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Review: 'That Hopey Changey Thing' and 'Sorry'

Probably the single most infuriating and limiting thing about the American theater is its lack of immediacy when it comes to political and social commentary, mostly due to the absurd rigmarole and developmental time lags between someone writing a play and seeing it produced.

Opera review: Lyric Opera's grim 'Tosca'

Lyric Opera's imperishable love affair with Puccini's "Tosca" goes back as far as the company's inaugural season in 1954. Some of the greatest sopranos of their day have loved, killed and leapt through the title role here. Such are the vocal and dramatic thrills of this great opera that even...

REVIEW: 'The Rose Tattoo' by Shattered Globe Theatre

Three years ago, Shattered Globe produced "Orpheus Descending," Tennessee Williams' gothic tragedy about an unhappily married Italian woman on the Gulf Coast and the drifter who temporarily lifts her out of emotional limbo, featuring a blistering go-for-broke performance from Eileen Niccolai....

DANCE REVIEW: '3 Singers' by Erica Mott Productions

An array of ideas and creative disciplines collide at the intersection of the labor movement, the women's movement and perfidious corporate greed in Erica Mott Productions' collaborative "3 Singers."

REVIEW: 'West Side Story' by Drury Lane Theatre

"West Side Story," that ever-astonishing work of musical theater, is justly famous for the gangland rumblings between the Jets and the Sharks, stunning Jerome Robbins feats of 1950s choreography that advanced the Arthur Laurents narrative like no dance in a musical had ever done before. But...

REVIEW: 'Spinning Into Butter' at the Athenaeum Theatre

I'm a sucker for plays that plunge into the world of academic infighting, teeing up on the exploits of the overeducated when they are reduced to turf wars, ego-baiting and petty grievances.

Changing of the Gardley

Marcus Gardley’s drama “A Wonder in My Soul,” which was to be performed in April at Victory Gardens Theater, will be replaced by a different Marcus Gardley drama, a spokeswoman for the theater said Friday.

News this week has been a strange-go zone

Improbably this week, Anne Hidalgo, the mayor of Paris, said she and her city intend to sue Fox News on the grounds that the famously opinionated cable news channel had claimed that certain areas of the City of Light were "no-go areas" for non-Muslims. She told CNN that both the "image" and the...

Chicago theater openings for the week of Jan. 23-29

FRIDAY | "The Selfish Giant": Family-friendly musical play, based on Oscar Wilde's story and staged by Blair Thomas & Co. for Chicago Children's Theatre, is part of the Chicago International Puppet Theater Festival. Through Feb. 22 at Ruth Page Center for Arts, 1016 N. Dearborn St.;...

'Exit Strategy' gets New York premiere

“Exit Strategy” by Ike Holter will get a New York production, it was announced on Thursday.

DANCE REVIEW: 'Restless Creature' with Wendy Whelan at Harris Theater

Wendy Whelan's "Restless Creature" made its one-night, all-too-brief Chicago debut Wednesday at the sold-out Harris Theater, which was jammed to the rafters. A kind of chemistry experiment for former New York City Ballet dancer Whelan, who performed each of the four duets with the male...

Nana Shineflug, dancer and founder of Chicago Moving Company, dies at 79

Elizabeth "Nana" Shineflug, the founder and artistic director of the Chicago Moving Company, one of the first modern dance troupes in the Midwest, touched the lives of hundreds of students as a teacher and reached audiences around the world as a dancer and choreographer.

REVIEW: 'A Map of Virtue' by Cor Theatre

The press materials peg playwright Erin Courtney's drama as a "hauntingly romantic play with a mystery at its center," a mischaracterization as baffling as it is just plain wrong.

American Blues Theater announces 2015-16 season

American Blues Theater announced its 2015-16 season on Thursday. The three plays and one musical will be performed at the Greenhouse Theater Center in Lincoln Park where the company is in residence.

What about the boy? In 'Tommy,' new insights into Pete Townshend

When, in 1975, the movie director Ken Russell turned "Tommy," an album by The Who, into a film, catapulting the Pinball Wizard to further glory, he made one particularly notable change: He switched the period of the rock opera from the years following World War I to the years following World...

An angry Lewis Black, coming to Rialto Square Theatre

The terrible events in Paris this month may suggest social satirists who roast religious figures must fear for their lives. But Lewis Black, the veteran stand-up comedian who once declared God's creating the Earth in seven days a myth because "I have thoughts," has never been scared to do his...

REVIEW: 'Plastic Revolution' by The New Colony at Den Theatre

Around 1950, a woman named Brownie Wise came to the attention of Earl Tupper, the inventor of a brand of airtight plastic containers designed to keep leftovers fresh. Wise (reportedly to be played by Sandra Bullock in an upcoming movie) told Tupper about the success of her home-based parties...

Yearly Will I Do This Rite

Earlier this month, the Shakespeare Theatre Association (STA) held its 25th annual conference, hosted by the gracious staff at San Francisco Shakespeare Festival; the event was comprised of both a practicum component as well as a more traditional conference, filled with panels, plenaries and keynotes. A Kind of History Sidney Berger, then Producing Director of the Houston […]

Review: 'Mr. Burns, a Post-Electric Play' at Theater Wit

"Cape Fear," the 1991 thriller by Martin Scorsese, is perhaps best remembered, if it is remembered at all, for a creepy, finger-sucking seduction scene involving Juliette Lewis and Robert De Niro. But if you are a fan of "The Simpsons," your head likely has already gone to the second episode of...

Review: 'Accidentally, Like a Martyr' at A Red Orchid Theatre

For a quick lesson in how much the widespread expansion and acceptance of gay marriage has changed the culture of America, one need only stop in at A Red Orchid Theatre for "Accidentally, Like a Martyr," a play set among the mostly solitary and caustic denizens of a gay bar and dealing with...

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