Silly/fun, though uneven, Peter and the Starcatcher lands at Citadel

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Review by Karen Topham, ChicagoOnstage, member American Theatre Critics Association. Photo by North Shore Camera Club. Many of us can remember watching the Peter Pan musical with Mary Martin (and later Sandy Duncan) in the title role in our childhoods. J.M. Barrie’s story of the boy who wouldn’t grow up has, over the years, spawned a […]

AstonRep’s “Equus” exposes the raw sensuality of a confused mind

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Review by Karen Topham, ChicagoOnstage, member American Theatre Critics Association. Photo by Emily Schwartz. The first time I saw Peter Shaffer’s award-winning psychological drama Equus was in its initial production in Chicago back in the late 70s, not long after its 1974 Broadway premiere. If memory serves, Ken Howard of TV’s “The White Shadow” played […]

“Oslo” is a provocative political thriller that asserts everyone’s fundamental worth

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Review by Karen Topham, ChicagoOnstage, member American Theatre Critics Association. Photo by Brett Beiner. In our ever more divisive political atmosphere, at a time when the left and the right attack each other as if they were mortal enemies (and sometimes actually are), it is difficult even to imagine the possibility of these two extremes […]

“Bernhardt/Hamlet” is a very impressive if not completely consistent piece of theatre

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Review by Karen Topham, ChicagoOnstage, member American Theatre Critics Association. Photo by Liz Lauren. 19th Century French actress Sarah Bernhardt was a powerful woman calling her own shots at a time when few women anywhere got to do so. As such, she is a perfect subject for a feminist play. Theresa Rebeck’s Bernhardt/Hamlet certainly has […]

“The King’s Speech” channels “Pygmalion” as a strong transformation story

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Review by Karen Topham, ChicagoOnstage, member American Theatre Critics Association. Photo by Liz Lauren. By this time, we are more than used to seeing popular movies remade into plays and musicals. The King’s Speech, 2011 Academy Award winner for Best Picture, has taken a rather different journey to its current incarnation at Chicago Shakespeare Theatre. […]

Drury Lane’s “The Color Purple” celebrates the power of love and spirituality

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Review by Karen Topham, American Theatre Critics Association member; photo by Brett Beiner Photography. Overall, Broadway musicals have been a historically white medium. Though Porgy and Bess is generally seen as a classic, in the decades since we have witnessed only a small percentage of musicals that show the Black experience in America. The vast […]