“A Shayna Maidel” is a timely, powerful look at family and the Holocaust

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Review by Karen Topham, American Theatre Critics Association member; photos by Lara Goetsch. In an era when Nazis and white supremacists have gained influence in American culture and politics, when more than 20% of Millennials have no clue what the Holocaust was and a not insignificant number deny it ever happened, when we are adopting […]

“Treefall” examines gender, family and the apocalypse

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Review by Karen Topham, American Theatre Critics Association member; photos by Daniela Monico. Some say the world will end in fire; Some say in ice  –Robert Frost   According to the post-apocalyptic vision set forth in Henry Murray’s Treefall, now playing in a production by Exit 63, the fault will decidedly be fire. Terrible things have […]

200 shows in about 300 days!

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Today’s review of Treefall marks the 200th review posted by chicagoonstage.com. I realized that yesterday and was momentarily amazed: a site that has only been in existence for about ten months has published that many reviews…and I have written the vast majority personally. What is even more amazing: for all but the last month, I lived in Vernon […]

“Nightmares and Nightcaps” is devilish fun

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Review by Karen Topham, American Theatre Critics Association member; photos by Cole Simon. Let’s get one thing clear from the start: despite its thrillerish title, Nightmares and Nightcaps: The Stories of John Collier, now playing at the Athenaeum in a Black Button Eyes production, is absolutely hilarious. Collier was a British expatriate author of poems, […]

“Haymarket” uses folk music and creative staging to tell its story

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Review by Karen Topham, American Theatre Critics Association member; photos by Michael Brosilow. Enter the theater for Underscore Theatre Company’s latest production, Haymarket, and you are immediately taken back in time by a group of actor/musicians in 19th Century garb playing various traditional folk instruments including guitar, banjo, mandolin, fiddle, and washboard. (There is a […]

USAOnstage NYC: Despite strong performances, Disney’s “Frozen” falls flat

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Review by Lauren Van Hemert; Photo by Deen van Meer This year, Disney’s highly anticipated Frozen stormed Broadway, opening at the St. James Theatre after a fall preview at Denver’s Buell Theatre. Inspired by the fairytale The Snow Queen, the story is essentially the same as the movie. It’s a tale of sisterly love overcoming […]