All stories by Emily McClanathan on BroadwayStars

Monday, January 23, 2023

Chicago Puppet Theater Fest’s first week had a whale of a ‘Moby Dick,’ tiny figures and a marionette made of ice by Emily McClanathan

Chicago's big, ongoing festival presents an excellent opportunity to sample a vast range of artistry from around the world. Not just for kids.

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 03:20PM
Thursday, December 15, 2022

Searching for an emotional connection with Dear Evan Hansen by Emily McClanathan

I’ve now seen the North American tour of Dear Evan Hansen twice in Chicago, and both times I’ve come up short trying to feel the emotional connection that so many fans have with this sho…

SOURCE: chicagoreader.com at 04:17PM
Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Review: ‘A Christmas Carol’ at the Goodman Theatre tells Scrooge’s lesson anew every year by Emily McClanathan

In Larry Yando's hands, it's Scrooge’s transformation from hardhearted miser into “as good a friend … and as good a man, as the good old city knew” that makes makes this a classic.

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 06:45AM
Monday, December 5, 2022

Review: ‘Elf: The Musical’ at Drury Lane Theatre: The cast does its best with a misguided coal lump of a musical by Emily McClanathan

On paper, the 2003 holiday movie comedy starring Will Ferrell seems like a great candidate for a screen-to-stage adaptation.

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 02:05PM
Monday, November 28, 2022

Review: ‘Mosque4Mosque’ by About Face Theatre is a comedy about a gay Muslim man that gets complicated by Emily McClanathan

It is a universal truth that mothers must meddle in their children’s love lives, and the Syrian American family in Omer Abbas Salem’s new play is no different.

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 06:30AM
Tuesday, November 15, 2022

The trucks carrying the ‘Lion King’ tour have a whole Serengeti full of puppets, costumes and creatures aboard by Emily McClanathan

Michael Curry designed part of the look of the original Broadway production with Julie Taymor. The touring show is in Chicago for the fifth time.

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 06:45AM
Thursday, November 10, 2022

Review: ‘Blue Heaven’ at Black Ensemble channels blues legends from B.B. King to Muddy Waters by Emily McClanathan

Accompanied by a live band, the cast performs with such charisma that many audience members were clapping along — and some were dancing.

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 06:45AM
Wednesday, November 2, 2022

Miami death trip by Emily McClanathan

Teenagers tend to be reckless, sure, but few would gather in a spooky tree house to summon the spirit of Colombian drug cartel leader Pablo Escobar. But then, most aren’t […] The post Mi…

SOURCE: chicagoreader.com at 03:19PM
Tuesday, October 25, 2022

Review: ‘Man and Moon’ is a moving play about unlikely friends in a hospital oncology waiting room by Emily McClanathan

This story about human connection across differences provides a hopeful, aspirational glimpse at our better selves.

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 06:00AM
Saturday, October 15, 2022

Review: ‘Sancocho’ by Visión Latino Theatre: Secrets are spilled as sisters cook an old family recipe on stage by Emily McClanathan

Two-hander plays starring Latinas are having a moment in this year’s Destinos Festival.

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 03:31PM
Tuesday, October 11, 2022

Review: Raven Theatre’s revival of ‘Private Lives’ is stylish but lacks that romantic fizz by Emily McClanathan

Two couples settle into side-by-side suites, only for one half of each pair to discover that their ex-spouse is staying next door.

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 10:12AM
Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Review: ‘Alma’ is a relatable mother-daughter drama that starts with a missed SAT test by Emily McClanathan

Eventually, it becomes clear that the source of their conflict is that both mother and daughter are trying to protect one another.

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 06:15AM
Monday, September 26, 2022

Stranger things by Emily McClanathan

What if the person you love—the one you want to spend the rest of your life with—were to confess a secret so bizarre, so disturbing, that it makes you question […] The post Stranger th…

SOURCE: chicagoreader.com at 05:28PM
Thursday, September 15, 2022

Review: ‘Leonardo! A Wonderful Show About a Terrible Monster’ is a touching way into childhood anxieties by Emily McClanathan

The multimedia production blends puppetry, cinematic techniques and original music to tell this sweet, quirky story.

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 06:00AM
Wednesday, September 14, 2022

Beyond the mustache by Emily McClanathan

Larry Yando has been a prominent presence on stages in Chicago and beyond for many years, including as Ebenezer Scrooge in the Goodman’s annual production of A Christmas Carol (this […] …

SOURCE: chicagoreader.com at 03:04PM
Monday, September 12, 2022

‘Wicked’ is back in the Loop for the fall, with witches who know what this show means to Chicago by Emily McClanathan

Both actors playing Elphaba and Glinda fell in love with “Wicked” at a young age and long have hoped to play these roles.

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 06:00AM
Tuesday, September 6, 2022

Review: Best for detective fans, ‘Miss Holmes Returns’ at Lifeline Theatre by Emily McClanathan

Katie McLean Hainsworth is quite good as Miss Holmes — suitably cerebral and stiff, with understated physical tics that suggest a constantly active mind.

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 06:00AM
Tuesday, August 23, 2022

Review: ‘My Brother Langston’ at Black Ensemble Theater shines when the poetry is allowed to speak for itself by Emily McClanathan

“My Brother Langston” truly shines when the spotlight is on Langston Hughes’ own words.

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 06:15AM
Wednesday, August 17, 2022

This story is a hike: Theatre Y brings ‘Laughing Song: A Walking Dream’ to North Lawndale, taking audiences along on foot by Emily McClanathan

Actors and audience members take a three-mile journey through the streets of North Lawndale in Theatre Y’s “Laughing Song: A Walking Dream.”

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 06:45AM
Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Galaxy cats by Emily McClanathan

Nerds of many stripes will feel at home entering the magical portal that is Otherworld Theatre, a Wrigleyville-based theater company that specializes in science fiction and fantasy. Fancy a …

SOURCE: chicagoreader.com at 03:45PM
Sunday, July 24, 2022

Review: ‘Dear Jack, Dear Louise’ at Northlight Theatre is a touching, personal piece that celebrates human connection by Emily McClanathan

The nostalgic period drama by Ken Ludwig is based on the real-life romance of his parents, who wrote to each other for three years during World War II before meeting in person.

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 12:54PM
Friday, July 15, 2022

Review: American Blues Theater hits the right notes in August Wilson’s ‘Fences’ by Emily McClanathan

At the play’s heart are a flawed patriarch straining against an inequitable society and resilient family members fighting generational trauma.

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 03:08PM
Thursday, July 14, 2022

Review: ‘Homecoming’ taps past stories by Albany Park Theater Project — these young performers are sure to move you by Emily McClanathan

The reopening for this storied youth theater borrows from "Feast," “Home/Land” and others, scenes staged with music.

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 12:01PM
Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Review: In touring ‘Where We Belong’ now at the Goodman, a Mohegan theater-maker forges a deep connection with her audience by Emily McClanathan

Madeline Sayet moved to England in 2015 to pursue a doctorate degree in Shakespeare, a journey that led her to question her identity and place in the world.

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 12:55PM
Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Review: A parody of Agatha Christie, ‘A Fine Feathered Murder’ is heavy on farce and light on plot by Emily McClanathan

If “The Play That Goes Wrong” had a raunchier older sister, it might look like “A Fine Feathered Murder.”

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 06:00AM
Tuesday, May 24, 2022

‘Skates’ musical taps into Chicago’s roller rink nostalgia, and stars ‘American Idol’ couple Diana DeGarmo and Ace Young by Emily McClanathan

The show co-stars “American Idol” alumni Diana DeGarmo and Ace Young, and features a cast of Chicago theater veterans and newcomers.

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 06:00AM
Friday, May 20, 2022

Review: In the new musical ‘Somewhere Over the Border’ by Teatro Vista, the ‘Wizard of Oz’ story gets a new kind of magic by Emily McClanathan

Brian Quijada transforms this tale into a different kind of American story: that of a young woman from El Salvador making the dangerous trek to the United States.

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 01:00PM
Monday, May 16, 2022

Actor Richard Thomas is Atticus in the ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ tour. This new adaptation ‘takes Atticus down off his pedestal a little bit.’ by Emily McClanathan

The current play opened in New York in 2018 and became the highest-grossing American play in Broadway history.

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 06:00AM
Sunday, May 8, 2022

Review: ‘Rasheeda Speaking’ by Shattered Globe Theatre is about a toxic workplace, both the fumes and the coworkers by Emily McClanathan

Joel Drake Johnson's play centers on a middle-aged Black woman who returns to her job at Northwestern Memorial Hospital after days off to recover from an illness attributed to chemicals from…

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 12:44PM
Tuesday, May 3, 2022

Review: ‘At the Vanishing Point’ at Gift Theatre explores how the past and present are linked by memory by Emily McClanathan

Playwright Naomi Iizuka frames single moments in the lives of ordinary people, transforming them into images rich with meaning and memory.

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 06:00AM
Sunday, April 24, 2022

Review: ‘Carmela Full of Wishes’ invites audiences at Chicago Children’s Theatre to see the world through her eyes by Emily McClanathan

With the help of a dandelion, a child’s imagination takes flight in this world premiere adaptation of the book by Matt de la Peña, illustrated by Christian Robinson.

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 02:16PM

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