All stories by Chris Jones on BroadwayStars

Thursday, October 21, 2021

Steppenwolf Theatre names its new theater and center after major donors by Chris Jones

Steppenwolf Theatre Company said that its new, in-the-round theater and education center will be named the Liz and Eric Lefkofsky Arts and Education Center.

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 07:00AM
Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Review: ‘Othello’ at Court Theatre has all the chill of the last year, packed into a Shakespeare tragedy by Chris Jones

Some of the audience is seated on the stage in swivel chairs, rocking and swaying like nervous competitors in a quiz show. Much the same could be said for the characters in what is typically…

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 02:37PM
Monday, October 18, 2021

Review: At ‘Recipe for Disaster’ by Windy City Playhouse, chaos engulfs a Rick Bayless kitchen by Chris Jones

As part of this new commercial endeavor by restaurateur Rick Bayless and the ever-innovative Windy City Playhouse, you get to eat roasted dates with smoky Gorgonzola dolce and cilantro, Za…

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 03:10PM
Sunday, October 17, 2021

Review: In ‘As You Like It’ at Chicago Shakespeare Theater, the Beatles meet the Bard and it’s a terrific party by Chris Jones

Director Daryl Cloran has stuffed 23 Beatles songs inside the comedic vessel known as “As You Like It.” At various points, Shakespeare's characters break into everything from “Let it B…

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 02:25PM
Friday, October 15, 2021

Review: Second City is back on the mainstage and back in form with ‘Together at Last’ by Chris Jones

Much of the material in this 109th mainstage revue worries over division: the fear of parents exposing their child to a grandparent, the battles at school board meetings.

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 02:05PM
Thursday, October 14, 2021

Broadway review: Gripping ‘Lehman Trilogy’ is a masterwork of storytelling, the best thing on stage in a while by Chris Jones

If you walk through the doors of the “The Lehman Trilogy,” which finally opened at the Nederlander after falling to the pandemic in 2020, rest assured that you will understand the events…

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 09:30PM
Monday, October 4, 2021

Review: ‘Songs for New World’ at Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre strives to capture the moment by Chris Jones

"Songs for a New World" at Theo Ubique Theatre peaks out at a changed universe with the songs of Jason Robert Brown

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 03:33PM
Sunday, October 3, 2021

Review: ‘Six’ gets its Broadway opening night at last, with the queens betrayed, beheaded and very much alive by Chris Jones

Remarkably, the original stars of the Broadway musical were present on the stage in New York, even though their show missed its official opening, and maybe a Tony Award or two, by one day.

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 10:00PM

Review: In ‘Songs for Nobodies’ at Northlight Theatre, Bethany Thomas shows the new depth of her talent and range by Chris Jones

This is a one-woman show featuring music made famous by Judy Garland, Patsy Cline, Edith Piaf, Billie Holiday and Maria Callas. Quite a range of singers.

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 02:53PM
Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Review: ‘American Mariachi’ at Goodman Theatre could be a Broadway musical by Chris Jones

If this messy but entertaining fall show penned by José Cruz González found the right producers, it could easily become a new Broadway musical. Many elements are already there, including t…

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 03:10PM
Monday, September 27, 2021

Review: ‘Elixir of Love’ by Lyric Opera of Chicago is a delightfully live affirmation of life by Chris Jones

The new production at the Lyric feels alive in every glamorous way. And Charles Castronovo is unbeatable as Nemorino.

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 03:50PM

‘Moulin Rouge!’ wins big at Tony Awards as Broadway celebrates its recovery by Chris Jones

After 27 months of Tony Awards silence, the 2021 ceremony wouldn’t be about cutthroat competition and raging egos. Instead, it would be as close as possible to a primetime commercial to ge…

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 01:08AM
Friday, September 24, 2021

Review: ‘Forever Plaid’ is an old-favorite musical, just right for the crowd on Drury Lane’s reopening night by Chris Jones

In Paul Stancato’s casual production, the Plaids had adjusted to the new world order, ad-libbing about germs, but still singing ”Three Coins in a Fountain” and “Catch a Falling Star…

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 12:50PM
Thursday, September 23, 2021

Review: ‘The World Goes ‘Round’ opens at Marriott Theatre with songs from Kander and Ebb — and a musical world we’ve long missed by Chris Jones

I miss the music: After 18 months of closure, the Marriott Theatre returns with a COVID adaptation of a Kander and Ebb revue.

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 03:45PM
Sunday, September 19, 2021

Review: A fine, spooky ‘Macbeth’ at Lyric Opera fights deliciously with our current recovery narrative by Chris Jones

A creepy ‘Macbeth’ in Chicago fights deliciously with the recovery narrative so common in the arts. Here you had a night of healing togetherness followed by an opera in which the heavens…

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 02:43PM
Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Goodman Theatre artistic director Robert Falls is stepping down by Chris Jones

Falls has been the most influential figure of Chicago theater of his generation and his departure is a milestone in the Chicago arts.

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 05:02PM

Exclusive: Goodman Theatre artistic director Robert Falls is stepping down by Chris Jones

Falls has been the most influential figure of Chicago theater of his generation and his departure is a milestone in the Chicago arts.

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 01:00PM
Tuesday, September 14, 2021

With ‘Chicago LIVE Again,’ Navy Pier will celebrate Chicago arts with free shows and fireworks by Chris Jones

Navy Pier will host a series of outdoor performances Sept. 24-25. Dubbed “Chicago LIVE Again,” the two-day festival will have performances produced by Broadway in Chicago, Chicago Childr…

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 02:53PM
Thursday, September 9, 2021

Review: ‘Mr. Burns, a post electric play’ reopens Theater Wit with a return to this show about dystopias. Too soon? by Chris Jones

Theater Wit’s decision to return (sooner than most) to live off-Loop performance with a reprise of its 2015 production of Anne Washburn’s hit is clearly designed to get its audience thin…

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 02:16PM
Wednesday, September 8, 2021

Theater and opera in Chicago for fall 2021: With our Top 10, a cautious return to drama by Chris Jones

Here, in the return of a September tradition, are 10 shows that should help you remember why Chicago theater is such a crucial part of this city. Plus one more for the holidays.

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 10:25AM
Monday, August 30, 2021

On a warm August night, the Lyric Opera of Chicago comes back to life with ‘Rising Stars’ by Chris Jones

The Lyric Opera of Chicago’s new musical director, Enrique Mazzola, gave his first major public performance in Millennium Park. There was excitement in the air.

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 04:25PM
Sunday, August 29, 2021

Review: Two years in the fitting, a joyous ‘Kinky Boots’ kicks off dust at Paramount Theatre by Chris Jones

After a two-year delay, "Kinky Boots" opens at the Paramount Theatre in Aurora. You can feel the emotions bursting out of the hearts of the cast.

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 02:22PM
Monday, August 23, 2021

Review: Blue Man Group is back in a strange new world by Chris Jones

Blue Man Group returns to Chicago's Briar Street Theatre after a COVID-19 pandemic pause. Critic Chris Jones reviews the latest iteration.

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 04:52PM
Tuesday, August 3, 2021

Review: ‘School Girls; Or, The African Mean Girls Play’ at Goodman Theatre is the story of a beauty pageant, and a welcome return to live theater by Chris Jones

The Goodman's first show back is an exuberant production from the director Lili-Anne Brown that is an excellent match for the moment.

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 03:05PM
Monday, August 2, 2021

Studebaker Theater inside Chicago’s Fine Arts Building will get a major renovation by Chris Jones

Chicago’s venerable Studebaker Theater, opened in 1898 and located inside the Fine Arts Building at 410 S. Michigan Ave., has both a new artistic director, Jacob Harvey, and a hefty renova…

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 08:00AM
Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Chicago Shakespeare Theater announces and updates plans for 2021-22 season by Chris Jones

Chicago Shakespeare Theater announced its new indoor fall season, blending postponed productions from last season with new attractions.

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 12:45PM

Over 20 years of covering Jackie Mason, a few practices became time-honored traditions by Chris Jones

I covered Jackie Mason’s live shows in and around Chicago for 20 years. This involved a variety of unchanging rituals and mutually assured deceptions.

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 08:00AM
Thursday, July 22, 2021

Steppenwolf Theatre names two new artistic directors by Chris Jones

Glenn Davis, 40, and Audrey Francis, 42, will succeed Anna D. Shapiro, who announced her departure in May, effective at the end of August, and after six years in the high-visibility and inev…

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 10:55AM
Friday, July 16, 2021

Review: Teatro ZinZannni reopens its dinner circus in the Loop. Hail, Caesar, and circus life goes on. by Chris Jones

The first big show to return to Chicago’s Loop, Teatro ZinZanni is, at its core, a continental-style dinner circus with shades of old-school vaudeville.

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 11:55AM
Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Michael Halberstam resigns from Writers Theatre in Glencoe by Chris Jones

Writers Theatre said Wednesday that Michael Halberstam, its co-founder and the only artistic director it has known during its decades of growth, was resigning effective immediately.

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 05:30PM
Tuesday, July 13, 2021

Mark Kelly, Chicago’s commissioner of cultural affairs and special events, will retire at end of summer by Chris Jones

Mark Kelly, Chicago’s widely admired leader of the city’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE), announces he will retire.

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 04:00PM

All that Chat

REOPEN BROADWAY SEASON
Sep 14, 2021: Chicago - Ambassador Theatre
Oct 17, 2021: Dana H. - Lyceum Theatre
Mar 28, 2022: Plaza Suite - Hudson Theatre
Apr 07, 2022: The Minutes - Studio 54
Apr 28, 2022: Macbeth - Lyceum Theatre