My Brothers Keeper – The Story of the Nicholas Brothers

Kudos to Rueben D. Echoles for creating such a wonderful, groundbreaking. bio-musical!. As the book writer, director and one of two outstanding actor/dancers (he plays Harold Nicholas) Echoles' has created one of the best shows ever at the Black Ensemble Theater. Besides writing, directing, costumes, choreography, he wrote eight original songs that were fine show-specific tunes. Add Echolas' terrific dancing and this show is truly Echoles' opus!. Read more

Sweeney Todd – The Demon Barber of Fleet Street -Paramount Theatre

The story of the demon barber of Fleet Street revolves around Sweeney Todd’s ( the baritone Paul-Jordan Jansen) obsessive desire to seek revenge on the man responsible for exiling him, destroying his wife, and stealing his child. While awaiting his opportunity for retribution, he and the entrepreneurial Mrs. Lovett (Bri Sudia), become partners in a horrific venture in which Sweeney Todd provides Mrs. Lovett with the pivotal ingredient for her meat pies after giving his customers the “closest shave they will ever get.” Read more

Blue Man Group – 2017

Blue Man Group is for everyone: kids, couples, visiting in-laws, clients, fun people, boring people, people with taste, people without taste. It’s an immersive, multi-media, comedy-rock-dance-party-show spectacle for all! If you haven’t seen it, you should; if you haven’t seen it recently, bring the kids, the new girlfriend, the family you have nothing to talk about with; if you have seen it recently, you might just as well wait a couple years, it’ll be around. Read more

The Scottsboro Boys – The Musical

The Scottsboro Boys - The Musical is presented in the style of the notorious "minstrel show." By utilizing a strong Brechtian satire motif led by the razor-sharp commentary by Larry Yando (The Interlocutor), the only white man in the cast, the show becomes a theatrically thrilling telling of a sad history factual story of a group of nine teens taken off a train in 1931 Alabama and accused of raping two white women in the Jim Crow South. The woman were both prostitutes. Read more

The History Boys – 2017

The History Boys covers the life of eight English boys prepping for their entrance exams designed to get them into Oxford or Cambridge. But playwright Alan Bennett has a much larger agenda than merely a coming of age story or a debate about the purpose and style of education. He tackles issues such as sexual identity, teen angst and the role of teachers as mentors to their students Read more

The Book of Joseph

Kudos to the creatives at Chicago Shakespeare theatre for commissioning and producing The Book of Joseph from Richard Holland's publication of his father's story and the collection of family letters: "Every Day Lasts A Year." Karen Hartman was commissioned to adapt the Holland letters into a stage play with the help of Rick Boynton and directed by Barbara Gaines. The result is a most compelling and empathetic story Read more

The Assembled Parties

Despite early old fashion drawing room structure laced with comedy, Greenberg develops unique characters centering on the two strong ladies--Julie as the charming graceful matriarch and Faye as the cynical realist with bittersweet life views. He weaves an engaging family saga that echos change and loss over time. The dialogue is smart, often cynically funny, the characters interesting and the work effectively presents a family over time coping challenges. Read more