Tag Archives: Off-Loop Theatre

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!

We examine sibling relationships (a bit too close to home?) in American Theater Company’s Bruise Easy

Plus, K. recommends another family drama, No Wake by Route 66 at the Greenhouse Theater Center, and J. acknowledges the bumper crop of brilliant female directors currently working around town, including Joanie Schulz (Bruise Easy) and Kimberly Senior (No Wake).


Kelly Goes Solo on Domesticated at Steppenwolf

Not really solo: Gary serves as interlocutor as K. considers Bruce Norris’s latest peroration on the problems of privileged people (say three times fast). Is the playwright anti-feminist or merely a misanthrope? And why shouldn’t playwrights direct their own work? Then G. and K. jointly mourn the demise of Redmoon.

We start the new year with something “Beautiful”

. . . and totally fail to disagree. What Carole King hath put together, let no man put asunder!

Nothing says Christmas like an Israeli political satire

ShPIeL, a theater company which defines itself as “Performing Identity,” does exactly that with its world-premiere production of Angina Pectoris at Theatre Wit. The play opened in Tel Aviv soon after its opening in Chicago. What do the Critics think? Plus, Kelly recommends Arthur Miller’s Incident at Vichy at RedTwist.

We review Strawdog’s Robin Hood and Maid Marian, then anticipate the arrival of Hamilton

Sugarplums and treacle–or, if you prefer, faith, hope and love: the holidays on Chicago stages

Jonathan waxes Scrooge-like about holiday offerings while Kelly takes her inner child out for an excursion.  Grab your insulin and dive in!

We Disagree Over Pilgrim’s Progress at A Red Orchid Theatre

Plus, K. recommends The Play About My Dad at Raven Theater, Gary promotes the Critics’ role in the Dual Duel competition at Comedy Sportz, and J. foreshadows upcoming conversations about New York theater and about holidays shows.

Marjorie Prime at Writers a Prime Piece of Theater

The critics enthuse about extraordinary acting by Mary Ann Thebus and Kate Fry in the final production at Writers’ ancestral home at the back of the bookstore, and then talk about all the bricks-and-mortar action in the theater community: new homes not only for Writers but for Northlight, TimeLine, Griffin.