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Nick of Time

Unfolding in real time, from the moment a CPA (Johnny Depp) arrives at Los Angeles’s Union Station with his little girl to the moment 90 minutes or so later when a political assassination is supposed to occur in the Westin Bonaventure Hotel a few blocks away (the same hotel, if memory serves, that provided the […]

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Lost in Action

Cat’s-Paw Strawdog Theatre Company This is not to be a political revolution. Its object will be the overthrow not of governments, but the economic and technological basis of the present society. –the Unabomber Manifesto The earth is dying….It is time for wrath. It is time for bombs. –Victor in Cat’s-Paw I may be in the […]

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Painting It Red

Painting It Red, Zebra Crossing Theatre. At its best this new musical suggests a way out of the rut musical theater is in: Take the storefront approach. Aim lower. You don’t need flying chandeliers, dancing spoons, or a whole freaking orchestra. All you need are characters, a plot, a bare stage, a guitar, and maybe […]

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Nights of the Blue Rider

This multidisciplinary performing arts festival, hosted by the Pilsen area’s Blue Rider Theatre, runs through December 17, with shows most Fridays and Saturdays at 8 PM and Sundays at 7 PM, as well as children’s matinees on selected Saturdays and Sundays at 3 PM. Most evenings feature two or more artists, with intermissions between each […]

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Don Giovanni

This Lyric Opera revival of its imaginative though shopworn Jean-Pierre Ponnelle production of Don Giovanni boasts two strong new voices. Bryn Terfel, who sings Leporello, is a burly young baritone from Wales who was raised on a sheep farm and exudes natural authority onstage. He rose through the operatic ranks quickly, with his clear diction […]

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Partners

Brundlefly Theatre Company, at Cafe Voltaire. David Higgins’s would-be thriller has the formula down pat: throw together some drug dealers, hit men, seedy hotel rooms, strip clubs, concealed weapons, omnipotent gangster bosses, deception, betrayal, lotsa hard liquor and ugly talk about women, and Lou Reed’s “I’m Waiting for the Man” playing on the boom box. […]

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Consuming Passion

The Art of Dining Footsteps Theatre Company Part of what distinguishes Tina Howe’s poetic tragicomic plays are their extravagantly civilized settings–an art museum, a Beacon Hill mansion, a French restaurant, among others. At the same time, Howe uncovers the powerful primal urges people attempt to hide behind these civilized facades. In her work she plays […]

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Reckless

Frump Tucker Theatre Company, at Famous Door Theatre. Greg Nishimura is best known as the clueless director responsible for all those soporific original shows produced by his talentless company, North Avenue Productions (All My Parts Have Labels, Mo’ Better Blue Velvet). Now he has the honor of directing Frump Tucker Theatre’s inaugural show, a production […]

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Lake Street Extension

Quetico Productions, at Cafe Voltaire. Quetico makes a bold impression with its debut production, the Chicago premiere of Lee Blessing’s intense three-man drama. Director John McHugh could have set himself up for a fall, taking on Blessing’s challenging play, but his directorial instincts and a strong ensemble help him do the script justice. Drawing a […]

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Game of Patience

Yugen Theatre, at Zebra Crossing Theatre. Kaokab emigrated from her native Lebanon, changed her name, and now enjoys a successful writing career–all of which makes her feel very guilty. Her cousin Mariam, recently emigrated, exacerbates this guilt: she’s grieving and angry over the death of her teenage daughter at the hands of enemy artillery. Abla […]

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Displaced Person

Daniel Eisenberg’s 11-minute Displaced Person uses footage from Marcel Ophuls’s The Sorrow and the Pity, but his approach is far from that of a documentary maker. Repeated images of Nazi-occupied France, with music by Beethoven and an interview with Claude Levi-Strauss on the sound track, remind us that there’s no single historical truth, that everything […]