All stories by Emily McClanathan on BroadwayStars

Friday, May 5, 2023
Wednesday, April 26, 2023

Review: ‘We Are Proud to Present’ is a brave beginning for Theatre Y in North Lawndale by Emily McClanathan

After several years of working to relocate from Lincoln Square to North Lawndale, Theatre Y finally has a new home a block south of the Pink Line’s Central Park stop.

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 03:30PM
Monday, April 17, 2023

Review: ‘Is God Is’ is a dark revenge tale in its Chicago premiere at A Red Orchid Theatre by Emily McClanathan

In the small storefront A Red Orchid calls home, the violence of "Is God Is" is always in your face and content warnings are plentiful.

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 12:55PM
Wednesday, April 5, 2023

White saviorism: the musical! by Emily McClanathan

The Book of Mormon is back in Chicago, slightly rewritten since it last played here in 2018 but still the same wildly irreverent take on that most quintessential of homegrown white American …

SOURCE: at 09:00AM
Thursday, March 30, 2023

Soviet slapstick by Emily McClanathan

Heading into opening night of Dying for It at Artistic Home, I wasn’t sure what to expect from Moira Buffini’s adaptation of The Suicide, a 1928 satire by Soviet playwright Nikolai Erdma…

SOURCE: at 12:03PM

Broadway star Norm Lewis says you have to find a sense of hope in ‘A Soldier’s Play’ by Emily McClanathan

The play is much more than a crime drama, it sheds light on the history of segregation and racism in the U.S. Army and broader American society.

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 06:15AM
Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Review: In ‘Babel’ at Redtwist Theatre, expecting couples face eugenics and AI in a dystopian future by Emily McClanathan

The play raises important questions but is less successful in its attempt to capture the human cost of striving for utopia.

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 03:22PM
Monday, March 6, 2023

They both play the Queen of Rock ‘n’ Roll in ‘Tina - The Tina Turner Musical’ by Emily McClanathan

Naomi Rodgers and Zurin Villanueva lead the North American tour of the biographical jukebox musical, arriving at the Nederlander Theatre in March.

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 06:30AM
Thursday, March 2, 2023

Quantum romance by Emily McClanathan

Simon Stephens’s play Heisenberg: The Uncertainty Principle is set up as a classic story of culture clash: a quirky, talkative woman from New Jersey strikes up a conversation with a reserv…

SOURCE: at 04:55PM
Tuesday, February 28, 2023

Review: ‘The Kelly Girls’ is set in Northern Ireland and explores what drives people to violence by Emily McClanathan

“The Kelly Girls,” in its world premiere at The Factory Theater, is a politically charged family drama that takes place during the early years of the Troubles.

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 06:00AM
Thursday, February 9, 2023

Review: Black Americans wrestle with their identity in ‘Alaiyo’ at Definition Theatre by Emily McClanathan

“Alaiyo” is billed as a choreopoem, a loosely defined genre often incorporates elements of poetry, dance and music.

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 06:15AM
Tuesday, February 7, 2023

After more than 25 years, a fond farewell and a final show for First Folio Theatre in Oak Brook by Emily McClanathan

“What I would like to be remembered for is for bringing joy to our patrons and to our actors and directors and designers,” said executive director David Rice.

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 06:45AM
Monday, January 23, 2023

Chicago Puppet Theater Fest’s first week had a whale of a ‘Moby Dick,’ tiny figures and a marionette made of ice by Emily McClanathan

Chicago's big, ongoing festival presents an excellent opportunity to sample a vast range of artistry from around the world. Not just for kids.

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 03:20PM
Thursday, December 15, 2022

Searching for an emotional connection with Dear Evan Hansen by Emily McClanathan

I’ve now seen the North American tour of Dear Evan Hansen twice in Chicago, and both times I’ve come up short trying to feel the emotional connection that so many fans have with this sho…

SOURCE: at 04:17PM
Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Review: ‘A Christmas Carol’ at the Goodman Theatre tells Scrooge’s lesson anew every year by Emily McClanathan

In Larry Yando's hands, it's Scrooge’s transformation from hardhearted miser into “as good a friend … and as good a man, as the good old city knew” that makes makes this a classic.

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 06:45AM
Monday, December 5, 2022

Review: ‘Elf: The Musical’ at Drury Lane Theatre: The cast does its best with a misguided coal lump of a musical by Emily McClanathan

On paper, the 2003 holiday movie comedy starring Will Ferrell seems like a great candidate for a screen-to-stage adaptation.

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 02:05PM
Monday, November 28, 2022

Review: ‘Mosque4Mosque’ by About Face Theatre is a comedy about a gay Muslim man that gets complicated by Emily McClanathan

It is a universal truth that mothers must meddle in their children’s love lives, and the Syrian American family in Omer Abbas Salem’s new play is no different.

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 06:30AM
Tuesday, November 15, 2022

The trucks carrying the ‘Lion King’ tour have a whole Serengeti full of puppets, costumes and creatures aboard by Emily McClanathan

Michael Curry designed part of the look of the original Broadway production with Julie Taymor. The touring show is in Chicago for the fifth time.

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 06:45AM
Thursday, November 10, 2022

Review: ‘Blue Heaven’ at Black Ensemble channels blues legends from B.B. King to Muddy Waters by Emily McClanathan

Accompanied by a live band, the cast performs with such charisma that many audience members were clapping along — and some were dancing.

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 06:45AM
Wednesday, November 2, 2022

Miami death trip by Emily McClanathan

Teenagers tend to be reckless, sure, but few would gather in a spooky tree house to summon the spirit of Colombian drug cartel leader Pablo Escobar. But then, most aren’t […] The post Mi…

SOURCE: at 03:19PM
Tuesday, October 25, 2022

Review: ‘Man and Moon’ is a moving play about unlikely friends in a hospital oncology waiting room by Emily McClanathan

This story about human connection across differences provides a hopeful, aspirational glimpse at our better selves.

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 06:00AM
Saturday, October 15, 2022

Review: ‘Sancocho’ by Visión Latino Theatre: Secrets are spilled as sisters cook an old family recipe on stage by Emily McClanathan

Two-hander plays starring Latinas are having a moment in this year’s Destinos Festival.

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 03:31PM
Tuesday, October 11, 2022

Review: Raven Theatre’s revival of ‘Private Lives’ is stylish but lacks that romantic fizz by Emily McClanathan

Two couples settle into side-by-side suites, only for one half of each pair to discover that their ex-spouse is staying next door.

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 10:12AM
Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Review: ‘Alma’ is a relatable mother-daughter drama that starts with a missed SAT test by Emily McClanathan

Eventually, it becomes clear that the source of their conflict is that both mother and daughter are trying to protect one another.

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 06:15AM
Monday, September 26, 2022

Stranger things by Emily McClanathan

What if the person you love—the one you want to spend the rest of your life with—were to confess a secret so bizarre, so disturbing, that it makes you question […] The post Stranger th…

SOURCE: at 05:28PM
Thursday, September 15, 2022

Review: ‘Leonardo! A Wonderful Show About a Terrible Monster’ is a touching way into childhood anxieties by Emily McClanathan

The multimedia production blends puppetry, cinematic techniques and original music to tell this sweet, quirky story.

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 06:00AM
Wednesday, September 14, 2022

Beyond the mustache by Emily McClanathan

Larry Yando has been a prominent presence on stages in Chicago and beyond for many years, including as Ebenezer Scrooge in the Goodman’s annual production of A Christmas Carol (this […] …

SOURCE: at 03:04PM
Monday, September 12, 2022

‘Wicked’ is back in the Loop for the fall, with witches who know what this show means to Chicago by Emily McClanathan

Both actors playing Elphaba and Glinda fell in love with “Wicked” at a young age and long have hoped to play these roles.

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 06:00AM
Tuesday, September 6, 2022

Review: Best for detective fans, ‘Miss Holmes Returns’ at Lifeline Theatre by Emily McClanathan

Katie McLean Hainsworth is quite good as Miss Holmes — suitably cerebral and stiff, with understated physical tics that suggest a constantly active mind.

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 06:00AM
Tuesday, August 23, 2022

Review: ‘My Brother Langston’ at Black Ensemble Theater shines when the poetry is allowed to speak for itself by Emily McClanathan

“My Brother Langston” truly shines when the spotlight is on Langston Hughes’ own words.

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 06:15AM
Wednesday, August 17, 2022

This story is a hike: Theatre Y brings ‘Laughing Song: A Walking Dream’ to North Lawndale, taking audiences along on foot by Emily McClanathan

Actors and audience members take a three-mile journey through the streets of North Lawndale in Theatre Y’s “Laughing Song: A Walking Dream.”

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 06:45AM

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