Lifeline’s gender-switched “Frankenstein” is a brilliant, dark take on the original

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Review by Karen Topham, American Theatre Critics Association member; photos by Suzanne Plunkett. In this, the 200th anniversary of the writing of the classic novel Frankenstein, there will be no fewer than four distinct productions based on Mary Shelley’s emotional Gothic thriller. The rest of them will need to go a long way to be […]

BTE’s “The Dingdong” is fun, silly entertainment

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Review by Karen Topham, American Theatre Critics Association member; photos by Rex Howard Photography. There are a few things you expect from a good French farce: lots of doors (of course), intertwining sexual relationships, mistaken identities, and tons of laughs. Buffalo Theatre Ensemble’s The DingDong or How the French Kiss, adapted by Mark Shanahan from […]

“Man of La Mancha”: Enchantment comes to Skokie

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By Beverly Friend, Ph.D., Member American Theater Critics Assn; photos by Beth Laske-Miller. So powerful is the image of Don Quixote, the hero of Cervantes’ 17th Century novel, that the word quixotic has been derived from his name. The definition is “foolishly impractical especially in the pursuit of ideals; marked by rash lofty romantic ideas or […]

“Borealis” is funny, heady satire that doesn’t quite come together

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Review by Karen Topham, American Theatre Critics Association member; photos by The House Theatre. George S. Kaufman famously said that “satire is what closes on Saturday night.” While he was clearly exaggerating (Kaufman’s own musical satire, Of Thee I Sing, was highly successful), there is no doubt that satire is a hit or miss concept […]

“Homos, or Everyone In America” is the gay play you need to see

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Review by Karen Topham, American Theatre Critics Association member; photos by Austin D. Oie Photography. Jordan Seavey’s Homos or Everyone in America is a sexually blunt, politically incorrect, outrageously funny dramedy that is as much about life as a couple as it is about life as a gay couple, which probably explains the title. Gay […]