All stories by Chris Jones on BroadwayStars

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Column: Chicago’s great cultural comeback is coming much faster than we thought. Here’s why. by Chris Jones

Millennium Park will be full of music and dance this summer, performances are coming back to theaters and venues in Chicago on Broadway. The arts recovery is happening, and fast.

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 04:11PM

Broadway to return in September at full force by Chris Jones

Broadway is coming back on Sept. 14., with its historic theaters selling tickets to their full capacity. Advance tickets are to go on sale Thursday.

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 01:08PM
Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Review: In ‘Last Match’ from Writers Theatre, a U.S. tennis champion fears getting older by Chris Jones

The tennis is only suggested on stage at Writers Theatre in this streaming play. But tennis fans won't look away for a second as an aging champ battles a younger opponent, and time.

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 03:02PM
Monday, May 3, 2021

Review: Joffrey Ballet’s ‘Under the Trees’ Voices’ meditates on COVID-19 and spring’s dual renewal by Chris Jones

Streaming ballet by Joffrey rehearsal director Nicolas Blanc is set to music by Italian composer Ezio Bosso, from which it borrows its title. It's well timed for our current moment.

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 04:00PM
Sunday, May 2, 2021

Anna Shapiro resigns as artistic director of Steppenwolf Theatre by Chris Jones

The artistic leader of Steppenwolf and the director of "August: Osage County" is stepping down from her post effective at the end of August.

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 01:00PM

Review: ‘Alexis Roston Sings Ella Fitzgerald’ is live for a very happy audience at the newly reopened Milwaukee Rep by Chris Jones

It's been so long, we've almost forgotten what a live show can be like. Up in Wisconsin, "First Lady of Song: Alexis Roston sings Ella Fitzgerald" takes that first step back into a theater.

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 11:59AM
Thursday, April 29, 2021

Ravinia Festival has a new leader and a bold plan to bring you back this summer by Chris Jones

New president Jeffrey P. Haydon and his staff have come up with an ambitious plan to present music outside in Highland Park this summer. Ravinia has been much missed.

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 08:00AM
Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Steppenwolf Theatre announces return to live shows with ‘Bug’ and LeBron James play by Chris Jones

The Steppenwolf Theatre Company has announced its upcoming 2021-22 season in its new theater campus on Halsted Street.

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 01:06PM

‘Intermission is over’: Live theater is about to come roaring back. by Chris Jones

Assuming the Chicago theater community puts its focus on its audience, live shows are about to come roaring back.

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 08:00AM
Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Review: Lyric Opera’s ‘Twilight: Gods’ is a drive-through Wagnerian hellscape in an underground garage by Chris Jones

The magical adaptation from the "Ring" cycle is unlike anything you've seen before, with scenes and music in an automobile processional.

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 02:59PM
Thursday, April 22, 2021

Column: A capitalist case for Broadway by Chris Jones

Lately, those critical of Broadway theater say it compromises art and hurts artists. Karen Olivo quit the cast of “Moulin Rouge!" But consider this ...

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 08:00AM
Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Second City fires its night staff and looks to outsource, causing a painful rift. And it loses its president. by Chris Jones

When John Kramer first tended bar at Second City in 1981, the co-founder Bernie Sahlins signed every check himself. Kramer says he won't set foot in the theater again.

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 03:05PM
Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Chicago announces Arts 77, a huge increase in arts funding, with $60 million for artists, concerts and new public art at O’Hare by Chris Jones

Ambitious and "unprecedented," the new Arts 77 plan promises millions to fund arts recovery in Chicago.

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 06:00AM
Monday, April 19, 2021

Goodman Theatre to livestream 3 new shows, including ‘The Sound Inside’ recently on Broadway by Chris Jones

The Goodman Theatre said Monday that it will join with a video production company and create three new productions in coming weeks, including "The Sound Inside" in its first live production …

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 11:38AM
Thursday, April 15, 2021

Second City teachers vote to form a union by Chris Jones

The election in Chicago follows similar union victories at Second City theaters in Hollywood, Calif. and Toronto, Ontario.

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 05:41PM

Column: Next problem for the arts is getting audiences to trust the vaccine by Chris Jones

Recent news that live theater will once again fill the Kennedy Center was greeted with suspicion on social media. How to heal this divide, between politics and the safety afforded by vaccine…

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 07:49AM
Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Column: As theater returns to Chicago, messages of healing matter more than logistics by Chris Jones

This last week was a start reminder that the performing arts, when they do return to the stage in Chicago, need to address the fears and tensions we all feel this spring.

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 08:00AM
Friday, April 9, 2021

Column: Remembering the day Prince Philip looked me in the eye by Chris Jones

The longtime husband of Queen Elizabeth II died Friday at the age of 99. But he once looked a schoolboy at Bury Grammar School in the eye, and the boy has not forgotten.

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 02:01PM
Thursday, April 8, 2021

Column: There’s a space crunch coming for performing arts in Chicago. Here’s a fix. by Chris Jones

Our theater and dance companies are nearly ready to rush back to Chicago stages. There won't be enough stages to go around. Here's a way to look elsewhere.

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 08:00AM
Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Mercury Theater Chicago will open again on the Southport Corridor with a new artistic director by Chris Jones

The Mercury didn't stay closed for long. It's coming back to life with a new artistic director, Christopher Chase Carter, as well as a new restaurant and plans for the cabaret space.

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 07:00AM
Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Review: In ‘I, Cinna (the poet)’ at Chicago Shakespeare, a dead poet asks us to decide anew: Should art be political? by Chris Jones

In Shakespeare's play, a poet on the sidelines gets torn to pieces by the mob. Tim Crouch's piece, now streaming from Chicago Shakespeare Theater, brings him back to debate artistic respons…

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 03:24PM
Thursday, April 1, 2021

Column: Too soon for Lolla? 6 ideas for Chicago’s summer of live entertainment by Chris Jones

The COVID-19 recovery has been a rollercoaster, with both the promise of vaccines and dangers of new cases in the headlines in recent days. Chicago needs careful thinking for this summer.

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 08:00AM
Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Big changes coming for the off-Loop theater Stage 773: ‘Willy Wonka meets Burning Man’ by Chris Jones

Stage 773, a longtime anchor of the Belmont Avenue theater district in Chicago’s Lakeview neighborhood, will be rebuilt as a single theater with an immersive audience experience.

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 01:11PM
Monday, March 22, 2021

Review: ‘I, Banquo’ at Chicago Shakespeare Theater heaps bitterness on fate and ‘Macbeth’ by Chris Jones

What if Banquo had won out over Macbeth? Tim Crouch's play, newly filmed for Chicago Shakespeare Theater, ponders the question.

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 12:28PM
Thursday, March 18, 2021

Royal George Theatre shows are told to leave and the theater is likely to close by Chris Jones

The storied Chicago theater is likely being sold to redevelopers. Producers for the shows currently in-house say they have been told to pack up.

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 08:05PM

Second City will reopen with live shows in May by Chris Jones

Both the Mainstage and e.t.c. Stages will have shows for live audiences, but opening full, new comedy revues will take more time.

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 11:56AM
Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Column: Ken-Matt Martin is new artistic director at Victory Gardens. He is just one of a new group of Black arts leaders coming to Chicago. by Chris Jones

Victory Gardens has a new artistic director, part of a new group of Black artistic leaders taking positions in the city, including at Second City and Hubbard Street Dance Company.

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 12:00PM

Will the dinner circus Teatro ZinZanni be the first big indoor show to return to downtown Chicago? by Chris Jones

The seats are flexible in the Cambria Hotel space. Plus circus people say yes. The show is on track to reopening in June.

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 07:47AM
Thursday, March 11, 2021

Review: ‘Duchess! Duchess! Duchess!’ by Steppenwolf Theatre seems to travel inside Meghan’s head as she makes a fateful decision by Chris Jones

The video play by Vivian J.O. Barnes streaming as part of Steppenwolf NOW proves to be well-timed to current events with the British royals.

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 02:03PM
Wednesday, March 10, 2021

‘You’re not getting married today’: Kyle De Santis on shuttering his family’s Drury Lane enterprise by Chris Jones

One year ago as the COVID-19 pandemic took hold, DeSantis of Drury Lane had to shut down one show, abandon plans for another and tell a bunch of brides their wedding were off. "I just felt l…

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 04:21PM

Goodman Theatre opens the vaults and offers a new chance to see ‘Smokefall.’ Grab it. by Chris Jones

"Encore" by the Goodman Theatre puts videos of past shows online to stream for free, a rare opportunity not to be missed.

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 08:00AM

All that Chat

2019-2020 BROADWAY SEASON
Oct 06, 2019: Slave Play
Oct 17, 2019: The Sound Inside - Studio 54
Feb 01, 2020: The Minutes
Mar 12, 2020: BROADWAY SHUTDOWN
Mar 31, 2020: Diana - Longacre Theatre
Apr 19, 2020: Sing Street - Lyceum Theatre
Sep 14, 2021: BROADWAY REOPENS
Dec 16, 2021: Diana - Longacre Theatre