Tag: Meredith Rae Lyons

Review: Fight City (Factory Theater)

Kim Boler stars as Erica Burdon in Fight City, Factory Theater            
  

         

Fight City
   
Written by Scott OKen
Factory Theater, 1623 W. Howard (map)
thru Aug 26  |  tix: $25  |  more info    
       
Check for half-price tickets   
     

July 29, 2017 | 0 Comments More

Review: Ithaka (InFusion Theatre)

Meredith Rae Lyons and Anji White star in InFusion Theatre's "Ithaka" by Andrea Stolowitz, directed by Mitch Golob. (photo credit: Cole Simon)        
       
Ithaka 

Written by Andrea Stolowitz
Directed by Mitch Golob
at Chopin Theatre, 1543 W. Division (map)
thru April 13  |  tickets: $15-$25   |  more info
       
Check for half-price tickets 
    
        
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March 24, 2014 | 0 Comments More

Review: Fight Girl Battle World (Infusion Theatre)

Kai Young, Sheila O’Connor and Kevin Anderson star in Infusion Theatre's "Fight Girl Battle World" by Qui Nguyen, directed by Mitch Golob. (photo credit: Johnny Knight)        
       
Fight Girl Battle World 

Written by Qui Nguyen 
Directed by Mitch Golob
at Theater Wit, 1229 W. Belmont (map)
thru June 16  |  tickets: $15-$25   |  more info
       
Check for half-price tickets 
    
        
        Read entire review
     

May 18, 2013 | 0 Comments More

Review: Brewed (The Ruckus & Tympanic Theatre)

Erin Myers and Charlotte Mae Ellison star in The Ruckus' and Tympanic Theatre's "Brewed" by Scott T. Barsotti, directed by Anna C. Bahow. (photo credit: Gerard Van Halsema)        
       
Brewed 

Written by Scott T. Barsotti
Directed by Anna C. Bahow  
at Theater Wit, 1229 W. Belmont (map)
thru March 24  |  tickets: $17   |  more info
       
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March 13, 2013 | 0 Comments More

Review: The Iron Stag King, Part I (The House Theatre)

Brandon Ruiter as Casper Kent, in The House Theatre's "The Iron Stag King" by Chris Mathews and Nathan Allen. (photo credit: Michael Brosilow)        
       
The Iron Stag King, Part I 

By Chris Mathews and Nathan Allen  
Directed by Nathan Allen
at Chopin Theatre, 1543 W. Division (map)
thru Oct 21  |  tickets: $25   |  more info
       
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September 14, 2012 | 0 Comments More

Review: Joan’s Laughter (The Side Project Theatre)

joan's laughter, side project theatre chicago       
      
Joan’s Laughter 

Written by Jacob Juntunen  
Directed by Cecelie D. Keenan 
The Side Project Theatre, 1439 W. Jarvis (map)
thru June 17  |  tickets: $10-$20   |  more info
       
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May 29, 2012 | 1 Comment More

REVIEW: Aelita and Shiny Boxes (Dream Theatre)

More work-in-progress than job-well-done

shinyboxes

 

Dream Theatre presents:

Aelita and Shiny Boxes

 

by Bil Gaines and Mishelle Renee Apalategui
directed and designed by Anna Weiler
through February 21st (more info)

review by Aggie Hewitt

Aelita and Shiny Boxes are two original one acts by young playwrights Bil Gaines and Mishelle Renee Apalategui, presently premiering at the Dream Theatre. This theater company, which produces only original work, has never before done a show written by anyone other than the artistic director, Jeremy Menekseoglu.

aelitaAelita, by Bil Gaines, is an allegorical story about a young woman who has to kill in order to free her soul. It’s a short play that dives right into big questions about god, violence, and love, while skipping details like relationships and characters, in a quasi postmodern style. The characters are very loose sketches of actual people, often speaking in bold, fragmented ideas rather than traditional dialogical thoughts. They seem to have a minimal point of view in order to bring home philosophical points of the play, and this break down in speech seems to have affected the opinions of the actors. The singular exception is Giau Truong as Amboy, the giant, who is older than death. This is the most clearly written character, and Truong is a charming and amenable actor that is fun to watch. This not totally lacking in humor, Aelita takes itself pretty seriously. The whole production leads up to a moral at the end which is always a tough sell, especially from a young playwright. 

Shiny Boxes, written by Mishelle Renee Apalategui is a tightly structured and nicely staged play about haunting childhood memories and the traumatic transition into adulthood. The set needed for this avant-garde piece is perfect for companies working with smaller budgets, as it uses inexpensive, everyday items to create the suggestion of a nineteen-year-old’s apartment and a child’s birthday party. A multi-colored metallic “happy birthday” banner hangs from the wall, and when the light hits it, it creates an amazing sparkling effect that is as full of nostalgia as the writer intended. The playwright does a nice job of weaving in and out of flashbacks, but this play, like Aelita (maybe even more so) takes itself a little too seriously, and the subject matter verges on melodrama.

As a whole, these plays both possess a didactic, college theater feel. The work and themes show promise.  No doubt both playwrights will grow and mature – creating amazing work in the future, but for now, however, the writing veers towards the immature.

SPECIAL NOTE: Because of a medical emergency that took place on stage during opening weekend, I saw this play twice. I have to make a mention on how professionally and seamlessly the actors improvised and performed the second half of the play without a key actor. The work was so committed that I could not tell that anything was wrong until I received a phone call from the executive director the next day. Another mention to the poor actress who fell ill, her performance while sick was so good, again I had no idea that anything was wrong. Bravo to the cast.

 

Rating: ★★

 

Performances occur Thursday, February 4 through Sunday, February 21 at Dream Theatre 556 W 18th Street.  Performances run Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00PM, and Sundays at 7:00 PM. Street Parking is available.

Tickets are $15-$18, 773-552-8616 / annainthedarkness@gmail.com

aelita_web 

AELITA & SHINY BOXES is a double feature of world premiere plays directed and designed by Dream Theatre Company member Anna Weiler (Somewhere In Texas). Dream Theatre Company invites two new playwrights, Bil Gaines and Mishelle Apalategui. Each writer has a unique style that complements the Dream Theatre Company tradition of high art. Featuring Dream Theatre Company members: Giau Truong, Megan Merrill and Judith Lesser and introducing: Chad Sheveland, Meredith Rae Lyons, Alicia Reese, Sean Murphy and Zach Livingston. Featuring soundtrack music written by Oh My God, Abraham Levitan and Coehlo. Photographs by Giau Truong. Graphic design by Lou Rocco Centrella.

February 16, 2010 | 0 Comments More