Redtwist’s “Saw My Neighbor” a Hilarious Study of Dysfunction

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The Bunkers. The Ewings. The Bluths. The Lannisters. The Sopranos. America is fascinated by dysfunctional families; our television screens are full of them. Sometimes, as in the brutal Lannisters, the dysfunction creates drama; often, though, we find ourselves laughing at it. When we see the Peter Griffin or Nancy Botwin or Homer Simpson messing up […]

Citadel’s “Ghostly Spirits”: An Enjoyable Musical “Christmas Carol”

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In a theatrical world overflowing every year with what seem like hundreds of varying takes on Charles Dickens’ classic A Christmas Carol, perhaps the first question one must ask upon hearing that Citadel Theatre commissioned a brand new one to add to the pile is, “Why?” But then you hear that it’s a musical and that […]

Take an Axe to Other Plans and Go See Firebrand Theatre’s “Lizzie”

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Lizzie, a musical by Tim Maner, Alan Stevens Hewitt, and Steven Cheslik-DeMeyer, is a taut, perfectly structured play in the mode of Sweeney Todd or Jekyll and Hyde: a dark, bloody story with a thrilling score and such inventive stagecraft that it makes for an electrifying night at the theatre. The production by brand new Firebrand Theatre, making its […]

FL Review: Dream Cast Hits Just the Right Notes in Dreamgirls

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If a critic were limited to just one word to describe a performance, the word for Dream Girls would be POWERFUL! What an amazing musical, dazzling cast, vivid costumes, smooth transitions and outstanding performance. Stage Door, a small, 350-seat theater, rarely disappoints. Of course, the R&B music is vivid and catchy — that is to […]

Three Cheers For Brilliant “Lysistrata Jones”

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When Aristophanes wrote Lysistrata, one character in Refuge Theatre Project’s Chicago premiere production of the musical Lysistrata Jones asks, do you think he imagined it would be performed thousands of years later…and parodied? The thought may not have occurred to the Greek comic writer, but the reality is that it has been performed and parodied again and again, and […]

Pegasus Theatre’s ‘Shakin’ the Mess Outta Misery’ is moving, masterful

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Shakin’ the Mess Outta Misery, written by Shay Youngblood and poignantly directed by Pegasus Theatre’s Ilesa Duncan, is a paean to family- both biological and chosen- and above all to the bonds between black women, to love that buoys and sustains through hardship and heartbreak. The stand-out cast tell this 1960’s southern coming-of-age tale with […]