Blog Profile / Chicago Theater Blog

Filed Under:Arts / Theater & Performing Arts
Posts on Regator:1703
Posts / Week:4.1
Archived Since:April 27, 2010

Blog Post Archive

Review: The Mystery of Love and Sex (Writers Theatre)

Director Marti Lyons deploys a deft hand with Bathsheba Doran's The Mystery of Love and Sex. She keeps the pacing taut and elegantly navigates the thin line between humor and pathos. What she can’t overcome is the over-abundance of millennial naval-gazing that makes up the bulk of the play. Slightly Recommended. (read Catey Sullivan's entire review...)

Review: King of the Yees (Goodman Theatre)

In making her persona the star of her world premiere drama King of the Yees, playwright Lauren Yee has created a meta-format to explore her relationship with her father. This genre-melding is part mystery and part coming-of-age saga, a drama marked by broad comedy, steeped lightly in satire and soaked through with magical realism. Show More Summary

Review: Odysseo by Cavalia

Make no mistake - Odysseo is breathtaking from start to finish. Starring 65 horses and 48 human aerialists, acrobats and riders, the tech-heavy production is a staggeringly beautiful and impossibly elaborate affair that will send your jaw to the floor in the opening moments, and keep it there for the next three hours. 4 stars! (read Catey Sullivan's entire review...)

Review: Born Yesterday (Remy Bumppo Theatre)

After a rather uneventful first act, Born Yesterday picks up the steam of a runaway downhill freight train in the second act, powering through to a finale that feels downright prophetic. Playwright Garson Kanin gives audiences a world where the ignorant and the dangerous eventually fail. Show More Summary

Review: The Wiz (Kokandy Productions)

Kokandy director Lili-Anne Brown takes a literal stance on The Wiz, billing it as an urbanization of L. Frank Baum’s beloved tale, setting it in the amongst the graffiti-strewn Kansas Homes. Brown makes the production rich with vivid details - the neighborhood might not be wealthy, but it’s bursting with humanity. Show More Summary

Review: Beyond Caring (Lookingglass Theatre)

It’s been over a century since the publishing of Upton Sinclair's The Jungle, the seminal, muckraking expose of working conditions in Chicago’s stockyards. Alexander Zeldin’s Beyond Caring is a Jungle for the 21st century. It’s not as sweeping as Sinclair’s classic, but it’s every bit as disturbing and urgent. Show More Summary

Review: In to America (Griffin Theatre)

In To America is a stark, complex and emotional reminder of what truly makes America great, with stories ranging from heartbreaking to funny and everything in between: scrappy street urchins and governmental distrust, hot dogs outside...Show More Summary

Review: Destiny of Desire (Goodman Theatre)

With Goodman Theatre's Destiny of Desire, playwright Karen Zacarias might have invented a new theatrical genre. The unabashedly histrionic production is part Greek tragedy, part frantic sex farce and entirely steeped in the aesthetic of Latin American telenovelas. Highly Recommended! (read Catey Sullivan's entire review...)

Review: The Source (Route 66 Theatre)

Over the course of 85 minutes, I was totally immersed in the action - when the characters jumped, I jumped. I gasped when a knock on the door signaled a turning point in their collective fate. The Source is well-written, smartly directed world premiere that features two fantastic Chicago actors. Recommended. (read Catey Sullivan's entier review....)

Review: The Hard Problem (Court Theatre)

Court Theatre's The Hard Problem, by Tom Stoppard, is sleek, smart and beguiling. Director Charles Newell’s sharp and luminous cast keeps you engaged both intellectually and emotionally, even when the dialogue is less than dazzling. Recommended. (read Catey Sullivan's entire review...)

Review: truth and reconciliation (Sideshow Theatre)

Sideshow Theatre's truth and reconciliation isn’t perfect, but it is incredibly ambitious. On the whole it succeeds, exploring the nuance and humanity behind conflicts small and large. With sure and confident direction, stellar production...Show More Summary

Review: Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater (Auditorium Theatre, 2017)

Always teeming with enthusiastic and grateful fans, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater is a belated Christmas gift to Chicago. Dancers who defy gravity, choreographers who make thoughtful and stirring pieces, and the masterpiece that is Revelations make for an unforgettable evening. Show More Summary

Review: Henry V (Babes With Blades Theatre)

Shakespeare’s Henry V is one of the more beloved history plays, and Babes With Blades seeks to give the script a modern twist with an all-female cast and realistic stage violence, as Director Hayley Rice stages Henry V as a play-within-a-play at an all-girls school. Show More Summary

Review: Circus 1903 (Broadway in Chicago)

The real stars of Circus 1903 are not humans. The show’s signature is its life-sized puppet elephants, created by designer Melvyn Millar. But while the elephants are wonderful, Circus 1903 has big problems with the ringmaster Willy Whipsnade, played by David Williamson. Show More Summary

Review: Straight White Men (Steppenwolf Theatre)

At 90 minutes, Steppenwolf's Straight White Men, written and directed by Young Jean Lee, zips by at the pace of an expertly timed sitcom, but plumbs depths worthy of a dissertation. By exposing and questioning the power of privilege, Straight White Men is as necessary as it is entertaining.

Review: Phantom Pain (Organic Theater Company)

Chicago playwright Barbara Lhota's world premiere Phantom Pain could have been a nuanced portrayal of friendship, race and privilege, but instead is unfortunately a thin one-dimensional ploy for controversy. (read Lauren Whalen's entire review)

Review: Gentle (TUTA Theatre)

Gentle doesn’t appear to have much of a point, nor does it dig especially deep into its antihero’s psyche. Thankfully, the material is elevated through stellar production values and first-rate performances. Recommended (read Lauren Whalen's entire review...)

Review: Urinetown (BoHo Theatre)

Boho Theatre’s budget may be small compared to the well-oiled musical theater machines found elsewhere in Chicago, but make no mistake, their production of Urinetown packs a mighty punch. Director Stephen Schellhardt’s staging is bursting with heart, spectacle and harmonious, rafter-raising vocals. Highly Recommended. (read Catey Sullivan's entire review...)

Review: Love’s Labor’s Lost (Chicago Shakespeare, 2017)

Director Marti Maraden does as well as anyone could with Love’s Labor’s Lost, a production that looks gorgeous on stage, but the script itself is lacking. If nothing else, the production will make you want to hit up the Romantic/Impressionistic collection wing of the Art Institute. Slightly Recommended. (read Catey Sullivan's entire review...)

Review: Sweeney Todd (Paramount Theatre)

It’s clear from Sweeney Todd's opening number that Director Jim Corti understands both the scope of the show, and how to make it work within the soaring spaces of the Paramount. Several bars into the opening number, the stage seems to explode outward, an explosive harbinger of what’s to follow. Highly Recommended. (read Catey Sullivan's entire review...)

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