Tag: Adam Michaels

Review: Rock of Ages (Drury Lane Theatre)

Adam Michaels stars as Stacee Jaxx in Rock of Ages at Drury Lane Theatre            


Rock of Ages

Book by Chris D’Arienzo 
Arrangements by Ethan Popp    
Drury Lane Theatre, Oakbrook Terrace (map)
thru Oct 15  |  tix: $45-$60  |  more info
Check for half-price tickets    

September 19, 2017 | 0 Comments More

Review: Who Is Tyler Durden? (Bare Knuckle Productions)

Bare Knuckle Productions presents "Who Is Tyler Durden?", adapted, written and directed by Cody Evans.        
Who Is Tyler Durden?

Written, Adapted and Directed by Cody Evans  
at Prop Thtr, 3502 N. Elston (map)
thru Sept 20  |  tickets: $15-$20   |  more info
Check for half-price tickets 
                   Read review

September 7, 2014 | 0 Comments More

Review: Rent (Paramount Theatre)

Andrew M. Mueller and Meghan Murphy star in Paramount Theatre's "Rent" by Jonathan Larson, directed by Jim Corti. (photo credit: Liz Lauren)        

Written by Jonathan Larson  
Directed by  Jim Corti
at Paramount Theatre, Aurora, IL  (map)
thru April 6  |  tickets: $37-$50   |  more info
Check for half-price tickets 
                   Read review

March 29, 2014 | 0 Comments More

Review: Macbeth (Roundhouse Productions)


Roundhouse uses technology while still staying human


Tracie Dahlke, Sarah Radar, Loretta Maestranzi - Macbeth by Roundhouse Productions

Roundhouse Productions presents
Written by William Shakespeare
Directed by Mary Reynard Liss
at New Rock Theater, 3933 N. Elston (map)
thru June 25  |  tickets: $20  |  more info

Reviewed by Katy Walsh

In the 2010/2011 season, two top-tier Chicago theaters produced Macbeth. In the fall, the Lyric Opera featured a dazzling version of Verdi’s composition.  In the winter, Chicago Shakes introduced a condensed powerhouse adaptation. Now kicking off the summer, Roundhouse Productions presents their own Macbeth.  Witches predict Macbeth will be king.  To make the vision a reality, Lady Macbeth plots an assassination.  Macbeth slaughters his way to the top.  Instead of enjoying majestic splendor, the Macbeths start to spiral out of control.  The King turns serial killer.  The Queen scours for redemption. Roundhouse Productions re-imagines the Shakespearian classic with epic-worthy special effects.

The poster for Roundhouse Productions' "Macbeth", by William Shakespeare.  Poster by Adam MichaelsThe show startles with a vicious attack.  The kinsmen are zealously grunting and slashing.  The fighting (designed by Orion Couling) is so harsh and swift that it takes a moment to realize they aren’t brandishing swords.  They are pantomiming to perfection.  Behind and above the guys, the witches are watching and clanking swords.  The metaphysical battle questions the true authority in warfare.  A green screen (credited to Gavin Ganter and Josh Binder) adds supernatural projections.  Three witches float onto the combat zone as the entrance for three live witches.  The effect is cool!  The green screen is only used briefly three times during the production.  These paranormal segments captivate with an otherworldly mysticism.

Special effects aside, under the direction of Mary Reynard Liss, this cast of 37 conjure up their own poignant potion.  For a small-budget production, Liss fills the space with a bounty of warriors and witches.  Individual scenes are actualized tightly and intensely.  The enormity of orchestrating a large ensemble is more apparent in choppy scene transitions.  The movement of superfluous scenery delays the otherwise smooth pacing.   

With 37 actors, it’s hard to identify that particularly spooky-looking witch or death-glaring warrior.  Among the solid acting, here are a few recognizable standouts.  Even with all the occult aspects, this Macbeth is very human! John Tyberghein (Macbeth) transforms low-keyed earnest, conflicted into raging paranoid tyrant.  Tyberghein starts very innocent, making the bloody spiral even more thoroughly engaging.  Lana Smithner (Lady Macbeth) plays it just the opposite to Tyberghein as bewitching murderous seducer to washed up victim.  Cody Evans (Banquo) establishes a commanding presence in human and ghostly form.  Stephanie Rohr (Lady Macduff) sings beautifully as the annoyed wife.  Jack Sharkey (Macduff) receives tragic news with authentic, sorrowful confusion.  Nate Card (Porter) is hilarious as the drunken gatekeeper.

John Tyberghein as Macbeth in William Shakespeare's "Macbeth" produced by Roundhouse Productions.

After the green screen technologyThe press release hooked my attendance to a third Macbeth this season with the phrase ‘green screen technology.‘  The combo of film and live stage IS the future of theatre.  And these visual projections were spectacular and sparse.  But even with limited technology,  there are more than 37 reasons this Macbeth deserves an audience.  Unfortunately, summer theatre goers look for lighter faire and blockbuster stunts.  I’m not a witch, but I predict this Macbeth might be an accidental tragedy of a classic tragedy.  That would be tragic!

Rating: ★★★

Tracie Dahlke, Sarah Radar, Loretta Maestranzi as the witches of William Shakespeare's "Macbeth" produced by Roundhouse Productions.

Roundhouse Productions’ Macbeth continues through June 25th at the New Rock Theater (address), with performances Thursday-Saturday at 7:30pm.  Tickets are $20, and can be purchased at the door or online at brownpapertickets.com.  More information at the production’s website.      (photos: Gavin Guntner and Josh Binder)

Running Time:  Two hours and thirty minutes (includes intermission)

June 5, 2011 | 0 Comments More