Tag: Letitia Guillaud

Review: Gentle (TUTA Theatre)

Dani Tucker stars as The Girl in Gentle, TUTA Theatre 2            
       
  

Gentle

Adapted and Directed by Zeljko Djukic
   from the story by F..M. Dostoevsky
The Den Theatre, 1333 N. Milwaukee (map)
thru March 26  |  tix: $25-40  |  more info
       
Check for half-price tickets   
    

March 6, 2017 | 0 Comments More

Review: A Charlie Brown Christmas (Broadway Playhouse, 2016)

Jason Goff, Charlie Brown Christmas, Emerald City Theatre, Broadway in Chciago           
      
  

A Charlie Brown Christmas 

Written by Charles M. Schulz
Adapted for stage by Eric Schaeffer
Broadway Playhouse, 175 E. Chestnut (map)
thru Jan 8  |  tix: $16-$32  |  more info
       
Check for half-price tickets   
     

November 16, 2016 | 1 Comment More

Review: Hack/Slash (Strangeloop Theatre and Chemically Imbalanced Comedy)

Jean E. Burr stars in "Hack/Slash," adapted from the Tim Seeley comics series, directed by Brad Gunter. (co-produced by Strangeloop Theatre and Chemically Imbalanced Comedy, photo credit: Austin D. Oie)        
      
Hack/Slash

Based on comic book by Tim Seeley 
Directed by Brad Gunter
Chemically Imbalanced Theater, 1422 W. Irving (map)
thru Nov 1  |  tickets: $15   |  more info
       
Check for half-price tickets 
    
        
                   Read review
     

October 26, 2014 | 0 Comments More

Review: The Robbers (Strangeloop Theatre)

Ticha Guillaud and Holly Robison star in Strangeloop Theatre's "The Robbers" by Friedrich Schiller, directed by Brad Gunter. (photo credit: Austin D. Oie)        
       
The Robbers 

Written by Friedrich Schiller
Directed by Brad Gunter
Side Project Theatre, 1439 W. Jarvis (map)
thru May 26  |  tickets: $15   |  more info
       
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        Read entire review
     

May 15, 2013 | 0 Comments More

Review: The North Star (Chemically Imbalanced Comedy)

Leslie Zang as Brooke in Chemically Imbalanced Comedy's "The North Star" by Anthony Ellison, directed by Letitia Guillaud.        
       
The North Star 

Written by Anthony Ellison
Directed by Letitia Guillaud
Chemically Imbalanced Theater (map)
thru Oct 13  |  tickets: $15   |  more info
       
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        Read entire review
     

September 14, 2012 | 2 Comments More

Review: As You Like It (Strangeloop Theatre)

Peter Robards, as Touchstone, in Strangeloop Theatre's "As You Like It - A New Adaptation", adapted by Letitia Guilland. (photo credit: Genevieve Sauvage)       
      
As You Like It
     (A New Adaptation)
 

Written by  William Shakespeare
Adapted by Letitia Guilland   
Directed by Brad Gunter
at Trap Door Theatre, 1655 W. Cortland (map)
thru May 6  |  tickets: $10-$15   |  more info
       
Check for half-price tickets 
    
        
        Read entire review
     

April 8, 2012 | 1 Comment More

Review: Strangers and Romance (Strangeloop Theatre)

     
Stacie Barra Tournis, Timothy C. Amos - Strangeloop Strangers and Romance 

Written by Barbara Lhota 
Directed by Doug Long
at Trap Door Theatre, 1655 W. Cortland (map)
thru Sept 18  |  tickets: $15  |  more info

Check for half-price tickets 

         Read entire review

        
August 21, 2011 | 0 Comments 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