All stories by Chris Jones on BroadwayStars

Friday, February 16, 2018

'Breach' is an earlier — and more predictable — play by 'Pass Over' writer Nwandu by Chris Jones

The American playwright Antoinette Nwandu made such extraordinary progress between "Breach," which is the kind of predictably self-questioning play most writers get out of their systems in s…

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'Phantom' sequel 'Love Never Dies': Only Andrew Lloyd Webber would try to pull this off by Chris Jones

Most shows save their full-throated power ballads for late in the night. But at “Love Never Dies,” the sequel to Andrew Lloyd Webber’s mega-smash “The Phantom of Opera,” the lush s…

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 02:25PM
Thursday, February 15, 2018

'Chicago P.D.' filming is insensitive? You're missing the point by Chris Jones

The NBC police drama “Chicago P.D.” was “slammed,” the Tribune reported in a Wednesday headline, for filming too close to the Thompson Center in Chicago’s Loop, where Chicago polic…

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'Moon for the Misbegotten,' a play about a landlord and tenant farmer's daughter, is missing that desperate sense of need by Chris Jones

“There is no present or future,” says the character James Tyrone in “A Moon for the Misbegotten,” “only the past happening over and over again — now. You can’t get away from it…

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Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Just up the interstate, Milwaukee Rep makes a play for Chicago audiences by Chris Jones

Remember those old commercials for Milwaukee’s General Mitchell International Airport? “Forty-five minutes from the Lake Forest Oasis” was the tagline, trying to tempt residents of Chi…

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Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Harry Connick Jr. will star in ‘Sting’ musical by Chris Jones

"The Sting," the musical, has found its Henry Gondorff. Harry Connick Jr. will play the role made famous by Paul Newman. The crooner will star in the upcoming musical version of the Chicago-…

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'Bunny Bunny' has a great Gilda Radner, and reminds us why we loved her by Chris Jones

From the moment he first met her behind a potted plant in 1975, Alan Zweibel loved Gilda Radner. Despite the unwieldy and inaccurate subtitle, “A Sort of Love Story,” the play “Bunny B…

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Monday, February 12, 2018

Stunning 'Cabaret' moves its opening night audience to silence by Chris Jones

Kelly Felthous, who plays Sally Bowles in the Paramount Theatre production of "Cabaret" did not get a lick of applause Saturday at the end of the show's famous title number, despite this bei…

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Friday, February 9, 2018

Caring for Dad but dreaming of fantasy cowboys in 'You Got Older' at Steppenwolf by Chris Jones

“You Got Older,” a play by Clare Barron about losing someone you love to cancer, was slated to open at the Steppenwolf Theatre last Monday, on the evening that news came of the death of …

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Thursday, February 8, 2018

What Hedy Weiss did for the Sun-Times, and this city by Chris Jones

When Claudia Cassidy, this newspaper’s chief arts critic for the mid-section of the 20th century, and arguably the most powerful female employee of the paper’s Colonel McCormick era, die…

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Hershey Felder is coming back to Chicago with 'Our Great Tchaikovsky' by Chris Jones

Hershey Felder, the writer-actor-pianist whose biographies of composers have a broad following in Chicago, is returning to town. But he's not coming to his usual haunt, the Royal George Thea…

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It's Theatre Week, dear reader: What to see on the cheap by Chris Jones

Wanna see “Love Never Dies,” Andrew Lloyd Webber’s throbbing sequel to “The Phantom of the Opera”? It opens Wednesday, you know. Right here at the Cadillac Palace Theatre in Chicag…

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 08:00AM
Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Stacy Keach will return to Goodman for 'Pamplona' after heart attack cut initial run by Chris Jones

In May of last year, the venerable actor Stacy Keach suffered a mild heart attack while he was on stage opening night starring in "Pamplona" at Chicago's Goodman Theatre. Keach made a gallan…

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Monday, February 5, 2018

John Mahoney, Steppenwolf and 'Frasier' actor, dead at 77 by Chris Jones

The actor John Mahoney, a longtime Steppenwolf Theatre ensemble member and a performer known to millions for his work on the NBC sitcom "Frasier," died Sunday at the age of 77. Mahoney had b…

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End of the road for a Detroit car plant in moving 'Skeleton Crew' by Chris Jones

No American playwright has risen faster than Dominique Morisseau: She’s now among the most produced names at regional theaters and she’s on her way to Broadway with “Ain’t Too Proud,…

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Paramount Theatre in Aurora has first pre-Broadway show: 'August Rush' by Chris Jones

The ascendant Paramount Theatre in Aurora now plans to muscle in on the big Chicago business of new, pre-Broadway musicals. In 2019, the nonprofit theater west of Chicago will join with the …

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Friday, February 2, 2018

Gray clouds hang over the Marriott Theatre's 'Ragtime' by Chris Jones

In the final moments of “Ragtime,” the beautifully scored 1998 musical from Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens, there is a vision of how America could be: unified in diversity, learning fr…

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Theater critic Hedy Weiss is out at the Sun-Times by Chris Jones

After more than 33 years and an eye-popping 13,000 reviews, the long-standing Chicago theater critic Hedy Weiss has parted company with the Chicago Sun-Times. The paper told staffers that Fr…

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Hate the Grammys? The Oscars? So, it seems, does everybody by Chris Jones

These are the worst of times for awards shows. The ratings for the Grammy Awards last weekend were off a staggering 24 percent from the previous year. The Oscars, which are about to highligh…

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 10:25AM
Thursday, February 1, 2018

Tony-winning 'The Humans' comes home — its family and feelings intact by Chris Jones

Not since “War Horse,” now five years ago, has a Broadway production of a contemporary drama gone out on the road and played a big Chicago venue. People respond more readily to musicals;…

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Now on stage: 3 exciting works by African-American artists by Chris Jones

Work by African-American artists has figured prominently in three bold, strong shows, all of them at long-established but smaller Chicago theater companies, none of them in any way predictab…

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Wednesday, January 31, 2018

'Merrily We Roll Along' is Sondheim's wisdom on life pushing us forward by Chris Jones

I met an out-of-town friend for a drink after the Porchlight Music Theatre production of “Merrily We Roll Along” on Tuesday night. “Where would you like to go?” he asked, meeting me …

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Tuesday, January 30, 2018

'We’re Gonna Be Okay': Upending the idea of families during the Cuban missile crisis by Chris Jones

Will Davis, the artistic director of the American Theater Company, does not shy away from a challenge. Take, for example, what he attempts with the Chicago premiere of Basil Kreimendahl’s …

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'Blind Date' is an intriguing look at the Reagan era with Deanna Dunagan as a perfect Nancy by Chris Jones

In the summer of 1984, President Ronald Reagan made a little joke. “My fellow Americans, I'm pleased to tell you today that I've signed legislation that will outlaw Russia forever,” he s…

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Monday, January 29, 2018

House Theatre's 'Hatfield & McCoy' is a feud worth taking seriously by Chris Jones

The House Theatre of Chicago has pursued a 12-year love affair with the famously warring Hatfields of West Virginia and McCoys of Kentucky. This Chicago theater, known for its innovative ori…

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Sunday, January 28, 2018

A Bavarian murder gets dark and complicated in 'Hinter' at Steep Theatre by Chris Jones

The German equivalent of the crime of the century took place on March 31, 1922, on a small farm in rural Bavaria. On that night at the Hinterkaifeck farmstead, the farmer, his wife, their wi…

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Friday, January 26, 2018

How do you ruin 'Joseph'? Try setting it in Vegas by Chris Jones

There’s a Broadway story about “The Lion King.” Julie Taymor, the conceptualist genuis, first wanted, in Act 2, to take Simba and his crew to Las Vegas. After they picked their chins u…

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Thursday, January 25, 2018

Lesson of 'Mudbound,' Miller and 'Darkest Hour': The future favors the rest of us by Chris Jones

In Dee Rees’ superb movie “Mudbound,” which scored four Academy Award nominations on Tuesday but not its deserved best picture berth, there is a flashback sequence wherein a young Unit…

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What was it about the '80s? 'Blind Date' is about Reagan meeting Gorbachev by Chris Jones

“Do you remember the Mariel boatlift?” asks playwright Rogelio Martinez over a bowl of tomato bisque on a damp Tuesday. “That was me.” At the time of the mass exodus of Cubans from t…

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Wednesday, January 24, 2018

'Tootsie' musical will have pre-Broadway tryout in Chicago by Chris Jones

A new Broadway musical will be based on "Tootsie," the 1982 Hollywood hit from Columbia Pictures about a struggling actor who disguises himself as a woman to secure a role on a soap opera, o…

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Tuesday, January 23, 2018

In 'Yank! A World War II Love Story,' Pride opts for entertainment by Chris Jones

Not only was every seat taken at the Pride Arts Center Sunday afternoon, but also so many tardy people were trying to squeeze into the former North Broadway speakeasy that a couple of gentle…

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