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Posted inGhost Light

It’s season-announcement season

The warmer temperatures, blossoming flowers, and budding trees aren’t the only harbingers of spring. It’s also the season of the season announcements, with the major Chicago companies letting us know what to expect in 2023-24 on their stages. The Goodman presents the first season selected by Susan V. Booth, who took over as artistic director […]

Posted inTheater Review

Teenage traumas

Ask any middle-aged person about their first romantic breakup, and there’s a good chance they’ll laugh. Ask about their first friend breakup, on the other hand: no laughter. Director Ericka Ratcliff’s Steppenwolf for Young Adults stage adaptation of Mahogany L. Browne’s 2021 novel-in-verse Chlorine Sky uses the dissolution of a relationship between two high school […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Defying gravity

Suddenly the audience was enveloped in darkness. We awaited the commencement. Two screens turn on, showing poetic verses scrolling up. Then, the music started flowing through the space, conducted by Asante Owusu-Brafi, Angel Bat Dawid, and Ishmael Ali as they sat under a somber blue light. Ethereal sounds and light piano keys echoed. I see […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Maybe we’re crazy

Have you ever been playfully called “crazy” and laughed, only to cry silently in the basement bathroom for two hours? No? Just me? Well, if you’ve ever stared into the abyss and questioned your own sanity for more than a hot second, Kellye Howard’s latest one-woman show, Crazy or Nah?!, running this weekend as part […]

Posted inTheater Review

A school full of song

The four years that young adults spend in high school are widely recognized as some of the most formative (and cringeworthy) years of their lives. It’s a space where they come face to face with their insecurities on a daily basis. For many, this space is a common site for first-time struggles related to academics, […]

Posted inTheater Review

Steppenwolf’s Seagull opens a lovely new space

“Here is a theater. No curtain, no wings, no scenery. Just an empty space.” Konstantin Treplev, the young and hungry artist manqué in Anton Chekhov’s Seagull, intones these words before the disastrous and abortive premiere of his play-within-the-play for his family. But at the Saturday opening of ensemble member Yasen Peyankov’s production at Steppenwolf, it […]

Posted inTheater Review

Reflecting pools

I saw a lot of old friends and acquaintances I hadn’t seen in quite some time last weekend. And as sometimes happens for people of a certain age, shades of sorrow and remembrance for those no longer here crept into the conversation. No matter how much we try to play whack-a-mole with the Reaper, he’s […]