Articles tagged with: Kimberly Senior
Review: The first flourish of Ellen Fairey’s play “Support Group for Men,” now on display at Goodman Theatre, works twofold narrative magic: It creates a deceptively rich context, and it’s just plain deceptive. We think we’re in for a night with the boys as sitcom when the truth is we’re in for a theatrical ride as clever as it is gentle and poignant and authentic. ★★★★
Review: Sam Shepard’s darkly funny tale is not so much about the decline of an American way of life as it is about us humans losing sight of ourselves in a blur of treachery, self-denial and retribution that threatens to extend through the generations backward and forward. As directed by Kimberly Senior in a superb production, Shepard’s realm is a ramshackle pasture of the heart, where truths too painful to confess refuse to stay buried no matter how much mind-numbing alcohol, or sexual abandon or vagabondage are applied. ★★★★
Review: A ditzy girl, who turns out to be a veritable demon, brings a self-absorbed guy crashing down. He doesn’t see it coming, never has a prayer. Ah, you know that play? Right. It’s David Ives’ “Venus in Fur,” of course. Well, it’s back with us again, more or less, in Theresa Rebeck’s “The Scene” at Writers Theatre. When I say more or less, I mean there’s more involved – actors, situations, sex – but the sum amounts to less of consequence or, along the way, dramatic merit. ★★
11th in a series of season previews
Interview: Of the eight Jewish characters huddled together against the Nazi terror just beyond the door of their little room, in “The Diary of Anne Frank,” one of them arguably feels the confinement, the boredom, the uselessness more than the others. He is Mr. van Daan, a business associate of Anne’s father; and Lance Baker, who portrays this restive soul at Writers Theatre, sees him as a man marginalized in his own heart.
Review: What makes Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett’s 1955 play “The Diary of Anne Frank” so compelling – and it is nothing less in the current production at Writers Theatre – fills a large frame of human drama. It is a complex profile of hope shadowed by terror and despair, and finally crushed under the boot of hatred. But still, first, there is innocent hope, a luminous vision of life abounding in wonder, possibility and good. ★★★★★
Review: ★★★ The wisdom and the charm of Gina Gionfriddo’s play “Rapture, Blister, Burn,” at the Goodman Theatre, resounds in the collision of two fortysomething women, old friends from college, one a mom and the other a scholar in women’s studies, who now look at each other’s lives and question their own choices. Yet in the end, the dramatic sum feels somehow less than this coalescence of clever parts. ★★★
Review: Before hitting Broadway, Ayad Akhtar’s “Disgraced” bounded from its starting point at American Theater Company in Chicago to a run at Lincoln Center in New York. All three stagings have been the work of Chicago-based director Kimberly Senior, and the sequence has displayed a steady sharpening of her perspective, an ever firmer grasp on the conflict and torment that push the play and pull its anti-heroic protagonist toward inexorable ruin. The latest incarnation, at New York’s Lyceum Theatre, is nothing short of devastating. ★★★★★
Review: The setup of Amy Herzog’s play “The Great God Pan” is intriguing: A man in his early thirties reconnects with a childhood chum who makes deeply disturbing claims about their formative years. Problem is, where we ultimately expect catharsis the playwright leaves us merely teased. And despite director Kimberly Senior’s sensitive and tempting effort, the current production at Next Theatre cannot magically spin this fragment into whole cloth. ★
15th in a series of season previews: Next Theatre explores the elusive stuff of secrets and lies in a season of Midwest and Chicago premieres that opens Oct. 15 with Rinne Groff’s “Compulsion,” based on the story of a Chicagoan who spent three decades pursuing the real story of Anne Frank.
Review: Leo crashes Vera’s apartment in the middle of the night, a sort of grown up waif, lost to the world, clutching the bicycle he has just ridden cross-country from the Northwest to New York’s East Village. They’re a lot alike, Leo and Vera, rebels with or without cause – except that she’s his grandma. Mary Ann Thebus’ savvy, frank, altogether delightful performance provides something real and lasting to take away from Amy Herzog’s semi-developed play “4000 Miles” at Northlight Theatre. ★★
Seventh in season preview series: Northlight Theatre’s marquee for 2013-14 promises a world premiere turn by actor John Mahoney, the company directing debut of Ron OJ Parson in a Midwest premiere and director Kimberly Senior’s inauguration in her new role as the 39-year-old company’s first artistic associate.
Report update: Carnegie Hall’s concerts for Nov. 1 have been cancelled as the crane remains unsecured, and more cancellations are expected. Broadway theaters have resumed their performance schedules, so it’s back to work for several Chicago-based performers. Many off-Broadway theaters in the downtown area are still without electricity and remain closed.
Eighth in a series of season previews: Words, words, words. Are they the stuff of truth or the fabric of prevarication? Writers’ Theatre will bookend its 2012-13 season with both possibilities, swinging the spotlight from Shakespeare’s Hamlet in his quest for veracity to Corneille’s feigning manipulator in “The Liar.”
Interview: Baize Buzan knew she had the right slant on the feisty, egg-smashing Helen in Martin McDonagh’s dark comedy “The Cripple of Inishmaan” when she heard, distinctly from the audience at tiny Redtwist Theatre: “That awful girl is here again.”
Cripple Billy’s adventure. 4 stars!
Meltdown at Amer. Theater Co. 5 stars!