Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Review of The Nutcracker at the House Theatre of Chicago

Once upon a time I went to a show. It was called The Nutcracker, and it wasn’t a ballet at all. I thought that that was weird because The Nutcracker is usually a ballet. I think it was good that they got it to not be a ballet because the ballet has all these weird stuff, like dancing snowflakes and sugar plum fairies, and this didn’t have as much weird stuff--except for the Nutcracker being Fritz. But the play was not called Fritz, it was called The Nutcracker.

Clara (Carla Kessler) was the main character in the show. And Fritz (Chance Bone) was her brother, but he died in the war, but he came back to life because Uncle Drosselmeyer put a spell on him. He turned him into a nutcracker. At least everybody thought that it happened but really he didn’t.

Clara got to dance a lot, and she got to sing most of the songs. That was cool. There were also all these songs like “Baking Cookies.” They were cool and more rocking than I thought they would be. The Nutcracker was also Fritz and that was cool because it is not in the ballet. When he came back to life it was awesome because it was a trick--everybody thought that he was really back to life. He was standing by a doorway, and then he became Fritz by standing still. Then he moves his body a bit--he moves his arms like a nutcracker, back and forth--and then he realized that he was human. Clara and The Nutcracker’s performances were great.

There were all these rats who all had British accents. The rats were always trying to get the Nutcracker and Clara and the dolls. And the dolls names were Monkey (Mike Smith), Hugo (Joey Steakley), and Phoebe (Trista Smith). And all of them were in trouble because the rats didn’t like light. So then they try to hang up all these light bulbs but then it doesn’t work. The mom (Carolyn Defrin) and the dad (Jake Minton) and Uncle Drosselmeyer (Blake Montgomery) were all playing rats because like in Wizard of Oz all the people there were actually in her dream.

There was a scene with the Mom-Rat where she was eating chinese noodles. She just came out on stage eating noodles, and they dropped on the floor, and then she ate them off the floor. That is just soo yucky. I think she ate the noodles off the floor because she was playing a rat and rats eat stuff off the floor. She is good at doing yucky stuff even though sometimes she doesn’t want to do them. She knows how to act very well. In Wilson Wants it All she ALSO played a MOM! She played moms in both plays that I saw. I think she has played moms a lot of times because she tells her children what to do and stuff like “you shouldn’t go there, you broke up with that guy” and “it is all your imagination. There is really no rats in the wall.”

The dad also played a rat, but he was not the rat that ate noodles off the floor. He was the rat that got stabbed. The rats had red glasses. The eyes are real glowing red when they turn into big rats. Him as a rat was cool because both the parents were rats. It was scary and so kind of weird--the guy that plays a father playing a rat too. His performance was awesome. Uncle Drosselmeyer was the great uncle of Clara. They seemed surprised to see him. The actor was funny in his part. He was funny when he was the rat too--he was kind of scary when he was playing the rat too.

There was this cookie-baking scene. Then they were going to save Christmas by making Christmas cookies that everybody thought were the best. I didn’t get to taste them to know that they were the best because we were sitting in the back row. People in the front and second row got to have cookies. And if we go see it again, then maybe I could get cookies. They were singing, and then they had to go, and they left Hugo, and then the Monkey said, “Stay here while we go and get something and you entertain all these nice people. “ And

then Hugo sings “Baking Cookies,” and then they come back. And the second that he started singing they just came back--that was funny. Hugo was the guy with a light bulb on his head. I thought he was hilarious. There was this monkey whose name was Monkey and he was French. He had a french accent and he wore a beret. And he was fu-larious. If you don’t know what fu-larious means you can learn it from me--ADA GREY! Fu-larious means “funny and hilarious both at the same time.” Phoebe was a doll, and she was the only girl doll. Her back had a pull string. She said things like “Let’s have a party!” and “Let’s bake cookies!” and “I’m afraid of the dark.” and “Everybody’s good at something!” She is so funny I want to have her as my own doll.

I think this play should be for ages 6 and up because there is a lot of killing and The Nutcracker dies, but then they just bury him in the snow so he can at least come back to life sometimes. I think he will come back to life because if he is The Nutcracker and he was Fritz and he died and came back to life then he could do it again. I think people who like fighting and rats and toys and cookies would like this play. People should go see it because it is funny and delightful.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Review of The Iliad at A Red Orchid Theatre

Once upon a time in our solar system there was a war. And it was the scariest war--and that is what The Iliad was about. It was called the Trojan War. Paris took a girl from Menelaus, but the girl wanted to go. A war happened in that country because Paris took her. It was actually a play directed by Steve Wilson at A Red Orchid Theatre. There were boy characters but they were played by girls, and all the female parts were played by Barbies.

At the very beginning, Paris (Nicole Rudakova) and Menelaus (Paola Lehman) were sitting down with a Barbie. They brushed her hair. They didn't share nicely either. I didn’t know that it was Paris and Menelaus. I thought it was just plain girls. I learned that they were not just girls in the middle of the play because I realized those two actors were playing characters and that Paris started the war--kind of a silly war because they are fighting over a girl.

There were two scenes where a Barbie head rose out of the water--it was Achilles’ mother. I liked those scenes. They were so calming and sweet, though the Barbie head was weird. One of the scenes Achilles (Jaiden Fallo-Sauter) needed help from his mother. He needed help so she told him what to do. She was nice to him.

There is a scene with Calchas (Kara Ryan) and Agamemnon (Najwa Joy Brown) and Agamemnon had to trade a girl but he said “Ok, but I’ll need a new girl in exchange for this old girl.” Calchas is telling him what to do about the girl. He wants one of Achilles’ girls, and then Achilles said “You can have one of the girls.” Achilles feels sad because he liked the girl. He stays away from Agamemnon. He didn’t want to fight in the war because he didn’t want to help Agamemnon.

There was an armor scene where Achilles gave Patroclus (Elenna Sindler) his armor so he could go fight. Nestor (Marissa Meo) told Patroclus to go get Achilles’ armor. The Trojans thought Achilles was there because who would usually be wearing Achilles armor? Achilles! I liked how Achilles put the armor on Patroclus. They liked each other--I could tell by how he put on his armor. Hector (Aria Szalai-Raymond) killed Patroclus and then Achilles killed Hector because he killed his friend. When Achilles saw Patroclus was dead he was sad and angry both at the same time.

Scamandrius (Katie Jordan) wanted Hector, his father, to not go to war. Hector said no because he had to work for his country. I felt sorry for the kid because he couldn’t spend as much time with his dad. Hector couldn’t help his wife because he would be in war. I thought Hector felt sad about having to go to war. Hector said “I like to be hated more than loved.” I think he said that because he felt more comfortable in the war than he did at home in his nice warm bed. Maybe he was fighting the war when he was very young, before he got married.

King Priam was played by Melanie Neilan. I liked the Barbie scene that she was in. She did the voices of the Barbies as well. It was funny because King Priam was talking to the Barbies and comforting them. Well, they were actually his wife and daughter-in-law. His wife does a good job comforting Helen. When he talked to the Barbie and he said “Stop crying!” in an angry voice it was funny because I sometimes like funny stuff that is kind of a little mean. But it wasn’t real people at least.

There were these fights that were like real fights but they weren’t--luckily. Almost everybody in the play had a fight because almost everybody in the play actually died. There was a scene where Ajax (Eden Strong) and Odysseus (Madison Pullman) led the war and they had a big battle-fight. They thought it was all good now, but then they had a big battle-fight because Pandarus (Isabella Mugliari) shot Menelaus with an arrow.

At the end Paris was going to shoot a guy--Achilles. His mom told Achilles that his life was almost over anyway.

The costumes were cool. Ajax’s costume was like a fighting costume and had a lot of parts to it. A shirt, a helmet, and some pants. I thought that there weren’t costumes to begin with--because they looked like regular clothes. But some of them were not regular clothes. No. Not at all. Nobody wears a belt with belts on it or a helmet or a robe with a crazy crown now. It made the costumes better because it made them a little cooler.

The director I actually saw in another play (Comedy of Errors) where he actually got stabbed. I think it helped him in this play very much because he was used to seeing people stabbed. It was funny how he chose Barbies to be the girls. Because he didn’t want to disappoint the girls--because some of the girls might want to play girls--that’s why he got Barbies. The girls that wanted to play girls got to play boys, but he didn’t disappoint any of them because none of them got to play girls because they were not Barbies. I think he did a very good job teaching them how to sword fight and how to read their lines. The words that grownups usually use when they are in a play--those are some words that they might need to know before the play actually happens.

You have to like fighting and heroes and wars and Barbies to like this play. I liked the play because I like all those things! I don’t like real wars, but I like fake ones. I like fighting because I like Batman. It should be for ages 4 and up because I think 4 year olds will be able to handle fights. When I was three, I saw my Dad fight and I cried because he died in the play. But when I was 4 I saw some other fights and I was okay.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Review of K. (The Hypocrites at The Chopin Theatre)

Once upon a time I went to a show called K., and it was about a guy who was arrested but he didn’t know why.

At the beginning these guys came out with matches. It was mysterious. And then the alarm clock rang, and then K (Brennan Buhl) was fast asleep, and then he got up--like he got up out of bed--and did his exercises like er er er er er. And then Mrs. Grubach (Tien Doman) came with his breakfast, and then that scene kept going over again--like er er er er er. He went really fast and got his robe and went outside, so he didn’t have to do that scene again. And Greg Allen, the director, was also in something where there was a guy in a lady suit in a rocking chair that went back and forth, and there was this horrible song that she danced in her rocking chair to. And she would say “more,” and it would never stop because then the song started again when she said “more.” That was The Complete Lost Works of Samuel Beckett.... It tells me that Greg likes funny scenes that go over and over and over and over and over again. I thought the whole play was going to be Mrs. Grubach bringing him breakfast for 120 years. I thought that that was really crazy.

Two guys (Erik Schroeder and Dan Granata) that were both playing guys that were each a policeman--they were both named Franz--they were pointing at K, but then he moved and was trying to shoot them. And then he like held his face back and then tried to shoot, but the gun didn’t work. And then when the policemen realized that K was moving around, they pulled him back into the circle. That was a funny scene. Even that there was shooting in it, it was really funny.

So then K got onto something and the voice said “GET ONTO THE PLINTH.” And K said “pli-i-nth?” when he got on. It was funny because it was like he was like “pli-i-inth” like he didn’t know a single thing that was going on.

It was sometimes serious and sometimes funny. After the intermission it got seriouser. It was more about how upset he was. The priest (Ed Dzialo) told K a story about a guard and a man that wanted to get in these places. K chooses that it is time for him to go to jail. He will just have to go with it. They pull out their guns at the end. I knew that was in jail because he was tied up. He doesn’t die in it because I think he just got a hole in his head not in his heart. That is how I know he didn’t die.

There was a part where K was taken off his clothes by the policemen. And then while he was naked he sang “Happy Birthday to me, Happy Birthday to me, Happy Birthday, Joseph K, Happy Birthday to me.” I even saw almost the whole scene. I thought it would be kind of scary and sad, but actually it was hilarious. I knew that he was in real big trouble for no apparent reason by his clothes being tooken off by the policemen. I was sad for him. It was kind of sad and kind of hilarious.

There was this part where there was a guy with a whip (Clifton Frei) and he went aaah aaaah ahhh I am the Whipperrrrr. It was HILARIOUS (all in capitals, please). The whipper’s costume was a lady’s apron to be funny--that’s why they did it. He was whipping everybody. It was kind of funny because at the end of the scene the Whipper was still going on and you could see his shadow behind the curtains. And then he screamed like AAAAAHhhhh.

The girl characters were awesome. There was one female actress in the whole entire play. There were three girls and like 17 boys. There were a lot of characters, but some actors playe

d some parts that were different people. There is usually a girl in every play. I like girls because I am a girl myself. I always want to have girls in plays. At the end of Miss Burstner’s scene, K said “Will I see you again?” and Miss Burstner said, “Not as this character.” It was funny because there was just this girl who was playing all these different girl parts, but she played a lot of parts, but then she told another character that she wouldn’t be in the rest of the play.

Titorelli (Clint Sheffer) was a painter and he kept giving K presents but K couldn’t get the thing that he wanted--the positive acquittal. They were weird presents--paintings but he was just holding up a picture frame. Titorelli said there wasn’t anything in the pictures anyway. When they came they whispered “Titorelli.” He said, “I am the great Titorelli,” and then the guys in the white masks whispered “Titorelli.”

The door dances were where they made these doors go around. It was fun. And they kept running around, and K kept going through every door, and he couldn’t find his way out of them. They moved around so he could get confused about which door to go in.

Greg Allen was the director and he did the play. When we knew that he was doing a play we decided to go see it. I wanted to see this play because my Dad was in it a few years ago and I knew the director. I knew it was going to be a good play because I saw the director in another play, The Complete Lost Works of Samuel Beckett, and it was hilarious. Both plays were really awesome.

People who like romance and policemen and people getting hurt would like this play. It is about this guy trying to figure out why he is arrested. He feels bad and confused. I think this play should be for ages 17 and up because Mom had to cover my eyes at one single part because they were being rude to Block (Sean Patrick Fawcett). If the moms know that there is going to be some sad and bad things happening, like people getting naked and having bad things happen to them, then they could cover their children’s eyes up and it would be for 6 and up.

See you later at my next review. Bye!

Photos: Paul Metreyeon