You searched for:

  • [X]New Review (Theater and Comedy)
Start over

Search for…

Narrow Search

Events Search – New Review (Theater and Comedy)

12 total results

Boeing Boeing

Through 3/8: Fri-Sat 7 PM, Sun 3 PM

French writer Marc Camoletti's 1960 bedroom farce is a jet-age variation on the classic 19th-century bedroom farce formula perfected by Georges Feydeau. It concerns a playboy juggling three "fiancees"—stewardesses on different airlines, none of whom know about the other two—by keeping a close eye on the ladies' flight schedules. The absurd premise is a perfect example of a comic genre that depends on a playful balance of rationality and hysteria. The 906 Theatre Company's intimate, low-budget, often hilarious rendition of the play nails the script's shrewd mixture of precision and chaos. Director Emma Couling's well-cast, crisply paced production features Aaron Sarka as the narcissistic womanizer; Sarah Sarka, T'Arah Julieta, and Kaelea Rovinsky as his girlfriends; Christine Arnold as his long-suffering housekeeper; and the very funny Billy Sullivan as an unexpected houseguest whose evolving response to the situation drives the plot to its delightfully ridiculous resolution. —Albert Williams $15

Mary's Attic Theatre (map)
5400 N. Clark St.
Andersonville
phone 773-784-6969

Tools

The Game of Thongs: A Game of Thrones Burlesque

Open run: Fri 10:30 PM

Set in the "mythical land of Breasteros," this hour-long spoof of HBO's Game of Thrones, written by Polly Pom Poms and directed by Adelaide Lee, revolves around Ned Stark-Naked and his quest to help defend the Glitter Throne. Full disclosure: This reviewer has never seen Game of Thrones, so some of the in-jokes and metacommentary were lost on me. But from a burlesque perspective, the strong cast and Jean Wildest’s choreography do right by the Breasteros maxim "Strip or die," with some fun furry and fantasy costumes thrown in to boot, the sexy burlesque direwolves particularly impressive. —Marissa Oberlander $28

Buy Tickets
Gorilla Tango Theatre (map)
1919 N. Milwaukee Ave.
Wicker Park/Bucktown
phone 773-598-4549
The Game of Thongs: A Game of Thrones Burlesque

Tools

West High

Through 4/10: Fri 9:30 PM

Billed as a John Hughes-inspired pastiche, Colleen Breen's nearly two-hour intermissionless comedy opens with a levelheaded boy settling in at a new school supervised by a cracked, out-of-his-depth principal. Then there's a wild-west twist: the new kid's a sharpshooter with a family to avenge, and the only varsity sport is gunslinging. But the show is quickly saddled with contrivances. The principal remains utterly ineffectual until, as a last-ditch effort, he railroads the new guy into advancing the plot under obviously, exasperatingly false pretenses. And for all their perverse energy, even the few entertaining performances (Jared Miller unabashedly brings the personality of an epileptic chihuahua to the role of the bad guy's dipshit son) can't compensate for the bummer of a sloppy plot. —Jena Cutie $15, $10 students

pH Comedy Theater (map)
1515 W. Berwyn Ave.
Andersonville West High

Edgar & Annabel

Through 3/14: Fri-Sun 8 PM; also Thu 3/5 and 3/12, 8 PM

In some unnamed totalitarian dystopia, two rebels plot to overthrow the government while pretending to be an ordinary married couple for the sake of the audio surveillance recorders all over the place. Despite incorporating the menacing presence of Big Brother, playwright Sam Holcroft is less interested in politics than in pushing to comic extremes the idea that we can’t know what a marriage is like behind closed doors—at least, not without video. In Brad Akin’s darkly farcical production for the Poor Theatre, Michael Medford and Abbey Smith, as the rebels, dexterously manage to separate what they say from what they do, as Akin steadily ratchets up the tension. Mouthing cheery banalities even while freaking out, Smith and Medford create a kind of screwball hell. —Zac Thompson $15

http://thepoortheatre.org

Tools

Orchids in the Moonlight

Through 3/29: Fri-Sat 8 PM, Sun 6 PM

Carlos Fuentes’s 1982 play imagines María Félix and Dolores del Río, two of Mexico’s most beloved screen icons, in their autumn years, forgotten and living in the Los Angeles slums. Played here by male actors in drag, their costumes fashioned out of garbage bags, the two spend days re-creating the narratives of their lives, reckoning with past fame, past loves, and how they came to be in a room papered over with newspaper clippings, reading aloud to each other from the day’s obituaries. Fuentes wants to remind us of the ways old age can become its own theater, an endless loop of memory, nostalgia, despair, regret. In director Sándor Menéndez’s balletic staging for Aguijón Theater, the former cinema stars taunt the audience along with each other, their tragic need for our approbation vividly felt. —Suzanne Scanlon $25, two for $40

Aguijon Theater (map)
2707 N. Laramie Ave.
Belmont Cragin
phone 773-637-5899
Orchids in the Moonlight

Barbecue Apocalypse

Through 3/15: Thu-Sat 8 PM, Sun 4 PM

In Matt Lyle’s tidy, overreaching 2014 comedy, a sextet of temperamentally invariable thirtysomethings—a money-grubbing boor, a condescending foodie, an intractable adolescent, etc—gather for a backyard barbecue, where nothing’s at stake for the entire first act except some hurt feelings. Thankfully, apocalypse descends during intermission, and in act two the social hierarchy has reversed. It turns out that loserdom has distinct advantages in cataclysmic times. It might all make for provocative theater if Lyle developed this world beyond a glib sketch (the one complex scene, when a murderous wayward drifter arrives from nowhere, ends abruptly and without consequence). Director Thomas Murray’s pleasant staging for the Ruckus lacks the satirical bite that might give the evening a genuine sense of danger. —Justin Hayford $18

http://ruckustheater.org
Athenaeum Theatre (map)
2936 N. Southport Ave.
Lakeview
phone 773-935-6860
Barbecue Apocalypse

Tools

Four

Through 3/28: Thu-Sat 7:30 PM, Sun 3 PM

As spare as its title, Christopher Shinn's 90-minute play gives us four souls doing their befuddled best to liberate themselves on Independence Day, 1996. Joe is a university professor from Hartford, Connecticut, taking advantage of a trip to Boston to hook up with June, a 16-year-old gay virgin he met online. Back home in Hartford, Joe's teenage daughter, Abigayle, slips away from her bedridden mom to hook up with her wannabe boyfriend, a basketball-playing wigger named Dexter. Sex is had, after a fashion, but the couples spend most of their time engaged in pained conversation, backing ever so reluctantly into what they mean to say. There may be a delicate Chekhovian comedy in there somewhere. But by confusing quiet desperation with solemn stasis, this Jackalope Theatre production never finds it. —Tony Adler $5-$20

Broadway Armory Park (map)
5917 N. Broadway St.
Edgewater
phone 312-742-7502
Four

Tools

Macbeth

Through 4/5: Thu 7:30 PM, Fri-Sat 8 PM, Sun 3 PM

Shakespeare’s Scottish play is easily interpreted as one big war parade, all swords, banners, and drums. But in this Artistic Home production, director Scott Westerman drills deep into the tragedy’s seductive ooze—here the eye of newt sees more clearly than the eye of man. Welcome to postapocalyptic Macbeth, where freshwater is the ultimate bounty and polluted bogs mirror the larger pollution of the state. You listen before you look in this savage swamp world, which echoes of scraping knives and hushed cymbals. And the cast has a knack for keeping you there, notably Frank Nall as the vengeful Macduff and Maria Stephens as a subtle, biting Lady Macbeth. As Macbeth, John Mossman doesn’t shy away from the title character’s humor and likability—we root for him as we would a clueless action hero. Until, that is, the first dagger starts to float. —Chloe Riley $28-$32

The Artistic Home (map)
1376 W. Grand Ave.
West Town/Noble Square
phone 312-243-3963
Macbeth

Tools

The Talking Cure

Through 3/22: Thu-Sat 8 PM, Sun 3 PM

They’re not kidding about the talking part. There’s a whole lot of it in Christopher Hampton’s dry-as-dust 2002 drama about Carl Jung and the early days of psychoanalysis. In long, shapeless scenes, Jung debates Freud about the future of their field, recounts his dreams, and treats the overlooked-by-history Sabina Spielrein, a young Russian Jew who eventually becomes Jung’s mistress and, later, colleague. Their affair and Spielrein’s influence on Jung’s thinking are Hampton’s primary concerns, but the characters are all head, no heart. Evan Jackson’s staging for Idle Muse Theatre Company feels stuffy and remote, and each cast member has been saddled with an almost comically thick German or Russian accent. The only sparks of feeling come from Caty Gordon’s spunky Sabina. —Zac Thompson $20

http://idlemuse.org
Rivendell Theatre (map)
5775 N. Ridge Ave.
Edgewater
phone 773-334-7728
The Talking Cure

Tools

The Confessional

Through 3/1: Thu-Sat 7:30 PM, Sun 2:30 PM

Jayson Akridge's procedural crime drama has its share of contrivances, expediencies, and implausibilities, but its dramatic core carries the day. Milquetoast schoolteacher Stanley confesses to a senseless murder that may never have happened, plunging Detective Bryce eyeballs-deep in a serial murder case he solved years ago—a success he believes was his greatest moral failing. Despite uneven plotting and an insupportable conclusion, Stanley and Bryce’s cat-and-mouse game raises confounding ethical and philosophical questions well worth two-plus hours of stage time. Director Sean Cowan’s admirably spare staging achieves greatness only rarely—notably when Jared Latore as Bryce unleashes a harrowing confession near the play’s end—but the no-nonsense five-person cast remain laser-focused on communicating the script’s essential truths. Fledgling Honest Theatre lives up to its name. —Justin Hayford pay what you can

http://honesttheatre.com
Collaboraction (map)
1579 N. Milwaukee Ave.
Wicker Park/Bucktown
phone 312-226-9633
The Confessional

Tools

One Came Home

Through 4/5: Thu-Fri 7:30 PM, Sat 4 and 8 PM, Sun 4 PM

Set in rural Wisconsin during the great passenger pigeon nesting of 1871 (memorable for having involved an estimated 136 million birds), this Lifeline Theatre adaptation of Amy Timberlake’s much-honored children’s novel centers on a 13-year-old tomboy called Georgie who refuses to believe that her older sister is dead, despite powerful evidence to the contrary, and sets out to find the truth. There’s something to be said for Lifeline’s refusal to sugarcoat Georgie: as played by Ashley Darger, she’s as obnoxious as only an adolescent who’s discovered morality can be. Trouble is, there’s no payoff for having to endure the little brat. Darger’s performance gives no indication of growth over the course of a poorly structured, loose-ended, overlong show that never justifies its central metaphor. –Tony Adler $40

Buy Tickets
Lifeline Theatre (map)
6912 N. Glenwood Ave.
Rogers Park/West Rogers Park
phone 773-761-4477
One Came Home

Tools

The Passenger

Through 3/15: Sat 2/28, Wed 3/4, and Mon 3/9, 7:30 PM, Thu 3/12 and Sun 3/15, 2 PM

Mieczyslaw Weinberg's opera opens on an ocean liner steaming from Europe to Brazil during the early 1960s. In David Pountney's visually stunning production for Lyric Opera, the passengers look like affluent angels, bathed in light as they circle a pristine deck. But their beautiful world is perched high above the stage floor. The vastness beneath them is dark. Worse: it's Auschwitz. One of the passengers, Liese, was an officer at the camp. When she catches sight of a woman who may have been one of her victims, Liese finds herself thrown down into the abyss she was so sure she'd left. Though first produced in 2006, The Passenger was written nearly 40 years earlier, and musically it can feel like a period piece. What's more, its solemnity, pain, and three-hour running time demand endurance. Still, it's marvelously sung and acted here, and Alexander Medvedev's powerful libretto shows Auschwitz unconventionally, as a hell built not only for Jews but for multitudes from every corner of Europe. And then it can be savagely honest too. "Do not forgive them," the prisoners sing. "Never ever." —Tony Adler $20-$369

Civic Opera House (map)
20 N. Wacker Dr.
Loop
phone 312-332-2244
The Passenger

Tools

Showing 1-12 of 12 total results in this search.