All stories by Tristan Bruns on BroadwayStars

Friday, June 21, 2024

Tangles to Triumphs: A Review of “The Salon” at Black Ensemble Theater by Tristan Bruns

Whether to celebrate Juneteenth, Black culture or Chicago pride—or for no reason at all—make it a point to catch “The Salon” at Black Ensemble Theater.

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Monday, June 17, 2024

A Way to Be Good: A Review of “The Kite Runner” at Broadway in Chicago by Tristan Bruns

Based on the best-selling book by Khaled Hosseini, the story is split between 1970s Afghanistan and early-2000 San Francisco. Afghan refugee Amir reflects on his childhood in Kabul.

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Thursday, June 13, 2024

What Is Love? A Review of “Qualia” by Subtext Studio Theatre Company by Tristan Bruns

If you’re a fan of classic sci-fi psychological thrillers and post-apocalyptic adventures—or just solid storytelling—this show is for you.

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Monday, June 10, 2024

Black Power! A Review of “Stokely: The Unfinished Revolution” at Court Theatre by Tristan Bruns

“Stokely: The Unfinished Revolution” provides insight and background into one of U.S. history’s most towering and misunderstood revolutionaries.

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Wednesday, June 5, 2024

Gaping Geckos! A Review of “Poor People” at Hell in a Handbag Productions by Tristan Bruns

What do Little Orphan Annie, Bob Fosse, “Les Misérables,” “The Phantom of the Opera” and “Little Shop of Horrors” all have in common?

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Tuesday, June 4, 2024

What’s Your Kink? A Review of “Pro Am” at The Den Theatre by Tristan Bruns

First Floor Theater takes a taboo subject and handles it with tact and grace and humanizes those who are inhumanely objectified and commodified.

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Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Focusing the Lens: Gender Fucked Productions and Advancing Queer Art by Tristan Bruns

GFP is a nonprofit that produces performances, programs and workshops for queer and trans artists with a focus on organizational sustainability, equitable pay and intersectional collaboratio…

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Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Family Matters: A Review of “The Prodigal Daughter” at Raven Theatre by Tristan Bruns

Race, religion, finance, family, love… the show addresses all these subjects and handles them with care, tact and with hints of comedy.

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Tuesday, May 21, 2024

It’s Time: A Review of “Black Sunday” at TimeLine Theatre by Tristan Bruns

“Black Sunday,” written by Dolores Díaz and presented by TimeLine Theatre, explores the lives of a small family struggling to live in a turbulent wasteland.

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Wednesday, May 15, 2024

Who’s To Blame? A Review of “An Educated Guess” at Definition Theatre by Tristan Bruns

The needs of the many versus the actions of a few is addressed in playwright Juan José Alfonso’s “An Educated Guess.”

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Tuesday, May 14, 2024

Fulfill the Prophecy: A Review of “Cult Show” at The Neo-Futurists by Tristan Bruns

Absurd black humor and poignant biographies merge to create the image of a cult that is as fun as it is comedically dysfunctional. Will you drink the Flavor-Aid? I lived to write about it, b…

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Friday, May 10, 2024

My Baby No More: A Review of “Panther in the Sky” at Chicago Danztheatre Ensemble by Tristan Bruns

“Panther in the Sky”  shines a light on the debilitating effects of gun violence on families.

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Thursday, May 2, 2024

Bridge Over Troubled Water: A Review of “Jump” at Shattered Globe Theatre by Tristan Bruns

A poignant take on the repercussions of suicide is presented in playwright Charly Evon Simpson’s “Jump."

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Friday, April 26, 2024

Baby Blues: A Review of “Baby” at Citadel Theatre by Tristan Bruns

A range of trepidations about having children is presented in “Baby,” a restaging of the 1983 Broadway musical that runs through May 19 at Citadel Theatre.

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Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Politics and Pugilists: A Review of “The S Paradox” at Babes with Blades Theatre Company by Tristan Bruns

Politics and pugilists collide in “The S Paradox,” a fun time travel adventure that provides commentary on society’s pressing issues.

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Monday, April 15, 2024

Bloody Good Story: A Review of “Beyond the Garden Gate” at The Impostors Theatre Co. by Tristan Bruns

A chilling children’s fairy tale made for adults that takes you on an adventure through the liminal spaces between dream and waking.

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Wednesday, April 10, 2024

Dawn of Womankind: A Review of “Madam and Steve” at Lazy Susan Theatre Co. by Tristan Bruns

In Lazy Susan Theatre Co.’s “Madam & Steve,” at Greenhouse Theater Center, the story of the true first humans is presented in an absurdist format that attempts to push the boundari…

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Monday, April 8, 2024

Music. Mates. Good Times: A Review of “The Choir of Man” at Apollo Theater by Tristan Bruns

Audiences should get there early to grab a pint on stage, poured by one of the actors from a tap behind a long, cherrywood bar enshrined under various photos, banners and rows of bottles.

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Wednesday, April 3, 2024

“What Is Good?” A Review of “The Good” at Chicago Dramatists by Tristan Bruns

“The Good,” a one-woman show performed and created by Jenny Magnus, is a new musical work that asks the question, “What is good?”

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Tuesday, April 2, 2024

Faith, Trust and Pixie Dust: A Review of “Peter Pan” at Broadway in Chicago by Tristan Bruns

The fantastic special effects, fabulous acting and dancing and capable renditions of popular songs in “Peter Pan” will make you believe that dreams do come true, if only we wish hard eno…

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Thursday, March 21, 2024

Love and Libations: A Review of “Two Hours in a Bar” at City Lit Theater by Tristan Bruns

The tradition of turning beer-soaked shenanigans into fine art continues in City Lit’s “Two Hours in a Bar,” running through April 21. Two one-act plays directed by Terry McCabe tell t…

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Wednesday, March 20, 2024

Something Wicked: A Review of “What the Weird Sisters Saw” at Idle Muse Theatre Company by Tristan Bruns

Despite his name being in the title, the protagonist of Shakespeare’s “Macbeth” is not the most celebrated character in the work. That would go to the Weird Sisters, the trio of cave-d…

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Tuesday, March 12, 2024

No Age Limit on Adventure: A Review of “Wipeout” at Rivendell Theatre by Tristan Bruns

“Wipeout” is a reminder that there is no age limit on adventure, and that personal growth is a lifelong endeavor.

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Monday, March 11, 2024

A Fine Line: Branden Jacobs-Jenkins Rethinks the “Purpose” of Family at Steppenwolf by Tristan Bruns

Jacobs-Jenkins invites audiences to rethink the concept of family in “Purpose” at Steppenwolf Theatre. “I’m interested in exploring the political dynastic family, and how there is a …

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Friday, March 8, 2024

Star-Struck: A Review of “Silent Sky” at Citadel Theatre by Tristan Bruns

It is the treatment that women receive in male-dominated industries that is the subject of “Silent Sky,” written by Lauren Gunderson and directed by Beth Wolf. On stage at Citadel Theatr…

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Thursday, March 7, 2024

A Time of Creativity: A Review of “The Time Machine—A Tribute to the Eighties” at Black Ensemble Theater by Tristan Bruns

“The Time Machine,” written and directed by Daryl D. Brooks, focuses on the chart-topping tunes of the 1980s, ranging from R&B super groups like New Edition and DeBarge to the bombas…

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Thursday, February 29, 2024

High and Mighty Gods: A Review of “Party at the Pantheon” at The Factory Theater by Tristan Bruns

“Party at the Pantheon,” running through March 23 at The Factory Theater, bills itself as “a modern Greek stoner comedy” and delivers on that tagline.

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Wednesday, February 21, 2024

These Ghosts Have Teeth: A Review of “a home what howls (or the house what was ravine)” at Steppenwolf Theatre by Tristan Bruns

“a home what howls (or the house what was ravine)” provides insight and representation to those who have been overlooked, paved over and forgotten, and it is another win for Steppenwolf.

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Thursday, February 15, 2024

Ancient Wisdom: A Review of “Antigone” at Court Theatre by Tristan Bruns

As in the myth of Prometheus, Court Theatre brings the fire to Chicago audiences with “Antigone,” a spectacular finale to their Sophocles trilogy.

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Wednesday, February 14, 2024

Sins of the Mother: A Review of “Judy’s Life’s Work” at Definition Theatre by Tristan Bruns

“Judy’s Life’s Work” is a story about the salutary power of sibling love and familial responsibility, with a cast that really packs a punch.

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Friday, February 9, 2024

Apocalypse Now, Hugs Later: A Review of The Gift Theatre’s “Mothers” by Tristan Bruns

When the degenerate armies of the apocalypse come for you, will mother be enough? “Mothers” asks this question and more, with a gruesome twist ending.

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