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Articles in Theater + Stage

Holland Taylor’s one-woman show ‘Ann’ gets down with the grit and humor of a Texas star

Nov 18, 2011 – 5:48 pm
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At Bank of America Theatre. 4 stars!

Role Playing: City boy Michael Stegall ropes wild cowboy in Raven Theatre’s ‘Bus Stop’

Nov 15, 2011 – 1:12 pm
Actor Michael Stegall portrait

Interview: Michael Stegall, who looks and sounds every inch a ropin’ cowboy in the Raven Theatre production of William Inge’s “Bus Stop,” grew up in the West. No surprise there. But wait a minute. Not that West. The 6-foot-3, 23-year-old actor hails from Palm Springs, CA, where the buffalo do not roam.

Da capo al fine, sharply accented ‘Bernstein’ sketches life of a great American conductor

Nov 10, 2011 – 7:12 pm
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Maestro at the Royal George. 3 stars

Motley travelers looking to get their tickets punched at Raven’s snowbound ‘Bus Stop’

Nov 7, 2011 – 4:09 pm
Michael Stegall and Jen Short in Raven's Bus Stop credit Dean LaPrairie

Engagingly off-kilter charms. 3 stars
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Role Playing: Brent Barrett’s glad he joined ‘Follies’ as that womanizing, empty cad Ben

Nov 4, 2011 – 5:28 pm
Brent Barrett in Follies at Chicago Shakespeare featured image

Interview: At the center of Stephen Sondheim’s acerbic musical “Follies”stands Benjamin Stone, worldly, rich, the envy of his old acquaintances gathered at this reunion of theater folks. Ben is all of that, and one more thing — miserable. Veteran actor Brent Barrett offers a candid analysis of the self-centered cad and womanizer.

Profiles’ ‘Behanding in Spokane’ bundles laughter and terror in the same dark bag

Oct 25, 2011 – 10:16 pm
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Sardonic, but clear-sighted. 3 stars

Role Playing: Sadieh Rifai zips among seven characters in one-woman ‘Amish Project’

Oct 24, 2011 – 1:25 pm
Sadieh Rifai Amish Project feature

Interview: Actor Sadieh Rifai thought Jessica’s Dickey’s play “The Amish Project,” at American Theater Company, would be a pretty straight-forward one-woman show. The plays is based on the 2006 shooting of 10 school girls in Pennsylvania. Rifai would be switching among seven characters, but she didn’t see that as a big deal. She was in for a big surprise.

The Doyle & Debbie Show: Singin’ hits that’ll warm you up like hog rasslin’ in the July sun

Oct 20, 2011 – 4:12 pm
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At the Royal George Theatre. 4 stars!

Role Playing: Kirsten Fitzgerald inhabits sorrow, surfs the laughs in ‘Clybourne Park’

Oct 16, 2011 – 12:23 pm
Kirsten Fitzgerald Act 1 housewife Clybourne Park Steppenwolf 2011 featured

Interview: Actor Kirsten Fitzgerald portrays two very different characters amid the hurlyburly of “Clybourne Park, the double-edged drama by Bruce Norris now playing at Steppenwolf Theatre through Nov. 13. She’s a grieving mother in 1959 and a self-interested lawyer 50 years later.
It’s a theatrical tour de force that Fitzgerald likens to acting in two different plays the same night.

Sondheim’s ‘Follies’ at CST: Broadway glitz and glamour, with all the endearing bruises

Oct 14, 2011 – 12:17 pm
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At Chi. Shakespeare Theater. 5 stars!

After slaughter and heartbreak, radiant grace

Oct 9, 2011 – 11:06 am
Sadieh Rifai stars in "The Amish Project" at American Theater Company 2011

Jessica Dickey’s “The Amish Project,” echoes of a massacre at ATC. 5 stars!

Chicago’s fast burn is a dramatic flame-out

Oct 6, 2011 – 5:35 pm
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John Musial’s “The Great Fire” flames up at Lookingglass. 2 stars

TimeLine gets Theatre Wing grant as one of nation’s Top 10 emerging companies

Oct 3, 2011 – 3:29 pm
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Company to get check for $10,000.

Images of Rothko, on canvas and in the mind

Sep 30, 2011 – 3:59 pm
Red production shot at Goodman 2011

“Red” paints a master-apprentice face-off at the Goodman. 5 stars!

John Malkovich stalks sopranos who suffer in song

Sep 30, 2011 – 3:31 pm
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John Malkovich plays a modern-day Jack the Ripper who has come back from death to make a charmingly creepy case for himself in “The Infernal Comedy: Confessions of a Serial Killer.”

Role Playing: Janet Ulrich Brooks on nailing the style of a wily Russian in ‘A Walk in the Woods’

Sep 28, 2011 – 3:10 pm
Actor Janet Brooks

Portraying an experienced arms negotiator during the 1980s missile crisis for TimeLine, Brooks manages to be sly, funny and serious — in precisely accented English she learned from an interview with a Russian opera star.

CST will stage remixed ‘Othello’ in London at Cultural Olympiad

Sep 28, 2011 – 11:51 am
Q Brothers, creators of "Othello: The Remix" for Chicago Shakespeare Theatre

“Funk It Up About Nothin'” team creates work for pre-Olympics festival.

Amid flounces and bustles, good vibes bring rosy cheeks

Sep 28, 2011 – 8:52 am
In the Next Room at Victory Gardens

High-voltage effects “In the Next Room” at Victory Gardens. 4 stars

Art, and artists, mined from an unsuspected vein

Sep 27, 2011 – 2:13 pm
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“The Pitmen Painters” at TimeLine is a charming mine of creativity. 4 stars!

Love, reality and other disquieting intrusions

Sep 26, 2011 – 12:04 am
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In “The Real Thing” at Writers’ Theatre, love’s a moving target. 5 stars!

A journey into the daunting forest of arms diplomacy

Sep 24, 2011 – 8:21 pm
David Parkes and Janet Ulrich Brooks in "A Walk in the Woods"

“A Walk in the Woods” at TimeLine.
Cold War contretemps. 4 stars!

Protecting the old neighborhood, but redefining the threat

Sep 24, 2011 – 3:36 am
 Karen Aldridge (left) with Stephanie Childers and James Vincent Meredith in "Clybourne Park." ( Photo by Michael Brosilow)

“Clybourne Park” at Steppenwolf. Bias on the block. 5 stars!