All stories by Chris Jones on BroadwayStars

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Cavalia's white big top a lesson for George Lucas by Chris Jones

Last time I drove by Soldier Field, and stared at the white tent being raised for the horse extravaganza "Odysseo" on the south parking lot of the stadium, my thoughts immediately went to th…

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Sunday, March 26, 2017

'Sweat' is Lynn Nottage's new Broadway play about working-class frustrations by Chris Jones

NEW YORK — The white working-class voters who, conventional wisdom has it, put President Donald J. Trump into office are a dinner-party obsession among progressives. There are two prevaili…

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'By the Water' is about homes and lives washed away on Staten Island by Chris Jones

According to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York last week, one-third of Americans say they would struggle to raise $2,000 in the event that they were hit with an emergency. That indication…

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Friday, March 24, 2017

What if we tried truth-and-reconciliation talks with gang members in Chicago? by Chris Jones

The Oscar-nominated "Manchester by the Sea" made the point that some things happen from which people cannot really recover. In the case of that film's central character, a Massachusetts jani…

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Thursday, March 23, 2017

'Picnic' reimagines Inge classic about brief moment of youth and possibility by Chris Jones

"This production is meant to be felt," said Will Davis, the new artistic director of the American Theater Company, in a lengthy explanatory curtain speech before Wednesday night's opening of…

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‘View From the Bridge’ opens Goodman’s next season by Chris Jones

The Goodman Theatre will open its 2017-18 season with the director Ivo Van Hove's intensely radical West End and Broadway adaptation of Arthur Miller's "A View From the Bridge," the Goodman …

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'Destiny of Desire' also about the desire for a new kind of audience by Chris Jones

At one point in "Destiny of Desire," the very fun, very self-aware new show by Karen Zacarias at the Goodman Theatre that offers up a live version of a telenovela, it is said from the stage …

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Wednesday, March 22, 2017

La-aadies and gentlemen, this 'Circus 1903' is the real thing by Chris Jones

I've never seen a show quite like "Circus 1903." Note that the title is not "Cirque 1903." This is not some dreamy, ethereal proscenium entertainment, designed to capitalize on the perennial…

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Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Review: From Sideshow, the power of an hour of witnessing each others' conflicts by Chris Jones

Are the words "truth" and "reconciliation" inherently oppositional? You might well argue so, when the truth involves the recounting of unspeakable suffering on the part of ordinary citizens …

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Review: Just like a real tech rehearsal, '10 Out of 12' can get tedious by Chris Jones

What most often stands in the way of excellence in theater? It's not usually a lack of talent or creativity — if you're having a real career in the merciless performing arts, those qualiti…

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Monday, March 20, 2017

'Destiny of Desire': The sweaty popularity of telenovelas, now at Goodman by Chris Jones

What is the most popular form of entertainment on the planet? No, it's not the broadcasts of the National Football League or even the World Cup. It's not even Robert Falls' famous production…

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Review: 'The Source' is entertaining but I don't believe it for a minute by Chris Jones

Even when uncovering facts that might change the world, great investigative journalists rarely self-dramatize. And if they do, it's likely long after the story is filed, usually accompanied …

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Now on Broadway: 2 Mueller sisters in leading roles by Chris Jones

This week Broadway has a true rarity: Two sisters from Evanston appearing in leading roles in two separate Broadway musicals. But it's only through Sunday. At the Brooks Atkinson Theatre, Je…

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Sunday, March 19, 2017

Review: Love vs. science in Stoppard's 'The Hard Problem' at Court Theatre by Chris Jones

Next time you're accused of being selfish, try this Stoppardian rejoinder: Darwin really doesn't do sentimental. Or try putting it another way: We're all hard-wired to be out for ourselves. …

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Friday, March 17, 2017

Review: Hubbard's 'Spring Series' dances to the end of winter's line by Chris Jones

The arrival on Thursday night of the spring program of Hubbard Street Dance Chicago at the Harris Theatre is — by titular definition — a signal of the end of winter. But in these here pa…

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Thursday, March 16, 2017

Review: Danny DeVito the standout in 'The Price' on Broadway by Chris Jones

Anyone who has cleaned out a deceased parent's stuff will tell you that the worst part of the process is listening to a dealer denigrate the prized possessions of one that you have so deeply…

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A vote for Ivanka Trump for minister of Trump culture by Chris Jones

The closest thing in the nascent administration of Donald J. Trump to a minister of culture is probably Ivanka Trump, who could be seen in a Broadway theater seat Wednesday night, accompanyi…

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'Circus 1903' promises the return of elephant-size wonder by Chris Jones

Even in this, its final season crisscrossing America, the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus is a very big show. But it's still a fraction of the size it was in, say, 1903. That year,…

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Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Review: 'Naked Magicians' have no show up their sleeves by Chris Jones

Seafood joints usually carry a steak. Pizza Hut offers a tossed salad. This is all to avoid the veto. "The Naked Magicians," now at the Broadway Playhouse at Water Tower Place, have learned …

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Tuesday, March 14, 2017

'Happy Fella' at Theo Ubique: Our glass runneth over by Chris Jones

For a vicarious experience of Frank Loesser's "The Most Happy Fella" at Theo Ubique Theatre, imagine coming inside from the slate-gray skies of a chilly night in an inevitable Chicago March,…

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'The Wiz' has fun on its way down the road by Chris Jones

When a phenomenally talented Broadway composer dies young — the likes of Roger Miller ("Big River") or Jonathan Larson ("Rent") — you're left wondering what else they would have done for…

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Monday, March 13, 2017

Review: Chicago's 'Spamilton' is 'Hamilton' turned upside down by Chris Jones

The coattails of "Hamilton" stretch from sea to shining sea. And along with all the actors, authors, journalists, place-holders and concessions sellers, the riders thereupon now include the …

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Broadway in Chicago's next season leans toward Lloyd Webber by Chris Jones

Fans of Andrew Lloyd Webber will be delighted with the new Broadway in Chicago season — not only is the British composer's current Broadway hit "School of Rock" coming to Chicago as part o…

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Sunday, March 12, 2017

New musical 'Come From Away' has warm Canadian memories for our dark times by Chris Jones

On the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, 38 planes, many of them jumbo jets, were pulled from the sunny skies of the darkest day in modern American history and dropped without warning upon Gander, …

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Thursday, March 9, 2017

Sally Field stars in a 'Glass Menagerie' that breaks the mold by Chris Jones

Surely, no star in the history of Broadway has made a more inauspicious entrance than Sally Field's first appearance as poor Amanda Wingfield in director Sam Gold's starkly unforgiving, most…

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Chance the Rapper and Lin-Manuel Miranda have the same kind of savvy by Chris Jones

There are some fascinating similarities emerging between Chance the Rapper and Lin-Manuel Miranda. For starters, both of these artists — one from Chicago, one from New York — clearly kno…

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Wednesday, March 8, 2017

No apologies for passage of time in 'Hedwig and the Angry Inch' by Chris Jones

Hedwig Robinson — that self-styled "slip of a girl-boy from communist East Berlin" — has fit Chicago into her "tight, little agenda" and, as the Village Voice once improbably wrote of Br…

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'Uncle Vanya's' Tim Hopper says he just wants to act by Chris Jones

At one point in our conversation Tuesday night, Tim Hopper started talking about failing a show. This is unusual for an actor; most people only talk about their successes. But Hopper, for wh…

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Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Victory Gardens kicks off 2017-18 season with 'Fun Home' by Chris Jones

Victory Gardens Theater will stage the first made-in-Chicago production of the Tony award-winning musical "Fun Home" as part of its 43rd season of shows, the Lincoln Park  company announced…

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Monday, March 6, 2017

In the lovely 'Year,' stealing away to Italy with a family and a circus dream by Chris Jones

Having never had a year when I didn't go to school and subsequently paid the price, the premise for the latest show for the ages 6-11 set at the Chicago Children's Theatre struck me as devou…

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Saturday, March 4, 2017

Chita Rivera, Ana Gasteyer, 'Hamilton' cast, other celebs to perform together in Chicago by Chris Jones

A bevy of politically invested Broadway celebrities—including Chita Rivera, Melissa Manchester, Ana Gasteyer, Christine Pedi, Sharon Gless, Alice Ripley and many others—are to appear Mar…

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2016-2017 BROADWAY SEASON
Mar 26: Sweat - Studio 54