Posted inArts & Culture

The Tiff and Mom Show

Corn Productions, at the Factory Theater. Yes, it’s gross and sophomoric. Yes, it draws on the wasteland of TV to make its points and connect with the audience. Yes, it’s self-consciously incorrect and messy, often relying on drag performances for its laughs. And yes, I enjoyed it. Watching episode one of The Tiff and Mom […]

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Fur

Latino Chicago Theater Company. At the center of Migdalia Cruz’s gleaming, dark, poetic play is Ci-trona, a fur-covered woman with a philosophical bent, a taste for raw meat, and a passion for beauty. Michael, smitten with her, buys her from the carnival sideshow and pens her in his basement, pointing out to her as proof […]

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Son of Celluloid

Next Theatre Company. A penny-ante gangster dies in a hole behind a movie screen, and his stomach cancer takes on a malevolent life of its own, devouring the movies and growing strong on the adoring energy pouring from the audience as they revel in westerns and romances, Eastwood and Monroe. On one hand, this Clive […]

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BoyMeetsGirlMeetsGirlMeetsBoyMeetsBoy

Anne Bogart’s Viewpoints training method, which she uses as the basis of the Saratoga International Theater Institute, isn’t revolutionary: Bogart herself has said it’s nothing new. As in dance, time is addressed through tempo, duration, and repetition; space is addressed through shape, gesture, spatial relationships, and the topography of the stage. A good production of […]

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Stoops

ETA Creative Arts Foundation. Slice-of-life dramas about the everyday joys and tragedies of a group of neighborhood kids are as enduring as the lifelong friendships they detail; the plot line of Crystal Rhodes’s Stoops is comfortably familiar. Three African American girls in a poor but close-knit community come of age during the 60s and 70s, […]

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Akogare No Pari

Doorika, at Bailiwick Arts Center. Reviewing experimental theater always feels dangerous–especially in the case of Doorika, a collective that describes what it does as “borderless, saturated meta-linguistic theatre experience.” In other words, the only concrete information a reviewer can provide may come directly from the press release. Akogari No Pari–the third part of Doorika’s trilogy […]

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M*A*S*H

Marquee Theatre Company, at the Covenant United Methodist Church. I read the original Richard Hooker novel, saw the Altman film, and grew up with the television show. And Tim Kelly’s adaptation of the novel plays like an anemic version of the TV series at its sentimental worst. Bored with watching yet another castration of Hooker’s […]

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Bad Girls

Beaver Hunt! Factory Theatre Amy Seeley and Jenny Kirkland’s parody of violent buddy movies outstones Oliver Stone. Midway through Beaver Hunt! two crooks on the lam produce one-pound zip-lock baggies of narcotics, and in no time the convertible they’re riding in is washed in red light, they’re dancing on the seats, mysterious shadowy figures blow […]

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The Love of a Good Man

THE LOVE OF A GOOD MAN, Shattered Globe Theatre. I’ve seen walk-in closets with more space than Shattered Globe has. Yet the company consistently turns this drawback into an asset, sacrificing sweeping sets for claustrophobic intimacy in stagings that quickly boil large issues down to the personal. Their current production is no exception. Howard Barker’s […]

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All Aboard

ALL ABOARD, Mirrors Image Productions, at Cafe Voltaire. This epistolary drama by David Sheppard explores the friendship between two women who meet briefly during a plane ride and become friends for life. Unfortunately, in both the script and this production (directed by Sheppard), their attraction to one another seems forced from the first. Kristin is […]

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Mozart & Salieri

MOZART & SALIERI, Teatro Tout Bagai!, at Le Cafe. Most of us are familiar with Salieri’s jealous agonies through Peter Shaffer’s Amadeus, but Shaffer wasn’t the first to explore Salieri’s poisonous love for Mozart’s work. In the early 19th century, Aleksandr Sergeyevich Pushkin wrote the 40-minute playlet Mozart & Salieri, which is made up of […]

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Pocket Change

POCKET CHANGE, Organic Theater. An exercise in naturalism set in a series of crummy low-rent bars, Scott Anderson’s new play is more watchable than most of its kind. His plot revolves loosely around Johnny, a decent guy with no job and not much purpose until he hears that his best friend was badly beaten up […]