Articles tagged with: Nick Bowling
‘The Audience’ at TimeLine: Enduring queen receives her ministers with rubber stamp, wit
Review: Janet Ulrich Brooks reigns supreme as Queen Elizabeth II in Peter Morgan’s play “The Audience” at TimeLine Theatre. The poised, circumspect, droll and ever so slightly vulnerable performance by one of Chicago’s most versatile actresses provides the constant heart in an otherwise uneven enterprise. The springboard for Morgan’s sly work is the historical Tuesday meetings between the Queen and the prime minister of the moment – a succession of politicos from Winston Churchill and Anthony Eden down through the decades to Tony Blair and David Cameron. ★★★
Role Playing: AnJi White, as Catherine Parr, learned to keep her wits – to keep her head
Interview: When you’re playing the sixth wife of the notorious spouse-disposing English King Henry VIII, says AnJi White, the resolve to survive comes mixed with the question of how. Analyzing her own grand and yet vulnerable portrayal of Catherine Parr, in Kate Hennig’s “The Last Wife” at TimeLine Theatre, White says she pursues a nightly answer to the riddle of endurance with a royal husband who holds her life in his palm, and who will brook neither challenge nor collaboration.
‘The Last Wife’ at TimeLine: She is Henry’s sixth queen, playing perilous game of survival
Review: If you’d care to see what absolute power wielded by a single individual looks like, and what a scary thing that is, look no further than Steve Pickering’s iron-fisted incarnation of Henry VIII in the U.S. premiere of Kate Hennig’s “The Last Wife” at TimeLine Theatre. And in the same frame, so to speak, behold the precarious life of the title character, Katherine Parr, a brilliant woman (played to her full measure by AnJi White) who matches the king in wit, imagination and perhaps even ambition. ★★★★★
‘Sondheim on Sondheim’ at Porchlight: In song and anecdote, a portrait of the artist as wizard
Review: I came away from “Sondheim on Sondheim,” produced by Porchlight Music Theatre at Stage 773, laughing out loud as I mentally replayed the many video snippets of Stephen Sondheim talking about his life and art, setups for this musical revue of his stage works offered by an immensely talented pianist and an able vocal cast of eight. The live musical component of the show is both ambitious in scope and vocally demanding. Porchlight’s presentation comes off as spirited, engaging and capable, but also uneven. ★★★
‘Juno’ at TimeLine: Good effort can’t redeem Blitzstein’s tepid musical on O’Casey classic
Review: Sean O’Casey’s colorful play “Juno and the Paycock,” about a poor family’s bit of luck in strife-torn Ireland, has enjoyed unstinting popularity since its premiere in 1924. But when Marc Blitzstein turned it into a musical in 1959, the show flopped and has never recovered. TimeLine Theatre’s ambitious revival demonstrates why. Review: ★
Role Playing: Kareem Bandealy tapped roots, hit books to form warlord in ‘Blood and Gifts’
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.
‘Blood and Gifts’ at TimeLine: Blood-soaked Afghanistan as pawn in U.S.-Russian faceoff
The New Season: Stark Vietnam prison drama, Beethoven riddle define spectrum at TimeLine
Second in a series of season previews: Playwright Susan Felder’s “Wasteland,” a world premiere about two American G.I.’s imprisoned in Vietnam isolation, plus three Chicago premieres make up TimeLine’s 2012-13 schedule; season opens Aug. 24 with a musical riddle.
‘My Kind of Town’ reconstructs police torture scandal as a complicated drama of real life
Cops under gun at TimeLine. 4 stars!
In Porchlight’s ‘Catered Affair,’ a musical about ordinary people proves a dramatic jewel
A play verging on opera. 4 stars!