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Airplane Mode: Macha Theatre Works’ “The Flight Before Xmas”

“But how did the cat get into her bag?” asked Eleanor,

“I don’t know,” said Dania, standing to put her coat back on. “Does it matter?”

“Not really,” Eleanor shrugged. The logic behind the reappearance of the cat didn’t particularly matter –– Maggie Lee’s play wore its heart proudly on its sleeve, to the point that the moral destinations were more satisfying than the narrative journeys that preceded them. “How the cat got there isn’t as important as the fact that it was found,” Eleanor summed up.

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Playing Along: Nothing Without A Company’s “Pakalolo Sweet”

“It had to get dramatic, didn’t it?”

“Was it not already?” asked Eleanor, as they walked carefully across the astroturf lining the ground in the Berger Park Coach House. The space, a tight blackbox in the center of a park on the edge of Lake Michigan, felt tightly cramped when oriented in a traditional proscenium setting.

“Well, yeah, it was, but I had hope it would stay upbeat about it,” Dania mused. “It wasn’t like Batu, last year. That was dramatic the whole way through. This one felt like it suddenly decided to be a drama halfwa––”

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The Tourist Trap: Kumu Kahua Theatre’s “Ua Pau (It Is Finished, Over, Destroyed)”

It had been a while since they’d attended anything at the theatre that could be truthfully described as “intense.” There had been tension in their recent outings –– Out Of Love and Ms. Blakk For President found appropriate balances of sweetness and drama –– but it had been more than a year since anything went as dark as quickly as Ua Pau.

“Lots of shouting,” Dania commented, as they walked out of the theatre.

“Well, it’s a family drama,” Eleanor agreed. “That’s what ends up happening when all the secrets come out.”

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Living Off Kilter: Interrobang Theatre Project’s “Out Of Love”

“I’m loving this trend happening now,” Gwen said, as they walked out of the door of Rivendell’s cozy space on Ridge Avenue. Inside, the crowds were still mingling after the performance of Interrobang’s U.S. premiere of Out Of Love, a refreshingly honest and defiantly Welsh play by Elinor Cook.

“Which trend?” Eleanor asked, reading the program as they walked. “Abstract scenic design? I’m certainly loving that.”

“Wasn’t it weird?” Dania asked. She recalled Sotirios Livaditis’ stark, slanted set –– an open but textured canvas, frame included, on which the story could be painted in rich, full strokes. “I kept wondering if they were going to fall off the side of it. It can’t be easy to focus when the whole floor is tilted.”

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