Gapers Block has ceased publication.

Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
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Review Sun Apr 11 2010

Review: You Took Away My Flag


Jordan Phelps, Amy Steele and Shaun Nathan Baer in You Took Away My Flag.

You Took Away My Flag is the brainchild of Henry H. Perritt, Jr., whose extensive bio includes 28 years and counting as a law professor, 20 books, and numerous interviews on the subject of the Balkans. This is his first musical, and the subject matter is just as heavy as the rest of his oeuvre: YTAMF is set in Kosovo, and is presented in the unlikely format of a rock opera; its a high-risk scenario for musical theater. Having recently seen a performance of the very successful Signs Of Life, which takes on the equally risky subject of Theresienstadt, the Nazi camp designated for the academic and artistic Jews of Europe, I was willing to give it a shot -- sometimes high-risk theater reaps great rewards.

The cast is well trained and has some great voices, with standout individual performances that include: Amy Steele, Hillary Marren, Brian Birch, Jordan Phelps, and Patrick Cannon. Unfortunately, the performance is all but drowned out by the musical accompaniment, which is heavy on the drums and synthesizers, and is a constant presence -- almost no lines are delivered without musical backing. I'm not quite sure what genre of music it is, but its nothing I would call "rock." Adding to the dissonance is the incongruously upbeat nature of the music that accompanies battle scenes and other dramatic moments -- think Saving Private Ryan set to ice rink music. Fight choreographer Joey deBettencourt has a bio listed in the program alongside the cast and production crew, and rightly so; the fight scenes are well staged and expertly executed.

You Took Away My Flag
is showing Thursdays through Sundays at the Theater Building (1225 W. Belmont) through May 23. For information and tickets call 773-327-5252 or visit Ticketmaster

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Architecture Tue Nov 03 2015

Paul Goldberger Describes the "Pragmatism and Poetry" of Frank Gehry's Architecture in His New Book

By Nancy Bishop

Architecture critic Paul Goldberger talks about Frank Gehry's life and work in a new book.
Read this feature »

Steve at the Movies Fri Jan 01 2016

Best Feature Films & Documentaries of 2015

By Steve Prokopy

Read this column »


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