Tag: Jodi Kingsley

Review: Spinning (Irish Theatre of Chicago)

Dan Waller and Carolyn Kruse in Spinning, Irish Theatre of Chicago           
 

         
Spinning 

Written by Deirdre Kinahan
The Den Theatre, 1333 N. Milwaukee (map)
thru July 3  |  tix: $26-$30  |  more info
       
Check for half-price tickets   
     

June 4, 2016 | 1 Comment More

Review: In A Little World Of Our Own (Irish Theatre of Chicago)

Jodi Kingsley, Jeff Duhigg, Gage Wallace and Matthew Isler in Little World of Our Own          
      
   

In A Little World Of Our Own

Written by Gary Mitchell
The Den Theatre, 1333 N,. Milwaukee (map)
thru Apr 10  |  tix: $   |  more info
       
Check for half-price tickets   
    

March 6, 2016 | 0 Comments More

Review: The Birds (Griffin Theatre)

Keith Neagle and Jodi Kingsley star in Griffin Theatre's "The Birds" by Conor McPherson, directed by Kevin Kingston. (photo credit: Michael Brosilow)       
   

        
The Birds

Written by Conor McPherson  
Directed by Kevin Kingston  
at Theater Wit, 1229 W. Belmont (map)
thru July 19  |  tickets: $35   |  more info
       
Check for half-price tickets  
     
         
           Read review
     

   

June 18, 2015 | 0 Comments More

Review: Men Should Weep (Griffin Theatre)

Lori Myers and Ada Grey star in Griffin Theatre's "Men Should Weep" by Ena Lamont Stewart, directed by Robin Witt. (photo credit: Michael Brosilow)        
      
Men Should Weep

Written by Ena Lamont Stewart
Directed by Robin Witt
at Raven Theatre, 6157 N. Clark (map)
thru Aug 10  |  tickets: $35   |  more info
       
Check for half-price tickets 
    
        
                   Read review
     

July 14, 2014 | 0 Comments More

Review: Danny and the Deep Blue Sea (Kokandy Productions)

Brandon Galatz and Jodi Kingley star in Kokandy Production's "Danny and the Deep Blue Sea" by John Patrick Shanley, directed by K. Hannah Friedman. (photo credit: Joshua Albanese Photography)        
       
Danny and the
       Deep Blue Seas
 

Written by John Patrick Shanley
Directed by K. Hannah Friedman
at Athenaeum Theatre, 2936 N. Southport (map)
thru April 28  |  tickets: $28   |  more info
       
Check for half-price tickets 
    
        
        Read entire review
     

April 15, 2013 | 1 Comment More

Review: WRENS (Rivendell Theatre)

Mary Cross and Ashley Neal star in Rivendell Theatre's "WRENS" by Anne McGravie, directed by Karen Kessler (photo credit: Michael Brosilow)       
      
WRENS 

Written by Anne McGravie  
Directed by Karen Kessler
at Rivendell Theatre, 5779 N. Ridge (map)
thru Oct 13  |  tickets: $30   |  more info
       
Check for half-price tickets 
    
        
        Read entire review
     

September 11, 2012 | 1 Comment More

Review: Smartphones – A Pocket-Size Farce

Jodi Kingsley as Chantal and Geraldine Dulex as Amelia, in Trap Door Theatre's "Smartphones: A Pocket-Size Farce", written and directed by Emilio Williams.        
       
Smartphones:
    A Pocket-Size Farce
 

Written and Directed by Emilio Williams  
Trap Door Theatre, 1655 W. Cortland (map)
thru Aug 18  |  tickets: $20   |  more info
       
Check for half-price tickets 
    
        
        Read entire review
     

July 22, 2012 | 1 Comment More

Review: The Maid of Orleans (Strangeloop Theatre)

  
  

Strangeloop’s ‘Maid’ not strange enough

  
  

A scene from Strangeloop Theatre's production of "The Maid of Orleans" by Friedrich Schiller.

  
Strangeloop Theatre presents
   
  
The Maid of Orleans
   
     

Written by Friedrich Schiller
Directed by Bradley Gunter
at Trap Door Theatre, 1655 W. Cortland (map)
through May 29  |  tickets: $5-$15  |  more info

Reviewed by Barry Eitel

In the centuries since her fiery demise in 1430, the story of Joan of Arc has inspired volumes of plays. Shakespeare paints an unflattering picture of the girl in part 1 of Henry VI, seeing her as a scheming enemy of the English. Probably the most influential depiction of Joan (while not the most accurate) is Friedrich Schiller’s The Maid of Orleans, written a little over two hundred years ago. He dramatizes almost her entire life, from her shepherding origins to her death on the battlefield (I suppose burning someone at the stack was too hard to stage). His five act play inspired operas by Verdi and Tchaikovsky as well as a slew of films. Schiller is a major force in shaping Joan the cultural icon as we think of her today.

A scene from Strangeloop Theatre's production of "The Maid of Orleans" by Friedrich Schiller.With such a strong German history in Chicago, I’m always a little surprise the Teutonic greats don’t see more stage time. We have streets named after Schiller and Goethe. There’s a Buchner love-fest going on right now, and Brecht pops up every season (as he should)—but the Continent’s answers to the Bard are oft ignored.

Not by Strangeloop Theatre, who cram Joan’s epic venture onto the Trap Door stage stage. And they go balls to the wall, using a 1840s translation and avoiding flourishes. However, it’s an arduous, creaky journey, with brief moments of excitement punctuating long spats of monotony.

I left yearning for some unifying concept, something that would make Schiller’s ode more relevant. But director Bradley Gunter doesn’t bring much to the table, which is a shame because Joan’s story is so moldable and Schiller’s script so rich. Gunter puts up a very sobering production, one bordering on stale. They end up with a museum exhibit on their hands.

A lot of the problem is due to Anna Swanwick’s dusty translation. It’s in the public domain, I get it. But that also means you can change it up, zap it with modern sensibilities. Strangeloop could’ve taken a tip from the Woyzeck Festival and put up an adaptation, probably coming up with something much more zesty. In order to ask an audience to sit through a two and a half hour ordeal, a production needs more conviction. The audience deserves more effort than those that conjured up this production put forth.

     
A scene from Strangeloop Theatre's production of "The Maid of Orleans" by Friedrich Schiller.q A scene from Strangeloop Theatre's production of "The Maid of Orleans" by Friedrich Schiller.
A scene from Strangeloop Theatre's production of "The Maid of Orleans" by Friedrich Schiller. A scene from Strangeloop Theatre's production of "The Maid of Orleans" by Friedrich Schiller.

That’s not to say there isn’t anything noteworthy about Strangeloop’s creation. If you really, really crave Schiller or the Joan of Arc story, it’s worth a peek. And the swordplay, crafted by Libby Beyreis, adds much needed jolts of excitement.

In general, it’s a well-acted play, even if many of the supporting performances seem as stiff as the translation. Letitia Guilaud’s wide-eyed Johanna (Joan) is a joy, kicking loads of butt for France. She bobbles in more vulnerable scenes, especially one moment where she awkwardly sings to the audience. Yet Guilaud is petit and ferocious, all that we want Joan to be. Paul Tinsley takes great relish in playing the English scoundrel Talbot, and we feel it in the house. One of my favorite performances was Jodi Kingsley’s Queen Isabel, who sides with the English against her native France. She grips onto the language with grace, making the text oddly modern. It’s what the rest of the production aspires to be.

The production values are too simple to work well, especially costumer D.J. Reed’s decision to put everyone in modern dress. Nothing else feels modern, so the shirts and ties feel like a cheap and easy substitute for real period dress. Quite simply, Gunter’s vision lacks innovation. Joan was leading whole armies as an uneducated teenager. We at least owe her some creativity.

  
  
Rating: ★★
  
  

The cast from Strangeloop Theatre's production of "The Maid of Orleans" by Friedrich Schiller

     
     
May 12, 2011 | 1 Comment More