Ann Noble’s play about an Irish family decompensating after the mother’s death had its premiere in Chicago nearly 30 years ago, and it’s showing its age. There are plots and subplots and Irish-lit tropes like a storytelling session apropos of nothing, but none of these achieves warp, or even tarantella, speed. As the dutiful daughter […]
Tag: First Folio Theatre
A big-hearted Little Women
First Folio Theatre planned to produce the world premiere of Heather Chrisler’s adaptation of Little Women back in spring of 2020, but COVID took that production out just as surely as scarlet fever ended Beth March. (Calm down: the book is over 150 years old, so spoiler alerts don’t apply.) Though of course one never […]
Manservant and manchild
Fourteen years ago, First Folio Theatre presented Jeeves Intervenes, the first in what would prove to be a reliably crowd-pleasing series of adaptations by Margaret Raether of P.G. Wodehouse’s “Jeeves and Bertie” stories. (Jeeves Saves the Day was the last show the company presented before the COVID-19 shutdown.) So it makes sense that they’d kick […]
Secret, but saggy
Note to would-be play adapters: Agatha Christie’s second published detective novel, The Secret Adversary (1922), is in public domain. That means you can pretty much do whatever you want with this text, and still call it an “adaptation.” This is pretty much what First Folio executive artistic director David Rice does here. Extremely loosely based […]
Fire in Oak Park and changes in Oak Brook and Jefferson Park
Oak Park Festival Theatre was one of the first companies back to live performance this year after the COVID-19 shutdown with their production of The Tempest, staged in their longtime outdoor home at Austin Gardens. They weathered that storm, only to suffer a fire on November 23 at their offices in downtown Oak Park, located […]
Putting the pieces together in First Folio’s The Jigsaw Bride
Playwright Joseph Zettelmaier has a history of taking largely forgotten, sometimes nameless characters and putting them in the dead center of the iconic tales they support. It’s a potentially grim business, digging up backstories (and futures) for (no)bodies the world only knows as incidental to someone else’s story. But anyone passingly familiar with the commercial/critical […]
October ushers in bride of Frankenstein story at First Folio
Playwright Joseph Zettelmaier is a maker of monsters, a horror artist who retells classic tales with an emphasis on what makes these constructs human. First Folio Theatre, which has produced five of Zettelmaier’s plays in the past (including horror tales The Man-Beast, The Gravedigger, and Dr. Seward’s Dracula, along with two non-horror pieces, Salvage and […]
Heather Chrisler emerges from the COVID ‘tsunami’ as a triple threat
After a year of heartbreak, Heather Chrisler is back to acting, as well as writing and illustrating.
Jeeves Saves the Day offers a midwinter escape
Bertie Wooster isn’t the dimmest bulb onstage in First Folio’s Wodehouse romp.
Sherlock’s Last Case puts the Baker Street genius in a tight spot
As First Folio’s droll and dark production demonstrates, he rather deserves it.
Diana Coates is second to none in Henry V
Perfect casting in the title role saves First Folio’s production from a conceptual misstep.
The Firestorm pulls its punches in its examination of white privilege
Our hero a racist? No sirree!
All Childish Things is what happens when Star Wars meets Ocean’s 11
Joe Zettelmaier’s heist comedy unfolds with the grace of a well-maintained droid.
Choir Boy, Foxfinder, and 12 more stage shows to see now
A play by Moonlight author Tarell Alvin McCraney and a paranoiac drama by British playwright Dawn Hall are among this week’s best bets.
Something Rotten, The Project(s), and eight more new stage shows to see now
A touring Broadway hit and a youth revival from American Theater Company are among this week’s best bets.