All stories by Dmitry Samarov on BroadwayStars

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Rabbit Summer addresses complex subjects with a sure hand by Dmitry Samarov

The cast in Redtwist's drama about a police shooting makes the heavy lifting look easy. Ruby (Brooke Reams) and Wilson (Kevin Tre'Von Patterson) seem to have a p…

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Jasmon Drain joins the ranks of Chicago’s greatest authors by Dmitry Samarov

His debut collection, Stateway’s Garden, captures the city’s unique, ugly beauty. It's not often that a writer will make me see Chicago in a new way, but wit…

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Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Lipstick Lobotomy looks at a Kennedy tragedy by Dmitry Samarov

JFK's eldest sister pays the price for nonconformity in Trap Door's production. Kate Hendrickson directs the Chicago premiere of Krista Knight's Lipstick Lobotom…

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Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Office and gender politics collide in Do You Feel Anger? by Dmitry Samarov

An "empathy coach"' tries to fix a toxic workplace in A Red Orchid's latest. Jess McLeod directs the Chicago premiere of Do You Feel Anger?, Mara Nelson-Greenber…

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Tuesday, January 28, 2020

The Mousetrap puts on fun house finery at Court by Dmitry Samarov

Sean Graney's production offers a visually clever update of Agatha Christie's classic whodunit. Sean Graney directs a revival of the most commercially successful…

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Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Juliet is a naked cry of pain by Dmitry Samarov

But Theatre Y's staging covers up the Romanian prison camp story with too many needless additions. As the audience enters The Ready storefront space in Lincoln S…

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Tuesday, December 10, 2019

The White Plague follows the clash between fascism and pacifism by Dmitry Samarov

Karel Čapek's rarely produced parable feels like a timely tragedy at Trap Door. Nicole Wiesner directs Karel Čapek's 1937 parable (translated by Peter Majer an…

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Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Exit, Pursued by a Bear lacks teeth by Dmitry Samarov

Lauren Gunderson's 2012 play trades in tropes, but Joy Productions' cast is strong. Joy Productions' inaugural show, Exit, Pursued by a Bear, begins with a compe…

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Tuesday, November 12, 2019

The Steadfast Tin Soldier remains delightful in its second year by Dmitry Samarov

Mary Zimmerman's adaptation of the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale is moving and magical. Marionette-like figures in colorful, exaggerated costumes dance on a…

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Wednesday, October 30, 2019

I Am Going to Die Alone and I Am Not Afraid offers Holocaust stories of resistance with universal power by Dmitry Samarov

Prop Thtr's devised ensemble piece is a timely reminder of the importance of remembering the past. Anna Gelman directs the world premiere of I Am Going to Die Al…

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Accidental Death of a Black Motorist gives a contemporary spin to Dario Fo by Dmitry Samarov

Sid Feldman's adaptation has relevance on its side, but not brevity. Wm. Bullion directs Sid Feldman's update of a 1970 Dario Fo comedy about a chameleon-like ch…

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Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Desperate debauchery haunts this Cabaret by Dmitry Samarov

Encroaching fascism and gender fluidity make for a timely revival with Cowardly Scarecrow. Cowardly Scarecrow Theatre Company turns Chief O'Neill's Attic Bar int…

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Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Theatre L'Acadie makes a promising debut with 70 Scenes of Halloween by Dmitry Samarov

Jeffrey M. Jones's 1990 play about the horrors of disintegrating relationships gets a rare revival with a brand-new company. For its inaugural production, direct…

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Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Pakalolo Sweet has a mellow vibe, but the narrative goes up in smoke by Dmitry Samarov

Hannah Ii-Epstein's second play in a trilogy about the Hawaiian drug trade dances around the issue of mental illness. Staged in the coach house of a Chicago Park…

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Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Love and Information takes us through the digital looking glass by Dmitry Samarov

Trap Door's production captures the narrative of no narrative in the Internet age. Kim McKean directs Caryl Churchill's 2012 assault on the senses disguised as a…

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Wednesday, August 21, 2019

The Hunchback of Notre Dame seeks sanctuary in the saccharine by Dmitry Samarov

A large cast and full orchestra can't breathe life into the Disney musical at Music Theater Works. Music Theater Works presents a stage musical adaptation of the…

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Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Ghost Quartet offers four musical “sides” to love, loss, and friendship by Dmitry Samarov

Black Button Eyes gives Dave Malloy’s gleefully haunting song cycle an absorbing production. Black Button Eyes Productions presents the Chicago premiere of Dav…

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Beyond Therapy rises from an early 80s boneyard by Dmitry Samarov

Eclipse Theatre Company can’t resolve the ancient problems with Christopher Durang’s early comedy. Eclipse Theatre Company presents Christopher Durang's badl…

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Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Bury Me bogs down in issues by Dmitry Samarov

Too many hot-button topics pile up in Dandelion Theatre's world premiere. Dandelion Theatre presents the world premiere of Brynne Frauenhoffer's plaintive, often…

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Wednesday, June 5, 2019

The Killer needs a little less conversation and a little more action, please by Dmitry Samarov

Trap Door's production of Ionesco's absurdist farce works best when no one is talking. Eugène Ionesco's loud, absurdist farce about an everyman desperately atte…

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Wednesday, May 22, 2019

It Is Magic takes a sympathetic look at the world of storefront theater by Dmitry Samarov

How and why do you go on making art in the face of indifference? Theater Oobleck presents the world premiere of Mickle Maher's latest hilarious tragedy. In the b…

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Monday, May 13, 2019

Arte Agora collection brings outside(r) art inside by Dmitry Samarov

With his new self-published book, patron of public art Daniel X. O’Neil displays what he’s bought from street artists and swiped from light posts. "Basicall…

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Thursday, May 2, 2019

Reverse Gossip, a polyphonous portrait of city life, brings theater to Bridgeport by Dmitry Samarov

Walnut Spaceship Studio in the Bridgeport Art Center makes its debut. Barrie Cole presents a series of overheard phone calls on the CTA that add up to a beautifu…

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Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Buyer & Cellar explores Barbra Streisand’s (make-believe) basement shopping mall by Dmitry Samarov

It's only pain and darkness there. Like a cross between The Santaland Diaries and Sunset Boulevard, Jonathan Tolins's 2013 one-man comedy sends up the lifestyle …

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Thursday, April 18, 2019

Utility shows the high cost of living in quiet desperation by Dmitry Samarov

Emily Schwend's drama is a resonant portrait of life in the shadows of the American dream. Interrobang Theatre Project presents the midwest premiere of Emily Sch…

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Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Meltdown at Pitchfork by Dmitry Samarov

An excerpt from Music to My Eyes The day before Protomartyr played at Schubas, I had a meltdown at the Pitchfork Music Festival.…

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Friday, April 5, 2019

In An American Summer, Alex Kotlowitz creates a portrait of a city battling intractable ills by Dmitry Samarov

He doesn’t offer solutions, but he’s an empathetic witness to the damage done by violence. "I'm not afraid of dying. What I'm afraid of is losing my mother, …

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Thursday, April 4, 2019

Yen shows two neglected teenagers struggling to grow up by Dmitry Samarov

It starts as grotesque comedy but ends in tragedy. What happens when people are truly left to their own devices? The first minutes of Anna Jordan's 2015 play abo…

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Monday, April 1, 2019

My Name is Rachel Corrie shows that tragic source material doesn't make great drama by Dmitry Samarov

Sitting through this play is like spending an hour and a half with a Greenpeace volunteer on the street. The Jacaranda Collective's inaugural production is a one…

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Thursday, March 14, 2019

Four aspiring interplanetary colonizers learn How to Live on Earth by Dmitry Samarov

Maybe you don't have to go to Mars to make your life matter. Chimera Ensemble presents the Chicago premiere of MJ Kaufman's 2014 drama. Four very different peopl…

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