• Raul Castillo's Chicago World Premiere

    Between You, Me and the Lampshade at Teatro Vista

    By: Nancy Bishop - Apr 20th, 2015

    Family secrets and dreams are explored in Raul Castillo's Between You, Me and the Lampshade in a world premiere being staged by Teatro Vista. Set in a barren area of Rio Grande County in south Texas, the play addresses immigration issues as well as family tensions.

  • An Unfortunate King and I at Lincoln Center

    Ken Watanabe, Kingly, Sexy and Touching

    By: Susan Hall - Apr 19th, 2015

    Some moving performances sung beautifully graced the Lincoln Center stage. Standouts were Ruthie Ann Miles as Lady Thiang, Conrad Ricamora as Lun Tha and Jon Viktor Corpuz as Prince Chulalongkorn. Attempting to make the story more ordinary does not help. It is after all about a King and a son who will be King and a woman of aristocratic bearing who teaches both of them. A stylish idea that requires style.

  • Laura Eason at the Rattlestick Playwrights

    Right Now Has an Undeniable Sound

    By: Susan Hall - Apr 18th, 2015

    Rattlesnake Plawrights and Womens Project Theater collaborate to present the world premier of Laura Eason's new play. Twenty years ago Eason was a singer, song writer and bass player in a pop band in Chicago. Her band Tart played in venues like Hank's Bar, the setting of this play. Eason has a deep feeling for the pwoer of music to exist in the right now.

  • Come Back, Little Sheba At Huntington's Calderwood

    A Poignant Story of the American Dream Unmet

    By: Mark Favermann - Apr 16th, 2015

    A play about dreams and desires unmet, it is the story of Doc and Lola Delaney's rather somber middle class life. To make ends meet, they rent a room in their cluttered Midwestern home to Marie, an unapologetic young college student. Her youthful vitality stirs up forgotten dreams and missed opportunities. Directed by David Cromer, this is an intimate and heartrending portrait of a marriage and painful life partnership fading from youthful exuberance to middle age stasis. The acting is superb and the stagecraft is appealing.

  • Rebecca Gilman Wins Steinberg New Play Award

    Tom Coash of Atlanta Wins Osborn Award

    By: ATCA - Apr 15th, 2015

    During the recent Humana Festival in Louisville American Theatre Critics Association presented the Steinberg and Osborn awards. Rebecca Gilman won for Luna Gale as the recipient of the Harold and Mimi Steinberg/American Theatre Critics Association New Play Award, recognizing playwrights for scripts that premiered professionally outside New York City during 2014. The M. Elizabeth Osborn Award, which recognizes emerging playwrights, went to Tom Coash of Atlanta for his play Veils.

  • The Grown-Up at Shattered Globe Theatre.

    Chicago Production of Jordan Harrison's Play

    By: Nancy S. Bishop - Apr 15th, 2015

    The Grown-Up, Jordan Harrison's 12th play, premiered in 2014 at the Humana Festival of New American Plays at Actors Theatre in Louisville. This is its second production.

  • Tony Simotes Conflates Classical and Contemporary

    Move from S&Co. to Berkshire Theatre Group

    By: Charles Giuliano - Apr 15th, 2015

    Tony Simotes was summarily ousted from Shakespeare & Company when he got on the wrong side with a micro managing now former board president Sarah Hancock. Significantly, she is a close friend of founding artistic director, Tina Packer, whose vision of the company was very different from Simotes who replaced her. Rick Dildine who was brought in with a mandate for change soon realized the chain of command and hastily departed. In a matter of months the company went from plan B to plan C. When we met with Simotes for a long lunch he was not inclined to sort out those loose ends. He is upbeat about new possibilities as second in command to Kate Maguire and the richly enhanced Berkshire Theatre Group.

  • Lisa D’Amour's Airline Highway

    Chicago's Steppenwolf Production Transfers to Broadway

    By: Nancy Bishop - Apr 14th, 2015

    Lisa D’Amour's Airline Highway begins performances at Broadway's Samuel J. Friedman Theatre on April 1. Directed by Joe Mantello, Manhattan Theatre Club’s presentation of Steppenwolf Theatre Company’s ensemble production will officially open on April 23. This is Nancy Bishop's Chicago review.

  • Ghosts by Ibsen Physicalized by Richard Eyre

    Leslie Manville, Tender and Tough

    By: Susan Hall - Apr 12th, 2015

    Richard Eyre’s fresh and visceral take on Ghosts brings powerfully to the stage not a play set in the end of the 19th century, but a play which resonates in any time present. The cast matches each other beat for beat.

  • Kristoffer Diaz's The Upstairs Concierge

    New Farce Not All That Funny at Chicago's Goodman

    By: Nancy S. Bishop - Apr 10th, 2015

    Kristoffer Diaz's The Upstairs Concierge, having its world premiere at Chicago's Goodman Theatre, is not a witty French farce. Its celebrity- and baseball-driven plotline doesn't work as a contemporary comic romp. The plot is a mish-mash and the dialogue is flat and rarely funny.

  • What I Learned in Paris

    Indiana Repertory Theatre

    By: Melissa Hall - Apr 09th, 2015

    "What I learned in Paris" at the Indiana Repertory Theatre, set in Atlanta in 1973, deals with issues of race, gender, and romance .Evie, played by Erika Lavonn, is one of the most charismatic characters I've come across in years.

  • Pygmalion at Pasadena Playhouse

    Witty Shaw Comedy Skewers Pretentions

    By: Jack Lyons - Apr 08th, 2015

    “Pygmalion”, Shaw’s best known work on this side of the Atlantic shouldn’t be confused with the love child of Alan J. Lerner and Frederick Lowe – “My Fair Lady”.

  • End Days by Deborah Zoe Laufer

    Chicago's New Windy City Playhouse

    By: Nancy S. Bishop - Apr 08th, 2015

    End Days by Deborah Zoe Laufer is the first production in the sparkling new Windy City Playhouse in the Irving Park neighborhood. It's a worthy outing for this new Equity theater company.

  • The Amazing Max Darwin, Magician

    Conjuring Truth

    By: Susan Hall - Apr 08th, 2015

    No wonder Max packs ‘em in. With an unerring eye for talent and courage, his audience assistants fall into their new role with ease. They all caught the wand tossed to them with the cavalier ease of Yogi Berra.

  • Travesties at Remy Bumppo

    Chicago Production of Stoppard's Play

    By: Nancy S. Bishop - Apr 07th, 2015

    Stoppard's "Travesties" in a new production at Remy Bumppo Theatre is a brilliantly conceived, acted and produced surrealist comedy -- and the language still makes me gasp.

  • Anne Carson's Antigonick

    At Chicago's Sideshow Theatre

    By: Nancy S. Bishop - Apr 02nd, 2015

    Time and measurement are of the essence in Sideshow Theatre's new production of Anne Carson's Antigonick, described as freely translated from Sophocles' original Antigone.

  • OBERON for April & May

    Second Stage for A.R.T.

    By: A.R.T. - Apr 01st, 2015

    OBERON, the American Repertory Theater’s (A.R.T.) second stage and club theater venue on the fringe of Harvard Square, announces all the offerings to be presented at OBERON during the months of April and May, in addition to the previously announced productions, including Visiting Artists, Artists in Residence, and Usual Suspects.

  • Cannibalizing Tennessee Williams

    Performances and Events in New Orleans

    By: Charles Giuliano - Apr 01st, 2015

    The conference of the American Theatre Critics Association overlapped and interacted with the 29th annual Tennessee Williams New Orleans Literary Festival. David Kaplan the curator of the Provinctown Tennessee Williams Theatre Festival was on hand to direct a co production of the "Hotel Plays." September will mark the 10th anniversary of the Provincetown event.

  • City of Angels Glowing At Lyric Stage

    A Wonderful Film Noir Spoof Set in 1940s Hollywood

    By: Mark Favermann - Mar 31st, 2015

    With clever lines, lyrics as well as songs and set in the seductive Hollywood of the late 1940s, City of Angels chronicles the misadventures of Stine, a disillusioned young novelist attempting to write a screenplay for a tyrannical, egomaniac movie producer. As his marriage falls apart, we follow Stine’s film alter-ego, the dashing detective Stone, who is haunted by the memory of the girl that got away. With a wonderful evocative score, City of Angels simultaneously spoofs the superficially glamorous world of old Hollywood and the edgy film noir world of thugs and femme fatales. This is a funny, witty and very clever theatrical experience.

  • New Orleans Theatre After Katrina

    ATCA and Tennessee Williams Conference and Festival

    By: Charles Giuliano - Mar 31st, 2015

    The annual conference of the American Theatre Critics Association was recently held in New Orleans. It overlapped and interacted with Tennessee Williams New Orleans Literary Festival. In addition to panels and dialogues there were a number of insightful performances. In another report we will focus on Williams.

  • Paul Robeson Lives at BAM

    The Tallest Tree in the Forest by Daniel Beaty

    By: Susan Hall - Mar 24th, 2015

    Paul Robeson is one of those figures who haunts us. David Beaty brings him to life at the Harvey Theater of the Brooklyn Academy of Music. What is striking almost forty years after his death is the power of the man: his beautiful voice, fierce intellect and passionate commitment to use the gifts with which he was born to enhance the world around him. Daniel Beaty captures the man in all his complexity.

  • Irreversible Presented by The Red Fern Theatre Company

    Jack Karp's Intriguing Play about Oppenheimer

    By: Susan Hall - Mar 23rd, 2015

    The play about the bomb is a hit. Set in the Jimez mountains of New Mexico, suggested by the orange, siena dust and the yellow gold skies, Robert Oppenheimer dominates the stage as he dominated the Los Alamos lab. General Grove admired him so that he kept him there despite Oppenheimer's communist-tainted past and his sometimes erratic behavior. Playwright Karp captures this huge figure in detailed strokes, and shows why his brother, wife and lover could not stay away from him.

  • Oedipus El Rey in San Diego

    Repertory Theatre’s Lyceum Stage

    By: Jack Lyons - Mar 22nd, 2015

    “Oedipus El Rey” is a very impressive production that performs on San Diego Repertory Theatre’s Lyceum stage and runs through March 29, 2015. When a Chicano Oedipus, once out of prison, challenges the barrio order and sets himself above the rules, we follow the arc of his fall, and see him accept his fate.

  • Berkshire Theatre Group Announces

    Unicorn and Colonial Schedule

    By: BTG - Mar 20th, 2015

    The Berkshire Theatre group announces shows at the Unicorn in Stockbridge and the Colonial in Pittsfield. There are world premieres included.

  • Big Fish A Whopper At SpeakEasy Stage

    Wonderful Music and Performances Reflect Father and Son Conflict

    By: Mark Favermann - Mar 17th, 2015

    A warm and bountiful Big Fish centers on Edward Bloom, a traveling salesman whose larger-than-life stories of epic adventures delight everyone around him, except his pragmatic son Will. The show is full of terrific talent and melodious music. Just as Edward’s health begins to decline, the questioning Will sets out on a journey of family discovery seeking the truth behind his father’s fanciful tales.

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