Blog Profile / Chicago Theater Blog

Filed Under:Arts / Theater & Performing Arts
Posts on Regator:1680
Posts / Week:4.2
Archived Since:April 27, 2010

Blog Post Archive

Review: Yasmina’s Necklace (Goodman Theatre)

Yasmina’s Necklace is very Muslim in its theme, but also very American – unique yet universal. Thoughtfully directed by Ann Filmer, and featuring a gifted ensemble, the Chicago premiere of Malik’s romantic drama is deep, rich and emotionally rewarding. Highly Recommended! (review by Lauren Whalen)

Review: Breath, Boom (Eclipse Theatre)

Breath, Boom is never an easy watch, challenging the audience to check its collective privilege and watch a survivor endure her darkest years with only small flashes of optimism. Beautifully written, directed and acted, Breath, Boom is a fitting finale to Eclipse Theatre's Kia Corthron season. Highly Recommended. (review by Lauren Whalen)

Review: Lizzie (Firebrand Theatre)

Firebrand Theatre's Lizzie is an all-female rock musical about the the true story of Lizzie Borden, whose alleged axe murder of her father and stepmother in 1892 led to a media frenzy, a nursery rhyme and an enduring legend. Lizzie is...Show More Summary

Review: Lysistrata Jones (Refuge Theatre Project)

Spike Lee’s recent film Chiraq adapted Lysistrata to Chicago's South Side, replacing an epic Greek war with equally epic gang violence. The stakes in Lysistrata Jones? Basketball. More specifically, a small college basketball team that no one cares about, until a sassy transfer student takes matters into her own hands. Show More Summary

Review: School of Rock (Broadway in Chicago)

With a running time of just over 2 hours, School of Rock is just as winning as the original film. Taking an underdog story and blending it with cute kids and a rousing score, the musical makes for a thoroughly entertaining night at the theater. Show More Summary

Review: Akeelah and the Bee (Adventure Stage Chicago)

With Akeelah and the Bee, Adventure Stage Chicago has adapted the 2006 screenplay, relocating the story to the South Side of Chicago, adding Spanish supertitles to make the show more accessible to a larger audience. The result is a sweet,...Show More Summary

Review: Fun Home (Victory Gardens Theater)

In Victory Gardens' triumphant "Fun Home", Director Gary Griffin’s ensemble will break your heart with their ability to embody the characters in Alison Bechdel’s story, especially Rob Lindley, who delivers the final anvil blow that will shatter it to smithereens. Show More Summary

Review: Bobby Pin Girls (Nothing Without A Company)

Besides its humor, Bobby Pin Girls tackles issues such as addiction, self-harm and toxic masculinity without being manipulative or heavy-handed, which is a skill on its own. Nothing Without a Company has a winner on its hands, thanks to a strong script, thoughtful direction and acting that’s almost too real. Highly Recommended! (review by Lauren Whalen)

Review: Giselle (Joffrey Ballet)

The Joffrey Ballet’s premiere of a newly-staged Giselle doesn’t disappoint, wringing out every possible drop of excitement, in a production that’s equal parts breathtaking and horrifying, hands-down one of the best ballets I’ve ever seen. Highly Recommended! (review by Lauren Whalen)

Review: The Taming of the Shrew (Chicago Shakespeare, 2017)

Chicago Shakespeare's Taming of the Shrew is a fine production of a play that doesn’t deserve the resources lavished on it. For all the prodigious talent on stage, Shrew remains an endorsement of systems and attitudes that make the world unsafe for women. Nothing can change that, not even a room full of crusading suffragettes. Slightly Recommended. (review by Catey Sullivan)

Review: Punk (The New Colony)

Between the distracting set design, the plot holes and the ultimately ineffective performances by the rest of the cast, The New Colony's world-premiere Punk is a weak endeavor. (review by Catey Sullivan)

Review: Million Dollar Quartet (Paramount Theatre)

Million Dollar Quartet is irresistible. Set in 1956 during the only recording session when Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins were all in the same room, the juke-box musical captures lightning in a bottle. Directed...Show More Summary

Review: The Heavens Are Hung in Black (Shattered Globe Theatre)

Heavens is a powerful play, wonderfully cast, brilliantly directed, beautifully played by an outstanding ensemble of talented actors. It centers around a pivotal period of the Civil War in 1862 when, after a year of fighting and dying, the Union armies have barely moved and when they did, suffered great casualties and loss of ground. Highly Recommended! (review by Duane Barnes)

Review: The Legend of Georgia McBride (Northlight Theatre)

For most of Northlight Theatre's The Legend of Georgia McBride, audiences are treated to a whacky, audience-pleasing comedy. The plot goes for guffaws by showing the whacky plight of a straight guy trying to navigate in heels and a dress. In the end, the charming cast and deep scenes make this show recommended. (review by Catey Sullivan)

Review: The Rembrandt (Steppenwolf Theatre)

It doesn’t matter if you don’t know Rembrandt from Renoir, Manet from Monet. In its exploration of why art moves us – and moves us to take extraordinary measures to preserve it through eons – The Rembrandt unlocks the inner curator in everyone exploring the value of beauty, be it on canvas or clay or within the human spirit. Recommended. (review by Catey Sullivan)

Review: Five Guys Named Moe (Court Theatre)

Court Theatre's Five Guys Named Moe looks and sounds terrific. Set designer Courtney O’Neill has ingeniously turned the stage into the inside of a old time radio, and sound designer Victoria Deiorio makes everything sound grand. Louis Jordan deserves to be celebrated. Five Guys succeeds in doing just that. Recommended. (review by Catey Sullivan)

Review: Alias Grace (Rivendell Theatre)

Despite some shortcomings, world-premiere Alias Grace is well worth seeing. The story of Grace Mark is powerful both as history and as a commentary on history. Rivendell Theatre hasn’t captured the whole of it, but what it has is well the price of a ticket. Recommended. (review by Catey Sullivan)

Rev?iew: Bullets Over Broadway (NightBlue Performing Arts)

Under Kevin Bellie’s direction, Bullets Over Broadway does have moments of charm. But between these bright spots, the acting aesthetic is cartoons on hyperdrive – loud and garish enough to overpower anything akin to honest emotion. In short, more ham than humanity. (review by Catey Sullivan)

Review: A View from the Bridge (Goodman Theatre)

There’s a pall of suffocating dread woven through director Ivo Van Hove’s galvanizing take on Arthur Miller’s 1955 classic A View From the Bridge. Set in the 1950s, the story about immigration and incest is more than 60 years old, but it screams with urgency in Goodman Theatre's presentation of the original Young Vic production. Highly Recommended. (review by Catey Sullivan)

Review: Honeymoon in Vegas (Marriott Theatre)

You sorta have to love the rare musical like Marriott Theatre's Honeymoon in Vegas that sets a world we know to music. Sure, it’s based on a 25-year-old film comedy, but the targets of this satire by Andrew Bergman and Jason Robert Brown are still recognizable. Show More Summary

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