Raking in some colorful fall plays
👋 Hey, it's Monica. I've been seeing a lot of theater, and here are some of my recent favorites.
- Note: I'm trying a new thing called "Smart remark" to give you a clever quip when the cocktail chatter turns to hot new plays.
- Making its Midwest premiere at the Destino's Latino Theater Festival, this zestily performed two-woman show deliciously explores themes of lost culture, forgiving family and sharing food.
Smart remark: "Loved the show, but what do they do with that scrumptious stew they make on stage?"
The Notebook: This world premiere musical adaptation of the Nicholas Sparks book and 2004 movie features music by singer-songwriter Ingrid Michaelson and diverse casting to marvelous effect.
- Even if you already know this story of star-crossed lovers trying to reunite for the last time, pack some Kleenex for the final act.
- And don't be surprised to see this show on Broadway next year.
Smart remark: "The movie, book and the play are all a little different but the sobbing — that remains the same, right?"
If you go: Chicago Shakespeare Theater through Oct. 30. Tickets: $53-$125
Swing State: A widow in modern-day southern Wisconsin struggles with pandemic-era malaise, the dying environment and the loss of her husband.
- Though not the feel-good show of 2022, this Rebecca Gilman play unflinchingly reflects upon our current Midwest moment with surprising flashes of humor and hope.
Smart remark: "From the show's name I thought it was gonna be like 'Veep.' But it was more like weep."
If you go: The Goodman Theatre through Nov. 13 Tickets: $15-$55
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