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Events Search – The Short List (Theater)

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Graveyard of Empires

Through 5/2: Thu-Fri 7:30 PM, Sat 5 and 8 PM

At once a sharp critique of U.S. policy in Afghanistan (specifically our use of drones as an alternative to "boots on the ground") and a heartfelt drama about two American families suffering the lingering effects of PTSD among veterans of this protracted war, Elaine Romero’s provocative new play, receiving its world premiere at 16th Street Theater, walks a fine line, neither lapsing into editorializing nor relying on unfocused emotional appeals. Director Kevin Christopher Fox’s finely paced production heightens all that is strong about Romero’s script, as does his strong, fine-tuned ensemble. Joe Dempsey in particular delivers a virtuosic performance as a brilliant but emotionally stunted engineer struggling with the death of a beloved prodigal son. —Jack Helbig $18
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Billy Elliot

Through 6/7: Wed 1:30 PM, Thu 1:30 and 8 PM, Fri 8 PM, Sat 5 and 8:45 PM, Sun 2 and 6 PM

In the beginning there was Lee Hall's movie about a British miner's son who finds his bliss in ballet during the grim coal strike of 1984. Then Hall and Elton John collaborated on a stage version that became a hit, running in various official productions around the world. (A national touring company came here in 2010.) Now individual theaters can license the material, which is what the folks at Drury Lane did before wisely handing it over to director Rachel Rockwell. Unfettered by the need to replicate the original, Rockwell has come up with a show that's both strong in the fundamentals and full of surprises. Also, saturated with engaging performances by such locally harvested talents as Susie McMonagle, Ron E. Rains, and Maureen Gallagher. Kyle Halford and Nicholas Dantes trade off as Billy; I saw the long-limbed Dantes and was amazed at the clarity of his dancing. But the subversive star of the piece is nine-year-old Zachary Uzarraga, whom Rockwell uses as a kind of imp of mischief, not unlike Billy Barty in God Diggers of 1933. —Tony Adler $52.50-$67.50

Drury Lane Oakbrook Terrace (map)
100 Drury Ln.
Other Suburbs West
phone 630-530-0111


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