Tag: Andrew Marikis

Review: Deirdre of the Sorrows (City Lit Theater)

Morgan McCabe and Natalie Joyce star in Deirdre of the Sorrows, City Lit Theater            


Deirdre of the Sorrows
Written by John Millington Synge  
City Lit Theater, 1020 W. Bryn Mawr (map)
thru Oct 15  |  tix: $27-$32  |  more info    
Check for half-price tickets    

September 15, 2017 | 0 Comments More

Review: Men Exposed (Redtwist Theatre)

Zach Finch, Beau Forbes, Christopher Hahn, John Mark Jernigan, Andrew Marikis, Ken Miller, Mattew Webb and Dan Wenzel star in Redtwist Theatre's "Men Exposed" by Scott Woldman, directed by Matt Dominguez. (photo credit: Jan Ellen Graves)        
Men Exposed

Written by Scott Woldman
Directed by Matt Dominguez
at Redtwist Theatre, 1044 W. Bryn Mawr (map)
thru Jan 25  |  tickets: $15   |  more info
Check for half-price tickets 
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December 31, 2013 | 0 Comments More

Review: The Goddess (The Artistic Home)

Josh Odor and Lee Stark star in The Artistic Home's "The Goddess" from the screenplay by Paddy Chayefsky, adapted and directed by John Mossman. (photo credit: Tim Knight)        
The Goddess

Adapted and Directed by John Mossman 
from the screenplay by Paddy Chayefsky
at The Artistic Home, 1376 W. Grand (map)
thru Nov 17  |  tickets: $20-$32   |  more info
Check for half-price tickets 
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October 30, 2013 | 0 Comments More

Review: The Woman in White (Lifeline Theatre)

Walter Hartright (Nicholas Bailey, left) and Laura Fairlie (Maggie Scrantom, right) must oncover the secret of the woman in white; in Lifeline Theatre’s world premiere production of “The Woman in White." Photo by Suzanne Plunkett.        
The Woman in White 

Adapted by Robert Kauzlaric  
Directed by Elise Kauzlaric
at Lifeline Theatre, 6912 N. Glenwood (map)
thru Oct 28  |  tickets: $20-$40   |  more info
Check for half-price tickets 
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September 17, 2012 | 2 Comments More

Review: Tartuffe (Boho Theatre)

Jeremy Trager and Christa Buck Van Ermen in BoHo Theatre's "Tartuffe" by Molière. (photo credit: Peter Coombs)       

Written by Molière  
Directed by Peter Robel
at Theater Wit, 1229 W. Belmont (map)
thru Feb 12  |  tickets: $20-$25   |  more info
Check for half-price tickets 
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January 18, 2012 | 0 Comments More

Review: The Shadow of a Gunman (Seanachai Theatre)

Shadow of a Gunman artwork, Seanachai Theatre
The Shadow of a Gunman

Written by Sean O’Casey  
Directed by John Mossman  
Irish American Heritage Center, 4626 N. Knox (map)
thru Oct 23  |  tickets: $amount   |  more info

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October 2, 2011 | 1 Comment More

Review: Marisol (The Artistic Home)


Conveniently apocalyptic


Marta Evans as Marisol and Leslie Ann Sheppard as her guardian angel, in The Artistic Home's "Marisol" by Jose Rivera.  (photo credit: Tim Knight)

The Artistic Home presents
Written by Jose Rivera
Directed by John Mossman
at The Artistic Home, 3914 N. Clark (map)
through July 31  |  tickets: $20-$28  |  more info

Reviewed by Barry Eitel 

Coffee goes extinct. Neo-Nazis run around parks setting homeless people ablaze. Men give birth. According to playwright Jose Rivera, these are a few apocalyptic signs we should look out for. His 1993 work Marisol follows one woman’s journey in a New York City gone crazier than usual. Just in time for the summer, the play gets a gritty treatment from The Artistic Home.  Premiering, ironically, a month after Harold Camping’s rapture fail, the play explores modern ideas concerning the end of the world. While the play beautifully depicts the death of civilization, it tends to wander and ends up dipping into convoluted waters.

Rivera gained national attention with his screenplay for The Motorcycle Diaries and received a smart production of his Boleros for the Disenchanted at the Goodman a few years back. Marisol showcases a younger, angrier Rivera. His masterful grasp on language is evident. The vivid descriptions of the End of Days flow like graphically violent poetry.

A scene from The Artistic Home's "Marisol" by Jose Rivera.  (photo credit: Tim Knight)Marisol asks massive existential, theological, and social questions. Although we never see it onstage, the play revolves around a divine war. Rivera pits a senile God versus rebellious angels, with humans impotently caught in the middle (as usual). The battle causes civilization to break down and all sorts of wacky stuff to happen here on earth. One night, Marisol (a straightforward Marta Evans) is informed that her guardian angel (Leslie Ann Sheppard) is going to the front lines and won’t be able to protect her anymore. She goes out into the world and meets all sorts of friends/foes, including her co-worker June (Kristin Collins), June’s nutty housebound brother Lenny (Brandon Thompson), a man with an ice cream (Andrew Marikis), and a woman in furs who was tortured after going over her credit card limit (Joan McGrath). She sidesteps Nazis, urinates in the street, and helps Lenny give birth.

The cast plays Rivera’s lines simply and honestly. Director John Mossman doesn’t have to pull out a lot of tricks with his staging because the text is fantastical enough (although he uses levels to interesting ends). Evans’ Marisol carries the plot on her back and does an admirable job, although devoid of flash. Thompson is the most lively of the bunch, adding much needed comic spice to the soup. He can also dive into emotional territory, though. The scene in which he shows Marisol where all the street infants are buried is easily the most disturbing, touching, and memorable in the play. Marikis, who appears in three similar nutjob roles, strikes the right mix of nervous anger and violence. You never know what he’s capable of.

 A scene from The Artistic Home's "Marisol" by Jose Rivera.  (photo credit: Tim Knight) A scene from The Artistic Home's "Marisol" by Jose Rivera.  (photo credit: Tim Knight)

Although the program states that the play is set in the present, it is clearly a relic from the pre-Millennium era. It’s almost a period piece in that way, exuding an uncertain jitteriness about the future. Rivera’s two-hour epic is never dull, but you start to wonder where he’s leading us. His final thesis doesn’t answer any questions. I was unsure whether he’s making an impassioned call for atheism or giving a thumbs-up to organized religion’s better parts. He wants to make a statement about the inherent nature of human beings—characters constantly worry about being “eaten” by the human animals outside their door. Yet, Marisol is clearly good of heart. Rivera and Mossman present a series of ideas but don’t follow through.

Marisol jumpstarts with a great hook, but then the stakes evaporate. Rivera overcompensates with his lyricism and eerie characters. It’s not enough to make this play great, but it makes for an entertaining trip. Aaron Menninga’s innovative set is fascinating, covered with graffiti and aphorisms. Marisol may not be a great tale, but it’s a startling vision.

Rating: ★★½

A scene from The Artistic Home's "Marisol" by Jose Rivera.  (photo credit: Tim Knight)

   All photos by Tim Knight

June 22, 2011 | 0 Comments More

Review: Theories of the Sun (Sideshow Theatre)

Yep, it is possible to laugh at Death


TheoriesoftheSun-01 (2)

Sideshow Theatre presents
Theories of the Sun
Written by Kathleen Akerley
Directed by Jonathan L. Green and Megan A. Smith
at Theater Wit, 1229 W. Belmont (map)
through October 3rd  |  tickets: $15- $20  |  more info

Reviewed by Katy Walsh

Where does Death take a holiday? Apparently, a remote hotel in France! Sideshow Theatre presents the Midwestern premiere of Theories of the Sun. A mother and daughter duo seek medical advice from a quirky doctor. The doctor is in residence at a boutique inn. Also vacationing at the locale are a couple of playwrights, a scotch- infused Tennessee Williams and a frothy-wine sipping Tom Stoppard. Another hotel guest, Mr. Asher, collects theories about the sun from different cultures. Looming invisibly to most of the guests, Death waits for someone. Theories of the Sun is a mysterious gathering of a hodge-podge of characters. Each confronts TheoriesoftheSun-02Death and puts in a special order for preferred exit timing. Despite the primary storyline being the unusual circumstances surrounding the mother and daughter, its boys’ night! Individually and collectively, the guys overshadow with eclipsing humor and vibrant movement. Sideshow Theatre’s Theories of the Sun proves the hypothesis that is possible to laugh at Death.

Directed by Jonathan L. Green and Megan A. Smith, with choreographer Katie Spelman, theories of the sun are illuminated with poetic, fluid motion. The synchronization is the bright spot to the story. A game of blindman’s bluff is an effervescent dance with Death. The ensemble, sporting a variety of accents, is dazzling. Matt Fletcher (Stoppard) delivers his British wit with a droll smugness. Uttering lines like ‘being not in tune,’ Fletcher is hilarious as an insipid playwright caught up in semantics. Andy Luther (Williams) plays it perfectly understated as the southern-speaking, unapologetic drunk. Luther’s face-off with Death is a deliciously defiant monologue of fearlessness that unexpectedly ends in tenderness. Jesse Young (Dr. Giraud) is hysterical as an eccentric doctor conducting a series of odd tests. Young deadpans ludicrous statements for riotous results. The storyteller of sun theories, Dylan Stuckey (Asher) is most engaging when he silently reacts to other characters. The entire cast revolves around Death in stunning visuals in a mime-type ballet and exquisite fifties finery (Costume Designer David Hyman).


TheoriesoftheSun-03 TheoriesoftheSun-04 TheoriesoftheSun-05 TheoriesoftheSun-06

Playwright Kathleen Akerley has penned a life-and-death tale with eclectic characters. Although the mother-daughter storyline loses some of its luster from recently being Hollywood-ized, Akerley’s provides intrigue in her other character choices and surprising twists. Theories of the Sun is a thought-provoking, entertaining dance to the death. With the finale’s hindsight, you’ll want to relive it for Death’s subtle entrance.

Rating: ★★★

Running Time: Two hours and thirty minutes includes a thirty minute intermission

Nora Dunn and her buddy Jesse Young



SHOW SIDENOTE: “Saturday Night Live” alum Nora Dunn was in the audience on opening night. Pictured here with her buddy, Jesse Young 





September 10, 2010 | 0 Comments More