Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nightime

Wow! Broadway in Chicago Presents The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time at The Oriental Theatre (December 7, 2016)

Christopher is a 15 year old boy on a mission to solve the mystery of the neighbor’s murdered dog. During his search, he discovers another major mystery which intensifies his search for answers. Christopher has a very analytical mind that allows him to piece together the clues, but his social skills are strongly lacking. Everything is very dramatic to him, so it’s very dramatic to the audience too. This play is incredibly immersive. During the quiet emotional scenes, the entire theatre is perfectly silent and paying full attention.

Original tracks from the show composed by Adrian Sutton. Listen while reading the review.

The music for this production by Adrian Sutton is fantastic. At times, it creates a strong feeling of excitement and power which perfectly matches the tone of the scene. At other times, the music is eerie and mysterious and it completely draws the audience into the world of the play.

 

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Booth Theatre

 

The scenic and lighting design by Bunny Christie and Paule Constable is incredible. Upon first entering the theatre, it just looks like a simple grid. However, as the play progresses, the set comes to life with the walls lighting up, secret compartments being opened , and the revelation that the walls and floor can be written on. The set then feels full of possibilities like the holodeck in the Star Trek universe. The London Underground subway scene is especially impressive.

 

During the play, Christopher is interrupted when he begins to explain a math problem to the crowd. He is promised that he can return after the curtain call and explain it to whomever wants to hear it.  Stick around after the show and hear Christopher’s explanation.  His use of the impressive set to answer the problem is a visual wonderment.

 

Get tickets now for this fantastically unique Tony Award winning show through December 24th!

 

Quinn Delaney

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Hard Rock: Adelitas Way Opening for Scott Stapp at House of Blues Chicago (December 6, 2016)

Adelitas Way is a hard rock band from Las Vegas. As is true of most bands from Vegas (such as The Killers), their showmanship is strong. They command the stage and they rip through their set. “I don’t give a fuck what you think, what you say” sings the lead singer with the crowd on “Bad Behavior”.  It’s a celebration of being yourself.  The next song, “Ready For War (Pray for Peace)”, is dedicated to police officers and the military. It’s a strong rocking song that is worth of that tribute. When their set ends, the audience is left wanting more. Here’s hoping they come back soon as a headliner.

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Quinn Delaney

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Hilarious! Underscore Theatre Company Presents Tonya and Nancy: The Rock Opera at Theatre Wit (November 29, 2016)

This production should be called Harding and Kerrigan: The Rock Musical Comedy. Their first names don’t immediately make clear what the show is about, but no one will be confused when they see their last names. They will instantly remember the attack on Nancy Kerrigan on January 6, 1994 coordinated by Tonya Harding’s ex-husband, Jeff Gillooly. It is this event and the 1994 Olympics in that February that is the center of this exciting story. Also, the mood of this play is more funny than dramatic, thus the change to Musical Comedy from Opera. With this change, the audience will be in the right mindset to enjoy this well produced show.

Tonya’s mother is hilarious in this production. Veronica Garza plays her perfectly as a trailer park mom. Then, to great comedic effect, the audience discovers she is also playing Nancy’s mom. She is completely supportive and the total opposite of Tonya’s mother. This leads to a fantastically funny scene in which they run into each other just off stage and argue with each other. Garza also has a solo in which she switches back and forth between the two characters multiple times in the middle of the song!

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Justin Adair plays the weird and bizarre Jeff Gillooly excellently. Early on he tells Tonya that he was interested in her since she was 15. It makes him so creepy. When he comes out for his solo, the guitar player starts playing on an acoustic. Gillooly grabs the guitar from him and says “I’m going to play my own song!” It is funny moments like this that are the highlight of the show.

Get tickets now through December 30th!

Quinn Delaney

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Fantastic! BBC Music Presents Izzy Bizu at Bottom Lounge (November 23, 2016)

Izzy Bizu enters the stage wearing a robe. She sings in a jazzy seductive manner that immediately draws the crowd in. As she sings Circles, she dances around in a flirty manner. It’s impossible not to smile as she soulfully sings “It’s like trying get blood out of a stone. I’m just a vicious circle.” To close out her set, she plays the fantasticly peppy White Tiger, which whips the crowd into a dance party with its syncopated chords and strong bass line. Every girl in the audience wants to be her friend and every guy wants to take her out dancing. When her 30 minute set ends, the crowd is left wanting more. The future is looking good for Izzy Bizu.

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Quinn Delaney

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Breaking Bad! The Fundamentals at Steppenwolf (November 22, 2016)

The Fundamentals is the story of Millie, a housekeeper in  New York luxury hotel. She was pre-med in college when she became pregnant and decided to drop out. After being a housekeeper for 9 years, she is more than ready to move into management. In order to advance, she needs to prove herself as a leader. She starts by reporting that one of the managers has been running a prostitution ring in the hotel. She is aware of many other rules being broken. How many other people will she throw under the bus to advance her career?

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Alana Arenas’ performance as Millie is very impressive. She starts the play as the person everyone loves and is rooting for to succeed. However, as the story progresses, the choices she chooses makes it harder to be on her side. It’s very similar to Breaking Bad in this way where the audience has to decide after each choice if they are really still pulling for the main character and if their actions can be explained. Millie is faced with some very difficult situations and it’s hard to say if she chose correctly. Is it all fair in love and war AND career?

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Get tickets now for The Fundamentals through December 23rd!

Quinn Delaney

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Spunky! Lydia Loveless at Metro (November 19, 2016)

Lydia Loveless enters the stage wearing a big red Bloodshot Records sweatshirt. “I’m glad they gave me something to warm my tits. Fuck it’s cold here!” It’s this type of spunk that her audience loves. It matches Elle King, whom she should definitely tour with.

Towards the end of the set, her band leaves and she sings with just her acoustic guitar. She even threw in a cover of Justin Bieber’s “Sorry”. Her ability to go loud with a full band and soft alone showcases her range as a great singer.

When her band returns, she says “this is the encore. I hate when bands leave the stage and then come back.” However, after leaving the stage with her band, the audience demands more and she does come back to play an additional song. Many people had left already, so it results in a very intimate final song. It was a great finish to a solid night of music.

Quinn Delaney

Greg Kot was thoroughly enjoying the show next to the sound booth. See his great review here.

 

11/17/16 4:52:20 PM 
Hubbard Street Dance Chicago Fall Season
"Niebla" By Alejandro Cerrudo



© Todd Rosenberg Photography 2016

Impressive! Hubbard Street Dance Fall Series at Harris Theatre (November 18, 2016)

During the balcony talk, an audience member asks “If you find yourself completely lost halfway through the performance, what should you do?” “If that is the case,” says the choreographer, “I have failed.” He goes on to explain that the dances tonight don’t have narratives like a play. Instead, they are abstract explorations of ideas and emotions. He encourages the audience to just lose themselves in the experience without searching for an exact meaning in the four pieces.

Falling Angels is the counterpart to Sarabande. It has all women dancing compared to Sarabande which is all men.

Sarabande is an intense experience. It’s dark, creepy, and scary like the depths of hell. Using electronically manipulated sound and the performers screams, an atmosphere of dark bizarreness is created. It’s a very artistic piece that leaves the audience aghast.

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Terrain explores earthly landscapes through dance. It includes rolling hills, bumbling streams, and a tornado flying over them. It’s a very fluid performance.

Niebla is a Spanish word which translates to fog. On stage there is a plane of blue light highlighting a fog of smoke. At times the blue light is replaced by a string of white lights behind the dancers. Both of these lighting choices are very well done and create an artistic atmosphere through which the performers glide through.

Get your tickets now for today’s final performance!

Quinn Delaney