All stories by Kerry Reid on BroadwayStars

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Period romance plays out as a board game in clever 'Sylvester' by Kerry Reid

Using your socially connected friends and acquaintances as models for your fictional characters often leads to blowback. Just ask Truman Capote, who became an outcast when excerpts from his …

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Monday, September 18, 2017

On a bigger stage, 'Million Dollar Quartet' is still a blast by Kerry Reid

For nearly eight years, “Million Dollar Quartet” packed the intimate Apollo Theater in Lincoln Park. The story of the fabled night that four giants of popular music all turned up in Memp…

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Friday, September 15, 2017

'The Heavens Are Hung in Black' is a play set during Lincoln's darkest hours by Kerry Reid

Early 2009 seems like a lifetime ago — a point when the inauguration of the first African-American president signaled that, while racism was far from over, it at least couldn’t keep all …

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Thursday, September 14, 2017

The cast is willing but the laughs are cheap in '90210: The Musical' by Kerry Reid

Sandwiched between the 1980s teen-angst comedies of John Hughes and the famous-for-being-famous post-millennium reality television antics of the Kardashians, the kids of “Beverly Hills, 90…

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Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Theater 30: Our long list for fall, big musicals to storefront dramas by Kerry Reid

Last year, the fall theater season had to compete with the Cubs’ historic journey to the World Series. We don’t know if they’ll repeat that feat this year. But we do know that there ar…

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Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Conor McPherson’s 'The Veil' leaves mysteries unanswered by Kerry Reid

Conor McPherson’s work shows up regularly on Chicago stages. So it’s puzzling that his 2011 play, “The Veil,” has been missing until now. However, Idle Muse Theatre Company’s stagi…

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Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Wrestling play 'Chad Deity' returns in a world that's even more foreign by Kerry Reid

Kristoffer Diaz’s “The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity” caused a bone-shaking, brain-tickling sensation when it premiered nearly nine years ago at Victory Gardens. It transferred to o…

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Monday, August 21, 2017

Rose has us believing too in Music Theater's 'Gypsy' by Kerry Reid

“Everybody needs something impossible to hope for” sounds like an inspirational sentiment you’d find embroidered on a throw pillow. But cozy domesticity and its accouterments have litt…

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Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Bold casting only part of what makes this 'Virginia Woolf' go by Kerry Reid

In May of this year, Edward Albee’s 1962 classic “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” became controversial all over again, when the late playwright’s estate withheld the rights for a …

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Tuesday, August 8, 2017

'Last Dancer Standing' at Black Ensemble Theater provides the reality TV experience by Kerry Reid

Reality television has come in for more than its usual share of shaming as a blight on the body politic since November — though in fairness, populist entertainment throughout history has b…

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Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Maidens and distress in ‘Fair Maid of the West,' just the thing for a summer stage by Kerry Reid

Buckle up, Buttercup — there’s a new “Princess Bride” in town. Well, actually — she’s not new. And she’s not a princess. But Thomas Heywood’s 16th-century swashbuckling roman…

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Tuesday, July 25, 2017

'Fight City' works when it's an action flick on stage by Kerry Reid

The future is female — but it's still an unholy mess. That's the dystopic premise in Scott OKen's "Fight City," now in a slam-bang world premiere with Factory Theater. Set in 2077, where a…

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Wednesday, July 19, 2017

'Little Fish' adapts New York stories for the stage by Kerry Reid

Deborah Eisenberg, whose short stories have been popping up in the New Yorker and in acclaimed collections since the 1980s, began writing when she stopped smoking. She stopped because her lo…

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Monday, July 17, 2017

All the world's a lovely stage in First Folio's 'As You Like It' by Kerry Reid

On a clear and pleasant July evening, with just enough breeze to keep the mosquitoes at bay, First Folio Theatre's pastoral setting gives the forest of Arden a run for its money. But that ca…

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Thursday, July 13, 2017

Nothing succeeds like excess in the Shakes-spoof 'Something Rotten!' by Kerry Reid

If the Reduced Shakespeare Company and Forbidden Broadway had a musical baby, it would probably look and sound a lot like "Something Rotten!" No insult intended to the appearance of this ima…

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Tuesday, July 11, 2017

'In the Soundless Awe': Terror and heroism in story of USS Indianapolis by Kerry Reid

The story of the USS Indianapolis perhaps remains best known in popular culture through "Jaws." Robert Shaw's Quint delivers an unforgettable monologue outlining his experiences in the shark…

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Friday, July 7, 2017

'The Nance': Love hides behind double-entendres in 1937 New York by Kerry Reid

In 1937, Marc Blitzstein's famous pro-labor musical, "The Cradle Will Rock" (created through the Federal Theatre Project of the Works Progress Administration) was shut down by federal author…

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Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Lively wit and tangled love interests in 'London Assurance' by Kerry Reid

City Lit Theater's current staging of 1841's "London Assurance" marks the first local production of Dion Boucicault's comedy in 120 years. Felicitously, it opens just a month ahead of Defini…

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Monday, June 26, 2017

Festival Theatre delivers a 'Macbeth' to the fates and the night sky by Kerry Reid

"If chance will have me king, why, chance may crown me, Without my stir." In that one line, William Shakespeare lays bare the central paradox of "Macbeth" — the play and the man. Arguably …

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Monday, June 12, 2017

Political satire 'King Ubu' starts out loud and has nowhere to go by Kerry Reid

Alfred Jarry's 1896 absurd and grotesque "Ubu Roi" should be the perfect play for our current political moment. After all, it involves an impulsive vulgarian who, while utterly unacquainted …

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Friday, June 9, 2017

Our parents' secrets, lost in the 'Rain' by Kerry Reid

One of the markers of adulthood is recognizing that your parents had lives of their own that had nothing to do with you. Often you don't see it until at least one of them has died. They live…

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Wednesday, June 7, 2017

'Her Majesty's Will' is a heady, silly romp that works by Kerry Reid

Nature may abhor a vacuum, but holes in the timeline offer catnip to authors of historical fiction. Where facts cannot be found, imagination runs wild. In "Her Majesty's Will," David Blixt's…

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Tuesday, June 6, 2017

'King Liz' goes courtside for a story about gritty world of sports agencies by Kerry Reid

"Get out of my way. I feel like making some money today." Few of us can imagine sweeping into our workplace and making that pronouncement in anything other than an ironic tone. But Liz Rico …

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Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Review: 'My Way Residential' a truthful immigrant story set in a U.K. nursing home by Kerry Reid

A couple of years ago, the feel-good channels of social networking lit up with a story about a Dutch nursing home where college students live rent-free. The idea of old and young living toge…

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Friday, May 26, 2017

Review: Pip's travels are long but worth the trip in 'Great Expectations' by Kerry Reid

In "Great Expectations," Charles Dickens crafted an indelible portrait of a young man of no means whose desires to be a "gentleman" almost come true — but with tragic consequences. At its …

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Thursday, May 25, 2017

Summer theater guide 2017: 30 must-see shows by Kerry Reid

Summer in Chicago focuses on outdoor fun, whether it's at music festivals, street fairs, ballgames or beaches. But Chicago's red-hot theater scene also has plenty of option. Here are 30 show…

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Friday, May 19, 2017

Luis Alfaro delves into family mythology in 'St. Jude' by Kerry Reid

As a playwright, Luis Alfaro is best known in Chicago for his contemporary updates of Greek tragedies, such as "Oedipus El Rey," which reimagines the story of Oedipus through the lens of Chi…

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Women with suitcases are on a symbolic journey in Trap Door's 'Empty Sky' by Kerry Reid

On the heels of its timely and sardonic production of "The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui," Trap Door Theatre takes a turn toward the elliptical and symbolic with "Into the Empty Sky," based o…

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Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Watch out, Young Jean Lee's 'We're Gonna Die' will get to you too by Kerry Reid

"Everybody dies frustrated and sad and that is beautiful," They Might Be Giants sang years ago. Young Jean Lee's "We're Gonna Die," now getting a heartfelt and high-energy production with Ha…

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Thursday, May 11, 2017

Can't beat the Cubs, can they join them? by Kerry Reid

We all know the litany of complaints about life near Wrigley Field. Nonexistent parking. Drunk people committing various, um, quality-of-life offenses. But for decades, the Cubs and the loca…

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Monday, May 8, 2017

No noir is left unturned in Hell in a Handbag's 'Lady X' by Kerry Reid

What's your poison? Noir? Musicals? Gender-bending camp with a twist of melodrama? Well, guys and dolls, stir your stumps upstairs to Mary's Attic, where Hell in a Handbag's "Lady X: The Mus…

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