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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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 […]

Disney Open Auditions in Chicago This Weekend

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CHICAGO (Nov. 9, 2018) – Disney Theatrical Productions will hold open auditions for its current and future productions of the award-winning musicals Aladdin, Frozen and The Lion King in Chicago November 9-11, 2018 at Hubbard Street Dance Chicago. Performers of all cultural backgrounds are strongly encouraged to attend. All adult performers must register in person during designated sign-in times; auditions will […]

Blue Man Group adds new content but remains as entertaining as ever

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Review by Karen Topham, American Theatre Critics Association member; photo by Eric Klein. Since 1997, Blue Man Group has been entertaining crowds of Chicagoans and tourists at the Briar Street Theatre. Performance artists don’t get that kind of longevity without changing up their show every once in a while, and this week BMG introduced a […]

Steppenwolf announces onstage seating for A Doll’s House, Pt 2

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CHICAGO (November 9, 2018) – Steppenwolf Theatre Company presents the Chicago premiere production of A Doll’s House, Part 2 by award-winning playwright Lucas Hnath, helmed by acclaimed director Robin Wittand featuring ensemble members Celeste M. Cooper (Emmy), Sandra Marquez (Nora) and Yasen Peyankov(Torvald), with Barbara Robertson (Anne Marie). Hnath’s bitingly funny play continues this classic story 15 years after the infamous door slam that ended Ibsen’s original play. […]