet's (1842-1912) Don Quichotte is “comédie-héroïque” with sweepingly lush score composed in 1909-10 while the composer was ill and after he has a failed opera (Bacchus). Don Quichotte features a lighter take on the idealistic, delusional knight and his squire Sancho than the 1964 Broadway musical Man of La Mancha. Both are excellent takes on Cervantes' classic. Read more

A Christmas Story: The Musical 2016

This production comes complete with town bullies, a frozen flag pole and a very commanding school teacher (Kayla Boye). This is a larger than life production on a fairly small stage and yet the cast of 26 pulled it off seamlessly. Creative use of the staging takes us into the kitchen most of the time after all, that is where most of the action is happening. The most exciting of holiday dinners gets destroyed when disaster strikes and they end up eating out at a Chinese restaurant which the only place open in town. Who knew that little brother Randy liked noodles so much? Read more

Finding Neverland – 2016 National Tour

After many changes, Finding Neverland, opened on Broadway in March 15, 2015 and closed on August 15, 2015 playing to 62% of capacity - losing much of the $20 million production cost. Upon closing, Finding Neverland played 33 previews and 565 performances. Executive produced Harvey Weinstein (the film producer of many hit films) makes his lead producer debut on Broadway with Finding Neverland. After only a four month run it is now touring the USA and is now playing at the Palace Theatre until December 4, 2016. While there are some fine moments, especially with the four boys, Finding Neverland comes of as an over-staged and over-produced musical filled with unremarkable and unmemorable songs in a overlong show (2hours, 40 minutes) filled with sentimental fluff. Read more

Electra

To bring us all up to Electra: prior to Electra, Agamemnon, to appease the goddess Artemis in order to allow his troops to reach Troy, sacrificed his daughter, Iphigenia (Iphigenia at Aulis); then, to avenge the death of her daughter (and because she had, during Agamemnon’s 10-year absence, taken up an adulterous affair with Aegisthus, Agamemnon’s cousin and rival to the House of Atreus), Clytemnestra murders Agamemnon, prompting Electra to send her brother, Orestes, into hiding (lest her mother should murder him, too), until the time when he might return to avenge his father’s death (Agamemnon). Read more

Roz and Ray

Karen Hartman is foremost political playwright with the skills to take a human crisis and make that into a powerful drama as she blends the struggle of two people to keep folks alive during a crisis from a new medical problem. Hartman weaves a most personal view from a father who struggles to keep his twin hemophiliac boys alive and their dedicated doctor who prescribes a new miracle drug to solve the 'clotting factor' that is needed to stop bleeding. Effectively using a documentary style to explain about hemophiliac and how medical science advances treatment as pharma companies create a product to eliminate the need for blood transfusions Read more

Turtle

The storyline is wacky as it plays out as a long "so what moment." Molly (Emily Tate0 is a housewife whose world is very small. She spends her days with her tender aged two children. She has her kids watch PBS nature documentaries such as those about turtles. At night she watches TV with her husband Sloan (Drew Johnson), a good loving guy and a moderate Republican. Molly follows politics but she is not obsessed as her Republican in-laws. Molly is content with her life - she appears a happy person in her small world. Read more