Tag: Richard Lundy

Review: Paradise Blue (TimeLine Theatre)

Al'Jaleel McGhee stars as Blue in Paradise Blue, TimeLine Theatre, Joe Mazza          
      
Paradise Blue 

Written by Dominique Morisseau
Music by Orbert Davis
TimeLine Theatre, 615 W. Wellington (map)
thru July 23  |  tix: $38-$51  |  more info
       
Check for half-price tickets   
     

May 30, 2017 | 0 Comments More

Review: Sunset Baby (TimeLine Theatre)

AnJi White and Phillip Edward Van Lear star in TimeLine Theatre's "Sunset Baby" by Dominique Morisseau, directed by Ron OJ Parson. (photo credit: Lara Goetsch)          
      
   

Sunset Baby

Written by Dominique Morisseau
TimeLine Theatre, 615 W. Wellington (map)
thru April 10  |  tix: $38-$51   |  more info
       
Check for half-price tickets   
    

January 22, 2016 | 0 Comments More

Review: Assassination Theater (Museum of Broadcast Communications)

Martin Yurek stars in "Assassination Theater" by Hillel Levin, directed by Kevin Christopher Fox. (photo credit: Michael Brosilow)           
       
Assassination Theater 

Written by Hillel Levin
at MBC, 360 N. State (map)
thru Jan 31 | tix: $39-$49 | more info
       
Check for half-price tickets   

August 20, 2015 | 0 Comments More

Review: I Love Lucy Live on Stage (Broadway Playhouse)

Sirena Irwin as Lucy, in Broadway in Chicago's "I Love Lucy Live On Stage", directed by Rick Sparks, now at the Broadway Playhouse.        
       
I Love Lucy Live on Stage 

Adapted by Kim Flagg and Rick Sparks
Directed by Rick Sparks 
at Broadway Playhouse, 175 E. Chestnut (map)
thru Nov 11  |  tickets: $23-$65   |  more info
       
Check for half-price tickets

        
        Read entire review
     

September 23, 2012 | 0 Comments More

Review: After the Revolution (Next Theatre)

Christine Stulik as Emma - After the Revolution       
      
After the Revolution 

Written by Amy Herzog  
Directed by Kimberly Senior  
Noyes Cultural Arts Center, Evanston (map)
thru May 13  |  tickets: $30-$40   |  more info
       
Check for half-price tickets 
    
        
        Read entire review
     

   
April 12, 2012 | 1 Comment More

REVIEW: The Piano Teacher (Next Theatre)

   
   

A heartfelt lesson on facing the music

 

Next_Piano_Teacher_1 (2)

   
Next Theatre presents
 
The Piano Teacher
 
Written by Julie Cho
Directed by Lisa Portes
at Next Theatre, 927 Noyes, Evanston (map)
through Dec. 5  |  tickets: $30-$40  |  more info

Reviewed by Katy Walsh

“What’s so wonderful about honesty? Mama said, ‘don’t be 100% honest.’” A retired widow shares her cookies and recollections. Next Theatre presents the Midwest premiere of The Piano Teacher. Mrs. K self-identifies as being effortlessly good at many small things. Musically inclined but not quite the concert pianist, Mrs. K starts out as a piano tuner. Later, she teaches piano from her home. Over the course of thirty years, she instructs hundreds of children. Out of loneliness, Mrs. K starts calling up her former pupils to reminisce. The reconnection jars memories that she forgot she had wanted to forget. While she was practicing scales in the living room, Mr. K was providing life lessons in the kitchen. The musical appreciation class was overshadowed by Genocide 101. The K homeschooling did have a profound impact on its students. It just wasn’t the recital variety. The Piano Teacher dramatizes the long lasting effects of being traumatized as a child.

Next_Piano_Teacher_2“My husband always said I expected too much… people are just being who they are.” Mary Ann Thebus (Mrs. K) hits all the right notes as the piano teacher. Under the direction of Lisa Portes, Thebus delivers Julia Cho’s monologues with all the familiar charm of the grandmother-next-door. Thebus is outstanding as she directly addresses the audience in the narration of her story, engaging with humorous reflections on the simple pleasures of cookies and “Dances with the Stars” enjoyed over a cup of tea. Shaking her head in amusement and continually nibbling on cookies, we see the authenticity of Thebus as a sweet old lady trying to piece together her life. This visual becomes haunting as Mrs. K is confronted with the past. Manny Buckley (Michael) gives a darkly crazed but controlled performance as a prodigy child turned disturbed adult. Buckley’s forceful interaction makes for a heart-wrenching contrast to Thebus’ fearful denial. Buckley’s wild eyes are especially threatening even when he speaks with eloquent normalcy. Representing another side to the same story, Sadieh Rifai (Mary) brings an empathetic balance as a grateful student that is worried about her favorite teacher.

The past meets present on a set, designed by Keith Pitts, that captures perfectly a piano teacher’s living room complete with musical artwork. The visual adds to the storytelling with a layer of cozy familiarity. It’s this preconception that makes the revelations more stimulating. Playwright Julia Cho introduces character analogies that are beautifully sad ‘He looked thirsty and he looked at me like I was rain.’ The narrations are delivered in fragment ramblings by a nice old lady, but when the puzzle pieces are placed together, it’s not the picture perfect image of a piano teacher’s home. Cho tells a thought-provoking tale of children’s loss of innocence. Combined with the homey atmosphere and the talented cast, The Piano Teacher is a genuine lesson in facing the music.

SPOILER ALERT: The front row gets cookies. Plan accordingly.

   
   
Rating: ★★★
 
 

Next_Piano_Teacher_3 (2)

The Piano Teacher runs Thursdays at 7:30pm, Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm, Saturdays (20th, 27th, 4th) at 4pm, and Sundays at 2pm – thru December 5th

Running Time: Ninety minutes with no intermission.

  
  
November 9, 2010 | 0 Comments More