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  The Frogs at Truman College- O'Rourke Theatre

The Frogs

Truman College- O'Rourke Theatre
1145 West Wilson Avenue Chicago

This Midwest Premiere musical to be staged in the swimming pool adjacent to Pegasus Players mainstage, is Burt Shevelove, Nathan Lane & Stephen Sondheim’s adaptation of Aristophanes’ original The Frogs. In Aristophanes’ version, the play is largely a debate between Aeschylus and Euripides, to determine which man is the greater artist. The winner of the contest will return to Earth with Dionysus to save civilization. In this version, the plot remains much the same, but the contest is now a debate between Shakespeare and Shaw.

Presented by Pegasus Players

Thru - Jun 3, 2007

Price: $15-$25

Show Type: Musical

Box Office: 773-878-9761

Running Time: 2hrs 35mins; one intermission

  The Frogs Reviews
  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Chicago Tribune - Not Recommended

"...Around the middle of the Pegasus Players' wretched production of "The Frogs" (music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim), one starts fantasizing about acquiring a large hook and wrapping it around the neck of Charon, Boatman of the River Styx and one of many egregiously ponderous offenders in this dismal attempt at sardonic musical comedy."
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Chris Jones

Chicago Sun Times - Recommended

"...The show's logistics boggle the mind, but Jay Paul Skelton's direction is invariably ingenious, with fine musical direction by William Underwood and a terrific circular raft set by Tom Burch. The acoustics are problematical, but this is a pool. And as Sondheim said, "You gotta have a gimmick.""
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Hedy Weiss

Daily Herald - Highly Recommended

"...For humor, "The Frogs" relies on shtick and pop culture clichés. Along with Viagra, cell phones and politics, the show also references "My Fair Lady," "West Side Story" and "Sweeney Todd" as well as "Taxi Driver" and "Jaws." Still, the gags get laughs. And the gimmick makes a splash."
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Barbara Vitello

Chicago Reader - Somewhat Recommended

"...Unfortunately, in Nathan Lane's recent revision, which is 45 minutes longer, the songs pad more than propel the odyssey. Returning to the show's natatorium--the leaner original played here in 1988--this latest Sondheim by Pegasus Players combines cunning performances, enormous energy, and, alas, lousy acoustics."

Lawrence Bommer

Windy City Times - Recommended

"...Jay Paul Skelton directs a 21-member cast led by Steven Marzolf and John Francisco in the roles of Dionysos and his mischievous sidekick Xanthias, featuring verbally deft performances by Matthew Holzfeind and Brendan Marshall-Rashid as, respectively, Shaw and Shakespeare. The real stars of the show, however, are the water-treading vocalists who warble in unwavering harmony whether paddling gracefully with hardly a surface ripple or attacking a terrified voyager in a furious swarm of red-and-black wetsuits and incognito swim-goggles."
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Mary Shen Barnidge

Time Out Chicago - Somewhat Recommended

"...Good luck if you want to hear the lyrics, though; despite the best efforts of Skelton and sound designer Christopher Kriz to overcome the acoustics, we’re still in a swimming pool. And more than anything, we keep wondering why. Skelton’s soggy staging is terribly inventive and entertaining, and his cast a game bunch of dulcet-toned dog-paddlers, but in the end there’s really nothing in the story that cries out for water. The stuff of legend, it seems, was just a brilliant gimmick."
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Kris Vire

Chicago Stage Standard - Recommended

"...Director Jay Paul Skelton’s production is lavish, ambitious and imaginative. A large donut-shaped platform rests in the middle of the pool, flanked by a Greek arched temple, ramps and floating platforms in Tom Burch’s clever set design. A large overhead tarp helps the inherent acoustic problems somewhat, while Diane Fairchild’s lighting creates dazzling ripples on the water. The play’s underlying concern for humanity ("Make theatre, not war; It’s a start") even manages to come across at times."

Joe Stead

   This show has been Jeff Recommended*

*The designation of "Jeff Recommended" is given to a production when at least ONE ELEMENT of the show was deemed outstanding by the Joseph Jefferson Awards Committee.

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