King Lear at Chicago Shakespeare Theater

With the exception of the extraordinary staging of one of the most memorable ever speeches, Lear’s ‘Blow wind and crack your cheeks..’ being shouted by him with his back to the audience, the production’s modern dress style was filled with engaging movement and visually skillful staging. The attention never wavered, even though it was like watching a foreign language play at times.This reviewer was seated at the extreme right of the thrust stage. Perhaps because of this, most of the language was unintelligible, with actors facing away. Added to this this was the indistinct delivery of the text, with actors allowed, or directed, to speak with great speed, as they would a Mamet text, often with poor enunciation and vocal projection.

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Juliet Lawson, Songs From a Suitcase

Delving into her past, Juliet Lawson brings forth from her suitcase, songs and memories, as she says, ‘of angst and passion, with a smattering of self deprecation, humour and other delights’.

In the warm and intimate atmosphere of the Rosemary Branch Theatre, the soulful style and bittersweet wit and rhyme of Miss Lawson, brought sighs of appreciation from her faithful audience, and in numbers like ‘Is It Really You?’, ‘What a Waste Of a Woman’, and ‘At the Sign Of The Fallen Angel’, some truly wonderful songs are on show.

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The Hare And The Tortoise And Other Tales From Aesop

The enduring tradition and reputation of Movingstage Marionette Company, more popularly known as the Puppet Theatre Barge, founded by Gren Middleton and Juliet Rogers, and moored at Little Venice, is further enhanced by the engaging production of The Hare And The Tortoise, and six other Aesop fables. The enormous repertoire of the company, now in its 34th year, features captivating marionettes and staging by Middleton and Roberts.

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Glam-rock, 70’s glam-fest Macbeth? Sounds tempting. Only an hour long? Can’t hurt too much. Might just be a little winner.

Caveat: mistakenly referring to this thundering Shakespearean tragedy of grasping ambition, superstition and murder as a love story, was the amber alert.

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F**king Men

Fabulous material with which to people an excoriating and witty story. But the abiding conclusion is that within the gay world there isn’t a single relationship without a malcontent, unfulfilled, unhealthy, frustrated and dishonest, and there isn’t a single person one would like to meet.

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Guided Tour of London’s Jewish East End

In a city of a multitude of cultures, there is a corner whose extraordinary Jewish history is made more poignant by being invisible. London’s buildings, streets and area names are steeped in the past going back to Roman times, so one might wonder, given that the Jewish presence in the country recently celebrated its 350th anniversary, why there is so little evidence of this presence in the part of London where it was once so thriving, the East End. Now the vibrant Jewish past, saturated with human experience, is a neglected garden, overgrown with evidence of the present occupiers, aided and abetted by Hitler’s Luftwaffe.

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