Articles tagged with: Steep Theatre
Review: The latest installment in Ike Holter’s now six-play saga of the fictional Chicago neighborhood of Rightlynd is part social commentary, part inside-theater sendup. From all angles, it is smartly written – provocative, witty and taut. “Red Rex” takes its title from a Rightlynd storefront theater, a struggling enterprise that finally may get over the hump with a compelling new play devised by the company’s resident playwright Lana. Devised, as in borrowed and adapted. There’s the rub. ★★★
Review: Despite a rather heavy application of angst, the true face of poignancy emerges in Penelope Skinner’s “Linda,” a dramatic screed at Steep Theatre on women, beauty and the cumulative unkindness of years. Kendra Thulin reels through the title role, one moment a confident and successful marketer of beauty products, the next moment a has-been who watches the world, fashion and relevance all pass by, leaving her bereft in life’s seventh age, sans everything. ★★★
Review: In an imaginative whodunnit, Chicago writer Calamity West proposes the hypothetical solution to an unsolved mass murder from 1922. Bavaria’s counterpart to the Lizzie Borden story (in notoriety if not in detail) involves six people on a farmstead in Munich’s remote outback. All were found hacked to death. ★★★
Review: If power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely, what shall we say about the allure – no, the infection — of wealth? Perhaps mammon is the perverse god whom man created, not in his own image but as his highest aspiration and ideal. Money, money, money, money, money. Get a good taste of it only to crave more. That’s the object lesson, the demonstration, of Ayad Akhtar’s wrenching, fearsome play “The Invisible Hand,” which now commands the little stage at Steep Theatre in a production directed by Audrey Francis that is well worth adding to your must-see list. ★★★★
Review: Mike Bartlett’s “Earthquakes in London,” at Steep Theatre, is an intriguing excursion that conflates garden variety family dysfunction with nothing less than the end of days. The show closes March 18, and it’s worth catching – not for its perfection (it is imperfect), but for its rigorous melding of intricate, credible characters and a provocative foray into magical realism. ★★★
Review: Having nurtured Alex Lubischer’s ambitious and imaginative tragi-comedy “Bobbie Clearly” through workshops, Steep Theatre now offers the result-to-date in a world premiere. It’s a dark tale – about a small-town youth who murders a little girl, goes to prison, then returns to make amends – laced with witty dialogue and charged circumstance. It’s also burdened by moments still awaiting the spark of life. ★★
Review: If the mirror held to up to our human lot by Simon Stephens’ play “Wastwater” fairly reflects what’s framed there, we’re not a very pretty collection. We may have our favorable features, but for the most part the image that emerges in “Wastwater,” about to wind up its run at Steep Theatre, is one of frailty, desperation and meanness. ★★★
Review: British playwright Laura Wade’s “Posh,” now on graphic display at Steep Theatre, drives home a somber message: Great wealth rules. Anything is possible or tolerable if you can hand over a blank check to pay the freight or pay for the damage. ★★★
17th in a series of season previews: Founding artistic director Peter Moore says Steep Theatre’s 15th season captures the essence of what this scrappy company is all about – “ground-level views of life.” That low-angle survey begins with the world premiere of Hamish Linklater’s “The Cheats,” about two neighboring couples who suddenly find themselves uncomfortably close.
Review: When we first encounter Benjamin Südel, he is a moody teen in the middle of his violent spring awakening. Awkward and obsessed with himself, he is almost paralyzed with bewilderment – no, terror – as he is thrust into his school’s hormonal stew. He may or may not be the title character of Marius von Mayenburg’s play, “Martyr,” now enjoying nervous laughter in its fine U.S. premiere at Steep Theatre. ★★★★
Interview: Into the life of overweight, lonely, sullen teenager Anna, in Nick Payne’s play “If There Is I Haven’t Found It Yet,” bursts her similarly miserable but emotionally supercharged uncle Terry. He’s an instantly appealing guy who, says actor Shane Kenyon, has invested a lifetime of energy in “running away from growing up and accepting responsibility.”
Review: Anna is 15 years old, seriously overweight and disconnected from just everything: her mom and dad, her school mates, her life. But disconnection runs in the family. Anna’s parents don’t seem to notice her. Then into their midst, in Nick Payne’s absorbing and painful play “If There Is I Haven’t Found It Yet,” pops the girl’s utterly lost soul of an uncle bearing a glimmer of hope. It is a promise as fragile as it is paradoxical, and exquisitely framed by four superb actors in Steep Theatre’s fine production directed by Jonathan Berry. ★★★★
Review: Danny has no visible scars, no missing limbs, but this former British soldier bears deep wounds from his tour of duty in Iraq. He is the tormented, dangerous antihero of playwright Simon Stephens’ “Motortown,” now in a riveting North American premiere run at Steep Theatre. ★★★★
Preview: Theater director Halena Kays is exaggerating only slightly when she refers to the million plays you’d have to see if you hoped to catch every show in a Chicago season. That’s the beauty of Theater on the Lake, the summer reprise of eight top productions that opens June 12 with original casts reassembled. It’s a bonus round for theater-goers who simply ran out of nights.
Report: Tickets will be $15 and $30.