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Tag / theatre criticism

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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Saint Joan: Steppenwolf Theatre Company’s “Ms. Blakk For President”

As she walked over the confetti-coated floor of Steppenwolf Theatre Company’s upstairs theater, Dania felt caught between a rock and a hard place.

On one side of her –– rather, on either side of her, while they sat on a couch during the performance –– were Eleanor and Gwen, who were excitedly violating the “100 Yard Rule” to praise the performance before they had left the building. They had joined every whoop and holler that evening, each chant of “LICK BUSH IN ’92” and “MARSHA P,” each numb silence when the story’s parallels to 2019 were abundantly clear.

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Across Two Worlds: Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s “Manahatta”

“Well, I don’t know exactly what I expected,” Eleanor began, as they walked out of the Thomas Theatre, and back into the courtyard of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. “I guess I thought it would be preachier.”

“It’s still sorta preachy,” Dania contended. “In that it has a message.”

“If that’s your bar for ‘preachy,'” Gwen replied, with a motion back towards the theater, “then any play with a message could be described that way.”

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Desire To See: Hedy Weiss’ “Pass Over” Review

PART OF CHICAGO THEATRE WEEK 2018

 

I’ve always left “Ragtime” infused with renewed optimism…This time I felt quite sad. That’s a perfectly legitimate thing to wish might happen to an audience in the theater, and Bowling is a very capable and often-compelling director of musicals; I am just not convinced it is fair to this piece.

Gwen stopped on that line in Chris Jones’ review of Ragtime at the Marriott. She considered what the context of that criticism really was – Jones’ disappointment that a musical that typically left him hopeful was given a less optimistic makeover.

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