Sunday, November 30, 2014

Review of Porgy and Bess at The Lyric Opera

Once upon a time I went to a show and it was called Porgy and Bess. It was by George Gershwin, DuBose and Dorothy Heyward, and Ira Gershwin. It was directed by Francesca Zambello. It was about a man named Porgy (Eric Owens) who was in love with a woman named Bess (Adina Aaron), but she was dating Crown (Eric Greene) who was very strong and very handsome but he was very mean to her and to everyone else. Then there was also a man named Sportin' Life (Jermaine Smith) and he basically sold everything he could get his hands on that was illegal. He sold drugs and also different kinds of alcohol, which are legal now but weren't when the show was written. They lived in a very very small town called Catfish Row where if some people didn't like each other basically what they had to do was fight and kill each other. Crown is one of the most notorious killers because he didn't really have a reason for killing Robbins (Bernard Holcomb) except they had a slight disagreement and Robbins kept winning this game. It is not fair to kill someone because of their luck! He should have killed Sportin' Life because every time he played, he won! This show is about love, friendship, religion, and how women should be and are treated. People should definitely go see this show. I had a lot of fun, and I thought it was amazing!

Maria (Gwendolyn Brown) and Serena (Karen Slack) have a lot in common. They are both religious and they both hate Sportin' Life. What I am going to do is basically show you the ways that Serena and Maria don't like Sportin' Life and the different points of view that they look at him. So, Serena thinks he is absolutely horrible because she thinks he doesn't understand God or what he does for people. God is important to her because she sings a song called "Oh, Doctor Jesus" where she is trying to make Bess better, even though she has hated Bess, even after Bess started living with Porgy and got nicer. Sportin' Life is not religious basically at all. I know that because he just wanders in drunk to Robbins' funeral and at the picnic he decides if people are in love with each other to point them out and say that they are sinning. His song is called "It Ain't Necessarily So" and I think it is about how he thinks it is not necessarily so that there is such a thing as God and Jesus. I thought that this song was a very fun song because it was way more up-tempo than most of the other songs. I really liked his dance moves (choreography by Denni Sayers) that he had, like where he basically bounced up and put one of his hands up looking to the sky and when he bounced up and down from the splits, up and down! If I did that, I would be going "Ow! Ow! Ow!"

Maria is not all about religion. She is also about reality because she wants people to realize that not everything is all God and Jesus but she believes in God and Jesus. I don't think she would care that much if Sportin' Life was not religious if he just left and never came back. "I Hates Yo' Struttin' Style" was about how much she hated him showing everyone how little he cared about the community and religion and how he did not respect other people. I think that Maria was one of my favorite characters because she was one of the most sassy of them all. And that was hard to do because there are a lot of sassy women! She would talk back to the most profitable man in the town and I liked that because that really showed that women can talk back to men and show them how much they hate them.

Clara (Hlengiwe Mkhwanazi) and Jake (Norman Garrett) were one of the cutest couples. Once they come over to look at their baby, you are like "I care about them so much already!" And then if anything bad happens to them you will be like, "Oh my gosh! No!" "Summertime" is a lullaby that Clara sings to her baby boy. It makes you feel so happy that this woman who doesn't have very much loves her baby and her husband so much. Jake is nice to everyone but is still the strongest and tallest of all the men in the town. I liked the song, "A Woman is a Sometime Thing." I still have the tune stuck in my head. I still know what it is about, which is about how women are not super reliable, but as he goes on you know it is a joke because he starts joking around with his buddies and the baby and Clara's reaction to that was just happiness to see how much he was happy and how the baby is happy. I think Clara's decision to go after Jake at the end was so sweet because even though she was basically saying, "I'm going to give up my baby," she wanted to go after her husband and the last thing they both saw was each other.

Bess basically starts as Sportin' Life's ideal match. The play goes on and she changes, but then he drugs her so then she goes with him because she is drunk and on drugs. That made me feel like, "Seriously! You changed so much and now you are back to the way you were! Maybe even worse!" It was realistic but sad, because sometimes a person can change but then after changing they can still go back to some of their old habits. You don't hate Bess because you know it is not her fault. It wasn't exactly her idea to go with Sportin' Life. But then he drugged and that made her want to go with him even if the real her didn't want to. You feel so mad when Crown decides to attack her because even though she doesn't want to be with him, he forces her. I thought her voice was amazing. She sang very very very beautifully. My favorite song was probably "Bess, You Is My Woman Now" because it was just so sweet to see two people who used to be so different now so similar.

Porgy is the perfect partner because Bess needs to learn from someone who doesn't have as much as her. That is basically Porgy because he is disabled in his leg so he can't walk right and he doesn't have fancy dresses and drugs and alcohol. In the song "I Got Plenty o' Nuttin'" he talks about how all he has is basically a little cabin. He doesn't even have two legs that work right or even someone to help him like a wife or a sister or a mother. But he still isn't unhappy with his life because he finds ways to make his life better because of Bess. Bess is like his shining light because she has something wrong with her but the things that are right with him are the things that are wrong with her and the things that are wrong with him are right with her, so they can help each other. Porgy is basically the one who does almost everything right. He is nice and kind and he loves Bess, not like Crown loves Bess which is not in the right ways. I think he is part of the community, but he is less a part than some of the people. Because of his disability he can't go on ships or boats or to the island so then he is left out of all of those things.

People who would like this show are people who like lullabies, love, and hating drug dealers. I think people should definitely go and see this show. It was so amazing. Everyone's voice was amazing. I was expecting that, but it was so amazing that I was still amazed. I just used amazing in like one hundred places, but that is okay because that is how much I loved this show.

Photos: Todd Rosenberg

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Review of Promethean Theatre Ensemble's The Winter's Tale

Once upon a time I went to a show and it was called The Winter's Tale. It was directed by Brian Pastor and it was written by William Shakespeare. It was about a man named Leontes (John Arthur Lewis) and he thinks that his wife Hermione (Cameron Feagin) is in love with his friend Polixenes (Jared Dennis). And he thinks he's under a plot to be killed. But he is just imagining all this stuff. So it gets him into a lot of trouble. He even rejects his own daughter Perdita (Paige Reilly) after she is born! This play is half tragedy and half comedy/romance. You get a lot of different tastes of different kinds of literature. The first half is kind of like Othello and the second half is kind of like As You Like It. I really enjoyed this show. I had a lot of fun and I think Promethean Theatre does a lot of great stuff.

My favorite characters were Paulina (Megan DeLay), Hermione, and Leontes. I thought they were very strong characters because they stood up for themselves, especially the women, which you don't always see in Shakespeare. I really liked Hermione. I think she seemed like she was a great mother because she seemed very sweet and she didn't want anyone to be hurt even if they had done something wrong. I thought she seemed very very brave in her trial. Even I wouldn't be that brave at trial if I was under arrest by my own husband. And I thought she did a great job of expressing her bravery but also how scared she was. I loved Paulina. I thought that she seemed like a very sassy woman, and I like sassy women. She was probably giving food and water to the woman who was supposed to die that she had saved. She could have been killed for telling people that this woman was dead instead of just stored in a cabin in the woods. She talks to Leontes like he has done something wrong and he has to fix it, but she's not so mean to him that he doesn't like her. I think that he is influenced by Paulina by the way that she talks to him and that influences him in the way that he admits his mistakes. Leontes was a very messed-up person, but at the same time he was a very likable person because he's not just like, "Well, I've killed my wife. Whatever." He knows he's done something wrong with his life. I think it is better to admit when you're wrong than just pretending to be right, and he learns to do that. Shakespeare wanted this play to be about love and consequences, but also about how to win back what you have lost.

In the second act, it was very whimsical. I really liked the Clown (Brian Hurst), Autolycus (Dave Skvarla), and the Shepherd (John Walski) because they were all very funny and that added a whimsical note to it after the last act which was very serious. I really liked the part after Antigonus (Brendan Hutt) had been eaten by the bear and the Shepherd and his son, the Clown, were talking about the baby they had just found but there was gold with it and a bracelet and some jewelry. And they were like, "This the best day ever! Woo hoo! I just saw a man get eaten by a bear but I don't care about that anymore. This is awesome!" I thought that was funny because it made no sense. You just saw a man get eaten by a bear and now you're like "This is awesome! Woo hoo!" It was such a change in feelings. Autolycus is basically the comic relief of the entire play. What he does is basically come around and steals money from people. It shows you how stupid the people he steals from actually are, because his methods are just so laughable. He also sells ballads and jewelry. His ballads are very funny because they are about, like, a woman who turns into fish because she wouldn't love the man who was in love with her. But I think if she wasn't in love with him, I don't think she should have had to turn into a freaking fish. He should have just had to deal with it. If a woman does't love you, you just have to move along.

My one problem with the show was the bear (Janeane Bowlware), which I thought was a little bit culturally insensitive because the bear seemed to me to be dancing in an African style and wearing African garments. And it used to be that Africans in America were treated like animals and property. I don't think that the director and choreographer (Alexa Berkowitz) meant to do it; I think it was a mistake, but I wanted them to know that it sort of gave off a kind of bad feeling. I also don't blame the woman who played the role of the bear. I understand that they wanted to do something differently because the bear is probably the hardest part of The Winter's Tale. You can't have a real bear, and if you just dress someone in a bear suit it looks kind of ridiculous.

They have a character called Time (Diana Coates) because they have to show there has been a passage of time so you don't not recognize the baby Peridita who has become a woman. Time talks about the passage of time and what it is like to be the Time god. She slides everywhere so that she can have the passage of time everywhere and that no one has too much of a certain moment. This is another example of how direct address can be so great in some productions. Shakespeare wanted to have a person represent time as it is to the audience, so it makes sense for the person to be speaking to the audience. I really enjoyed her performance. It was very lively and it made me very interested in the monologue. She clarified things that the audience might not understand with movements.

People who like this show are people who like time, forgiveness, and fish-woman ballads. I think that people should definitely go see this show. I had a lot of fun and I think you will too.

Photos: Tom McGrath

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Review of Griffin Theatre's Titanic

Once upon a time I went to a show and it was called Titanic. The music and lyrics were by Maury Yeston and the book was by Peter Stone and the new orchestrations were by Ian Weinberger. It was directed by Scott Weinstein and the music director was Elizabeth Doran. It was about the ship Titanic and what happened on it. It was about the stories of historical people (sometimes blended together or given different names) who survived or died on the Titanic. I really really liked this show. I thought it was sad but also funny. I felt so many emotions throughout the show, but I had a lot of fun. This show has great acting, a great set, and cool music!

The set (by Joe Schermoly) was really cool. I liked how it looked like the outside of a ship but they could rearrange it to look like a ballroom, a dining room, the bridge of the ship, the coal room, or the deck. The same thing happened with the costumes (Rachel Sypniewski), like how at first Emily Grayson was a 19-year-old girl and then she changed to being the wife of the man who ran the Macy's who was 60 year old by just switching her hat. Then she did that a bunch more times but with other hats. I really liked how when the ship was sinking, the chairs slowly came up. That made me very captured by the story because I imagined the chairs were floating in the water. I really liked the portholes because sometimes it seemed like people were going to sleep or being awake because the lights (design by Brandon Wardell) were turned off or on.

I loved the Kates. I thought it was funny how every single one of them was named Kate. Kate Mullins (Christine Mayland Perkins), she wanted to sew forever in America because back in Ireland she could not get a job. Kate Murphey (Kelley Abell) wanted to be a governess; and I am thinking to her, "Good for you". Maybe you will find a handsome rich man you can marry because in novels that is what always happens. Kate McGowan (Courtney Jones) was in love with a man named Jim Farrell (Kevin Stangler). They were one of the cutest couples on the ship. They were both super poor and from Ireland. They represent the third class people who are in love. They don't have a good life, they aren't rich, but they still try to make the best of life.

So here is a little paragraph about class. I think that class is stupid, personally, because all people are supposed to be equal, no matter how much money they have. Mrs. Beane (Neala Barron) thinks that she should be able to go and talk to famous people in the ballroom even though she is second class not first. But Mr. Etches (John Keating), the first-class steward, wants to keep her out. But then she goes and starts dancing with them, but they are like "No you cannot be in here. I am so fancy. You are so un-nicely dressed. I am better than you. Honh honh honh." Her husband (Jake Mahler) thinks that is not a good idea, and of course he is right, because she gets into trouble. But I still think she has the right plan. There is another couple that loves each other so much that class doesn't matter to them: Charles Clarke (Matt Edmonds) and Caroline Neville (Laura McClain). He should be in second class, and she should be in first class because she is a lady, the Lady Caroline. But they are both in second class together because they want to be together and she doesn't have any money at the moment because they are running away together.

My favorite song was "The Proposal/The Night Was Alive," when the stoker Fred Barret (Justin Adair) was talking to the telegraph man named Harold Bride (Royen Kent). I thought it was very sweet. It was kind of funny because it seemed like Fred was proposing to Harold but he was actually writing a telegraph to his sweetheart proposing to her. It is also kind of sad; of course he doesn't know he's going to be dead in the next 24 hours. Harold is singing basically about how he loves his telegraph so much because it made him connect those people and he came to love those people as he talked to them. This was my favorite song because it was so touching and so funny at the same time because of the way the telegraph man sings the song. I really liked the ditdadadadit because it sounded funny, that noise is just very funny. The next time you see the telegraph man he is screaming that we need a rescue boat and that there were all these iceberg warnings. The sound of the telegraph machine isn't funny anymore then because he is sad about it now and scared.

I found the song very sad where the guy who ran Macy's, Isador Strauss (Sean Thomas), and his wife Ida (Grayson) were singing to each other about how much they loved each other even when they were about to die, but it also made me happy that they loved each other so much. I think it made it sadder because they weren't sad because they loved each other. It still makes me sad right now. I hope you'll feel the same emotions I do, but I hope you are not a crying mess like I am right now. After you see this show just remind yourself that this will never happen again because they have enough lifeboats for everyone to be on now.

People who would like this show are people who like excitement, cute Irish couples, and telegraph machines. I think people should definitely definitely go see this show. It will make you laugh, it will make you sing, it will make you sob, and it will make you want to see this show over and over and over again.

Photos: Michael Brosilow

Friday, November 21, 2014

Review of Dee Snider's Rock & Roll Christmas Tale (Broadway Playhouse)

Once upon a time I went to a show and it was called Dee Snider's Rock & Roll Christmas Tale. It was directed by Adam John Hunter. It was choreographed by Robert Tatad and and the music supervision was by Doug Katsaros. It was written by Dee Snider. It was about a band called Daisy Cuter, I mean, Daisy Cutter, and they were a struggling heavy metal band. But then then this drunk guy named Scratch (Bill McGough) tells them to sell their souls to Satan and they think it will be really really metal. But then, of course, something has to go wrong. They suddenly start singing Christmas songs instead of heavy metal songs, but they don't mean to. The Christmas songs sound like heavy metal songs. Then everybody loves that, but they don't want to keep singing Christmas songs. So then they try to stop by having an exorcism. I thought that this was a really fun and great show. I just really enjoyed myself because it was really funny and Dee Snider does great music and you get to be very involved with the story.

I thought that the narration by Dee Snider was really awesome. This time I really liked the direct address. Sometimes I hate direct address because it takes people out of their character and it seems like you are not experiencing the story. But this was super funny and kept you interested in the story but didn't distract from the story. His Twisted Sister videos don't exactly seem like he's a big fan of Christmas. But I think this shows that all of us were wrong because after you have seen the show you realize how nice he is. He also doesn't act like you think a rock star would by being like, "I'm all metal! Listen to me if you want to be a rockstar like ME! You can't! Ha ha ha ha!" He doesn't seem stuck up. He seems stuck-down. Stuck down means the opposite of stuck up: you are nice to people and you don't think you are better than other people.

I noticed that the lead singer's name D.D. (Adam Michaels) kind of sounds like Dee Snider. And I think that Dee Snider was trying to make a point about rock and roll stars. That point was that even though he is a big rock star, he kind of started out like this. And D.D. also dressed in the opening number like Dee Snider did in the "We're Not Going to Take It" video. D.D. wore a giant blonde curly wig and that is Dee Snider's signature wig. Also they dressed in very very tight leggings, and the lead singer was in kind of a girly outfit (costumes by Suzette Guilot-Snider). I think that Dee Snider might have felt like that when he started out that, because he was the lead singer, he was better than everybody else. But he is not like that now. And D.D. learns not to be stuck up when Suzette (Keely Vasquez) sings that song to him. "You're Just a Punk Who Can Sing," which I think is probably the best title in the world.

I really loved Suzette and Ralph's (Wilam Tarris) relationship. I thought it was very funny and sweet. Like I really liked the scene where he was giving her a Christmas present but also while he was doing that scene he started playing with this toy Rudolph that he saved when they were burning all the Christmas stuff as part of the exorcism. He made it walk away and then it would seem like it pulled him towards the stage. It was so funny. I really liked how she started playing the drums because what he had gotten her was a pair of purple drumsticks. That showed you that Ralph wanted her to be interested in stuff that he liked so then they could be an unstoppable couple. He doesn't seem like the smartest person in the world, but he is still the most adorable. And I don't understand why everyone thought Suzette was so much older than him. I didn't think she looked old at all. I thought she was very pretty. I think that even if she was old, that would still be okay.

I really liked the "We're Not Gonna Take It/O Come All Ye Faithful" song. It was very very funny. Those are just two songs that are so different, but when you put them together it is actually pretty awesome. I also loved the scene with "I Wanna Rock" and "White Christmas." I thought this was one of the most comedic parts. I really liked how they had a dead Christmas tree on stage, but then it decided to light itself up. And when D.D, turned around he was like, "No! No!" and threw it off the stage. I just loved how when D.D. is singing and trying to tell everybody how much Christmas sucks, it turns out that a inflatable snowman wants to show everyone how much Christmas rocks. The inflatable snowman keeps showing up, but D.D. keeps beating it up. This scene shows you how the band wants to get D.D. back to not hating the music that the band plays. He hates it because it is Christmas music, and he is too metal for that. No one is too metal for Christmas though. Christmas can be super metal and the entire rest of the band knows that.

At the end a certain somebody (McGough) is giving out presents to everyone. And Tank (Tommy Hahn) gets Rock'em Sock'em Robots which he wanted when he was 10, but then he is still excited. They call him the angry one, but maybe if he had gotten his dream present a few years ago maybe they wouldn't still call him the angry one. And Johnny (Dan Peters) always wanted a little Angel, and so he got one, in other words, he got a girlfriend named Angel (Christina Nieves) who was one of the bartenders he always liked. I thought Angel and the other bartender Angie (Taylor Yacktman) were very funny. Their voices that they made whenever they talked around the band were very funny because they would kind of make a little fake-shy voice. I thought when they burst out with their singing at the end, I was like, "Whoah! They have great voices!"

People who would like this show are people who like metal Christmases, Dee Snider, and rocking inflatable snowmen. It was so much fun. I loved every single character and I think the story was fuh-larious. You shouldn't just go to see Dee Snider, you should go to see an amazingly Christmasy and rocking play.

Photos: Justin Barbin Photography

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Review of Annie (Broadway in Chicago)

Once upon a time I went to a show and it was called Annie. It was directed by Martin Charnin and the book was by Thomas Meehan. The music was written by Charles Strouse and the lyrics were by Martin Charnin. It was choreographed by Liza Gennaro and the music direction was by Keith Levenson. It was about a girl named Annie (Issie Swickle) who was an orphan and she lived in an orphanage. But the head of the orphanage, Miss Hannigan (Lynn Andrews), was very mean to everyone. But then Oliver Warbucks (Gilgamesh Taggett), who is a billionaire, wants to take an orphan in and care for it for the next two weeks. When his secretary Grace Farrell (Ashley Edler) goes and chooses Annie to come and stay with them, Miss Hannigan was not happy. Then they decide to go look for her parents, with the help of President Roosevelt (Allan Baker), the entire government, a radio show, and Daddy Warbucks. I thought that this was a fun show. Everyone loves the songs and I thought it was clever and fun.

The show was very clever because of some of my favorite moments, like how whenever someone would say we need "a new…" and then it would be something different which is not a new deal. You expect that President Roosevelt is going to say "a new deal" because that is one of his famous phrases, but then it takes a super long time, until basically the end of the scene! Another clever line was the one where Miss Hannigan said, "Next thing you know they'll make this into a musical!" And they already have! And she's in it! And then the entire audience was laughing so hard. So, I thought that was pretty funny. I thought the entire radio scene was basically super clever. Like they had a puppet announcer (Brian Cowing), but of course you can't see a puppet announcer through a radio, so that was silly. I also thought the Boylan sisters (Lily Emilia Smith, Meghan Seaman, and Hannah Slabaugh) were pretty funny because they were doing all these dance moves that are supposed to be super cool and awesome, but no one can see them of course. And also they had a masked announcer (Todd Fenstermaker), which I thought was pretty funny because no one could see he had a mask on! And the tap dancing was also very funny, because they just used tap shoes not on Bert Healy's (Cameron Mitchell Bell) actual feet. They just tapped on a foley board with the foley guy's (John Cormier) hands. I also thought that the dog (Sunny, trained by William Berloni) was super adorable and clever because he would go from the middle of the stage and then go back and then come back out and he would just follow directions perfectly. It was amazing!

I thought that all the orphans were really awesome at something. Like Molly (Lilly Mae Stewart) was a really great actress. Duffy (Isabel Wallach), July (Angelina Carballo), and Pepper (Adia Dant) were amazing dancers. Kate (Sydney Shuck) and Annie were really great singers. Tessie (LillyBea Ireland) was very funny. Everyone loves the song "Hard Knock Life," and it is still going through my head today. I thought the choreography was really great because it was kind of like the cup song: they moved around the buckets to the tempo of the music. I thought that was really awesome.

I really liked Miss Hannigan; she is so evil but in such a funny way. Then also I really liked the song "Little Girls" because it seemed true that little girls could seem very very annoying. But also I don't think you should twist off their necks just because they are being annoying. I also thought that her costumes (by Suzy Benzinger) were really great because they seemed like her so much, like she was trying to be sexy and totally failing. They would have short skits and all, but the rest would be kind of ragged. I really liked the song "Easy Street" too. I've heard that phrase before, and I think that is where Miss Hannigan needs to go, but she has to earn it, not just go and kill little girls for their money. I really liked the dance. It was just so funny and so silly, like how the Rooster (Garrett Deagon) and his girlfriend Lily (Lucy Werner) were saying "Annie is the key!" and then suddenly Miss Hannigan just starts shaking her butt at the audience like an insane person.

My favorite scene was the oval office scene. I really liked President Roosevelt. I thought he was very funny. And then Annie comes in and wants to meet him so bad. And then she starts singing. And because he heard her sing on the radio, that made sense. And then my favorite part of it was how President Roosevelt was like, "All of you sing!" and then one of them, Ickes (Cormier), was like, "No, I won't sing" but then he finally does. But then by the end of it the guy who was like "I'm not going to sing" then is on his knees on the floor and his arms are spread out and he has a giant smile on his face and he is still singing. And I think that that was just super super funny.

People who would like this show are people who like awesome dogs, Franklin Roosevelt, and Easy Street. I think that people should go see this show. I had a lot of fun and the songs will be going through your head for a long time!

Photos: Joan Marcus

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Review of The Humans at American Theater Company

Once upon a time I went to a show and it was called The Humans. It was written by Stephen Karam, and it was directed by PJ Paparelli. It was about a family who comes together for Thanksgiving and decides it is a great time to reveal all their secrets! Then, of course, that is not exactly the best idea because they are supposed to be thankful for what they have, but if they are just talking about all the bad things in their lives it doesn't make it a very happy event. I really really liked this show, and I thought it was a great idea. You wouldn't really want to see a really happy Thanksgiving on stage because that would probably be pretty boring. You want to have some tension in a show, but you don't want to have tension in your own Thanksgiving. Seeing this play makes me thankful that I don't have a family with a lot of scary secrets.

The people in the family are the mom (Hanna Dworkin) and dad (Keith Kupferer), and there is an old grandma named Momo (Jean Moran). Aimee (Sadieh Rifai) was the older sister. Brigid (Kelly O'Sullivan) was the youngest sister and it takes place at her apartment. She also had a boyfriend whose name was Richard (Lance Baker). The place that they are in is an apartment in New York and it looks pretty cheap. It has two floors, and that is a good thing. I liked how the set (by David Ferguson) made the two floors look really real and how they made it look like an actual house. It was kind of dirty and you could see the uneven splotches and stuff on the walls. That showed that Brigid didn't have the best life possible. I thought the sound effects (design by Patrick Bley) were also pretty cool because they were super funny. They were super loud; it was like the lady upstairs was throwing pots and pans on the floor. Usually the parents live out in a quieter country place, so they are like, "Why are they so noisy?!" And then they say, "Oh, she'll quiet down" but then she never does.

One of my favorite parts was when the mom and both the daughters were just putting up this lantern so they could see because the lights had gone out, and once they got it working they saw a cockroach. The noise they made was just hilarious. That told me what the women were like. They weren't fainting on the ground or anything, but they were still pretty scared. Then the men had to rush up because they wanted to see what was going wrong, but then, because everyone was gone downstairs, the grandma was going and trying to cook something. That is a problem because she can't really function very well. I think that was a great use of what you can do in a show where you can have two things happening at once, but the audience will still see what is going on in both places. When you see the grandma getting off the couch you are like, "Oh no!"

I thought that all the crazy dreams that Richard was having were pretty funny. Like how he fell through an ice cream cone made out of grass and turned into an infant, which I think is probably one of the strangest dreams I ever heard of. But he also just came out and said it like this was just like a normal topic. I thought that was funny because that is such an unusual thing to say. There were also more scary dreams, like the one where the dad had a dream about a woman with no face, and there was this skin over everything, but it was all stretched. I have actually had dreams like that, so I thought it was cool. You sort of find out what that means later in the play, but I can't tell you that because I don't want to give it away.

I really liked the tradition of the peppermint pig. I want one myself! It showed me that the family had very strong traditions because it seemed like they always did that. The pig reminded them of what they were thankful for and also that they were a family. They actually need that reminder because sometimes they feel like they are not actually a family anymore because they don't live in the exact same place anymore and they have different religions and they didn't like the same topics of conversation. They didn't like some of the same things to eat. After they break the pig, you feel really sorry for the family when the big secret gets revealed at the end. But you have to go to the show to find out what it is!

People who would like this show are people who like family, Thanksgiving, and peppermint pigs. I think people should definitely go see this show. It was an amazing play. It made me think a lot about my family and what might happen to it. This is a very serious play but they still find ways to make it funny. The characters always seemed to say what a real person would say in that kind of situation, and I thought that that was great writing!

Photos: Michael Brosilow

Ada Grey Interviews for You: Interviews with the team of Frederick at Chicago Children's Theatre

I had so much fun interviewing all these people for Frederick, the musical at Chicago Children's Theatre! It closes this weekend. Go see it! It was awesome. You can read my review here.

Part 1: Interview with Richard Juarez

Part 2: Interview with Nick Davio

Part 3: Interview with Stuart Carden

Part 4: Interview with Annie Lionni

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Review of Theater Unspeakable's The American Revolution at Adventure Stage Chicago

Once upon a time I went to a show and it was called The American Revolution. It was a devised piece directed by Marc Frost of Theater Unspeakable. All the actors were elevated on a small platform and they had to perform almost everything on it. The only time they didn't, it was only one guy and he had fallen into the water. So that made a lot of sense and I thought that was really awesome too. The effect of having it performed on the platform is the spectacle of seeing people put on this giant show, which is about war, in a a minimum amount of space. Usually when you see a show about war they use up the entire space because war is about a big thing happening to countries where they are fighting for something that they want. And they also made everything with their bodies. If someone was sitting in a chair, that chair would be made out of two people. I think that is a great idea because of a point that I found which is that when a war is happening or after a war everyone has to make things with their own hands because usually there is not much left for people. I absolutely loved this show and I think everyone should go see it. It is about the faults of governments, war, and freedom. They were trying to tell you a different story about the American Revolution from what you would just see in a history book. They made a twist on it. Even if you are in a small space with only a platform and some actors and no props at all, you can make a great show!

My favorite scene was the Philadelphia scene. It had General Howe (Vanessa S. Valliere) and one of his officers (Brittany Anderson) talking about where they were going to strike next. Then Howe started getting very obsessed with Philadelphia. Then he said, "Just keep your finger right there on Philadelphia and we'll come back to that later." And whenever the officer even moved his finger slightly, Howe would be like, "Nope. Put it back." I liked that so much because it was so funny. He was somehow just obsessed with this city. Also how angry the officer was getting was super funny. Howe would say, "Don't forget about Philadelphia. You won't forget about Philadelphia, will you?" And then the officer said, "Yes of course I would never forget about Philadelphia. Now back to the plans." And this went back and forth for a very long time and it was just hilarious. It was in the play because Howe actually went to Philadelphia instead of coming to the battle where he was supposed to meet the British soldiers and fight with them. If he'd shown up, the British might have had a better chance of winning the war.

I thought King George III (Aaron Rustebakke) was a very funny part of this. He would be going everywhere but he would still be swimming or in a bathtub or things like that. And someone else would be his legs. It was just so funny to see this because he would say, "What shall I do!?" and put his feet up next to his chin or wrap them around his neck, and that is not really possible to have them perfectly straight and as close to his body as they were. That impossibility just seemed so funny. King George was not very capable, but one thing he was capable of was being as flexible as heck! He wasn't flexible in a metaphoric way because he made really really stupid decisions. Like he decided to make everyone pay stamp taxes. I loved it when his messenger person [Quenna Lené] starting being like "Stampy stampy stampy!" but then suddenly she was tarred and feathered. That wasn't a very nice thing to do; she was just doing her job. But that does prove my point about how King George makes some pretty bad decisions.

I thought it was funny how they had the joke about the Adams family, because they had John Adams (Trey Hobbs), Abigail Adams (Anderson), and Nabby Adams (Lené). The joke was, they said, "The Adams family has to leave Boston" and then everyone broke into the song, "They're mysterious and spooky! The Adams family! Dadadada. Knock knock." I think one of my favorite characters had to be Nabby because she was just so adorable and funny and whenever something sad had happened, Nabby would shuffle around and slam doors in people's faces and that would make everyone laugh. I also thought that Abigail Adams was a great part of the story because in her letter she said "Remember that women have done stuff too, so they should be equal to men." But then women didn't get to vote for almost 150 years. And, children, that is the reason why women were not "created equal" for 150 years, because John Adams didn't listen to his wife!

Sam Adams (Kathleen Hoil) was basically a crook who had this gang of people who would dump tea into the harbor. So they had a tea harbor for a little while. That must have been nice. You could go swimming and have some lukewarm tea. He did that to show King George that this was a horrible idea to make everybody drink tea so he could get more money. I thought Sam Adams was very funny, especially how loyal people were to him. Like when somebody said, "I like tea!" he said, "No you don't" and they said, "No I don't. Of course I don't. I hate tea!" They were so loyal because they didn't want to get hurt by him. That is a very different view of the revolution than I had before I saw this show!

I really liked George Washington (Jeffrey Freelon). I thought he was very funny. I really liked the part where he was talking to Governor Dinwiddie (who was very Dim-witty, ba dump tshhh). Whenever Dinwiddie sent George Washington on one of his missions Washington would have a way of saying they should go, like "Tally Forth!" but then once he had said it once he had to say it a different way the next time to get them to go. I thought it was super cool how the same actor who played George Washington also played his slave, who fought in the war with him. It showed how George Washington treated his slaves; he treated him unlike himself even though in this production he was himself. The actor changed from being regal and famous-acting to being a shivering soldier trying to keep warm in a barn. It is a good idea to know that George Washington had slaves, to know that he is not a perfect person. He was a person who had flaws and he shouldn't be people's role model in how you should treat people. He could be a role model in being a soldier.

People who would like this show are people who like cute little girls slamming doors in people's faces, flexible kings, and Philadelphia. I think people should definitely definitely go see this show. I had so much fun. This is for kids and grown-ups. Go and see it with your friends and family. I absolutely loved it!

Photos: Johnny Knight

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Review of CPS Shakespeare!: A Midsummer Night's Dream at Chicago Shakespeare

Once upon a time I went to a show and it was called A Midsummer Night's Dream. It was directed by Kirsten Kelly and it was written by (has anyone heard of this name before?) William Shakespeare. This was a program for teenagers who go to Chicago Public Schools all around the city so they can learn about Shakespeare and have a big fancy performance at the end. I think that this is a great idea and it worked out really well. I thought the performance was very great and inspiring. They performed their hearts out! I had so much fun at this show.

I really liked the idea of having parts played by multiple people so then all the different people can experience it in a bunch of different ways. If you're in the show you might play Oberon and Puck and Starveling at different times. They would have articles of clothing that were just like the ones worn by the other people playing the same character. That made the audience understand what character they were seeing talk. And that makes it sort of tricky for me personally as a reviewer to remember which actors played which roles in which moments. So I'll be talking about characters instead of actors, but I want to say that I liked all of the performances very much.

I really liked the scene where Hermia and Helena were having a fight as well as Demetrius and Lysander. The fight choreography was by Matt Hawkins. I think it looked really amazing. The teenagers were amazing fighters. One of my favorite parts of it was when Helena and Hermia were fighting and suddenly Helena needed help, and another version of her (another student playing the same role) came out and started fighting too. And then, Hermia needed help, so another version of her came out. And the same with the boys. They weren't being replaced at first, both versions were fighting. And then the people who had been fighting at first would leave and Helena 2 and Hermia 2 would continue on. That was so fun because it just seemed so nonsensical and amazing. It drew your attention to how everyone was switching parts all the time.

I thought that the Pyramus and Thisbe scene was hilarious. You can't really go wrong with this scene. It is just great. I really loved the moment where Pyramus/Bottom came out riding on his horse but it was just a small stuffed horse. And then once he got off it, it would fall over sometimes. And just this tiny little horse to be standing there, wobbling and then falling over, was just hilarious. And then Bottom would come back over, realize it had fallen over, and pick it up again. It made Bottom seem very clueless as to how to cope with something going wrong in a performance, and that is the perfect way to play Bottom. What The Wall looked like was basically a teenager wearing a shirt that said "The Wall" who was listening to music while trying to do a play at the same time. I thought that was pretty funny. Moonshine was very funny, because she was very sassy. And that is the best kind of Moonshine: a sassy Moonshine. The Lion was very funny because she said, "I am the Lion" and then gave out the tiniest little roar possible. I think Snug needed some Katy Perry music at that moment!

One of my other favorite moments was when Philostrate was talking about the different options that they had to see a play and one of them was “The riot of the tipsy Bacchanals / Tearing the Thracian singer in their rage.” And then as he said "tearing the Thracian singer in their rage," there were these people dressed in very Shakespearean clothes, like with the feathers in their hats, and they started clawing in the air like they were tearing a Thracian singer in their rage! I liked that a lot, and I thought it was very very very funny.

People who would like this show are people who like Shakespeare, Chicago Public Schools, and tipsy Bacchanals tearing Thracian singers in their rage. This was a great experience for me and I think for the students and their teachers and the artists that worked on it as well. Watch for it next year! It was great!

Photos: Liz Lauren

Review of Great Expectations at Strawdog Theatre Company

Once upon a time I went to a show for the second time and it was called Great Expectations. There were different actors this year, but I thought all the actors from this year and last year were both amazing. You can read my first review of Great Expectations, but here are some of my favorite things about the new production.

I thought the fights (choreographed by Sam Hubbard) were very cool. I especially liked the underwater fight between Compeyson (Amanda Drinkall) and Magwitch (Cody Proctor) because it was very intense. This Magwitch showed more how scared and sad he was than how scary he was. I thought that was very cool. I also liked the fight between Herbert (Caleb Fullen) and Pip (Mike Tepeli). It was funny last year as well. One of my favorite parts and lines, probably to the end of my life, is when Herbert gets punched in the face and says, "Oh, it's okay. My fault entirely."

I thought the sailor dance was very funny again. One of my favorite parts of it was when the woman who also played Miss Havisham (Mary Winn Heider) was dancing with the man who also played Joe (Paige Smith) and then he just starting sticking out his butt and she started sliding down into sort of a lunge. They looked out at the audience and just had this "I'm so sexy" expression as they slowly slid down or stuck their butt in the other person's face. I thought that was probably one of the funniest things ever. I thought they were amazing as Joe and Miss Havisham too.

People who would like this remount are people who like Victorian novels, awesome underwater fights, and supposedly-sexy sailor dancing. People should definitely go and see this show. I absolutely loved it. It was on my top ten of 2013!

Photo: Kyle Hamman, KBHMedia

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Ada Grey Interviews for You: Adina Aaron, Bess in Lyric Opera's Porgy and Bess.

I had an interview with the friendly and talented Adina Aaron who plays Bess in Porgy and Bess at The Lyric Opera. It was so much fun interviewing her and I'm excited to see the show.

Ada Grey: What is your favorite part in the show?

Adina Aaron: With Bess there are so many parts. I like the Crown and Bess duet. It is really exciting.

Ada Grey: What is your approach to playing Bess?

Adina Aaron: Well, Bess is someone who has had a really disturbed life, so I just try to make sure that everybody understands what she's been through. You know what I mean? She's had a really hard life. You know, she's been abused by everybody she's dated. So I just want the audience to understand the abuses, and the way she deals with the abuses is that she drinks and she does drugs.

Ada Grey: Some people don't think this is a very accurate portrayal of African-American people in the 1930s because it was written by white people. Why do you think it is still a good idea to put on this show?

Adina Aaron: It definitely deals with a lot that went on in that time period. And you know, Ada, the interesting thing is a lot of that still happens today. I mean, look at the Ferguson trial that's happening right now that they just ruled on. You have what they call police brutality, the excessive use of force. Not only is it pertinent for the 1930s, but it is also relevant today, unfortunately. I think for me it is an opera with a story that is so relevant. And it's important to do it because you still have people today that deal with drug abuse, you still have people today that deal with domestic abuse. You have so many people that are still in relationships that are being abused. You still have racial injustice. I think Gershwin was pretty amazing in that he captured all of that. I don't think color matters. Color doesn't matter. He wanted to tell a great story, and he did his research, and he told a great story.

Ada Grey: If there were a sequel to Porgy and Bess, what do you think would happen in it?

Adina Aaron: You know, Ada, it is sad, because I think if there was a sequel, I don't think Porgy makes it to New York. I'm not even sure Bess makes it to New York, to be quite honest with you. One of the other characters is called Sportin' Life; he's a really bad guy. He's a drug dealer and all that. I don't even think Sportin' Life makes it to New York with Bess, because he just wants to use her. He wants to use her for her body, for her good looks. And I honestly think he probably gets to the next big city, which may be Washington D.C., and I think he probably just sets up shop there and uses her there. I honestly don't even think Bess makes it there to New York.

Photo: Courtesy of Adina Aaron and the artist

Monday, November 10, 2014

Review of Porchlight Music Theatre's Sweeney Todd

Once upon a time I went to a show and it was called Sweeney Todd. The book was by Hugh Wheeler and the music and lyrics were by Stephen Sondheim. It was directed by Michael Weber and the music direction was by Doug Peck. It was about a man named Sweeney Todd (David Girolmo) who was a barber but he decided to kill people and then his friend Mrs. Lovett (Rebecca Finnegan) who lived downstairs decided to make pies out of the people he killed. It was not pretty, but I loved it! I loved this show a lot because it is funny but also terrifying. The first thing you see is this boy Toby (Miles Blim) with blood on his hands and a knife and there is this noise like a bell screaming. That is so effective because the lights have just come down and you wouldn't expect that to be the first thing you see! Even if you expect it, it will still be scary though! I absolutely loved this show. I had nightmares but in an awesome way!

When you walk into the theater you have to walk in through the oven, not an actual oven--there's no heat or anything--but there are all these red lights. Then you see a bunch of pies, meat pies, and they just look like regular pies. But then there is one (comment below if you see it when you see the show) with a finger sticking out of it. And I thought that was pretty disgusting, but I loved it. It was a good way to make you feel like you are actually there and you are actually in some sort of danger while you were watching the show.

I really liked the song "A Little Priest." I thought it was really funny, but it was very gross too. I liked how Sweeney Todd and Mrs. Lovett seemed to just be goofing around with each other, but then you realize that they actually mean it! I really liked right at the beginning when she says, "try a little priest" because you never thought you would hear that sentence! They interacted sort of like flirting, but flirting with pies, which is not the most romantic setting. I enjoyed the way they sang too. They sang it very goofing-ly, which means that they sang it like they were having fun, but you could also realize their evil intents, and I think that takes acting skills! At this point you don't really feel that angry at them because they seem really innocent. In the first half of the play you understand why he wants to kill the Beadle (Matthew Austin) and the Judge (Edward J. MacLennan), but then he starts just killing random people that come into his shop, and I don't think that is very nice. I felt like during the second act you could tell that the playwright knew it was a bad thing, but at the end of the first act it seemed like the playwright was just having fun.

I thought Pirelli (Kevin Webb) was a very funny character. I think he might have been one of my favorite characters even though he was evil. I think he was more evil than the two main characters because he took care of Toby, like Mrs. Lovett, but he didn't take care of him very well because he just used him as a business opportunity. I really liked the shave-off that they did. I thought it was very funny because even just thinking of what a shave-off might be is funny. And when Signor Pirelli did not a-win, he was a-very upset. So he goes to the barber shop where Mr. Sweeney works, which I think is a pretty bad idea. If you are an enemy of Sweeney Todd, you should not go to his barber shop! Because that will make everything all the worse.

There were two lovers, and one of them was a young man named Anthony Hope (Javier Ferreira when I saw it) who was friend of Sweeney Todd's on an expedition. The other was Sweeney Todd's daughter, Johanna (Stephanie Stockstill). You can't ever forget her name because there is a an entire song that is basically "Jo - o- aaaaaaa -naaaa!" They wanted to run away but they couldn't because of her stupid guardian, the Judge, who ruins everything. Then they got caught together and he was sent away and they send Johanna to an insane asylum--just because. You like them because even though they are like a lovey-dovey couple, like the lovers in a Marx Brother's movie, they are making fun of that. You don't have to think of the idea that this is what actual being in love is like; you can just sit back and relax and laugh. I saw an understudy as Anthony, and I thought he was amazing!

I really loved Mrs. Lovett and Toby's song that they sang together. I thought it was very very sweet and I just hoped that everything would work out. And it was sad because you are pretty sure at this point that it is not going to work out for either of them. And SPOILER ALERT one of them gets thrown into an oven and the other one goes crazy after having a severed head drop into his hands and then kills somebody. In the song, he's telling her that no one will harm her, not while he's around because he loves her so much. You already liked them, but it makes them seem more sweet. I think they make you like Toby so much so that it will be more of a tragedy when he goes insane and kills someone. I liked this duet because it was like the only not-murderous or not-funny song that's in the show. I also liked the murderous and funny songs, but this was very heartwarming.

People who would like this show are people who like horror, pies, and facial hair. You learn that you can like people who are murderers and who bake people into pies. That is the weirdest thing I've said in my whole life. People should definitely go and see this show. I had a lot of fun and a lot of screams! I absolutely Lovett! (Get it?)

Photos:Brandon Dahlquist

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Review of The BFG at Emerald City Theatre

Once upon a time I went to a show and it was called The BFG. It was adapted by David Wood and based on the book by Roald Dahl. It was directed by Morgan Ashley Madison. It was about a girl named Sophie (Bella Coelho) who was in an orphanage and a Big Friendly Giant (Aram Monisoff) who was blowing dreams into little childers' houses picked her up because she had seen him and took her back to his cave. Then there were other giants in Giant Country too, but they were not nice, and then Sophie and the BFG decide they have to go save the children the giants were eating. So they went to the Queen of England (Judy Knudtson) and they got the Head of the Airforce (John Keating) and the Head of the Army (Jeff Meyer) to take down the giants. It is about friendship, giants, and dreams. I loved the book a lot. I thought this play was great because it was pretty true to the story and the puppets (by Rough House Theatre) were very cool.

I thought it was cool they had puppets because that made it seem like Sophie and the Queen were both smaller than the BFG, but they didn't have to get like elves to play those characters. When the Queen and Sophie were on the stage by themselves, the actors played them in costumes without puppets. The BFG was sometimes a giant puppet when he was with the Queen and Sophie as actors. And then when he was a regular person he was with the small Sophie and Queen puppets. Because he was a runt, he was a smaller puppet when he was with the giants who were actors without puppets. I thought that was a great way to express how tall everyone was. It would have been a little bit weird if they were all just their regular sizes because this story is about size, about giants who are bigger human beans. (Did I just say human beans? I'm talking like the BFG!) I thought the design of the puppets was really awesome because it wasn't just regular puppets like hand puppets. They were kind of realistic but not too realistic.

There were segments where the BFG was showing Sophie different dreams. There was one dream where there was a girl named Rebecca(Katie Gonring)and she was at school and she started making the teacher (Knudston) dance and then the principal (Gil Tanner) came in and she made him dance and everyone was dancing to "Shake It Off" by Taylor Swift. And I thought that was really cool and funny. The next dream started out with a little boy (Keating) and he was doing his homework, and his dad (Meyer) came out in a pink bathrobe and then he said there is someone who wants to speak to you: The President of the United States. These two dreams, neither of them are trogglethumpers; they were both golden phizzwizards which are really good dreams. Trogglethumpers are really bad dreams. I understand the BFG's language perfectly. The kids wake up to either their mom or their dad yelling, "Get up, you lazy kid!" That shows you that some kids don't have very good parents and that the BFG is giving them a good time while they can.

I had a few little problems because I am such a big BFG and Roald Dahl fan. And being such a big fan, I noticed a few things that weren't exactly right. A snozzcumber is supposed to be a black and white striped cucumber with warts, but it was a purple cucumber with warts. And Sophie was supposed to ride in the BFG's ear, but they had her ride on his head. I measured with my eyes, and I think his ears were big enough to fit the tiny Sophie who was in the Snozzcumber. And next, in the book they said there had never been a single woman giant. And there were two in this, and I liked the idea of letting women play the giants, but I think it would have been more true to the book if they had made them look like boys. And also, in the dream, Dahl doesnt't have the teacher dance, he has the teacher sleep. But I can understand why they decided not to do that because it is way more interesting to watch a teacher dance than to watch a teacher fall asleep. There are two more but they both have to do with the same thing. They switched about where the BFG gives the trogglethumper to the giants. And then after he's had the horrible dream he goes to take Sophie away and tried to eat her, but that never happens. The giants actually do eat people after they are captured, but those are just the drunks. These didn't ruin the show for me. I actually loved the show!

My favorite scenes were the ones with the BFG, The Queen, Sophie, the maid Mary (Mara Dale), the other servant (Trequon Tate), and the butler Mr. Tibbs (Tanner). I really liked it how they made the banquet table by just using a bunch of boxes and basically a window curtain. I really liked the food; I found it funny how all they had were treats and vegetables. I also thought the maid and the servant were really funny because they both started dancing and then whenever Mr. Tibbs looked over he would have this serious expression. And then they would stop. Then they would go back to it. Then they would stop. Then once they all finally sat down this giant head of the BFG would come up and talk about everything possible. He seemed to really like the topic of whizzpopping, but the queen didn't know what that was and said, if he wants to play me some music, I'd really like to hear it. But then Sophie said of course you don't really want to hear this music. Whizzpopping, it is pretty obvious what it actually is; it is just farts. So, he did it anyway and queen said, I like the bagpipes better. And I remember that from the book and I absolutely loved it. I thought the queen was amazing. Her performance was regal but not too regal that the queen seemed snotty. I thought she played the role with great astire. If you want to know what astire means, you can learn it from me, ADA GREY! Astire is a made-up word that I just made up that means with great confidence and elegance.

People who would like this show are people who like queens, whizzpopping, and Taylor Swift. I think people should definitely go see this show because it is super fun, pretty true to the book, and the actors are great. This is one of my favorite shows that I've ever seen at Emerald City because it treated its audience like they knew there were children out there, but they trusted them to understand the play. I think you should go see the show with a friend. I had a lot of fun with my friend Lana!

Photos: Johnny Knight

Monday, November 3, 2014

Review of Adapt Theatre Production's Dancing in the Storm in association with Redtwist Theatre

Once upon a time I went to a show and it was called Dancing in the Storm. It was written, directed and choreographed by Tonia Sina. It was about this woman (Katie Reynolds) who has a blog and she has aHUS and kidney failure and she wants everyone to see what it is like to see things through her eyes. She expresses her feelings through movement and blogging. The dance showed everyone how she felt about being taken away from her life because of her sickness, not necessarily what actually happened. I thought this was a great way of telling a story, not just having it be a dance show and not just having it be an acting show. Overall, I thought this was an amazing play and I think people should definitely definitely go see this show. This show showed me what it would be like if you were taken away from something you loved and couldn't go back to it at that moment.

I liked the scenes in the college and I liked it how you got to know the characters even though they never said anything and you didn't know their names. You got to know them because of the way she described them in her blog or the things you saw them doing. She spends college taking a bunch of pills to make her not have to have a kidney transplant. And everyone else is like partying super hard and doing a bunch of fun stuff that she is not allowed to do. And then when she finds out that she needs a kidney transplant, it makes you feel sorry for her because she is in such a bad position and she can't get out of it.

Then the Mom (Angela Horn) decides to give her daughter one of her kidneys. And it shows her remembering all the things she has done with her daughter over the years by you seeing her rocking a baby and then playing hide and seek with her. And I think that was really beautiful and sweet. It made you feel really sad, because you didn't really know what was going to happen. And you knew if she died you wouldn't be able to bear it. I thought that the part where they were playing hide and seek was probably the sweetest scene I've ever seen in my life. It reminded me of a video I've seen of me and my mom telling jokes and my mom laughing at them even if they weren't very funny.

So her crush (Eric Feltes) is in her fight class with her and then, as they are dancing, everyone else leaves, and you realize they are in love with each other. And then they keep on dancing and it is just a really beautiful moment I think. I thought it was kind of cute how they weren't really sad and depressed about everything but when they had to get ready for a dialysis or a transplant they took pictures of each other and made the best of it. I think that it is okay that they weren't all sad and depressed and everything when they were getting ready for dialysis, because you should make the best of everything. They thought of life as a blessing, that it would only happen once, and if you don't try to cram everything in that you want to do, you've missed a chance.

There was a scene where there were these doctors who were also clowns wandering around and trying to give her medicine but she didn't want to take it. I think that this was one of the instances where they were exaggerating everything to show you what she felt like. And then they gave her an overdose which I was very mad about because it is such a dumb mistake to make. And you feel like, how can this happen?! How could the hardest thing to go wrong actually go wrong? They showed it by basically having this dance sequence where they all were in these clown noses and dancing to basically the Harlem Shake. And once they had stopped, she continued freaking out because basically nothing could help her. She just had to wear herself out enough until she either passed out or fell asleep. I felt like that was very sad. I think that was a message to people about what is going wrong with overdoses of medicine. If I was a nurse I would have jumped up on the stage and said, "We need to stop these clowns from killing this woman!" Probably everyone would try to help, but she felt like no one was there for her.

People who would like this show are people who like dance, blogs, and moms. I think that people should totally go and see this show. I loved it so much because it was fun but also moving at the same time.

Photos: Korri Werner