All stories by Tristan Bruns on BroadwayStars

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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Wednesday, February 7, 2024

On the Whim: The Show’s Not Over Yet For Mr. Taps by Tristan Bruns

Mr. Taps has been dancing up a storm on subway platforms and sidewalks in the Loop and Gold Coast neighborhoods for forty years. He is often credited by Chicagoans as their first time seeing…

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¡Viva El Barrio!: A Review of “In The Heights” at Marriott Theatre by Tristan Bruns

Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Tony-Award winning musical about the strength of the communal family, set to a Latin-infused hip-hop soundtrack, comes to the Marriott Theatre in Lincolnshire.

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Friday, February 2, 2024

What Else Is In The Water: A Review of “Flood” at Shattered Globe Theatre by Tristan Bruns

“Flood” by Mashuq Mushtaq Deen, presented by Shattered Globe Theatre, imagines an extinction-level event out of the Book of Genesis occurring in modern times.

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Thursday, February 1, 2024

Here’s To Never Growing Up: A Review of “The Best Damn Thing” at The Understudy by Tristan Bruns

“The Best Damn Thing” is a semi-autobiographical retrospective on pop singer Avril Lavigne, developed in a show-within-a-show format told through the lens of two high school age women, E…

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Monday, January 29, 2024

What If the Rain Never Stopped: A Review of “Hit Me Like A Flower” at Curious Theatre by Tristan Bruns

What if the rain never stopped? Where do you go when the world tries to drown you?

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Thursday, January 4, 2024

The Best Deal In Town: How The Saints Changed the Face of Chicago Performing Arts by Tristan Bruns

I see Saints at most of the shows I attend, and like mustard on a hot dog, it doesn’t feel like a Chicago show without them.

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Thursday, December 14, 2023

No Cosmic Lasso Required: A Review of “It’s A Wonderful Life: Live in Chicago!” at American Blues Theater by Tristan Bruns

If you’re a grinch like me and cringe upon hearing the same holiday tunes year after year, then you’ll appreciate this show that breathes new life into an old classic.

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Friday, November 3, 2023

One For The Ages: A Review of “Nyra’s Dreams” at Chicago Dramatists by Tristan Bruns

“Nyra’s Dreams” is the story of Nyra, a naïve and effervescent young woman who leaps into different lives across time in a quest to achieve enlightenment so that her spirit may return…

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Friday, October 27, 2023

I’m Not Your Muse: A Review of “Seagulls” at Oak Park Festival Theatre by Tristan Bruns

Hyland’s “Seagulls” is a Chekovian philosophical reflection on self and society, but with a twenty-first-century twist, an experience that can be compared to no other.

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Friday, October 20, 2023

Liquid Hauntings: A Review of “Household Spirits” at Theater Wit by Tristan Bruns

“Household Spirits” is a ghoulishly good show, with witty one liners, relatable character development and a creepy twist ending.

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Thursday, October 19, 2023

I’m A Real Person! A Review of “Tambo and Bones” at Refracted Theatre Company by Tristan Bruns

The team behind “Tambo and Bones” want you to squirm. They want you to feel pain and sorrow and woe—and laugh at the same time.

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Friday, October 13, 2023

Rudos vs. Técnicos: A Review of “Lucha Teotl” at Goodman Theatre by Tristan Bruns

Appropriate for all ages, “Lucha Teotl” grabs you from the start and makes you never want to tap out! 

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Wednesday, October 11, 2023

It’s Everything They Say It Is, And Worse: A Review of “The American Dream” at Subtext Studio Theatre Company by Tristan Bruns

The play is based on Juan Ramirez Jr.’s mother’s experience making her way through “hot desert days, cold nights on the cement floor and holding onto hope in the social climate of the …

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Thursday, October 5, 2023

On a Highway to Hell: A Review of “Eurydice” at Writers Theatre by Tristan Bruns

Ruhl’s “Eurydice” combines ancient storytelling and classic characters with Nietzschean undertones of self-actualization to create a truly moving experience.

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Monday, October 2, 2023

Not Bad For A Potato! A Review of “The Lehman Trilogy” at TimeLine Theatre by Tristan Bruns

By the end of TimeLine Theatre’s “The Lehman Trilogy” I was left wanting to learn more about this family that, for better or worse, had a big hand in shaping the course of history.

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Thursday, September 28, 2023

When Existence is a Crime: A Review of “Sanctuary City” at Steppenwolf Theatre by Tristan Bruns

The play asks the question: What do you do if simply existing makes you a criminal, a fact that no amount of merit can override?

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Monday, September 25, 2023

The Price of Freedom: A Review of “Blues for an Alabama Sky” at Remy Bumppo by Tristan Bruns

“Blues for an Alabama Sky” is about supporting a women’s right to the same freedom of choice as the other half of humanity, with all the joy, hardships and pitfalls that come with it. 

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Wednesday, September 20, 2023

Snap, You’re Caught! A Review of “The Mousetrap” at Citadel Theatre by Tristan Bruns

Agatha Christie's “The Mousetrap,” now on stage at Citadel Theatre, locks you in with knife-wielding maniacs, blood-curdling screams, zippy dialogue and brain-tingling riddles.

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Tuesday, September 19, 2023

Follow the Recipe: A Review of “Baked! The Musical” at Theo Ubique by Tristan Bruns

Combine equal parts family drama and youthful enthusiasm with a dash of stoner comedy and you get “Baked! The Musical,” delivered piping hot at Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre.

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Thursday, September 14, 2023

Pinch of Soul, Dash of Fun: A Review of “Taste of Soul” at Black Ensemble Theater by Tristan Bruns

“Taste of Soul” has a little something for everyone. For those who grew up with soul food and music, it’s a delightful trip down memory lane.

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Wednesday, September 13, 2023

A Goofy Comedy with a Lot of Heart: A Review of “Mic Father Like Son” by Subtext Theater Company by Tristan Bruns

“Mic Father Like Son” is full of charm, wit and shtick, an appealing performance for those in the mood for a goofy comedy with a lot of heart.

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Tuesday, September 12, 2023

It’ll Grow On You: A Review of “Little Shop of Horrors” at Paramount Theatre by Tristan Bruns

Paramount Theatre’s “Little Shop of Horrors” has it all—fantastic singing, fleshed out characters, hit songs and a hyper-detailed set. If you’re in the mood for the macabre, this i…

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Friday, September 8, 2023

A Cult Classic: Kokandy Productions Brings Back the Storefront Musical with “American Psycho” by Tristan Bruns

For twelve years, Kokandy Productions has been presenting high-quality musicals designed for wide appeal and shallow pockets. Known for producing Chicago premieres of cult-status film proper…

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Thursday, September 7, 2023

Excelsior!: A Review of “The Innocence of Seduction” at City Lit by Tristan Bruns

“The Innocence of Seduction,” the third in a comic book-themed trilogy written and directed by Max Pracht, begins just before the implementation of the Comics Code.

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Tuesday, September 5, 2023

The Original “Dance Mom”: A Review of “Gypsy” at Marriott Theatre by Tristan Bruns

The television show “Dance Moms” has gained wide popularity for featuring overbearing mothers obsessed with their child’s (re: their) dreams of grandeur and stardom, but none of these …

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Thursday, August 17, 2023

A Brilliant Reflection of Truth: A Review of “The Light” at Fleetwood-Jourdain Theatre by Tristan Bruns

“The Light” by Loy A. Webb is a seventy-minute one act play about a young Black couple who struggle with a revelation from the past that threatens to break up their budding relationship.

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Tuesday, August 15, 2023

A Goosestepping Good Time: A Review of “The Producers” at Music Theater Works by Tristan Bruns

I agree with real-life director L. Walter Stearns’ note in the program, that “This show has a little something to offend everyone.” The goal is not to offend for the sake of offending,…

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All that Chat

May 30, 2023: Grey House - Lyceum Theatre
Jun 26, 2023: Just For Us - Hudson Theatre
Jul 24, 2023: The Cottage - Hayes Theater
Nov 16, 2023: Spamalot - St. James Theatre
Dec 18, 2023: Appropriate - Hayes Theater
Mar 07, 2024: Doubt - Todd Haimes Theatre
Apr 14, 2024: Lempicka - Longacre Theatre
Apr 17, 2024: The Wiz - Marquis Theatre
Apr 18, 2024: Suffs - Music Box Theatre
Apr 25, 2024: Mother Play - Hayes Theater
Jun 10, 2024: The Drama Desk Awards