I could tell immediately that this work had been developed over a period of time: the fast pace and furious blocking, the actors’ physical agility and focus, the quick blackouts and scene changes, the clever use of minimal props, and the writing—witty, provocative, assured and meaningful...FAIR is a complicated tale woven into an entertaining melodramatic format.
This conversation starter is definitely worth watching.
Chicago’s Wishbone Theatre Collective takes on real-life questions of truth, justice and the American way in this thoughtful, ensemble-devised consideration of the comic-book superhero.
The poignant comedy/drama questions ideas of perfection, bravery and the American superhero through the eyes of children and adults.
Vonasek nails his character’s physicality and that vaguely Continental accent so prevalent in the vintage films that inspire Szymkowicz’s script. Thanks to the skill of set designer Tim Lane and prop/lighting designer Holly McCauley, it’s a thrilling sight to watch Jones fighting startlingly real fires...this nutty love triangle of boy, girl and inferno is charmingly original and genuinely suspenseful. And Sara Kaplan, who plays the conflicted fire chief’s equally conflicted shrink, is a winning character actor: She does fluttery neurotic and empowered conspirator equally well, creating big laughs with subtle shifts of expression.
...this is impressive stuff and some of the playwright’s dialogue is hilariously ornate in the best world-weary, film-noir fashion. Jones’ ten-member ensemble are on top of their little game.
As a premiere work from playwright Kendall Sherwood, she has done an exemplary job in capturing the voice of the South....Smolarek’s Abigail...Her performance is the perfect balance of rage, disappointment, and desperation…John Mark Sawyer gives a compelling and luminous performance as a desperate man of God...This is a play of dialogue and laying bare the soul’s motivations. It clocks in at two hours but the writing, acting, and direction make the time glide by...This is really good theater – Devil May Care deserves a full house every night.
The play mixes farce, drama, romance, and slapstick and yet keeps them all under control with even-handed direction by Katie Jones...All four actors are comic powerhouses...and Jones and Little are the standouts. Shout outs must go to John Mark Sawyer for designing an eerie set with a brilliant surprise at the end...For anyone who has loved and lost, Vigils is a powerful reminder of the pitfalls and the mercurial moments of ecstasy that love can yield.
The world of the madness is fantastic due to the enjoyable performances of the mental demons, the disquieting set designed by John Mark Sawyer, the twisted funhouse of sound provided by designer David Brown and the writing and performance behind Grace. ...The end...was reached during a fantastic scene between Van Ness and Lovelace, which really brings the play to a fine conclusion. Well written and well acted. Good times.
Staged ghost stories can easily cross a line into camp. But Wishbone Theatre Collective does a bang-up job with Stephen Mallatratt’s clever adaptation of a 1983 novel by Susan Hill...Vincent Truman and John Mark Sawyer deliver the rich language with shivery nuance and believable British accents, Truman playing characters of all ages and classes. Laurie Jones’s minimalist staging takes full advantage of the venue, a former funeral home.
Chicago Stage Standard- Highly Recommended”...Stephen Mallatratt’s highly effective and economical dramatic adaptation is brilliantly realized by Laurie Jones, John Mark Sawyer and Vincent Truman. Having thoroughly enjoyed Wishbone Theatre Collective’s earlier effort “Maybe, Baby, It’s You” this year, I am delighted to watch this exciting young group develop further. They already have a production scheduled for January at the Chicago DCA Storefront Theater, and a full season is likely to be announced soon. Keep an eye on Wishbone Theatre Collective. They deserve to be around for a while.”
A colleague of mine recently suggested that reviewing the initial efforts of new theatre groups was improper and unfair to hold novices to any professional standard of criticism. I’m glad that I ignored that advice...Here’s looking forward to more from this talented group and to the emergence of many more young companies ready to make their mark on Chicago theatre.
Wishbone is an underground, non-Equity troupe that puts on some really strong grass roots projects...if Maybe, Baby It’s You is any indication, there is no reason this company should be “underground” at all......director Katie Jones crafted a colorful production with spot-on timing, swift scene changes, smart scene design and the perfect use of props and costumes. But I was most impressed with her ability to convey such a strong message about the human condition.