**** Recommended **** The Music Theater Works production of "Pippin", directed by Kyle A. Dougan, is a bright, colorful, fantastical extravaganza. The set reminded me of the comedy wall in 60’s TV hit, Rowan & Martin’s "Laugh In", with several monitors scattered among multiple nooks and crannies. The talented cast was in constant motion with sexy and suggestive Fosse-esque choreography (totally appropriate since Fosse choreographed the original production). 4 Spotlights
**** Recommended **** Lookingglass Theatre’s world premiere, "Lucy and Charlie’s Honeymoon", directed by Amanda Dehnert, opens with a hard rockin’ tune about – are you ready? – Asian American renegades! "Lucy and Charlie’s Honeymoon" is like a fast-moving, energetic concert, with an add-on, a compelling, creative love story told from a unique perspective. I had no idea where the story was going, so it felt like waiting for the inevitable train wreck – and watching the mayhem with that same horrified fascination. 4 Spotlights
**** Highly Recommended This season’s "West Side Story" at Lyric Opera is a must-see, whether you’ve seen it (many times) before, or are new to the wonders of the Leonard Bernstein score and songs, flawless Stephen Sondheim lyrics, and still-fresh mesmerizing choreography of Jerome Robbins.
**** Highly Recommended **** The opening production in the Dunes Arts Summer Theatre season is "Boeing Boeing", a delightfully snarky comedy set in the swinging sixties. The talented cast got the audience laughing early on and kept them laughing right to the end. Even though I’ve seen "Boeing Boeing" more than a few times, this production had me laughing, too. 4 Spotlights.
**** Highly Recommended **** Most Greek tragedies were written in the 5th Century BC, so too often people think they have no relevance today, so they frequently skip excellent stage productions. "The Gospel at Colonus" has a different approach – re-telling Sophocles’ tragedy, Oedipus at Colonus, in gospel form. Court Theatre was filled with glorious gospel music. In fact, instead of a Greek chorus, we got a joyful gospel choir, and it was awesome! 4 BIG Spotlights
**** Recommended **** TimeLine Theatre is well known for selecting thoughtful, intelligent and well-researched plays about real people, real history. "What the Constitution Means to Me" is an excellent fit. This play really is about the Constitution, at least playwright Heidi Schreck’s interpretation of that document which is an important part of our American system. I doubt if many people have actually read it, she did. Beth Lacke, who plays Schreck, has a warm and humorous touch. I learned a few things – you will too. 3 ½ Spotlights
**** Highly Recommended **** "Ernest Shackleton Loves Me" is a weirdly wonderful musical. The premise – two people, separated by 100 years and thousands of miles, accidentally meet online – is absurd. There’s no way the story should work, but it totally does. A charming script will pull you right into this alternate reality, and you’ll love it! 4 BIG Spotlight
**** Highly Recommended **** "MotherFreakingHood! A Musical Comedy" playing through June 11th in the Venus Cabaret at the Mercury Theater, is a freaking laugh riot! It takes all those not-so-precious lowlights of motherhood – the ones that you’ve conveniently forgotten (or would really prefer to forget) – and spins them into hilarity. No kidding, this irreverent show pushed every motherhood button. It will have you in stitches! Ladies, get your mothers, sisters, partners and gal pals together for an experience like no other. 4 BIG Spotlights
**** Recommended **** Watching "London Road" felt a bit like watching a Japanese Kabuki as the ensemble moved around the stage with highly synchronized precision to complex musical rhythms. "London Road" is something called Verbatim Theatre, a form of documentary theatre based on the spoken words of real people. In fact, I would bet that it is completely different from anything you’ve ever seen. It was a totally fascinating production! 4 Spotlights
**** Recommended **** The Towle Theater production of "Women in Jeopardy" is a lot of fun, a comedy of errors involving three divorced gal pals, a clueless, self-involved girl, a spacey, cougar-obsessed boy and a creepy dentist. Are two of the gals jealous because the third met someone – or is it really about his weird vibes? I had to laugh out loud at the funny dialogue and improbable situations in this light-hearted comedy. 3 ½ Spotlights