All stories by Catey Sullivan on BroadwayStars

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Alexis Hex casts spells—and yarn by Catey Sullivan

The crafty, supernatural queen hosts the webseries Knitting’s A Drag. The queendom of drag is vast and diverse: There are comedy queens and look queens and ins…

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Tuesday, October 13, 2020

From ghostly to gothic to goofy, theater artists celebrate the season by Catey Sullivan

Random Acts, Unwell, and PlayMakers Laboratory create scary stories to share (online) in the dark. Exal Iraheta grew up listening to tales from Central American …

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Monday, October 5, 2020

45 Plays for America’s First Ladies puts the wives (and nieces) in the spotlight by Catey Sullivan

The Neo-Futurists create short digital plays about the often-overlooked women in the White House. Time was when the future looked rather grim indeed for the late…

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Monday, September 21, 2020

After the shutdown, Lips is unsealed by Catey Sullivan

Fire, break-ins, and COVID: the Motor Row drag palace has had a bumpy first year. Like many drag queens, Chicago’s Tori Sass has been through it this year. It …

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Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Destinos al Aire brings Latinx culture to the drive-in by Catey Sullivan

Their annual festival is on pandemic pause, but CLATA still celebrates the diversity of local theater companies. When Myrna Salazar founded the Chicago Latino Th…

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Tuesday, August 25, 2020

In the wake of controversy, Chicago Human Rhythm Project adds new leadership by Catey Sullivan

Emmanuel Neal joins CHRP as interim managing director, but the founder's comments on Black Lives Matter spark outrage. Add the Chicago Human Rhythm Project (CHRP…

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Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Joel Grey (virtually) headlines PorchlightPalooza by Catey Sullivan

The 88-year-old musical theater icon talks about staying home—and coming out. Back in early March, Broadway icon Joel Grey, 88, was finalizing his plans to vis…

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Monday, July 27, 2020

Online alchemy with the Chicago International Puppet Theater Festival by Catey Sullivan

Zoom past the COVID doldrums with these August workshops. Shadow and light. Wood and paper.…

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Monday, June 29, 2020

Shea Couleé, here to stay and slay by Catey Sullivan

The Drag Race all-star challenges racism both onstage and off. To describe the driving ethos of Chicago’s drag house Maison Couleé, you need look no further t…

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Wednesday, June 24, 2020

COVID can't stop the Pride celebration by Catey Sullivan

This year, queer performers dismantle digital boundaries while creating their own spaces. As Pride Month unfurls amid plague and long-overdue global upheaval, yo…

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Monday, May 25, 2020

Victory Gardens playwrights ensemble resigns by Catey Sullivan

Restructuring at the top causes an exodus—again. Friday’s resignation of seven playwrights from Chicago’s Tony-winning, 46-year-old Victory Gardens Theater…

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Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Uprising Theater shifts focus from Palestine to PPE by Catey Sullivan

The company's interest in the marginalized led them to Mask-er-Aid. Since founding Uprising Theater Company in 2014, Iymen Chehade and Maren Rosenberg have worke…

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Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Nora Dunn on our first and worst presidents by Catey Sullivan

Her show at Steppenwolf is off for now, but the 'difficult' SNL vet still has plenty to say. Two weeks ago, Saturday Night Live alum and west-side native Nora Du…

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Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Kill Move Paradise imagines an afterlife for victims of police killings by Catey Sullivan

James Ijames puts the audience on trial in this TimeLine production. Of all the inescapable truths that James Ijames bombards his audience with in Kill Move Para…

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Tuesday, February 4, 2020

The Chicago Musical Theatre Festival makes the numbers work by Catey Sullivan

Underscore Theatre Company survives in a challenging landscape for new-works festivals. New musicals are inherently fragile. Festivals devoted to them, exponenti…

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Sophisticated Ladies means all the things at Porchlight by Catey Sullivan

The Duke Ellington revue is pure fire and joy. I'm no fan of imperatives, but on occasion one simply must make an exception. To wit: Stop reading this.…

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Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Roe is a history lesson and a warning by Catey Sullivan

Lisa Loomer's docudrama examines the landmark abortion rights case. In 1984, my roommate drove across two states so she could get a legal abortion. It took a wee…

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Verböten has some sharp songs, but the book sags by Catey Sullivan

Jason Narducy and Brett Neveu's portrait of a 1983 teen punk band needs more edge. The opening tune Jason Narducy penned for his autobiographically inspired musi…

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Thursday, January 23, 2020

Pure Lies gives us magic with a touch of malarkey by Catey Sullivan

Trent James lights up Wednesdays at the Chicago Magic Lounge. The intersection of comedy and magic has ballooned since the art form's vaudevillian heyday. Case i…

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Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Her Honor Jane Byrne remembers when the mayor moved to Cabrini by Catey Sullivan

Lookingglass produces the first in J. Nicole Brooks's planned quartet of Chicago plays. Playwright-actor-director J. Nicole Brooks wasn't yet in kindergarten whe…

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Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Death Tax can't overcome implausible plot points by Catey Sullivan

Lucas Hnath's drama feels overheated but undercooked at Redtwist. Toward the back end of Lucas Hnath's 90-minute series of overheated monologues, Todd, a nursing…

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Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Cold Town/Hotline can't overcome its preposterous premise by Catey Sullivan

Eli Newell's self-directed holiday play at Raven asks us to suspend too much disbelief. If there's a workable drama within the rambling, under-rehearsed confines…

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Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Another Medea tells us he's depraved on account he's deprived by Catey Sullivan

A contemporary gender-flipped take on the Greek tragedy blames everyone else. In Aaron Mark's one-man, 90-minute Another Medea, Marcus—a gay, cis male contempo…

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Eleanor's Very Merry Christmas Wish moves Denise McGowan Tracy from Petterino's to the North Pole by Catey Sullivan

The longtime cabaret producer turns her own children's book about a lonely rag doll into a new holiday musical. Some artists hone their craft at college or conse…

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Tuesday, November 26, 2019

The Simon & Garfunkel Story is more about the songs than the stories by Catey Sullivan

The biography is prosaic, but this touring bio musical captures the dark harmonies of the folk-rock superstars. Even when it's as jubilant as the pots-and-pans p…

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Tuesday, November 19, 2019

The Wickhams: Christmas at Pemberley cashes in on Jane Austen by Catey Sullivan

Sugarplums, sparkle, and a stellar cast can't quite overcome a treacly script. In commercializing Jane Austen's enduring appeal, playwrights Margot Melcon and La…

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The Niceties raises the stakes for academic debate by Catey Sullivan

Generational and racial divides light the fuse at Writers Theatre. In 2015, Yale University was rocked by student activists demanding change within an organizati…

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Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Keely and Du confuses torture porn with social commentary by Catey Sullivan

Jane Martin's story of a pregnant rape victim kidnapped by antichoice extremists wallows in both-sidesism. For decades, there has been speculation as to the iden…

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Staff Pick: Best off-Loop theater by Catey Sullivan

Trap Door Theatre It's not uncommon for newbies to leave Trap Door wondering what just hit them.…

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Staff Pick: Best dance company by Catey Sullivan

Muntu Dance Theatre Muntu's ambitions are vast, both in terms of space and time. Helmed by executive director Sekou Tepaka Lunda Conde, the 47-year-old South Sho…

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Staff Pick: Best dance company by Catey Sullivan

Red Clay Dance Unlike musicians, dancers never put their instruments down. That's especially true of Red Clay Dance, where the intersection of art and activism f…

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All that Chat

Oct 06: Slave Play
Feb 01: The Minutes
TBA: Blue