All stories by Chris Jones on BroadwayStars

Thursday, May 26, 2022

Review: ‘Ain’t Too Proud — The Life and Times of The Temptations’ has all the hits, but the sound disappoints by Chris Jones

The Motown group known as The Temptations navigated a truly stunning repertoire of musical styles over a 62-year history.

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 03:00PM
Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Marriott Theatre looks to its own for new artistic director, executive producer by Chris Jones

Marriott Theatre in Lincolnshire has hired internally for its top two management positions, the longstanding North Shore venue has announced.

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 02:35PM
Sunday, May 22, 2022

Review: ‘Two Trains Running’ at Court Theatre is a blast of an August Wilson play, set in the 1960s by Chris Jones

Having just won a Tony Award, Court Theatre delivers with a blisteringly entertaining new Ron OJ Parson production.

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 11:35AM
Thursday, May 19, 2022

Review: ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ tour arrives in Chicago — the Aaron Sorkin version will have you pondering this story all over again by Chris Jones

Early in Aaron Sorkin’s adaptation of Harper Lee’s classic, young Scout Finch starts telling us about the courtroom in fictional Maycomb, Alabama. She does so with the reverence of a chi…

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 01:10PM

Theater Top 10 for summer: Our picks favor the musicals, from ‘Prada’ and ‘Superstar’ to a homegrown ‘Priscilla’ by Chris Jones

It’s worth noting that Chicago has four new musicals trying out this summer, all shooting toward Broadway.

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 06:00AM
Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Court Theatre in Hyde Park wins Regional Theatre Tony Award by Chris Jones

Court Theatre becomes the first Chicago theater to win the award in more than a decade.

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 09:55AM
Monday, May 16, 2022

Review: Moving TimeLine play ‘The Chinese Lady’ is really about the audience’s act of watching by Chris Jones

Lloyd Suh’s play “The Chinese Lady,” now in its Chicago premiere, has a spectacular central performance from Mi Kang.

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 03:25PM

‘Wait, Wait ... Don’t Tell Me!’ resumes live tapings in brand new Chicago location by Chris Jones

NPR's weekly hour-long quiz program will resume live audience recordings this June, hosted by Bill Kurtis and Peter Sagal.

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 11:00AM
Sunday, May 15, 2022

Review: High school fencers go blade to blade in ‘Athena’ at Writers Theatre in Glencoe by Chris Jones

In Gracie Gardner’s two-character play, Athena is a 17-year-old who likes having a warrior moniker. Gardner has written a character study of two smart, self-reflective teenagers with the …

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 02:27PM
Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Review: ‘Luckiest’ at Raven Theatre a powerful reminder of our mortality; plus ‘Last Hermanos’ at A Red Orchid by Chris Jones

These two interesting off-Loop shows are a reminder of the power of Chicago acting.

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 02:43PM
Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Second City has a new artistic board, with alums Tina Fey, Sam Richardson, Stephen Colbert, Steve Carell and others by Chris Jones

The new Second City Artistic Advisory Board, announced Tuesday, also includes Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Jane Lynch and Tim Meadows. The theater currently has no artistic director.

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 07:00AM
Sunday, May 8, 2022

Review: An uneven ‘Seagull,’ playing to too many empty seats, is a muted start for Steppenwolf’s new Ensemble Theater by Chris Jones

Anton Chekhov’s 1896 play is famous exploration of the pain and black comedy within a damaged, theatrical family, freshly adapted and directed at Steppenwolf by Yasen Peyankov,

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 11:00PM
Friday, May 6, 2022

Review: ‘Rock of Ages’ at Paramount Theatre is a proudly good-time show, just missing an emotional note by Chris Jones

“Rock of Ages” is what you might call a party show, giving the audience a fun jukebox musical full of Bon Jovi and Journey.

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 01:50PM
Wednesday, May 4, 2022

Review: ‘The Tragedy of King Christophe’ by House Theatre is bold and ambitious play set after the Haitian Revolution by Chris Jones

Christophe declared himself king of that Caribbean nation in 1811, and then set about building a kind of shadow version of a European monarchy.

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 03:00PM
Tuesday, May 3, 2022

Review: Northlight Theatre’s ‘Intimate Apparel’ does this lovely play about a Black seamstress proud by Chris Jones

This story about a young Black seamstress struggling to make her way in 1905 New York is as gentle as it is persistent, and remains my favorite of Lynn Nottage's plays.

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 02:20PM
Monday, May 2, 2022

Review: A stunner of a lead performance in ‘Spring Awakening’ by Porchlight Music Theatre by Chris Jones

I first saw “Spring Awakening,” the Duncan Sheik and Steven Sater musical about adults confining their children to sexual ignorance, more than 15 years ago.

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 03:30PM
Sunday, May 1, 2022

Review: ‘All’s Well That Ends Well’ depends on its Helen, finding love amid death — she succeeds mightily at Chicago Shakespeare by Chris Jones

Love often begins at funerals, since those events put everything in context of mortality. We’re only her for a while, Helen realizes, so you might as well go after the lover who only looks…

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 02:22PM
Friday, April 29, 2022

Review: On Broadway, Daniel Craig gets trapped in a ‘Macbeth’ without a clear plan by Chris Jones

Daniel Craig brings plenty of talent and star power to "Macbeth" on Broadway, but the production loses its way.

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 05:00PM

Review: ‘Mike Birbiglia: The Old Man and the Pool’ is the comedian smiling through middle age at Steppenwolf Theatre by Chris Jones

He figured out long ago that he knows how to talk about love, a topic that many male comedians avoid.

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 01:00PM
Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Review: Billy Crystal’s ‘Mr. Saturday Night’ on Broadway is a hilarious, retro good time by Chris Jones

Billy Crystal has aged into his role as Buddy Young Jr. perfectly for the Broadway version of "Mr. Saturday Night."

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 10:00PM
Tuesday, April 26, 2022

Review: ‘A Strange Loop’ on Broadway is sexually explicit and deeply personal, a musical to push boundaries by Chris Jones

A deeply intimate story about a young man named Usher writing a Broadway musical, this is probably the most sexually explicit musical ever produced.

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 10:00PM
Sunday, April 24, 2022

Review: In ‘Funny Girl’ on Broadway, waves of love and forgiveness for Beanie Feldstein by Chris Jones

If the audience at the August Wilson Theatre could have carried Feldstein on its shoulders, it surely would have done so.

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 10:00PM

Review: This special ‘Sound of Music’ at Marriott Theatre knows the secret is in the kids by Chris Jones

Watch the von Trapp kids closely and you’ll see a lot of shared glances and frowns as the comings and goings of the adults cause whipsaw changes in the lives of these kids.

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 01:32PM
Friday, April 22, 2022

Review: ‘Sex Tips for Straight Women from a Gay Man’ is all in good fun, perhaps a learning experience by Chris Jones

It’s all a good, PG-13 laugh, a chance to shed one’s inhibitions while remaining in a somewhat dignified and safe environment.

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 11:45AM
Thursday, April 21, 2022

Review: ‘Moulin Rouge! The Musical’ is gorgeous at Chicago’s Nederlander Theatre, a thrilling Parisian night out by Chris Jones

Not since the emerald hues of “Wicked” has a show looked more glorious in Chicago’s Nederlander Theatre than “Moulin Rouge! The Musical.”

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 11:00PM

Broadway review: Martin McDonagh’s ‘Hangmen’ is a terrifying thriller that says things few dare even to whisper by Chris Jones

The play offers up dextrous plotting, sardonic satire, subtle observations about the gray northern life and, above all, an unforgettable central character in Harry, a hangman who also loses …

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 09:30PM
Wednesday, April 20, 2022

Review: ‘For Colored Girls’ opens on Broadway and a masterwork gets a chance to reach a new generation by Chris Jones

For those of us of a certain age, it’s hard to imagine Ntozake Shange first wrote the lines “Somebody, anybody, sing a black girl’s song” nearly half a century ago, and made it to Br…

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 10:00PM

Review: ‘The Prom’ is a good-time, warmhearted musical, now in Chicago for all too short a stay by Chris Jones

“The Prom,” if you’ve never had the pleasure, deals with a cast of narcissistic Broadway types who try to "rescue" a gay high schooler in Indiana.

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 03:22PM

Broadway review: Sex abuse drama ‘How I Learned to Drive’ is as unsettling now as it was 25 years ago by Chris Jones

When Paula Vogel’s play opened in 1997 with Mary-Louise Parker in the lead role, the depiction of sexual abuse on stage was close to non-existent.

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 01:50PM
Tuesday, April 19, 2022

Actor Harry Lennix gets $26 million from Illinois for his ‘Black version of Lincoln Center’ in Bronzeville by Chris Jones

The project will contain a museum, two performing spaces and is earmarked as a performance home for the Congo Square Theatre Company.

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 12:05PM

Steppenwolf Theatre announces 2022-23 season with return of Austin Pendleton and Jeff Perry by Chris Jones

New work dominates, although the season concludes with a new production of Harold Pinter’s absurdist classic “No Man’s Land."

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 12:00PM