All stories by Bob Bullen on BroadwayStars

Monday, April 15, 2019

‘A Chorus Line’ at Porchlight by Bob Bullen

It’s hard to think of a show more iconic than A Chorus Line. Michael Bennett’s athletic, razzle-dazzle touch is all over it. Marvin Hamlisch’s pulsating score is peppered with tunes th…

Linked From Chicago Theatre Addict at 04:06PM
Saturday, March 30, 2019

Hands on a Hardbody – Refuge Theatre by Bob Bullen

Gypsy. Sweeney Todd. Chorus Line. Chicago. Great American musical theatre rallies around a common theme: Desperation – and the great lengths we go to get what we want. Hands on a Hardbody …

Linked From Chicago Theatre Addict at 08:22AM
Thursday, October 25, 2018

“Hello, Dolly!” First National Tour at the Oriental Theatre by Bob Bullen

In a recent Chicago Tribune interview, the iconic Betty Buckley – who’s starring in the first national tour of Hello, Dolly! – told critic Chris Jones that even if she has to “put up…

Linked From Chicago Theatre Addict at 08:54AM
Thursday, October 18, 2018

Gypsy at Porchlight Music Theatre by Bob Bullen

Gypsy is my favorite show. I’ve seen dozens of performances and productions. I can confidently say I know this show inside and out. That is, until I saw E. Faye Butler as Madame Rose in Po…

Linked From Chicago Theatre Addict at 05:48PM
Saturday, September 15, 2018

Remembering Marin Mazzie by Bob Bullen

  It’s been a hot second since I’ve written here, but the passing of one of my very favorite performers awoke the muse. If you’ll indulge me… We all have those voices we’v…

Linked From Chicago Theatre Addict at 04:54PM
Thursday, June 14, 2018

Boho Theatre’s ‘A Little Night Music’ by Bob Bullen

I can’t imagine a more utterly charming musical than Stephen Sondheim and Hugh Wheeler’s A Little Night Music. Like a bubbly glass of crisp Champagne, even the most middling Night Music …

Linked From Chicago Theatre Addict at 07:48PM
Sunday, April 22, 2018

Kokandy’s haunting “Grand Hotel” by Bob Bullen

The musical Grand Hotel is, in many ways, an anomaly. Based on a 1932 MGM movie about the inner dramas occurring in an opulent Berlin hotel in 1928, this relentlessly dark show did not feel …

Linked From Chicago Theatre Addict at 05:06PM
Saturday, April 7, 2018

Refuge Theatre Project Presents an Earthy, Earnest “The Spitfire Grill” by Bob Bullen

As a hard-worn musical theatre nerd, it’s a very rare thing when I encounter a nearly two-decade old, critically praised musical in which I’ve neither seen the source material nor heard …

Linked From Chicago Theatre Addict at 10:02PM
Tuesday, March 13, 2018

A foggy ‘Sweeney Todd’ at Theo Ubique by Bob Bullen

I love me some Theo Ubique – the scrappy, award-winning storefront that’s made quite a name for itself (and also a new home, opening shortly up the road from its current residenc…

Linked From Chicago Theatre Addict at 01:24PM
Tuesday, March 6, 2018

I saw Patti LuPone spill tea for three hours, and lived to tell the tale by Bob Bullen

I tried to hold myself back.  I really did. Out of the two shows presented Monday evening as part of Steppenwolf’s “Lookout” series, I very reasonably bought tickets for t…

Linked From Chicago Theatre Addict at 05:43PM
Saturday, February 17, 2018

An Unapologetic ‘Love Never Dies’ in Chicago by Bob Bullen

It’s a rare thing where a show you’ve literally been anticipating for a decade arrives as a full-out, first-rate tour in basically your back yard. Yes, back in 2008 my friends and I wild…

Linked From Chicago Theatre Addict at 10:14AM
Saturday, February 3, 2018

Porchlight’s ‘Merrily’ Packs a Punch by Bob Bullen

Growing up. Trying things, being flexible, bending with the road. Adding dreams when the others don’t last. Growing up, understanding that growing never ends. Like old dreams, some old…

Linked From Chicago Theatre Addict at 11:43AM
Sunday, May 21, 2017

Follow me on Huffington Post by Bob Bullen

If anyone is reading this, check out my blog on The Huffington Post for the latest reviews and such. xoxxoox

Linked From Chicago Theatre Addict at 08:24PM
Thursday, April 20, 2017

#EduHam: Inspiring Young Minds Through the Power of ‘Hamilton’ by Bob Bullen

Perhaps you’ve heard about a little show taking the world over by storm. And Chicago is lucky enough to have it, eight nights a week for the foreseeable future, at the PrivateBank Theatre.…

Linked From Chicago Theatre Addict at 09:12PM
Sunday, November 6, 2016

“Fun Home” at Broadway in Chicago by Bob Bullen

Fun Home is a special show. The 2015 Best Musical Tony winner features a female, lesbian protagonist (the remarkable Kate Shindle playing graphic novalist Alison Bechdel), and an emotionally…

Linked From Chicago Theatre Addict at 01:48PM

‘Wonderful Town’ at the Goodman by Bob Bullen

They just don’t write ’em like that anymore. This phrase could be aptly applied to the classic musical comedy Wonderful Town, now getting a major revival at the Goodman Theater, …

Linked From Chicago Theatre Addict at 01:48PM
Friday, July 22, 2016

‘War Paint’ at the Goodman Theatre by Bob Bullen

I’d be lying if I said I haven’t been salivating at seeing the new musical War Paint, which is based on the PBS documentary The Powder and the Glory celebrating makeup moguls and…

Linked From Chicago Theatre Addict at 05:28PM
Thursday, May 12, 2016

‘The King and I’ at Lyric Opera by Bob Bullen

Gilded scenery, an exquisitely sung classic American songbook score, parades of hoop skirts and exotic Eastern textiles, and an unconventional love story. What’s not to adore in Lyri…

Linked From Chicago Theatre Addict at 07:48PM
Tuesday, April 19, 2016

‘Dreamgirls’ at Porchlight Music Theatre by Bob Bullen

I almost skipped Dreamgirls at Porchlight. I’ve seen and enjoyed the movie, I saw a very decent (if emotionally neutral) touring production 6 years ago, I’ve watched Jennifer H…

Linked From Chicago Theatre Addict at 06:58PM
Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Thoughts on ‘Matilda the Musical’ by Bob Bullen

When I visited London around five years ago, I made the grave mistake of choosing Ghost: The Musical over a newer show which I inaccurately assumed as a twee, commercial-friendly childr…

Linked From Chicago Theatre Addict at 11:37PM
Tuesday, December 8, 2015

‘Beautiful – The Carole King Musical’ at the Oriental Theatre by Bob Bullen

Abby Mueller stars in “Beautiful – The Carole King Musical” Jukebox musicals. Such a phrase makes those who love musical theatre shudder with a wave of disgust, as it exemp…

Linked From Chicago Theatre Addict at 09:22PM
Monday, December 7, 2015

A Buoyant ‘Merry Widow’ at Lyric Opera of Chicago by Bob Bullen

Renee Fleming and Thomas Hampson star in Franz Lehar’s “The Merry Widow” Ooh-la-la! As John Oliver mentioned in response to the recent attacks on France’s capital, Pa…

Linked From Chicago Theatre Addict at 08:00AM
Tuesday, September 22, 2015

‘Side Show’ at Porchlight Music Theatre by Bob Bullen

Colleen Fee, Brit-Marie Sivertsen and Evan Tyrone Martin in Porchlight’s “Side Show” A lucky handful of commercially-produced shows become flat-out hits that run for decade…

Linked From Chicago Theatre Addict at 12:34AM
Sunday, August 23, 2015

‘Dirty Dancing: The Classic Story Onstage’ can’t be blamed for false advertising by Bob Bullen

Christopher Tierney and Gillian Abbott get their dirty on  I’m supposed to write a review about the stage version of Dirty Dancing, currently playing at the Cadillac Palace Theatre th…

Linked From Chicago Theatre Addict at 05:30AM
Wednesday, August 12, 2015

‘The Boy From Oz’ at Stage 773 by Bob Bullen

Chris Logan and Michelle Lauto as Peter Allen and Liza Minnelli in Pride Films and Plays’ “The Boy From Oz” In an age of reality TV and viral videos, star-making stage turn…

Linked From Chicago Theatre Addict at 05:15PM
Monday, May 25, 2015

‘A Steady Rain’ at Chicago Dramatists: the record-breaking cop drama returns to its Chicago roots in full force by Bob Bullen

Peter DeFaria and Randy Steinmeyer in “A Steady Rain.” Officer Denny’s the hot-headed one. When stabbed in the leg with a sharpened broom handle while on duty, he pours rub…

Linked From Chicago Theatre Addict at 05:58PM
Friday, May 1, 2015

A satisfying ‘Sense and Sensibility’ at Chicago Shakes by Bob Bullen

Editor’s note: I had to bow out of reviewing this production due to a massive sinus infection, but the lovely book nerd Jamie Prahl, who is a huge fan of Jane Austen’s, stepped i…

Linked From Chicago Theatre Addict at 07:38AM

A funny and fine “Forum” at Porchlight by Bob Bullen

They say tragedy is easy, yet comedy is hard. And in watching Porchlight’s delightful production of the hit 1962 musical comedy, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, I took …

Linked From Chicago Theatre Addict at 07:19AM
Wednesday, April 15, 2015

First Wives Club Musical Feels Like a First Draft by Bob Bullen

Faith Prince. Those two words served as the motivation for me to visit this pre-Broadway tryout of The First Wives Club: The Musical. I consider Prince among the very best musical comedy sta…

Linked From Chicago Theatre Addict at 01:29PM

A Transcendent ‘Carousel’ at Lyric Opera by Bob Bullen

Unlike Guys and Dolls, Fiddler or The Music Man, Carousel isn’t a show that can simply rest on the strengths of its material. While a good number of classic musicals can lean on their …

Linked From Chicago Theatre Addict at 01:28PM
Friday, February 13, 2015

Porchlight’s ‘Sondheim on Sondheim’ Explores the Art of Making Art by Bob Bullen

The cast of Porchlight Music Theatre’s “Putting it Together” In the new musical revue, Sondheim on Sondheim, the chorus opens the second act with a self-deprecating number …

Linked From Chicago Theatre Addict at 03:22PM

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