All stories by Chris Jones on BroadwayStars

Friday, June 15, 2018

The Harris Theater, evolving in the Tribune's new neighborhood by Chris Jones

Here’s something no one anticipated when the Harris Theater for Music and Dance was built in 2003: it would begin to function as a neighborhood venue. Here’s something I never anticipate…

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Thursday, June 14, 2018

Jacob Harvey to exit Greenhouse Theater Center by Chris Jones

Jacob Harvey, artistic director of the Greenhouse Theater Center since 2016, is exiting the position, effective on Friday. William Spatz, who owns the producing and presenting operation, loc…

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Wednesday, June 13, 2018

At Gift, a 'Hamlet' with all kinds of ambition by Chris Jones

At one point in Monty Cole’s uber-contemporary “Hamlet” — at the Gift Theatre in Jefferson Park — the title character turns his back on the audience, picks up a can of red spray pa…

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You watched all the Tony winners, but when are they coming to Chicago? by Chris Jones

“The Band’s Visit” and “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” dominated Sunday’s Tony Awards. But when will we see these shows — and the other Tony winners — in Chicago? Very li…

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Tuesday, June 12, 2018

'Guards at the Taj,' staring at beauty, pondering atrocities by Chris Jones

Of the many myths surrounding the building of the Taj Mahal — the wondrous mausoleum in the Indian city of Agra — one of the most persistent is that its creator, the Mughal emperor, Shah…

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Monday, June 11, 2018

At non-Equity Jeff Awards, Griffin's 'Ragtime,' Theo Ubique's 'Sweeney Todd' and Steep's 'Lela & Co.' among winners by Chris Jones

Steep Theatre Company's shattering production of "Lela & Co.," a haunting play about sex-trafficking and abuse, emerged triumphant at Chicago's non-Equity Jeff Awards Monday night at the Ath…

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Sunday, June 10, 2018

Tony Awards honor Chicago's David Cromer and Laurie Metcalf by Chris Jones

“The Band’s Visit,” the wry, sad and moving new musical helmed by David Cromer of Skokie — unarguably the leading auteur stage director to emerge from the Chicago theater in a genera…

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Friday, June 8, 2018

Hubbard Street Dance goes Gaga with its thrilling night of Ohad Naharin work by Chris Jones

For risk-loving contemporary dancers, Gaga needs no Lady. It’s the name of a technique pioneered by Israeli choreographer Ohad Naharin, artistic director of the Tel Aviv-based Batsheva Dan…

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Thursday, June 7, 2018

David Cromer a Tonys favorite for 'Band's Visit' — could you call this a giddy moment? by Chris Jones

David Cromer — Skokie-hatched, Columbia College-trained, fed and watered in the Chicago theater, the current odds-on favorite to win the Tony Award on Sunday for best direction of a musica…

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Wednesday, June 6, 2018

2018 Tony Award predictions: Who will win, who should win on Sunday by Chris Jones

With “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” likely to do to its rivals nominated for best play what the Dementors do to Ron and Hermione — in one narrative, anyway — most of the tension…

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'Burnham's Dream: The White City' shows it's hard to make a musical from dancing architects by Chris Jones

Have you craved the opportunity to see a musical about dead Chicago architects? Did you always hope to catch Daniel Burnham and John Root doing a soft-shoe together? When staring, say, at th…

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Tuesday, June 5, 2018

It'll take more than the Civil War, says Suzan-Lori Parks in her brilliant 'Father Comes Home' by Chris Jones

At one point in “Father Comes Home from the Wars (Parts 1, 2 & 3)” — Suzan-Lori Parks’ brilliant and riveting Civil War triptych in the Homeric vein — a slave named Hero, fighting …

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'The Cher Show' arrives in Chicago. But where's Cher? by Chris Jones

“The Cher Show” rolled quietly into Chicago on Tuesday — minus Cher, who didn’t even show up as a hologram. But if the name on the marquee — and the reason to buy a ticket — was …

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Monday, June 4, 2018

A real Lookingglass summer adventure in '20,000 Leagues Under the Seas' by Chris Jones

Say Nemo and most kids now think of the Disney clown fish with the neurotic dad. Mention Nautilus and you’re into a fitness brand. But in 1870, the great Jules Verne imagined Captain Nemo …

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Friday, June 1, 2018

'Mies Julie' is an erotic South African shocker, fueled by inequality and desire by Chris Jones

At one crucial point in “Mies Julie,” Yaël Farber’s explosive and adept South African adaptation of August Strindberg’s throbbing naturalistic classic from 1888, now firing up the V…

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'Bull in a China Shop': At Mount Holyoke, a remarkable woman changed education by Chris Jones

In 1977, the Mount Holyoke College alumna Wendy Wasserstein wrote “Uncommon Women,” a sparkling, groundbreaking and deeply moving play about brilliant women at an elite college, all prob…

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For Roseanne Barr and Bill Cosby, their names, unfortunately, were their shows by Chris Jones

In September 1989, the cover of TV Guide featured the stars of the two highest rated shows of the era. One was "The Cosby Show." The other was "Roseanne." Each regularly attracted some 30 mi…

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Thursday, May 31, 2018

Jim Parsons hosts a gay birthday party in Broadway revival of 'Boys in the Band' by Chris Jones

When the courageous playwright Mart Crowley wrote "The Boys in the Band," half a century ago and several galaxies away, he was more concerned about making his play funny and true than worryi…

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John Mahoney's stuff, from 'Frasier' scripts to furniture, will be auctioned off in downstate Illinois by Chris Jones

A signed Hirschfeld drawing of the cast of "Frasier." A Dale Chihuly vase — once a fixture on the set of the NBC sitcom — signed by the renowned artist. Autographed scripts for "Frasier,…

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Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Few did more than Rachel Rockwell to shape Chicago theater — and those who work in it by Chris Jones

As far as I remember, I first saw Rachel Rockwell perform in 1999. The show was director Marc Robin's production of "A Chorus Line" and the venue was the now-defunct Drury Lane in Evergreen …

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Tuesday, May 29, 2018

In Strawdog Theatre's 'Damascus,' a shuttle driver is taken for a creepy ride by Chris Jones

Bennett Fisher’s new play “Damascus” is set mostly on Interstate 94. The rolling location is an airport shuttle van that normally plies its trade at the Minneapolis-St. Paul airport. B…

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Monday, May 28, 2018

Leading Chicago director Rachel Rockwell is dead at 49 by Chris Jones

Rachel Rockwell, one of Chicago's leading directors and choreographers of stage musicals over the past two decades — and also a rising star on the brink of a major national career in the A…

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Friday, May 25, 2018

It's 'Waiting for Godot,' yes, but it's funny, masterfully done and truly Irish by Chris Jones

During my preshow detour in the interests of personal comfort, an announcement of a pending curtain came across the Chicago Shakespeare Theater loudspeaker, which reaches everywhere. Beginni…

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Thursday, May 24, 2018

Amazon, the death of the Rosemont Theatre and a cautionary tale for Chicago by Chris Jones

A quarter-century ago, the lavish new Rosemont Theatre caused severe indigestion among the nervous honchos of Chicago. The occasion was the 1993 groundbreaking for a 4,200-seat theater — a…

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Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Robert Redford headed to north suburban Riverwoods for award, performance June 1 by Chris Jones

Robert Redford is headed June 1 to the Brushwood Center at Ryerson Woods in north suburban Riverwoods, where he and his wife, German-born environmental activist and multimedia artist Sibylle…

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'Pretty Woman: The Musical' swaps leading men for Broadway by Chris Jones

"Pretty Woman: The Musical" will be changing leading men for Broadway. The producers announced Wednesday that Steve Kazee, who played the lead role of Edward Lewis during the show's pre-Bro…

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Tuesday, May 22, 2018

When's the last time you saw a real baby on stage? A suggestion for 'Cry It Out' by Chris Jones

When did you last see a baby at a show? And when did you last see a baby in a show? If you attended one of the early previews of Tracy Letts’ “Mary Page Marlowe” at the Steppenwolf The…

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Monday, May 21, 2018

'The Originalist' at Court Theatre has a tricky job in portraying Antonin Scalia by Chris Jones

Since Antonin Scalia, the late and famously flamboyant associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, once taught — very happily, by his own account — at the University of …

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Sunday, May 20, 2018

Attention new parents: 'Cry It Out' at Northlight is worth the price of a sitter by Chris Jones

New parents are notoriously difficult to attract to the theater and the reasons are obvious: Sitters add greatly to the cost and hassle of an evening and, in my experience anyway, a fun and …

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Friday, May 18, 2018

What's the economic impact of Blues Fest or Jazz Fest? Chicago will now get data from your Mastercard spending by Chris Jones

Which has the greater importance to Chicago: The Chicago Blues Festival or the Chicago Jazz Festival? If you love our city’s musical heritage, you’d rightly answer “both.” But what a…

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Thursday, May 17, 2018

'A New Attitude: In Tribute to Patti Labelle' at BET has the glorious look and songs by Chris Jones

As bookends go for any first act, you could do a whole lot worse than killer renditions of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” and “Lady Marmalade,” replete with its aspirational sing-along…

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