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Articles tagged with: Janet Ulrich Brooks

‘The Audience’ at TimeLine: Enduring queen receives her ministers with rubber stamp, wit

Oct 23, 2017 – 9:09 am
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Review: Janet Ulrich Brooks reigns supreme as Queen Elizabeth II in Peter Morgan’s play “The Audience” at TimeLine Theatre. The poised, circumspect, droll and ever so slightly vulnerable performance by one of Chicago’s most versatile actresses provides the constant heart in an otherwise uneven enterprise. The springboard for Morgan’s sly work is the historical Tuesday meetings between the Queen and the prime minister of the moment – a succession of politicos from Winston Churchill and Anthony Eden down through the decades to Tony Blair and David Cameron. ★★★

‘Bakersfield Mist’ at TimeLine: Drizzled paint points to Pollock, but is this $3 find for real?

Sep 11, 2016 – 9:18 pm
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Review: Maude is middle-aged, recently fired from her job as a bar tender and living alone in a dumpy trailer decorated with other people’s discarded junk. But one such piece of refuse is a painting that could be an original Jackson Pollock. That’s the starting point of Stephen Sachs’ play “Bakersfield Mist,” a two-hander at TimeLine Theatre starring a pair of Chicago’s best actors, who between them cannot bring this half-baked drama to much purpose. ★★

‘Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike’: Lighting up Chekhov with laughter at Goodman

Jul 8, 2015 – 9:05 pm
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Review: I hate going here, I really do, because it’s going to sound like home cooking, but the hysterical truth is – and everything about this is hysterical – that the Goodman Theatre romp through Christopher Durang’s “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike” roundly eclipses the production I saw last season in New York. Directed by Steve Scott, this show is so smart and tight, so killingly funny, that seeing it just once may not be possible. ★★★★★

‘Hopey Changey Thing’ and ‘Sorry’ at TimeLine: Compassion trumps politics at the family table

Feb 24, 2015 – 3:13 pm
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Review: Family: the human comedy at its most hysterical. And I’m not talking about television sitcoms. I mean the authentically bizarre brand of familial farce that resonates through Richard Nelson’s quartet of Apple family plays, two of which are now on contrasting display at TimeLine Theatre. Directed by Louis Contey, “That Hopey Changey Thing” and “Sorry” are the first and third in Nelson’s Apple series. Each offers us a virtual chair at the table with four adult siblings and their elderly uncle as they confront family issues and stew over America’s political prospects in the time frame from November 2010 to November 2013. ★★ / ★★★★

‘The How and the Why’ at TimeLine: Evolution thicker than blood as biologists clash

Feb 17, 2014 – 6:31 pm
The How And The Why (Lara Goetsch)

Review: Rachel Hardeman is 28 years old and very bright, in fact a budding evolutionary biologist. She’s also a prickly pear who wears her attitude like a badge – or perhaps a protective cape. In Sarah Treem’s fascinating play “The How and the Why,” now on clinical display at TimeLine Theatre, Rachel collides with a blood relative who may owe her a good deal – some explaining for starters – and the thorns fly. ★★★

Role Playing: Karen Woditsch shapes vowels, flings arms to perfect portrait of Julia Child

Oct 16, 2013 – 5:42 pm
Karen Janes Woditsch

Interview: “Terror is a good place to start,” Karen Janes Woditsch was saying about her beguiling performance as cooking icon Julia Child in “To Master the Art.” “And I started there. I added the ingredients of her character very slowly.”

‘Variations’ at TimeLine: Seeking the solution to Beethoven’s obsession with a trivial waltz

Sep 18, 2012 – 11:56 pm
Daughter and mother - Jessie Fisher as Clara and Brooks as Dr. Brandt – as death approaches. (Lara Goetsch, TimeLine)

Review: ★★★

The New Season: Stark Vietnam prison drama, Beethoven riddle define spectrum at TimeLine

Aug 1, 2012 – 6:02 pm
TimeLine lobby during world premiere production of My Kind of Town by John conroy 2012 credit Lara Goetsch

Second in a series of season previews: Playwright Susan Felder’s “Wasteland,” a world premiere about two American G.I.’s imprisoned in Vietnam isolation, plus three Chicago premieres make up TimeLine’s 2012-13 schedule; season opens Aug. 24 with a musical riddle.

It’s ‘The Seagull’ as smoke-and-mirrors romp in stylish Lunt-Fontanne frolic ‘Ten Chimneys’

Mar 25, 2012 – 10:36 pm
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Review: That master of the modern English comedy of manners, Noel Coward, might plausibly have written “Ten Chimneys,” the light-hearted toss of a play now occupying Northlight Theatre. It is so stylish, so wry, so – well, ephemeral. ***

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.