Tag: Lorraine Freund

Review: Wit (The Hypocrites)

Kroydell Galima and Lisa Tejero star in Wit by Margaret Edson, The Hypocrites Chicago           
      
  

Wit

Written by Margaret Edson
The Den Theatre, 1333 N. Milwaukee (map)
thru Feb 19  |  tix: $36  |  more info
       
Check for half-price tickets
     

February 1, 2017 | 0 Comments More

Review: The Women of Lockerbie (AstonRep Theatre)

Sara Pavlak McGuire, Lorraine Freund, Morgan Manasa and Barbara Button in Women Lockerbie           
       

   
The Women of Lockerbie

Written by Deborah Brevoort
at Raven Theatre, 6157 N. Clark (map)
thru May 8  |  tix: $20  |  more info
       
Check for half-price tickets   
    

April 27, 2016 | 2 Comments More

Review: Watch on the Rhine (The Artistic Home)

Kathy Scambiatterra and Liam Dahlborn star in The Artistic Home's "Watch on the Rhine" by Lillian Hellman, directed by Cody Estle. (photo credit: Tim Knight)        
      
Watch on the Rhine

Written by Lillian Hellman
Directed by Cody Estle 
at The Artistic Home, 1376 W. Grand (map)
thru Nov. 16   |  tickets: $28-$32   |  more info
       
Check for half-price tickets 
    
        
                   Read review
     

November 9, 2014 | 0 Comments More

Review: Rasheeda Speaking (Rivendell Theatre)

Eric Slater and Ora Jones star in Rivendell Theatre's "Rasheeda Speaking" by Joel Drake Johnson, directed by Sandy Shinner. (photo credit: Joe Mazza / Brave Lux)        
      
Rasheeda Speaking

Written by Joel Drake Johnson
Directed by Sandy Shinner
at Rivendell Theatre, 5779 N. Ridge (map)
thru Feb 15  |  tickets: $30   |  more info
       
Check for half-price tickets 
    
        
                   Read review
     

January 24, 2014 | 0 Comments More

Review: Blood Wedding (Pursuit Productions)

Kyle Watson as Moon in Pursuit Productions' "Blood Wedding", directed by Kacie Smith, choreographed by Ahmad Simmons.        
       
Blood Wedding 

Written by Federico Garcia Lorca
Directed by Kacie Smith
Choreographed by Ahmad Simmons
at Studio BE, 3110 N. Sheffield (map)
thru Aug 11  |  tickets: $15-$20   |  more info
       
Check for half-price tickets 
    
        
        Read entire review
     

July 22, 2013 | 0 Comments More

Review: Thirty Thousand One (Pursuit Productions)

Jessica Miller Tomlinson (The Creator) and Joshua Manculich (The Earth), in Pursuit Productions' "Thirty Thousand One" by Kacie Smith, choreographed by Ahmad Simmons. (photo credit: Chris Dzombak)        
       
Thirty Thousand One 

Written and Directed by Kacie Smith 
Choreographed by Ahmad Simmons
at Theater Wit, 1229 W. Belmont (map)
thru Aug 12  |  tickets: $15-$20   |  more info
       
Check for half-price tickets 
    
        
        Read entire review
     

August 7, 2012 | 1 Comment More

Review: Agnes of God (Hubris Productions)

  
  

What is truth and what is a miracle?

  
  

Sara Pavlak, Lorraine Freund, Barbara Roeder Harris - Hubris Productions' Agnes of God

  
Hubris Productions presents
   
Agnes of God
  
Written by John Pielmeir
Directed by Jacob Christopher Green
at Greenhouse Theater Center, 2257 N. Lincoln (map)
through April 16  |  tickets: $25  |  more info

Reviewed by K.D. Hopkins

The human mind is a miraculous and wondrous thing. In the play Agnes of God, not only is an atheist asked to suspend logic, she’s also asked to question the nature of miracles in modern times. Hubris Productions presents a luminous and beautifully acted production directed by Jacob Christopher Green. The moment I sat down and looked at the set, I was transported back to the convent adjacent to my grammar school. It was stark and yet serene in its simplicity, just like the OSP convent of my childhood. There is a desk that serves as a place of authority for both Mother Miriam Ruth and Dr. Livingstone. Otherwise, it’s the ascetic and well-scrubbed world of a religious order.

Barbara Roeder Harris, as psychiatrist Dr. Livingstone, shines in the role of someone who is appointed to deem whether a horrific act was insanity or murder. The emotional range required of the Livingstone character would be Grand Guignol performance in the hands of a lesser actress, but Harris’ Livingstone is a perfect balance of restraint and fierce protector, determined to discover the truth even at the risk of her own beliefs.

Lorraine Freund (Mother Miriam Ruth) inhabits the habit. I was stunned at how much she recalled my second grade teacher, Sister Vienny. Here, Mother Miriam Ruth is a tightly wound character who unravels with surprising profanity and knowledge of the real world outside the cloistered convent. Freund plays Mother Miriam with a sly sense of humor, a steel-trap mind, and a warped protectiveness. Mother Miriam chose the world of contemplative religious life after a perceived failing at the art of being a wife and mother who raised two angry atheists. The question lingers – did Mother Miriam need a miracle to renew her faith, or does she manipulate a mentally ill girl to cover a deep lack of faith?  Freund is ramrod straight, shielded by an otherworldly calm. She is chillingly wonderful and the nun of my nightmares.

Sara Pavlak (Agnes) literally has the face of an angel. She is heart-wrenching as a naïve and abused girl who has never seen the outside world. Agnes would possibly be diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome as well as Disassociative Identity Disorder in these modern times of needing a label for everything. This Agnes is buried in her trauma and possibly a miraculous anomaly that cannot be explained. The stigmata that bursts from her hands is a shock that draws audible gasps from the audience. Ms. Pavlak so deeply inhabits the pure novitiate that the viscera of blood on her gleaming white habit is almost obscene. One cannot imagine this innocent waif being invaded by the carnality of intercourse but when she is in the throes of hypnosis-induced orgasm there is a raw sensuality that is at once powerful and transcendent.

These three actresses play seamlessly off of each other. The timing and movement is very important in such a stark production. There is not much room for missteps and they make none.

Jacob Christopher Green’s direction is seamless and well modulated. This is a drama that has the potential to go way over the top, and agonizing to watch (as in the case of the 1985 film featuring Jane Fonda, Anne Bancroft, and Meg Tilly). Playwright John Pielmeir’s script is made for the subtleties of the stage and for understated performances that explode and knock you back in your seat. Brava ladies, Bravo Mr. Green, and kudos to Hubris Productions.

   
  
Rating: ★★★½
  
  

Agnes of God runs through April 16th, with performances Saturdays at 8:00pm and Sundays at 3:00pm. Performances are at the Greenhouse Theater Center, 2257 N. Lincoln. Tickets are $25, and can be bought online or by calling 773-404-7336.

The 2011 season of Hubris Productions will donate portions of their proceeds to Humboldt Park Social Services. It is the Hubris mission statement that they provide entertainment, inspiration, education, and charitable giving. It is a worthy cause and definitely worth your time in the theater.

  
  
March 13, 2011 | 0 Comments More

REVIEW: Steel Magnolias (Hubris Productions)

Hubris production could use a touch-up

steel magnolias_004 

   
Hubris Productions present
  
Steel Magnolias
   
Written by Robert Harling
Directed by
Lavina Jadhwani
At
Greenhouse Theater Center, 2257 N. Lincoln (map)
Through July 31  | 
tickets: $25  | more info

Reviewed by Oliver Sava

steel magnolias_005The 1989 film version of Robert Harling’s Steel Magnolias is one of the definitive chick flicks of all time: empowering, hilarious, emotionally devastating, and featuring one of the best female ensembles ever assembled on screen. Harling’s characters are southern women bursting at the seams with charisma, and they require the  larger-than-life personalities of a Dolly Parton or Shirley Maclaine to make their struggles spectacular. Directed by Lavina Jadhwani, the actors of Hubris’s Steel Magnolias lack the energy that makes these characters enthralling, resulting in a plodding production that never makes it to the emotional heights that the script has become known for.

Harling’s play depicts the key moments of diabetic Shelby’s (Sara Pavlak) adulthood – her wedding, pregnancy, motherhood, etc. – and how these events affect her mother M’Lynn (Stephanie Wooten-Austin) and other women of Chinquapin, Louisiana: salon owner Truvy (Calidonia Olivares), sardonic widow Clairee (Sharon Roseri), eccentric curmudgeon Ouiser (Lorraine Freund), and new girl Annelle (Jessica Maynard). In Truvy’s salon, these six women argue about wedding colors, gossip about local ladies, and experience the occasional breakdown in an environment free of testosterone. On paper, the generations-spanning assortment of personalities should be quite entertaining, but the potential of the characters isn’t reached by the ensemble.

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From the very opening scene it is obvious that Steel Magnolias needs a lot of fine-tuning: the actors stumble over lines, the comedy revolves too heavily on gags (Annelle drops things! A lot!), and Truvy’s hair is way too flat. That last one is just mind-boggling, as big hair should be at the top of any designer’s checklist for this show. As the production continues, the lack of chemistry between the actors makes it apparent that there is still much character work to be done, starting with a much needed jolt of electricity to the dull performances.

   
   
Rating:★★
   
   

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June 29, 2010 | 0 Comments More