Tag: Danny Taylor

Review: Aladdin (Broadway in Chicago)

Adam Jacobs stars as Aladdin singing Proud of Your Boy, Broadway Chicago           


Written by Alan Menken, Tim Rice,
  Howard Ashman and Chad Beguelin
Cadillac Palace Theatre, 151 W. Randolph (map)
thru Sept 10  |  tix: $44-$153  |  more info
Check for half-price tickets   

April 29, 2017 | 0 Comments More

Review: Christina, The Girl King (Cor Theatre)

Cor Theatre’s U.S. premiere of Christina, The Girl King, based on the true story of the enigmatic 17th century Queen Christina of Sweden, is a daring, sensitive reintroduction to the flamboyant intellectual and feminist before her time. It features (from left) Toya Turner as Queen Christina of Sweden, Adam Gutkin as Karl Gustav and Tony Bozzuto as Axel. Performances are March 17-April 9 at the Frontier Theatre, 1106 W. Thorndale in Chicago’s Edgewater neighborhood. Tickets: CorTheatre.org or call (866) 811-4111 Photo credit: Matthew Gregory Hollis          

Christina, The Girl King

Written by Michel Marc Bouchard
Translated by Linda Gaboriau
The Frontier, 1106 W. Thorndale (map)
thru Apr 9  |  tix: $25  |  more info
Check for half-price tickets   

March 27, 2016 | 0 Comments More

Review: Orville and Wilbur Did It! (The New Colony)

Jessica London-Shields and Morgan McNaught star in The New Colony's world premiere of "Orville and Wilbur Did It!" by David Zellnik and Eric Svejcar, directed by Andrew Hobgood. (photo credit: Michael Brosilow)        
Orville and Wilbur Did It!

Written by David Zellnik
Music by David Zellnik and Eric Svejcar  
Directed by Andrew Hobgood
at Signal Theatre, 1802 W. Berenice (map)
thru July 20  |  tickets: $10-$20   |  more info
Check for half-price tickets 
                   Read review 

July 8, 2014 | 0 Comments More

Review: Dr. Seuss’ The Cat in the Hat (Emerald City Theatre @ Broadway Playhouse)

Danny Taylor stars as The Cat in Emerald City Theatre's "Dr. Seuss' The Cat in the Hat," adapted by Katie Mitchell, directed by Ernie Nolan. (photo credit: Tom McGrath)        
Dr. Seuss’ Cat in the Hat 

Adapted by Katie Mitchell  
Directed by Ernie Nolan 
Broadway Playhouse, 175 E. Chestnut (map)
thru Sept 1  |  tickets: $16-$22   |  more info
Check for half-price tickets 
        Read entire review

July 8, 2013 | 0 Comments More

Review: Rise of the Numberless (Bailiwick Chicago and The New Colony)

Eric Martin and Steve Perkins in "Rise of the Numberless", joint new work from The New Colony and Bailiwick Chicago.      
Rise of the Numberless 

Written by Patriac Coakley, Andrew Hobgood,
Evan Linder, Chris Gingrich, Julie B. Nichols 
Directed by Andrew Hobgood
at Flat Iron Building, 1579 N. Milwaukee (map)
thru May 26   |  tickets: $20-$25   |  more info
Check for half-price tickets 
        Read entire review 

April 27, 2012 | 0 Comments More

Review: Snow White (Emerald City Theatre)

Emerald City Theatre - Snow White by Ernie Nolan       
Snow White 

Written and Directed by Ernie Nolan   
at Apollo Theater, 2450 N. Lincoln (map)
thru May 20  |  tickets: $13-$16   |  more info
Check for half-price tickets 
        Read entire review

January 22, 2012 | 0 Comments More

Review: Schoolhouse Rock Live! (TheatreBam Chicago)

Schoolhouse Rock logo
I'm Just a Bill

Schoolhouse Rock Live!

Written and Directed by Scott Ferguson 
at Mary’s Attic, 5400 N. Clark (map)
thru Sept. 23  |  tickets: $11   |  more info

Check for half-price tickets
Listen to song clips

        Read the entire review

September 21, 2011 | 0 Comments More

Review: The Master and Margarita (Strawdog Theatre)


Strawdog explores intersection of religion, magic, insanity – and actors


(From L to R): Kyle Gibson (Ivan), Tom Hickey (Woland) and Rob Thomas (Berlioz) in Strawdog's "The Master and Margarita". 
Photo by Chris Ocken

Strawdog Theatre presents
The Master and Margarita
Adapted by Edward Kemp
Based on novel by
Mikhail Bulgakov
Directed by
Louis Contey
Strawdog Theatre, 3829 N. Broadway (map)
through April 2  |  tickets: $20  |  more info

Reviewed by Katy Walsh

As artistic differences threaten the theatrical production of Pontius Pilate, Satan arrives in town to set the record straight. Strawdog Theatre presents The Master and Margarita. In anti-religion Moscow, a writer works feverishly to create a masterpiece play. His girlfriend Margarita believes he is ‘The Master’ and is willing to do anything to support his writing. The government’s theatrical department interferes with his show. They want to ensure Pontius Pilate discredits Jesus’ existence. Satan and his cronies visit for a little civilization observation. They also want to get their magic show on the stage. Arrested, committed, beheaded, the poor souls of Russia are in chaos. When Satan sheds insight into mortals’ psyches, the balance of life has a peaceful neutralization. The Master and Margarita blurs the division between magic and religion, imagination and psychoses, theatrical and actual, life and death.

Dennis Grimes (Master) and Justine C. Turner (Margarita) in Strawdog's 'The Master and Margarita'. Photo by Chris Ocken.Is it a play about a play about the historical decision maker Pontius Pilate? Or is it the full blown hallucination from an asylum inmate? Is it pro-religion or just anti- being anti? The Master and Margarita is for certain an epic of biblical portions. On a primarily stark set, crowd scenes are choreographed using cast as colorful and changing scenery. The large ensemble is white-faced (make-up designer Aly Renee Amidei) and sometimes black-masked. (Special nod to Amidei for the Centurion’s makeup: I was transfixed.) The mass unified look effectively emphasizes the alternating mood from theatrical to threatening to comical to spooky. Costume designer Joanna Melville goes hellish, dressing up an underworld ball in goth prom attire. The vibrant swirl of activity is non-stop. Under the direction of Louis Contey, the multiple themes and scene transitions flow smoothly and briskly into the next.

A plethora of Russian names, myriad of actors playing numerous roles, and the whitening effect add to a quandary of identification. Among the easily recognized, the damned bunch are hilarious misfits. Tom Hickey (Woland aka Satan) leads with smug wisdom and a surprising twisted kindness. Anderson Lawfer (Behemoth) is hysterical as a talking cat. Without even that many lines, Lawfer drawls the funny out with a bow tie without pants comment. Double-vision, Danny Taylor (Fagott) has a comedic and mysterious allure. Anita Deely (Azazello) is the non-nonsense assistant from hell. As the enduring lovers, Dennis Grimes (The Master) is a gentle martyr-type and Justine Turner (Margarita) is his strong lovely rescuer. The entire ensemble are convincing as actors playing theatre types, actors playing crazies or actors playing people going to hell… or maybe there isn’t a distinction.

The first act is a bubbling manifesto of intriguing confusion. The intermission is a pause from the frenzy to admit uncertainty to the point of the show. At some point in act two, there is an ‘A-ha moment.‘ All the dots connect for art open to interpretation. To sum it up, the cat said it best in one of the final scenes, ‘now, I get this play!’ What the cat said!

Rating: ★★★

Guests at the Ball of the Damned, a scene from "The Master and Margarita". Photo by Chris Ocken

The Master and Margarita continues through April 2nd, with performances Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm, Sundays at 4pm. There is no performanceSunday, April 3. Tickets are $20 with group, senior and student discounts available. Tickets may be ordered by calling 773.528.9696 or by visiting www.strawdog.org.

Running Time: Two hours and thirty minutes with a ten minute intermission

March 1, 2011 | 0 Comments More