“This Bitter Earth” is easily one of the best plays of 2018

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Chicago Reviews

Review by Karen Topham, American Theatre Critics Association member; photo by Liz Lauren. We’re living in a highly charged political age, but perhaps there is no single issue (unless you count the President as an “issue”) more polarizing in the country than one that should have been relegated to the history books half a century […]

Kokandy Names Artistic Director and Associates

Posted Leave a commentPosted in News

CHICAGO (November 19, 2018) – Kokandy Productions is pleased to announce the appointment of Derek Van Barham as the company’s new Producing Artistic Director, succeeding Allison Hendrix, who served in the position since Kokandy was founded in 2010. Barham is joined by three new Artistic Associates: Adrian Abel Azevedo, Leda Hoffmann and Nik Whitcomb. The new artistic team is supported by Kokandy’s Board of […]

Writers Theatre’s “Twelfth Night” brings both silliness and pathos to the Bard’s greatest comedy

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Chicago Reviews

Review by Karen Topham, American Theatre Critics Association member; photo by Michael Brosilow. Watching William Brown assay the role of Feste in Writers Theatre’s new production of Twelfth Night is an absolute joy. Brown’s physical presence and powerful voice add layers to the iconic role of Shakespeare’s witty and thoughtful fool who lies at the […]

USAOnStage NYC: “The Prom” shows Broadway the midwest…as Broadway sees it

Posted Leave a commentPosted in USAOnStage

Review by Karen Topham, American Theatre Critics Association member; photo by Dean van Meer. This could be ripped from the headlines: Small Conservative Town Cancels Prom Over Fears of Gay Couple. In fact, it was: more than one small town has acted so blindly. It’s a sad fact of current American life that fear of those […]

“Wife Material”: Jamie Shriner’s racy, funny, poignant autobiographical tale

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Chicago Reviews

Review by Karen Topham, American Theatre Critics Association member; photo by Evan Hanover.   Think about what a musical means to you. Chances are you immediately thought of (possibly catchy) songs, interesting characters, and a story to tell. What you probably didn’t think is the sex-forward autobiography of a young woman from Indiana, but that’s […]

USAOnStage NYC: ‘King Kong’ serves up a visual feast but lacks substance

Posted Leave a commentPosted in USAOnStage

By Lauren Van Hemert, American Theatre Critics Association member; photo by Matthew Murphy The morning after I saw King Kong, someone asked me what I thought. I replied, “The ape got a standing ovation.” So, let’s start there. The most recent retelling of King Kong opened on Broadway this week. The $35 million Australian import […]

Manual Cinema’s “Frankenstein” at Court Theatre is a complex visual treat

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Chicago Reviews

Review by Karen Topham, American Theatre Critics Association member; photo by Michael Brosilow. If you are not familiar with Manual Cinema’s work, the production of Frankenstein now at the Court Theatre might come as a bit of a shock. For most of a decade now, Manual Cinema has been presenting elaborate multimedia shows using such […]