Tag: Don Bender

Review: Her Majesty’s Will (Lifeline Theatre)

 Javier Ferreira and Bryan Bosque star as William Shakespeare and Christopher Marlowe in Her Majesty's Will               

  

Her Majesty’s Will
 
Adapted by Robert Kauzlaric
  from novel by David Blixt   
Lifeline Theatre, 6912 N. Glenwood (map)
thru July 16  |  tix: $20-$40  |  more info
       
Check for half-price tickets    
     

June 21, 2017 | 0 Comments More

Review: The Killer Angels (Lifeline Theatre)

Niall McGinty, Sean Sinitski, Chris Hainsworth, Michael McKeogh, Joe Flynn and Zach Livingston star in Lifeline Theatre's "The Killer Angels", adapted by Karen Tarjan, directed by Matt Miller. (photo by Suzanne Plunkett)        
      
The Killer Angels

Adapted by Karen Tarjan  
Based on novel by Michael Shaara
Directed by Matt Miller 
at Lifeline Theatre, 6912 N. Glenwood (map)
thru Oct 27  |  tickets: $40   |  more info
       
Check for half-price tickets 
    
        
                   Read review
     

October 3, 2013 | 0 Comments More

Review: Lives of the Pigeons (Side Project Theatre)

Matthew Lloyd stars as Man with Cane in The Side Project Theatre's world premiere of "Lives of the Pigeons" by Sherod Santos, directed by Adam Webster. (photo credit: Scott Dray)        
       
Lives of the Pigeons 

Written by Sherod Santos
Directed by Adam Webster
at Side Project Theatre, 1439 W. Jarvis (map)
thru June 30  |  tickets: $15-$20   |  more info
       
Check for half-price tickets 
    
        
        Read entire review
     

June 12, 2013 | 0 Comments More

Review: The City and The City (Lifeline Theatre)

Steve Schine stars in City and the City, Lifeline Theatre Chicago        
       
The City and The City 

Adapted by Christopher M. Walsh  
Directed by Dorothy Milne
Based on the novel by China Miéville
at Lifeline Theatre, 6912 N. Glenwood (map)
thru April 7   |  tickets: $20-$35   |  more info
       
Check for half-price tickets 
    
        
        Read entire review
     

February 27, 2013 | 0 Comments More

Review: The Woman in White (Lifeline Theatre)

Walter Hartright (Nicholas Bailey, left) and Laura Fairlie (Maggie Scrantom, right) must oncover the secret of the woman in white; in Lifeline Theatre’s world premiere production of “The Woman in White." Photo by Suzanne Plunkett.        
       
The Woman in White 

Adapted by Robert Kauzlaric  
Directed by Elise Kauzlaric
at Lifeline Theatre, 6912 N. Glenwood (map)
thru Oct 28  |  tickets: $20-$40   |  more info
       
Check for half-price tickets 
    
        
        Read entire review
     

September 17, 2012 | 2 Comments More

Review: Pride and Prejudice (Lifeline Theatre)

Dennis Grimes, Laura McClain - PRIDE AND PREJUDICE, Lifeline Theatre       
      
Pride and Prejudice

Adapted by Christina Calvit 
     from the novel by Jane Austen 
Directed by Elise Kauzlaric
at Lifeline Theatre, 6912 N. Glenwood (map)
thru June 10  |  tickets: $35   |  more info
       
Check for half-price tickets 
    
        
        Read entire review
     

April 30, 2012 | 0 Comments More

Review: The Count of Monte Cristo (Lifeline Theatre)

     
Chris Hainsworth and Jenifer Tyler - Count of Monte Cristo
The Count of Monte Cristo
 

Adapted by Christopher M. Walsh
Based on book by Alexandre Dumas 
Directed by Paul S. Holmquist
at Lifeline Theatre, 6912 N. Glenwood (map)
thru Oct 30  |  tickets: $32-$35  |  more info

Check for half-price tickets

     Read entire review

     
September 21, 2011 | 2 Comments More

Review: Volpone (City Lit Theater)

     
     

17th-century satire is sly like a fox

     
     

Don Bender and Eric Damon Smith in Volpone - City Lit Theater.  Photo credit: Johnny Knight

  
City Lit Theater presents
  
Volpone
   
Written by Ben Jonson
Music composed by Kingsley Day
Directed by Sheldon Patinkin
at City Lit Theater, 1020 W. Bryn Mawr (map)
thru March 27  | 
tickets: $25  |  more info

Reviewed by Allegra Gallian

Volpone, or The Fox, was written by Ben Jonson in the seventeenth century in just five weeks. It was first performed by the King’s Men at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in 1606. City Lit Theater’s production is the company’s fourth production of their 31st season.

Volpone tells the story of an old miser, Volpone (Don Bender) who, with his servant Mosca (Eric Damon Smith), fakes a deathly illness in order to convince a handful of wealthy men to shower him with expensive gifts after promising each that they are his sole heir. Bender fits into the part of Volpone like a glove. From his voice to his body language, Bender owns the part as well as the stage. Bender’s Volpone is slimy, greedy and everything you would hope to see from such a character. Likewise, Smith’s Mosca is simply entertaining as Volpone’s faithful servant. He plays up the character and is quite funny as he help to Don Bender as Volpone by Ben Jonson - City Lit Theater. Photo by Johnny Knight.work over the wealthy men as they arrive to pay tribute to the “dying” Volpone. Smith, like Bender, understands just want is required of the character, and Smith is both charming and persuasive as Mosca, like a good salesman who could convince anyone man to buy anything he was selling.

Written in the 1600s, Volpone is written in Early Modern English, but the cast does a wonderful job of making the script accessible to the audience. That being said, the script’s dense at times, and while the energy continues to run high through the performance, the action can seem to drag at times.

Occasionally, Volpone calls on his fool (Ben Chang), Castrone (David Fink) and Androgyno (Chris Pomeroy) to entertain him. Equipped with musical instruments, these three sing and play and are a joy. They never fail to get the audience laughing with the lightness and humor of their performances. They are not the best singers but that fact is pushed aside because they’re so enjoyable to watch on stage.

The men whom Volpone tricks are Corvino (Alex Shotts), Corbaccio (Larry Baldacci) and Voltore (Clay Sanderson). These three men deliver exact portrayals of rich and greedy men who think themselves quite clever when, in fact, there are gullible and easily duped. All three men do a fine job, but Shotts in particular as Corvino takes his character over-the-top, not in an obnoxious way, but in a way that works for a satire. He’s very funny in his characterization and his body language.

For the most part the staging is fine-tuned, although Laura Korn, who plays Corvino’s wife Celia, is stiff in her movements and does not completely commit to her actions.

The set, designed by William Anderson, is simple in its style and coloring. With an art deco style set in the 1920s, the palate is of muted colors like brown, beige, blue and black, and there’s not a lot of flair. The simplicity of the set design offers a nice backdrop for the crazy antics of the show and does not detract from the performance.

  
  
Rating: ★★★
   
       

Patti Roeder and Don Bender in Volpone - City Lit Theater. Photo by Johnny Knight.

Don Bender as Volpone in City Lit's VOLPONE.  Photo by Johnny Knight. Eric Damon Smith (left) as Mosca and Don Bender as Volpone in City Lit's VOLPONE.  Photo by Johnny Knight.

Volpone plays at City Lit Theater, 1020 W. Bryn Mawr, through February 27. Tickets are $25 and can be purchased by calling 773-293-3682 or visiting citylit.org.

All photos by Johnny Knight

  
  
February 17, 2011 | 3 Comments More