Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The latest Reader performing arts reviews

Posted By on 11.23.11 at 03:45 PM

Reader contributor Zac Thompson has a few choice words for Black Ensemble founder Jackie Taylor in his review of BE's The Jackie Wilson Story. He takes her to task for using the same jukebox bio formula over and over again. Meanwhile, my word of choice for Court Theatre's An Iliad is "wow."

I also recommend Holland Taylor's solo show, Ann: An Affectionate Portrait of Ann Richards (which is in town only through December 4), and the Writers' Theatre production of Harold Pinter's The Caretaker.

Kerry Reid warms to the Neo-Futurists's Burning Bluebeard and compares the sketch comedy in the Urlakis & Cusick show to early work by Shelley Berman. Keith Griffith likes the two very different offerings from Belgian theater company Salomme Speelt. Jack Helbig appreciates Northlight Theatre's treatment of the Alan Aykbourne holiday farce, Season's Greetings. And Justin Hayford has an especially strong response to Sinnerman Ensemble's Sweet Confinement: theater, he says, "doesn't get much better than this." In dance, Laura Molzahn suggests you see this year's edition of Chicago Human Rhythm Project's Global Rhythms fest.

Our critics are more ambivalent about The Baker's Wife, A Bright New Boise, Five Flights, and We Are Not These Hands. Hayford is decidedly negative, though, when it comes to Peer Gynt (director Jeremy Wechsler "so muddles the fundamentals of Ibsen's saga that he can't begin to unpack its thorny political and philosophical complexities") and so is Keith Griffith on ComedySportz's remount of Oops! I Christmassed Again ("There are humorous moments . . . but they're crowded out by cheap, repetitive, obvious jokes that keep this 45-minute show from going much of anywhere").

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