Will Eno’s “The Realistic Joneses” comes to humorous life at Theater Wit

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Review by Karen Topham, American Theatre Critics Association member; photo by Evan Hanover. “It’s such a pretty night. It’s so quiet. You can almost hear the clouds go by.” This line, near the beginning of Will Eno’s The Realistic Joneses, now playing at Theatre Wit in a joint production with Shattered Globe, is somewhat emblematic […]

“Noises Off” is a breath of comic fresh air

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Review by Karen Topham, American Theatre Critics Association member; photo by Michael Brosilow. Since it was written in 1982, Michael Frayn’s Noises Off can arguably be said to set the modern theatrical standard for farce. This play-within-a-play follows a (fairly inept) theatre troupe as it presents its latest touring show, Nothing On. You don’t need […]

“Cardboard Piano” is the first great play of 2019

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Review by Karen Topham, American Theatre Critics Association member; photo by Lara Goetsch. In the Humana Festival hit Cardboard Piano, now having its Chicago premiere at Timeline Theatre, playwright Hansol Jung explores the difficult path from outright hatred to forgiveness, and whether the latter is even possible. Set in Uganda in 2000 and 2014, the […]

Exit 63’s “Dark Matters” is a taut little family drama…with aliens

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Review by Karen Topham, American Theatre Critics Association member; photo by Shea Petersen. A woman vanishes on her way home from shopping. Her frightened husband calls the police, who begin a several-days-long search for her that yields nothing. Then, suddenly, she walks back through the front door, saying she has been with aliens. Not “abducted,” […]

“I Call My Brothers” is a compelling examination of how hatred can affect an individual

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Review by Karen Topham, American Theatre Critics Association member; photo by Emily Schwartz. As I left the Rivendell Theatre after watching the premiere of Jonas Hassen Khemiri’s I Call My Brothers, a powerful look at the way our society rushes to judge all people of the same color, religion, or ethnicity (in this case Muslim) […]