Goodman’s “School Girls; or, The African Mean Girls Play” reopens Chicago theatre with laughter and timely subtext

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By Karen Topham, American Theatre Critics Association Not only is live theatre finally back in Chicago with the reopening of the venerable Goodman Theatre, but the first play there is pretty much a perfect one to remind us (if we needed a reminder) of what we’ve been missing: theatre’s unique ability to blend entertainment with […]

After the wreck: Court Theatre revisits the Titanic via actual court testimony about the disaster

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By Karen Topham, American Theatre Critics Association; photo by Michael Brosilow There are many ways to examine the catastrophe that was the sinking of the HMS Titanic on its maiden voyage in 1912. James Cameron’s immensely popular 1997 film version used the disaster as the background for a star-crossed love story between the totally fictional […]

NYC Onstage: Tiny Beautiful Things

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Review by Ed Rubin Tiny Beautiful Things, George Street Playhouse’s filmed play, based on Cheryl Strayed’s collection of advice columns, is beautifully brought to life by actress Laiona Michelle, who as Sugar, plays a down-to-earth, expletive-spouting advice-giving columnist.  While the play’s three accompanying actors, John Bolger, Kally Duling. and Ryan George, each playing a wide […]

CST’s We Are Out There is a delightfully campy “prologue” of their upcoming 50s sci-fi musical

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By Karen Topham, American Theatre Critics Association; photo by CST. Chicago Shakespeare Theatre’s upcoming musical It Came From Outer Space does not premiere until 2022, but that doesn’t mean that Barbara Gaines and company have to sit back and wait until then. Nope. This week, CST reveals a clever, inventive 45-minute “digital prologue” to the […]

Live theatre returns (sort of) with Goodman’s “The Sound Inside,” an online-only treat

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By Karen Topham, American Theatre Critics Association; photo by Cody Nieset Are you missing the singular experience of attending a play performed live in front of you with everyone involved completely aware that there are no do-overs, no rewinds, no net? Well, the Goodman Theatre has not yet reopened to live audiences, but it does […]

“Goods” takes us into space to see ourselves, our humanity, and our trash more clearly

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By Karen Topham, American Theatre Critics Association The best science fiction is really about us all, who we are today, what we might become. Such is the case with Lauren Ferebee’s Goods, now premiering online in an Artemisia Theatre production. This powerful two-hander brings us into the cockpit of a space junk hauler as its […]

Artist Descending a Staircase is a tailor-made pandemic play

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By Karen Topham, American Theatre Critics Association Though a live theatre version of Tom Stoppard’s 1972 radio play Artist Descending a Staircase does exist, the original fits so perfectly into today’s theatrical (non-)world that it is no surprise that Remy Bumppo Theatre chose it for production. The play is a humorous, romantic, and even tragic […]