Monthly Archives: November 2022

Two One Woman Shows, Intermixed – Artemisia Theatre Presents Title X at Theater Wit (Through December 18, 2022)

Title X consists of nine scenes related to women’s fight for abortion rights. This is a very serious play which focuses on key issues that have been fought for throughout history, and continue to be at the forefront in our present. It is definitely not suitable for children.

The odd numbered scenes feature Melanie McNulty. The even numbered scenes feature Kaitlyn Cheng. They never interact with each other. Thus, this play feels like two one woman shows, intermixed.

Photos by Willow James

Kaitlyn Cheng is a newcomer who just recently earned her MFA in Acting from NIU. Her novice status showed as she fumbled a few lines and didn’t create deep characters. As the congresswomen giving a speech, it feels more like a lecture, rather than theatre. This was only the second performance after one preview. Hopefully her performance improves further into the run.

Melanie McNulty is excellent in her many roles. For one character, she is describing being assaulted by her boss followed by the long process of seeking justice. Her impersonation of the police officers who first interview her is both funny and emotionally provoking. She also plays a former drama student who was pressured by her professor to have a sexual relationship. It’s a very strong and powerful monologue.

Here is a breakdown of the scenes:

1) 1978. Rachel, 17, at a Planned Parenthood Clinic, New York City.

2)   2019. Jill, 35, addresses Congress on Capitol Hill.

3)   1988. Norma, 32, protests at an abortion clinic for Operation Rescue.

4)   2018. Kaya, an asylum officer, conducts a credible fear interview at the Texas-Mexico border.

5)   1979. Annie, late 20’s, visits her former college campus.

6)   1989. Paula, 40, speaks at a Right-to-Life Rally in Lincoln, Nebraska.

7)   2017. Kimi, 33, celebrates in her apartment.

8)   2004. Lill, late 30’s, Central Park.

9)   2020. Rachel, a mature woman, revisits her choice.

See the full program here.

Check out the Title X Spotify Playlist:

Get tickets now for Title X through December 18th!

Cost of a ticket: $44 ($30 on Sundays)

PlaylistHQ Economic Rating: Half Price

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Quinn Delaney


Intense! Remy Bumppo Presents Routes at Theater Wit (Through November 20, 2022)

Bashir is an refugee from Somalia in the UK. He is assigned to live with Kola in a halfway house. When he turns 18, he is detained and is being threatened with deportation because he didn’t legally become a citizen. He knows being deported to Somalia is vey dangerous. Somalia is currently on the US Department of State Do Not Travel List due to crime, terrorism, civil unrest, health issues, kidnapping, and piracy.

Olufemi is a father who is doing everything he can to get back into the UK after being deported. This happened to him because he was in a bar fight. He decides to impersonate someone else to get back in.

Rachel De-Lahay has written an intense play exploring the difficulties involved with immigration. The audience is at the edge of their seats watching to see if the characters can win against the huge bureaucracy. This piece originally debuted at the Royal Court Theatre in London in 2013. It remains very relevant today after Brexit and the Trump Administration immigration policy changes.

Terry Bell (The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime at Steppenwolf) is great as Bashir struggling to stay in the only country where he knows anyone and to avoid deportation to a violent country. Yao Dogbe is excellent as Olufemi, fighting to get back to his family. TJ Thomas (Deck the Hallmark) is great as Kola, who becomes a great friend to Bashir. Kristin E. Ellis, Evelyn Lockley, and Kevin Tre’Von Patterson (The Recommendation) are all solid in their roles.

Cost of a ticket: $33

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Get tickets now for Routes through November 20th!

Also, catch Remy Bumppo’s next production, Anna in the Tropics, starting February 8th!

Quinn Delaney

From New Zealand – Yumi Zouma opening for Turnover at Brooklyn Bowl Nashville (November 15, 2022)

Yumi Zouma are from Christchurch, Canterbury, New Zealand. The band’s name is a combination of the names of the friends that encouraged the group to start writing together. This is their first time in Nashville. On stage, they tell the crowd that before arriving, they used Wikipedia to find out what musicians are from Nashville. In their search, they found Ed Sheeran and Elton John. Clearly, something was off. Perhaps they just found a list of people who had performed in Nashville.

The band tonight consists of Christie Simpson (vocals, keyboards), Josh Burgess (guitar, bass guitar, vocals, keyboards), and Olivia Campion (drums). Their alternative pop sound blends many musical styles from “Astral Projection” whose intro sounds like a Coldplay soft rock song to “Crush”, an upbeat dance pop song similar in style to Chromeo.

They close with their biggest hit, “In Camera”, which has over 23 million streams on Spotify. “I think about every hurt bit / I wouldn’t lie if I’m missing it / I think I might if I give in / Everything has changed, alright”. This was a great choice to close the set.

See the full setlist here.

Cost of a ticket: $33

PlaylistHQ Economic Rating: Worth It –

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Quinn Delaney

Tropical Rock! St. Lucia at Brooklyn Bowl – Nashville (November 11, 2022)

St Lucia may be from New York, but they create a vibrant Caribbean style sound that appropriately reflects their name. The tropics are displayed on stage with plants, neon lights, and Grobler’s island style shirt. The fan blowing his shirt and hair adds to the beachy atmosphere.

Early in the set, they play “Closer Than This”. It starts slowly with three chords on the synthesizer. Then, the vocals come in smoothly. Next, the drums and bass. Finally the chorus comes and everyone in the building is dancing and singing: “I’ve got a feeling we will never closer than this! I can’t image there’s a way to get closer than this!” This slow build to a very catchy chorus is the perfect recipe for a dance party. 

Later on, the same formula applies to “September” which whips the crowd into a frenzy. “I just want you to remember, before you get carried away. What happened just this September, if you know you want it, baby.” It’s an excellently crafted song.

The show started at 8:30pm, three hours ago and the crowd is exhausted. However, when they start to play their biggest song to date, “Elevate”, to close out the night, everyone uses their last bit of energy to dance out one more time. “And no one elevates you, elevates you now!  And no one’s gonna take you, gonna take you there!” Everyone leaves with a giant smile on their face. St Lucia has a bright future ahead of them. Catch them on tour now across the US!

See the full setlist here.

Cost of a ticket: $39

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Quinn Delaney

Enthusiastic! Dayglow at Ryman Auditorium (November 8, 2022)

Dayglow is Sloan Struble’s musical identity. This project began when he created his first album, Fuzzybrain, in his bedroom at age 17. Now, at just 23, he is on a big headliner tour where he played at The Riviera in Chicago and now at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville. The Ryman has absolutely fantastic acoustics and it sounds great from every seat in the house.

Early in the set, he plays “Something” from his second album, Harmony House. It’s a great example of his upbeat and happy style.

His cover of the 80’s disco hit “Funkytown” by Lipps Inc. was excellent and fit in perfectly into his dance pop setlist.

Another very fun moment was his cover of “You Can Call Me Al”. He danced all over the stage in pure joy. Everyone sang along: “If you’ll be my bodyguard / I can be your long lost pal / I can call you Betty /And Betty, when you call me, you can call me Al”!

For the third to last song, they play “Can I Call You Tonight?”, which is his biggest hit so far with over 419 million streams on Spotify.

He plays “Close To You” to end the set. It’s such a enthusiastic dance song that is very similar to the style of The Naked And Famous and Passion Pit. Everyone is up and dancing along.

See the full setlist here.

Cost of a ticket: $43

PlaylistHQ Economic Rating: Worth It

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Quinn Delaney

Hilarious! Saint Sebastian Players Present Boeing-Boeing at St Bonaventure (Through November 20, 2022)

It is the 1960s in Paris, France. Bernard is engaged to three air hostesses. This is possible because they all work on international routes and they are only in town for two days per week. He also employs a maid who helps him greatly to pull this off. Robert, a good old friend of Bernard’s, drops in unexpectly on an exciting day when all three of them are expected at the house at different times. Things don’t quite go as planned and Robert becomes essential in keeping them all from meeting each other.

Photos by Robert-Eric West

Marc Camoletti has written a fantastic farcical play. It absolutely hilarious as the situation gets more and more ridiculous in what they must do to avoid the fiancés from meeting.

The entire cast is excellent. Garrett Wiegel is so charming as Bernard. Joshua Paul Wright (Born Yesterday, The Shady Lady) is very funny and Midwestern nice as Robert. Claire Rutkowski (The Shady Lady, The Real Inspector Hound) is so cocky and confident as the American. Valerie Gerlock (The Shady Lady, The Real Inspector Hound) is great as the strict German. Allison Zanolli nails the accent as the Italian. Lauren Miller is so snarky and comical as the maid.

Cost of a ticket: $30

PlaylistHQ Economic Rating: Exceptional Value

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Get tickets now for Boeing Boeing through November 20th!

Quinn Delaney

Review: Porchlight Music Theatre Presents Rent at The Ruth Page Center (Through November 27, 2022)

In 1996, Rent first opened on Broadway. It ran for 12 straight years. In 2005, the film version was released featuring most of the original cast members. A touring production has played in Chicago many times, including in May of 2017. And now, in November of 2022, the Porchlight Music Theatre versions opens at the Ruth Page Center.

Rent is an ensemble musical about a group of young artists struggling to survive in New York City. This production feels very toned down compared to others. The music is not very loud. The songs are very clean and not gritty or very sexual. It matches the feeling of the videos Porchlight put up on YouTube, which sound like an official guide at an old museum.

Still, there were some highlights including the fantastic “Seasons of Love” to open the second act and “Take Me or Leave Me”.

Pronoun Key: + (he/him/his); * (she/her/hers); ^ (they, them, theirs);  = (any with respect)

The cast for RENT includes Bridget Adams-King* (If/Then); Wesly Anthony Clergé+; Naphtali Curry+;  Leah Davis* (In The Heights, Lizzie); Caitlin Dobbins* (Notes and Letters); Lucy Godínez* (In The Heights); Nick Johnson+; Chris Khoshaba+; Nik Kmiecik+; Teressa LaGamba*; Eric Lewis+ (Dreamgirls); David Moreland+ (Cruel Intentions: The 90’s Musical); Ziare Paul-Emile*, Alix Rhode* (La Havana Madrid); Abraham Shaw+; Josh Pablo Szabo+/^ (Cruel Intentions: The 90’s Musical); TJ Tapp* (Cruel Intentions: The 90’s Musical); Brennan Urbi^/+ (Hundred Days) and Shraga D. Wasserman^.

Photos by Liz Lauren

Cost of a ticket: $58 (Main Floor)

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Get tickets now for Rent through November 27!


Fantastic Arena Rock! Panic! at the Disco at The United Center (October 28, 2022)

Tonight is the last stop of Panic! at the Disco’s tour. It almost didn’t happen after they had to cancel their earlier performance due to COVID. They also had to cancel their Milwaukee performance and were unable to reschedule it at the Fiserv Forum. This tour has a very massive stage, complete with a U-shaped piece at the front that allows the band to walk around it. The fireworks and flamethrowers are very impressive.

This tour is unique in that they are playing their entire new album, Viva Las Vengeance, which was released this year. Usually a band only plays a few songs from their new album. But they have a reason to play it all, it’s fantastic. The second song is “Middle Of A Breakup”. “Oh shit, you’re kissin’ my neck, kissin’ my chest / Now I remember why we fell in love / Hot smoke, feels like we just met, lips I couldn’t kick / Honey, honey, you’re my favorite drug”. These lyrics perfectly capture this magical moment and the audience eats it up.

Later on they play “God Killed Rock And Roll”. “God killed rock ‘n’ roll / No blood on the stage, no Plant, no Paige / Kiss ’em all goodbye”. Wow, this is really arena rocker that would make Queen proud.

On “Say It Louder”, Brendon Urie sings “When this song comes on the radio / When you’re headed home after the show (headed home after the show) / Remember what it’s like to be there / You definitely had to be there (remember what it’s like)”. It’s true, you really did have to be there to fully experience this huge performance.

During “I Write Sins Not Tragedies”, Brenden lets the audience sing without him. “Haven’t you people ever heard of closing the goddamn door? / No, it’s much better to face these kinds of things / with a sense of poise and rationality”. This huge hit from their first album in 2005 still rocks.

To close out the night, they play their mega hit, “High Hopes”, which has over 1.2 billion streams on Spotify. The packed crowd at the United Center gleefully sings along “Had to have high, high hopes for a living / Shooting for the stars when I couldn’t make a killing / Didn’t have a dime but I always had a vision!” It’s such a joyous song a fantastic way to end the evening!

See the full setlist here.

Cost of a ticket: $158 – (Floor and 100 Level Seats)

PlaylistHQ Economic Rating: Half Price + (But sometimes you have to splurge)

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Quinn Delaney

Final Week: First Floor Theater Presents Botticelli in The Fire at The Den Theatre (Through November 5th, 2022)

Sandro Botticelli was an Italian Renaissance painter. He was born in 1445 and died in 1510. In this play, he is commissioned by Lorenzo de Medici to paint a portrait of his wife, Venus. His apprentice, Leonardo da Vinci provides input and help with the painting.

Jordan Tannahill’s play isn’t for everyone. The plot was a bit thin and the characters weren’t developed enough for the audience to have an emotional connection.

Photos by Evan Hanover

The cast includes Neala Barron (Adding Machine) as Clarice, Yuchi Chiu (It’s a Wonderful Life), Andrew Cutler (Plano) as Medici, Christopher Meister, Alex Benito Rodriguez as Botticelli, John Payne as Da Vinci, and Jenece Upton.

Cost of a ticket: $41

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Get tickets now for Botticelli in The Fire through November 5th.

See the program here.