All stories by Chris Jones on BroadwayStars

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

In 'White Christmas,' the lights of a holiday inn are all aglow by Chris Jones

Chicago’s big downtown theaters are humming with eclectic fodder for the holiday weekend: Budgets and stamina permitting, you can choose from “Hamilton,” Jimmy Buffett’s “Escape to…

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 02:35PM
Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Of the holiday shows, are you more of an 'Elf' or a 'Hellcab'? by Chris Jones

What should you be doing for your holiday entertainment pleasure? Let's ponder a little of the old, the new and the shifting sands of seasonal change. Some old favorites are expanded, moved …

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 05:33PM

They saved Shakespeare: 'The Book of Will' is a dramatic story well told by Chris Jones

In the early 1620s, a couple of aging actors named Henry Condell and John Heminges set about the task of publishing, in a single, bound volume, all of the plays of their late and beloved pal…

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 02:55PM
Monday, November 20, 2017

In Tracy Letts' 'The Minutes,' a town council moves for blood by Chris Jones

In the moist, all-American burg of Big Cherry — the setting for the new Tracy Letts play “The Minutes” — the rambling and esoteric agenda of the town council is filled with the patte…

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 01:30PM
Sunday, November 19, 2017

'Fade' is a fresh new spin on the writer-in-Hollywood play by Chris Jones

As long as Hollywood has hired playwrights from New York or Chicago, which is as long as there has been Hollywood, these transplanted, bought-and-paid-for scribes have written plays about th…

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 04:05PM
Friday, November 17, 2017

For Laurie Metcalf in 'Lady Bird,' this is the moment for her kind of honesty by Chris Jones

There’s a scene in “Lady Bird,” this fall’s remarkable coming-of-age movie by Greta Gerwig, where the title character, a complicated Sacramento 17-year-old encapsulated by Saoirse Ro…

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 08:00AM
Thursday, November 16, 2017

'Escape to Margaritaville' has the Buffett-brand attitude but takes too much latitude by Chris Jones

“Work is a dirty word out here,” says the charming, guitar-strumming, Jimmy Buffett-esque central figure of the new musical “Escape to Margaritaville,” a “Mamma Mia!” for Parroth…

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 10:25AM

Mike Daisey, monologist and Trump-era soothsayer, is back in Chicago by Chris Jones

After Donald J. Trump became president of the United States — which, you may recall, actually was a massive surprise to most of us — the amount of analytical bloviating about the reasons…

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 08:00AM
Wednesday, November 15, 2017

An 'Importance of Being Earnest' both earnest and elegant by Chris Jones

Over the years, especially Stateside, Oscar Wilde’s fin de siecle satire “The Importance of Being Earnest” has been turned into more of a hootenanny, replete with Lady Bracknell played…

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 08:30PM
Tuesday, November 14, 2017

'Ecstasy in living': Kate Fry is a perfect Emily Dickinson in creaking 'Belle of Amherst' by Chris Jones

“I find ecstasy in living,” wrote the American poet Emily Dickinson, “the mere sense of living is joy enough.” So let us begin with that, dear reader, let us just let that sentence l…

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 02:45PM
Monday, November 13, 2017

'Significant Other' a funny comedy about a gay man left, and left again, at the altar by Chris Jones

“Your wedding,” observes the central character in the Broadway comedy “Significant Other,” “is my funeral.” You may know the feeling: Your best friend ties the knot with someone …

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 03:20PM
Sunday, November 12, 2017

The jazz-funk '42nd Street' at Drury Lane is one for the ages by Chris Jones

Think you’ve seen “42nd Street” before? Not with jazz-funk orchestrations and a rock drum set and a truly diverse cast, you haven’t. Not with an ABBA-like synthesizer underpinning …

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 05:10PM
Saturday, November 11, 2017

Lin-Manuel Miranda visits Jimmy Buffett in Chicago by Chris Jones

Lin-Manuel Miranda spent Saturday in Chicago, unannounced and mostly in the company of Jimmy Buffett. Each man has a show currently in Chicago: Miranda's "Hamilton" is in the midst of a long…

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 10:40PM
Friday, November 10, 2017

Stories and creators come together in Lucky Plush Dance's 'Rooming House' by Chris Jones

Whither contemporary dance in the golden age of the podcast? Can it fuse? Those provocative questions present themselves at the beginning of “Rooming House,” the interesting and experime…

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 12:20PM
Thursday, November 9, 2017

In 'The Band’s Visit' on Broadway, a cultural divide comes to a small Israeli town by Chris Jones

"Once, not long ago," says a character in a weird new Broadway musical, "a group of musicians came to Israel from Egypt. You probably didn't hear about it. It was not important." But the pre…

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 08:00PM

Kevin Spacey is out on 'House of Cards' — what does that mean to us? by Chris Jones

If, as reportedly is its intent, Netflix finds a way to expunge Kevin Spacey and his character of Frank Underwood from the final season of "House of Cards," how will that make America feel? …

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 03:50PM
Wednesday, November 8, 2017

'Hamilton' writer plans a new Chicago theater project by Chris Jones

People who've been around Lin-Manuel Miranda and "Hamilton" for many years tend to share something interesting: total confidence in the power of the arts to effect meaningful and substantial…

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 02:30PM
Monday, November 6, 2017

Put your hands up for the teacher in Lloyd Webber's touring 'School of Rock' by Chris Jones

Dewey Finn, the interloping pedagogical hero of “School of Rock” and a character first created by Jack Black, is a tricky, shifty dude to play when live on stage. This Mary Poppins of su…

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 04:15PM

Court Theatre executive director is stepping down by Chris Jones

Court Theatre said Monday that its executive director, Stephen J. Albert, would be leaving his job in the fall of next year. Albert, 66, has been with Court, a storied non-profit theater wit…

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 12:45PM
Sunday, November 5, 2017

Writers Theatre investigating sexual harassment claim against Michael Halberstam by Chris Jones

The board of directors of Writers Theatre said Sunday that they have engaged "an experienced human resources consultant" to investigate a claim of sexual harassment made against the Glencoe …

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 02:25PM
Friday, November 3, 2017

'Escape to Margaritaville': Have they bottled that Jimmy Buffett kind of paradise? by Chris Jones

Finding Jimmy Buffett on a hot Saturday night in July means a trip deep into the beer belly of Wrigley Field. Past Huey Lewis and the News, supportively rasping about the power of love. Thro…

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 08:00AM
Thursday, November 2, 2017

Sold! Ayad Akhtar's 'Junk' on Broadway hits fast and hard by Chris Jones

Perhaps something terrible befell America in the middle of the 1980s. A self-inflicted wound from which the nation has yet to recover: Healthy enterprise, the marriage of capital and labor, …

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 08:00PM

Those singing, dancing 'Newsies' are in the round at the Marriott by Chris Jones

“Without ‘Newsies,’ nobody knows nothing.” Darn right, Jack Kelly. More power to ya’, and to all the boys of the only Disney musical in the history of the world to venerate collect…

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 07:00AM
Wednesday, November 1, 2017

What's William Petersen doing now? Well, wait a minute by Chris Jones

So William Petersen, once William L. Petersen, venerable Chicago actor, maestro of the Remains Theatre, bon vivant, actor’s actor, decadelong star of “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation,” …

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 01:15PM

BoHo has the guts to take on 'Marie Christine,' or 'Medea meets Chicago' by Chris Jones

“Medea: The Musical” sounds more like a “Forbidden Broadway” parody than a serious endeavor. Murderous moms — even ones that killed their brother for their husbands, forsook their …

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 12:25PM

‘Yasmina’s Necklace’ at the Goodman is about the clash of love and tradition by Chris Jones

When we first meet Sam, one half of the potential love match at the heart of Rohina Malik’s “Yasmina’s Necklace,” he’s arguing with his parents over his name. He has changed it for…

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 08:00AM
Tuesday, October 31, 2017

In '1980 (Or Why I'm Voting for John Anderson),' cold-calling for a loser by Chris Jones

Did you vote for John B. Anderson in 1980? If you were of age and followed the advice of this newspaper, which endorsed the moderate congressman from Illinois in the Republican primary over …

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 01:50PM
Monday, October 30, 2017

'In the Next Room, or the Vibrator Play' crackles with electrified desire by Chris Jones

The enthusiastic manifestation of unexpected ecstasy occurs often in playwright Sarah Ruhl’s “In the Next Room, or the Vibrator Play,” a droll exploration of the early days of electrif…

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 03:40PM
Friday, October 27, 2017

At Second City, 'Dream Freaks Fall From Space' offers hope in a divided world by Chris Jones

A sleep-deprived woman heads into a Brookstone. “What about a demo of this white noise machine?” says the African-American salesman, miming turning it on. “I don’t have one black fri…

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 01:45PM

Andrew Lloyd Webber says 'School of Rock' was him always looking to the next thing by Chris Jones

“All artists,” says Andrew Lloyd Webber, in the middle of a long and frank chat with the Tribune, "are insecure about everything." Interesting, coming from the most commercially successf…

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 08:00AM
Thursday, October 26, 2017

In revised 'M. Butterfly' on Broadway, Clive Owen is no French bureaucrat by Chris Jones

When David Henry Hwang penned the damning and beguiling "M. Butterfly" in 1988, meaningful explorations of the issues of gender assignment and identification were as invisible on Broadway as…

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 08:00PM

All that Chat

2017-2018 BROADWAY SEASON