ex news 

Text of article from The Daily Herald newspaper
March 20, 2008  

Spotlight on romance
By Elisabeth Mistretta

The harsh fact is that sometimes couples have to fall back on the standard dinner-and-a-movie during their nights out.

Or do they?

As local theater companies launch their spring productions, these shows can add a touch of spontaneity to your run-of-the-mill date.

"It just gives you a different connection and involvement to the story," says Cathleen Ann, founder and actor in the Palatine-based Vex Theater. "You might only be sitting a few feet from the actors and all the emotions just hit you more because you're right there."

When theater directors like Ann and Chris Bruzzini of the Village Theater Guild in Glen Ellyn describe their shows, the same word keeps popping up: intimate.

Intimate, of course, is ideal for a night out with your flame. And to keep things even more romantic (OK, maybe even a bit cheesy), a handful of stage events happening now are all about love.

Some shows are romantic comedies, others are much darker. Bruzzini says the Village Theater Guild's latest musical, "Romance, Romance," raises ethical questions about relationships and boundaries.

"By the end of the second act, some people may think our characters have crossed the line (in their marriages), but that's for each person to decide."

So to make sure you end up in the right audience for you, here's the rundown on what's coming up:

"Cupid Has a Heart On: A Musical Guide to Relationships"

The plot: A 90-minute musical revue featuring comic sketches that move into song.

The details: iO Theater, 3541 N. Clark St., Chicago. Showtime: 10:30 p.m. Saturdays; open run. Tickets cost $18. (773) 880-0199 or www.cupidplayers.com


The plot: Stephen Belber's drama of a couple who interview a choreographer, but with a confrontational ulterior motive.

The details: Apple Tree Theatre at the Karger Center, 1850 Green Bay Road, Highland Park. Showtimes: 7:30 p.m. select Wednesdays and Thursdays, 8 p.m. Fridays, 5 and 8:30 p.m. Saturdays, and 2 and 6 p.m. Sundays through April 6. (No 6 p.m. show April 6). Tickets cost $38-$48. (847) 432-4335 or www.appletreetheatre.com.

"Romance, Romance"

The plot: Keith Herrmann and Barry Harman's 1988 Broadway musical of two one-acts exploring love in Vienna and modern-day New England.

The details: Village Theater Guild, 3S020 Park Blvd., Glen Ellyn. Showtimes: 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 4 p.m. Saturdays (beginning March 29) through April 12. Also 4 p.m. April 6. Tickets cost $20. (630) 469-8230 or www.villagetheatreguild.org.

"Sylvia -- A Romantic Comedy About a Dog"

The plot: A.R. Gurney's 1995 off-Broadway comedy about a middle-aged guy who disrupts his marriage when he brings home a stray dog.

The details: Metropolis Performing Arts Centre, 111 W. Campbell St., Arlington Heights. Showtimes: 7:30 p.m. Thursdays, 8 p.m. Fridays, 7 p.m. Saturdays, 3 p.m. Sundays through April 26. Tickets cost $22-$42. (847) 577-2121 or www.metropolisarts.com.

"Lady Windermere's Fan"

The plot: Oscar Wilde's classic about a young aristocrat's wife who begins to mistrust her husband after his involvement with an older woman is discovered.

The details: Vex Theatre at the Elgin Arts Showcase, 164 Division St., Elgin. Showtimes: 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 3 p.m. Sundays April 18-27. $15 for adults and $12 for students with ID and seniors (cash only). www.vextheatre.org