All stories by Emily McClanathan on BroadwayStars

Monday, May 13, 2024

Michael Shannon Returns to His Roots in Turret in Chicago by Emily McClanathan

The new play, written by Grey House's Levi Holloway, is running at the theatre Shannon co-founded, A Red Orchid.

SOURCE: Playbill at 12:42PM
Wednesday, May 8, 2024

Mothering the Movement connects past and future by Emily McClanathan

In the first scene of Mothering the Movement, seven members of Free Street Theater’s youth ensemble riff on what mothers mean to them. On opening night, it was clear that some had their ow…

SOURCE: at 09:50AM
Thursday, March 14, 2024

Director Phylicia Rashad and Playwright Branden Jacobs-Jenkins on Family and Purpose by Emily McClanathan

The two artists are collaborating on a new play at Steppenwolf Theatre Company, about the legacy of the Civil Rights Movement.

SOURCE: Playbill at 04:36PM
Wednesday, January 31, 2024

Katy Sullivan takes on ‘Richard III’ with her own brand of strength at Chicago Shakespeare by Emily McClanathan

Katy Sullivan will be the first woman with a disability to play the title role in a major U.S. production of Shakespeare’s “Richard III.”

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 06:15AM
Tuesday, January 23, 2024

The school for wives by Emily McClanathan

For a typical Chicago theatergoer attending A Red Orchid Theatre’s local premiere of In Quietness (directed by ensemble member dado), the community it depicts likely seems as alien as it i…

SOURCE: at 02:44PM
Monday, January 15, 2024

Later this week, Chicago becomes the puppet capital of the world for the International Puppet Theater Festival by Emily McClanathan

This year's festival will have productions from five continents, most shows intended for adults.

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 06:30AM
Thursday, December 7, 2023

The Buttcracker plays it naughty and nice by Emily McClanathan

Fast becoming a staple of Chicago’s alternative holiday entertainment scene, The Buttcracker: A Nutcracker Burlesque is back for a seventh year of tinseled twerking and tasseled twirling. …

SOURCE: at 11:07AM
Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Review: ‘A Christmas Carol’ at the Goodman Theatre is a play to make you believe kindness can win by Emily McClanathan

“A Christmas Carol” urges us to open our hearts to our fellow passengers through this life. May even the most cynical among us take heed.

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 06:35AM
Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Review: Funny, moving ‘Who’s Holiday’ at Theater Wit is the Malört of holiday shows by Emily McClanathan

After spending a boozy hour in Cindy Lou Who’s trailer, you’ll never again see the classic Dr. Seuss tale the same.

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 06:15AM
Thursday, November 9, 2023

Witch casts half a spell at Artistic Home by Emily McClanathan

In Jen Silverman’s 2018 play, Witch, the devil goes down to a quiet English village and finds a lot more than he bargained for, including a supposed witch who is surprisingly resistant to …

SOURCE: at 11:18AM
Friday, November 3, 2023

All about their mother by Emily McClanathan

The four sisters in Teatro Vista’s ¡Bernarda! often complain about the heat, but the stifling Spanish summer is no match for the passions roiling under their mother’s roof. This stylish…

SOURCE: at 09:45AM
Wednesday, November 1, 2023

Review: ‘Household Spirits’ at Theater Wit is a very real ghost story about grief by Emily McClanathan

There’s another member of the household that none of them can see. Clara has never left the house since her suicide 13 years ago.

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 06:00AM
Tuesday, October 31, 2023

Review: ‘Seagulls’ from Oak Park Festival Theatre turns over Chekhov’s play to a young indie band by Emily McClanathan

These young actors give some winning performances despite the wobbly character development in the script.

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 06:15AM
Friday, October 6, 2023

Review: In ‘Wolves’ at Redtwist Theatre, the terror may already be inside the door by Emily McClanathan

As I emerged from Redtwist’s black box theater, I knew I’d be thinking about this one for a while.

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 06:30AM
Monday, October 2, 2023

'The Man Behind the Trumpet': A Wonderful World Aims to Tell Louis Armstrong's Story by Emily McClanathan

The new musical stars James Monroe Iglehart as the famed musician, and begins its pre-Broadway performances this month.

SOURCE: Playbill at 10:43AM
Tuesday, September 19, 2023

Review: All-Asian American cast shines in ‘Baked! The Musical’ at Theo Ubique by Emily McClanathan

“Baked!” is a sweet, funny, coming-of-age show about a bright-eyed valedictorian who finds herself short of tuition for Harvard.

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 06:30AM
Thursday, September 14, 2023

Review: ‘Cat’s Cradle’ at Lifeline Theatre is Kurt Vonnegut’s satirical tale about the end of the world by Emily McClanathan

While this offbeat world-building is entertaining, I was left uncertain of why “Cat’s Cradle” is being revived in 2023.

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 06:15AM
Monday, September 11, 2023

The Tony-winning ‘Lehman Trilogy’ arrives in Chicago as a TimeLine production: What do we give up for capitalism? by Emily McClanathan

This is very much the story of one family and its experience of coming to America in search of a better life.

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 06:00AM
Wednesday, September 6, 2023

Review: ‘Taste of Soul’ at Black Ensemble Theater works up an appetite by Emily McClanathan

In the second half, this show about soul music, food and memories takes a personal turn.

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 06:00AM
Monday, August 7, 2023

Evanston native Jacqueline Williams stars in touring ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’: ‘We still need this story’ by Emily McClanathan

Jacqueline Williams is Calpurnia in the national tour of “To Kill a Mockingbird,” and the Evanston native still considers this story to be as important as ever.

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 06:00AM
Wednesday, August 2, 2023

Review: ‘Marie and Rosetta’ at Northlight Theatre takes an intimate look at the ‘Godmother of Rock ‘n’ Roll’ by Emily McClanathan

Sister Rosetta Tharpe's music and the story of her cherished relationship with Marie Knight are revived for a new generation at Northlight Theatre.

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 06:15AM
Monday, July 31, 2023

Review: Fun just oozes from ‘The SpongeBob Musical’ by Kokandy Productions by Emily McClanathan

This is a show about never giving up. Sure, it’s geared toward kids, but not exclusively so.

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 06:05AM
Thursday, July 27, 2023

Review: This lovely outdoor ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ by Oak Park Festival Theatre adds some up-to-date casting by Emily McClanathan

While changing little of the text, director Peter G. Andersen transforms several of the key relationships, shaking up the power dynamics and exploring complex layers in a play written more t…

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 06:00AM
Tuesday, July 25, 2023

Review: ‘Beauty and the Beast’ at Chicago Shakespeare is a straightforward, bite-sized bit of Disney by Emily McClanathan

Despite my quibbles with the production, this bite-sized “Beauty and the Beast” is a good candidate to help youngsters catch the theater bug.

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 01:15PM
Monday, July 3, 2023

Review: ‘Lane Call: A Night of Closing’ at Factory Theater is a throwback to the heyday of discount retail by Emily McClanathan

The nostalgic workplace comedy captures the absurdities of working at a Midwestern discount department store chain.

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 06:00AM
Wednesday, June 21, 2023

This New Musical Features a Modern Bonnie and Clyde, Who Are Also Asian by Emily McClanathan

Matthew C. Yee's Lucy and Charlie’s Honeymoon challenges Asian Americans stereotypes.

SOURCE: Playbill at 01:37PM
Wednesday, June 14, 2023

‘Hadestown’ is returning to Chicago. Actor Nathan Lee Graham talks about why retold ancient myths still resonate. by Emily McClanathan

If you missed the first Chicago run of “Hadestown” last year, June marks your chance to catch this tale of Greek gods and star-crossed lovers.

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 06:45AM
Friday, June 9, 2023

Review: ‘Shaw vs. Tunney’ explores a formative friendship but offers little for modern audiences by Emily McClanathan

While Shaw fans likely will appreciate this world premiere, it doesn’t make much of a case for broader audience appeal.

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 06:15AM
Tuesday, June 6, 2023

Review: ‘Agnes of God’ at Redtwist Theatre doesn’t shy away from a difficult story by Emily McClanathan

This play is part whodunit and part psychological thriller, with a dash of philosophical discourse.

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 06:15AM
Friday, May 5, 2023
Wednesday, April 26, 2023

Review: ‘We Are Proud to Present’ is a brave beginning for Theatre Y in North Lawndale by Emily McClanathan

After several years of working to relocate from Lincoln Square to North Lawndale, Theatre Y finally has a new home a block south of the Pink Line’s Central Park stop.

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 03:30PM

All that Chat