All stories by Chris Jones on BroadwayStars

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

'Uncle Vanya': Why not a little vodka with that boring life? by Chris Jones

Annie Baker's terrific translation of "Uncle Vanya" begins like this. Marina, an old nurse who does not move much, pours a cup of tea. "You should eat something," she says to Mikhail Lvovich…

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 04:32PM
Tuesday, February 21, 2017

'Monster' the story of a teen filmmaker caught up in a crime by Chris Jones

Before he died in 2014, the fine young-adult novelist Walter Dean Myers wrote an opinion piece in the New York Times; the essay was a reaction to a University of Wisconsin study that found t…

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 04:08PM
Sunday, February 19, 2017

Review: 'A Wonder in My Soul' is a warm tribute to South Side beauty shops by Chris Jones

Gwendolyn Brooks. Carol Moseley Braun. Mavis Staples. Michelle Obama. All, we are told, have been gussied up at the oldest black-owned beauty shop in Chicago, the life's work of two women fr…

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 04:09PM
Friday, February 17, 2017

Super troupers! This 'Mamma Mia' has the look and the fun by Chris Jones

"Mamma Mia!," the much-loved and now ubiquitous ABBA musical, is one of the few West End and Broadway shows that you could say work better in the round. That's the takeaway, at least, from d…

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 01:15PM

During a tough time for circuses, the Wallendas get back on the wire by Chris Jones

Circus people in America have not had not enjoyed these past four months. The bad news began in November when the Big Apple Circus, a beloved and mission-centered American circus known for i…

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 07:00AM
Thursday, February 16, 2017

Review: Love a little lost in this tangled Shakespeare rom-com by Chris Jones

What is the hardest of all the plays by William Shakespeare to produce today? You'd probably wager the deep-thought tragic masterpieces, or the problematic dramas like "Othello," "The Mercha…

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 03:09PM

New Tracy Letts politics play will debut at Steppenwolf, go to Broadway by Chris Jones

The Steppenwolf Theatre Company will have the world premiere next fall of a new play by Tracy Letts, which will then move to Broadway. The new, ensemble-driven play "The Minutes" was penned …

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 12:54PM
Wednesday, February 15, 2017

In 'Bootycandy,' a playwright's memories have the power to shock by Chris Jones

At one point in "Bootycandy," the scathingly funny and wildly eclectic satire by Robert O'Hara about growing up gay and black in the Buckeye State — or somewhere like that — we are taken…

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 04:00PM

In 'Gloria' and 'SWM,' New York shows came here to grow by Chris Jones

"Gloria" and "Straight White Men" represent something new and interesting in the ever-morphing theatrical interchange between Chicago and New York — two productions that originated at off-…

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 02:00PM
Tuesday, February 14, 2017

'Wolf at the End of the Block': Ike Holter's crime story examines culture of mistrust by Chris Jones

Many Chicagoans of color report feeling uneasy around Chicago police officers. That is a fact, supported by ample data. There's also hard evidence that white Chicagoans do not fully understa…

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 03:43PM
Monday, February 13, 2017

Review: If you've never met the Demon Barber, get to this 'Sweeney Todd' by Chris Jones

In Chicago and New York, "Sweeney Todd — the Demon Barber of Fleet Street" generally has devolved into a close shave. The reasons are partly canonical. Ghosts of past productions now loom …

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 04:55PM
Sunday, February 12, 2017

'Straight White Men': Young Jean Lee asks audience, herself to see both sides by Chris Jones

Consider, dear reader, this paradoxical truth from the restless mind of the auteur artist Young Jean Lee, currently accessible in Chicago through the Steppenwolf Theatre Company: "There is n…

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 04:53PM
Friday, February 10, 2017

Blue Man Group: Still silent, still pulling in audiences at Briar Street by Chris Jones

"Blue Man Group" has been running at the Briar Street Theatre in Chicago since 1997, a run of almost 20 years. In this city, in any city, that's a remarkable achievement. But here's what is …

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 01:20PM

As Wrigleyville booms, the Uptown is left in the dust by Chris Jones

On the day following her stellar halftime performance at the Super Bowl, Lady Gaga, announced a new world tour, dubbed "Joanne," including an August date at Wrigley Field. Her ladyship will …

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 09:42AM
Thursday, February 9, 2017

Review: Glenn Close is scary good in 'Sunset Boulevard' on Broadway by Chris Jones

When Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical version of "Sunset Boulevard" first opened at London's Adelphi Theatre in 1993, audiences were dazzled by John Napier's gilded re-creation of Norma Desmond…

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 08:00PM

Mike Myers will star in movie about his mentor Del Close, Chicago improv guru by Chris Jones

Mike Myers, the actor who starred in "Wayne's World," "Austin Powers" and on "Saturday Night Live!" and whose career began at Second City, will play the role of the real-life improv guru Del…

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 03:15PM
Wednesday, February 8, 2017

'Scottsboro Boys' never given a moment to rest at Porchlight by Chris Jones

Between the Broadway opening of John Kander and Fred Ebb's "The Scottsboro Boys," and Tuesday night's Chicago premiere from Porchlight Music Theatre, more than six years have elapsed. This h…

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 04:52PM

Could Young Jean Lee really be on the side of straight white men? by Chris Jones

Young Jean Lee looks me in the eye and smiles her most sympathetic smile. "I feel sorry for you," she says. "You don't get to have one of the big categories of oppression. You are expected t…

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 02:28PM
Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Review: Manual Cinema's 'Magic City' lets everyone in by Chris Jones

Border walls are crumbling at theaters all over town these days, the Trump-mandated edifice being the metaphor du jour for a political revolution sourced in protectionism and thus anathema t…

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 04:45PM
Monday, February 6, 2017

'Faceless': Much to like in young writer's lively but formulaic courtroom drama by Chris Jones

"Faceless," the lively new drama at Northlight Theatre that deals with the recruitment — over Twitter and Facebook — of a young American woman to join the jihad, is the work of 22-year-o…

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 04:16PM
Sunday, February 5, 2017

'Get out': Holocaust play 'Book of Joseph' begins with real-life letters by Chris Jones

Some Jewish people saw the Holocaust coming with total clarity — they understood almost immediately the pull of fascism and the weakness of the opposition. They decoded the fake news. Othe…

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 03:37PM
Friday, February 3, 2017

'Salute to Tony Bennett' is a night out for you and your valentine by Chris Jones

The new revue at the Mercury Theater, "I Left My Heart: A Salute to the Music of Tony Bennett" delivers exactly what it promises — a simple, irony-free, enjoyable, predictable exploration …

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 01:00PM

Memo to Trump: Don't kill the NEA. Fix it. by Chris Jones

To: Donald J. Trump, 45th president of the United States From: Chris Jones, Tribune critic Re: The National Endowment for the Arts A modest proposal, Mr. President: Don't kill the National E…

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Thursday, February 2, 2017

Review: 'Bodyguard' needs at least to try to make sense of the movie by Chris Jones

"What are you doing here?" asked an acquaintance during intermission at the Oriental Theatre on Wednesday night. "It's my job," I replied. "More interestingly, what are you doing here?" "Ham…

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 03:05PM

Cancer, climate change and sex crimes? These plays took some guts by Chris Jones

Over the past week, I've reviewed plays about cancer, climate change and sex offenders. Doesn't that make you want to rush out to the theater? Well, there was also "Saturday Night Fever," al…

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 08:48AM
Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Wayne Brady in 'Hamilton' is a very interesting 'work in progress' by Chris Jones

It is now impossible to watch George Washington make his exit from public life in "Hamilton" without the face of Barack Obama staring back at you from the stage. It's not just that the first…

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 01:03PM
Tuesday, January 31, 2017

'The Nether': Are there sex crimes in a virtual world? A Red Orchid struggles with answer by Chris Jones

There's a legitimate school of rehabilitative thought that says many sex offenders can't change their impulses — they only can learn to self-regulate their behavior and understand how cons…

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 03:49PM
Monday, January 30, 2017

'Wit,' about professor with cancer, is best play ever written on the subject by Chris Jones

Margaret Edson's "Wit," which won the Pulitzer Prize for drama in 1999, is the best play ever written about cancer. In fact, I'd say it's the best play ever written about hospitals, too, and…

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 04:25PM
Sunday, January 29, 2017

Review: 'Earthquakes in London' a very personal play about the whole planet by Chris Jones

There is much to worry about at present. Attending Mike Bartlett's sprawling, three-hour drama "Earthquakes in London" at the Steep Theatre, and you should, for it is a wild, trippy fusion o…

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 02:48PM
Friday, January 27, 2017

Review: 'Saturday Night Fever' not just a retro disco inferno by Chris Jones

Amnesia — willful or otherwise — about what transpired in the late 1970s is hardly uncommon. Perhaps that explains why so many people think "Saturday Night Fever," the Robert Stigwood ep…

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 01:11PM

Writers Theatre will stage pre-Broadway 'Trevor: The Musical' by Chris Jones

Writers Theatre in Glencoe will stage the world premiere of "Trevor: The Musical" in a pre-Broadway tryout this fall, the Tribune has learned. This will be the first pre-Broadway show for th…

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 10:24AM

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