All stories by Chris Jones on BroadwayStars

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Drag should be in the details in sloppy 'Legend of Georgia McBride' by Chris Jones

The gentle art of drag — a warm and inclusive form of live entertainment that I've loved and consumed my whole life — is an art of precision. Drag queens are a diverse crew, of course, a…

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 02:05PM
Friday, September 22, 2017

Following is not so easy in Hubbard Street Dance's 'Space' at the Harris by Chris Jones

“Follow a dancer,” said Glenn Edgerton. I’ve done that before — once for 2,000 miles, but that’s a story for another day. I’ve always found it to be good advice for life. Or mere…

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Tune into 'Bears Coaches Show,' then wish arts experts were that good by Chris Jones

After a massive loss by the struggling Chicago Bears — such as the 29-7 drubbing last Sunday by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers — the “Bears Coaches Show” on WBBM Newsradio turns into "Grou…

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Thursday, September 21, 2017

Second City lays off 4 staffers by Chris Jones

Citing the loss of revenue due to the impending end of its multi-year contract with Norwegian Cruise Lines, Second City laid off at least four full-time staffers Thursday. This has been a ch…

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The hot Chicago venue this fall? The Athenaeum by Chris Jones

A quiz for you: Which Chicago venue is the host of the following A-list attractions in October? One week of tapings of "The Daily Show with Trevor Noah." Stephanie Miller's "Sexy Liberal Res…

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Wednesday, September 20, 2017

'The Toad Knew' but he isn't telling us: The Yard's first show can be confounding by Chris Jones

Regardless of what an amphibian may or may not perceive, I know this: An expansive and beautiful new theater in Chicago is a glorious thing that boggles the eyes. The Yard, which hosted its …

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Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Ivo van Hove's 'A View From the Bridge' is an American tragedy waiting to happen by Chris Jones

“A play is rarely given a second chance,” Arthur Miller once wrote. He who was right about so many perils of the human condition was wrong about that. To wit: Director Ivo van Hove’s d…

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Monday, September 18, 2017

In 'The Rembrandt,' why would a museum guard try to touch a masterpiece? by Chris Jones

I’ve always found the guards in museums at least as interesting as the exhibits. How intriguing are those silent sentinels of the gallery, as sphinxlike as Secret Service agents but charge…

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The Margaret Atwood story of 'Alias Grace' gets inside your head by Chris Jones

Did a 16-year-old housemaid named Grace Marks kill her lecherous employer and his housekeeper in 1843? Or was the impoverished Irish immigrant to Canada merely the stablehand’s unwitting a…

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Sunday, September 17, 2017

Sing away your troubles: ‘Five Guys Named Moe’ a musical celebration of Louis Jordan by Chris Jones

When Chance the Rapper asks the question “Is you is or is you ain’t got gas money?” in his song “All Night,” he nods to the legacy of the great songwriter and bandleader Louis Jord…

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Friday, September 15, 2017

In Denver, Disney's 'Frozen' musical plays it too safe with Elsa and Anna by Chris Jones

A vista of the pressures faced by Disney Theatrical Productions fills the lobby of the Denver Center for the Performing Arts: Hundreds of bubbly children and unabashed adults dressed as Elsa…

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Thursday, September 14, 2017

At Navy Pier and MCA, fresh new invites for overseas artists to drop in by Chris Jones

A vibrant city with global aspirations — certainly, any city capable of landing the second headquarters built by Amazon — needs frequent access to cultural work and artists from all over…

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Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Former Second City cast member files racial discrimination lawsuit by Chris Jones

Scott Morehead, an actor and writer who was a cast member in the Second City e.t.c. revue "A Red Line Runs Through It," has filed a complaint against the storied comedy theater in Chicago al…

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They've got the outlaw heart, and the voices, for 'Bonnie & Clyde' by Chris Jones

Bonnie and Clyde didn’t get much respect when they tried to shoot up Broadway in December 2011. It was a crowded month: “The Visit” was opening, Kelli O’Hara was starring in “She L…

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Monday, September 11, 2017

An unlikely match made at the hospital in 'A Funny Thing Happened' by Chris Jones

As a loved one dies, funny things can happen. Anyone who has paid a vigil at a bedside can verify the veracity of the central premise of Halley Feiffer’s boldly titled black comedy, “A F…

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Sunday, September 10, 2017

'Rock of Ages' is still nothin' but a good time at Drury Lane by Chris Jones

Not long from now, seniors in retirement homes will be head-banging to Whitesnake. A change in the menu in the dining room will risk a spontaneous chorus of "We're Not Gonna Take It," twisti…

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Friday, September 8, 2017

'The Fever' at the MCA is audience participation gone rogue by Chris Jones

If you dislike the threat of audience participation — and I am not sure I have ever met any adult who feels otherwise, when sober — then what I am about to describe might well sound like…

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Thursday, September 7, 2017

'CiviliTy of Albert Cashier': A timely musical about a trans soldier by Chris Jones

In the wake of President Donald J. Trump's late-July announcement that transgender Americans would no longer be able to serve in the military, Illinois’ U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth, a Democr…

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Fall Theater: Ivo van Hove on 'View From the Bridge' and being wrong about Arthur Miller by Chris Jones

It was the winter of 2009. On the bill at the Goodman Theatre was the American premiere of "Rouw Siert Electra," a title that did not exactly roll off the tongue, even if it was Dutch for on…

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Fall Theater Top 10: 'Minutes' to 'Margaritaville,' too many titles for this list by Chris Jones

Where does Margaret Atwood meet Jimmy Buffett and Tracy Letts cast glances at “Five Guys Named Moe”? The fall season of Chicago theater, of course. With a nod also to director Ivo van Ho…

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'Dear Evan Hansen' is coming to Chicago by Chris Jones

The Tony Award-winning musical "Dear Evan Hansen" will be coming to Chicago as part of its 2018-19 national tour, Broadway in Chicago announced Thursday. The news means we will not get our o…

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Fall Broadway Top 10: Look for big stars, from Springsteen to Schumer by Chris Jones

Julie Taymor. Amy Schumer. Steve Martin. Uma Thurman. Bruce Springsteen. Keegan Michael-Key. SpongeBob SquarePants. The stars — experienced and debutante, human and poriferan — are out o…

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Top-selling 'Angels in America' will move from London to Broadway by Chris Jones

The National Theatre production of Tony Kushner's vaunted American fantasia, "Angels in America," is to move to Broadway in the spring, it was announced Thursday morning. The British product…

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Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Looking for a favorite title for fall? Yes, 'Les Mis' and 'Wicked' are back by Chris Jones

It’s fall. Like every year — and, as a loyal reader will understand, there have been a few — I’m looking for something smart, new, risky and exciting. Ideally something like that to …

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Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Northlight Theatre unveils plans for a bold return to Evanston by Chris Jones

The north suburban Northlight Theatre plans to return to Evanston, the city of its birth, in a spectacular way: as the street-level centerpiece of a shimmering-rise, 37-story development rep…

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Friday, September 1, 2017

An old playbill shines a light on late-night Chicago in 1943 by Chris Jones

“Fragile,” said the rigid mailer. “Do not bend.” Inside was a note and a carefully preserved booklet with a woman’s silhouette as the only cover image. “Enclosed is a very old pl…

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Thursday, August 31, 2017

'Honeymoon in Vegas': Sometimes a retro title just belongs on the scrapheap by Chris Jones

As you may recall from the 1992 Nicolas Cage movie, the retro Broadway musical adaptation "Honeymoon in Vegas" is based on the following premise. Fearing the ghost of his dead mother, Jack f…

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Meet our Hot New Faces of Chicago Theater, Class of 2017 by Chris Jones

How can summer end without our annual celebration of exciting new talent blossoming before our eyes in Chicago theater? The Hot New Faces, Class of 2017, photographed by Tribune photojournal…

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Tuesday, August 29, 2017

'Barbecue' is a satire that puts us all over the coals by Chris Jones

A lot of would-be satirists think the core of the art lies in the viciousness of the attack or the bona fides of the attacker. But withering social satire actually is a linguistic art form. …

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Monday, August 28, 2017

'The Audience': The Queen advises and consents, always over tea by Chris Jones

The British monarchy — as manifest for the last 64 years in the personage of Her Royal Highness Queen Elizabeth II — has survived the republicans and the democratic imperative for three …

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Friday, August 25, 2017

Steppenwolf's Martha Lavey will be honored with memorial, honorary street by Chris Jones

The Steppenwolf Theatre announced Friday that it will host a public memorial this fall, in celebration of the life and work of the late Martha Lavey, its former artistic director. The free e…

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