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items tagged with Calvin Vo

Saturday Bloody Saturday: "Coriolanus," at Lincoln Park through July 21
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Reviews

2013-07-15 12:00:00

Bob Hanske and Tyler Henning in CoriolanusIt's always a pleasure to be able to laud the chorus members of a production, and that's certainly appropriate for Genesius Guild’s presentation of Shakespeare’s Coriolanus; the crowd scenes involving the Roman citizens – a group made up of 15 actors – are some of the most dynamic moments in co-directors Bryan Woods’ and Don Wooten’s production. Usually seen angrily protesting something, there’s a palpable energy in these performers' collective presence as the group storms the stage and creates a general hubbub in the background, adding more realism than would be on display had they merely stood in place and interjected occasional comments. Stirring things up beginning with the opening scene, and appearing multiple times throughout the course of the play, this charismatic group sets the stage for what proves to be an entertaining evening.


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Apollo's Creed: "Alcestis," at Lincoln Park through July 7
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Reviews

2013-07-01 12:00:00

Jason Dlouhy, Bob Hanske, Doug Adkins, and Katie Ross in AlcestisEuripides' Alcestis marks the first Genesius Guild production of a Greek tragedy I’ve seen without doing advance research on the play’s plot, which I usually do out of fear of being lost. I’m happy to say, though, that I did not get lost in the slightest during Saturday’s performance, thanks to the production's clear plot points and dialogue, ample projection from the actors speaking from behind sound-inhibiting masks, and the comfortable flow of Dori Foster’s direction. The play is interesting in its exploration of fate, and also entertaining by way of costumer Ellen Dixon’s simple yet elegant designs (particularly for the women in the chorus), Earl Strupp’s aesthetically pleasing masks (with their glittery colors and wisps of escaped locks of hair), and the cast’s earnest characterizations.


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The Young and the Restless: "subUrbia," at Augustana College through May 5
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Reviews

2013-04-29 12:00:00

John D'Aversa, Joshua Malone, and Bill Cahill in subUrbiaAugustana College’s production of subUrbia features one of the most (if not the most) layered and fascinating sets I’ve yet seen on a local stage, as Adam Parboosingh's scenic design manages to give us both a brick storefront – including parking spaces, cement parking bumps, scaffolding, a dumpster, and even a period-appropriate, mid-'90s pay phone – and the fully stocked interior of a convenience store at the same time. Consequently, Parboosingh’s set rendered Friday’s performance interesting well before the play even started, offering much to take in visually while we waited for the proverbial curtain to rise.


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Diony-mite!: "The Bock Eye," at Augustana College through February 3
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Reviews

2013-01-29 12:00:00

Calvin Vo in The Bock EyeFriday’s world-premiere performance of playwright Tommy Smith’s The Bock Eye – a modernized adaptation of Euripides’ The Bacchae – seemed much longer than the 60 minutes it runs from beginning to end. That’s not, however, because the piece is dull, or because director Saffron Henke’s pacing is too slow. It's because the production is so packed with entertainment and clever and hilarious lines that it seems too much to be contained in just one hour. I enjoyed Augustana College’s presentation of this new work so greatly that I was a bit exhausted at its end, and gasped when I looked at my phone and saw that it was only 8:30; I was shocked that I could laugh so much in so little time.


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Critical Mass: Mike Schulz and Thom White Discuss Area Theatre in 2012
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Theatre

Category: Feature Stories

2012-12-31 12:00:00

Mitch Donahue, Alexander Robin Kass, Samantha Pauly, Kristin Gilbert, and Tristan Layne Tapscott in the Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse's Legally Blonde: The MusicalFor our third-annual conversation on the Year in Theatre, Thom White – the Reader’s chief theatre reviewer – and I thought we’d shake things up a bit. So instead of meeting for an hours-long breakfast to discuss the area stage scene, we met for an hours-long dinner to discuss the area stage scene.

And while I managed to keep things lively by spilling a completely full glass of water not 10 minutes after sitting down, we also managed to touch on many of the varied experiences that Thom (occasionally accompanied by his partner’s daughter Madison) and/or I had during another eventful year for fans of the theatre. Pack a lunch, sit back, and dive in ... .


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