Monthly Archives: October 2021

Strong! Shattered Globe Theatre & Interrobang Theatre Present This Wide Night at Theatre Wit (Through November 13, 2021)

Two women who met in prison meet up after they are both released. They both don’t have any family to turn to, so they turn to teach other. They slowly reveal details to each other about their past, mixing truth with lies. In this process, a close friendship is formed that in some ways mirrors a mother and daughter relationship.

This play, written by Chloë Moss, won the 2009 Susan Smith Blackburn prize. On their website it says, “The Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, established in 1978, is given annually to recognize women who have written works of outstanding quality for the English-speaking theatre.” Shortly afterwards, it was produced off Broadway starring Edie Falco (The Sopranos, Nurse Jackie).

The acting in this production is fantastic. Aila Ayilam Peck is excellent as Marie just trying to get by in her rough situation. Linda Reiter (The Realistic Joneses) is great as Lorraine, trying to put her life back together. They build off each other’s energy and the relationship they build is strong. It truly shows in the climatic moments as the emotions pour out of them. Off Loop theatre is back!

Cost of a ticket: $45

PlaylistHQ Economic Rating: Worth It

Rating Scale: Exceptional Value > Worth It > Half Price > Go for Free > Don’t Bother

Get tickets now for This Wide Night through November 13th!



Graceful! Harvest Chicago Contemporary Dance Festival at Ruth Page Center for the Arts (October 8-9, 2021)

The Harvest Chicago Contemporary Dance Festival usually takes place over two weekends at the end of September at the Ruth Page Center for the Arts. This year, the festival is a bit downsized due to Covid and is just one weekend. Eight dance groups perform this year. Here is a selection of the best performances:

Christopher Knowlton

Extend Play

Choreography, technology, prop design, costumes, and performance by: Christopher Knowlton

Music: Jack Rose

In this piece, Christopher Knowlton places a record on a turntable. A video screen behind him shows the record spinning along with two computer animated dancers on top of the record. As he dances, motion capture technology translates his movements to the dancers. It’s a very cool idea, but on this night, it doesn’t work very well. The digital dancers often disappear or fly all over the place. However, with some work, this could be a great piece.

Aerial Dance Chicago

Arc Of The Heart

Choreographer:  Chloe Jensen

Music: Susie Suh And Robot Koch

Lighting Design: Jacob Snodgrass

Performers: Libby Westra, Genevieve Brady, Katie Harmon, Jennifer Sarsfield, Teagan Reed

Original Curveboard concept By Chloe Jensen

Photos by Kristie Kahns

In this dance, the performers use wooden boards shaped into a quarter of a circle. This is much different than the silks hanging from the ceiling that this company usually uses. However , like  the ariel series, the curveboards require immense discipline and percision. The result is a compilation of beautifully synchronized movement filled with synergy among the dancers. 

Giordano II


Choreographer:  Joshua Blake Carter

Music: Gui Boratto

Performers: Brittany Brown, Rosario Guillen, Sasha Lazarus, Onjélee Phomthirath And Erina Ueda

The dancing in this piece is majestic and graceful. Joshua Blake Carter’s choreography expertly matches the music by Gui Boratto.  This group consistently brings a top grade quality performance to this festival and this year’s professional display is no exception.

See the full program here:

Cost of a ticket: $25

PlaylistHQ Economic Rating: Worth It –

Rating Scale: Exceptional Value > Worth It > Half Price > Go for Free > Don’t Bother

Quinn Delaney

Review: Mr. Burns, a post-electric play at Theatre Wit (Through October 31, 2021)

In the opening act, you learn that nuclear plants across the country are exploding and causing widespread illness and a heavy blow to civilization. For the second act, which takes place seven years later, the group is traveling the country recreating episodes of television, such as The Simpsons, including the commericals. Lastly, in the third act, which takes place 75 years later, the performance becomes a full on psychedelic musical.

In the email audiences receive after purchasing tickets, the theatre recommends watching the “Cape Feare” episode from season 5 of The Simpsons. However, I would recommend exactly the opposite. The first act of this play is mainly them recalling the plot and dialogue of this episode. If you had just seen the episode, the jokes won’t be funny the second time you hear them. Instead, I would only recommend watching other episodes of the show to get familiar with the characters. On the other hand, it may be useful to watch the film, Cape Fear, the understand the movie references.

(front, from left) Will Wilhelm, Daniel Desmarais, (back, from left) Andrew Jessop and Ana Silva in Theater Wit’s Mr. Burns, a post-electric play. Photo credit: Charles Osgood Photography

Jonah D. Winston has an impressive on stage presence across all the roles he plays.  The rest of the cast includes Leslie Ann Sheppard, Eileen Doan, Andrew Jessop, Tina Munoz Pandya, Ana Silva, Will Wilhelm, and Daniel Desmarais. On this night, Derek Self and Trey DeLuna played the parts normally play Andrew Jessop.

Leslie Ann Sheppard (left) and Andrew Jessop. Photo credit: Charles Osgood Photography

The costumes for this production may be the best part. In the second act, they have very funny home made costumes. Then, in the third act, they up the ante and go all out. Props to the costume designers, Mara Blumenfeld and Meika Van Der Ploeg.

Tina Muñoz Pandya (left) and Ana Silva. Photo credit: Charles Osgood Photography

Get tickets now for Mr. Burns, a post-electric play through October 31st.

Cost of a ticket: $35 – $45

PlaylistHQ Economic Rating: Half Price –

Rating Scale: Exceptional Value > Worth It > Half Price > Go for Free > Don’t Bother