All stories by Chris Jones on BroadwayStars

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Best of Broadway 2018: The terrifying 'Three Tall Women' leads top 10 by Chris Jones

Mortality was on the Broadway menu this year — most all of the best works of the calendar year shed light on the pain of the human condition, especially once we’re past the first blush o…

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 09:15AM
Tuesday, December 11, 2018

You don't know Isaac Gomez, but you will after his 'La Ruta' a tragic tale of life on the border by Chris Jones

Who is Isaac Gomez? If you live outside of the world of nonprofit theater, you may not know. As recently as 2013, Gomez was an undergraduate student at the University of Texas at Austin. He …

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 04:45PM
Monday, December 10, 2018

Gitta Jacobs dies at 85 — known for her support of Chicago theaters, few knew of her childhood flight from Nazi Austria by Chris Jones

Gitta Jacobs, whom her son Clay Jacobs said died peacefully in her Gold Coast home Friday at the age of 85, probably served as a director of more small Chicago theaters than any other single…

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 07:00PM

Well worth seeing 'Santaland Diaries' before department store elves are gone forever by Chris Jones

During the peak holiday weeks, the Goodman Theatre likes to have an irreverent seasonal attraction on the smaller of its two stages — something to attract a young adult audience less inter…

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 03:20PM
Friday, December 7, 2018

'Algorithm Nation or, The Static Quo' is a strange letdown on the Second City mainstage by Chris Jones

“Algorithm Nation or, The Static Quo” is the first opening on the legendary mainstage of Second City since the fantastic “Dream Freaks Fall from Space" debuted on that legendary platfo…

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 03:10PM
Thursday, December 6, 2018

'Network' opens on Broadway starring Bryan Cranston as the anchor who's still mad and not going to take it by Chris Jones

Americans were mad as hell and not going to take it anymore in 1976. And — take a look outside your window — they’re still mad as hell and not going to take it anymore in 2018. But the…

Linked From New York Daily News at 10:00PM

Desperate to see anything? Let us suggest 'The Play That Goes Wrong' by Chris Jones

At the top of “The Play That Goes Wrong,” the touring comedy from London and Broadway now making its debut in Chicago, an apology is issued from the stage. There has been a ticket mix-up…

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 04:20PM
Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Uptown Theatre has already become a magnet for live music and buzz — just hear REO Speedwagon's reaction by Chris Jones

The door to the Uptown Theatre swung open. Dan Rather laughed. And the faces of REO Speedwagon all lit up like Christmas trees. The juxtaposition of personalities — the famed anchorman was…

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 01:00PM
Tuesday, December 4, 2018

As Theo Ubique opens in Evanston, tiny, intimate musicals are still its bread and butter by Chris Jones

Fans of Theo Ubique Theatre, the diminutive, distinguished Chicago theater that really started the now-buoyant trend of micro-musicals in Chicago, have been left nibbling cold turkey this fa…

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 03:25PM
Monday, December 3, 2018

'The Cher Show' on Broadway lets Cher be Cher by Chris Jones

Even jukebox musicals and celebrity bio-shows need clear reasons for theatrical being. In her one-woman show, Elaine Stritch memorably described herself as a “existential problem in tights…

Linked From New York Daily News at 09:00PM
Friday, November 30, 2018

'Plainclothes': Plenty of promise in play about shoplifters — this could be a TV series by Chris Jones

There is an excellent play buried inside Spenser Davis’ “Plainclothes,” an ambitious but overstuffed situation comedy from Chicago’s burgeoning Broken Nose Theatre. Possibly an entir…

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 03:30PM
Thursday, November 29, 2018

How American Girl Place was a first in Chicago — and way ahead of its time by Chris Jones

Twenty years ago, something strange called American Girl Place opened in Chicago. It was years ahead of its time. In fact, only now is it becoming clear just how far ahead the thinking behin…

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 08:00AM
Tuesday, November 27, 2018

'Familiar' at Steppenwolf is Danai Gurira's comedy about a Zimbabwean-American family divided by Chris Jones

The aptly named “Familiar,” now at the Steppenwolf Theatre Company under the skilled direction of Danya Taymor, is a fine example of the kind of play that many well-educated children of …

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 12:40PM
Monday, November 26, 2018

Magic master Ricky Jay was proud of the magic renaissance in Chicago by Chris Jones

Ricky Jay, who died last Saturday, was the most genial, smart and loquacious magician you ever could hope to meet. Looking back on all the magic shows I’ve reviewed over the years in Chica…

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 04:00PM
Thursday, November 22, 2018

'The Book of Mormon' is back in Chicago, still brave enough to laugh by Chris Jones

On Thanksgiving Eve at the Oriental Theatre, several hundred of us took time to give thanks for an all-American freedom of expression — the precious right to make fun of our elders, spoof …

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 12:00PM

Help! I have to pick a show in Chicago for the holidays! by Chris Jones

Ready to plan your holiday theater-going? Let me see if I can help. Everything mentioned in this column has been reviewed in, and recommended by, the Tribune, either this year or not too lon…

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 08:00AM
Wednesday, November 21, 2018

A 'Beauty and the Beast' that runs from the sun by Chris Jones

The touchstone of the glorious Disney animation renaissance, “Beauty and the Beast” had eight masterful songs by Howard Ashman and Alan Menken when it was released as a movie: the likes …

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 06:10PM

'The Steadfast Tin Soldier' from Lookingglass is a four-star treat for all ages by Chris Jones

How’s your week going? Let’s hope more smoothly than for the tinny hero of the gorgeous new show at Lookingglass Theatre who, in short order, is tormented by a big baby, propelled from a…

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 12:25PM

'Mansfield Park' at Northlight Theatre loses that Jane Austen richness by Chris Jones

Anyone who studied Jane Austen — or read her novels for pleasure — will tell you one thing above all else. She wrote juicy, deeply complex characters. This is why her six major novels ha…

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 08:00AM
Tuesday, November 20, 2018

'The Woman in Black' brings a chilling darkness to the Royal George — without a cheap digital scare in sight by Chris Jones

The usual admonition to turn off your cell phones has a particular intensity at “The Woman in Black,” now at the Royal George Theatre. “We use very low level levels of light in this pr…

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 11:45AM
Monday, November 19, 2018

'Rightlynd' at Victory Gardens: A young alderman is stuck at a Chicago crossroads by Chris Jones

Given the excitement occasioned by 29-year-old Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, now the youngest woman ever to be elected to the United States Congress, dollars to donuts that a lot of people in TV…

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 02:30PM

Cirque du Soleil is coming back to Chicago in 2019 — with 'Volta' at Soldier Field by Chris Jones

The Cirque du Soleil will return to Chicago in 2019. But its tent will be pitched not outside the United Center, as has been the case for years, but in the south parking lot of Soldier Field…

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 11:15AM
Sunday, November 18, 2018

'Miss Saigon' has landed in Chicago and if you know and love this musical, you will not be disappointed by Chris Jones

Some 26 years after its signature chopper first descended on the Auditorium Theatre, “Miss Saigon” is back in Chicago and still out-selling every other show in town. (Except one, which h…

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 02:30PM
Friday, November 16, 2018

'Twelfth Night' at Writers Theatre is more like a holiday party — with love in the corners by Chris Jones

William Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night” takes its name from the coming of the Feast of the Epiphany — probably now best known as the day when you’re supposed to take down your holida…

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 03:30PM
Thursday, November 15, 2018

'The Prom': Hey, Indiana! Broadway wants to save you and your teens by Chris Jones

Hoosiers are a great mystery to the people of Broadway. Apparently, they live in small, economically challenged towns best flown over. They insist on homophobic traditional values and, when …

Linked From New York Daily News at 10:00PM

What should be the J.B. Pritzker arts agenda? Before we think about the arts, think about people, and truck stops by Chris Jones

What should be the arts policy of the new administration headed by the incoming Democratic governor of the State of Illinois, J.B. Pritzker? You cannot answer that question without also aski…

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 04:55PM
Wednesday, November 14, 2018

'The Last Session' takes you inside a recording studio, where a songwriter with AIDS is making a final album by Chris Jones

“The Last Session” — which I doubt you have seen staged before — is surely the only gospel-infused musical that deals with the AIDS crisis that plagued America in the waning years of…

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 02:00PM
Tuesday, November 13, 2018

For fans of 'Miss Saigon,' this tour is the end of the era by Chris Jones

"We will never,” said Cameron Mackintosh, sounding unusually wistful, "be all together doing this again." Mackintosh — often known by the sobriquet "Mister Producer" and the most success…

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 05:20PM

Chicago's Oriental Theatre is getting a new name by Chris Jones

After 92 years, the name of the Oriental Theatre is going to disappear. Early next year, the venerable, historic venue built in Chicago at 24 W. Randolph St. in 1926 on the site of the Iroqu…

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 11:57AM

Uptown Theatre's $75 million restoration will begin next summer by Chris Jones

The long-awaited, $75 million restoration of the 93-year-old Uptown Theatre — among the highest profile historic rehabs in the city’s history — will begin next summer, Chicago’s Comm…

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 05:50AM
Sunday, November 11, 2018

'Frankenstein' at Court Theatre: The magical Manual Cinema strains to tell Mary Shelley's creature story by Chris Jones

In the summer of 1815, Mount Tambora in Indonesia erupted, weirdly causing a stormy following summer in Geneva, Switzerland, where Mary Godwin was chilling with her lover (and soon to be her…

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 02:30PM

All that Chat

2018-2019 BROADWAY SEASON