Blog Profile / Chicago Theater Blog

Filed Under:Arts / Theater & Performing Arts
Posts on Regator:1160
Posts / Week:4.5
Archived Since:April 27, 2010

Blog Post Archive

Review: Hannukatz the Musical (New National Pastime Theater)

It is clear that this is a well-meaning production meant to be a fun but offbeat family show, and it certainly has its moments. Unfortunately, due to its oddball humor, it comes across as bizarre and not quite as much fun as it tries to be. (read more...)

Review: You Never Can Tell (Remy Bumppo Theatre)

Shawn Douglass’ direction is even handed and keeps the tone of levity at all times even when there is deeper emotions present, thus paying homage to George Bernard Shaw's skill in adding texture and content to what could be a mere confection or comedy of manners. Kudos to Remy Bumppo for gifting Chicago with this radiant production! (read more...)

Review: Long Way Go Down (Jackalope Theatre)

Long Way Go Down juxtaposes humor with drama, nuance with catharsis, and thrills with poignancy. Its resolution satisfies, leaving you eager to muse about what happens to the characters five years down the road. Sequel, please. (read more...)

Review: SPANK! The Fifty Shades Parody (Royal George Theatre)

Prepared to by surrounded by drunken cougars who are in full hearted giggle-fest. This is the perfect Girls-Night-Out for Chicagoland gal pals. And if you're not into the story, watching the audience loosen up in enjoyment (fyi: alcohol is available) can become the entertainment. (read more...)

Review: Failure: A Love Story (Victory Gardens Theater)

Thanks to Seth Bockley’s adventurous interpretation of Philip Dawkins’ fanciful script, Failure: A Love Story brings a cheerful perspective to life’s only certainty besides taxes – and an Our Town-esque testament to fleeting, precious time. (read more...)

Review: It’s a Wonderful Life: Live at the Biograph! (American Blues Theater)

It’s a Wonderful Life: Live at the Biograph! is the gift to give yourself and loved ones this year. It’s a wonderful holiday memory to share. (read more...)

Review: El Stories: Holiday Train (Waltzing Mechanics)

CTA stories in a city full of people that have, at one time or another, had to deal with it is a wonderful idea for a play. But this production falls short of the relatable, warm and humorous must-see show that it could be yet it doesn’t fail entirely; it just needs to be consistent. (read more...)

Review: The Christmas Schooner (Mercury Theater)

Chicago has long deserved and, for 17 years now, has thoroughly enjoyed its own Christmas musical, a characteristically commercial celebration of entrepreneurial and meteorological risk-taking. The Christmas Schooner reflects our surprisingly sentimental, hardscrabble, tough-loving town at its well-earned best. (read more...)

Review: The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey (Provision Theater)

While there’s a lot to like about this show, it might be a bit too static for children to fully enjoy. Moreover, labeling the somewhat low-stakes resolution of this story as a “miracle” smacks of hyperbole. But this production succeeds as a simple, heartwarming story about three characters coming to grips with painful loss. (read more...)

Review: A Christmas Carol (Goodman Theatre)

The annual production has been a Chicago holiday tradition (and Gooman cash cow) for 35 years now so, to be honest, it doesn't really matter much what I think of it. Knowing this means less pressure for me as a critic; I just experienced it – and what a warm, jolly experience it was. (read more...)

Review: Cinderella (Marriott Theatre)

Marriot Theatre for Young Audiences created a lovely rendition of this classic Rodgers and Hammerstein musical. Produced in the round, every seat is a good one. (read more...)

Review: Mother Superior’s Ho-Ho-Holy Night (Royal George Theatre)

This show has a lot of potential, and the script has many opportunities for some good laughs; it’s a shame that they aren’t fully explored. Sister Gabriel should know better than anyone that if you spare the ruler you spoil the fun. (read more...)

Review: It’s a Wonderful SantaLand Miracle Nut Cracking Christmas….Jews Welcome (Street Tempo Theatre)

I love variety shows and have longed for their return to the small screen. Well now I have hope, as Street Tempo Theatre brings the audience an early present of mayhem, laughs, and a sprinkle of poignancy.

Review: Cinderella (Emerald City Theatre and Broadway in Chicago)

With Cinderella, the cast is talented enough, but they can only do so much with a tepid script and forgettable music. Not that every child will appreciate live theater, but when your target audience is kids and you lose a lot of their attention, it’s time to let Fairy Godmother take a crack at that script. (read more...)

Review: Annie (Paramount Theatre)

Cloying but cumulatively endearing, the songs soften the Christmastide story; Rachel Rockwell’s production values are Paramount-proud. But they can’t disguise the fact that Annie is basically a crash course in neo-feudalism, its focus...Show More Summary

Review: The Second City’s Nut-Cracking Holiday Review (Second City)

Overall, The Second City’s Nut-Cracking Holiday Revue exudes high-energy that is good for some laughs. It is different enough from other holiday shows and other comedy shows to merit a view. (read more...)

Review: The Nutcracker (The House Theatre of Chicago)

This magical, ingenious retelling of a classic tale assures The House Theater’s The Nutcracker a well-earned place in Chicago’s holiday-entertainment pantheon. (read more...)

Review: Welcome Home, Jenny Sutter! (Next Theatre)

Playwright Julie Marie Myatt wanted to write about our forgotten veterans returning home and trying – not always successfully – to re-integrate into society. This lovely piece, in fact, erases the line between soldier and civilian, making us realize that the pain of a soldier is not something we should segregate from the state of being human. (read more...)

Review: Santaland Diaries (Theater Wit)

Sly and effortlessly endearing, Mitchell Fain as the elf plays the audience like a mouth harp, mischievously relishing the delicious details and shock effects of David Sedaris’ naughty confession. (more info...)

Review: Santa’s Dead! & Dirty Carol’s Christmas: A Holiday Double Feature (MidTangent Productions)

This campy theater company aims to bring good old-fashioned Christmas cheer – well, if by “Christmas cheer” you mean “murdered Santa Claus and off-kilter TV special” in their set of one-acts, this holiday double feature is, for the most part, joyously irreverent and well worth the price of admission. (read more....)

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