Tag: Laura Coleman

Review: Wedding Band (The Artistic Home)

Raina Lynn and Scott Westerman star as Julia and Herman in Wedding Band, Artistic Home 4             

         

Wedding Band    
   
Written by Alice Childress
The Artistic Home, 1376 W. Grand (map)
thru Dec 17  |  tix: $28-$32  |  more info    
       
Check for half-price tickets   
     

November 25, 2017 | 0 Comments More

Review: Interrogation (The Artistic Home)

Julian Hester and Kathryn Acosta in Interrogation, The Artistic Home          
      
  

Interrogation

Written by Scott Woldman
The Artistic Home, 1376 W. Grand (map)
thru March 20  |  tix: $28-$32  |  more info
       
Check for half-price tickets       

March 16, 2016 | 2 Comments More

Review: Scream, Queen, Scream! (Hell in a Handbag Productions)

Kristopher Bottrall and Rachel Hadlock star in Hell in a Handbag's "Scream, Queen, Scream!" by David Cerda, directed by Wm. Bullion. (photo credit: Rick Aguilar Studios)      
      
Scream, Queen, Scream! 

Written by David Cerda  
at Mary’s Attic, 5400 N. Clark (map)
thru Oct 31 |  tix: $22-$30  | more info
       
Check for half-price tickets    
    

September 29, 2015 | 0 Comments More

Review: Hey! Dancin’! Hey! Musical! (Factory Theater)

Factory Theater presents the world premiere "Hey! Dancin'! Hey! Musical!" by Laura McKenzie, Mike Beyer and Kirk Pynchon, directed by Matthew Gunnels. (photo credit: Evan Hanover)        
      
Hey! Dancin’! Hey! Musical!

By Laura McKenzie (music, lyrics), Mike Beyer (book),
   and Kirk Pynchon (book, additional lyrics)
Directed by Matthew Gunnels
at Prop Thtr, 3502 N. Elston (map)
thru May 31  |  tickets: $20   |  more info
       
Check for half-price tickets 
    
        
                   Read review
     

May 10, 2014 | 0 Comments More

Review: Beau Jest (Oil Lamp Theater)

Andrea Rappaport and Shaun Nathan Baer in Beau Jest, Oil Lamp Theater        
       
Beau Jest 

Written by James Sherman  
Directed by Ron Ben-Joseph  
Oil Lamp Theater, 723 Glenview Road (map)
thru April 7  |  tickets: $30   |  more info
       
Check for half-price tickets 
    
        
        Read entire review
     

March 20, 2013 | 0 Comments More

Review: Scott Janus: Monster Hunter! (New Millennium Theatre)

     
postcard-front copy
Scott Janus: Monster Hunter!
 

Written by Paul Czarnowksi
Directed by Sean Harklerode
at Theater Wit, 1229 W. Belmont (map)
thru Oct 30  |  tickets: $17-$20  |  more info

Check for half-price tickets
   
     
        Read entire review

     
October 6, 2011 | 0 Comments More

Review: Cubicle! An Office Space Musical (New Millennium)

  
  

A contemporary classic becomes a mangled musical

 
 

New Millennium Theatre presents "Cubicle! An Office Space Musical"

    
New Millennium Theatre presents
   
   
Cubicle! An Office Space Musical
   
  
Adapted by Ian McPhaden and Steven D. Attanasie Jr.
Original music by Megan Piccochi
Directed by Laura Coleman & Sean Harklerode
at Theater Wit, 1229 W. Belmont (map)
through June 4  |  tickets: $17-$20  |  more info

Reviewed by Keith Ecker 

The musical theatre landscape of today is riddled with the picked over remains of derivative ideas. It’s not that the genre doesn’t have the ability to be new and fresh (see The Book of Mormon or Next to Normal). It’s just that it’s perceived to be easier and less risky to take a previously successful work, abridge it and insert some songs to fill the gaps. The problem is that this method results in such monstrosities as Spiderman Turn Off the Dark.

New Millennium Theatre presents "Cubicle! An Office Space Musical"In 2005, New Millennium Theatre Company took this formula and applied it to the movie “Office Space”, the hilarious 1999 Mike Judge comedy about the ironies of office life. The company has revived its musical—christened Cubicle! An Office Space Musical. Although I can’t speak for the original production, the current production is a play that only a true hardcore fan of the movie could love. And even then, this might be pushing it. For though the script is a very close adaptation of the movie, the caliber of talent is lacking. This is a musical sung by non-singers who do not have the luxury of proper technical tools to lift their voices above the muffling canned score.

The play is about everyman Peter (Joseph H. White), a white-collar cubicle dweller who can’t stand the rat race. His office features all the common annoyances of contemporary work life, from a confusing hierarchy of middle managers to unexpected weekend workdays. After a hypnotherapy session goes awry, Peter is awoken to life’s zest and decides to seize the day by becoming an utter and complete slacker. Fortuitously, this attitude ends up benefiting him in his work life.

Other plot elements include Peter’s love interest Rachel (Kelly Parker), a disgruntled waitress at a TGI Friday’s style restaurant; Peter’s friends Michael Bolton (Michael James Graf) and Samir (Rafael Torres), who help him execute a plan to embezzle thousands of dollars from the company; and Milton (Guy Schingoethe), the meek and mentally unstable employee who threatens to burn the building to the ground if he doesn’t get his red stapler back.

New Millennium is working with a solid script. The adaptation, penned by Ian McPhaden and Steven D. Attanasie Jr., rips much of the movie’s famous dialogue word for word right down to the famous "O face" scene. You would think it’s too identical to the film to fail.

But it does fail. And it has everything to do with the musical part of this musical. The singing is just atrocious. Much of the songs are spoken with a singsong affect. And even the rap numbers, which don’t require a gift for melody, are executed with a disappointing lack of passion and commitment. The performers, whose vocal strength can be likened to a light breeze, lack microphones, which makes it all the more impossible to hear the lyrics over the pre-recorded tracks. Speaking of which, the music is also problematic. Musical director Megan Piccochi has created a cacophonous and rather uncatchy series of songs that fail to stick. Rather than rely on clear and straightforward instrumentation, she has spliced pre-existing songs with digital samples to create a tangle of audio.

There are two saving graces to this show. The number "Flair" is by far and away the musical’s best. Much of this can be credited to performer Adam Rosowicz, who gives a dynamic performance and sports a strong voice. The other high point is Schingoethe, whose portrayal of Milton is captivating. His powerful pipes eclipse the majority of the cast.

If you’re a giant fan of “Office Space”, you may derive pleasure out of Cubicle! If you are a fan of musicals, prepare to be disappointed. And if you like to go to bed early, drink some coffee (the show runs from about 11 p.m. to 12:30 a.m.).

  
  
Rating: ★★
  
  

New Millennium Theatre presents "Cubicle! An Office Space Musical"

Cubicle! An Office Space Musical will run Friday and Saturday nights May 6th through June 4th at 11:00pm at Theater Wit (1229 W. Belmont Ave.). Tickets are $20 at the door or $17 in advance. There will be a limited number of half price tickets available through goldstar.com and hottix. For more information, or to purchase tickets, call 773-975-8150 or visit www.nmtchicago.org.

  
 
May 11, 2011 | 2 Comments More