Tag: Michelle Lilly

Review: The Silent Language (TUTA Theatre Chicago)

Carolyn Molloy stars as Snake in TUTA Theatre Chicago's "The Silent Language" by Miodrag Stanisavljevic, directed by Jacqueline Stone. (photo credit: Anthony Robert La Penna)        
       
The Silent Language 

Written by Miodrag Stanisaviljevic  
Directed by Jacqueline Stone
TUTA Studio Theatre, 2010 W. Fulton (map)
thru June 9   |   tickets: $25   |  more info
       
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April 26, 2013 | 0 Comments More

Review: Arcadia (New Leaf Theatre)

A scene from New Leaf Theatre's "Arcadia" by Tom Stoppard, directed by Jessica Hutchinson. (photo credit: Tom McGrath)       
      
Arcadia

Written by Tom Stoppard  
Directed by Jessica Hutchinson  
at Lincoln Park Cultural Center (map)
thru June 16  |  tickets: $15-$25   |  more info
       
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May 19, 2012 | 1 Comment More

Review: Junie B. Jones (Emerald City Theatre)

A scene from Emerald City Theatre's "Junie B. Jones," adapted by Allison Gregory and Directed by Jacqueline Stone.       
      
Junie B. Jones

Adapted by Allison Gregory
From book series by Barbara Park
Directed by Jacqueline Stone  
Apollo Theater, 2540 N. Lincoln (map)
thru Jan 8  |  tickets: $13-$16   |  more info

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November 21, 2011 | 1 Comment More

Review: Burying Miss America (New Leaf Theatre)

     
Jean, played by New Leaf company member Marsha Harman, and Boxer, played by Ted Evans, are reunited after years apart when their legendary mother unexpectedly dies in New Leaf Theatre’s production of Burying Miss America.
Burying Miss America
 

Written by Brian Golden
Directed by Jessica Hutchinson
Lincoln Park Cultural Center (map)
thru Oct 29  |  tickets: $25  |  more info

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October 4, 2011 | 2 Comments More

Review: We Live Here (Theatre Seven of Chicago)

     
Photo #1 (l to r) – George Zerante Cyd Blakewell Jessica London-Shields Cody Proctor Photo: Amanda Clifford We Live Here

Conceive and Directed by Margot Bordelon and Cassy Sanders
Written by Scott T. Barsotti, Molly Each, Laura Eason, Brian Golden, Kristin Idaszak, Kim Morris, Nick Ward and Doug Whippo
Greenhouse Theater Ctr, 2257 Lincoln (map)
thru Sept 11  | tickets: $15-$25  | more info

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August 16, 2011 | 0 Comments More

REVIEW: Redeemers (New Leaf Theatre)

  
  

Struggling to save the corporate soul

  
  

Pat King, Joel Ewing and Marsha Harman -  Photo by Tom McGrath

   
New Leaf Theatre presents
   
Redeemers
  
Written by Bilal Dardai
Directed by
Jessica Hutchinson
at
Rocco Ranalli’s Pizzeria, 1925 N. Lincoln (map)
through Dec 19  |  tickets: $15  |  more info

Reviewed by Paige Listerud

A distinctly Eighties vibe pervades New Leaf Theatre’s production, Redeemers — and it’s not just that Pat King, who plays Nick, resembles a young James Spader both in looks and acting style. Directed by Jessica Hutchinson and set in the warm, casual and seasonally festooned environs of Rocco Ranallli’s back dining room, Redeemers revisits class warfare in the same way Eighties Brat Pack films explored them—as if Redeemers_NL_6photo by Tom McGrathsome black and white lesson in morality could be drawn from the conflict.

Nick, Mercy (Marsha Harman) and Abel (Joel Ewing) all work for Charles Edwin of Edwin Financial, then meet at their favorite watering hole each evening to rehash their existence under Mr. Edwin’s rule. Playwright Bilal Dardai gives these characters a sharp, witty and convincingly incestuous rapport while King, Harman and Ewing mark their territory at Ranalli’s with their tight, responsive and slightly sinister threesome. One never questions that they have known each other for years and can map each other’s moods by the stalling tactics they engage in or from the drinks they order. Over time, one silently asks what draws these three together besides shared history or a mutual workplace.

But never mind about that now. Charles Edwin dominates all their thoughts. His role in their lives infects even happy hour, when they might truly desire a break from the boss. Fine enough that they should grouse about Mr. Edwin when he was a tyrant, but a sudden change of heart—literally a double-bypass surgery—transforms him into the noble, fair and generous employer of Charles Dicken’s dreams. All of which strikes the threesome with incredulity and is simply too much for Nick, for one, to take. He masterminds with Mercy and Abel a series of relentless pranks meant to test Mr. Edwin just to see how far his personal reformation endures.

Sadly, the play suffers from the very thing it is founded upon—storytelling style theater. The most significant events have already occurred and must be related to the audience through the obviously suspect threesome. The cast is smart, charming and play their roles to second-skin perfection but the storytelling style inevitably dampens emotional immediacy. Redeemers_NL_5photo by Tom McGrathEven Nick’s obsession with Mr. Edwin loses tension because he must always be spoken of in the past tense. Even the jokes scripted to make fun of the style cannot relieve its subtly annoying impact. The only segment that doesn’t suffer is Abel’s tragic childhood account regarding his father.

New Leaf has engaged Dardai’s script with thoroughly professional talent to make it present; its crackling dialogue alone indicates the emergence of a promising new playwright that should be watched. However Redeemer’s wrap-up is as paper thin, implausible and morally simplistic as the Eighties films mentioned above. Tyrant or reformed saint, one has the boss one has and acquiesces to that arrangement as part of the cost of accepting the hierarchy of corporate life. Or one joins a commune or a co-operatively owned business—a choice that these cynical three, no doubt, would mercilessly ridicule over a scotch and soda.

  
  
Rating: ★★★
  
  

Redeemers_NL_002-1093834846-O

FEATURING

Pat King
Joel Ewing
Marsha Harman

PRODUCTION

Assistant Director: Josh Sobel
Production Manager: Marni Keenan
Stage Manager: Tara Malpass
Dramaturg: Emily Dendinger
Environment Design: Michelle Lilly
Sound & Projections Design: Nick Keenan
Costume Design: Rachel Sypniewski

  
  
December 13, 2010 | 0 Comments More