Author Archives: Jonathan Abarbanel

DC split over David Rabe world premiere at Steppenwolf

K says “wunderbar” for WONDERFUL TOWN, J says “Hmmm.”

The House does a dark take on Punch & Judy but it lights up J. & K.

The House Theatre of Chicago roles out a slightly-gothic world premiere by Kara Davidson, directed by Shade Murray and with fascinating puppets by Jesse Mooney-Bullock. If you thought P&J stood for peanut butter and jelly, you’d better think again. Davidson’s historical research is impeccable, with every character in the play–human and puppet–rooted in the actual history of Punch and Judy shows in England. Kelly and Jonathan are fascinated!


Dueling Critics go On the Town at Marriott Theatre

Jeff Smith, Max Clayton and Seth Danner (left to right) as three gobs with a guidebook, hitting the streets of the Big Apple in “On the Town” (photo courtesy of the Marriott Theatre).

Old Tar Jonathan and Salty Kelly discuss On the Town at the Marriott Theatre, a tale of three gobs and their gals, and Kelly recommends Stupid F++king Bird at Sideshow Theatre.


Our take on a Snake by the lake

The White Snake production photo courtesy of the Goodman Theatre.

How sharper than a serpent’s tongue are Kelly and Jonathan as they discuss The White Snake at Goodman Theatre, and Jonathan also recommends Tennessee Williams’ Vieux Carre at Raven Theatre.


Jackalope Theatre tackles the movie in your head with world premiere of The Killing of Michael X

Celia (Joanne Dubach) and Randy (Andrew Goetten) plan their revenge and great escape in Jackalope’s The Killing of Michael X (photo courtesy of Jackalope Theatre).

Jonathan and Kelly duel over a world premiere about grief, adolescent angst and making a movie, presented by Jackalope Theatre. Then, Jonathan recommends A Crime in the Neighborhood, a page-to-stage adaptation at City Lit.

Coward 1936

Today’s trivia question answered, 24 October, 2013

Question: What did Noel Coward scrawl on a Chicago dressing room wall in 1926? It wasn’t painted over for years.

Answer”: “Noel Coward Died Here.” After creating a sensation in London and New York as author, actor and director of his career-making drama, The Vortex, Coward took it on the road. It pleased neither Chicago audiences nor critics and moved on after two weeks of a planned four-week run. The Coward graffito was visible for years afterwards.