First Folio’s World Premiere ‘Man-Beast’ succeeds with stage shivers and intrigue By PHILIP POTEMPA Of Notoriety It’s always easier to achieve the haunting enticement of fear and unease for swallowing up a movie audience, compared to the challenge of translating the same edge-of-the-seat entertaining attributes to cast the similar shadows over a stage theatre audience. But in my decade reviewing the works at First Folio Theatre at Mayslake Peabody Estate, 31st St. and Rt. 83 in Oak Brook, this is a theatre company trained and fine-tuned to know just how to thrill and chill eager audiences. In fact, for seasonal stage...Read More
REVIEW: Buffalo Theatre Ensemble surprises and delights with Hitchcock’s ‘The 39 Steps’ By PHILIP POTEMPA Of Notoriety Directing a cast of four, tasked with slipping in and out of the identities of more than 150 characters, isn’t an easy feat. Buffalo Theatre Ensemble, the professional Equity company in residence at the McAninch Arts Center at the College of DuPage in Glen Ellyn, teamed with ensemble member Kurt Naebig as director, have launched the 2017-2018 season with a four-of-a-kind stage success. “The 39 Steps,” adapted by Patrick Barlow from the novel by John Buchan, is a madcap Hitchcock-inspired whodunit all framed and...Read More
REVIEW: Pride Films and Plays’ ‘Perfect Arrangement’ a polished tale of private lives By PHILIP POTEMPA OfNotoriety Early on in Topher Payne‘s clever stage comedy “Perfect Arrangement,“ the four central characters, who share love-crossed relationships, face an important realization: there is a difference in having a private live, and what is defined as a secret life. As carefully directed and fine-tuned by Pride Films and Plays‘ Associate Artistic Director Derek Van Barham, there is an ideal balance achieved blending parody with possibility in this new Chicago premiere run of “Perfect Arrangement” playing now through Oct. 22 at Pride Arts Center, 4139 N. Broadway in...Read More
Pride Arts Center takes audiences uncover in ‘Beds’ By PHILIP POTEMPA Of Notoriety The conversations that happen behind closed doors usually rank as some of the most vital and important exchanges. Add to this scenario the fact that those closed doors lead to the bedroom, and it’s a couple engaged in the communication, and the result is something on an entirely different level and often hits some of the most intimate and sensitive topics. Years ago, this dialogue behind bedroom doors was called “pillow talk.” Today, because of the anonymity available via online chats and the ease of reaching others through...Read More
‘Jesus Christ Superstar’ shines and defines at Paramount Theatre By PHILIP POTEMPA Of Notoriety Andrew Lloyd Webber‘s “Jesus Christ Superstar” always attracts stage attention and big names connected with the favorite stage musical which also starred actor Ted Neeley, now 73, in the title role in the 1973 original musical film. Throughout the years, he has also toured with the stage musical as well. Paramount Theatre‘s new production of this Broadway hit resurrects “Jesus Christ Superstar” like never before. Playing this month through Sunday, May 28, director and producer Ron Kellum makes his Paramount debut teamed with Paramount veterans Tom...Read More
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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.
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- REVIEW: First Folio’s World Premiere ‘Man-Beast’ succeeds with stage shivers and intrigue
- REVIEW: Buffalo Theatre Ensemble surprises and delights with Hitchcock’s ‘The 39 Steps’
- REVIEW: Pride Films and Plays’ ‘Perfect Arrangement’ a polished tale of private lives
- REVIEW: Pride Arts Center takes audiences uncover in ‘Beds’
- REVIEW: ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’ shines and defines at Paramount Theatre