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Inside iO Theater's new home in Lincoln Park

Thirty-two years ago Charna Halpern approached Del Close with an offer. He was already a renowned director in the world of comedy, and working at Second City. She had just launched the ImprovOlympic and wanted him to teach a class.

A new Mahler musical and more at Marriott

The Marriott Theatre in Lincolnshire announced its 2015 subscription season on Friday. The season includes a world premiere new musical by Michael Mahler, whose “Hero” played the Marriott in 2012.

Video: Aidy Bryant, Jack McBrayer and more at Second City

On July 17, The Second City hosted two performances on its Mainstage featuring famous alumni such as Aidy Bryant ("Saturday Night Live"), Tim Meadows ("Saturday Night Live"), Jack McBrayer ("30 Rock"), Scott Adsit ("30 Rock"), George Wendt ("Cheers") and Fred Willard ("Waiting For Guffman")...

At the Den Theatre, a game-changing new space in Wicker Park

That which lies behind the door of 1329 N. Milwaukee Ave. is a game-changer for theater in the hip Chicago neighborhood of Wicker Park. I took myself over to that address earlier this week, curious about the new storefront space being readied for The Hypocrites' new production of "All Our...

Arts should be live and local, not mailed from the Met

In 1883, the company's first year, New York's Metropolitan Opera began to tour. These great overland voyages of ear-pleasing sopranos, colorful tenors and their trunks and accouterments, grew in scope and stature over the early years of the 20th century, quickly evolving into major events on...

REVIEW: 'The Importance of Being Earnest' at Oak Park Festival ???

"In matters of grave importance, style, not sincerity, is the vital thing," observes Gwendolen in "The Importance of Being Earnest." That line serves as a mission statement for Oscar Wilde's comedy — the urtext for all drawing-room witfests that followed in its footsteps (which were undoubtedly...

REVIEW: 'Hamlet' by Shakespeare's Globe at Chicago Shakespeare Theater ??

If you were to see the Shakespeare's Globe "Hamlet" in dusty South Sudan, or in the tiny nations of Tuvalu or Nauru, or on St. Kitts and Nevis (maybe both if the touchy latter island decides to execute its right to secede from its Caribbean twin), this theatrical event doubtless would seem a...

REVIEW: "Hellish Half-Light" by Mary-Arrchie Theatre ??½

There are six short plays by Samuel Beckett in this Mary-Arrchie production, some of which are rarely staged, including the remarkable “What Where” from 1983. Director Jennifer Markowitz's simple but deeply unnerving approach makes it the high point of this somewhat uneven production.

REVIEW: 'Intimate Apparel' by Eclipse Theatre Co. ★★★

Lynn Nottage's "Intimate Apparel" shares some of the same foundational supports familiar to fans of Henry James and Edith Wharton, from the Gilded Age Manhattan setting to its focus on a woman undone by her love for a man who isn't what he appears to be. But Nottage's 2003 play, now in a...

Dancers of 'JUBA!' at MCA were born to tap

"I wake up every morning, sit on the bed, and next thing I know I'm moving my feet," says tap-dancer Cartier Williams. "It's just naturally happening. I'm getting ready for the day, I'm hearing all kinds of rhythms going on — the water faucet, I'm dancing in the shower. It's something you...

REVIEW: 'The Gun Show' at 16th Street Theater ???

In the days between the shooting death of photographer Wil Lewis on Devon Avenue, not far from my own home in Rogers Park, and the death-by-stray-bullet of 11-year-old Shamiya Adams at an East Garfield Park sleepover, I saw EM Lewis' "The Gun Show" at Berwyn's 16th Street Theater. I'd like to...

REVIEW: 'Catch the Fish' by Poor Theatre ??

Jonathan Caren's "Catch the Fish" brings a millennial TMZ spin to the young-strivers-in-Hollywood genre, a la Nathanael West's "The Day of the Locust." Caren's piece, now in a local premiere with the Poor Theatre under Will Crouse'sShow More Summary

REVIEW: 'Invisible World' at the Annoyance Theatre ??½

The current mainstage revue at Second City is titled “Depraved New World,” but if you're really looking for the transgressive stuff, it's happening a few miles to the north on Belmont Avenue, where the Annoyance Theatre's new sketch show, which opened in June and runs Saturday nights, is offering a decidedly R-rated spin on the genre.

Alfresco 'Earnest' is played deliciously straight

THEATER REVIEW: "The Importance of Being Earnest" at the Oak Park Festival ??? "In matters of grave importance, style, not sincerity, is the vital thing," observes Gwendolen in "The Importance of Being Earnest." That line serves as a...Show More Summary

Aside from its travel resume, Globe's 'Hamlet' has no great reason to be

THEATER REVIEWS: "Hamlet" by Shakespeare's Globe at Chicago Shakespeare Theater ?? THEATER REVIEWS: "Hamlet" by Shakespeare's Globe at Chicago Shakespeare Theater ??... If you were to see the Shakespeare's Globe "Hamlet" in dusty South Sudan, this theatrical event doubtless would seem a remarkable thing.

Rarely staged Beckett plays from Mary-Arrchie

THEATER REVIEW: "Hellish Half-Light" by Mary-Arrchie Theatre Co. ??½ THEATER REVIEW: "Hellish Half-Light" by Mary-Arrchie Theatre Co. ??½... There are six short plays by Samuel Beckett in this Mary-Arrchie production, some of which are rarely staged, including the remarkable ¿What Where¿ from 1983....

Story of the singers is front and center in 'Marvelettes'

THEATER REVIEW: "The Marvelous Marvelettes" at Black Ensemble Theatre ??? THEATER REVIEW: "The Marvelous Marvelettes" at Black Ensemble Theatre ???... At "Motown the Musical," written and authorized by Berry Gordy, the legendary founder of Motown Records is painted as a big-hearted patriarch...

Playing House Should be Renewed. Now.

I've had a pretty crappy few days. When that happens, I like to spend time with my old friends. Unfortunately, as we've gotten...

Crafting a simple, compelling story in 'Intimate Apparel'

THEATER REVIEW: "Intimate Apparel" by Eclipse Theatre Company ★★★ Lynn Nottage's "Intimate Apparel" shares some of the same foundational supports familiar to fans of Henry James and Edith Wharton, from the Gilded Age Manhattan setting to its focus on a woman undone by her love for a man who isn't what he appears to be. Show More Summary

'Gun Show' is about gun ownership outside debate lines

THEATER REVIEWS: "The Gun Show" at 16th Street Theater ??? and "Catch the Fish" by Poor Theatre ?? "The Gun Show"

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