Posted inTheater Review

Rocking With Chekhov

There is something about Anton Chekhov’s first successful full-length play, The Seagull, that attracts playwrights to try their hand at creating their own adaptations—faithful or otherwise.  Maybe it’s the fact that the characters at the center of this nearly 130-year-old play—the narcissistic mother, her emotionally damaged son, his talented but blindly ambitious girlfriend—feel so contemporary […]

Posted inTheater Review

A Midsummer with some twists

Is there a Shakespeare comedy better suited for an outdoor production in a park in July than A Midsummer Night’s Dream? Much of the play itself takes place outdoors in the summer, in the woods on the outskirts of a very English-seeming Athens. And the stories that unfold there are just twisty enough to keep […]

Posted inGhost Light

Home at last

Theatre Y started searching for a permanent home in North Lawndale three years ago. As founding artistic director Melissa Lorraine puts it, “It’s been a little bit like Goldilocks and the Three Bears.” The first place they considered, near the Pulaski Pink Line stop, was a little too small. The second, the Central Park Theater […]

Posted inTheater Review

Winter in July

This is a great play for the summer—despite its title—because The Winter’s Tale is as much about the coming of spring as it is the dreary desolation of December. At least that is what director Kevin Theis emphasizes in this high-spirited, lighthearted production. All that is positive, sweet, and redemptive in the play—the openhearted expressions […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Taking the drama and dance outdoors

I spent most of the 90s in the Bay Area, where outdoor theater in the summer is a given, and the weather generally cooperates (if you’re not facing the threat of forest fires, that is). But in Chicago, extreme heat and thunderstorms go with the territory. Despite Mother Nature and other logistical challenges, outdoor theater […]

Posted inTheater Review

Poe finds a Pleasant Home in Oak Park

Given the choice of presenting an evening of Edgar Allan Poe’s better known stories and poetry (“The Tell-Tale Heart,” “Annabel Lee,” “The Raven”) and writing a play about the tormented alcoholic author and his obsessive pre- and post-mortem love for his first cousin/child bride Virginia, David Rice did both, weaving together dramatic readings of Poe’s […]