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Events Search – The Short List (Theater)

3 total results

The Story of the Marvelettes

7/18-9/7: Fri 8 PM, Sat 3 and 8 PM, Sun 3 PM

In the best parts of Reginald Williams's new musical, members of 60s girl group the Marvelettes rip on their fellow Motown signees the Supremes. The honesty and humor punched up in those moments are lacking in the rest of this Black Ensemble Theater production, whose not-so-great aspects include lackluster blocking and a flat set that largely ignores the theater's thrust stage. Williams's script frequently tells when it should show, giving us characters who sit around talking about their lives more than they live them, and while as lead singer Gladys Horton, Melanie McCullough's got the pipes and personality, she's never given much worth singing over. It's too bad, because with songs like "Please Mr. Postman" and "Heatwave," the show should really wow. Instead it wusses out. —Chloe Riley $55-$65

Black Ensemble Theater Cultural Center (map)
4450 N. Clark St.
Uptown
phone 773-769-4451
The Story of the Marvelettes

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Reasons to Be Happy

8/28-10/12: Thu-Fri 8 PM, Sat 5 and 8 PM, Sun 7 PM

Neil LaBute's latest examination of male-female relationships, a companion to his 2009 play Reasons to Be Pretty. $35-$40

Main Stage (map)
4139 N. Broadway
Uptown
phone 773-549-1815

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Down Range

8/7-8/31: Thu-Sun 7:30 PM

Jeffrey Skinner’s award-winning poetry is lean, focused, and essential. Would that this 2009 play, making its Chicago premiere at Genesis Theatrical Productions, were the same. Skinner concocts several promising stories about career army buddies Frank and Doc and their long-suffering wives—then provides only a scene or two from each. So whether he’s trying to dramatize the plight of army wives stranded stateside or the addictive lure of live combat or the encroachment of workaday reality into youthful idealism, he sketches the highlights but lets little develop, making this nearly two-and-a-half-hour play feel largely aimless. The muddled chronology doesn’t help. Still, director Kay Martinovich’s mostly sterling cast injects impressive psychological nuance into the mix. As emotionally tortured Frank, Carl Herzog never hits a false note. —Justin Hayford $45

National Pastime Theater (map)
941 W. Lawrence Ave.
Uptown
phone 773-327-7077

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