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Articles tagged with: Kevin Depinet

‘Love’s Labor’s Lost’ at Chicago Shakespeare: Delectable comedy made clear, biting and dark

Feb 18, 2017 – 7:37 pm
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Review: Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s new production of the Bard’s “Love’s Labor’s Lost” is a joyous voyage of discovery, a comedic delight that strips away the thicket of a problematic play and leaves us with the bare sober truth of human folly. Deftly edited and wittily directed by Marti Maraden, it brings together an acting ensemble so well integrated that the whole rollicking night feels like the work of a practiced improv troupe. ★★★★★

‘A Streetcar Named Desire’ at American Players: Estwhile beauty meets beast, and he’s not kind

Jul 16, 2015 – 8:43 pm
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Review: She is a fascinating character, indeed one of the iconic personas in all of theater, Blanche DuBois, the fallen Southern belle of Tennessee Williams’ “A Streetcar Named Desire.” The undying question is, Why? What’s so intriguing about this dame with the checkered past? Perhaps it’s her vulnerability, or her delusion, or her sheer refusal to go quietly into middle-aged oblivion. I think that’s the thing, her feisty pluck, that makes Tracy Michelle Arnold’s Blanche so compelling at American Players Theatre in Spring Green, Wis. ★★★★★

‘Sense & Sensibility’ at Chicago Shakespeare: Austen’s beloved sisters glow in new musical

May 14, 2015 – 8:05 am
'Sense and Sensibility' at Chicago Shakespeare Theater 2015 (Liz Lauren)

Review: You can just as easily chart a path from Jane Austen to Stephen Sondheim as you can from Austen to Disney, and thus it is not surprising that Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s artistic director Barbara Gaines should create the world premiere production of Paul Gordon’s diverting new musical based on Austen’s first published novel. “Sense and Sensibility” tells the astonishingly vital story of two sisters of marriageable age – one a yin to the other’s yang – in the 1790s. ★★★★

‘Smokefall’ at Goodman: Revisiting a family frayed at seams, blessed with magical hope

Oct 11, 2014 – 8:28 am
The Colonel (Mike Nussbaum) dotes on his granddaughter Beauty (Catherine Combs) in 'Smokefall' at Goodman Theatre. (Liz Lauren)

Review: Mike Nussbaum, irrepressible at age 90, is like great Bordeaux wine. Need I amplify that? Chicago’s prince of perdurable actors is the single best reason – among many good ones – to catch Goodman Theatre’s almost-instant revival of “Smokefall,” Noah Haidle’s fine-stitched play about family, its profound fractures and its potential for healing. ★★★★★

Oscar Wilde’s ‘Earnest’ at American Players: Much ado about manners, wit and attire

Aug 6, 2014 – 6:29 pm
John, aka Earnest (Matt Schwader) is smitten by Gwendolen (Cristina Panfilio). (Carissa Dixon)

Review: Perhaps it’s because theater companies and audiences have always taken to heart Oscar Wilde’s subtitle for “The Importance of Being Earnest” that this silly, precious comedy of manners has remained a repertory fixture since its premiere in the Victorian world of 1895. Wilde slyly dubbed his play “A Trivial Comedy for Serious People,” and its triviality is indeed embraced seriously in this summer’s amusing romp at American Players Theatre in Spring Green, Wis. ★★★★

‘Brigadoon’ at Goodman: In musical’s bright mist, someone is lost and new meaning found

Jul 9, 2014 – 10:21 am
Clan dancers in 'Brigadoon' at Goodman Theatre 2014 (Liz Lauren)

Review: In this briskly refreshing theater season, the Windy City has performed a hat trick on behalf of the American musical. Three mainstage companies have each expertly revived a Broadway classic through a shrewd rethinking that paired careful respect for the original with sympathy for today’s audience and its contemporary state of mind in changing times. Following Chicago Shakespeare’s heart-stopping “Gypsy” and Lyric Opera’s gorgeous “The Sound of Music” comes Lerner and Loewe’s 1947 “Brigadoon,” which ran for 581 performances on Broadway and is now in resplendent bloom at the Goodman. ★★★★

‘Henry V’ at Chicago Shakespeare: Noble production, except His Majesty is missing

May 23, 2014 – 10:51 pm
Henry (Harry Judge) exults as his troops rout the French at Agincourt. (Liz Lauren)

Review: Chicago Shakespeare’s vivacious production of “Henry V” poses something of a paradox: Much of its energy emanates from the youthful presence of Canadian import Harry Judge as the king – and what is least remarkable about this show is Judge’s surface-skimming account of the embattled monarch. ★★★

‘The Dance of Death’ at Writers: Wedded war rages in old Sweden; fresh look at Strindberg

Apr 12, 2014 – 4:35 pm
Kurt (Philip Earl Johnson) questions Alice (Shannon Cochran) about her tumultuous marriage. (Michael Brosilow) (2)

Review: If you liked Edward Albee’s “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf,” you’ll love the original: August Strindberg’s “The Dance of Death,” wherein a toxic, blood-sport marriage between a venomous old soldier and his hissing wife make the sniping between Albee’s George and Martha feel once more present in the room. Writers Theatre provides the well-polished dance floor for Strindberg’s caustic waltz. ★★★★★

‘Gypsy’ at Chicago Shakespeare: This Rose puts fresh blush on Sondheim’s star-gazer

Feb 18, 2014 – 11:00 pm
Rose (Louise Pitre) insists that 'Everything's Coming Up Roses' to the amazement of Herbie (Keith Kupferer) and Louise (Jessica Rush). (Michael Brosilow)

Review: Chicago Shakespeare Theater has given us a “Gypsy” for our own time, one that embraces the difference that 55 years have made since the brassy blockbuster first strutted onto the stage. As directed by Gary Griffin, it’s a gritty roadshow musical with a surprisingly contemporary and tender heart. ★★★★★

‘Smokefall’ at Goodman: Behind worldly veil, tears and contentment fuse into force of life

Oct 23, 2013 – 2:42 pm
Mike Nussbaum at the center of a conflicted birthday party in 'Smokefall' by Noah Haidle at Goodman Theatre. (Liz Lauren)

Review: Life sucks, and then you die. If that dark existential view sometimes can seem like the only certainty, taxes being at least negotiable, it is repudiated – with gentleness and magical wit — in Noah Haidle’s new play “Smokefall,” presented in its “co-world premiere” at Goodman Theatre. ★★★★★

‘Wasteland’ at LifeLine: Alone in earthen cell, G.I. battles twin demons isolation and fear

Nov 1, 2012 – 4:55 pm
Nate Burger as Joe in Susan Felder's Wasteland at TimeLine Theatre credit Lara Goetsch

Review: ★★★★

In a vibrant brush with ‘Sunday in the Park,’ Chicago Shakespeare connects all the dots

Oct 12, 2012 – 1:32 pm
George (Jason Danieley) finishes the hat in Sondheim's  Sunday Park with George at Chicago Shakespeare Theater credit Liz Lauren

Review: ★★★★★

Vivid characters and some great singing carry the day for ‘A Little Night Music’ at Writers’

May 12, 2012 – 9:47 am
A Little Night Music Stephen Sondheim Writers' 2012  Brandon Dahlquist Count Malcom Shannon Cochran Desiree Arnfeldt Jonathan Fredrik Egerman  Michael Brosilow

Sondheim’s paean to love. 4 stars!

Goodman’s well-honed ‘Iceman Cometh’ slices through a boozy, painful cloud of pipe-dreams

May 5, 2012 – 3:03 pm
Iceman Cometh Eugene O'Neill Goodman Theatre 2012 credit Liz Lauren 2

Brian Dennehy, Nathan Lane. 5 stars!

Chicago Shakespeare’s lean and brisk ‘Timon’ zooms in on crash-and-burn of a needy Midas

May 3, 2012 – 5:51 pm
Timon of Athens starring Ian McDiarmid Chicago Shakespeare Theater 2012 credit Liz Lauren

Mega-rich tycoon falls low. 4 stars!

Chicago Shakespeare’s teen-length ‘Shrew,’ pulling out laugh stops, shows way to do Will

Mar 3, 2012 – 6:40 pm
Taming of the Shrew Featured Image Matt Mueller as Petruchio woos Ericka Ratcliff as Katharina Short Shakespeare! Chicago Shakespeare Theater 2012 credit Liz Lauren

Spunky side of the Bard. 4 stars!