Thursday, November 15, 2018

Review: Plainclothes (Broken Nose Theatre) by Lauren Emily Whalen

Beautifully written, acted and directed, Plainclothes is unmissable, especially in light of Broken Nose Theatre’s pay-what-you-can tickets. The production tells a story of guerilla employe…

Linked From Chicago Theater Beat at 08:12PM
Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Review: Master Class (TimeLine Theatre) by Johanna Dalton

Master Class depicts the controversial career of opera star Maria Callas through the prism of the classroom. As Callas instructs her promising students, memories of her days as perhaps the m…

Linked From Chicago Theater Beat at 09:04PM
Monday, November 12, 2018

Review: Love’s Labour’s Lost (Invictus Theatre) by Lauren Emily Whalen

As a play, Love’s Labour’s Lost is simply delightful. In many ways it’s a classic romantic comedy: boys swear off girls, the girls show up anyway, wacky misunderstandings ensue. Their …

Linked From Chicago Theater Beat at 07:36PM
Friday, November 9, 2018

Review: This Bitter Earth (About Face Theatre) by Lauren Emily Whalen

The Chicago premiere of Harrison David Rivers’ two-hander, equal parts searing and touching, gut-wrenching and romantic. Director Mikael Burke and Rivers are a dream team of truth: this st…

Linked From Chicago Theater Beat at 06:54PM
Sunday, November 4, 2018

Review: Scientific Method (Rivendell Theatre) by Lauren Emily Whalen

Simply put, Scientific Method is the best embodiment of workplace sexism I’ve ever seen onstage. In just 90 short but powerful minutes, playwright Jenny Connell Davis and director Devon de…

Linked From Chicago Theater Beat at 04:33PM
Saturday, November 3, 2018

Review: The Lonesome West (AstonRep Theatre) by Lauren Emily Whalen

The Lonesome West is an earlier work from playwright Martin McDonagh, who’s since made a name for himself in both theater and film, penning last year’s Oscar winner Three Billboards Outs…

Linked From Chicago Theater Beat at 11:54AM
Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Review: Hello, Dolly! (Broadway in Chicago, 2018) by John Olson

This Hello, Dolly! is classic Broadway showmanship in all the most important ways - in Betty Buckley we have a major Broadway performer that we all ought to see at least once, a top flight s…

Linked From Chicago Theater Beat at 08:48PM
Monday, October 29, 2018

Review: Hooded, of Being Black for Dummies (First Floor Theater) by Lauren Emily Whalen

Mikael Burke’s direction of Tearrance Arvelle Chisholm' play is flawless from beginning to end - from the close quarters of the jail cell (and live security cam footage thanks to Sid Branc…

Linked From Chicago Theater Beat at 05:32PM
Saturday, October 27, 2018

Review: WaistWatchers The Musical (Royal George Theatre) by Lauren Emily Whalen

Above all, WaistWatchers The Musical feels incredibly, sadly dated. Yes, women are still part of a patriarchy that values youth and beauty over everything else. Yes, dieting is still a multi…

Linked From Chicago Theater Beat at 02:06PM
Thursday, October 25, 2018

Review: Edge of Life (Inglis Hall Productions) by Lauren Emily Whalen

With Edge of Life, playwright Joel Z. Cornfield penned a hospital dramedy in tribute to two family members who succumbed to death in different ways. But rather than a tribute to the dying, …

Linked From Chicago Theater Beat at 04:04PM
Thursday, October 11, 2018

Review: Witch (Writers Theatre) by Lauren Emily Whalen

Right now, we could all use some big witch energy. Fortunately, there’s no better place to find it than Writers Theatre’s terrific production of Witch. Just in time for Halloween, playw…

Linked From Chicago Theater Beat at 05:24PM
Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Review: Zürich (Steep Theatre) by Lauren Emily Whalen

Zürich’s five vignettes are all set in hotel rooms on the fortieth floor. In one room, a man sings with his penis out. In another, two children left alone make a horrifying discovery in t…

Linked From Chicago Theater Beat at 07:18PM
Monday, October 8, 2018

Review: The Artificial Jungle (Hell in a Handbag) by Lauren Emily Whalen

Celebrated campmaster Charles Ludlam’s final play, The Artificial Jungle, is chock full of brutality – death by piranha, daily rat deliveries, hair that is almost offensively big – and…

Linked From Chicago Theater Beat at 07:06PM
Friday, October 5, 2018

Review: Indecent (Victory Gardens Theater) by Lauren Emily Whalen

Hope - Playwright Paula Vogel’s genius is contained in her ability to bring it to every story. The characters in Indecent persist, making the ultimate sacrifices to experience the tiny mom…

Linked From Chicago Theater Beat at 06:36PM
Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Review: Phoebe in Winter (Facility Theatre) by Lauren Emily Whalen

Director Dado is known throughout the city for her unconventional style. She’s a perfect fit for Jen Silverman’s postwar fable, where childhood impulses insert themselves into very adult…

Linked From Chicago Theater Beat at 05:12PM
Monday, October 1, 2018

Review: Tootsie the Musical (Broadway in Chicago) by Lauren Emily Whalen

This is one world-premiere that satisfyingly defies the odds. The powers that be behind this pre-Broadway tryout made a wise move in hiring bookwriter Robert Horn to adapt the hit Dustin Hof…

Linked From Chicago Theater Beat at 06:48PM
Sunday, September 23, 2018

Review: Frankenstein (Lifeline Theatre) by Lauren Emily Whalen

Lifeline Theatre’s Frankenstein, a world premiere adapted by Robert Kauzlaric and directed by Paul S. Holmquist, boils down the war of human versus monster in a way that’s deceptively si…

Linked From Chicago Theater Beat at 07:18PM
Saturday, September 22, 2018

Review: Crime and Punishment (Shattered Globe Theatre) by Lauren Emily Whalen

Audiences may very well love Crime and Punishment. Shattered Globe’s production of Chris Hannan’s new adaptation boasts impeccable production values and fascinating movement design. Howe…

Linked From Chicago Theater Beat at 07:12PM
Thursday, September 20, 2018

Review: The Shipment (Red Tape Theatre) by Duane Barnes

I saw Red Tape Theatre's The Shipment with two companions and we left the theater asking each other, What was the author saying?” This play, written by Young Jean Lee, a Korean-American pl…

Linked From Chicago Theater Beat at 05:48PM
Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Review: These Shining Lives (Three Crows Theatre) by Lauren Emily Whalen

With better direction and an improved script, Melanie Marnich's These Shining Lives could have been snappier and punchier in the beginning, slowly growing sadder and more poignant as injurie…

Linked From Chicago Theater Beat at 08:54PM
Saturday, September 15, 2018

Review: Borealis (The House Theatre) by Lauren Emily Whalen

Bennett Fisher’s new play Borealis has the type of premise – sci-fi adventure that’s also a takedown of corporate culture – that will be either an epic success or an epic failure. Th…

Linked From Chicago Theater Beat at 06:32PM
Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Review: El Grande de Coca-Cola (Waterfront Cafe & Summer Stages) by Lauren Emily Whalen

El Grande de Coca-Cola is 80 minutes of awkward, hilarious glory, with a cast as adept at physical comedy as they are at fast-paced banter, operatic vocal stylings and giving the audience th…

Linked From Chicago Theater Beat at 05:42PM
Sunday, September 2, 2018

Review: A Shayna Maidel (TimeLine Theatre) by Lauren Emily Whalen

A Shayna Maidel is a story of the Holocaust, immigration and survival, but most of all it’s a story of sisters. Rose (Bri Sudia) and Lusia (Emily Berman) have lived incredibly different li…

Linked From Chicago Theater Beat at 04:54PM
Friday, August 31, 2018

Review: Heartbreak Hotel (Broadway in Chicago) by Johanna Dalton

With Broadway in Chicago's presentation of Heartbreak Hotel, being dubbed as the pre-quel to Million Dollar Quartet, the audience is on their feet as the cast takes their bows, and the 20 mi…

Linked From Chicago Theater Beat at 04:04PM
Sunday, August 26, 2018

Review: Tres Bandidos (Agency Theater Collective) by Lauren Emily Whalen

The climactic moment of Tres Bandidos is tense and anxiety-inducing. A major secret has just been revealed. There’s more than one gun. It’s very, very likely that at least one of the thr…

Linked From Chicago Theater Beat at 05:24PM
Monday, August 20, 2018

Review: Haymarket (Underscore Theatre) by Lauren Emily Whalen

The anarchists profiled in Underscore Theatre's smash hit Haymarket were hardworking immigrants, who just wanted a fair wage and time to call their own. As a folk-musical concept album or co…

Linked From Chicago Theater Beat at 06:42PM
Thursday, August 16, 2018

Review: Avenue Q (Mercury Theater, 2018) by Lauren Emily Whalen

Clearly, Avenue Q is making money for Mercury Theater, especially as it's now been extended by over 3 months. And of course a theater company must consider what will draw audiences. As a pro…

Linked From Chicago Theater Beat at 08:36PM
Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Review: Holding the Man (Pride Films and Plays) by Lauren Emily Whalen

Pride Films and Plays’ stellar production of Holding the Man by Tommy Murphy chronicles a forbidden teenage romance that became a life partnership cut short, calling back to a time when li…

Linked From Chicago Theater Beat at 08:54PM
Sunday, August 5, 2018

Review: Hurricane Damage (Pride Films and Plays) by Lauren Emily Whalen

If nothing else, Hurricane Damage is an alternative to the Dead Gay Narrative. It’s a survivors’ story - longtime partners Oscar and Dennis have been together for decades, and have seen …

Linked From Chicago Theater Beat at 06:06PM
Monday, July 30, 2018

Review: Defacing Michael Jackson (Flying Elephant Productions) by Lauren Whalen

With Flying Elephant Productions' Defacing Michael Jackson, playwright Aurin Squire has a terrific, multifaceted story on his hands - a group of kids in middle-of-nowhere 1980s Florida form …

Linked From Chicago Theater Beat at 05:32PM
Sunday, July 29, 2018

Review: Everybody (Brown Paper Box Co.) by Lauren Whalen

Playwright Branden Jacobs-Jenkins thrives on keeping an audience on their toes. He pulled it off successfully in Goodman Theatre's Gloria, with a shocking plot twist at the end of the play…

Linked From Chicago Theater Beat at 06:12PM

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