Blog Profile / Chicago Theater Blog

Filed Under:Arts / Theater & Performing Arts
Posts on Regator:1572
Posts / Week:4.4
Archived Since:April 27, 2010

Blog Post Archive

Review: Smokey Joe’s Cafe (Drury Lane Theatre)

Per Catey Sullivan: By the time the powerhouse Smokey Joe ensemble goes into the reprise that (almost) closes the show, you’ll feel like these people are your old friends. And when the Stand By Me finale kicks into high gear, you’ll already be missing both the people and the place. Highly Recommended!

Review: Mamma Mia! (Paramount Theatre)

Reviewer Catey Sullivan: Paramount Theatre's Mamma Mia!, directed by Jim Corti, is the most delightfully over-the-top musicals you’re apt to see this season. But unapologetically kitschy is precisely what Mamma Mia! calls for. On the fence about shelling out for a ticket? Go ahead. Take a chance.

Review: Hot to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying (Marriott Theatre)

Marriott Theatre's How to Succeed in Business looks great. But scratch the surface of strong performances and slick production values, and there’s nothing resembling the human condition – or even a satirical version thereof. Slightly Recommended. (read Catey Sullivan's entire review...)

Review: Next to Normal (BoHo Theatre)

With Boho Theatre's stellar Next to Normal, there’s no compromising of musicianship, with the stellar vocals of all six in the cast under the musical direction of Ellen K. Morris. Despite wobbles on opening weekend, director Linda Fortunato and cast give us a musical that is incredibly moving throughout. Highly Recommended! (read John Olson's entire review....)

Review: Kinky Boots (Broadway in Chicago, 2016)

Broadway in Chicago's Kinky Boots, by Cyndi Lauper and Harvey Fierstein, is back for its 2nd national tour (after first having its Broadway-bound world premiere here in 2012), and it's bigger and better than ever, delivering the whole package of feel-good glitter-infused fun. Highly Recommended! (read John Olson's entire review....)

Review: For Annie (The Sound)

The Sound Chicago's world premiere of For Annie, by Beth Hyland, is a haunting cry for help and a meditation on the intricacies of grief. This cry and meditation just happens to involve glitter, choreography and matching T-shirts, and none of these make the powerful production any less real, or any less heartbreaking. Highly Recommended! (read Lauren Whalen's entire review...)

Review: Rose (Solo Celebration at Greenhouse Theater)

Greenhouse Theater's "Rose", part of their summer-long Solo Celebration! festival, speeds by as the audience is kept entranced by the inner workings of matriarch Rose Kennedy, a woman we think we know about but don’t really know. Linda Reiter's powerful performance brings us a moving, entrancing woman full of bottled-up emotions. Show More Summary

Review: Bakersfield Mist (TimeLine Theatre)

TimeLine Theatre's Bakersfield Mist is equal parts comedic and heartbreaking, acknowledging absurdity and cliché without ever descending into either. Thanks to playwright Stephen Sachs and director Kevin Christopher Fox an odd situation is made unforgettable, and a situation of opposites a sweet and haunting search for truth. Show More Summary

Review: Mame (Light Opera Works)

Light Opera Works' glitzy production of Mame looks great. And musically Mame, with its 32-member cast and 26-member full orchestra, sounds great. The score – arguably Jerry Herman’s most popular, and one that exemplifies the term showtunes at their finest – is given a strong reading both vocally and orchestrally. Recommended! (read John Olson's entire review....)

Review: The Good Person of Szechwan (Cor Theatre)

Cor Theatre's The Good Person of Szechwan, Tony Kushner's adaptation/translation of the Bertolt Brecht classic parable, shows us the difficulty of being good in a world filled with people who care only for their own survival, with the final moments of the production presenting a situation easily applicable in our real world. Recommended. (read Mark Davidson's entire review....)

Review: Bloodshot (Solo Celebration, Greenhouse Theater)

Greenhouse Theater's Bloodshot, part of their Solo Celebration! series, is a compelling, nuanced story in the wrong medium - a story of obsession and murder that deserves a better outlet than an overly long one-man show. Despite this fact, Simon Slater's performance is examplary and the production values are top-notch. (read Lauren Whalen's entire review....)

Review: The Promise of a Rose Garden (Babes With Blades)

Babes With Blades’ world premiere of Dustin Spence’s The Promise of a Rose Garden contains strong performances, well-design fight scenes and solid production design. Despite weaknesses in the script in the 2nd Act, Babes' production is recommended. (read Mark Davidson's entire review...)

Review: Three Hotels (Bluebird Arts)

Bluebird Arts' Three Hotels is a lovely morality play, a family tragedy with occasional gallows humor that’s written with both heart and bite. The audience truly roots for this production – the story, the characters, the plastic set – only to exit 80 minutes later, pursued by disappointment. (read Lauren Whalen's entire review....)

Review: Bite–A Pucking Queer Cabaret (Pride Films and Plays)

Derek Van Barham’s Bite is pure enjoyment. A loose adaptation of Midsummer Night’s Dream, at first glance Bite appars to be pure camp, but as the show swirls by, this glittery cabaret feast shows a remarkable amount of intelligence and depth. Highly Recommended! (read Lauren Whalen's entire review...)

Review: Direct from Death Row–The Scottsboro Boys (Raven Theatre, 2016)

With Playwright Mark Stein’s Direct From Death Row: The Scottsboro Boys, presented by Raven Theatre, the audience is brought a piece of history not found in many text books, but done in such a way as to make it unforgettable. Highly Recommended! (read the entire review by Duan Barnes....)

Review: Einstein’s Gift (Genesis Theatricals)

in Genesis Theatricals' Einstein's Gift by Verne Thiessen, we find a fascinating, true story about Einstein and Fritz Haber become a dull flat production that feels more like a history project than a full-fledged productions

Review: Einstein’s Gift (Genesis Theatricals)

                             Einstein’s Gift  Written by Verne Thiessen Athenaeum Theatre, 2936 N. Southport (map) thru Aug 28  |  tix: $30  |  more info         Check for half-price tickets                  Fascinating story falls flat...Show More Summary

Review: Newsies (Broadway in Chicago, 2016)

With Broadway in Chicago's and Disney Theatricals' Newsies, prepare to be entertained! The energy of the 28-member cast, of which nearly 20 are young men under 25, is boundless; as director Jeff Calhoun and choreographer Christopher Gattelli keep them in perpetual motion for 2 hours and 20 minutes of stage time. Highly Recommended! (read John Olson's entire review....)

Review: War Paint (Goodman Theatre)

With Goodman Theatre's world premiere War Paint, there’s much to like and enjoy. The two starring divas, Patti LuPone and Kristine Ebersole, don’t disappoint. The two actresses have 14 songs each, so there’s ample opportunity to enjoy their vocal talents. Highly Recommended! (read John Olson's entire review...)

Review: Douglass (the american vicarious)

Review by Mark Davidson: The american vicarious's world premiere "Douglass" is a worthy account of the crusade of the most revered abolitionist in this country’s history. With an intriguing set highlighting a variety of visual tableaus, enhanced by strategic use of both light and shadow, this production is a delight to experience. Highly Recommended!

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