Monthly Archives: May 2022

Hilarious! Shattered Globe Theatre Presents Rasheeda Speaking at Theater Wit (Through June 4, 2022)

Ileen works for Dr. Miller as the office manager. The doctor tells her that their other coworker, Jaclyn, a black woman, isn’t a good fit. He wants Ileen to write down any infractions she makes to bring to HR Ileen is hesitant, but eventually agrees. Then, Jaclyn arrives in a very friendly manner, but she soon notices things are a bit off. This includes the fact that they had the day’s patient’s meeting before she arrived.

This play is very hilarious as the audience gets to know the characters. Joel Drake Johnson has written a very sharp workplace comedy. It builds very well to a dramatic conclusion.

Deanna Reed-Foster (The First Deep BreatheBe Here Now)  is so funny and confident as Jaclyn. With just a look after someone does something a bit off or racist, she has everyone laughing. Daria Harper is excellent as the naïve Ileen who mostly goes along with whatever the doctor says. Adam Schulmerich (the understudy) is great as the unlikable Dr Miller who is probably unaware of his offensive comments. Lastly, Barbara Roeder Harris is solid as the recurring patient with some interesting ideas about slavery.

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 Rasheeda Speaking through June 4th!

Quinn Delaney


Interesting: Timeline Theatre Presents The Chinese Lady at Theatre Wit (Through June 18, 2022)

It’s 1834 and The Chinese Lady is the newest exhibit at the museum The cost is 25 cents for adults and 10 cents for children. It features the first Chinese woman to arrive in the United States, a 14 year old. She is surrounded by shelves with Chinese things. She has bound feet, which are created through a very painful process. Part of the show has her walk around to demonstrate her feet. They also have her eat Chinese food with chopsticks. She is very excited to be in American for 2 years in this exhibition. She is joined by a translator, who is very self deprecating.

This play showcases a very odd part of American and Chinese history and it makes a very interesting story. At 95 minutes, the production is a bit long to not have an intermission.

Mi Kang is excellent as The Chinese Lady. She displays such great enthusiasm to explore America and teach the patrons about Chinese culture. Glenn Obrero (The Great Leap) is hilarious as the translator. He perfectly delivers many great lines.

Cost of a ticket: $47

PlaylistHQ Economic Rating: Half Price +

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

Get tickets now for The Chinese Lady through June 18th.

Quinn Delaney

Masterful! Teatro Vista Presents the World Premiere of Somewhere Over The Border at Windy City Playhouse (Through June 12, 2022)

Brian Quijada’s idea to combine his mother’s story with The Wonderful Wizard of Oz is excellent and the execution of it is exceptional. The Dorothy character, based on his mother, wants to move to the USA to make a better life for herself and her son. Her mother, the witch, doesn’t want her to go. She first meets the scarecrow character, a banana farmer who wants to earn an American college degree. Then she meets the Tin Man character, who oils himself with booze and lost his heart when his family moved to Pennsylvania. Lastly, she meets the Cowardly Lion, who needs the courage to pursue her dream of being a rock star in the states. The Wizard of Oz is the coyote who will take them across the border.

(From left) Brian Quijada, Tommy Rivera-Vega, and Gabriela Moscoso. Photo credit: Joel Maisonet

Brian Quijada, the Narrator, is outstandingly charming and impressive in the many roles he plays along with his singing and guitar playing. In addition, he also wrote the book, music, and lyrics. It’s a masterful piece of work.

The fantastic music is the heart of the show. It includes original cumbia, Mexican mariachi boleros, American rock and hip hop. The band plays it all fantastically. The members are Guido Acevedo (Cajón), Yendrys Céspedes Carballosa (Keyboard/Percussion), and Roberto Carpacho Marin (Upright Bass).

(from left) Andrés Enriquez, Gabriela Moscoso, and Amanda Raquel Martinez

Gabriela Moscoso is excellent as the Dorothy character driven to find the American Dream. Claudia Quesada is solid as the Witch character, who is very angry with her daughter’s decisions.  Tommy Rivera-Vega (Support Group for Men) is so funny and smart at the Scarecrow character. Andres Enriquez (A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder, Adding Machine) is great as the Tin Man character, hilariously drunk and heartbroken from his loss. Amanda Raquel Martinez (American Mariachi, La Ruta) is superb, especially during the rock song she sings declaring her rock star dreams. Just like in the film, these characters also play someone from Dorothy’s hometown.

Brian Quijada (center)

Cost of a ticket: $53

PlaylistHQ Economic Rating: Exceptional Value

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

Get tickets now for Somewhere Over The Border through June 12!

Quinn Delaney

If you like this musical, you’ll also like the brand new Notes & Letters. See our review here.

Pick of the Week! Tori Amos and Companion at The Auditorium Theatre (May 25th, 2022)

Little Earthquakes was released 30 years ago in 1992. To celebrate this milestone, she created a Graphic Album with the team at Z2 comics. Read more about it on her website.

Under the Pink was released in 1994. It features her biggest hit, “Cornflake Girl”, which has over 38 million streams on Spotify.

Last, year Ocean to Ocean was released. See the story about this album here.

See her latest setlist here.

Get tickets now for Tori Amos in Chicago!

Cost: $39 and up

Showtime: 7:30pm

Quinn Delaney

Exceptional! Underscore Theatre Company Presents the World Premier of Notes & Letters at Victory Gardens Theater (Through May 28th, 2022)

It is 1917 and a carpenter named Joe moves to Chicago from Prague looking for work to send money home to his family and fiancée. On his way to an interview at a piano store, he runs into the owner of the store who gives him the job on the spot. The owner is dating a cocktail waitress who is working at the Green Mill. She aspires to be his business partner at the store, but he resists. Her friend, Olivia, is a music composer and piano teacher. Shortly after meeting, Joe starts to fall for Olivia, and he doesn’t know what to do about it.

Photos by Carlito Chavez

The story really draws you in and has the audience paying full attention to see what happens next. Simply put, the production is excellent. The acting and singing are superb along with the band. Also, the balance of dialog and songs is great. It is very well written by Annabelle Lee Revak. It will surely have many more productions after this short run ends.  

Sam Martin is so charming and likable as the carpenter finding his way in Chicago. Michael Mejia is great as the piano store owner trying to make it work in hard times. Caitlin Dobbins is outstanding as the ambitious waitress trying to help the store succeed. Lastly, Katy Campbell is so good as the piano teacher. The audience can’t help but root for her and Joe to get together.

Cost of a ticket: $36

PlaylistHQ Economic Rating: Exceptional Value

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

Get tickets now for Notes & Letters through May 28th! Catch it now before it gets big and the ticket price rises!

Quinn Delaney

A Beautiful Voice: Nina Nesbitt opening for James Arthur at The Riviera Theatre (May 7, 2022)

Nina Nesbitt has a beautiful voice and she showcases it on “Is It Really Me You’re Missing”. “Is it really me you’re missing? Or am I the only one who’ll listen to you?” she sings.

Later on, she plays a great unreleased song called “Colors of You”. “They might only see you in black and white, but I never do. I’m in love with the colors of you.”  It’s a beautiful love song that will be released soon.

When she speaks, it’s easy to hear her Scottish accent. However, when she sings, it isn’t detectable. This is an interesting fact that is true of all accents from the United Kingdom.

A fan requests “The Apple Tree”. She says she hasn’t played that song in four years She accepts the request and plays a shortened version of the song to the fan’s delight.

To finish her set, she plays “Toxic” by Britney Spears. She does a slow keyboard version that sounds really good and matches her style.

Cost of a ticket: $48

PlaylistHQ Economic Rating: Worth It +

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

Quinn Delaney

A Modern Love Story – The Artistic Home Presents The Pavilion at The Den Theatre (Through June 5th, 2022)

Kari and Peter are former high school sweethearts who won the Cutest Senior Couple Award. They run into each other at their 20th high school reunion. She is a bit unhappy in her marriage to a golf pro, who seems to love golf more than her. Peter moved to the city after high school leaving Kari behind. Now, he has been dating a 23 year old for 3 years and is ready to move on. In fact, he wants Kari back. 

It’s a funny, philosophical, and emotional ride as the audience learns their story and then wonders if there is a future with them together.

Todd Wojcik (Eurydice, Wellesley Girl)  is outstanding as the narrator, the minister, the police chief, Peter’s friends, Kari’s friends, and many more. Usually they are interacting with Kari or Peter, but sometimes he plays multiple characters interacting with other in a hilarious fashion. He expertly switches between all the characters he portrays. John Mossman is excellent as Peter, who truly wants to make things right and get back together. Kristin Collins is great as Kari, who sees the situation from a more comprex perspective which she beautfully explores.

Cost of a ticket: $36

PlaylistHQ Economic Rating: Worth It +

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

Get tickets now for The Pavilion through June 5th!

Quinn Delaney

P.S. At intermission, the audience is allowed to change seats and I recommend doing just that.

Hilarious World Premiere! The Saint Sebastian Players Present The Shady Lady at St. Bonaventure (Through May 22, 2022)

Preston Taylor is the CEO of Garbage Patch Kids, a non-profit dedicated to cleaning up the giant garbage patch in the Pacific Ocean. His wife, Elizabeth Taylor, is running for governor of Oregon. Because of this, Ronan Farrow is coming at noon to interview him. Preston is freaking out because he is hiding many affairs. Also, he embezzled money from the company to buy his new yacht, The Shady Lady.

This play is a hilarious farce. As it goes along, the situation just keeps getting worse and worse. The audience is on the edge of their seats in suspense waiting to see if he’ll get away with his misdeeds. Kara Poe Atnip and Lisa Dellagiarino Feriend have written one hell of a script.

Photos by Robert-Eric West

Jon Yelton is so funny as the bumbling “Little” Preston Taylor trying to weasel out of taking responsibility. Valerie Gerlock (The Real Inspector Hound) is great as the smartest person in the room who is freaking out about going to prison. Melinda “MJ” Deamon (Born Yesterday) is very professional as the snarky coworker. Claire Rutkowski (The Real Inspector Hound) is hilarious as the valley girl administrative assistant with a strong allergy to bananas. Joshua Paul Wright (Born Yesterday) plays the rich son only interested in peace and love to perfection. Laura MacGregor is so funny as the receptionist who has more than a few secrets. Amy Hunt has some of the best lines as the slightly clueless coworker. Lastly, Eamon McInerney nails the role as Mr. Farrow being shocked by what he learns.

Get tickets now for The Shady Lady through May 22nd!

Cost of a ticket: $25

PlaylistHQ Economic Rating: Exceptional Value

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

Quinn Delaney

Review: Porchlight Music Theatre Presents Spring Awakening at The Ruth Page Center for the Arts (Through June 2, 2022)

In 1891, Frank Wedekind wrote Spring Awakening. The musical adaptation first opened on Broadway in 2006 starring Lea Michele, Jonathan Groff, and John Gallagher Jr. It won eight Tony Awards including Best Musical. And now, in April 2022, it opens at the Ruth Page Center.

Photos by Liz Lauren

In many ways, this show is like a rock concert. Here are three of the best songs:

“Living and getting what you get, just the bitch of living. And, knowing this is it. God, is this it?” This song, “The Bitch Of Living”, really kicks things off on a rebellious tone. It is well choreographed with all the guys singing and moving in unison.

“Yeah, you’re fucked all right and all for spite. You can kiss your sorry ass goodbye.” “Totally Fucked” would fit right into a punk rock or alternative rock concert.

“The Song Of Purple Summer” is the closing number. It will have you singing “And all shall know the wonder, I will sing the song of purple summer” as you head out of the theatre.

Cost of a ticket: $67 (Main Floor)

PlaylistHQ Economic Rating: Half Price –

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

Quinn Delaney

Very Fun! Matter Dance Company Presents Keep Moving at The Den Theatre (April 28 – May 1, 2022)

It’s opening night for Matter Dance Company’s Keep Moving and the theatre is packed. A buzz is in the air in the intimate Den Theatre space. Seventeen pieces are listed on the program. Here are a few of the best:

Section 24, Row 16, Seats 1 – 8

Choreography: Gail Adduci Gogliotti and Carisa Barreca

Music: Rick Benjamin and the Paragon Ragtime Orchestra

In this piece, the dancers are all seated as if ready to watch a movie. They are all colorfully dressed. They don’t sit still for long as they dance around reacting to the film in a very goofy style that matches the music.

Operation W.O.L.L.I.P

Choreographer : Carisa Barreca

Music: Tchaikovsky

All the dancers are dressed in pajamas and holding pillows. It begins with them dancing around smoothly and tossing the pillows around. But then, it turns into a full-on pillow fight. Feathers go flying everywhere! It’s such a fun piece! Afterwards is a much needed intermission to give them time to clean up all the feathers.


Choreography: Gail Adduci Gogliotti and Carisa Barreca

This very seductive piece features the music of Ella Fitzgerald. It’s a very hot and sensual dance and it is performed with great talent.


Choreography: Michelle Pinsky

The costumes for this piece are so fun and colorful. This perfectly matches the dancing and the playful nature of the song. As a fun aside, Kishi Bashi just played at Thalia Hall on April 5th. See our review of the opener here.

See the full program here.

Cost of a ticket: $26
PlaylistHQ Economic Rating: Exceptional Value –
Rating Scale: Exceptional Value > Worth It > Half Price > Go for Free > Don’t Bother

Be sure to catch them next at the First Friday Summer Series starting May 6th at the North Center Town Square!

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Quinn Delaney