Delving into the complex evolution of “The Good Book”

Delving into the complex evolution of “The Good Book”

March 29, 2015 / Books, Stage, Stage Reviews

“The Good Book,” the play by Denis O’Hare and Lisa Peterson now receiving a supremely artful world premiere at Court Theatre, is so full of complexity, ambition, contradiction, humor, satire, intellectual history, political manipulation, questions about translation, ancient and contemporary references and characters, and profound matters of faith (as well as skepticism), that it should come as no surprise to learn that the book that inspired it was the Bible.

‘End Days’ opening show at new Windy City Playhouse

‘End Days’ opening show at new Windy City Playhouse

March 24, 2015 / Stage, Stage Reviews

Windy City Playhouse, Chicago’s newest Equity theater — a grand-scale storefront with an elaborate lobby bar located at 3014 W. Irving Park Rd. — has made an intriguing choice for its opening production. Deborah Zoe Laufer’s “End Days,” is a post-Sept. 11, 2001 play that trades in many of the subjects people prefer to dance around, from religion, bullying and depression, to doomsday prognostications and death. It also happens to be super smart and laugh-out-loud funny.

A desperate chorus of voices in Griffin Theatre’s revival of “Balm in Gilead”

A desperate chorus of voices in Griffin Theatre’s revival of “Balm in Gilead”

March 24, 2015 / Stage, Stage Reviews

Now, more than three decades after Steppenwolf’s fabled production of Lanford Wilson’s “Balm in Gilead,” director Jonathan Berry has gathered a cast of 30 actors for the Griffin Theatre production of the play — a work that is primarily a crazy cacophony of the voices of heroin addicts, drug dealers, prostitutes, lesbians, transvestites, criminals and a slew of other desperate and deluded souls who gather in a greasy spoon restaurant in New York.

Paramount production spins “Les Miserables” on an epic scale

Paramount production spins “Les Miserables” on an epic scale

March 23, 2015 / Music, Stage, Stage Reviews

Just call it “the ongoing miracle on Galena Boulevard.” Once again, Aurora’s Paramount Theatre has pulled out all the stops for one of its Broadway Series shows— this time with a lavish production of “Les Miserables” that could hold its own in any major opera house in terms of its vocal and orchestral power, the sweep of its storytelling and its grand-scale design.

“Genius” puts a New York spin on art, egos, marriage

“Genius” puts a New York spin on art, egos, marriage

March 20, 2015 / Stage, Stage Reviews

“Genius” is so New York. And that is not just because Kate Walbert’s 75-minute play, now in its world premiere by Profiles Theatre, shifts between the upscale Soho loft of a successful and impossibly smug couple (one a painter/museum director and the other a writer), and the railroad flat in the newly gentrified but still shabby Bushwick section of Brooklyn that is home to a couple of younger, still struggling, but already recognized filmmakers whose marriage is anything but ideal.