Tag: Charles Askenaizer

Review: Othello (Invictus Theatre Company)

Felipe Carrasco and Jake Samson star in Othello, Invictus Theatre Chicago            
      

  

Othello

Written by William Shakespeare 
at Heartland Studio, 7016 N. Glenwood (map)
thru Dec 3  |  tix: $20  |  more info
       
Check for half-price tickets   
     

November 24, 2017 | 0 Comments More

Review: Red Velvet (Raven Theatre)

Brandon Greenhouse and Tuckie White star in Red Velvet, Raven Theatre           
      
  

Red Velvet

Written by Lolita Chakrabarti
Raven Theatre, 6157 N. Clark (map)
thru Nov 27  |  tix: $41-$46  |  more info
       
Check for half-price tickets   
     

October 26, 2016 | 0 Comments More

Review: Elsewhere (Side Project Theatre)

Amanda Marie Lipinski and Charles Askenaizer star in Side Project Theatre's "Elsewhere" by Robert Tenges, directed by Adam Webster. (photo credit: Susan McMillen)        
       
Elsewhere 

Written by Robert Tenges
Directed by Adam Webster
at Side Project Theatre, 1439 W. Jarvis (map)
thru April 21  |  tickets: $15-$20   |  more info
       
Check for half-price tickets 
    
        
        Read entire review
     

March 31, 2013 | 0 Comments More

Review: The Tempest (DreamLogic Theatreworks)

       
Lane Flores as Caliban - DreamLogic Theatreworks - The Tempest       
      
The Tempest

Written by William Shakespeare 
Directed by Scott McKinsey  
at The Rotunda, Evanston (map)
thru Nov 19  |  tickets: $15-$30  |  more info

Check for half-price tickets 
    
        
        Read entire review
     

October 24, 2011 | 0 Comments More

Review: Macbeth (Goat Song Theatre)

     
Macbeth - Goat Song Theatre
Macbeth
 

Written by William Shakespeare 
Directed by Brian Conley
at Red Tape Theatre, 621 W. Belmont (map)
thru July 31  |  tickets: $20  |  more info

Check for half-price tickets 
    
      Read entire review

     
July 29, 2011 | 1 Comment More

Review: Arms and the Man (Saint Sebastian Players)

  
  

Wrap your arms around this play!

  
  

Arms and the Man by George Bernard Shaw - presented by Saint Sebastian Players

  
Saint Sebastian Players presents
 
Arms and the Man
  
Written by George Bernard Shaw
Directed by
Jim Masini
at
St. Bonaventure Church, 1625 W. Diversey (map)
through March 13  |  tickets: $15  |  more info

Reviewed by K.D. Hopkins

I always look forward to what I consider classics. I love Shakespeare, Wilde, and yes George Bernard Shaw. It’s the stuff that I had to read and write reports about in high school. Shaw has a special place in my heart for his character development, especially the female characters. In Arms and the Man, the female characters are wise, witty, and multidimensional, especially in light of the time period portrayed.

Arms and the Man - Saint Sebastian Players 05The actors in the Saint Sebastian Players’ production are pitch-perfect in this production directed by company member Jim MasiniKelly Rhyne plays the role of Raina Petkoff with coquettish aplomb and a dash of spicy feminism. Yes – feminism, which manifests itself in many way; here as a fiery, girlish, woman of power. Rhyne is a radiantly beautiful young actress, perfectly cast as the aristocratic Raina with her glowing ivory skin and delicate features. She looks as if she were really related to Melissa Reeves, who plays the archly funny matriarch Catherine Petkoff, whose comic timing and subtle physicality is a hallmark of Shavian comedy (also at home in the work of Oscar Wilde).

Drew Longo as Captain Bluntschli is reminiscent of Giancarlo Giannini in Wertmuller’s “Seven Beauties”. The exhaustion from battle, the hunger, and the desperation all play across Mr. Longo’s face – and he is hysterically funny. The dialogue is given the full weight of irony that is so essential to a comedy or farcical presentation of high society.  And the scene where Longo gobbling up the chocolates from Raina’s bureau is poignant and funny because of how well the characters interact.

Another brilliant bit of casting is Victoria Montalbano as the maid Louka. Ms. Montalbano gives great face to the all-knowing servant. Shaw illustrates the hypocrisy of elite society with the lower classes. The coercive sexual mores are turned on their heads in this work as Louka holds the aces. What a feminist she is! Her character shuns the dreary and dependable suitor, Nikola, played by the wonderful Chris McGillivray. The life of being the manservant’s wife who is taken behind the topiary is no life for her. Mr. McGillivray is also poignantly funny as the schlumpy manservant, having a great face for comedy, as perfectly witnessed as he offers the blue satchel around the room of characters.

        
Arms and the Man - Saint Sebastian Players 02 Arms and the Man - Saint Sebastian Players 03 Arms and the Man - Saint Sebastian Players 04
Arms and the Man - Saint Sebastian Players 08 Arms and the Man - Saint Sebastian Players 07

This production also stars two of the finest fall guys that I have seen in a while. Greg Callozzo as Major Petkoff is near genius in the puffed up buffoonery of nouveau riche in epaulets. The hair and the expressions fit the character’s obliviousness to what is hitting the fan and the electric bell in his home. The dialogue about bathing is just choice. Charles Askenaiser as Major Sergius Saranoff is wonderfully farcical as well. He portrays the silliness of the privileged officer braggart exquisitely.

Arms and the Man resonates to this day as a portrait of the futile nature of military war, the war between social classes, and the wars of the sexes. The human imperative to dominate obscures meaningful purpose and puts up blocks to true connection.

Emil Zbella’s sets are quite lovely and authentic-looking for turn of the 19th century. The brocades and floral patterns are fun and well designed. I loved the oh-so-special library that Lady Petkoff speaks of in proud tone and the look on her face when she pushes the electric bell is just great. The costumes (Tina Godziszewski) are fun and also appear quite authentic for 1885. There are bustles, furs and parasols (I want that fur night cloak that Raina wraps in when the bedraggled Captain Bluntschli invades her dainty bedchamber!). The wigs and hair are worthy of an operatic wig master. When I saw the actors after the show it was hard to tell who was who. That is a sign of a great production where the actors disappear into the characters on stage. They were just as gracious off stage. Go see this play. It is fun and goes way beneath the surface. The more the world changes-the more it stays the same.

  
  
Rating: ★★★★
  
   

Arms and the Man - Sebastian Players - setArms and the Man continues through March 13th at Saint Bonaventure Parish at Diversey and Ashland n Chicago. This play is part of the 30th Anniversary season for theatre company. Visit the website for more information www.saintsebastianplayers.org


Artists

 

Cast: Kelly Rhyne* (Raina Petkoff), Victoria Montalbano* (Louka), Charles Askenaizer (Major Sergius Saranoff), Greg Callozzo (Major Petkoff), Drew Longo (Captain Bluntschli), Chris McGillivray (Nikola), and Melissa Reeves (Catherine Petkoff).

Production: Jim Masini (director), Emil Zbella (set designer), Tina Godziszewski  (costume design) Mansie O’Leary (costume design) Kalin Gullberg (lighting design), Leah Cox (dramaturg), Adam Seidel* (set construction manager), Don Johnson* (sound design), Al Cerkan* (stage manager), Mary Whalen* (properties manager), John Oster (photos), Nancy Pollock* and Jill Chukerman Test* (co-producters).

*Saint Sebastian Players member

  
  

Arms and the Man - Saint Sebastian Players 06

         
            
February 23, 2011 | 0 Comments More