July 6, 2012

Love Letter to Lookingglass...

Dear Lookingglass Theatre,
I love you. I'm sorry that our relationship is so one-sided - you give me so much and I give so little in return - just a few dollars which seems so inadequate.
I've been a subscriber for a few years now and can't remember any production I wasn't enthralled with. Oh, I'm sure there must be something - you're not perfect after allbut I'm wracking my brain and nothing comes to mind.
There's no permanent stage here so it's a new experience every time I step into your theater, and you never cease to dazzle me with your creativity. The current production of Eastland  has a very minimalist set but as the play unfolds you see so much more than what's in front of you. That's genius. That's innovation and inspiration.
The acting in Eastland  (and all your productions) is stellar, the singing beautiful, the direction perfect, the story haunting. I loved the music, altho there were two places that were very reminiscent (unintentionally, I'm sure, but striking, to me) of songs from West Side Story. Be that as it may, I am moved to look for the CD.
It's hardly fair to single out any one person - the entire cast is superb - but I have to say that Claire Wellin as Bobbie has a clear and lovely voice that thrilled me. I didn't want her to stop singing.
Eastland  is the unimaginable, but true, tragedy of a boat that tipped over onto its side in the Chicago River in 1915, killing 844 people. Not the typical stuff of musicals but it's beautifully done. The final act brought tears to my eyes for its poignancy.
Anyway, Lookingglass Theatre, Eastland is just one in a long line of amazing plays you've given to me. You continue to give and give and give and ask so little in return. I will try to manage my guilt.
I can't wait to see what's coming.

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