Tag: Jessica Lauren Fisher

Review: Shockheaded Peter (Black Button Eyes Productions)

Kat Evans, Pavi Proczko and Kevin Webb star in Shockheaded Peter, Black Button Eyes Productions            

          

Shockheaded Peter

Created by Julian Crouch, Phelim McDermott
Music and lyrics by The Tiger Lillies
Athenaeum Theatre, 2936 N. Southport (map)
thru Sept 16  |  tix: $32  |  more info
       
Check for half-price tickets    
     

September 11, 2017 | 0 Comments More

Review: The History Boys (Eclectic Full Contact Theatre)

Mathias Blake and Taylor Sorrel star as Dakin and Scripps in The History Boys           
      
  

The History Boys 

Written by Alan Bennett
Athenaeum Theatre, 2936 N. Southport (map)
thru March 4  |  tix: $25-$30  |  more info
       
Check for half-price tickets   
     

February 11, 2017 | 0 Comments More

Review: Laughter on the 23rd Floor (Eclectic Full Contact Theatre)

Eclictic Full Contact Theatre presents "Laughter on the 23rd Floor" by Neil Simon, directed by David Belew.        
      
Laughter on the 23rd Floor

Written by Neil Simon 
Directed by David Belew
at Athenaeum Theatre, 2936 N. Southport (map)
thru June 29  |  tickets: $22-$27   |  more info
       
Check for half-price tickets 
    
        
                   Read review
     

June 23, 2014 | 0 Comments More

Review: Six Degrees of Separation (Eclectic Theatre)

Eclectic Theatre Company's "Six Degrees of Separation" by John Guare, directed by David Belew.        
       
Six Degrees of Separation 

Written by John Guare  
Directed by David Belew
at Athenaeum Theatre, 2936 N. Southport (map)
thru March 17  |  tickets: $22-$27   |  more info
       
Check for half-price tickets 
    
        
        Read entire review
     

February 26, 2013 | 0 Comments More

Review: Side Effects May Include (MadKap Productions)

Andrew J. Pond stars as Phil Rosen in the Chicago premiere of "Side Effects May Include..." by Marc Jaffe and Eric Cole, directed by Wayne Mell. (photo credit: Scott Richardson)        
       
Side Effects May Include… 

Written by Marc Jaffe and Eric Coble 
Directed by Wayne Mell
Greenhouse Theater, 2257 N. Lincoln (map)
thru Feb 10  |  tickets: $20-$25   |  more info
       
Check for half-price tickets 
    
        
        Read entire review
     

January 15, 2013 | 1 Comment More

Review: The Sound of Music (Chamber Opera Chicago)

Barbara Landis and Ryan de Ryke, in a scene from Chamber Opera Chicago's "The Sound of Music", directed by Chuck Gessert.        
       
The Sound of Music 

Written by Richard Rodgers (music)
     and Oscar Hammerstein II (lyrics) 
Directed by Chuck Gessert
Athenaeum Theatre, 2936 N. Southport (map)
thru Sept 16  |  tickets: $10-$30   |  more info
       
Check for half-price tickets 
    
        
        Read entire review
     

September 19, 2012 | 1 Comment More

REVIEW: The Wind in the Willows (City Lit Theater)

 
 

Another triumph in Toad Hall

 
 

Wind in the Willows - City Lit Theater

  
City Lit Theater presents
   
  
The Wind in the Willows
  
Written by Kenneth Grahame
Adapted and Composed by
Douglas Post
Directed by
Terry McCabe
at
City Lit Theater, 1020 W. Bryn Mawr (map)
through Jan 9  |  tickets: $25  |  more info

Reviewed by Lawrence Bommer

You can never weary of a good old friend. This is the latest of many times that The Wind in the WillowsDouglas Post‘s delightful musical play based on Kenneth Grahame’s beloved animal fantasy – has trod the boards (its first, 1983 version was called “Toad of Toad Hall”). City Lit’s last revival was only last year.

With each mounting, it’s increasingly obvious how faithful Post’s supple score and rollicking "story theater" script remain to the strengths of Grahame’s beloved tale, particularly the author’s delight in the English countryside and its evergreen changes of season. The animals are perfect British stereotypes, especially Toad’s upper-class twit, as is the class consciousness that pits the underclass of the Wild Wood (weasels, stoats, and ferrets) against the more civilized creatures of the riverbank and underground.

The story, you might recall, concerns the much tested friendship of the plucky Water Rat, gentle Mole, and gruff Badger for Grahame’s most whimsical creation, the self-inflated Mr. Toad (a very spoiled animal who grew up scarcely changed). A creature of unbridled appetite and nettled by a boundless ego, Toad is always hot after some new obsession, particularly motorcars, which he loves to steal and wreck. His loyal if frustrated friends break their brains trying to save him from himself, even when it means an intervention right out of A&E. They must rescue his elegant Toad Hall from the weasels, stoats, and ferrets who infest it when Toadie is incarcerated. Only after his friends’ concerted effort does Mr. Toad learn some late humility. (But how long until the next obsession?)

Ranging from honest Sondheim ”homage” (the Wildwooders’ "Down with the Toad") to the tenderness of the "My Home" ballad sung by a homesick Rat and Mole, Post’s score (nicely sung against a recorded accompaniment) supports its story splendidly. Terry McCabe

 serves it equally well as director of a revival that spins its tale with inexhaustible grace and charm (though the scene containing the mystical "Song of the Piper," however rich with Grahame’s love of nature, doesn’t fit the story). But the lovely “Christmas Carol, sung by the field mice, hedgehogs, mole, rat and otter, is a perfect holiday touch.

Alan Donahue’s set is redolent of giant cattails sewn together with patches of an earth-colored quilt, and with the British accents accurately in place, Post’s recipe loses none of its flavor. Tom Weber delivers sturdy work as the water-loving Rat who’s plucky, resourceful and the ultimate friend in need. An enchanting portrayal, Catherine Gillespie‘s Mole is full of wonderment at the great world above ground. Though lacking the critter’s usual Scottish accent, Edward Kuffert‘s Badger well conveys the elder animal’s irascible dignity, tough love and no-nonsense common sense, and Sean Knight is a funny and spirited duffer as good old Otter.

But the ongoing pleasure remains Mr. Toad, and in this revival Ed Rutherford , his rubber face conveying all the devious intensity of this paragon of pomposity, has made the role all his own. Children love his hammy selfishness and adults will see in Toad no small amount of human

”déjà vu”. Mr. Toad is forever.

  
  
Rating: ★★★★
  
  

Citi-Lit Theater logo

Production Artists

 

Ensemble

Kate Andrulis, Sarah Bright, Jessica Lauren Fisher, Catherine Gillespie, Sean Knight, Edward Kuffert, Aaron Lawson, Brian LeTraunik, Lauren Noelle Morgan, Shawn Quinlan, Lauren Romano, Ed Rutherford, and Tom Weber

Wild In The Willows logoProduction Team

The musical arrangements are by Kevin O’Donnell with additional vocal arrangements by Andra Veils Simon, musical direction by Nick Sula, and choreography by Andrew Waters

The designers are Matthew Cummings (props), Alan Donahue (set), Sarah Hughey (lighting), and Ricky Lurie (costumes).

December 22, 2010 | 0 Comments More