Tag: Stuart Carden

Review: The Hunter and the Bear (Writers Theatre)

Dan Weschler stars in The Hunter and the Bear by PigPen Theatre at Writers Theatre           
      
    

The Hunter and the Bear 

Written by PigPen Theatre Co.  
Writers Theatre, Glencoe (map)
thru Jan 29  |  tix: $35-$80  |  more info
       
Check for half-price tickets   
     

January 23, 2017 | 0 Comments More

Review: Butler (Northlight Theatre)

Greg Vinkler and Tosin Morohunfola in Butler, Northlight Theatre         
    

      
Butler

Written by Richard Strand
North Shore Arts Center, Skokie (map)
thru Apr 17  |  tix: $25-$79  |  more info 
        
Half-price tickets available   
    

April 6, 2016 | 1 Comment More

Chicago’s Best Theater of 2015

 

Carmen Molina, Claudia DiBiccari, Mykele Callicutt, Paula Ramirez, Preston Tate Jr., Deanna Reed-Foster and James McGuire in Cold Basement Dramatics' "Heat Wave".Scott Danielson, Garrett Lutz and George Toles star in Kokandy Productions' "The Full Monty".Laura Osnes as and Steven Pasquale star in Lyric Opera's "Carousel" by Rodgers and Hammerstein.John Mahoney and Audrey Francis in Steppenwolf Theatre's "The Herd".Sarah Lynn Robinson, Anthony Whitaker and Greg Zawada in Porchlight's "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Form" by Steven Sondheim. Monica West, Kasey Foster and Emma Cadd in Lookingglass Theatre's "Moby Dick".Mariann Mayberry and Brittany Uomoleale star in Steppenwolf Theatre's "Grand Concourse".Steve Haggard and Karen Janes Woditsch star in Writers Theatre's "Doubt: A Parable".Charli Williams , Anna Dauzvardis, Katrina D.  Richard, Brandon Greenhouse, and Kevin Patterson star in Raven Theatre's "Direct from Death Row: The Scottsboro Boys".Bernard White and Nisi Sturgis in Goodman Theatre's "Disgraced".Rafael Davila and Bradley Smoak star in Lyric Opera of Chicago's "Bel Canto".Drury Lane Oakbrook presents "Billy Elliot: The Musical," music by Elton John.  Becca Savoy, Michael McKeough and Sandy Elias star in Griffin Theatre's "Pocatello".Larry Yando and Eva Louise Balistreiri star in Chicago Shakespeare's "The Tempest" by William Shakespeare.Matthew Sherbach and Armand Fields star in Northlight Theatre's "Charm".Brendan Connelly, Chris Schroeder and Brenda Scott Wlazlo star in Red Theater and Oracle Productions' "R + J: The Vineyard".Melanie Brezill and Patrick Budde star in Chicago Children’s Theatre’s "The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane." Colte Julian as Curly and Allison Sill as Laurey in Paramount Theatre's "Oklahoma!". Mike Nussbaum stars in TimeLine Theatre's "The Price" by Arthur Miller. Eunice Woods stars in American Theater Company's "The Project(s)" by PJ Paparelli and Joshua Jaeger.Luce Metrius and Ashley Neil star in A Red Orchid Theatre's "Red Handed Otter." Kelsey Brennan and Greg Matthew Anderson star in Remy Bumppo's "Travesties" by Tom Stoppard.Johanna McKenzie Miller and Alex Goodrich star in Northlight Theatre's "Shining Lives," directed by Jessica Thebus.Brian Parry and Jacqueline Grandt star in Redtwist Theatre's "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" by Edward Albee.Eileen Niccolai and Daniela Colucci star in The Shattered Globe's "The Rose Tattoo" by Tennessee Williams. , Shattered Globe Theatre, Brosilow

In a theater community as diverse and talented as Chicago’s, every aspect and genre of stage productions can be found throughout the city on a given week.  2015 was no exception to this fact, as one can see from our reviewers’ picks of the year’s greatest and most memorable works.

See our picks below the fold

December 31, 2015 | 0 Comments More

Review: The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane (Chicago Children’s Theatre)

Melanie Brezill stars in Chicago Children’s Theatre’s "The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane," adapted by Dwayne Hartford from book by Kate DiCamillo, and directed by Stuart Carden. (Photo credit: Charles Osgood)         
      
The Miraculous Journey
   of Edward Tulane
 

Adapted by Dwayne Hartford
  from book by Kate DiCamillo 
Ruth Page Arts Center, 1016 N. Dearborn (map)
thru Nov 15 |  tix: $10-$39 | more info
       
Check for half-price tickets   
    

November 5, 2015 | 0 Comments More

Review: Frederick (Chicago Children’s Theatre)

Richard Juarez and Shawn Pfautsch star in Chicago Children's Theatre's world premiere of Leo Lionni's  "Frederick," adapted by Suzanne Miller, directed by Stuart Carden. (photo credit: Charles Osgood)        
      
Frederick

Adapted by Suzanne Miller
from the book by Leo Lionni
Directed by Stuart Carden  
at Ruth Page Center, 1016 N. Dearborn (map)
thru Nov 23  |  tickets: $23-$28   |  more info
       
Check for half-price tickets 
    
        
                   Read review
     

November 15, 2014 | 0 Comments More

Review: The Old Man and the Old Moon (PigPen Theatre Co. and Writers’ Theatre)

Ryan Melia, Ben Ferguson, Alex Falberg and Matt Nuernberger star in PigPen Theatre's "The Old Man and the Old Moon", directed by Stuart Carden and presented by Writers' Theatre. (photo credit: Liz Lauren)        
       
The Old Man
      and the Old Moon
 

Written by the PigPen ensemble
Directed by Stuart Carden and PigPen Theatre   
Writers’ Theatre, 325 Tudor Ct., Glencoe (map)
thru Nov 10  |  tickets: $35-$70   |  more info
       
Check for half-price tickets 
    
        
           Read review
     

September 16, 2013 | 0 Comments More

Review: Hesperia (Writers’ Theatre)

Erik Hellman (Trick) and Kelly O'Sullivan (Claudia) in Writers' Theatre's "Hesperia" by Randall Colburn. (photo credit: Michael Brosilow)       
      
Hesperia

Written by Randall Colburn
Directed by Stuart Carden 
Writers’ Theatre, 325 Tudor Ct., Glencoe (map)
thru March 18  |  tickets: $35-$70   |  more info
       
Check for half-price tickets 
    
        
        Read entire review
     

February 5, 2012 | 0 Comments More

REVIEW: Travels With My Aunt (Writers’ Theatre)

     
     

‘Travels’ a fun journey if a dated theme

     
     

Jeremy Sher, Sean Fortunato, LaShawn Banks and John Hoogenakker in TRAVELS WITH MY AUNT, now playing at Writers' Theatre in Glencoe.

  
Writers’ Theatre presents
   
Travels With My Aunt
  
Adapted by Giles Havergal
From
novel by Graham Greene
Directed by
Stuart Carden
Books on Vernon, 664 Vernon, Glencoe (map)
Through March 27  | 
tickets: $45–60 |  more info

Reviewed by Leah A. Zeldes

Written at the height of the "turn on, tune in, drop out" era, Graham Greene’s 1969 novel, "Travels with My Aunt",now being staged in a whimsical, well-theatrical adaption by Writers’ Theatre in Glencoe, has not aged well. And not only does its theme — a decorously straight-laced man discovering the enlightening aspects of kicking off the traces of comfortably respectable morality — come across as dated in these straitened times, when comfort, respectability and morality seem both highly desirable and all too rare. but the notoriously philandering Greene’s depiction of women is unflattering, chauvinistic and antediluvian in the extreme.

Sean Fortunato and John Hoogenakke in TRAVELS WITH MY AUNT, now playing at Writers' Theatre in Glencoe.There are four female characters of any significance in Greene’s novel, and all but one of them is relentlessly pursuing a man. First and foremost, we have Aunt Augusta — who for all her vigorous unconventionality, can’t travel without a man beside her — bent on reuniting with Mr. Visconti, the war criminal who has already once relieved her of a fortune. Then, there’s the hippie girl Tooley, bound for Kathmandu in the wake of a boyfriend who walked out on her in anger because she got pregnant. And Miss Patterson, so taken with her brief encounter with a married man that she’s spent her lifetime drooping beside his grave. Only Miss Keene, a kind of wistfully idealistic figure in the novel, holds back from degrading herself for the sake of a man, and that seems mainly because she’s too timid to do otherwise.

In his clever, 1989 theatrical adaptation, Giles Havergal tries to solve this flaw by doing away with women altogether: The female characters are still there, but they’re all played by men. Four male actors, identically clad in three-piece, gray, pin-striped suits and derby hats, portray some 25 characters, male and female, minor and major, as well as alternating as the retired-banker antihero, Henry Pulling. Pulling, a mild-mannered stay-at-home, encounters his elderly and surprising Aunt Augusta for the first time in more than 50 years at his mother’s funeral, and winds up led by her on a series of unlikely adventures across England, France, Italy, Switzerland, Turkey, Argentina and Paraguay, bending his mind and his morals.

While sticking rather closely to the novel, Havergal nevertheless freshens the story by decentralizing Pulling’s emotional journey and the then-shocking-now-bland aspects of Greene’s mildly salacious novel and putting an emphasis on the ridiculous. He doesn’t quite fix the problems, but watching Travels with My Aunt becomes much more entertaining than reading the book. At Writers’ Theatre, Director Stuart Carden and his fine cast give us an intimate journey with sharp staging and wonderfully nuanced comic acting.

While each of the four players — LaShawn Banks, Sean Fortunato, John Hoogenakker and Jeremy Sher — portray Henry at various times, sometimes rapidly switching off from one to another, each also portrays multiple other characters, and specializes in one of the major roles.

John Hoogenakke and Sean Fortunato iin TRAVELS WITH MY AUNT, now playing at Writers' Theatre in Glencoe.Banks gives us Wordsworth, Augusta’s often buffoonish African valet and lover, whom she cruelly dismisses for Visconti. His performance in that role sometimes seems tentative, as if he’s uncomfortable in it. He’s terrific, though, as a Cockney cabbie, a fortunetelling friend of Augusta’s and in other roles.

Fortunato stumbled over a few lines on opening night, but that scarcely impaired his wonderfully evocative performance as Augusta, a switchover he accomplishes seemingly effortlessly, just by body posture, even before he opens his mouth. Hoogenakker’s comic switches run more deadpan as he portrays Tooley with a flat Midwestern accent and her father, the CIA man, with a sort of Texan twang that contrast ideally with the British tones of the other characters.

Perhaps funniest of all, the stone-faced Sher’s mostly voiceless primary role is one of onstage sound-effects man, using everything from wine glasses to an umbrella to enhance the on-stage action. (Kudos also to sound designer Mikhail Fiksel.)

The foursome travels together brilliantly, making this a trip worth going on, even if you don’t care for the journey’s final destination.

  
  
Rating:  ★★★
  
  

John Hoogenakke, LaShawn Banks and Sean Fortunato in TRAVELS WITH MY AUNT, now playing at Writers' Theatre in Glencoe.

 

  
  
December 4, 2010 | 0 Comments More