Articles tagged with: Cody Estle
Preview: Chicago’s turn into real winter comes with the consolation of intriguing theater just ahead. Think of it as warming countermeasures. Porchlight offers the musical farce “The Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder” while Raven plots Paula Vogel’s now-classic memory play “How I Learned to Drive.” American Blues jumps into the season’s second half with Steven Dietz’s “On Clover Road.” If a play synopsis that begins “At an abandoned motel on a desolate road” sounds more like a chiller, at least it will unfold in a snug place.
Review: In your face is probably not the right way to describe the close-up experience of watching Bennett Fisher’s taut, harrowing new play “Damascus” in Strawdog Theatre’s cozy new home. Eye to unblinking eye would be more accurate. As Somali-born Hassan drives his van down the highway from the Minneapolis airport toward Chicago, with a mysterious young white man as his passenger, news of a terrorist attack back at the airport comes over the radio. We viewers gaze straight at the two men through the van’s windshield. The increasingly anxious travelers stare right back at us. ★★★★
Review: Rachel Bond’s play “Five Mile Lake,” a provocative slice of life currently held up for examination by Shattered Globe Theatre, is about lives out of kilter, out of perspective, out of adjustment. Before the play even begins, Jeffrey D. Kmiec’s disorienting set tells you as much. ★★★
Review: The two kids are very bright, their jobless father is a contented drunk and their outwardly flinty mother coddles him. They, along with a couple of low-trajectory friends and a visionary young teacher new to the community, are the denizens of Lucy Thurber’s “Scarcity,” now in its Chicago premiere at Redtwist Theatre. ★★
Review: Raven Theatre’s very fine production of Tennessee Williams’ “Vieux Carré” bespeaks that lyrical playwright in the long, sad twilight of his creative career and, indeed, his life. It is a look back into the predawn of Williams’ emergence as an important voice, a play filled with rich characters of meager means, and the lean, fierce eloquence of this account directed by Cody Estle gets it wonderfully right. ★★★★
Review: One always comes away from a play performance, whether the staged work is new or familiar, with a single dominant impression. It may be a complex impression, but there’s always that ruling aspect, the starting point from which the conversation evolves. In the case of Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa’s “Good Boys and True” at Raven Theater, it is a sense of relentless circularity. ★★
Tenth in a series of season previews: From the season opener, Horton Foote’s “The Trip to Bountiful” to the finale with Tennessee Williams’s “The Vieux Carré,” the 2013-14 lineup of plays at Raven Theatre centers on what artistic director Michael Menendian calls “that little ache in our heart, the secret longing for a different life.”