Articles tagged with: Kareem Bandealy
Preview: The mid-winter is far from bleak under Chicago’s theater marquees. Steppenwolf offers Lucas Hnath’s “A Doll’s House, Part 2,” a sort of what-if sequel to Ibsen’s play. Lookingglass runs out the premiere of Kareem Bandealy’s ‘Act(s) of God,” a cosmic guess-who’s-coming-to-dinner. And Chicago Shakespeare revisits the Bard’s melancholy prince – ever perched on the existential fence between being and nothingness.
Review: After Lookingglass Theatre’s roundly imaginative and engaging 2015 production of Melville’s “Moby-Dick,” one might have expected Jules Verne’s “20,000 Leagues Under the Seas” to fare no less well, indeed to fall right into the Lookingglass wheelhouse. Sorry, mates. The best thing to be said for this production, adapted by David Kersnar and Steve Pickering and directed by Kersnar, is that it finally gives us a proper translation of Verne’s original French title. It’s the saga of a road trip, as nefarious as it is long, under the seas. ★★
Review: While Larry Yando’s indelible Ebeneezer Scrooge is once again delighting children and tapping into adult truths in Goodman Theatre’s indispensable staging of “A Christmas Carol” (★★★★), the Q Brothers are back at Chicago Shakespeare rapping Dickens’ parable on greed and misanthropy to a reggae beat (★★★). The Spirit of Christmas Present walks among us anew.
Review: Chicago’s holiday offerings include Three Scrooges — not a show, but a trio of shows all based on “A Christmas Carol.” And yes, there’s some slapstick in it, even ribaldry, depending on which flavor of Dickens you choose.
Interview: Christopher Donahue contemplates the weathered, craggy, doggedly vengeful figure of Captain Ahab, the iconic central character of Herman Melville’s “Moby Dick,” whose cosmic persona Donahue brings into vivid focus on the stage at Lookingglass Theatre. And in the driven whale hunter, the actor finds a paradox. “Ahab abides far away from humanity,” Donahue says. “He is as much a creature of the sea as the creature he’s trying to kill. The sea lives in him. I think he believes himself to be as strong and tumultuous as the sea itself.”
Review: Translating a great novel into a successful stage work is hardly a mere matter of reformulation. They are different beasts, novel and play. All the more marvelous, then, is David Catlin’s imaginative, poetic, indeed galvanic adaptation of Herman Meville’s “Moby Dick” for Lookingglass Theatre. ★★★★★
Interview: As a veteran actress, Hollis Resnik feels a deep connection with Miriam, the biblical scholar she plays in “The Good Book” at Court Theatre. That commonality, says Resnik, is passion.
Review: It ain’t necessarily so, says Miriam with scholarly conviction and a defiant flourish of the Good Book. The Bible, she says flatly, is not the word of God. How it might have been pieced together and how its powerful text touches the lives of two contemporary souls – this scholar and a devout teenage boy struggling with his sexual awakening – is the stuff of “The Good Book,” a brilliantly funny and provocative new play by Denis O’Hare and Lisa Peterson now in its world premiere run at Court Theatre. ★★★★★
Interview: Our guy – the American – in J.T. Rogers’ play “Blood and Gifts,” about the United States’ clandestine effort to blunt the Russian invasion of Afghanistan in the 1980s, is a CIA agent. We see the unfolding events through his eyes. But the character who elicits our sympathy and commands our imagination is an Afghan warlord called Abdullah Khan. He is made credible flesh and elusive spirit at TimeLine Theatre in a riveting performance by Kareem Bandealy, who says his portrait reflects both his own cultural heritage and the desperation that drives this unpredictable warrior.
Interview: The play is called “Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo,” and while there is indeed a tiger in it – dead for most of the story, wafting in and out of view as an existential ghost – our sympathies are not with the spectral creature but with a real man, an Iraqi gardener brought to heartbreaking life by Anish Jethmalani at Lookingglass Theatre.
Review: To be engulfed by the despair that sweeps over “Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo” is to be reminded of the spiritual nausea that seized Jean-Paul Sartre and other French existentialist playwrights who watched their own world getting blown to pieces in the 1940s. Lookingglass Theatre and director Heidi Stillman have turned Rajiv Joseph’s play into one of the peak stage experiences of this season. ★★★★★
Interview: The scruffy creature with darting eyes who calls himself Davies looks like his last bed was a cardboard box on the street. He is the elusive but palpably real character at the core of Harold Pinter’s play “The Caretaker,” now on the boards at Writers’ Theatre, and he’s brought to wheedling, calculating life in a masterful piece of acting by Bill Norris.
Deliciously bizarre test of wits. 4 stars!