Check out the list below for suggestions on the best theatre in Chicago for this weekend! Click the show title for the full review.
Have you ever met someone so drab, dull, and talentless that you dread spending time with them? Perhaps you've purposefully left them off an invite list or talked ill of them to other friends. To be passively cruel to others is human nature; we are all somewhat guilty of thinking ourselves objectively superior to others and indulging in a secret, shared disdain from time to time. But what happens when cultural and social exceptionalism becomes public policy? What happens when killing these unremarkable individuals is not only legal, but can be gainful employment? And, most importantly, how can the onlookers justify living in such a society?
Contestants on the reality cooking show Chopped are tasked with making three dishes that together create a full meal, but frequently the challenges of the “mystery baskets” make for mismatched pairings. French onion soup followed by a spicy Asian taco. A waffle sandwich alongside a zesty gumbo…
Such disjointed combinations come to mind halfway through Mónica Hoth and Claudio Valdés Kuri’s creative interpretation of Miguel de Cervantes’ classic novel, currently running at Writers Theatre. Their take, Quixote: On the Conquest of Self, is both an engaging retelling of some of Quixote’s most famous stories and a modern reflection on the importance of taking a role in ‘authoring one’s own book,’ but the presentation of these two ideas never quite comes together: this dish ultimately comes out half-baked.
This weekend, we recommend productions from TimeLine, Court Theatre, WildClaw and more!
Click the show title for the full review.
The promotional materials for Chicago Shakespeare Theatre's 2017 take on The Taming of the Shrew suggested intensity--the image of Alexandra Hendrickson's Katherine, bellowing and flinging her dress in the hair, led me to believe that the play would showcase the badass-ery, the nasty womaness (if you will), of its all-female cast. Yet Barbara Gaines' direction failed to make risky, bold choices that would showcase this all-star group to its full potential. In summary, this Taming of the Shrew was a little too tame.
A truck horn wails. The lights flash out onto the audience. And, in the silence that follows, the woman sitting next to me lets out a emphatic sigh. This powerful reaction was echoed by nearly all audience members in the dramatic, almost-final moments of Victory Gardens’ Fun Home: a chorus of emotional, agony-filled exhales as we took on our narrator’s pain and, ultimately, catharsis. Such a universal reaction can only be testament to the company’s wonderful rendition of Lisa Kron and Jeannine Testori’s heart-wrenching play (based on Alison Bechdel’s graphic novel). I’ve seen the show before, but I’ve never felt the emotional impact of it so intensely.
The House Theatre of Chicago presents the revival of United Flight 232, a docudrama adapted and directed by Vanessa Stalling from Lawrence Gonzales' book Flight 232: A Story of Disaster and Survival. The thrilling story follows selected passengers and crew from the doomed flight before, during, and after the plane's emergency landing - and the production is utterly engrossing from start to finish.
Prim, proper, and poised. The characters in Perfect Arrangement embody the ideal 1950’s nuclear family, complete with the white picket fence suburban setting. The men wear suits, the women wear dresses, and the discussions are always polite and socially acceptable. The Red Scare and McCarthyism are in full swing, and state employees Bob and Norma are tasked with outing communists, sexual deviants (read: homosexuals), and all other threats to the American way of life from inside their ranks. This is a bit of a problem: Bob and Norma are both gay and are romantically involved with each other’s spouses (Millie and Jim). The web of lies becomes more and more complex until an old flame arrives and threatens to burn down the entire arrangement.
Jennifer Rumberg's new play in its world premiere from WildClaw Theatre is just as much family drama as it is gory horror. Directed by Christopher M. Walsh, the new script tells the story of a deranged family that may be more familiar to us than we'd like to admit. While not all of the revelations are truly surprising, the absolute commitment from the talented team at WildClaw and a stunning performance from Allison Cain make this horror play one to see.
What makes artwork in museums so special? Why do the white walls and spotlighting demand reverence from the viewer? Why do we protect these works of art with so many guards and who are the people that choose to protect them? The Rembrandt by Jessica Dickey is a discussion on the ways artistry affects the way we love, grieve, and cherish the important things in life.
hawk recommended shows now playing
The Audience ★★★