End of the Rainbow

End of the Rainbow is painful to watch as one of my all-time favorites is presented in a most self-destructive yet honest portrayal. I can’t remember seeing a more complete wide-ranging performance than Angela Ingersoll’s Judy Garland. We both feel sad at what happened to her yet we enjoy her magical stage presence and her amazing contralto voice. This bittersweet show is a must see on several levels. As we see the demise of a star, we see the emergence of another star. Angela Ingersoll performance in this tough role will launch a new phase in her career.

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Under A Rainbow Flag

Under A Rainbow Flag is a delightful, light-weight musical that explores the various types of love that gay men endured in those closeted-days during WWII. This show is a tribute to the wholesomeness and heart of gay men. It celebrates the essence of being gay with a high-energy expression. It contains humor, angst, love, and hope as those early brave souls were determined to live in truth. This is a fun show that could use a trim and more authentic military uniforms but it delivers a well-sung tribute to gay veterans all around bravery. It is a worthy new musical that begs an audience.

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Jeff Awards Equity nominations for 2016-17

During the 2016-17 season, Jeff Awards judges attended opening nights of 159 Equity productions offered by 42 producing organizations, and from these openings, 123 productions were “Jeff Recommended” and eligible for award nominations.

The 49th Annual Equity Jeff Awards ceremony honoring excellence in professional theatre produced within the immediate Chicago area will be held on Monday, November 6th, at Drury Lane Theatre, 100 Drury Lane, Oakbrook Terrace.

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A Raisin in the Sun

Written about a Chicago family trapped in a two-bedroom apartment on the South Side of Chicago, A Raisin in the Sun is one of the finest plays of the 20th Century (it is Number 9 on my list). Based loosely on Hansberry’s own family experience integrating a white Chicago neighborhood, A Raisin in the Sun follows the events of the Younger family as they struggle to get their part of the American dream. This family believes that a better life is just around the corner.

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What of the Night?

I had mixed response to this work. At nearly three hours, the work is a test for audiences as well as the disjointed action and the strange dialogue. Despite movingly dedicated performances by the cast of 13 and a dark atmosphere of raw sex and violence, What of the Night? will captive some, bore others while impressing others. This show is not for those who demand clarity or coherence. Poverty, man’s cruelty and sexual deviations together with avant garde motifs render this epic an ode to human survival. The craft and dedication of the actors and the “what will happen next” structure will keep audiences involved.

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