Blog Profile / Chicago Theater Blog

Filed Under:Arts / Theater & Performing Arts
Posts on Regator:1658
Posts / Week:4.3
Archived Since:April 27, 2010

Blog Post Archive

Review: Prelude to a Kiss (The Comrades)

The Comrades' Prelude to a Kiss is acted with resonance and skill, along with lots of laughs, and clever use of popular music along the way. Aptly directed by artistic director Derek Bertelsen, this play is funny yet poignant, and certainly worth your time. Recommended.

Review: Psychonaut Librarians (The New Colony)

There’s a lot to like about Psychonaut Librarians. Though inconsistent at times, the story of a mother, a daughter and drug trip-induced time travel is both entertaining and compelling. Thanks to the artistic vision of Vanderwarker and her production team, this world-premiere production is a strong notch in The New Colony's season. Show More Summary

Review: The Tall Girls (Shattered Globe Theatre)

If you look hard enough, there are glimmers of potential buried in Meg Miroshnik’s Depression-era drama of teenage girls trying to escape an oppressive world by teaming up to play basketball. But the sparks are few, and often only serve to illustrate what The Tall Girls might have been. Slightly Recommended. (read Catey Sullivan's entire review....)

Review: The Baltimore Waltz (Brown Paper Box Co.)

A tragedy handled with fantasy and comedy, Brown Paper Box Co.’s The Baltimore Waltz is mournful, vulnerable and memorable. Short but effective, Playwright Paula Vogel's play is both universal and deeply personal, a whimsical exploration of a brother and sister and the ultimate loss of letting go. Highly Recommended. (read Lauren Whalen's entire review....)

Review: Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (Pride Films and Plays)

Priscilla, Queen of the Desert is an unapologetic campfest of fabulous drag-queen proportions, and an homage to 70's disco music. Though Honey West does a star turn in this produciton, Priscilla unfortunately isn’t The Honey West Show. Show More Summary

Review: The Hunter and the Bear (Writers Theatre)

Writers Theatre's world premiere The Hunter and the Bear, created by PigPen Theatre, may be a tad long for what it has to say, but with just a little judicious trimming it can have legs for a long life ahead. Recommended. (read John Olson's entire review....)

Review: Winter (Rivendell Theatre)

Winter is coming - we all reach the point where there is far more behind us than ahead. Rivendell Theatre's Winter, by Julie Jensen, exploring one woman's personal winter as she comes to grips with her nascent dementia, is sometimes moving but more often a superficial exploration of her impending mortality. Slightly Recommended. (read Catey Sullivan's entire review....)

SNL takes on Chicago the Musical: “Roxie” becomes “Conway”, as in Kellyanne Conway

In Saturday Night Live's parody of Chicago the Musical’s “Roxie”, Kellyanne Conway (played by Kate McKinnon) reveals the real reason she joined Donald Trump's campaign. Hilarious!

Review: The Temperamentals (About Face Theatre)

The sad irony regarding The Temperamentals is how achingly relevant it feels today. Though Playwright Jon Marans' acclaimed off-Broadway play takes place in the early 1950s, many themes ring true today. For this reason and many others,...Show More Summary

Review: Mr. and Mrs. Pennyworth (Lookingglass Theatre)

Lookingglass Theatre’s Doug Hara has fashioned a charming and touching fable, presented with the help of some highly inventive multi-media stagecraft in this charming and touching world premiere. Mr. and Mrs. Pennyworth is a story about kindness that deserves to be told for a long time. Highly Recommended! (read John Olson's entire review....)

Review: The Weir (Irish Theatre of Chicago)

Playwright Conor McPherson’s writing captures the quintessential nature of the Irish, though I wish The Weir’s sole female character was more broadly defined and less of a stereotype. Overall, however, Irish Theatre of Chicago's production is a pleasant way to spend an evening. Recommended. (read Lauren Whalen's entire review....)

Review: The Christians (Steppenwolf Theatre)

Lucas Hnath’s latest drama, The Christians, is packed with the sort of provocative questions that fuel all-night philosophical discussions. As a debate, Steppenwolf's production has merit. As a drama, it falls short. This 80-minute piece ends up being underwritten, unoriginal and lacking in dramatic momentum. Show More Summary

Review: La Gringa (UrbanTheater Company)

This La Gringa is worth the trip west, with an energetic cast and a lovely message about home and family. A solid production from beginning to end, La Gringa is heartwarming but not sappy, presented in a welcoming venue by a talented ensemble. Highly Recommended! (read Lauren Whalen's entire review...)

Review: Her America (Greenhouse Theater, Solo Celebration)

Part of Greenhouse Theater's Solo Celebration! series, Her America, by Brett Neveu, has a troubling premise regarding women's choices. That being said, Kate Buddeke is an actor of fierce abilities, directed well by Linda Gillum. Slightly Recommended. (read Catey Sullivan's entire review....)

Review: What of the Night? (Cor Theatre & Stage Left Theatre)

Nominated for a Pulitzer Prize when it first premiered in 1990, Cuban-American playwright María Irene Fornés’s What of the Night? is an important, but rarely produced, work of unconventional theater. Ambitiously presented by Cor Theatre and Stage Left Theatre, it thematically explores poverty and survival through a series of four unique segments. Show More Summary

Review: Honky Tonk Angels (Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre)

Despite a winning roster of country favorites and powerful, talented voices to serve them up, Honky Tonk Angels is all but done in by the barrage of clichés that creator Ted Swindley has mushed into a plot that’s staler than year-old corn pone. Slightly Recommended. (read Catey Sullivan's entire review....)

Review: The Sundial (City Lit Theater)

Despite a few strong performances, City Lit Theater's The Sundial fails to fully deliver. Though based on the novel by influential author Shirley Jackson, it's clear here that not every literary work adapts well to the stage. Adaptor/Dirctor Paul Edwards is very clearly passionate about Jackson, but passion doesn’t translate in this adaptation. Show More Summary

Review: Men on Boats (American Theater Company)

There’s power in the image of women working together to ensure each other’s survival, all the while refusing to be categorized in terms of traditional gender norms. Unfortunately, that power is too often buried far below the swells in American Theater Comapny's Men on Boats. Slightly Recommended. (read Catey Sullivan's entire review...)

Chicago’s Best Theater of 2016

         See our picks below the fold                       Chicago’s best theater of 2016 (in alphabetical order; all summaries by Lauren Whalen)           Byhalia, Mississippi The New Colony / Definition Theatre  (Jan 11 – March 14) Evan Linder’s uncompromising look at infidelity in the American South enjoyed simultaneous world premieres in […]

Top 10 Chicago Productions of 2016

Another year, another 12 months of great theater! 2016 blessed the Windy City with inspired new works and riveting revivals from a wide range of companies – from the largest equity houses and dance companies to the smallest of Chicago’s storefronts. Show More Summary

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