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“Network” A Stunning Commentary on the Corrupt American System

Lucy Komisar The Komisar Scoop
The politics of the theatrical adaptation of “Network” have not changed since the Chayefsky film was screened in 1976. The story is still based on the reality that a corrupt upper class screws the middle class and poor.

Ntozake Shange, Who Wrote ‘For Colored Girls,’ Is Dead at 70

Laura Collins-Hughes New York Times
Ntozake Shange, a spoken-word artist who morphed into a playwright, died on Saturday. Ms. Shange was a champion of black women and girls, and in her trailblazing, she expanded the sense of what was possible for other black female artists.

theater

Lillian Hellman’s Days to Come

Jane LaTour ZNet
The great mystery to me, is why the play was a failure. Originally it ran for only 3 days, and then closed. Hellman was responding to an all-too-common ethical dilemma that persists down to today. Her own sympathies lay with the striking workers.

20,000 Leagues Under the Seas

Barbara Vitello / Jonathan Abarbanel Daily Herald / Windy City Times
A new adaptation of "20,000 Leagues" features a Nemo who is far more conflicted, outraged and complex than in other portrayals. Ideas of justice, responsibility and morality are raised frequently, along with social roles one may be required to play.

Red Velvet

Chicago Shakespeare Theater / Stage and Cinema.com
London’s Theatre Royal in the mid-1800s. Edmund Kean, the greatest Shakespearean actor of his age, collapses on stage while performing the lead in Othello. He is replaced by a young, black actor, Ira Aldridge—a first for the role on London’s West End. As a bill in Parliament promoting the abolition of slavery sends shock waves through the streets, how will London react to his performance?

Into the Meat Grinder of Humanity with `Beyond Caring'

HedyWeiss Chicago Sun-Times
Three women, all clearly desperate for jobs, arrive for "orientation" at the work room of a meat processing plant. They have been sent by an employment agency as "temporary workers" - a euphemism for low wages, no benefits, short-term contracts with uncertain payroll dates and the most appalling work conditions. So begins Alexander Zeldin's remarkable "immersive" soul-stripping production of "Beyond Caring."

theater

O'Neill's Radical "The Hairy Ape" Enthralls

Lucy Komisar The Komisar Scoop
You might never see a more powerful, stunning production of Eugene O'Neill's "The Hairy Ape" than this one directed by Richard Jones and starring Bobby Cannavale at the Park Avenue Armory. This is a play about class, and class consciousness.

"The Crucible" a Stunning Parable of McCarthyism's Attack on America

Lucy Komisar The Komisar Scoop
A crucible is a pot in which metals or other substances are heated to a very high temperature or melted. Miller's story is about events that took place in Salem, Massachusetts in 1692. But it's really about the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC), America's thought police of the early 50s, which burned through American rights and professed values. It's the best play of the season.(Closes July 17, 2016)
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