Monthly Archives: May 2018

Music Lovers! Daryl Hall and John Oates with Train and Kandace Springs at the United Center (May 18, 2017)

Before the show begins, they are playing videos of Live From Daryl’s House. Both Kandace Springs and Patrick Monahan of Train, the two openers tonight, have appeared as guests. On the show, the guest plays some of their songs, at least one of Daryl’s songs, and a cover or two. During tonight’s performance, Daryl brings out Monahan to sing a few songs. They sing a song they wrote together for this tour, “Philly Forget Me Not”. Sometimes when older bands write new songs, it doesn’t match their old ones, but this is not the case with this new single. It sounds fresh and lively. It fits right in with the rest of their tracks. Pat also sings “Wait for Me” and “Calling All Angels.” It’s just like a mini version of Live From Daryl’s House!

Just like on his show, Daryl Hall is having a fantastic time on stage. After one tune on the piano he says, “I love playing that song”! It’s clear that he is a true lover of music. He enjoys jamming with friends and performing on stage, even in “a big club”, as he refers to the United Center.

Hall & Oates songs are still very common in popular culture. They played “Private Eyes” towards the end of the show. Psych did a cover of this tune as a promo for Season 4.  Also, to close out the night, they play “You Make My Dreams” come true. This song was just used at the end of Ready Player One, the new Spielberg film. It will be exciting to see what is next for Daryl Hall and John Oates. Their story is surely not complete.

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See the full setlist here.

Quinn Delaney

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Tense Environment! Shattered Globe Theatre Presents How to Use a Knife at Theatre Wit (Through June 9th)

George is the brand new head chef and he intends to change the way things work in the kitchen. He leads with strict rules and high expectations. When either of these are broken, he responds with yelling frequent profanity. The dishwasher usually responds with silence, but one night he opens up and befriends the chef. They go on to share their dark histories and attempt to help each other get past them.

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This cast does an excellent job. Peter DeFaira (Six Corners) plays Chef George as a tough, strict, and mostly unlikable boss. His good side only comes out when he is teaching the dishwasher, played by Anthony Irons, how to cook. Irons expertly plays his role as reserved and mysterious and as someone who could have dark secrets.

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Dennis Garcia and Victor Marana play the Guatemalan cooks. They have a great chemistry together as they joke while they work, often in Spanish. Brush up on your Spanish curse words before the show. All together, this production does an excellent job recreating the tense environment in the kitchen of a restaurant comprised of people from all walks of life.

Get tickets now for How to Use a Knife through June 9th!

Quinn Delaney

Delightful! Having Our Say at the Goodman Theatre (Through June 10th, 2018)

The Delany sisters were born in 1889 and 1891 in North Carolina. When they were in their 20s, they moved to New York City to pursue education and careers. This story takes place in 1993 when they are 101 and 103 years old. They went on to live until they were 104 and 109. The play is based on their book of the same name, that became a New York Times bestseller. It’s part history lesson from a first person perspective about life as a woman and as a negro (their preferred term) in America. They touch on women getting the right to vote, Jim Crow laws, the civil rights movement, and much more.

The acting is fantastic. Marie Thomas is delightful as Sadie. She is so caring and it makes perfect sense her character was a teacher. Ella Joyce is excellent as Bessie. She’s the feisty one who always has an opinion on everything and she plays the role strongly. When asked about the secret to a long life, she replies with glee “Never getting married!” Also, their chemistry together is fantastic as they argue with each other like real sisters.

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Get tickets now for Having Our Say through June 10th!

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Quinn Delaney

1920s Classy and Funny! Kokandy Productions Presents Grand Hotel at Theatre Wit (Through May 27, 2018)

In 1928, Vicky Baum wrote Menchen im Hotel (People in a Hotel). In 1932, it was turned into a feature film. Then, many years later, in 1989, it premiered on Broadway and won five Tonys. And now, in 2018, it premieres at the Theatre Wit in Chicago.

The year is 1928 and the stock market is booming. “Grand Hotel, music constantly playing” they sing in the opening number. And this is true, as the band plays for the entire show on a white grand piano, violin, and drums.  In fact, they are already playing as the audience enters the theatre. This hotel is at the center of a full ensemble of characters played by an excellent cast.

Michelle Jasso is great as the famous ballerina on her second farewell tour. She expertly plays her lack of motivation to perform until she meets the Baron Feliz Von Gaigern, played by Erik Dohner, whose youth gives her refreshed energy. Dohner plays his role smoothly displaying his reluctance to be a thief. After all, “There is nothing more useless on this planet than a nobleman without any money!”

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Leryn Turlington is excellent as Flaemmchen, the typist who is looking to be much more than that in life. She is willing to do almost anything to get to Hollywood, which she is told is “just a train ride away from Boston”. Jonathan Schwart is hilarious as Otto, the bookman looking for life and adventure before his illness kills him. He is able to display his fascination with the luxury of the hotel with his acting. It’s just like this production, which is both classy and funny!

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Get tickets now for Grand Hotel through May 27!

Quinn Delaney

Excellent! Great Good Fine Ok and Half The Animal at House of Blues (May 11, 2018)

Half the Animal opens the night with their brand of arena style rock. It’s easy to imagine them playing “Babylon” at a huge festival, like Lollapalooza, with the crowd going nuts. It’s simple, yet powerful- a great sign of well written song. “Bad Bad Love” is another excellent song that sounds great live. They have a great stage presence too. They only had 30 minutes on stage, but it was enough to leave a strong impression. This band is off to an excellent start.

“Most cities only have one good venue. You guys are so lucky in Chicago” says the lead singer of Great Good Fine Ok.  And he’s right, Chicago is a great hub for live music. Tonight, they bring their style of electronic dance pop from New York City to the House of Blues. This band brings the party with a beat that gets everyone moving.

At the perfect moment in the set, the keyboard player brings out a keytar and plays a solo that has the crowd jumping for joy.  It’s a pure rock and roll moment. The visuals at the show are outstanding. The lead singer is wearing a sparkling green jacket and he throws out glow sticks. This exciting visual is accompanied by the keyboard player who has a fanny pack full of small flashing lights which he throws into the crowd over the course of their set. If you are looking for a fun and energetic band to dance the night away, Great Good Fine Ok is the band for you.

Quinn Delaney

In Their Prime! Jukebox the Ghost at the House of Blues (May 10, 2018)

“We’ve just released an album about doing adult things” says the guitarist, Tommy Siegel. “Things besides concerts on weekday nights, that is.” They then launch into “Boring”, a fun love song about getting old. “So why don’t we get boring? Let’s get old and lame. Let’s get a house and kids and change your name.” It’s sentiment is reminiscent of the song “Grow Old With You” by Adam Sandler from the Wedding Singer. They’re both great tunes.

Their new album, Off To The Races, was only released on March 30, but the audience already knows all the words to the new songs. This isn’t a band coasting on their past albums, but instead they are a band in their prime time of making music and touring. For one song, they throw a rainbow colored stuffed horse into the crowd with the instructions to have him crowd surf! The crowd delightfully throws him around, and they even are able to get him up to the first balcony! At the end of the song, he is promptly returned to the stage.

“It was a great sunny today in Chicago, so we’d like to play a spring song.” They go on to play “Mr. Blue Sky” by Electric Light Orchestra. Everyone is delighted! Soon afterwards, the drummer, Jesse Kristen, comes to the front of the stage, and is met with great applause. He sings the beginning of the song, “Hollywood”. He draws out the words in a funny lackadaisical manner. “If all the world’s a stage, then you’re my favorite actress. If all of life’s a game, I sure could use the practice.” He then runs back to his kit and the song picks up the beat. Ben Thornewill (Piano) sings “It’s the kind of love that doesn’t exist anymore. You want Hollywood, this is real life!” It’s great lyrics like this that really describe what it’s like to be in the relationship that audiences strongly connect with.

Later on, Thornewill brings out a spinning wheel with songs names written on it. He has an audience member spin the wheel to determine the next song. It lands on “At Last”. “We haven’t played this one in over a month! Let’s see what happens!” They play it perfectly, like true pros. “We probably don’t need to say this, but we hope to see you soon” says Ben before playing the final song of the night, “See You Soon”. It’s a beautiful song and a great closer. And the entire audience walks out with a smile on their face hoping they will see this great band again soon.

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Quinn Delaney

Horror Done Right! WildClaw Theatre Presents the World Premier of Future Echoes at The Den Theatre (April 28, 2018)

A group of old friends gather for a dinner party in which they begin to see ghastly ghosts. It turns out the ghosts are actually future versions of themselves in a mutilated form. One of the friends has been messily experimenting with time travel. It’s a roller coaster ride of a story that has the audience paying close to attention to figure out just what is happening.

All of the pieces of the production fit together very well. The sound design excellently creates a dark an eerie feeling. This includes the music chosen such as “Everybody Rules To Rule The World” by Lorde and “Sucker For Pain” from the Suicide Squad soundtrack. The lighting design greatly complements this by often going completely dark. All of the actors are equally excellent in their roles. This is a true ensemble piece. WildClaw Theatre does horror right.

Buy tickets now for Future Echoes through May 27th!

Future Echoes Actors Promo

Quinn Delaney

Also see our review of their past production, Alachua County, here.