“Gypsy” is a showcase for E. Faye Butler and a dynamite cast

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Chicago Reviews

Review by Karen Topham, American Theatre Critics Association member; photos by Michael Courier. This is nothing revelatory, but…E. Faye Butler is a force of nature. The actress-singer has performed on stages across Chicago and America and has been the recipient of numerous awards, so there is very little I can say about her that has […]

“Eclipsed” focuses on the plight of women during the Nigerian Civil War

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Chicago Reviews

Review by Karen Topham, American Theatre Critics Association member; photos by Suzanne Plunkett. One of the most wonderful things about theatre is the way it can expose you to places and events with which you might have had a vague familiarity but could honestly say you knew nothing about. That’s what will happen for most […]

“Les Innocents” has a creepy time in the catacombs

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Chicago Reviews

Review by Karen Topham, American Theatre Critics Association member; photos by Sarah Blood. For the second time this month, a Chicago theatre is setting a play in the catacombs. Unlike Right Brain Project’s Odessa, though, (re)discover theatre’s Les Innocents/The Innocents takes place in the Paris catacombs. In both plays, a living person enters the tombs […]

“WaistWatchers” parodies the diet and fitness industry

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Chicago Reviews

Review by Karen Topham, American Theatre Critics Association member; photos by WaistWatchers the Musical. From the Atkins and South Beach diets to WeightWatchers and NutriSystem, tens of millions of American women follow diet and exercise plans each year in the hope of losing those excess pounds that make them feel less than beautiful. Matt Silva’s […]

“Not For Sale” is not to be missed

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Chicago Reviews

Review by Joe DeRosa Suffice to say, with a storyline that features the lingering threat of violence, family crisis, Chicago style power politics, conflict between the “haves” and “have-nots,” a commentary on the racial and cultural gulf that divide the city’s neighborhoods and people into gentrifiers and gentrified, or, as some might say, “colonizers” and […]

“Fun, Harmless Warmachine” exposes the world of online hate groups

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Chicago Reviews

Review by Karen Topham, American Theatre Critics Association member; photos by Emily Schartz. The New Colony’s new offering, Fun Harmless Warmachine, depicts a seductive and powerful alt-right that is anything but “fun” and “harmless” and shows how easily a lonely person might fall into its trap. Tom (Daniel Chenard) is that loner. Stuck in a […]

In “Crumbs From the Table of Joy,” a family fights its way back from death

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Chicago Reviews

Review by Karen Topham, American Theatre Critics Association member; photos by Michael Brosilow. Like Tennessee Williams’ The Glass Menagerie, Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Lynn Nottage’s 1995 family drama Crumbs From the Table of Joy is a memory play reflected through the mind of the oldest child of a very flawed, controlling single parent. In this case, […]