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July 2, 2017

Nunn's Theater Habit:
Chicago's summer theatre heats up

BY
JERRY NUNN

Chicago's summer theatre heats up
Summer theater can be both hot and cold. This season around Chicago it is a mixed bag, but worth leaving the air conditioned house to see what is out there.

Broadway in Chicago is busy with hits like Hamilton and Aladdin packing in theaters these days. The Tony Award winner Something Rotten! is on the way July 11-23 at the Oriental Theatre. I will be checking that out soon.

Chicago's summer theatre heats up
Hell in a Handbag is tackling the popular sitcom Golden Girls and this Lost Episodes version is extended to Aug. 22, which is a good sign. These characters are saints to many television watchers since all of them have passed away except for Betty White.

Having the theme song sang by rotating local talent is a great idea to bring in new fans to the Handbag fold.

Adrian Hadlock has the feisty Sophia has the act down perfectly. The other cast members have at least one shining moment throughout the show that is not to be missed. "Thank you for being a friend?" These seniors are pretty ruthless to each other during these Lost Episodes at Mary's Attic with the trademark Handbag camp. I prefer more heart to heart talks over cheesecake, Pussycats.

Chicago's summer theatre heats up
Bette Davis Ain't for Sissies at the Athenaeum Theatre has a quick run closing on July 9. Actress Jessica Sherr has put together a well made show that captures the iconic Bette Davis at a specific time period of her life. The show Feud on FX had some accent issues with Susan Sarandon playing the role. Sherr masters it pretty well. Sissies doesn't entertain as well as it should with much of the camp left out and is more of an acting exercise. The costuming and set is well thought out and the piece is certainly watchable though.

Put the Nuns in Charge really surprised me. I love a good nun story obviously and I was curious to see what these holy rollers would do. Late Night Catechism is the longest running religious comedy in Chicago so I wanted to see what the fuss is about. This show covers the seven deadly sins and how they fit into the world today. The Royal George Theatre is transformed into a classroom and the audience are the students.

Kathleen Puls Andrade does an excellent job of involving the people in the room. she mixes together the right amount of fear and fun. By getting to know the various personalities and backgrounds of the people watching a magical thing happens, the crowd feels they know each other by the time the show is over.

The nuns run until July 16 with this particular show. Try their Bible Bingo night also for a variety of ruler smacking fun!

 
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