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Articles tagged with: Todd Rosenthal

‘Ah, Wilderness!’ at Goodman: Young lovers, plotting a path through life’s tangled comedy

Jun 28, 2017 – 10:14 pm
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Review: Fairly late in his career, Eugene O’Neill, that great purveyor of tragedy, penned a romantic comedy worthy of his darker plays. “Ah, Wilderness!” is that now-classic lark, and it once again bursts onto the stage at Goodman Theatre in a funny and affecting production that is arguably the crown jewel of Chicago’s theater season. ★★★★★

‘Uncle Vanya’ at Goodman: Seeking purpose, or a numbing refill when the glass is drained

Mar 8, 2017 – 10:23 pm
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Review: Chekhov’s “Uncle Vanya,” an existential snapshot of lost souls at a signless crossroads, exemplifies theater as an ensemble endeavor. In Annie Baker’s modernized, razor-sharp adaptation of the play, complemented by a directorial tour de force from Robert Falls, Goodman Theatre brings the spirit of dramatic teamwork to vibrant life. ★★★★★

‘Mary Page Marlowe’ at Steppenwolf: In Letts’ new play, woman adrift searches for an anchor

May 12, 2016 – 10:23 am
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Review: It was a happy announcement for a theater company, but happier still for any theater buff within driving distance of Chicago: Steppenwolf’s decision to extend the run of Tracy Letts’ psychologically incisive and finely crafted new play “Mary Page Marlowe.” This brilliant existential portrait of a woman out of touch with herself, lost to the world, and seemingly condemned to her lot from birth, bears a qualitative stamp worthy of “August: Osage County,” which brought Letts the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. ★★★★★

‘The Night Alive’ at Steppenwolf: It’s three guys, girl and thug looking for answers in life’s rubble

Oct 14, 2014 – 10:26 pm
Aimee (Helen Sadler) spices the lives of Tommy (Francis Guinan, left) and Doc (Tim Hopper). (Michael Brosilow)

Review: At the center of “The Night Alive,” Conor McPherson’s wry and compassionate spin on the human comedy, are three men grappling with life near its baseline. And in Steppenwolf Theatre’s unglossed, touching perspective on the play, these ordinary guys find in each other the redemptive qualities of connection, meaning and purpose. ★★★★

‘M. Butterfly’ at Court Theatre: Amorous fantasy blurs truth and tests the limits of plausibility

May 27, 2014 – 3:42 pm
Now it's time for Gallimard (Sean Fortunato) to put on the ceremonial trappings of Madama Butterfly. (Michael Brosilow)

Review: Rene Gallimard is a shy functionary in Beijing’s French diplomatic corps who falls head over heels for a Peking Opera artist performing “Madama Butterfly.” He soon begins a 20-year love affair with the man he believes to be a woman, and falls into a classic honeypot lure for spy recruitment. ★★

‘Venus in Fur’ at Goodman: Ambiguity reigns, maybe ambivalence. Are gods laughing?

Mar 21, 2014 – 11:40 am
Vanda (Amanda Drinkall) gets a little help with her stockings from Thomas (Rufus Collins) in 'Venus in Fur' at Goodman Theatre. (Liz Lauren)

Review: Vanda careens into the playwright-director’s audition room as if she’s been tossed there by the storm that’s booming and flashing outside. Hair tousled, mini-skirted and discombobulated, she wrestles with her wet umbrella and a large bag she’s brought, spewing F-words as the amazed author looks on. But Vanda has only begun to amaze this guy, Thomas, in David Ives’ startling play “Venus in Fur.” It’s an incendiary night out at Goodman Theatre. ★★★★

Role Playing: Mary Beth Fisher embraces both hope, despair of social worker in ‘Luna Gale’

Feb 18, 2014 – 4:08 pm
Actor Mary Beth Fisher

Interview: Mary Beth Fisher, who portrays the empathic, long-experienced and raggedly weathered social worker Caroline in Rebecca Gilman’s new play “Luna Gale” at Goodman Theatre, says every performance has been an interactive encounter with the audience.

‘Luna Gale’ at Goodman: Groping for answers when parents are children and milk is meth

Jan 31, 2014 – 10:10 am
Mary Beth Fisher and Erik Hellman in Goodman Theatre production of 'Luna Gale' by Rebecca Gilman, 2014 (Liz Lauren)

Review: Caroline is a social worker whose job it is to rescue neglected and abused children and find decent homes for them. She goes about her task seriously – one of her former charges gently rebukes her for being “always on topic.” In Rebecca Gilman’s radiant and disturbing new play “Luna Gale,” now in an electric world premiere run at Goodman Theatre, Caroline comes to her melancholy topic with a full heart as well as her own imperfect history. ★★★★★

Goodman’s ‘Christmas Carol’ brings Yuletide treasure in magical form of Yando’s Scrooge

Dec 12, 2013 – 11:51 pm
Old Ebenezer Scrooge (Larry Yando, left) observes his younger self (Robert Hope) in a happy moment with Belle (Atra Asdou). (Liz Lauren)

Review: The sixth time is a charm for Larry Yando as that grasping, covetous old sinner Ebenezer Scrooge in the Goodman Theatre production of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol.” Or I should say, a charm again — just like Yando’s previous five outings in the part. His irascible but salvageable and very funny misanthrope remains a Scrooge for the young in heart and imagination. ★★★★

‘Skylight’ at Court: In a battle of the sexes, slings and arrows and words, words, words

Jan 23, 2013 – 3:37 pm
Laura Rook as Kyra and Philip Earl Johnson as Tom in Skylight by David Hare directed by William Brown at Court Theatre 2013 credit Michael Brosilow

Review: ★★★★

Amid a storm of obscenities, but with a flair, Steppenwolf pulls off a hysterical ‘Hat’ trick

Jan 10, 2013 – 3:07 pm
John Ortiz is Jackie in Steppenwolf The __ with the Hat by Stephen Adly Guirgis, photo Michael Brosilow

Review: ★★★★★

‘An Iliad’ reconsiders the poet who brought us Achilles, Agamemnon, Hector and all that

Nov 28, 2011 – 6:23 pm
An Iliad Featured Image Timothy Edward Kane credit Michael Brosilow

One-man invasion at the Court. 4 stars!