Theater Reviews

Review: “The Old Man and The Old Moon”

RECOMMENDED Where: PinPen Theatre Co. at Writers Theatre, 325 Tudor Court, Glencoe When: through Nov. 10 Tickets: $35-$70 Phone: 847-242-6000 ANNE SPISELMAN Theater Critic Imaginative storytelling and inventive stagecraft come together in the Midwest premiere of “The Old Man and The Old Moon,” PigPen Theatre Co.’s charmingly homespun play with music at Writers Theatre in(…)

Review: “Signs of Life”

SLIGHTLY RECOMMENDED Where: Victory Gardens Biograph Theater, 2433 N. Lincoln Ave. When: through Oct. 27 Tickets: $45-$65 Phone: 773-871-3000 A musical about the Nazi ghetto of Theresienstadt (Terezin in Czech) is bound to be a tough sell, and unfortunately “Signs of Life” doesn’t pull it off.  Originally commissioned by Virginia S. Criste, who visited to(…)

Review: “Once”

RECOMMENDED Where: Oriental Theatre, 24 W. Randolph St. When: through Oct. 27 Tickets: $27-$95 Phone: 800-775-2000 By ANNE SPISELMAN Theater Critic I was charmed by the 2007 indie film, “Once,” written and directed by John Carney and starring Glen Hansard as an Irish singer-songwriter “stopped up” by a romance-on-the-rocks and Marketa Irglova as the Czech(…)

Review: “The Crownless King”

RECOMMENDED Where: The House Theatre of Chicago at Chopin Theatre, 1543 W. Division St. When: through Oct. 20 Tickets: $20-$40 Phone: 773-769-3832 By ANNE SPISELMAN Theater Critic At one point in “The Crownless King,” the second part of The House Theatre of Chicago’s fantasy-adventure trilogy that started last year with “The Iron Stag King,” our royal hero,(…)

Review: “4000 Miles”

RECOMMENDED Where: Northlight Theatre, North Shore Center for the Performing Arts, 9501 Skokie Blvd., Skokie When: through Oct. 20 Tickets: $25-$75 Phone: 847-673-6300 By ANNE SPISELMAN Theater Critic In the program notes for the Chicago premiere of “4000 Miles” at Northlight Theatre, playwright Amy Herzog explains that Vera Joseph, the feisty octogenarian grandmother in whose(…)

Review: “Pullman Porter Blues”

SOMEWHAT RECOMMENDED Where: Goodman Theatre, 170 N. Dearborn St. When: though Oct. 20 Tickets: $25-$75 Phone: 312-443-3800 By ANNE SPISELMAN Theater Critic I had high hopes for the Chicago premiere of “Pullman Porter Blues” at Goodman Theatre, but Cheryl L. West’s play with music disappoints in so many ways, it’s hard to know where to(…)

Review: “A Raisin in the Sun”

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED Where: TimeLine Theatre Company, 615 W. Wellington Ave. When: through Nov. 17 Tickets: $35-$48 Phone: 773-281-8463, ext. 6 By ANNE SPISELMAN Theater Critic TimeLine Theatre Company’s production of Lorraine Hansberry’s seminal “A Raisin in the Sun” could be half as good as it is and still have a profound impact. Director Ron OJ(…)

Review: “The Mountaintop”

SOMEWHAT RECOMMENDED Where: Court Theatre, 5535 S. Ellis Ave. When: through Oct. 13 Tickets: $45-$65 Phone: 773-753-4472 By ANNE SPISELMAN Theater Critic The hype for the 2010 Laurence Olivier Award-winning “The Mountaintop” emphasizes Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s humanity and human frailty, but don’t be fooled: Katori Hall’s play ultimately is an exercise in hagiography.(…)