Blog Profile / Chicago Theater Blog

Filed Under:Arts / Theater & Performing Arts
Posts on Regator:1543
Posts / Week:4.3
Archived Since:April 27, 2010

Blog Post Archive

Review: Death and Harry Houdini (The House Theatre, 2016)

House Theatre's Death and Harry Houdini is a guaranteed visual feast, but at its core, the play is a journey into the mind of a genius. For every moment of vulnerability, there’s an illusion; for every trick, there’s a motivation, a feeling. The magic continues through summer. Just go. Highly Recommended. (read Lauren Whalen's entire review....)

Review: The SpongeBob Musical (Broadway in Chicago)

The talented team behind SpongeBob Musical set out to create an entertaining Broadway show specifically for children, parents in tow, and they nailed it. So, get your tickets because a volcano is set to erupt that will destroy life as we know it, sponges included. Highly Recommennded! (read Corey Taylor's entire review....)

Review: The Art of Falling (Hubbard Street Dance Chicago & Second City)

A Hubbard Street Dance and Second City collaboration, The Art of Falling is back by popular demand. these two Chicago institutions deliver their sublimely charming reflection on the foibles of falling—that’s ‘ love,’ in case the hanging silence at the end wasn’t clear. Highly Recommeded! (read Clint May's entire review....)

Review: Xanadu (American Theater Company)

America Theater Co's Xanadu is 100 minutes of pure sparkling fun – a love letter to a time that’s since taken on a soft focus in American pop culture. No one will forget how terribly received the movie was, and Xanadu the musical is all too self-aware, without letting go of its campy spirit. Highly Recommended! (read Lauren Whalen's entire review....)

Review: Caught (Sideshow Theatre)

Sideshow Theatre's Caught has ambition to spare, but where the production falters is in its execution. Christopher Chen’s script winks at the audience to the point of annoyance, so concerned with flaunting its intellect that it never really engages, leaving the production's arc working better in theory than practice. (read Lauren Whalen's entire review....)

Review: Spinning (Irish Theatre of Chicago)

Without a doubt, Irish Theatre's Spinning is a compelling, emotional parable. The show's acting is hypnotic, but unfortunately the script comes across flat and predictable at times. If Playwright Dierdre Kinahan had taken a different approach, this could have taken ideas of grief and redemption to a whole new level. Recommended. (read Lauren Whalen's entire review...)

Review: The North Pool (Interrobang Theatre Project)

While playwright Rajiv Joseph has penned a strong, dynamic script with Interrobang's The North Pool", and the two actors carry it off well, director James Yost has almost shied away from the tough subject matter that makes such plays so important. Recommended. (read Lauren Whalen's entire review....)

Review: The Distance (Haven Theatre)

Haven Theatre's The Distance is a potential sleeper hit, a dramedy about ordinary people, the decisions they make and the lives they affect. Bruce’s characters are the most human I’ve seen in a long while, and combined with excellent direction and a strong cast, this U.S. premiere is one for the record books. Highly Recommended! (read Lauren Whalen's entire review...)

Review: Prowess (Jackalope Theatre)

Bitingly funny, but touching and frightening at the same time, Ike Holter's world premiere Prowess" at Jackalope Theatre reminds us that, as Chicagoans, we’re not so far removed from the violence we learn about in the news. Highly Recommended! (read John Olson's entire review....)

Review: Haymarket – The Anarchist’s Songbook (Underscore Theatre)

The story told in Underscore Theatre's world premiere is not only of historical significance but one with a sweep and grandeur worthy of musical theater. Writers Alex Higgin-Houser and composer David Kornfeld have a good start with their accessible, folk-influenced score. Recommended! (read John Olson's entire review....)

Review: One Man, Two Guvnors (Court Theatre)

Director Charles Newell and company are determined to provide a good time, and they definitely succeedIt’s worth the trip to Hyde Park and you’ll still come away with a better knowledge of stage comedy tradition and a new appreciation for the comic skills of local actors. Recommended! (read John Olson's entire review...)

Review: The Producers (Mercury Theater Chicago)

The Producers may well be the out-and-out funniest musical ever written. And if this production doesn’t entirely match the original in mirth, it beats it hands down in musical performance! Recommended. (read Johnn Olson's entire review....)

Review: Tug of War – Foreign Fire (Chicago Shakespeare Theater)

Chicago Shakespeare's Tug of War boasts a stunning ensemble and top-notch design and live music. Despite all of its strengths, however, Tug of War doesn’t quite work - it has a very specific audience and requires a huge time commitment. Recommended. (read Lauren Whalen's entire review....)

Review: Once in a Lifetime (Strawdog Theatre)

The spirit of Strawdog Theatre will live on wherever this ensemble lands, so an overly elegiac tone need not be invoked. That said, as a finale for their home, Strawdog does what all great performers do—they leave us laughing. Highly Recommended! (read Clint May's entire review...)

Review: Little Shop of Horrors (American Blues Theater)

With American Blue's production of Little Shop of Horrors, we find a reliably fun vehicle with a stellar Equity cast, and Jonathan Berry’s direction presents it with all the skill and care this entertaining show deserves. Recommended! (read John Olson's entire review....)

Review: The Secretaries (About Face Theatre)

About Face Theatre's The Secretaries is a bloody good time, though a bit inconsistent. Grab your most-twisted friends, order a few drinks, tuck in and wait patiently through exposition and setup for some genuinely funny jokes and an even funnier cast. Recommended. (read Lauren Whalen's entire review...)

Review: In the Heat of the Night (Shattered Globe Theatre)

The foundation of the production – Matt Pelfrey’s script – is rock-solid. But Louis Contey’s cast never fully captures either the heat or the darkness so crucial to the story. They deliver their lines and hit their marks, but there’s little punch or momentum to the production. (read Catey Sullivan's entire review....)

Review: Taste (Red Theater Chicago)

Taste is absolutely not for the faint of heart, and is like nothing I’ve ever seen. If you have a strong stomach and a sick sense of humor, I highly recommend this Chicago premiere. (read Lauren Whalen's entire review...)

Review: A Red Line Runs Through It (Second City e.t.c.)

A Red Line Runs Through It is a funny commentary on the anxiety-laden life in Chicago specifically, with a definite bias toward northside-near-the-lakefront crowd. It has a good share of improv along with the scripted material devised by the diverse and talented cast, all culminating in an enjoyable evening for all. Recommended! (read John Olson's entire review...)

Review: Dry Land (Rivendell Theatre)

The Midwest premiere of Ruby Rae Spiegel's 'Dry Land' is a bold new work that takes on the thorny issue of abortion with brutal honesty and surprising notes of grace and humor. Highly Recommended! (read Clint May's entire review...)

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