Verböten

The House Theatre of Chicago

JOSEPH JEFFERSON NOMINATION

-- Best Production, Musical (Midsize)
-- New Work


"Brilliantly crafted ensemble." 
"Especially noteworthy are our two teen leads, bringing vocal prowess and gut-wrenching humanity to their respective arcs. They exist truly and wholly, living loud in living color."

-- NewCity Chicago

"A blistering central performance from Kieran McCabe, who here does the kind of work that makes the argument that wherever Verböten might go next, McCabe certainly should be along for that ride."   
"Krystal Ortiz, singing the bejesus out of the role ..."
"... employing a talented cast that plays multiple instruments [and] powerful young singers."
-- Chicago Tribune

"Nearly every actor plays multiple instruments ... if this cast were to go into the studio to record a cast album? I would be there to buy the first pressing."
-- Chicago Sun-Times


"Features a talented cast of actor / singer / musicians ..."
-- Chicago Theatre Review

"These performers are terrifically versatile. They shed the familiar teenage angst / parental awkwardness to channel their inner rock star. Their ongoing transitions from ordinary existence to concert limelight is marveling." 
-- The Fourth Walsh

"Talented and diverse cast!"

-- Third Coast Review





Corduroy

Emerald City Theatre at Broadway Playhouse

"Imaginative interpretation with [a] cast of just six." 
"Acrobatic and talented ... master of physical comedy." 

-- Chicago Tribune

"Highly Recommended!"

"Chicago is a place that attracts all kinds of performers and talent from around the world and it is hard to imagine Corduroy being produced without the trained circus performers in the cast. Jean Claudio was fantastic."

-- Chicago On Stage

"The real star of this production is, of course, Corduroy. Jean Claudio demonstrate(s) his accomplished acrobatic talent and circus skills; summersaults, flips, moonwalks and almost defies gravity as the fluffy teddy bear that magically comes to life."

-- Chicago Theatre Review

Kiss

Haven

"The acting is delightful, the first act very funny and engrossing, and the physicality both sensual and silly."

-- Chicago Reader


"Bold theatrical experience!"

-- Around The town Chicago

"The cast is excellent ... grabs our interest and holds it until the very end ... luminous and masterful."

"In addition to these bravura performances,

everything that leads up to the end is riveting, well-acted and deserving of the thunderous applause this company earned opening night."

-- Chicago Theatre Review

"This talented, sincere quartet throws themselves into the material." 

"Strong, enthusiastic ensemble."

-- Chicago On Stage

Pinocchio

The House Theatre of Chicago

"3 out of 4 stars"

"... terrific scenes between Molly Brennan, who plays the dad Geppetto, and Sean Garratt, the puppeteer manipulating the titular character, truly a gorgeous presence. In all of its best shows, House has created these moving, richly wrought relationships and this is one of their great ones."

-- Chicago Tribune

"Highly Recommended!"

"It's a Pinocchio for our time, politicized with a sense of urgency that perhaps Collodi never imagined."

-- Chicago Reader

"Highly Recommended!"

"... expert storytellers all around: 

Sean Garratt as the wooden boy, in a marvelous performance that grips you from the first moments he arrives onstage in a stunning, practically wordless introductory sequence ... All heart and full sincerity."

-- NewCity Chicago

"Highly Recommended!"

"The backbone of this production is, in true House Theatre fashion, the supporting cast."

"Garratt is a master ... who’ll charm both older children and adults, alike."

-- Chicago Theatre Review


"A ticket to House Theatre’s new adaptation of PINOCCHIO is worth double the price." 

"Thanks to the cast, led by director Chris Mathews and choreographer Kasey Foster, they’re as fluid and agile as ballet."

-- Picture This Post

"Highly Recommended!"

-- The Fourth Walsh

United Flight 232

The House Theatre of Chicago
at Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County

"Absorbing and deeply moving, United Flight 232 acknowledges both the miraculous beauty of soaring through the skies and the very rare but real possibility of disaster. The House production demonstrates the power of a theatrical story told simply — and brilliantly."

-- Miami Herald

"In one word, exquisite."

"Remarkable cast." 

"The actors were complete vessels. The story so beautifully crafted. The crash sequence so surreal. It actually took my breath away; the actors did what poetry does for the written word."

-- Broadway World Miami

"A diverse ensemble of nine actors, most of whom play multiple, gender-blind parts, serve as an effective microcosm for the hundreds of people onboard."  

"... cohesion of the ensemble has an architectural beauty to it, with the collective edifice of regret, fear, determination, love and compassion outweighing the individual materials."

"A potent reminder of our common humanity in a time of seemingly insurmountable tribalism. It’s often difficult to watch, but it is frankly unlike anything I’ve ever seen before — and it’s as necessary as theatre gets."

-- Florida Theater On Stage

Hopelessly Devoted

Piven Theatre

JOSEPH JEFFERSON NOMINATION
-- Best Performer in a Principal Role (Nicole Michelle Haskins)


"Rich, resonant and revealing – provides the haunting soundscape to this honest unflinching picture of how picking up the pieces can still leave you with wounds and scars." 
"3.5 out of 4 stars" 

-- Chicago Tribune

The Total Bent

Haven, in association with About Face Theatre

JOSEPH JEFFERSON NOMINATION

-- Best Production, Musical
-- Best Performer in a Principal Role (Robert Cornelius, Gilbert Domally)

"One of the most robust and moving shows you're likely to see."

"4 out of 4 stars" 

-- Chicago Tribune 

"More than a great musical. It's also great art."
"Requires nearly inhuman vocal ranges, but the cast pulls them off with aplomb. Robert Cornelius is mesmerizing as Joe. Gilbert Domally brings electrifying physicality as Marty, turning religion into an emotional mix of rock 'n' roll, gospel and R&B." 

-- Chicago Reader

"10 shows to see in February"

-- TimeOut Chicago

"Top 10 Things to do This Week"

-- Chicago Magazine

"February Top 5"
-- NewCity Stage

"One of the Best" 

-- Theatre by the Numbers

"A theatrical event like no other." 
-- Picture This Post

"We were swept away with the potency of a live band, firecracker performers and the gospel truth." 
-- Rescripted

"I’d highly recommend you secure your tickets now and be prepared to just let it wash over you. Domally is absolutely captivating: forceful, regal, seductive ... This time, let’s say the star is born."
-- Storefront Rebellion

The Nutcracker

The House Theatre of Chicago

"There is a reason some holiday shows come back year after year and become Chicago staples at Christmastime. They are a delicious mixture of magic, snow, music, and talent that genuinely like being a part of the holiday celebration. Such is the case with The Nutcracker."

"Great talented ensemble resides in this holiday fare."

-- PerformInk


"Phenomenally designed and expertly cast, the House Theatre’s The Nutcracker is sure to fill hearts with laughter and eyes with tears."

"The enchanting aesthetics are brought to life with humanity and passion by a stellar cast." 

-- Chicago Theatre Review 

"This holiday season, as usual, there are plenty Nutcracker productions in town.  Thankfully, a Chicago tradition stands strong and stands out at The House Theatre of Chicago ... A wonderful gift that should also become a yearly tradition for families, The House Theatre of Chicago's Nutcracker will touch the most crotchety to the most sensible member of your family."

-- Windy City Times

"This Nutcracker strikes just the right balance of child-friendly entertainment and very real human emotion ... in a lovely musical package that speaks to children without pandering, and to adults without patronizing.  The House puts its signature brand of magic to work, delivering a message that’s heartbreaking, but ultimately uplifting."

-- Chicago Theater Beat

"With puppetry and other effects, this singular production is perfectly set in Chopin’s small, circular space ... It’s a smart, layered, and very modern take on a classic tale."

-- Chicago Reader 

"This year’s production features a fantastic performance [with] a combination of toughness and vulnerability that most adult actors could hardly manage. She’s a perfect fit for a work that constantly invokes the imagery of light versus dark." 

"This perennial holiday favorite provides audiences with comfort, joy and wonder—qualities of which the past year have been astronomically bereft ... If you’re looking for a play to close out this crappy hellscape of a year, this one’s a sure bet." 

-- NewCity Stage

Hatfield & McCoy

The House Theatre of Chicago

CHICAGO THEATRE PROFESSIONALS AWARD WINNER

-- Remarkable Casting
-- Remarkable Production

"... standout performance from Haley Bolithon as Rose Anna, who becomes the kind of youthful conscience of the show: the hope of the future, the reason to stop fighting, a point of empathetic connection."

-- Chicago Tribune

"... solid cast that has been assembled to pull this off."

-- Around the Town Chicago

"The story is told in both prose and poetry. It’s text is inspired by historical records, along with dialogue from William Shakespeare’s iconic tragedy about star-crossed lovers, Romeo and Juliet. The production also features a score of rich, authentic mountain music incorporating bluegrass, folk, rock and gospel songs into the play, giving the experience an authentic Appalachian sound. The songs are sung and danced with gusto by Hawkins’ 18-member cast ... The ensemble is dynamic and multitalented."

-- Chicago Theatre Review 

"Featuring a cast of twenty actors and live musicians, Hatfield & McCoy is at times a dizzying experience. Hostages are taken (and re-taken), shootouts are plentiful, and blood is spilled by the end of the play’s three hours. This frenetic nature ups the ante in many scenes, particularly when the space is fraught with feuding family members, and director Matt Hawkin’s fight choreography is amply dangerous."

-- Picture This Post 


"... extraordinary acting, and plenty of gunfire and blood ... The performances here are universally wonderful." 

-- Chicago On stage

Fear & Misery in the Third Reich

Haven Theatre Chicago

"The sheer creative exertion and emotional fortitude on display in this production induces marathon-like exhaustion, leading to a euphoric endorphin rush when the house lights come up."

"The epic design finds its complement in this spry, hearty and, most vitally, young ensemble of which [the director] asks a great deal and receives even more ... Each actor is spread across an array of distinct characters."

-- NewCity Stage


"...ten talented ensemble cast members, each of whom portray a variety of different characters...[this] production’s strength lies primarily with its talented cast."

-- Chicago Theatre Review

"This is theater at its best, relevant and thought provoking ... outstanding individual performances."

-- Chicagoland Theater Reviews


"One delightfully contemporary element about the production is its multicultural cast, which has a dark-haired, dark-eyed actor playing the character referred to as the blue-eyed German, and female actors playing male parts. I suspect Brecht would have enjoyed these casting choices."

-- Third Coast Review

United Flight 232

The House Theatre of Chicago

JOSEPH JEFFERSON AWARD WINNER

-- Best Ensemble

-- Best Production, Midsize

ONE OF THE TOP TEN BEST SHOWS OF THE YEAR
"Hailed as the best of the season in Chicago Theatre." 

"... a diverse cast [of] actors who emphasize the ordinariness of the people they are playing, characters in a play who had no intention of being in a play at all." 

-- Chicago Tribune

ONE OF CHICAGO'S TWELVE BEST SHOWS OF THE YEAR

-- PerformInk Chicago

TOP THINGS TO DO THIS WEEKEND

-- Crain's Chicago Business

"It would be impossible to single out any one of the talented, hardworking actors in this brilliant production.  They're all equally gifted and bring so much of themselves to this production. This is an award-winning ensemble, if ever there was one." 

-- Chicago Theatre Review

"... a shining example of ensemble work." 

-- TimeOut Chicago

"Nine superb actors make the stage vibrate with tension and disorientation, and create a sense of the full passenger list." 

-- Chicago Sun-Times

"Of course, [the production] wouldn't succeed without a committed cast, and United Flight 232 is full to the brim with nuanced performances that help to create the sparsely designed but richly detailed world of the play." 

-- Picture This Post

"Terrific ensemble composed of original and new actors who know enough to let the material speak for itself." 

-- Hyde Park Herald

"Talented ensemble. There is not a weak link in the cast. Performed with tremendous humanity, creating a truly moving portrait of people in an impossible situation.  This masterful revival from The House should not be missed -- in fact, it truly deserves a long, extended run.  This may be the best production in Chicago right now."

"The best production anywhere this year." 

-- The Hawk Chicago

"Last year's production is one that I will never forget, not just because of the impeccable casting but the searing honesty and heart that went into every moment of this show." 

-- The Chicago Inclusion Project

"It's an exquisitely acted and designed piece from top to bottom. Documentary theater doesn't get much better than this." 

"With nine captivating [actors], 232 is a religious experience."

-- Chicago Reader

Third Annual         Director's Haven

Haven Theatre Chicago

TOP 5 STAGE EVENTS TO ATTEND IN OCTOBER, 2017
-- NewCity Stage

Season on the Line

The House Theatre of Chicago

JOSEPH JEFFERSON NOMINATION

-- Best Ensemble

"The supporting cast is one of the show’s strengths with colorful turns no matter which way you turn." 

-- NewCity Stage

"The actors, all 18 of them, do an inspired job. Many fine performances."

-- Gaper's Block

Death and Harry Houdini

The House Theatre of Chicago at Adrienne Arsht Center
for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County

"Watkins’ fellow performers, some of whom have long histories with the show, all have that special House multi-talent sauce, acting, singing, dancing, playing instruments and helping to execute the magic."
-- Miami Herald

Akeelah and the Bee

Adventure Stage Chicago

"... gleefully over-the-top performance delights the children in the audience."

-- Chicago Reader

"The talented cast, many of whom capably portray several very different characters, is led by [a] newcomer as Akeelah. If this role is any indication, the young actress has a great future ahead of her."
"... brilliant, unaffected portrayal."

-- Chicago Theatre Review

Photos by Michael Brosilow, Brave Lux and Austin D. Oie.

 

©2020 by Marika Mashburn