All stories by Dennis Polkow on BroadwayStars

Friday, May 20, 2022

We Are All Refugees: A Review of “Fiddler on the Roof” at Broadway in Chicago  by Dennis Polkow

When Israeli actor Yehezkel Lazarov as Tevye intones the iconic line about villagers “trying to scratch out a pleasant, simple tune” without breaking one’s neck, our gaze takes in the …

SOURCE: at 08:00AM
Friday, May 13, 2022

Back to Do-Re-Me: A Review of The Sound of Music at Marriott Theatre by Dennis Polkow

“The Sound of Music” is, above all, a coming-of-age story.

SOURCE: at 08:00AM
Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Forgetting to Ask for Directions: A Review of Quamino’s Map at Chicago Opera Theater by Dennis Polkow

This one-act opera highlights a remarkable and largely-forgotten chapter of history: Blacks fighting in the Revolutionary War in exchange for their freedom.

SOURCE: at 08:00AM
Monday, April 25, 2022

Getting the Red Light: A Review of Moulin Rouge! The Musical at Broadway in Chicago by Dennis Polkow

“Moulin Rouge” is eye-popping. There are constant wows.

SOURCE: at 08:00AM
Tuesday, April 19, 2022

Royal Return: A Review of SIX the Musical at Broadway in Chicago by Dennis Polkow

The six wives of Henry VIII all performing together in a song and dance line on one stage and competing against one another.

SOURCE: at 08:00AM
Wednesday, April 13, 2022

Battle Royal: A Review of The King and I at Drury Lane Theatre by Dennis Polkow

Mary Rodgers, late daughter of composer Richard Rodgers, thought “The King and I” was the best of the Rodgers and Hammerstein collaborations.

SOURCE: at 08:00AM
Tuesday, April 12, 2022

Basket of Fun: A Review of Easter Bunny Bingo: Jesus, Resurrection, & Peeps! at the Greenhouse Theater Center by Dennis Polkow

Former nun Mrs. Mary Margaret O’Brien is hosting bingo and quizzing and informing us about Easter traditions and trivia along the way.

SOURCE: at 08:00AM
Wednesday, April 6, 2022

Stairway to Heaven: A Review of Paradise Square on Broadway by Dennis Polkow

The grand journey of the musical “Paradise Square” reached its culminating destination of a full-scale Broadway opening Sunday night.

SOURCE: at 08:00AM
Thursday, March 17, 2022

The Nearly Best of Times: A Review of La Cage Aux Folles at Music Theater Works by Dennis Polkow

This is an enjoyable production with a good cast of show voices.

SOURCE: at 08:00AM
Tuesday, March 15, 2022

Thrilling Night at the Opera: A Review of Tosca at Lyric Opera by Dennis Polkow

This is a sumptuous and traditional production of “Tosca” visually with every inch of the cavernous stage filled with a three-dimensional, captivating set.

SOURCE: at 08:00AM
Thursday, March 10, 2022

Coming Home: How Fire Shut Up Will Liverman’s Bones by Dennis Polkow

“Fire Shut Up in My Bones” is a multi-genre work and the first opera in the Metropolitan Opera in New York’s history written by an African-American composer, jazz trumpeter and compose…

SOURCE: at 08:00AM
Monday, March 7, 2022

Hell of a Show: A Review of Hadestown at Broadway in Chicago by Dennis Polkow

What Anaïs Mitchell has concocted is something quite remarkable.

SOURCE: at 08:00AM
Tuesday, February 8, 2022

You Still Can’t Stop the Beat: A Review of “Hairspray” at Broadway in Chicago by Dennis Polkow

Its diverse audience knows exactly what “Hairspray” is and savors every familiar spritz.

SOURCE: at 08:00AM
Thursday, January 27, 2022

Sondheim’s Final Score & Last Word: Chameleon Composer, Wordsmith of Wordsmiths by Dennis Polkow

Much of what has been said about Sondheim seems to only scratch the surface.

SOURCE: at 08:00AM
Friday, January 14, 2022

No Bright Golden Haze on this Meadow: A Review of “Oklahoma!” at Broadway in Chicago by Dennis Polkow

It's been eighty years since Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “Oklahoma!” first came sweepin’ down the plain, but this staging sweeps those plains clean and restores a sense of the innovati…

SOURCE: at 08:00AM
Tuesday, January 4, 2022

Holiday Affair: A Review of “Holiday Inn” at Drury Lane by Dennis Polkow

The 2014 musical “Holiday Inn” offers a stage version of the 1942 film, deleting some numbers and adding other better-known Irving Berlin songs.

SOURCE: at 08:00AM
Wednesday, December 15, 2021

Through the Holiday Looking-Glass: A Review of “Becoming Santa Claus” at Chicago Opera Theater by Dennis Polkow

The kingdom where “Becoming Santa Claus” is set is far north. TThe sumptuous orchestral score is unabashed romanticism.

SOURCE: at 08:00AM
Thursday, December 2, 2021

Ghostly Comfort and Joy: A Review of “A Christmas Carol” at Goodman Theatre by Dennis Polkow

We watch Scrooge go through his familiar redemptive and restorative ritual with renewed interest.

SOURCE: at 08:00AM
Thursday, October 28, 2021

The World According to Garth: Returning to Chicago with Paradise Square, a Pre-Broadway Race Musical by Dennis Polkow

A conversation with Garth Drabinsky on his new show “Paradise Square" a musical about a pre-Civil War Irish/African-American neighborhood that existed in New York prior to the 1863 Draft …

SOURCE: at 08:00AM
Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Drunk With Slapstick: A Review of The Elixir of Love at Lyric Opera by Dennis Polkow

With its carefree and sunny demeanor, “Elixir” could not be more different than Verdi’s “Macbeth,” which opened the season the week before.

SOURCE: at 08:00AM
Tuesday, July 6, 2021

Filling The Dance Card: Lyric Opera Welcomes New Roommate Joffrey Ballet to Refurbished Opera House by Dennis Polkow

"This is a partnership which we hope will have an indefinite future. For this house to be able to offer the city a regular diet of opera and ballet changes the feel of what the opera house r…

SOURCE: at 08:00AM
Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Lifting the Veil on Valhalla: An Inside Look at Lyric’s “Ring” Cycle by Dennis Polkow

"The piece is so rich that the most important thing for me to say is 'Once Upon a Time.'"

SOURCE: at 11:00AM
Monday, May 6, 2013

Review: Oklahoma!/Lyric Opera by Dennis Polkow

When Renée Fleming was announced as Lyric Opera’s creative consultant in December of 2010, she related that the company would have an “annual commitment to American musical theater” b…

SOURCE: Newcity Stage at 12:48PM
Monday, April 29, 2013

Review: South Pacific/Marriott Theatre by Dennis Polkow

RECOMMENDED There is a lot of Richard Rodgers being heard around town this spring, from the rarely heard Rodgers and Hart “Pal Joey” at Porchlight and the first-ever Rodgers and Hammerst…

SOURCE: Newcity Stage at 12:57PM
Monday, April 22, 2013

Review: María de Buenos Aires/Chicago Opera Theater by Dennis Polkow

RECOMMENDED One of the problems with being the new impresario in town who conducts, directs and simultaneously runs another opera company on the West Coast is catching your breath long enoug…

SOURCE: Newcity Stage at 01:42PM
Monday, April 15, 2013

Review: Cruzar la Cara de la Luna/Lyric Opera by Dennis Polkow

RECOMMENDED Heavily promoted as two words you don’t hear together very often, i.e., a “mariachi opera,” “Cruzar la Cara de la Luna” [“To cross the face of the moon”] is actuall…

SOURCE: Newcity Stage at 01:38PM
Monday, April 8, 2013

Review: Catch Me If You Can/Broadway In Chicago by Dennis Polkow

They come without warning, those occasional Non-Equity shows that Broadway In Chicago manages to slip into its lineup. They are usually classics or revivals popular enough to be relatively…

SOURCE: Newcity Stage at 07:28PM
Tuesday, April 2, 2013

How It Begins: Composer of “Big Fish” Hopes to Reel in an Emotional Whopper by Dennis Polkow

By Dennis Polkow Andrew Lippa, the composer of “Big Fish,” has been very busy readying the show for its pre-Broadway world premiere in Chicago. “‘Big Fish’ is a joyful celebration …

SOURCE: Newcity Stage at 05:00AM
Friday, March 29, 2013

Review: A Streetcar Named Desire/Lyric Opera by Dennis Polkow

RECOMMENDED One of the great difficulties in bringing an iconic contemporary play to the opera house is securing permission from the playwright, without which, an opera is not possible. In t…

SOURCE: Newcity Stage at 07:40PM
Monday, March 25, 2013

Review: Priscilla Queen of the Desert/Broadway In Chicago by Dennis Polkow

RECOMMENDED The touring version of the Broadway production of the Australian jukebox musical based on the 1994 Australian film has landed at the Auditorium Theatre. The film “The Adven…

SOURCE: Newcity Stage at 09:37AM
Thursday, March 14, 2013

Review: Aspects of Love/Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre by Dennis Polkow

RECOMMENDED The early works of Andrew Lloyd Webber incorporated rock and pop idioms into the Broadway musical that, taken with the punchy lyrics of his early partner Tim Rice and a through-c…

SOURCE: Newcity Stage at 03:00PM