Tag: Dave Belden

Review: The Bridges of Madison County (Marriott Theatre)

Kathty Voytko and Nathaniel Stampley star as Francesca and Robert in Bridges of Madison County            
         

The Bridges of Madison County

By Jason Robert Brown (music & lyrics)
   and Marsha Norman (book)
Marriott Theatre, Lincolnshire, IL (map)
thru Aug 13  |  tix: $50-$60  |  more info
       
Check for half-price tickets    
     

July 5, 2017 | 0 Comments More

Review: Three Hotels (Bluebird Arts)

Jaimelyn Gray as Barbara Hoyle in Three Hotels by Jon Robin Baitz, Bluebird Arts          
 
         
Three Hotels 

Written by Jon Robin Baitz
Athenaeum Theatre, 2936 N. Southport (map)
thru Sept 17  |  tix: $25  | more info
       
Check for half-price tickets   
     

August 17, 2016 | 0 Comments More

Review: Charles Ives Take Me Home (Strawdog Theatre)

Dave Belden and James Vann star in Strawdog Theatre's "Charles Ives Take Me Home" by Jessica Dickey, directed by Keira Fromm. (photo credit: Chris Ocken)        
      
Charles Ives Take Me Home

Written by Jessica Dickey 
Directed by Keira Fromm 
at Strawdog Theatre, 3829 N. Broadway (map)
thru June 21  |  tickets: $28   |  more info
       
Check for half-price tickets 
    
        
                   Read review
     

May 28, 2014 | 0 Comments More

Review: The Jewels (TUTA Theatre Chicago)

Lauren Demerath stars in the world premiere of TUTA Theatre Chicago's "The Jewels," adapted and directed by Kirk Anderson. (photo credit: Anthony La Penna)        
      
The Jewels

Adapted and Directed by Kirk Anderson
Based on the short story by Guy de Maupassant
DCASE Storefront Theatre, 66 E. Randolph (map)
thru April 27  |  tickets: $15   |  more info
       
Check for half-price tickets 
    
        
                   Read review 
     

April 5, 2014 | 1 Comment More

Review: Cyrano de Bergerac (Chicago Shakespeare Theater)

Harry Groener stars as Cyrano in Chicago Shakespeare Theater's "Cyrano de Bergerac," adapted by Anthony Burgess, directed by Penny Metropulos. (photo credit: Liz Lauren)        
      
Cyrano de Bergerac

Written by Edmond Rostand
Translated and Adapted by Anthony Burgess
Directed by Penny Metropulos
Chicago Shakespeare Theater at Navy Pier (map)
thru Nov 10  |  tickets: $58-$78   |  more info
       
Check for half-price tickets 
    
        
                   Read review
     

October 7, 2013 | 0 Comments More

Review: Boy Small (Fine Print Theatre)

Stephen Cefalu and Taryn Wood star in Fine Print Theatre's "Boy Small" by MT Cozzola, directed by Patrick Kenney.        
       
Boy Small 

Written by MT Cozzola  
Directed by Patrick Kenney
at Red Tape Theatre, 621 W. Belmont (map)
thru Sept 22  |  tickets: $30   |  more info
       
Check for half-price tickets 
    
        
        Read entire review
     

August 30, 2013 | 0 Comments More

REVIEW: Three Sisters (Piven Theatre Workshop)

   
   

Chekhov’s naturalist classic enjoys lively revival at Piven

 

Nofs-Snyder, Underwood, Batista - H

   
Piven Theatre Workshop presents
 
Three Sisters
   
Written by Anton Chekhov 
Adapted by
Sarah Ruhl
Directed by Joyce Piven
at
Noyes Cultural Center, Evanston (map)
thru November 21  |  tickets: $25  |  more info

Reviewed by Oliver Sava

For sisters Olga (Joanne Underwood), Masha (Saren Nofs-Snyder), and Irina (Ravi Batista), the road to Moscow is long and bumpy in Piven Theatre’s finely acted, elegantly directed production of Chekhov’s naturalist classic Three Sisters. Tethered to their provincial town by occupation, spouse, and status, they struggle to find the meaning in their tiresome existence, dreaming of a utopian Moscow that is just out of reach. As their hopes fall apart around them, they learn that the only people they can trust are each other, and the three actresses develop the relationship between the Smith, Barnes, Nofs-Snyder - Vwomen beautifully. Under the guidance of director Joyce Piven, the relationships between the sisters and the men around them come to life, creating believable drama that is thick with emotion.

For Olga and Irina, the oldest and youngest, returning to Moscow is not near the fantasy it is for their middle sister Masha, in a loveless marriage with tenuous schoolteacher Kulygin (Brett T. Barnes), and Nofs-Snyder’s melancholic portrayal of Masha captures the sense of helplessness that defines the character. When the handsome Lieutenant Colonel Vershinin (Daniel Smith) enters Masha’s life, she is given a reason to live, and their romance smolders despite Smith’s distracting dialect. The first kiss between the two is one of the highlights of the production, a wonderfully awkward moment filled with hesitation that erupts into lust as the creaking of the wooden sofa breaks through their sensual silence.

Masha is the heart, Irina the soul, and Olga the mind of the play, allowing these core elements to dictate the direction of their lives. Meanwhile, their brother Andrei’s (Dave Belden) wife Natasha (Amanda Hartley) lacks all three, and she sucks them from her husband as the story progresses. A petulant, anxious ice queen with a superiority complex and unhealthy levels of self-righteousness, Natasha is played with villainous gusto by Hartley, who fearlessly depicts the character’s power trip once she marries Andrei. Her treatment of house servant Anfisa (Kathleen Ruhl, mother of adapter Sarah) is appalling, and creates great conflict with Olga, who cherishes Anfisa like a member of the family.

Ruhl, Batista - HDirector Joyce Piven uses the space beautifully, crafting spatial relationships to build tension between characters that explode when they finally come together. Solyony (Jay Reed), the play’s most combustible character, hates everything and never backs down from an argument, his intense misery venturing into comedic territory in its exaggeration. His love for Irina, a love shared by Baron Tuzenbach (Andy Hager), is unreturned by the youngest sister, who is more concerned with discovering fulfilling work than a man. Batista gives an emotionally resonant performance, especially as Irina begins to understand the kind of work available to her in town, but there’s a maturity in her voice and carriage that takes away from the character’s youthful energy. There is an early moment when Vershinin describes the sisters’ old home in Moscow and the older two’s faces become teary-eyed at the memory while Irina struggle to recapture the image, likely too young to truly remember. It’s a small moment, but it helps solidify her position in the trinity.

It’s a good time to be a Chekhov fan in Chicago. Goodman’s The Seagull (our review ★★★★) as the theatrical theory and situational humor, while Three Sisters eloquently showcases Chekhov’s philosophical genius and occasionally nihilist world view. As the lights go down on the three sisters standing united against the world, it’s like they are watching Moscow burn before their very eyes. The power of these three women together is the play’s beauty, the reality of their circumstance its tragedy.

   
   
Rating: ★★★
 
 

Smith, Nofs-Snyder - H

Cast:

Ravi Batista* (Irina)
Saren Nofs-Snyder (Masha)
Joanne Underwood (Olga)
Brent T. Barnes (Kulygin)
Dave Belden (Andrei)
Marcus Davis (Fedotik)
Kevin D’Ambrosio (Ferapont)
John Fenner Mays (Chebutykin)
Andy Hager (Tuzenbach)
Amanda Hartley (Natasha)
Jacob Murphy (Rode)
Jay Reed (Solyony)
Kathleen Ruhl (Anfisa)
Dan Smith (Vershinin)
Susan Applebaum (Understudy – Anfisa)

 

Production Staff:

Producer: Jodi Gottberg
Production Stage Manager: Wendy Woodward*
Scenic Design: Aaron Menninga
Technical Director: Bernard Chin
Lighting Design: Andrew Iverson & Alex Bradford Ruhlin
Costume Design: Bill Morey
Composition & Sound Design: Collin Warren
Sound Engineer: Alex Bradford Ruhlin
Properties Design: Jesse Gaffney
Asst. Director & Dramaturg: Stephen Fedo
Asst. Stage Manager: Chad Duda
Asst. to the Director: Skye Robinson Hillis
Costume Assistant: Melissa Ng
Production Intern: Nathaniel Williams

* Member, Actors Equity Association

Nofs-Snyder, Batista, Underwood - H

October 30, 2010 | 0 Comments More