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REVIEW: 'The Night Alive' at Steppenwolf Theatre ???

The question of what you will feel like when you die — and, more specifically, whether you will actually feel like you are dead — suffuses Conor McPherson's "The Night Alive." The season opener at the Steppenwolf Theatre Company is another raw and beautiful entry in this great Irish...

Lyric opens season with riveting new 'Don Giovanni' ???½

It's easy to see what attracted Robert Falls to staging Mozart's "Don Giovanni" at Lyric Opera of Chicago. It's easy to see what attracted Robert Falls to staging Mozart's "Don Giovanni" at Lyric Opera of Chicago.

Great Chicago Fire comes to the river

In the beginning was the notebook, and the notebook was filled with dreams, and those dreams, against all sorts of odds and in the face of red tape, carping, money-hunting and alterations, will come to fruition Saturday with an event that will become either an annual enrichment of our lives...

REVIEW: Harvest Chicago Contemporary Dance Festival ??½

Everybody knows the perils and pleasures of the grab bag. You might fall in love with the tacky little trinket from the dollar store, or be left cold by the well-made objet d'art.

The real engine behind the arts? Teacher paychecks

Without artists who teach, the cultural life of Chicago would effectively cease to exist.

REVIEW: 'The Magic Flute' by Isango Ensemble at Navy Pier ???

The Isango Ensemble's touring production of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's 1791 opera "The Magic Flute" (or "Impempe Yomlingo") has been a hit in London and many other parts of the world. One understands why. This production makes the argument — with verve, passion, determination and craft...

'All Our Tragic' will be back in 2015

The Hypocrites said Thursday that their hit, 12-hour production of Sean Graney's “All Our Tragic” will return in the summer of 2015 for an encore engagement at the Den Theatre, 1333 N. Milwaukee Ave. “All Our Tragic” is an epic distillation of all 32 extant Greek...

Success from sorrow, and a predecessor for 'Smokefall'

On Monday, Noah Haidle's "Smokefall" opens on the main stage of the Goodman Theatre. If you follow theater in Chicago, you might have read something about this remarkable play about a Grand Rapids, Mich., family seen across several generations. It premiered last October in the Goodman's smaller...

Chicago theater openings for the week of Sept. 26 to Oct. 2

Sunday | "The Night Alive": When a stuck-in-a-rut guy comes to the aid of a distressed woman, both of their lives are changed for the better. Francis Guinan and Tim Hopper star in Conor McPherson's play. Through Nov. 16 at Steppenwolf Theatre Company, 1650 N. Halsted St.; 312-335-1650 or...

Joffrey dancer moves to community outreach

The Joffrey Ballet announced Thursday that Joffrey dancer Erica Lynette Edwards will become the company’s director of community engagement. This new appointment also marks Edwards’ retirement from the stage after 15 years as a ballerina. She replaces Pierre Lockett, who stepped...

Hold the splatter: Zombie show dies on stage

Canada has so much to like: an excellent business climate; a compassionate health care system; some of the finest classical theater in North America; the Maple Leaf cookies they used to sell at Dominick's.

REVIEW: 'Fail/Safe' at Strawdog Theatre ??

A formidable cast including Henry Fonda and Walter Matthau fills out 1964 Cold War thriller "Fail-Safe," adapted from the 1962 novel of the same name, about a technical glitch that mistakenly sends a group of U.S. bombers armed with nuclear warheads to lay waste to Moscow. For various screwy...

Actors' Equity launches ad campaign in Chicago

Actors' Equity, the labor union of professional actors and stage managers, said Thursday that it intends to use Chicago as a test city in a new advertising and social-media campaign designed to "educate" audiences about the difference between Equity and non-Equity touring productions of...

Lookingglass announces 'Alice' cast

Lookingglass Theatre Company has announced the cast of its upcoming remount of “Lookingglass Alice,” the theater’s version of Lewis Carroll’s stories “Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland” and “Through The Lookingglass.” Lauren Hirte and Lindsey...

Jessie Mueller performs at City Winery

On Monday Sept. 22, Tony Award-winning actress Jessie Mueller ("Beautiful: The Carole King Musical"), her sister Abby Mueller ("Kinky Boots" on Broadway) and many other local actors took the stage of City Winery to launch FWD Theatre Project, a new musical theater incubator in Chicago.

REVIEW: 'Evil Dead: The Musical' at the Broadway Playhouse ?

Canada has so much to like: an excellent business climate; a compassionate health care system; some of the finest classical theater in North America; the Maple Leaf cookies they used to sell at Dominick's.

REVIEW: 'Season on the Line' at House Theatre ???

What the cult Canadian TV show "Slings & Arrows" did for the Stratford Shakespeare Festival — and for resident classical theaters in general — so Shawn Pfautsch's "Season on the Line" aims to do for small Chicago theater companies.

REVIEW: 'Another Bone' at Redtwist Theatre ??

Grief, in all its complexity and shifting emotional topography, is a difficult thing to dramatize. In the world premiere of "Another Bone" at Redtwist Theatre, playwright Cathy Earnest relies on exposition to do much of the work, which creates all sorts of challenges for actress Jacqueline...

REVIEW: 'The Commons of Pensacola' at Northlight Theatre ??½

A potential Bernie Madoff does not lurk behind every financial planner's desk. This is just as well. Most of us working stiffs struggle enough to save rather than spend without watching our 401(k)s be subsumed into a Ponzi scheme. But experience does teach us that he was not unique: The scandal...

A scene from 'Smokefall'

This week's Theater Loop Showcase is "Smokefall," Noah Haidle's acclaimed drama currently being remounted at the Goodman Theatre. The play depicts multiple generations of a family that goes through life as any family does: with loss, hardship and unrelenting hope. In this scene, Chicago...

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