By Jason Morr
Terrance McNally's gay play Lips Together, Teeth Apart has always been a flawed script. However, with a solid cast and a director with a full understanding of the material, the play can easily be a very interesting experience - especially for audiences today that may have forgotten how much truly has changed in our society in the the past twenty-five years since the play debuted. Unfortunately, Eclipse Theater's clunky, poorly-shaped production handles the material so poorly that I found it to be an almost damaging experience - one that homophobes and bigots could watch in a masturbatory fashion not unlike marathons of Duck Dynasty.
The Jeff Awards Committee today announced 118 nominations in 24 categories for the 42nd Annual Non-Equity Jeff Awards for productions that opened between April 1, 2014, and March 31, 2015. The Non-Equity Awards honor excellence in Chicago theatres not under a union contract. Jeff judges attended opening nights of 133 productions offered by 56 Non-Equity producing organizations. The Jeff Committee recommended 62 of those shows, making them eligible for Non-Equity Jeff Award nominations. Of the 62 Jeff Recommended productions, 46 received nominations, representing 23 theatre companies.
By Jackson Riley
It takes a certain kind of crazy to launch a new theatre company in a city that already contains over four hundred, but Amy Rubenstein, artistic director and co-founder of Windy City Playhouse, seems to be up to the challenge. The sophisticated new space at 3014 W. Irving Park brings some excitement to an otherwise neglected area of the city, and the high ceilings and leather arm chairs pull you into an experience both personal (the actors are quite close) as well as independent (the chairs are so large, there's about two feet between you and your neighbor).
By Leigh Austin
When a shirtless Harry Potter and a pantless Draco Malfoy… “compare broomsticks,” shall I say, in the opening scene of Badfic Love, the dynamic, hilariously over the top world of Harry Potter fanfiction casts a purposefully painful spell (in both grammatically incorrect dialogue and absurd plot twists) over its audience.And, initially, its spell is pretty magical. The opening sequence, complete with sudden and inexplicable sexual attraction between former enemies, a ridiculously wigged and homophobic Professor Snape, and the random appearance of a “Mary Sue” (which the play later explains as “a character inserted into fanfic as a stand-in for the author herself who is often unrealistically idolized and/or desired by all the central characters), playfully presents all the conventions of ‘badfic’ one could imagine or want. Yet, while this and the other sequences within the badfic world prove delightfully terrible, the plot within the ‘real’ or ‘material’ world was riddled with overly complicated subplots and the ‘Return of the King plague’ (also known as “the tendency to present five too many endings to the story).
By Jackson Riley
In this world premiere, the lives of a single mother, Jesse, and her teenage son are turned upside down one night when a wounded, undocumented immigrant breaks into their trailer home in rural South Texas. As Jesse covertly takes in the immigrant, she has to go to increasingly complicated lengths to hide her secret from the various people in her life, including a border protection agent with a crush and her web-addicted teenage son. The play's timely story is a welcome addition to the canon of new Chicago plays, though the flawed script could certainly have used more work prior to opening professionally.
The New Colony is pleased to announce its exciting spring line-up of Side Stage programming, a collection of free readings presented throughout April and May at its new home, The Den Theatre, 1333 N. Milwaukee Ave. in Chicago's Wicker Park neighborhood.
FIRST DATE, Broadway's new musical comedy about the most dangerous human endeavor in existence - the dreaded blind date - is now extended through Sunday, May 17 at the Royal George Cabaret, 1641 North Halsted, Chicago, marking a four month hit run.