Chicago Theatre Review


Gayle Kirshenbaum

ZR6W8764A theatre lover for many years, Gayle has held posts as the resident theatre critic on air for the Ted Webber show and WZRD at Northeastern Illinois University – as well as writing  reviews for This Month on Stage. A consummate Renaissance woman with a fiery entrepreneurial spirit, she owned a successful catering/restaurant business in the 80s, several hot dog carts, and works as a Registered Nurse when she isn’t gracing the plush velveteen seats of Chicago’s greatest. In her free time, Gayle loves to  travel (although not as often as she would like to do) kayak, and is learning to play guitar. She has some special friends in her life that she enjoys spending time with.

You can reach Gayle at

Photo by Paul Sherman



Frank Meccia




By day and frequently well into the early morning hours, Frank is a Cardio-thoracic Physician Assistant. When he is not performing surgery and saving lives, his time is spent with family and friends. He was previously on theboard of directors of Bonaventure House (an organization for people living with AIDS). In his free time he enjoys SCUBA diving, golf, opera, cooking  good wine and traveling. He has recently had a career change and will become a flight attendant for Go Jet.










Lazlo Collins has been in Chicago most of his adult life. He has been richly involved in many theatrical processes. Through directing, acting, set design, costumes, property design and management, Lazlo brings a diversity of knowledge and experience to his work. Lazlo’s passion and love for theater fuels his need to let others know of the great theater in the windy city. He feels Chicago theatricals constantly amaze him through their breadth and diversity of talent. He lives a quiet life with his dog, and can be seen around town sampling his favorite craft beers when he is not in the theater.





headshotCOLIN DOUGLAS is an AEA actor, director and freelance theatre critic
living in the far northern suburbs, but who spends quite a bit of time
in the city. A retired teacher and librarian,Colin works
part-time as an AEA monitor for professional auditions in and around
the Chicago area. In addition he works part-time at Barnes & Nobles in
the Kids and Teen Department and is an avid reader. When not in a
theatre, a bookstore or traveling to New York City and beyond, Colin
can be found at home cooking and playing with Charlie, his best friend
and an English Springer Spaniel rescue.

BEN KEMPER A native of Boise Idaho and professional storyteller, Kemper comes to Chicago & environs to study Theater at Northwestern University. He is pleased to be in the city of broad minds and big ideas and likes nothing better than sniffing out some hidden gem of a performance.

Zach Barr is a Seattle native and Northwestern University student. He is
Zach Barr Senior Portraitan actor, director, playwright, and, naturally, reviewer (“critic” is
entirely the wrong word). In addition to writing reviews here, he is also
the resident theatre writer for The Daily Northwestern, and writes
freelance reviews of whatever he wants at
Zach would not be anywhere without the support of his family, Studio East,
and Ben Kemper. He can be recognized in the audience as that guy wearing a
A graduate of the prestigious E.W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University, Peter Thomas Ricci is a journalist by day, aesthete by night, an irrepressibly curious spirit whose interests extend far beyond the quaint trade publication where he works as an assistant editor. Whether it be Chicago Blues, stream-of-consciousness narratives, literary nonfiction, impressionistic paintings, or the profound art of criticism, there is nary a subject (sans Lepidoptera) that does not interest Peter, including Chicago’s flourishing theater scene. Though he chiefly delights in Chicago’s many storefront theatre companies littered across the city’s North Side, Peter is always interested in trying something new, exciting, and genuine. Contact him at if you’d like to know why homeownership is generally a bad investment, why Wilco is the finest band in the 21st century, and why Martin Scorsese is the most overrated director of the 20th.


Terry W. Giardina (Concert reviewer) is no stranger to Chicago or the music scene. He is a native of Rockford but spends much of his time in the Windy City reviewing music acts.  His tastes include just about everything, (maybe not too much country). from heavy metal to blues and jazz and recently has discovered the world of musical theatre. His knowledge of music and artists is so extensive he is really a one man music Wikipedia. When a song comes on the radio he not only can tell you you the name of the song but the whole story behind the group. He is an avid Beatles fan. Last year Terry attended the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony to see his home town boys Cheap Trick receive the award. Terry also attended Desert Trip a three day concert in Palm Springs featuring Bob Dylan, The Rolling Stones, Sir Paul, Neil Young, The Who and Roger Waters. A Woodstock for our generation.  Terry loves to travel and volunteers at the annual Telluride Colorado Blues and Brews fest.

Drop Terry a line just to say hi or really test his knowledge of music. He can be reached at
petergMy brief- and I mean brief- bio – Scott Kirshenbaum
got born, got some schooling, got Bar Mitzvahed, got heart surgery, got more schooling, got college (go Buckeyes), got work, got married, got divorced, got privitized, got laid off, got sick, got better, got to Ravinia…had a great time!