The family in Andrea Thorne's semi-autobiographical play Pinkolandia at 16th Street Theater in Berwyn can never go home again. They are Chilean exiles who fled the fascist military dictatorship of General Augusto Pinochet in 1973. It's now 1982 and the family of four struggles to build a new life in Wisconsin.
If you're looking for some old-school musical theater escapism in the boy-meets-girl, "feel good" fashion … keep on looking. Next to Normal is not for you. This is definitely not a flashy, upbeat Broadway musical. But if you're up for flawless performances, tight direction, and a fast-paced production that tackles a tough contemporary subject, this rock musical about mental illness is a remarkable achievement.
We don't usually review student productions in these pages but the current show running at Oak Park and River Forest High School, Fiddler on the Roof, is so well done I must bring it to your attention. And there's still a weekend left to see it.
The new production at 16th Street Theater, Do-Gooder, is a perfect example of what this intrepid company does best: It's an edgy, urban drama with a fascinating social message yet it never comes across as preachy or didactic.
The holiday season 50 years ago started as a very solemn time. President John F. Kennedy's assassination a month earlier numbed the nation and somewhat darkened what should have been a joy-filled celebration.
Local writer Lee Brooke is nothing if not prolific. The author of 20 self-published books over the last three decades has now assembled a delightful assortment of personal reflections titled, Zig-Zagging Through Life: Light-Hearted Recollections, which is selling for $10 at The Book Table.
We don't routinely review student shows in these pages but the Artists of Concordia Theatre (ACT) production of the satiric Greek sex comedy Lysistrata looked promising — definitely something a bit different. So I attended the opening.