Author: philippotempa

REVIEW: Drury Lane’s ‘And Then There Were None’ mysteriously lacks intrigue

REVIEW: Drury Lane’s ‘And Then There Were None’ mysteriously lacks intrigue By Jack Gardner Contributor Drury Lane‘s “And Then There Were None,” which has begun its run through Sept. 1, has lead me to solve the mystery of why Agatha Christie plays are seldom produced anymore. The play, which like most Agatha Christie books and their adaptations, is a murder-mystery “who-done-it?” setup, where the audience is encouraged to act as a detective alongside the cast of characters. However, this production lacks the style or spirit that can elevate a simplistic story such as this to exciting new heights. “And Then There...

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REVIEW: Steppenwolf revisits its roots with a new generation in ‘True West’

  REVIEW: Steppenwolf revisits its roots with a new generation in ‘True West’ By Jack Gardner Contributor Steppenwolf Theatre Company is presenting a revival of “True West,” the play that launched the company from relative obscurity and onto the national stage in 1982. The play, which runs until Aug. 25, is being performed in the Downstairs Theatre. Usually regarded as Sam Shepard’s masterpiece and his best known work, “True West” tells the story of brothers Austin (played by Jon Michael Hill), an Ivy League educated Hollywood screenwriter, and Lee (played by Namir Smallwood) a desert-dwelling drifter and burglar. The estranged siblings...

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REVIEW: First Folio Theatre’s ‘Henry V’ adds new dimension to centuries old story

REVIEW: By Jack Gardner Contributor “Henry V” took to the stage at First Folio Theatre at the Mayslake Peabody Estate in Oak Brook, now running through Aug. 18, as part of its Shakespeare-under-the-Stars series. One of Shakespeare’s most famous histories, “Henry V” is the final chapter in the tetralogy, preceded by “Richard II,” “Henry IV, Part I,” and Henry IV, Part II”. This production marks the last play to be on First Folio’s outdoor stage, which has stood since 1997. In order to update and retrofit the aging structure, the company will take a two-year hiatus and return in...

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REVIEW: Cat scratch fever overtakes Chicago as ‘Cats’ Broadway tour arrives

REVIEW: Cat scratch fever overtakes Chicago as ‘Cats’ Broadway tour arrives By Jack Gardner Contributor “Cats” pounced onto stage at Chicago’s James M. Nederlander Theatre, remaining through Aug.4, as part of its North American tour. Fresh from its Broadway revival in 2016, “Cats” has won seven Tony Awards, including best musical for the original production in 1982. Based on the poems in “Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats” by T.S. Elliot and composed by Andrew Lloyd Webber, famous for “Phantom of the Opera,” “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” and “School of Rock,” “Cats” is a sung-through musical about...

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Review: Memorial Opera House’s ‘Mamma Mia!’ a sliver of paradise in NWI

REVIEW: Memorial Opera House’s ‘Mamma Mia!’ a sliver of paradise in NWI By Jack Gardner Contributor The hit jukebox musical sensation “Mamma Mia!” opened at Valparaiso’s Memorial Opera House as the show’s Northwest Indiana Premiere. The musical, which is now possibly better known than the band, ABBA, whose music fuels the show, is Broadway’s ninth longest-running show. Luckily, Memorial Opera House captures the charm and lighthearted style that has elevated this show to its timeless status. “Mamma Mia!,” now enjoying a sold-out run through July 28, features Kelly Collins as Sophie, the soon-to-be bride of Sky (played by Steven...

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Of Notoriety

Philip PotempaOfNotoriety.com covers the latest in theater news and reviews, entertainment, movies, stage performances, exhibits, museums, travel destinations, trends/shopping, dining and more.

Philip Potempa, a 25-year Chicago veteran journalist, writes about what others are talking about to keep readers informed about the hottest tickets (and topics) in town and beyond.

His Of Notoriety columns and feature stories can also be read in print in his flagship newspaper The Post-Tribune, one of the daily newspapers in the Chicago Tribune Publishing Media Chain.

You can contact Philip Potempa at philip@ofnotoriety.com

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