Tag: Dave Saenger

Review: School of Rock (Broadway in Chicago)

School of Rock cast at Cadillac Palace Theatre, Broadway in Chicago            
  
         

School of Rock

Written by Andrew Lloyd Webber (music),
    Julian Fellowes (book), Glenn Slater (lyrics)
Cadillac Palace Theatre, 151 W. Randolph (map)
thru Nov 19  |  tix: $27-$105  |  more info
       
Check for half-price tickets   
     

November 6, 2017 | 0 Comments More

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: Mamma Mia! (Paramount Theatre)

Amy Montgomery as Donna in Mamma Mia, Paramount Theatre Aurora           
   

Mamma Mia!

By Catherine Johnson (book)
   Benny Andersson, Björn Ulvaeus (score)
at Paramount Theatre, Aurora (map)
thru Oct 30  |  tix: $44-$59  |  more info
       
Check for half-price tickets   
     

September 14, 2016 | 1 Comment More

Review: Evita (Marriott Theatre, 2016)

Samantha Pauly as Eva Perón in Evita at Marriott Theatre          
   

        
Evita

Music by Andrew Lloyd Webber
Lyrics by Tim Rice 
Marriott Theatre, Lincolnshire, IL (map)
thru June 5  |  tix: $50-$55  |  more info
       
Check for half-price tickets   
    

April 29, 2016 | 2 Comments More

Review: Ride the Cyclone (Chicago Shakespeare Theater)

Emily Rohm and Karl Hamilton star in Chicago Shakespeare's "Ride the Cyclone" by Jacob Richman and Brooke Maxwell, directed by Rachel Rockwell. (photo credit: Liz Lauren)         
      
Ride the Cyclone 

Book/Music/Lyrics by Jacob Richman
     and Brooke Maxwell
Chicago Shakespeare at Navy Pier (map)
thru Nov 15  |  tix: $30-$48  | more info
       
Check for half-price tickets   
    

October 14, 2015 | 0 Comments More

Review: Floyd Collins (BoHo Theatre Ensemble)

Jim DeSelm as Floyd Collins, Bohemian Theatre Ensemble Chicago       
      
Floyd Collins 

Written by Adam Guettel and Tina Landau  
Directed by Peter Marston Sullivan  
at Theater Wit, 1229 W. Belmont (map)
thru July 15   |  tickets: $22-$28   |  more info
       
Check for half-price tickets 
    
        
        Read entire review
     

June 18, 2012 | 0 Comments More

REVIEW: Alien Queen (Jonny Stax @ Circuit Night Club)

     
     

Update: 3 shows added – Jan 8, 15 and 22 at 8pm!

Queer encounters of the ‘Alien’ kind

     
     

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Jonny Stax presents
   
Alien Queen
   
Created and Directed by Scott Bradley
at
Circuit Night Club, 3641 N. Halsted (map)
through Jan 22  |  tickets: $15-$25  |  more info

Reviewed by Paige Listerud

Did you ever think that the music of Queen could be perfectly paired with the “Alien” movies and re-energize the franchise with queer sensibility? That one never dawned on me, either. But Scott Bradley has spawned Alien Queen, a musical comedy review that clearly reflects the cunning and twisted mind of a creator/director unabashedly obsessed with gender transgression, sticky substances, and the ultra-queering of Sigourney Weaver. And that’s saying something, since Weaver, as lustable butch Ellen Ripley, won the hearts of every Eighties lesbian and bi woman once the first “Alien” film emerged to boffo box office reception in 1979.

Alien Queen - Jonny Stax - Scooty and JoJo 005Ryan Lanning, playing Ridley, could also seduce sapphists (of the fluid sexuality variety) as long as he keeps the wig on and keeps exhibiting the cool toughness of everyone’s favorite Alien hunter–“Killer Queen” introduces us to her, still in her pod in suspended sleep. There is that penis thing, which could cockblock the adoration of Kinsey 6 dykes and certainly the audience for the show at Circuit Night Club seemed fairly gay male dominated. But hopefully, after much critical acclaim, a stronger dyke contingent will join the in revelry.

For one thing, Alien Queen is terribly sophisticated in what it does. In fact, for a comedy review, the cast’s performances tend to be on the side of understatement. Deadpan delivery overrides exaggeration and over-the-top theatrics. This production displays professionalism in that it shows as much homage to Freddie Mercury’s music and to the Alien-franchise as it engages in parody or spoof. Behind the laughs is a lot of love for the material.

Bradley and partner-in-crime Executive Producer Jonny Stax seem pretty happy to let the dry movie script spoof itself. They leave Anna Glowacki’s alien and astronaut costuming – supplemented by the alien puppet designs of Jabberwocky Marionettes Productions – to boost dramatic spectacle for the audience. You haven’t seen aliens till you’ve seen them break out of a human’s stomach, in puppet form, to sing “Don’t Stop Me Now.” Anne Litchfield impresses with the first introduction of a full-grown alien costume. But few sights beat Bradley dressed as the mammoth alien queen herself, pumping out eggs for her alien subjects while singing “Get Down, Make Love.”

            
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Music Director Nicolas Davio keeps the show rockin’ while Jyl Fehrenkamp’s choreography has to make do with the limits of the stage at Circuit. But the cast kicks it very well and then does it all over again in alien costumes. (There’s got to be a Jeff award for that, right?) T. L. Noble makes the most of Circuit’s environs, skillfully creating an otherworldly lighting design in which the crews of Ridley’s respective ships seek out and are destroyed. And destroyed they are, one by one, to the tune of “Another One Bites the Dust.” As stupid marines about to die horribly, Kieran Kredell (Valdez) and William A. Barney (Hunks) take the cake. After all the idiot humans Ridley has to deal with it’s almost a relief and a celebration to see the aliens take over.

As for why Scott Bradley would want to set himself up in a role playing Ridley’s alien nemesis, that I leave others to psycho-analyze. The result is smart, polished gender-bending fun.

  
  
Rating: ★★★
  
  

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December 12, 2010 | 1 Comment More