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: Uncle Vanya (Goodman Theatre)

Anton Chekhov's timeless Uncle Vanya questions how to be kind, loyal and useful to others while being true to oneself is the deeper theme inherent in the play. With ticket prices of $20 to $59, Goodman Theatre's production is a gift to the community. Show More Summary

Review: Venus in Fur (Circle Theatre)

Circle Theatre’s provocative and stunning Venus in Fur and its themes of domination, submission and performance are still with me in the days after the premiere. What could have been disastrous in the wrong hands, is instead intelligent, artistic and sexy in the right ones. (read Lauren Whalen's entire review...)

Review: A Disappearing Number (TimeLine Theatre)

Devised by the London-based Theatre de Complicite and conceived by Simon McBurney, A Disappearing Number is at once a mathematical mystery thriller, a romance, and a tragedy rooted in history. Not all of these elements are dramatically effective. Show More Summary

Review: Earthquakes in London (Steep Theatre)

With a bloated running time of three hours, Mike Bartlett’s "Earthquakes in London" tries to present a gripping saga of family and natural phenomena. Instead, it’s dull, overly long and by the end consists of a whiny, unsympathetic protagonist, a supporting cast that’s far more interesting and a lot of unnecessary content. Show More Summary

Review: The Scottsboro Boys (Porchlight Music Theatre)

In Kander and Ebb's "The Scottsboro Boys," powerfully presented by Porchlight Music Theatre, the juxtaposition of the antic shenanigans and the tragic story they’re telling creates the sense of a world profoundly out of joint. Though...Show More Summary

Review: The Snare (Jackalope Theatre)

Jackalope Theatre's world premiere production of The Snare is both ominous and affirming, horrific and surprisingly sweet. There are many times when it could have become overblown, gratuitous or stereotypical, and yet it never does.Show More Summary

Review: The Snare (Jackalope Theatre)

                    The Snare Written by Samantha Beach at Broadway Armory Park, 5917 N. Broadway (map) thru April 1  | tix: $5–$25  | more info         Check for half-price tickets                  Thoughtful, thrilling, and achingly human world premiere    photo      Jackalope Theatre presents      The Snare Review by Lauren Whalen Reading The […]

Review: A Wonder in My Soul (Victory Gardens Theater)

There’s an important, provocative and entertaining story buried within Marcus Gardley’s A Wonder in My Soul. The world premiere drama is filled with joy, strength and fascinating characters. The trouble is, the strongest elements of Victory Gardens production don't remain in the forefront. Show More Summary

Review: The Book of Joseph (Chicago Shakespeare Theater)

This world premiere play, based on one family's Holocaust story – equal parts frustrating, satisfying and full of unanswered questions – has compelling, inspiring roots and is beautifully acted by a strong ensemble. Unfortunately, the odd narrative structure and overdone production values detract from the stunning root material. Show More Summary

Review: Deep in the Heart of Tuna (New American Folk Theatre)

Deep in the Heart of Tuna is the newest script in the series of short plays chronicling the wacky exploits in Tuna, the third-smallest town in Texas Though well-directed by Derek Van Barham and featuring two actors who play a myriad of characters to comedic hilt, this Tuna suffers from a dated script with very few genuine laughs. (read Lauren Whalen's entire review....)

Review: The Wolf at the End of the Block (Teatro Vista)

Teatro Vista's world premiere by Ike Holter's never comes out and identifies just who the real wolf is, and that is to the play’scredit. It could be any of us. And that’s what helps make The Wolf at the End of the Block such a fascinating drama. Recommended. (read Catey Sullivan's entire review...)

Review: Carmen (Lyric Opera of Chicago, 2017)

For Lyric Opera's 2017 production of Geoges Bizet's Carmen, they have successfully adapted it to 1930s Spain. And to amp up the entertainment value, Lyric Opera has brought in Broadway showman Rob Ashford as director and choreographer. Still, music remains king (or, for Carmen, queen). Recommended.

Review: Game Changers (Joffrey Ballet of Chicago)

Game Changers is classic Joffrey - strong and stylish dancers flawlessly executing envelope-pushing choreography. The program is thoughtfully put together, with nods to ballet’s roots and genuine excitement for its future. Highly Recommended! (read Lauren Whalen's entire review....)

Review: The Illusionists – Live from Broadway (Broadway in Chicago

The Illusionists is terrific escapist entertainment. Each of the magicians showcased have their own gimmick, look and shtick. Over the course of two hours or so, they provide a range of illusionist ranging from extreme target shooting to card tricks to Houdini-styled escapes. (read Catey Sullivan's entire review....)

Review: The Nether (A Red Orchid Theatre)

Director Karen Kessler has shaped a vividly realized world with Jennifer Haley's haunting, futuristic thriller The Nether. The production is at once an escape from the real, and a vivid commentary on it. Recommended. (read Catey Sullivan's entire reivew...)

Review: Captain Blood (First Folio Theatre)

Swarthy pirates, saucy wenches and ridiculously coiffed villains - all-in-all there’s much to applaud in Captain Blood. David Rice’s adaptation of Rafael Sabatini’s 1922 adventure novel is a fine romp over land and sea, and an equally excellent antidote to the mid-winter blues. Show More Summary

Review: Bootycandy (Windy City Playhouse)

At times funny, at others disturbing and increasingly intriguing the deeper you get into the two-hour production, Windy City Playhouse's Bootycandy sneaks up on you, drawing you into the characters’ lives as they unfold in a series of moments that don’t always have obvious links. The end result is a production that’s powerful both visually and emotionally.

Review: The Assembled Parties (Raven Theatre)

Richard Greenberg's The Assembled Parties thoroughly captures family life in all its funny tragedy, and has a stunning lead performance by Loretta Rezos in her Raven Theatre debut. Like the best of holiday dinners, this production is rich, warm and ultimately satisfying. Highly Recommended! (read Lauren Whalen's entire review....)

Review: The History Boys (Eclectic Full Contact Theatre)

The History Boys by Alan Bennett is epic, funny, tragic and more than a little dark. Bennett’s script is specific in themes and casting, and very, very difficult to present effectively. Eclectic Theatre makes a valiant effort, and succeeds with several wonderful performances and interesting staging, although it doesn't quite gel in parts. Show More Summary

Review: Gloria (Goodman Theatre)

Playwright Branden Jacobs-Jenkins makes his points clearly and viciously in this sharply-observed satire of contemporary life, his primary target being millennials in the workplace. His dialogue is sharp and believable, often bitterly funny even as it packs an emotional punch, justifying the play's status as a 2016 Pultizer Prize finalist. Show More Summary

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