Tag: Kristi J. Martens

Review: Hair (Mercury Theater Chicago)

Michelle Lauto and ensemble in Hair, Mercury Theater Chicago            
          

Hair

Music by Galt MacDermot 
Book/Lyrics by Gerome Ragni, James Rado
Mercury Theater, 3745 N. Southport (map)
thru Sept 24  |  tix: $30-$65  |  more info
       
Check for half-price tickets    
     

August 10, 2017 | 0 Comments More

Review: The Producers (Mercury Theater Chicago)

Matt Crowle and Bill Larkin in The Producers, Mercury Theater Chicago          
      
     
The Producers 

Music/Lyrics by Mel Brooks
Book by Mel Brooks and Thomas Meehan
Mercury Theater, 3745 N. Southport (map)
thru June 26  |  tix: $30-$65   |  more info
       
Check for half-price tickets   
     

May 27, 2016 | 0 Comments More

Review: The Man Who Murdered Sherlock Holmes (Mercury Theater Chicago)

Nick Sandys stars as Sherlock Holmes in Mercury Theater's "The Man Who Murdered Sherlock Holmes" by Julie Shannon, Michael Mahler and John Reeger, directed by Warner Crocker. (photo credit: Brett Beiner)          
      
   

The Man Who Murdered
   Sherlock Holmes

By Julie Shannon, Michael Mahler
    and John Reeger
Mercury Theater, 3745 N. Southport (map)
thru March 20  |  tix: $25-$65  |  more info
       
Check for half-price tickets   
    

February 3, 2016 | 0 Comments More

Review: Avenue Q (Mercury Theater)

Jackson Peter Evans, Sean Patrick Fawcett, Donterrio Johnson, Leah Morrow and Christine Bunuan star in Mercury Theater Chicago's "Avenue Q" by Jeff Whitty, Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx, directed by L. Walter Stearns. (photo credit: Brett Beiner)        
      
Avenue Q

Book by Jeff Whitty
Music and Lyrics by Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx
Directed by L. Walter Stearns  
at Mercury Theater, 3745 N. Southport (map)
thru Oct 26  |  tickets: $20-$59   |  more info
       
Check for half-price tickets 
    
        
                   Read review
     

May 15, 2014 | 0 Comments More

Review: Singin’ in the Rain (Drury Lane Theatre)

Tony Yazbeck stars as as Don Lockwood in Drury Lane Oakbrook's "Singin' in the Rain", directed by Bill Jenkins. (photo credit: Brett Beiner)        
       
Singin’ in the Rain  

Adapted by Betty Comden and Adolph Green
Nacio Herb Brown (music), Arthur Freed (lyrics)
Directed by Bill Jenkins
Drury Lane Theatre, Oakbrook Terrace (map)
thru Jan 13  |  tickets: $35-$46   |  more info
       
Check for half-price tickets 
    
        
            Read entire review
     

   
December 26, 2012 | 0 Comments More

Review: Xanadu (Drury Lane Theatre)

Chris Critelli (Sonny) and Gina Milo (Clio/Kira) star in "Xanadu", directed by Rachel Rockwell. (photo credit: Brett Beiner)        
       
Xanadu 

Book by Douglas Carter Beane
Book/Lyrics by Jeff Lynne and John Farrar 
Directed/Choreographed by Rachel Rockwell 
Drury Lane Theatre, Oak Brook Terrace (map)
thru Oct 28  |  tickets: $35-$46   |  more info
       
Check for half-price tickets 
    
        
        Read entire review
     

September 17, 2012 | 0 Comments More

Review: The 39 Steps (Drury Lane Theatre)

Jeff Dumas, Paul Kalina, Peter Simon Hilton and Angela Ingersoll, in Drury Lane Theatre's "The 39 Steps", directed by David New. (photo credit: Brett Beiner)        
       
The 39 Steps 

Adapted by Patrick Barlow
    from novel by John Buchan  
Directed by David New 
Drury Lane Theatre, Oakbrook Terrace (map)
thru Aug 26  |  tickets: $35-$46   |  more info
       
Check for half-price tickets 
    
        
        Read entire review
     

July 14, 2012 | 0 Comments More

Review: Leaving Iowa (Fox Valley Repertory)

     
     

‘Leaving Iowa’ backs its rustic corniness with heartfelt characters

     
     

Diane Dorsey (Mom), Don Forston (Dad), Katherine Banks (Sis), Alex Goodrich (Don) in 'Leaving Iowa' by Tim Clue and Spike Manton - directed by Rachel Rockwell

   
Fox Valley Repertory presents
  
Leaving Iowa
       
Written by Tim Clue and Spike Manton
Directed by Rachel Rockwell
at Pheasant Run Resort, St. Charles (map)
thru March 13  |  tickets: $29-$39  |  more info

Reviewed by Dan Jakes

As a boy, I endured my share of 6-hour road trips to Mount Pleasant, Iowa, a pint-sized rural town where my sister attended college. I can’t say the experience left me with playwrights Tim Clue and Spike Manton’s fondness for the Hawkeye State, but I can appreciate the sentiment behind this charming family comedy.

Leaving Iowa is straight-up Americana, full of the diner waitresses, Civil War re-enactors, helpful motel clerks and hyped-up mechanics we like to believe still pepper the Midwestern landscape. The narrative is familiar but sturdy: Don, a city boy (Alex Goodrich), returns home to take care of family business and finds himself reconnecting with his roots in the process.

'Leaving Iowa' by Tim Clue and Spike Manton - directed by Rachel Rockwell, playing at Pheasant Run Resort by the Fox Valley Repertory.

On a mission to scatter his father’s ashes, he is hit with a wave of nostalgia for his family car trips. The action leaps back and forth between Don’s narration (richly performed, which is no easy task with light-hearted material), his present day quest, and flashbacks to his vacation adventures with Mom (Diane Dorsey), Dad (Don Forston), and Sis (Katherine Banks). The childhood scenes are largely dominated by broad comedy—the kind you’d expect in a self-rated PG play about nostalgia and making things right. At times, jokes about incessant backseat wailing just become incessant wailing, but mostly the gentle humor earns at least a smile.

The real heart of the show lies in Don’s relationship with his father. For a play that ends its first act with an ensemble chorus of “This Land is Your Land” set against a waving flag, director Rachel Rockwell touches on some unexpectedly honest, complicated ideas about growing up. When adult Don tries to have a long-distance phone call with his father, boredom and guilt fill the pauses in between banal sports chatter and monosyllabic responses. Dad, planted in front of a television, silently hurts. The son lacks the will to make the connection his old man needs.

The same goes for a later lament about opportunities passed.

This father-son duo has convincing chemistry. Forston is loveable, and Goodrich fills the All American Boy bill with a sense of earnestness and relatable imperfection. Wacky bits about navigating in the bygone collapsible-map era are swell, but Rockwell never lets us forget there are real humans in that car. The show contains substance underneath its silliness—themes that are affecting and brave.

In other words, Leaving Iowa gives us the apple pie without making us stomach too much gooey, fluorescent cheese on top.

  
  
Rating: ★★★
     
  

Stop Fighting!  Diane Dorsey (Mom), Don Forston (Dad), Katherine Banks (Sis), Alex Goodrich (Don) encounter a vacation car fight in 'Leaving Iowa' by Tim Clue and Spike Manton - directed by Rachel Rockwell

Artists

Cast: Diane Dorsey (Mom), Don Forston (Dad), Katherine Banks (Sis), Alex Goodrich (Don), Sean Patrick Fawcett (Character Man), Anna Carini (Character Woman), Torey Adkins (Male Understudy), Géraldine Dulex (Sis Understudy), Valerie Glowinski (Mom & Character Woman Understudy)

Production: Rachel Rockwell (Director), Tim Clue & Spike Manton (Playwrights), Mike Tutaj (Video Designer), Yousif Mohamed (Lighting Design), Elizabeth Flauto (Costume Design), Kevin Depinet (Scenic Design), Miles Polaski (Sound Design), Kristi J. Martens (Stage Manager), Laura Eilers (Performance Assistant Stage Manager), Mark Johnson (Replacement Stage Manager), Jesse Gaffney (Properties Master)

***NOTE: Valerie Glowinski has taken over role of The Character Woman***

Leaving Iowa, Rachel Rockwell, Tim Clue, Spike Manton, Fox Valley Rep

February 22, 2011 | 0 Comments More