Friday, February 16, 2018

Review: Fear and Misery of the Third Reich (Haven Theatre) by Lauren Whalen

Bertolt Brecht’s series of vignettes following different characters as Germany approaches World War II is uncomfortable, sad and downright scary. It’s also important and essential viewin…

Linked From Chicago Theater Beat at 05:58PM
Sunday, February 4, 2018

Review: Nice Girl (Raven Theatre) by Scotty Zacher

                       Nice Girl Written by Melissa Ross Raven Theatre, 6157 N. Clark (map…

Linked From Chicago Theater Beat at 09:04PM
Friday, February 2, 2018

Review: The Humans (Broadway in Chicago) by Lauren Whalen

With the national tour of Stephen Karam’s The Humans, there's a amazing melding of Karam's script, Mantello’s direction and the excellent production team and cast accurately portraying t…

Linked From Chicago Theater Beat at 11:48PM
Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Review: We’re Gonna Be Okay (American Theater Co.) by Lauren Whalen

We’re Gonna Be Okay, written by playwright Basil Kreimendahl, explores America's fear and paranoia of nuclear war in the early 1960's through the eyes of two neighboring families who decid…

Linked From Chicago Theater Beat at 09:36PM
Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Review: Beautiful (Broadway in Chicago, 2017) by Duane Barnes

Throwback Thursday review - Lights! Action! Music! With that beginning, Carole King (played by local actress Sarah Bockel) takes us on a musical ride through her life, highs and lows, wins a…

Linked From Chicago Theater Beat at 07:18PM
Saturday, January 27, 2018

Review: For the Loyal (Interrobang Theatre Project) by Lauren Whalen

What does loyalty mean? How far does it go? And what if your loyalty (or lack of) affects your livelihood and the ability to support your family? Award-winning playwright Lee Blessing tackle…

Linked From Chicago Theater Beat at 09:04PM
Friday, January 26, 2018

Review: All My Sons (Court Theatre) by Lauren Whalen

There's a lot to love in Arthur Miller's All My Sons. Both Johanna McKenzie Miller and Abby Pierce give nuanced performances as neighborhood women, and John Judd expertly guides us through J…

Linked From Chicago Theater Beat at 08:36AM
Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Review: Boy (TimeLine Theatre) by Lauren Whalen

Playwright Anna Ziegler began Boy as a direct homage to David Reimer, who in1967 at 18-month-old, was left with damaged genitals due to a circumcision accident. Desperate, his parents turned…

Linked From Chicago Theater Beat at 03:36PM
Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Review: Nevermore (Black Button Eyes Productions) by Scotty Zacher

                       Nevermore   Book/Music/Lyrics by Jonathan Christenson at Edge …

Linked From Chicago Theater Beat at 02:24AM
Friday, December 22, 2017

Review: BLKS (Steppenwolf Theatre) by Lauren Whalen

Playwright and poet Aziza Barnes wrote BLKS as a self-portrait of herself and her best friends in her early 20s. Full of laugh-out-loud moments as well as dark humor and quiet poignancy, BLK…

Linked From Chicago Theater Beat at 04:12PM
Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Review: Potted Potter (Broadway in Chicago, 2017) by Lauren Whalen

*Potted* means condensed. *Potter,* at least in this case, means Harry Potter, a child wizard and the center of seven books that propelled J.K. Rowling from broke schoolteacher to wealthy me…

Linked From Chicago Theater Beat at 05:54PM
Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Review: Red Velvet (Chicago Shakespeare Theater) by Lauren Whalen

Chicago Shakespeare Theater's Red Velvet chronicles Ira Aldridge’s groundbreaking but ill-timed two-day run as Othello at Covent Garden in 1833, the first African-American actor to star on…

Linked From Chicago Theater Beat at 08:24PM
Saturday, December 9, 2017

Review: The Minutes (Steppenwolf Theatre) by Lauren Whalen

When Tracy Letts' newest play, The Minutes, is good, it’s very, very good, and that’s the case for the play’s first 90-95 minutes. As a small-town transplant myself, I can verify the h…

Linked From Chicago Theater Beat at 12:18AM
Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Review: The Nutcracker (Joffrey Ballet, 2017) by Lauren Whalen

Now in its second glorious year, Joffrey Ballet's updated The Nutcracker, set during the construction of Chicago's 1893 Worlds Fair in an immigrant family's shack and their daughter's fantas…

Linked From Chicago Theater Beat at 09:36PM
Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Review: Altar Boyz (Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre) by Lauren Whalen

One of off-Broadway’s longest-running shows, the boy band parody Altar Boyz is a real-time concert of a Christian boy band who love singing and dancing - but love Jesus even more. Theo Ubi…

Linked From Chicago Theater Beat at 07:12PM

Review: Rudolph the Red-Hosed Reindeer (Hell in a Handbag Productions, 2017) by Lauren Whalen

Based on the 1967 children’s TV special, this fun Rudolph chronicles the adventures of a North Pole reindeer (Graham Thomas Heacock) who just doesn’t fit in with his peers - he just can'…

Linked From Chicago Theater Beat at 05:06PM
Saturday, December 2, 2017

Review: Wedding Band (The Artistic Home) by Duane Barnes

Alice Childress's classic play Wedding Band, a tragic love story of interracial love set in 1918 South Carolina, is marvelously done, the cast doing a superb job of employing the dialect of …

Linked From Chicago Theater Beat at 03:12PM
Thursday, November 30, 2017

Review: Othello (Invictus Theatre Company) by Lauren Whalen

In Invictus Theatre Company's inaugural production of Othello, Iago is played as a woman. Her strong performance and a largely solid ensemble are not enough, however, to save a weak lead and…

Linked From Chicago Theater Beat at 08:48PM
Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Review: Fade (Teatro Vista and Victory Gardens Theater) by Lauren Whalen

Victory Gardens’ latest play, Fade, a co-production with Teatro Vista, features the relationship of two very different Latinx individuals who happen to work in the same building. Fade is f…

Linked From Chicago Theater Beat at 10:04PM
Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Review: Tick, Tick…BOOM! (The Cuckoo’s Theater Project) by Lauren Whalen

Running 90 minutes with no intermission, Tick, Tick...BOOM! is poignant but inconsistent, with a score that’s lovely and touching but also frustrating and dreary. The Cuckoo’s Theater Pr…

Linked From Chicago Theater Beat at 10:04PM
Sunday, November 26, 2017

Review: The Pearl Fishers (Lyric Opera) by Lauren Whalen

Everyone loves a good, tragic love story, and Lyric Opera's The Pearl Fishers doesn't disappoint. Its two-and-a-half-hour running time is shorter than that of the average opera, making it a …

Linked From Chicago Theater Beat at 07:42PM
Sunday, November 19, 2017

Review: Yasmina’s Necklace (Goodman Theatre) by Lauren Whalen

Yasmina’s Necklace is very Muslim in its theme, but also very American – unique yet universal. Thoughtfully directed by Ann Filmer, and featuring a gifted ensemble, the Chicago premiere …

Linked From Chicago Theater Beat at 08:48PM
Friday, November 17, 2017

Review: Breath, Boom (Eclipse Theatre) by Lauren Whalen

Breath, Boom is never an easy watch, challenging the audience to check its collective privilege and watch a survivor endure her darkest years with only small flashes of optimism. Beautifully…

Linked From Chicago Theater Beat at 10:33PM
Thursday, November 16, 2017

Review: Lizzie (Firebrand Theatre) by Lauren Whalen

Firebrand Theatre's Lizzie is an all-female rock musical about the the true story of Lizzie Borden, whose alleged axe murder of her father and stepmother in 1892 led to a media frenzy, a nur…

Linked From Chicago Theater Beat at 08:12PM
Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Review: Lysistrata Jones (Refuge Theatre Project) by Scotty Zacher

Spike Lee’s recent film Chiraq adapted Lysistrata to Chicago's South Side, replacing an epic Greek war with equally epic gang violence. The stakes in Lysistrata Jones? Basketball. More spe…

Linked From Chicago Theater Beat at 04:36AM
Friday, November 10, 2017

Review: School of Rock (Broadway in Chicago) by Lauren Whalen

With a running time of just over 2 hours, School of Rock is just as winning as the original film. Taking an underdog story and blending it with cute kids and a rousing score, the musical mak…

Linked From Chicago Theater Beat at 08:24PM

Review: Akeelah and the Bee (Adventure Stage Chicago) by Lauren Whalen

With Akeelah and the Bee, Adventure Stage Chicago has adapted the 2006 screenplay, relocating the story to the South Side of Chicago, adding Spanish supertitles to make the show more accessi…

Linked From Chicago Theater Beat at 12:48AM
Saturday, November 4, 2017

Review: Fun Home (Victory Gardens Theater) by Catey Sullivan

In Victory Gardens' triumphant "Fun Home", Director Gary Griffin’s ensemble will break your heart with their ability to embody the characters in Alison Bechdel’s story, especially Rob Li…

Linked From Chicago Theater Beat at 10:54PM
Friday, November 3, 2017

Review: Bobby Pin Girls (Nothing Without A Company) by Lauren Whalen

Besides its humor, Bobby Pin Girls tackles issues such as addiction, self-harm and toxic masculinity without being manipulative or heavy-handed, which is a skill on its own. Nothing Without …

Linked From Chicago Theater Beat at 07:04PM
Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Review: Giselle (Joffrey Ballet) by Lauren Whalen

The Joffrey Ballet’s premiere of a newly-staged Giselle doesn’t disappoint, wringing out every possible drop of excitement, in a production that’s equal parts breathtaking and horrifyi…

Linked From Chicago Theater Beat at 10:42PM
Saturday, October 21, 2017

Review: The Taming of the Shrew (Chicago Shakespeare, 2017) by Catey Sullivan

Chicago Shakespeare's Taming of the Shrew is a fine production of a play that doesn’t deserve the resources lavished on it. For all the prodigious talent on stage, Shrew remains an endorse…

Linked From Chicago Theater Beat at 10:33PM

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