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Hedy Weiss: Theater Reviews

Theater and Dance Critic of the Chicago Sun-Times, Hedy Weiss reviews a production of “Smokefall” at the Goodman Theatre, “The Night Alive” at Steppenwolf, and “The Commons of Pensacola” at the Northlight Theatre.

Hedy Weiss reviews “Danny Casolaro Died for You,” and “King Lear” in this web extra interview. Watch the reviews and hear Weiss’ thoughts on the changes at Steppenwolf.

Violet (Katherine Keberlein), pregnant with twin boys, is none the wiser about her husband’s secret plans to leave her. Meanwhile, her unborn sons contemplate their future, her father further slips into senility, and her daughter takes a vow of silence. The play runs for approximately two hours with an intermission, and will be performed until Oct. 26. Tickets start at $24.

Goodman Theatre
170 N. Dearborn St.
Chicago, IL 60601
(312) 443-3800

The Night Alive
Written by Conor McPherson, author of “The Weir,” “Shining City,” and “The Seafarer,” “The Night Alive” follows Tommy (Francis Guinan) as he dodges his family and plots get-rich-quick schemes. But a “fragile glimmer of hope” appears in his life as he tends to a destitute woman he saved from a violent attack. The play runs for an hour and 40 minutes, with no intermission, and will be performed until Nov. 16. Same day tickets start at $20.

Steppenwolf Theatre
1650 N. Halsted St.
Chicago, IL 60614
(312) 335-1650

The Commons of Pensacola
A Thanksgiving meal brings together Judith and her daughter Becca when Judith is exiled to Florida after her husband’s Wall Street crimes come to light. The mother and daughter are also joined by Becca’s filmmaker boyfriend and Judith’s rebellious niece. Themes of guilt by association, lost wealth, and questionable motives run throughout. The play runs for an hour and 20 minutes with no intermission, and will be performed until Oct. 19. Tickets start at $25.

Northlight Theatre
9501 Skokie Blvd.
Skokie, IL 60077
(847) 673-6300

Danny Casolaro Died for You
Based on the true story of investigative reporter Danny Casolaro, playwright Dominic Orlando pulls back the curtain on the journey that led to the discovery of Casolaro’s dead body in a Virginia motel room. His notes detail Casolaro’s plan to expose the clandestine activities behind the Iran hostage situation, Nicaragua arms-for-drugs deals, and more. The play runs for two hours and 10 minutes, with one intermission, and will be performed until Dec. 21. Tickets start at $35.

TimeLine Theatre
615 W. Wellington Ave.
Chicago, IL 60657
(773) 281-8463 X6

King Lear
A classic story of love, loss, endurance, and reconciliation, “King Lear” (Larry Yando) follows the story of an aging monarch and his kingdom. The consequences of dividing his kingdom among his three daughters leaves him shattered. The play runs for two hours and 35 minutes, and will be performed until Nov. 9. Tickets start at $58.

Chicago Shakespeare Theater
800 E. Grand Ave.
Chicago, IL 60611
(312) 595-5600