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All Hallows' shows: 18 titles for Halloween

In a way, theater is a year-round Halloween party — it's all about dressing up and pretending to be someone (or something) you're not. But in honor of the ghostly season, several companies offer shows with spooky twists — from straight drama to musicals, burlesque to magic shows.

'Book of Mormon' tickets on sale Nov. 16

Tickets for the return engagement of the national tour of “The Book of Mormon,” the musical comedy by Matt Stone, Trey Parker (“South Park”) and Robert Lopez (“Avenue Q,” “Frozen”), will go on sale Sunday, Nov. 16 at 10:00 a.m., Broadway in...

Shakespeare Project of Chicago marks its 20th year

The current production of William Shakespeare's "King Lear," playing through Nov. 9 at the handsome and justifiably renowned Chicago Shakespeare Theater on Navy Pier, stars Larry Yando as the increasingly delusional title character and features the music of Frank Sinatra. It is has gotten...

In 'Traces' and 'Falling,' artists get their own moments

About halfway through Second City's very moving and revealing collaboration with Hubbard Street Dance Chicago last week — you missed it, but I suspect it will be back — I found myself thinking about another fabulous show at the Broadway Playhouse in 2011. Titled "Traces," it was the...

Chicago theater openings for the week of Oct. 24-30

Saturday | "The Hundred Flowers Project": A group of actors tries to create a play about Mao Zedong's Cultural Revolution in this show from Silk Road Rising. Through Nov. 23 at Historic Chicago Temple Building, 77 W. Washington St.; 312-857-1234 or silkroadrising.org

REVIEW: 'Devil's Day Off' at Signal Ensemble ?½

My experience with the plays of Chicago writer Jon Steinhagen has been mixed. He can be such a funny writer, and he has a real instinct for throwing groups of lousy-but-endearing idiots together and letting them mix it up a bit (his "Aces" and "Successors" being the strongest in this vein).

REVIEW: 'The Submission' by Pride Films & Plays ???

A young, gay playwright — a self-described "white dude" — writes a script about an "alcoholic black mother and her cardsharp son trying to get out of the projects" and submits it to the storied Humana Festival of New American Plays, subbing out his real name, Danny Larson, with a...

REVIEW: 'Parade' at BoHo Theatre ??

It is dangerous for a critic to close his or her eyes at the theater; it usually is construed as sleepiness or disrespect. But at one point on Saturday night, I briefly rested my eyelids at "Parade," partly because I just wanted, for a moment, to be carried off again by Jason Robert Brown's...

'Burning Bluebeard' will come back this winter

“Burning Bluebeard” will return to Theater Wit for three weeks this winter, it was announced on Tuesday.

REVIEW: 'Frederick' at Chicago Children's Theatre ???

Should the mice in "Frederick," the rather sweet new musical at the Chicago Children's Theatre, ever decide to turn tail and move to Chicago, they will be ahead of the civic game.

Stand-up Scene: Look who's back in town

It is alumni week in Chicago. At least, that is what I’m calling it. About a half dozen veterans of the city’s stand-up comedy scene are back in town and manning the mic at the same clubs where they cut their teeth not so long ago.

REVIEW: 'Skelebration' at Redmoon ???

After the disastrous Great Chicago Fire Festival this month, Redmoon Theater gets back to basics in a big way. Which is to say, a small way. Well, in a way.

REVIEW: 'Amazing Grace' at Bank of America Theatre ??

One way to understand the main problem facing "Amazing Grace," the very sincere new musical with Broadway aspirations, is to imagine a version of the Academy Award-winning movie "12 Years a Slave" wherein the protagonist is not Solomon Northup, the free-born American sold into slavery, but...

The Reviews for On the Town are in…

The reviews for On the Town are in, and the critics agree that this is one helluva revival!  Director John Rando has created a fresh, fun, and bouncy New York that only appears in the eyes of excited newcomers and the dreams of long-time citizens — it’s the American capital of opportunity.  Choreography by Joshua […]

REVIEW: 'Animal Farm' at Steppenwolf Theatre Company ????

THEATER REVIEW: "Animal Farm" from Steppenwolf Theatre Company ???? A blistering new adaptation of "Animal Farm" is the best production in the Steppenwolf for Young Adults program since "To Kill a Mockingbird" in 2010.

The Fabulous Broadway Season So Far

Is this the best fall theater season in years? I think so. While I don't do reviews really, I felt the need to discuss this amazing season we're having. It would kick last season's butt in almost any competition.

REVIEW: 'The Art of Falling' by Second City and Hubbard Street Dance Chicago ????

Aside from being a hugely entertaining and strikingly emotional show, "The Art of Falling," Second City's not-to-be-missed new collaboration with Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, is a very significant formative moment in this city's long history of improvisation and sketch comedy, forms invented...

REVIEW: 'Swan Lake' by the Joffrey Ballet ????

At what point does the animal turn into the human? Fear into love? The everyday into magic? The brilliance of choreographer Christopher Wheeldon's re-imagined "Swan Lake" is to bring into high relief those transformations — as well as their reversals, in a tragic loss of art, of love.

REVIEW: 'Luce' at Next Theatre ???

In the first moments of "Luce" at the Next Theatre on Sunday afternoon, I had a distinct sense of deja vu. There was actress Amy J. Carle, playing a defensive parent and confronting her son's teacher after the educator had come across disturbing material created by the young man in her class....

Snacks at Your Seats on Broadway, Complete with Delivery

Years ago, I wrote a New York Times article in which Patti LuPone told a story about people sitting in the theater fighting...

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