Steppenwolf Theatre's annual First Look Repertory of New Work puts selected scripts through a development process that culminates in professional-quality productions. Reader contributor Kerry Reid spent about half of last weekend watching the three plays that comprise this year's rep, and the other half writing up her thoughts on how it went. Meanwhile, I wrote at length and favorably about the Next Theatre production of Maple and Vine, and dance maven Laura Molzahn suggested you take a look at Dance Exchange, which is in town to perform The Matter of Origins by company founder Liz Lerman. Our critics were also fond of Broke-ology and Ripper the Musical.
"The Musical," by the way, may finally have outlived its usefulness as a subtitle. Along with Ripper, we wrote up Cursed! The Musical and Goodnight Moon: The Musical. We also reviewed Seascape With Sharks and Dancer, the Fury Theatre production of Tennessee Williams's The Glass Menagerie, stagings of Wendy McLeod's The House of Yes and Charles Busch's Our Leading Lady, the self-explanatory Love Sucks, a show for young people called Walk Two Moons, and an—I thought—deceptively titled American Demi-Gods entertainment called the Magnificent Old Tyme Variety Show. Finally one of ours got to Through the Middle Ground, which is part of a three-play repertory that's being mounted by the Side Project. We'll have reports on the other two pieces of that next week.