Articles tagged with: Lookingglass Theatre
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. ★★★★★
12th in a series of season previews If theater should be an adventure, then Lookingglass offers something akin to safari into unknown regions every time out. The company’s premiere-laden 27th season reflects that ever-changing dramatic topography — from Lucas Hnath’s family-challenged “Death Tax” to a brand-new ropes-and-spars vision of “Moby Dick.”
Review: Scene upon witty scene, there is much to admire about Sara Gmitter’s elegant and facile new play “In the Garden: A Darwinian Love Story,” which in its world premiere at Lookingglass Theatre offers a kind of evolutionary portrait of the marriage of Charles and Emma Darwin. Floridly festooned in designer Collette Pollard’s literal interlacing of the natural and civilized worlds, “In the Garden” exudes a radiant, if benign charm. ★★
12th in a series of season previews: When theatrical characters step out of their comfort zones, you have the makings of keen-edged drama. That’s the essence of a Lookingglass’ Theatre 2013-14 season that boasts two world premieres among three productions.
Review: Enter a hurled chair, pursued by a raging detective. Thus begins Chicago playwright Keith Huff’s rambunctious, violently funny police drama “Big Lake Big City,” a slice of Chicago’s underbelly examined from the viewpoint of a rough-cut cop who probably never met a suspect he didn’t punch or a woman he understood. “Big Lake Big City,” in its world-premiere run at Lookingglass Theatre, is slyly skewed, uproarious fun, a spider’s web of interlaced lives and cross-hatched deeds adding up to an open and shut case of sober insanity. ★★★★★
Interview: To watch Eva Barr play out the progressive, early-onset dementia of the woman at the center of “Still Alice” at Lookingglass Theatre is to forget you’re looking at the subtle, skillful work of an actor. Yet hardly less remarkable is the way Barr arrived at the role: She began, in first readings with playwright-director Christine Mary Dunford, by taking a different part, an alternate Alice – a separate character Dunford identifies simply as Herself.
Review: In her play “Still Alice,” author and director Christine Mary Dunford employs a graphic metaphor to illustrate the disintegrating world of Alice, a victim of early-onset Alzheimer’s disease. Throughout the play, now in its world premiere run at Lookingglass Theatre, Alice’s kitchen appliances disappear one by one, until nothing remains – until the locus, the defining “here,” of this woman’s life is no longer there. ★★★★
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. ★★★★★
14th in a series of season previews: In its first 24 seasons, Lookingglass Theatre has brought 58 world premieres to its stage. In observing its 25th anniversary, the company will bring that number to a tidy five dozen – and throw in the Chicago premiere Rajiv Joseph’s “Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo” for good measure.
High-wire fun at Lookingglass. 4 stars!
Full count at the Lookingglass. 3 stars.
John Musial’s “The Great Fire” flames up at Lookingglass. 2 stars