Recommended by Brian James Polak

  • Mother Lode
    9 May. 2020
    Mother Lode is both painfully funny and painfully real. This play shows the importance of empathy and the care needed for both a child and a mother in a culture that throws judgement around more than it listens to real human needs of a person who is more than a mom.
    3 May. 2020
    The conversations these great characters have are so real and familiar, it’s as if I was around a dinner table with relatives. What I love most about this play is how sincere it is. These characters speak their truths, which are the truths of so many people in our country, yet we don’t see them in plays either because of their age and/or their politics. I deeply appreciate Gina showing us these real, honest, aging people as they truly are, warts and all.
  • Bender and Brian
    30 Apr. 2020
    I feel like this play was written specifically for me. It isn't just pulling my nostalgia strings, harkening back to the millions of times I've watched The Breakfast Club, but it's also telling a story about missed opportunities, moving on, and aging. I love everything about this play: its characters, its tone, its completeness. I hope I can be in a theater where Bender and Brian lives one day.
  • Three Antarcticas
    29 Mar. 2020
    Three Antarcticas is a spectacular read, as thoroughly engrossing as any novel. I felt immersed in the world of Antarctica, learning that its history is Climate Change’s history, yet the play isn’t a didactic docudrama. It’s character-driven and deeply emotional. Three Antarcticas is about love in many forms, the transcendent nature of art, and the direct impact human beings have on the climate. This is a highly theatrical that will be an incredibly entertaining production.
  • Miss Holmes
    26 Feb. 2020
    In a theater world where Sherlock Holmes plays are almost as ubiquitous as Shakespeare, Walsh does with MISS HOLMES what the glut of rehashings haven't and that is create a satisfying Sherlock Holmes story while also crafting a narrative as vital to the time when Holmes lived as it is today. If you are one of the many companies looking to program a Sherlock Holmes play, MISS HOLMES should be at the top of your stack. It is both the Sherlock you want as well as the Sherlock you need.
    16 Feb. 2020
    This is a fantastic character-driven, ensemble play about the spaces in between life's highs and lows. It shows what ultimately matters, particularly in times of crisis, is family; both the one you are born into and the one you choose. Underdogz is hilarious, moving, and honest in its portrayal of a time when a great moment in Chicago sports signaled the end of an era in the context of a presidential election that jammed a wedge between people.
  • Mad Girls
    13 Feb. 2020
    I just saw Mad Girls in a workshop production in Chicago. It's a moving play about grief, loss, love, and the struggle to find your true self in the madness of life. Mad Girls shows us there is no one way to cope with death and trauma, but it's the trying that matters and that is what I found to be so powerful.
    5 Feb. 2020
    This is a subtle and moving work about the importance of holding on and letting go. I am interested in returning to this play every so often as I age; it's a touchstone there to remind me what is truly important in life.
  • Fragmentation
    7 Jan. 2020
    Fragmentation takes you right into the center of a school shooting's aftermath. It really moved me to watch the lives of these students unfold and find empathy for the varying ways in which people deal with tragedies of this magnitude. This is a powerful play.
  • Los Tequileros
    2 Nov. 2019
    I really love Los Tequileros. It's is a fantastic historical drama, depicting the ongoing challenges at the border and is smartly constructed with a central narrator/guitarist carrying the audience through a powerful and resonate story.