Tag: Heidi Stillman

Review: Muthaland (16th Street Theater)

Minita Gandhi stars in Muthaland, 16th Street Theater Berwyn 5            
      

  

Muthaland

Written by Minita Gandhi
16th Street Theater, 6420 W. 16th St. (map)
thru Oct 7  |  tix: $18-$22  |  more info
       
Check for half-price tickets   
     

September 17, 2017 | 0 Comments More

Review: Beyond Caring (Lookingglass Theatre)

J. Nicole Brooks and Edwin Lee Gibson star as Tracy and Phil in Beyond Caring, Lookingglass Theatre          
      
  

Beyond Caring

Written and Directed by Alexander Zeldin
Lookingglass Theatre, 821 N. Michigan (map)
thru May 7  |  tix: $40-$75  |  more info
       
Check for half-price tickets   
     

April 8, 2017 | 1 Comment More

Review: life sucks. (Lookingglass Theatre)

Danielle Zuckerman and Penelope Walker as Sonia and Pickles in life sucks, Lookingglass           
      
   

life sucks.

Written by Aaron Posner
Lookingglass Theatre, 821 N. Michigan (map)
thru Nov 6  |  tix: $45-$65  |  more info
       
Check for half-price tickets   
     

September 21, 2016 | 0 Comments More

Review: The North China Lover (Lookingglass Theatre)

Rae Gray and Deanna Dunagan star in Lookingglass Theatre's "The North China Lover", adapted and directed by Heidi Stillman from the book by Marguerite Davis.  (photo credit: Liz Lauren)       
      
The North China Lover 

From book by Marguerite Duras
Translation by Leigh Hafrey
Adapted and Directed by Heidi Stillman  
Lookingglass Theatre, 821 N. Michigan (map)
thru Nov 10  |  tickets: $36-$70   |  more info
       
Check for half-price tickets  
     
         
                   Read review
     

October 15, 2013 | 0 Comments More

Review: Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo (Lookingglass Theatre)

JJ Phillips stars in Lookingglass Theatre's "Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo" by Rajiv Joseph, directed by Heidi Stillman. (photo credit: Liz Lauren)        
       
Bengal Tiger at the
            Baghdad Zoo
 

Written by Rajiv Joseph  
Directed by Heidi Stillman
Lookingglass Theatre, 821 N. Michigan (map)
thru March 17  |  tickets: $36-$70   |  more info
       
Check for half-price tickets 
    
        
        Read entire review
     

February 13, 2013 | 0 Comments More

Top 10 Chicago Plays of 2012

Taking into account the nearly 700 productions that we reviewed in 2012, here are our picks for the best of the best. Bravo!!  (FYI: We’re honored to have the national website Huffington Post use our choices for their Top 10 Chicago productions here)

Mary Beth Fisher and Rob Lindley star in Court Theatre's "Angels in America" by Tony Kushner, directed by Charles Newell. Molly Regan, Lusia Strus and Mariann Mayberry star in Steppenwolf Theatre's "Good People" by David Lindsay-Abaire, directed by K. Todd Freman. (photo credit: Michael Brosilow) Rania Salem Manganaro stars in The Inconveniences' "Hit The Wall" by Ike Holter, directed by Eric Hoff. (photo credit: Ryan Borque) Brian Dennehy and Nathan Lane star in Goodman Theatre's "The Iceman Cometh" by Eugene O'Neill, directed by Robert Falls. (photo credit: Liz Lauren) Brandon Dahlquist, Shannon Cochran and Jonathan Weir star in Writers' Theatre's "A Little Night Music" by Stephen Sondheim, directed by William Brown. (photo credit: Michael Brosilow)
Adam Poss and Madrid St. Angelo star in star in Victory Gardens' "Oedipus el Rey" by Luis Alfaro, directed by Chay Yew. (photo credit: Michael Brosilow) Chiara Mangiameli and Rick Bayless star in Lookingglass Theatre's "Rick Bayless in Cascabel" by Heidi Stillman and Tony Hernandez and Rick Bayless. (photo credit: Sean Williams) Lyric Opera of Chicago's "Show Boat", conducted by John DeMain, directed by Francesca Zambrello. (photo credit: Robert Kusel) Jason Danieley as George and Carmen Cusack as Dot, in Chicago Shakespeare's "Sunday in the Park with George" by Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine, directed by Gary Griffin. (photo credit: Liz Lauren) Richard Cotovsky and Preston Tate Jr. star in Mary-Arrchie Theatre's "Superior Donuts" by Tracy Letts.  (photo credit: Greg Rothman)

 

See summaries and video

     
January 6, 2013 | 0 Comments More

Review: Rick Bayless in Cascabel (Lookingglass Theatre)

Shenea Booth and Nicolas Besnard in Lookingglass Theatre's "Rick Bayless in Cascabel", co-created by Heidi Stillman, Tony Hernandez and Rick Bayless. (photo credit: Sean Williams)       
      
Rick Bayless in Cascabel

Written by Heidi Stillman, Tony Hernandez
    and Rick Bayless 
Directed by Heidi Stillman and Tony Hernandez
Lookingglass Thtr, 821 N. Michigan Ave. (map)
thru April 29   |  tickets: $225-$250   |  more info
       
Check for half-price tickets 
    
        
             Read entire review
     

   
April 8, 2012 | 0 Comments More

Review: The Last Act of Lilka Kadison (Lookingglass)

     
     

Now extended through August 21st!

Recent Tony Award not Lookingglass’ last act

  
  

Marilyn Dodds Frank (Lilith Fisher), Nora Fiffer (Lilka Kadison) and Chance Bone (Ben Ari Adler) in Lookingglass Theatre's "The Last Act of Lilka Kadison". (photo: Sean Williams)

  
Lookingglass Theatre presents
   
   
The Last Act of Lilka Kadison
   
Written by Nicola Behrman, David Kersnar, Abbie Phillips
         Heidi Stillman and Andrew White
Directed by David Kersnar
at Lookingglass Theatre, Water Tower Water Works. (map)
through July 24 August 21  |  tickets: $30-$58  |  more info

Reviewed by Barry Eitel 

This weekend, most of the people that put Lookingglass Theatre Company on the map were not at the opening for their latest show, The Last Act of Lilka Kadison. Instead, they were sitting in the Beacon Theatre in New York City—that other theatre town—scooping up the 2011 Tony Award for Best Regional Theatre. This marks the fifth such award belonging to Chicago, making one wonder if maybe the whole Tony venture should shift more Midwest. That’s not too likely happen, no matter how much tepid material Broadway churns out (with a few bright spots, of course).

Marilyn Dodds Frank (Lilith Fisher), Usman Ally (Menelik Kahn), Chance Bone (Ben Ari Adler) and Nora Fiffer (Lilka Kadison) in Lookingglass Theatre's "The Last Act of Lilka Kadison". (photo: Sean Williams)Lilka Kadison, then, finds itself in an odd position. Considering the timing, it should prove that Lookingglass deserves that little statue. The play, collectively written by Nicola Behrman, David Kersnar (who also directs), Abbie Phillips, Heidi Stillman and Andrew White, is stylistically different from any Lookingglass piece I’ve seen—it’s in proscenium. But what seems like a conservative choice on the surface is really a storytelling maneuver. Kadison is still infused with the whimsy-tinged yet socially conscious ethos that made the company famous. While the story is jerky, there’s a heart-tugging journey with plenty of breathtaking moments.

As you might expect with a play containing the words “The Last Act” in the title, Kadison is a concise meditation on death. And life. Kersnar and friends based the piece on the writings of the late Johanna Cooper, who worked with Phillips on a radio series called “One People, Many Stories.” The duo recorded the stories of Jews from all over the planet and put them on the radio. The far-reaching narrative of Cooper’s tales resonate with this script, which traverses the Atlantic and the multiple lives of Lilka.

The play splits focus between two periods in the life of the titular female. In one, she’s a young, romantic Jewish girl (Nora Fiffer) living in Poland days before the Nazis strolled in. The other is the “last act,” where we find an embittered, cranky old woman (Marilyn Dodds Frank) left to die in her cluttered house. Her only companion is her live-in caretaker, Menelik (Usman Ally). Moving throughout both these realms is the charming Ben Ari Adler (Chance Bone), Lilka’s first love. He was there to protect her during the invasion and his spirit later haunts her, begging her to tell their unknown story to someone.

     
Nora Fiffer (Lilka Kadison), Chance Bone (Ben Ari Adler) and Usman Ally (Menelik Kahn) in Lookingglass Theatre's "The Last Act of Lilka Kadison". (photo: Sean Williams) Chance Bone (Ben Ari Adler) and Nora Fiffer (Lilka Kadison) do the dip in Lookingglass Theatre's "The Last Act of Lilka Kadison". (photo: Sean Williams)

Nora Fiffer (Lilka Kadison) and Chance Bone (Ben Ari Adler) in Lookingglass Theatre's "The Last Act of Lilka Kadison". (photo: Sean Williams)

The narrative moves along at a chipper pace, clocking in at 90 minutes with no intermission. The obligatory quirky theatricality here is the show’s homage to Yiddish theatre of the 1930’s. Adler drags around a toy theatre where he puts up elaborate puppet shows and schemes his larger theatrical ventures. Kersnar throws too much time and attention on these moments, though they never get close to boring. The actual love story is ill-developed, jumping through the courtship at an unbelievable pace. I can chalk some of this up to radical world circumstances and the story gets the emotional job done in the end, but I was longing for some more scenes detailing Lilka and Adler’s relationship.

Each of the performers holds their own against the technical hullabaloo going on. Bone is the highlight, exuding the urbanity of an old time movie hero, even when he’s operating puppets or doing some magic trick. Fiffer and Frank are interesting foils and both funny in their own way. Ally steals his fair share of scenes as the much-abused nurse. Props to the writing committee for giving Melenik enough depth so he’s not just another throw-away supporting character.

Kadison works because of its heart, plain and simple—though the delightful stage pictures help. The play’s final message is terse yet touching—give your mom a call.

  
  
Rating: ★★★
  
  

Extra Credit: Check out this production’s wonderful study guide!!

   

Chance Bone (Ben Ari Adler) and Nora Fiffer (Lilka Kadison) with their toy theater, in Lookingglass Theatre's "The Last Act of Lilka Kadison". (photo: Sean Williams)

All photos by Sean Williams

     
     
June 13, 2011 | 1 Comment More