Tag: matthew Gawryk

Review: The Glass Menagerie (Mary-Arrchie Theatre Chicago)

Joanne Dubach as Laura in Mary-Arrchie Theatre's "The Glass Menagerie" by Tennessee Williams, directed by Hans Fleischmann. (photo credit: Emily Schwartz)        
       
The Glass Menagerie 

Written by Tennessee Williams 
Directed by Hans Fleischmann
at Theater Wit, 1229 W. Belmont (map)
thru Aug 25  |  tickets: $32-$37   |  more info
       
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June 15, 2013 | 0 Comments More

Review: The Glass Menagerie (Mary-Arrchie Theatre)

Hans Fleischmann directs and stars in Mary-Arrchie's "The Glass Menagerie" by Tennessee Williams, directed by Hans Fleischmann. (photo credit: Fred Bledsoe Photography)        
       
The Glass Menagerie 

Written by Tennessee Williams 
Directed by Hans Fleischmann
Angel Island Theatre, 735 W. Sheridan (map)
thru Jan20 Feb 17  |  tickets: $15-$25   |  more info
       
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December 18, 2012 | 3 Comments More

Review: Superior Donuts (Mary-Arrchie Theatre at Royal George Cabaret)

Preston Tate, Jr. and Richard Cotovsky in Mary-Arrchie Theatre Co.’s production of SUPERIOR DONUTS by Tracy Letts, directed by Matt Miller. Photo by Greg Rothman.        
      
Superior Donuts 

Written by Tracy Letts 
Directed by Matt Miller 
Royal George Cabaret, 1641 N. Halsted (map)
thru Nov 25  |  tickets: $40-$50   |  more info
       
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November 4, 2012 | 0 Comments More

Review: Superior Donuts (Metropolis Performing Arts Centre)

Superior Donuts by Tracy Letts - Mary-Arrchie Theatre postcard        
       
Superior Donuts 

Written by Tracy Letts  
Directed by Matt Miller 
Metropolis Performing Arts Centre (map)
thru July 26  |  tickets: $25   |  more info
       
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July 19, 2012 | 0 Comments More

Review: Superior Donuts (Mary-Arrchie Theatre)

Richard Cotovsky as Arthur and Preston Tate, Jr. as Franco in Mary-Arrchie Theatre's "Superior Donuts" by Tracy Letts.       
      
Superior Donuts 

Written by Tracy Letts 
Directed by Matt Miller 
Angel Island, 735 W. Sheridan (map)
thru May 6 |  tickets: $18-$22  | more info
       
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February 18, 2012 | 0 Comments More

Review: Charles Dickens Begrudgingly… (The Building Stage)

Blake Montgomery, The Building Stage Chicago, Chelsea Keenan       
     
Charles Dickens 
Begrudgingly Performs 
‘A Christmas Carol.’ Again.

Created & Performed by Blake Montgomery
The Building Stage, 412 N. Carpenter (map)
thru Dec 24  |  tickets: $22   |  more info
       
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December 16, 2011 | 0 Comments More

REVIEW: The Rant (Mary-Arrchie Theatre)

Mary-Arrchie’s ‘The Rant’ Illuminates and Devastates

Mary-Arrchie's "The Rant"

Mary-Arrchie Theatre presents:

The Rant

by Andrew Case
directed by Sharon Evans
at
Angel Island Theatre through March 28th (more info)

reviewed by Paige Listerud

Much about Andrew Case’s play The Rant masquerades as a typical cop show. There are interrogations with guys in police uniform across bare tables under unforgiving lights. All the same, the play’s dialogue is too whipsmart for television. It’s subject—an investigation of police misconduct—pushes beyond the conservative boundaries of cop/good-perp/bad formulas dominating network television. Finally, the sophisticated handling of media relations between public and police is all too knowing and wise.

rant2 Case invests eight years’ experience on police misconduct issues for New York City into this no-holds-barred one-act, and it shows—like a house on fire. The result is a sorely needed resuscitation of public dialogue on the hope of preserving justice in a system hideously compromised by racism, truncated by police cultural codes of loyalty and silence, and all too often cynically betrayed by the fourth estate.

Public Advocate Lila Mahnaz (Lindsey Pearlman) wants to get at the truth. The autistic son of Denise Reeves (Shariba Rivers) has been shot and killed during a police response to a call. Her own background as an Iranian Persian-American, informs her view of police behavior with jaundiced skepticism and almost revolutionary fervor. Her pursuit of the truth takes her down a winding road that exposes police corruption, the exploitation of and by the press, and the comprehendible, but frustrating, unreliability of witnesses. Her progress acts as a great meditation the difficulty of getting to the whole truth, encompassing many of the pitfalls of well-meaning advocacy.

Director Sharon Evans’ superlative cast nails this intelligent drama to the wall. Rivers’ aggrieved Denise, mother of the slain boy, packs a lifetime of angry suffering into every uttered syllable—it’s a weight she both resignedly shoulders and also wields as a weapon against her detractors. Pearlman’s public advocate displays the earnest pluck and self-righteousness of youth running smack into the roadblocks of police obfuscation and threats. At the same time, she is forced into confronting the barriers created by her own relatively privileged life. Earl Pastko as Mahnaz’s clandestine journalist contact, Alexander Stern, is perfectly sharp, jaded, neurotic, and totally New York. “I no longer believe in facts,” says Stern, “I believe in leverage.” Emanueal Buckley’s performance as Officer Charles Simmons potently rounds out the play. His sorrowful closing monologue seals the play’s mounting despair on the possibility of ever seeing justice done.

TheRant-Press1I’m of two minds about Heath Hays’ rough and ready set design. At times the primitively constructed flats—clear plastic stretched over wooden frames–serves Matthew Gawryk’s visceral lighting design superbly and fits the anarchist vibe of the Mary-Arrchie Theatre to a T. At other times it seems too ghetto-fabulous for its own good and there’s no need for that here. The play is already gritty and fabulous. The cast is rock-solid fabulous. Mary-Arrchie has a hit on its hands. Audiences should run, not walk, to see it.

 

Rating: ★★★★

 

Photos by Sharon Evans

February 28, 2010 | 1 Comment More

Review: Mary-Arrchie’s “How to Disappear Completely and Never Be Found”

Fin Kennedy’s witty dialogue drives suspenseful production

Mike-Charlie

Mary-Arrchie Theatre Company presents

How to Disappear Completely and Never Be Found

by Fin Kennedy
directed by Richard Cotovsky
runs through Dec. 20 (ticket info)

reviewed by Leah A. Zeldes

London ad executive Charlie Hunt’s world is disintegrating. He’s just cremated his mother. His all-consuming work leaves him no time to go anywhere or meet anyone, and he’s more and more bothered by a belief that everything in his life is fake. He’s putting massive amounts of money up his nose, his colleagues are asking disturbing questions and he keeps hearing a buzzing in his ears.

Doctor-Charlie Pushed to the edge, one day he simply runs out of his office, leaving his jacket on the back of his chair and his mum’s funeral urn on his desk, and they never hear from him again.

Charlie is the central character of the intriguing "How to Disappear Completely and Never Be Found" by rising young British playwright Fin Kennedy, now in Midwest premiere from Mary-Arrchie Theatre at the intimate Angel Island theater. How to Disappear was the first unproduced play in 40 years to win an Arts Council John Whiting Award for New Theatre Writing, after — according to the playwright — being rejected by nearly every theater in London.

Kennedy’s razor-sharp language, exhibited in powerful monologues and witty dialogue, builds a rising suspense as Charlie runs from his former life. Carlo Lorenzo Garcia puts in an intense and fascinating performance as the deteriorating Charlie, expounding on all the frustrations of daily life that all of us experience but few of us act upon. He’s excelled only by the impish Kevin Stark, as Mike, the small-time crook who serves as Charlie’s mentor in disappearing.

Director Richard Cotovsky‘s clever staging adds to the frenetic quality of the work. He gets excellent work from the supporting cast, most of whom play multiple characters — Charlie’s colleagues, chance-met strangers, doctors, telephone operators, etc. James Eldrenkamp stands out in a comic role as a London transit worker, juxtaposing ably with Charlie’s stuffy, upper-class boss.

Dialect coach Kathy Logelin must be an effective teacher — the cast handles class-conscious British with scarcely a stumble. They haven’t spent much on the set, but Scenic Designer William Anderson‘s 2-by-4 and newspaper backdrops contribute effectively to the disjointed, surreal quality of the play.

Sophie-CharlieAlthough there’s no program credit or reference to it in the script, "How to Disappear" was clearly inspired by the classic manual of the same name by Doug Richmond, first published in 1986 by the late, lamented underground publisher Loompanics Unlimited. In one the best scenes in the show, Charlie’s mentor, Mike, explains the techniques in detail. They’ve been updated — with references to SIM cards and Facebook — and slightly adapted for the U.K., but readers of the original will recognize the mechanics as Richmond explained them two decades ago. Whether they still work in these post-9/11, security-conscious days is debatable. Then, as now, it depends on who you want to get away from.

In Charlie’s case, it becomes increasingly clear that that’s himself.

 

Rating: ★★★

 

Notes: Second-floor theater has no wheelchair access. Paid parking may be available at the Mobil gas station across the street.

PHOTOS BY RYAN BOURQUE

November 15, 2009 | 0 Comments More