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Review: Love is weakness in 'Sunset Baby'

"Love became a liability," it is observed in Dominique Morisseau's play "Sunset Baby." "It costs too much to be open." Since children look for love, that's not a confession you want to hear from your father. The line is spoken by a former black-power activist named Kenyatta, played in TimeLine...

Review: 'Bye Bye Birdie' a sweet return to 1950s rock 'n' roll

There's a whole lotta shaking going on this month in the western suburbs with two musicals about teen culture, late 1950s-to-early 1960s style. Aurora's Paramount Theatre is opening a new production of "Hairspray" and Drury Lane Theatre presents a revival of "Bye Bye Birdie." The difference, of...

WATCH: The Auditions of Disney’s ‘High School Musical’ Cast

Can you believe it’s been 10 years since the world was first introduced to the Wildcats? Disney is known to build incredible careers, and that’s exactly what it did for the cast of “High School Musical.” Celebrating 10 years, stars Vanessa...Show More Summary

Nothing strange about mourning the death of a celebrity

Did any celebrity in the history of the world ever die as well as David Bowie? We certainly have had ample recent opportunity in the last week or two to compare the exits of other famous actors and musicians: the actors Alan Rickman, Brian Bedford and Dan Haggerty; Glenn Frey of the Eagles; Dale...

Den Theatre has hit shows, but about that fire code ...

The year 2015 was not the easiest for Ryan Martin, the developer and operator of the Den Theatre, the Wicker Park arts venue that's playing an increasingly critical role in Chicago's off-Loop theater scene. I last wrote about Martin's building, which is at 1333 N. Milwaukee Ave. in 2014 when the...

Chicago theater openings for the week of Jan. 22-28

FRIDAY | "Le Switch": About Face Theatre presents Philip Dawkins' romance about a commitment-shy gay man and a florist who sweeps him off his feet. Through Feb. 21 at Theater Wit, 1229 W. Belmont Ave.; 773-975-8150 and "Vices and Virtues": Profiles Theatre stages two evenings...

Review: 'Mutt' is a political mixed bag

Contrasting the lineup for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination (where, whatever their politics, at least candidates and former candidates such as Ben Carson, Bobby Jindal, Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz can lay claim to some semblance of racial and ethnic diversity) and the all-white Democratic side...

WATCH: First Look at ‘Wonder Woman’

Warner Bros. unveiled early footage of its big-screen adaptation of Wonder Woman on Tuesday. Gal Gadot stars as the Amazon warrior in the superhero’s first origin story based on the original DC Comics. Gadot said audiences can expect...Show More Summary

11 Actors Snubbed by Oscar

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences nominates 20 actors for an Oscar each year. Hollywood heavyweights including John Barrymore, Rita Hayworth, Marilyn Monroe, John Cazale, and most recently, Alan Rickman, have died without receiving recognition. Show More Summary

A Buzzworthy on Broadway News Roundup

It’s been an exciting couple of months on Broadway with more excitement on the way — A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder closed after a hugely successful run and Dames at Sea closed after a very paltry run, plus lots of fantasticShow More Summary

WATCH: Jimmy Fallon and Dakota Johnson Play ‘The Acting Game’

Dakota Johnson (“Fifty Shades of Grey” and the upcoming film “How to Be Single”) stopped by “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” this week and showed the host a new game that we can only hope he plays again with other celebrity guests. The concept is simple, and is an excellent exercise in the art of improvisation. Show More Summary

Steppenwolf plans new bar, cafe and theater on Halsted

Celebrity spotters and hungry actors have reason to rejoice. Steppenwolf Theatre said Thursday that it plans to open a new cafe and bar, developed in collaboration with the Boka Restaurant Group and located directly north of its famous mainstage theater in Lincoln Park. With an address of 1700...

12 Classic Movie Musicals

Some of our favorite films are from another era. These 12 movie musicals are more than 50 years old, but their catchy tunes, star performances, and exciting dance sequences make them films for the ages. “Meet Me in St. Louis” (1944)This...Show More Summary

Kids Now Casting ‘The Legacy of a Whitetail Deer Hunter’ and Other Acting Opportunities

Director Jody Hill (“Observe and Report,” “Eastbound and Down”) is looking for a boy actor to join him and stars Josh Brolin and Danny McBride as a photo double in “The Legacy of a Whitetail Deer Hunter.” The right actor must be Caucasian,...Show More Summary

3 Reasons to Check Out Cinema South Expo

It’s no secret that the continued influx of Georgia–based film and television productions is creating more and more local job opportunities. For those not already actively working within the industry, however, finding these jobs can be a daunting task. Show More Summary

Audition for New Steven Spielberg Film and 2 More Projects

Check out the breakdowns for three projects casting on Backstage, including a major studio motion picture and two indie films. Click the links for more information on how to apply! “READY PLAYER ONE”Warner Bros. and Dreamworks Pictures...Show More Summary

George Lopez is plain-spoken, and no saint

The Black and Brown Comedy Get Down, starring George Lopez, Eddie Griffin, Cedric the Entertainer, D.L. Hughley and Mike Epps, is dead. Long live the Comedy Get Down. "It wasn't the blacks and browns that wanted it changed — it never is," Lopez says. "But in the society we're living in today, some...

Review: No Wake (Route 66 Theatre)

Although Route 66 Theatre's No Wake is a mere 80 minutes long, Playwright William Donnelly reveals the themes and crises of the play in such a excruciatingly slow, meticulous manner that there seems little at stake to hold our attention. As the script stands now, it seems more like a treatment for a play rather than a fully formed script. (read John Olson's entire review....)

What if every DC tourist saw a play?

This post may skate on the edge of self-promotion, because I am going to be drawing attention to a brief e-book I’ve co-authored; but I have a good story to tell about how this book is an example of the kind of unconventional theatre promotion we need more of.  This is much more a “Steal […]

L.A. Now Casting ‘Silent Justice’ and 2 More Gigs

Los Angeles is a great place to get hired as an actor! Here are three projects currently seeking cast members. “CAMPAIGNIN’ ”Bay Area actors are being sought for production on the feature indie film “Campaignin,’ ” about a young woman who elects three local thugs to help her run for mayor of a small town. Show More Summary

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