Tag: Dan Wilson

Review: Nothing of Me (Akvavit Theatre)

Paul S. Holmquist and Bergen Anderson in Nothing of Me, Akvavit Theatre          

Nothing of Me

Written by Arne Lygre 
at Signal Theatre, 1802 W. Berenice (map)
thru Apr 3  |  tix: $10-$20  |  more info
Check for half-price tickets   

March 9, 2016 | 0 Comments More

Review: The Frozen on the Square, 1982 (Akvavit Theatre)

Bergen Anderson, Andrew Fortman and Dan Wilson star in Akvavit Theatre's "The Frozen on the Square (1982)" by Lucas Svensson, directed by Breahan Eve Pautsch. (photo credit: Sooz Main)        
The Frozen on the Square (1982)

Written by Lucas Svensson  
Directed by Breahan Eve Pautsch
at The Den Theatre, 1333 N. Milwaukee (map)
thru Nov 9  |  tickets: $15-$20  |  more info
Check for half-price tickets 
                   Read review

November 1, 2014 | 0 Comments More

Review: Miles Away (The Side Project Theatre)

Isabel Ellison stars as Sissy in The Side Project Theatre's "Miles Away" by Christine Whitley, directed by Scott Weinstein. (photo credit: Scott Dray)        
Miles Away 

Written by Christine Whitley  
Directed by Scott Weinstein 
at Side Project Theatre, 1439 W. Jarvis (map)
thru Aug 31  |  tickets: $10-$20   |  more info
Check for half-price tickets  
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August 8, 2014 | 0 Comments More

Review: Her Naked Skin (Shattered Globe Theatre)

Sheila O'Connor as Eve and Linda Reiter as Celia in Shattered Globe's "Her Naked Skin" by Rebecca Lenkiewicz. (photo credit: Kevin Viol)       
Her Naked Skin 

Written by Rebecca Lenkiewicz  
Directed by Roger Smart
at Stage 773, 1225 W. Belmont (map)
thru June 3  |  tickets: $18-$34   |  more info
Check for half-price tickets 
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May 12, 2012 | 3 Comments More

Review: Henry V (Oak Park Festival Theatre)

Dennis Grimes as Henry and cast of Henry V - Oak Park Festival

Henry V

Written by William Shakespeare 
Directed by Kevin Theis
at Austin Gardens, Oak Park (map)
thru Aug 20  |  tickets: $20-$25   | more info

Check for half-price tickets

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July 16, 2011 | 0 Comments More

Review: Educating Rita (Shattered Globe Theatre)

Charming chemistry redeems Russell’s perfunctory plot

Whitney White (Rita) stars in Shattered Globe’s production of "Educating Rita", running through Aug. 14th at Chicago Dramatists, 1105 W. Chicago Ave. (photo: Kevin Viol)

Shattered Globe Theatre 2.0 presents
Educating Rita
Written by Willy Russell
Directed by Richard Corley
at Chicago Dramatists, 1105 W. Chicago (map)
through August 14  | tickets: $28  | more info

Reviewed by Dan Jakes

Assuming you’ve at least heard of George Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion–hell, assuming you’ve seen “The Simpson’s” parody of My Fair Lady–there should be few surprises in Willy Russell’s 1980 British comedy. From the moment working class Rita bursts through professor Frank’s office seeking a step up in life through a school’s Open University program, years of similarly-framed satires make apparent Brad Woodard (Frank) and Whitney White (Rita) star in Shattered Globe’s production of "Educating Rita", running through Aug. 14th at Chicago Dramatists, 1105 W. Chicago Ave. (photo: Kevin Viol)what lessons will be learned and who will end up teaching whom. In this case, it’s a sassy hairdresser with a hidden penchant for poetry testing the wisdom of a jaded lecturer with a not-so-hidden penchant for pubs. Buried strengths get unearthed. Boundaries get tip-toed. Roles get reversed.

Educating Rita follows a familiar formula, one that a few updates (a laptop computer and contemporary-ish desk phone, as far as I can tell) can’t quite make feel new. Both characters in Russell’s two-person play are drawn from popular archetypes, especially Frank, the sardonic, conventionally-unconventional tutor. The privileges and prestige one garners working in upper-echelon Academia are apparently not enough to satisfy these middle-aged curmudgeons. Like his peers from similar stories, Frank spends considerable time hiding from his wife and students in his personal office, a musty haven where the weary tutor can steal away to be both comforted and oppressed by stacks of collected works by classic authors. That is, of course, until his whiskey-stocked oasis is breached by an eager, earnest, foul-mouthed instigator. What follows is a story we’ve heard before, but it’s a mostly well-told story directed by Richard Corley in this Shattered Globe 2.0 production.

Questionable accents aside, Whitney White (Rita) and Brad Woodard (Frank) are believable as the unlikely duo–like any good odd pairing, White and Woodard balance and temper their offended social sensibilities with amusement and curiosity. When Rita’s reveals her favorite book, Frank relishes in her enthusiasm in spite of the convenience-store-novel’s ability to make his flesh crawl. Woodard also effectively taps into the play’s sexual subtext effectively, playing the intentions of an educated and rational man who knows the tension in the room stems only from himself. White creates an authentic arc as the titular student, shaping her role from a broad comedienne in the beginning to a thoughtful, layered character in the end. Her energy and charm helps carry the show’s dawdling pace, a problem otherwise exasperated by a little too much time listening to Robyn and Lily Allen in the dark.

Rating: ★★★

Whitney White (Rita) and Brad Woodard (Frank) star in Shattered Globe’s production of "Educating Rita", running through Aug. 14th at Chicago Dramatists, 1105 W. Chicago Ave. (photo: Kevin Viol)
Shattered Globe Theatre’s Educating Rita continues through August 14th, with performances continuing Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays at 8pm and Sundays at 3pm. Tickets are $28, and can be purchased on-line with no booking fee at www.shatteredglobe.org or by phone at 773-236-0764.

July 3, 2011 | 0 Comments More