Posted inTheater Review

Apartheid and Antigone

Exquisitely paced and intellectually explosive, The Island at Court Theatre is a profoundly moving work of art. From the first moment, this production (directed by Gabrielle Randle-Bent, Court’s associate artistic director) seizes the audience and thrusts them into the world of two political prisoners of apartheid and doesn’t let go, even long after the play […]

Posted inGhost Light

Tonys, tech awards, and terpsichore

Lots of behind-the-scenes news in Chicago theater, and some well-deserved plaudits to note as well this week! At the Tony Awards this past Sunday, longtime Chicago sound designer and composer Mikhail Fiksel took home the top prize for his work on Lucas Hnath’s drama Dana H., which ran locally at the Goodman in fall of […]

Posted inTheater Review

Diner dialogues

This is an impeccable production of a play whose weaknesses outweigh its considerable strengths. It’s the 1960s episode of August Wilson’s Pittsburgh Cycle, tracing a century of life in the African American Hill District, and urban renewal shadows everything. (Jack Magaw’s set presents this vividly.) The diner where the play takes place is nearly empty […]

Posted inGhost Light

The Studebaker gets ready to roll

Last August, I caught up with Jacob Harvey just as he was taking over as the new (and first-ever) managing artistic director of theaters for the Fine Arts Building. At the time, he noted that with the loss of the Royal George as a midsize rental house, the soon-to-be-remodeled Studebaker Theater in the Fine Arts […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Sea changes

In his preshow speech, Court Theatre artistic director Charles Newell asked the audience how many had ever seen Henrik Ibsen’s 1888 play The Lady from the Sea before. “We’re at Court Theatre and we’re doing an Ibsen play only four people have seen,” he responded. That alone helps make the case for this production, which […]

Posted inTheater Review

Less is Moor in Court Theatre’s stripped-down Othello

Othello is usually viewed as “Shakespeare’s Race Play” and somewhat rightfully so—after all, the Bard almost never wrote Black characters. In our society race overshadows everything, so much so that much discourse around Othello tends to obstinately revolve around whether or not the play is “racist”—as if an inanimate object were able to take offense […]