Theater Thursday: Tony Kushner’s "The Illusion" at Northwestern University

The Illusion by Tony Kushner

Thursday, April 30th, 7pm

Theatre and Interpretation Center at Northwestern University Josephine Louise Theater, 20 Arts Circle Dr., Evanston

illusionpicJoin us for a pre-show reception featuring the delectable catering of Evanston’s own Rollin’ in Dough, as well as a fun-filled performance by a strolling magician! Then stay for the magic, merriment and mystery of The Illusion, by Tony-award winning playwright Tony Kushner, followed by a post-show discussion with director Kathryn Walsh and members of the cast. An unyielding father is filled with regret after giving his son no alternative but to flee the family home. Through the help of a magician, he is allowed to view three scenes from his son’s life, only to learn his remorse may have come too late. Or maybe not. Freely adapted from Pierre Corneilles 17th century classic L’Illusion Comique, The Illusion takes us from mayhem to magic and back again as it questions what it really means to love, and the obligations that may come with that emotion.  The Illusion has a lighter mood than Kushner’s most famous play, Angels in America, but the two plays share a love of poetic dialogue and theatricality.
Event begins at 7 p.m. Show begins at 8 p.m.
TICKETS ONLY $25
For reservations call 847.491.7282 and mention “Theater Thursdays.”

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"History Boys" Reviews – TimeLine delivers a triumph!

The Chicago-premiere of the Tony-Award winning play The History Boys , by Alan Bennett, held its opening night this past Saturday, and I can personally say that it was a highly-imaginative, stellar production of an enthralling, rambunctious play.  I thoroughly enjoyed it.  Pictures and a compendium of reviews (as they are produced) follow:

Hector (Donald Brearley, center) teaches his students (from left) Scripps (Will Allan), Crowther (Govind Kumar), Dakin (Joel Gross), Rudge (Michael Peters), Lockwood (Rob Fenton), Akthar (Behzad Dabu), Timms (Brad Bukauskas) and Posner (Alex Weisman) in rather unconventional ways in  

Dennis Polkow, NewCity

I don’t know what kind of techniques director Nick Bowling might have employed to have the eight-ensemble cast seem as if they know each other as well as a group of students who have been together in class together for what always seems like an eternity while it is happening, but the way these young men interact is extraordinary.  No less an accomplishment is that the teachers and the headmaster who are preparing these students for their Oxford and Cambridge entrance exams also interact with the students and each other with the needed familiarity necessary for Alan Bennett’s witty and thought-provoking play to work its special charms.  Recommended                     (Full review here.)

Hedy Weiss, Chicago Sun-Times:

TimeLine fills your head: Actors revel in the wit and energy of ‘History Boys’

Enter TimeLine Theatre – where The History Boys, Alan Bennett’s Tony-Award-wining play is receiving one of those Chicago productions that exults in the glory of the ensemble – and you instantly become part of its hothouse world. 

At issue here is the whole notion of education – intellectual, emotional, sexual.  The veteran literature teacher, Hector (Donald Brearley, in a remarkable mix of subdued passion, volatility and self-loathing), believes in knowledge for knowledge’s sake, even if that include groping his favorite students.  As he notes: “The transmission of knowledge is itself an erotic act.”                           (Full review here)

Donald Brearley, Michael Peters, Govind Kumar, Brad Bukauskas, Behzad Dabu, Joel Gross, Will Allan, Rob Fenton and Alex Weisman 

Artistic Director PJ Powers comments:
“Alan Bennett’s provocative script tackles essential questions we regularly grapple with as we explore TimeLine’s unique mission — ‘how do we benefit by dissecting, studying and examining history?’” Powers said. “Whether audiences have seen this production in London, on Broadway or on film, or are coming to it for the first time, The History Boys will have a fresh and powerful impact at TimeLine’s intimate theater.”

Related articles and files: