Kris Vire is a critic with Time Out Chicago. This account has been auto-generated, and does not indicate that this person is an active member of Show-Score.com. That said, if you "follow" this member, you will automatically be updated whenever s/he writes a new review.
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"Feel free to walk on by this rote and regressive new musical with old sensibilities...A collection of songs largely stripped of character, coherence or specificity...Even if you leave aside the highly questionable decision to revisit this particular entry in the Annals of Patriarchy—in 2018, with an all-male creative team, and without altering the arc to give its female lead more agency—there’s more to adapting a movie to the stage than simply restaging its scenes." Full Review
for a previous production "While Ebersole and LuPone share a stage, they almost never share a scene—one of the structural problems the show needs to get to work on…Even when they’re singing together, they’re acting separately...This works well enough in the first act…The choppier second act, though, needs some serious surgery…In truth the two never met, but it feels almost criminal to put these two talents on the same stage and keep them away from each other at every turn." Full Review
for a previous production "This delightful Canadian chamber musical is far funnier, and more moving, than it sounds…All right, the concept is a little out there, but taken as read, it’s wackily, marvelously executed…Rockwell’s staging is deliciously fresh and inventive…And the spot-on cast makes everything of their material…As irreverent as it is accomplished, ‘Ride the Cyclone’ does the job of any good amusement-park attraction: It makes you consider your mortality, but leaves you grinning ear to ear." Full Review
for a previous production "These are all deeply recognizable, empathetic performances, and Mantello manages our focus with great skill, but it’s hard to fully invest in the characters in the slow-burning first act. D’Amour often has two or three conversations overlapping, and it can feel like you’re missing information. Airline Highway can seem a bit clogged with traffic, but as an exploration of chosen families stocked with expert performances, it’s a road worth traveling." Full Review
for a previous production "On second viewing, 'Smokefall' is even more beguiling than before...Pay attention to the way Haidle repeats phrases and traits that resonate across generations, mirroring the way family stories become family lore; knowing what was to come, I heard new hints of the future early on while also finding new details to appreciate among the radiant performances and exquisite design." Full Review
for a previous production "The musical mostly avoids disappointment, travelling in the range between benign and fairly charming...Where Ferrell was all deadpan innocence and incredulousness as Buddy, Blum's characterization is more Chris Kattan: He's the Spirit of Christmas Spazzy...The show as a whole doesn't creep far above nice, really, but that's far preferable to naughty." Full Review
for a previous production "The potential for over-preciousness is there...But I'd contend that this new work, with its deliberate evocations of Thornton Wilder, earns its emotion in ways Haidle's more academic earlier works may not have. With its lyrical, nonlinear structure, 'Smokefall' feels rather like a cycle of connected short stories, brought to rich life by canny director Anne Kauffman and a cast that strikes a remarkable balance between absurd and affecting." Full Review
for a previous production “A solo play about the rock critic Lester Bangs constructs a portrait of his outsize personality, but doesn't answer the question posed by its title...While Jensen’s embodiment of Bangs’s shaggy mien is ingratiating, Jensen and Blank’s narrative is more shaggy-dog: an overlong collection of anecdotes and digressions that, while entertaining, ultimately doesn’t offer much insight into the urge to spread one’s opinions.” Full Review
for a previous production “Fondakowski makes a pointed effort to humanize the event, constructing most of the first act from interviews with the families of those BP and Transocean employees killed in the rig’s destruction, as well as those workers who survived. After the intermission, ‘Spill’ traverses more familiar waters, hitting on relief efforts and after-the-fact blame-placing. But she still uncovers interesting, under-reported nuances…It’s that kind of uncontainable spillover that makes ‘Spill’ compelling.” Full Review
for a previous production "The rhythm really is gonna get you in the remarkably confident new Broadway-bound Gloria Estefan musical...Smart, slick but heartfelt new crowd pleaser...It feels a step too far to give the 'perfect' five-star rating to a show that’s bound to keep evolving. But maybe it’s enough to know I considered it. In the new Broadway season, 'On Your Feet!' is one new entry with legs." Full Review
for a previous production ""Amazing" isn't the right adjective, not yet anyway, for this big new musical with Broadway intentions. "Ambitious" applies, certainly, but unfortunately "adequate" or "acceptable" would also work." Full Review
for a previous production "The playwright’s mocking of certain status-obsessed tropes are beginning to feel like tropes themselves, and Norris isn’t immune to certain playwriting clichés—if I never see another character deliver an unprompted but clearly pertinent story from her past, followed by 'I don’t know why I just said that,' I’ll be okay." Full Review
for a previous production "An almost too faithful recreation of the stop-motion original. There's charm to spare, sure, in the mix of adult and young actors, and production designer Brandon Kirkham's replication of the TV special's well-known aesthetic is often quite clever. Yet while the actors sing live, the apparently canned music can make the show's pacing feel a bit artificial...This 'Rudolph' is undoubtedly a slick production...But adults may wish for some further variance from the annual free broadcast." Full Review