All stories by Chris Jones on BroadwayStars

Monday, April 22, 2019

Raven Theatre, 'Requiem' and 'Tilkum' at the top of the 2019 Non-Equity Jeff Award nominations by Chris Jones

In its first full season under artistic director Cody Estle, Raven Theatre scored the most nominations in the 2019 Non-Equity Jeff Awards, with the all-volunteer committee of Chicago theater…

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 11:00AM
Thursday, April 18, 2019

'Hillary and Clinton' on Broadway revists politics' most painful paradox, with the help of Laurie Metcalf and John Lithgow by Chris Jones

“Can I touch you?” John Lithgow’s Bill asks Laurie Metcalf’s Hillary. If looks could kill, the audience for playwright Lucas Hnath’s “Hillary and Clinton” at Broadway’s Golde…

Linked From New York Daily News at 09:30PM

'Cambodian Rock Band' at Victory Gardens: You're watching a breakout moment for a playwright — plus songs by Dengue Fever by Chris Jones

The most fun you can ever have as a critic is watching a talented scribe take a great leap — in both thematic ambition and theatrical accomplishment. “Cambodian Rock Band,” already the…

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 02:00PM

Design mind behind 'Ham: Exhibition' says his creation belongs in Chicago, and will be its own kind of theater by Chris Jones

David Korins is best known as a designer of Broadway shows, including, among others, “Dear Evan Hansen,” “Passing Strange,” “Beetlejuice” and, of course, “Hamilton.” But thro…

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 01:00PM

Alexander's biggest talent was pushing the other Founding Fathers' buttons, says the Yale expert advising 'Hamilton: The Exhibition' by Chris Jones

Joanne B. Freeman is one of the world’s foremost experts on Alexander Hamilton. A professor of history and American studies at Yale University, Freeman is the historical advisor for “Ham…

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 01:00PM

Talking to Lin-Manuel Miranda: His voice will guide you through 'Hamilton: The Exhibition' but he wasn't a fan of the idea at first by Chris Jones

Lin-Manuel Miranda — the creator of “Hamilton” — needs no introduction. He talked with the Tribune from New York about his mostly parental role in “Hamilton: The Exhibition.” Thi…

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 01:00PM

Your guide to 'Hamilton: The Exhibition' in Chicago: Will this big risk by the creators of the musical succeed? by Chris Jones

Can the famously smart and creative minds at Hamilton Inc. pull off their biggest gamble yet? With the acclaimed visual designer David Korins spinning the artistic roulette wheel, the brain …

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 01:00PM

'Hamilton: The Exhibition': How to get to the 35,000-square-foot room where it happens by Kori Rumore and Chris Jones

The temporary exhibition opens April 27 on Northerly Island and will travel to other cities after the Chicago engagement, which is expected to last several months.

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 12:56PM
Wednesday, April 17, 2019

'Hamlet,' now at Chicago Shakes, has 'to been' in Chicago before: 7 memorable 'Hamlets' through the years by Chris Jones

The moody Dane, known to his friends as “Hamlet,” is back in town. In honor of Barbara Gaines’ new production at Chicago Shakespeare Theater, which stars Maurice Jones, let’s take a …

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 06:00AM
Tuesday, April 16, 2019

'Burn/This' on Broadway: Adam Driver and Keri Russell star in the '80s play about sex and mourning by Chris Jones

When Lanford Wilson's "Burn/This" was first performed at Steppenwolf in Chicago at 1987, it famously starred John Malkovich and Joan Allen as, respectively, Pale and Anna: the coked-up, gang…

Linked From New York Daily News at 09:00PM
Monday, April 15, 2019

A great 'Chorus Line' should burst with feeling and vulnerability — like this one by Porchlight Music Theatre by Chris Jones

The New York dancers who talked into a tape recorder for the rapacious director Michael Bennett at the Nickolaus Exercise Center on E. 23rd Street in 1974 are now, on average, more than 70 y…

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 02:50PM
Sunday, April 14, 2019

In 'Grinning From Fear to Fear,' Second City e.t.c. nails that tricky blend of peace, laughs and understanding by Chris Jones

Despite the title — or maybe because of the title — there’s a real warmth to “Grinning From Fear to Fear,” the new revue from Second City’s e.t.c. company and the director, Annel…

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 02:20PM
Thursday, April 11, 2019

At 'Djembe! The Show' at Apollo, you get to bang your own drum all night long by Chris Jones

Enter the Apollo Theater and there will be a djembe drum on your seat. I speak not of some souvenir percussive takeaway nor of a cheap facsimile of the skin-covered goblet drum. Nope. Every …

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 09:00PM
Wednesday, April 10, 2019

'Pinocchio' by House Theatre has moments of greatness and the best puppet in town by Chris Jones

Best puppet of the season? “King Kong” on Broadway. Height: 20 feet. Weight: 2,000 pounds. Style: Animatronic ape. Puppeteers: 14. Microprocessors: 16. Designer: Sonny Tilders. Cost: Goo…

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 04:15PM

A big, traditional, get-your-money's-worth 'West Side Story' opens soon at the Lyric Opera by Chris Jones

This summer in New York, Steven Spielberg and Tony Kushner are expected to begin filming their upcoming adaptation of “West Side Story,” a remake of the movie that won a fleet of Oscars …

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 06:00AM
Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Ike Holter's 'Lottery Day' hits the jackpot — his Chicago saga ends in a culture-clash party in a Near West Side backyard by Chris Jones

Playwright Ike Holter’s extraordinary Rightlynd saga — a multi-part dramatic odyssey that has taken a lucky few of us over a five-year stretch to the Jackalope Theatre, Victory Gardens, …

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 02:25PM

'King's Speech,' 'Romeo and Juliet' and a visit from Royal Shakespeare Co. for Chicago Shakes' 2019-20 season by Chris Jones

Britain's Royal Shakespeare Company will make its first visit to Chicago in 25 years, Chicago Shakespeare Theater announced Tuesday. The RSC will be part of an expansive 2019-20 season on Na…

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 12:45PM
Monday, April 8, 2019

Edgy, timely 'Admissions' at Theater Wit looks at liberal hypocrisy when it comes to getting your kid into college by Chris Jones

Do we all enjoy an exemption from moral, unselfish behavior when it comes to fighting for our own kids? It might seem we’ve decided otherwise — look at the righteous scorn heaped upon th…

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 03:00PM
Sunday, April 7, 2019

A shocking 'Oklahoma!' opens on Broadway — how you feel about it will depend on how you feel about America by Chris Jones

An "Oklahoma!" for an anxious, riven America unable engage in any kind of collective, cock-eyed optimism anymore, director Daniel Fish's Broadway revival at Circle in the Square Theatre is a…

Linked From New York Daily News at 09:00PM

A shocking 'Oklahoma!' opens on Broadway — how you feel about it will depend on how you feel about America by Chris Jones

An "Oklahoma!" for an anxious, riven America unable to engage in any kind of collective, cock-eyed optimism anymore, director Daniel Fish's Broadway revival at Circle in the Square Theatre i…

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 09:00PM
Friday, April 5, 2019

'The Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelkey' is a crime story focused on the bright, flamboyant 14-year-old boy who was killed by Chris Jones

Joe Foust, a distinguished and versatile Chicago actor, is alone on the stage in “The Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelkey,” an 80-minute monologue that begins with a detective from a s…

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 10:50AM
Thursday, April 4, 2019

Glenda Jackson's terrifying king roars in an otherwise uneven 'King Lear' on Broadway by Chris Jones

No crueler speech was ever uttered by a parent than the torrent of abuse that William Shakespeare's King Lear, that great beacon of self-awareness, unleashes on Goneril, the eldest of his th…

Linked From New York Daily News at 09:00PM

'Cruel Intentions: The 90s Musical' in Chicago: Do you yearn to return to the '90s, and to Jewel and NSYNC? Your ride's here by Chris Jones

Weary of these moralistic times? Nostalgic for an emo-loving, streaming-free, pre-social-media-outrage era of acceptable decadence, amoral cinematic narratives and fanciful sensual depravity…

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 12:40PM
Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Drury Lane artistic director William Osetek resigns after more than a decade at the suburban theater by Chris Jones

After more than 12 years as artistic director of the Drury Lane Theatre in Oakbrook Terrace, and an affiliation stretching back three decades, William Osetek said Wednesday that he had resig…

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 05:40PM

'Jersey Boys' is back in Chicago, but no horn section! Parts of this tour are too cheap to be true by Chris Jones

What’s your favorite scene in “Jersey Boys”? If you saw the show on Broadway or one of its earlier visits to Chicago, dollars to donuts it’s the moment when the horns come out for …

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 05:00PM

Lori Lightfoot and the arts in Chicago: She has 3 main challenges but has made her mark from Day 1 by Chris Jones

Few wise heads would choose a candidate for the Mayor of the City of Chicago entirely on the basis of their arts policy — without job growth, high-quality public education, safe streets, s…

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 03:15PM

'Gary: A Sequel to Titus Andronicus' on Broadway: This is Nathan Lane among corpses, killed by tyrants in Taylor Mac's complicated play. Consider your by Chris Jones

What's the difference between a clown and a fool? You might think the question moot, given the ample prevalence of both types in and around the White House. But it's the central issue in "Ga…

Linked From New York Daily News at 03:10PM

'All My Sons' on Broadway: A raging Tracy Letts says, time's up, Joe Keller! by Chris Jones

Joe Keller, the tragic antihero of Arthur Miller’s “All My Sons” and a man who shipped out cracked cylinder heads to World War II fighter pilots, generally is played as a folksy sort o…

Linked From New York Daily News at 03:10PM

We're all on the road to Broadway's terrific 'Hadestown' — with Andre De Shields as guide by Chris Jones

America's on the road to hell — better jump right off, my children. Too dangerous to look back. Instead, try and find the cracks in that famous wall we're building. That's pretty much the …

Linked From New York Daily News at 03:05PM

First came Harry Potter, now the Ramones. How a Canadian producer is finding success in Chicago without Broadway. by Chris Jones

Question. What do Harry Potter, the Ramones and the magician Jamie Allan all have in common? Canada. And trash cans. If there’s one common denominator to the marketing plan of the young Ca…

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 09:30AM
Monday, April 1, 2019

'A Number' at Writers Theatre: Remember when cloning was our biggest fear? by Chris Jones

A problem with writing dystopian dramas, be they in the theater or on TV, is that the sources of societal anxiety change fast. That is not to say that we get any less anxious overall, merely…

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 03:00PM

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