“Veronica’s Room” is a fun puzzle in which things are not as they appear to be

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Review by Karen Topham, ChicagoOnstage, member American Theatre Critics Association. Photo by MadKap Productions. Veronica’s Room is a 1973 mystery by Ira Levin (Rosemary’s Baby, Deathtrap) now being staged by Skokie’s MadKap Productions that explores the precarious relationships between reality and fantasy or madness. Directed by Stephen M. Genovese, the play puts the audience in […]

Elaine May’s cynical, hilarious “Adaptation” shows us the absurdity of life

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Review by Karen Topham, ChicagoOnstage, member American Theatre Critics Association. Photo by Tyler Core. Elaine May’s 1968 one-act Adaptation took a comical look at the stages of life from birth to death, adapting them to fit the format of a board game. The result is a very silly, enjoyable romp that Rogers Park’s Theatre Above […]

“Roan @ the Gates” focuses on the personal impact of whistleblowing

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Review by Karen Topham, ChicagoOnstage, member American Theatre Critics Association. Photo by Michael Brosilow. Everyone has skipped over the user agreements that are now ubiquitous pop-up annoyances no matter what you want to do on your computer. And we all have had the experience of ads and messages popping up online relating to things we […]

Immersive “The Boys in the Band” invites you to come to the party

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Review by Karen Topham, ChicagoOnstage, member American Theatre Critics Association. Photo by Michael Brosilow. Windy City Playhouse has rapidly become synonymous with “immersive theater” ever since its opening of Southern Gothic two years ago, and now, with its mounting of Mart Crowley’s iconic 1968 play The Boys in the Band (the one-act version recently revived […]

Tracy Letts’ “Bug” gets an absolutely perfect production at Steppenwolf

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Review by Karen Topham, ChicagoOnstage, member American Theatre Critics Association. Photo by Michael Brosilow. Maybe it is human nature to wish to make logical sense out of random, disconnected facts or events. The ancient Greeks saw pictures in the arrangement of stars. We all see them in clouds, and the propensity to see “faces” in […]

"How a Boy Falls" is a mystery thriller that is too rushed to work

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Review by Karen Topham, ChicagoOnstage, member American Theatre Critics Association. Photo by Michael Brosilow. Steven Dietz’s How a Boy Falls is a moody, twisty little mystery-thriller, but unfortunately not one in which it is easy to become invested. This may have to do with its running time, which I was told upon entering would be […]