Friday, April 28, 2017

Review: The Most Happy Fella (Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre) by Catey Sullivan

Frank Loesser’s score has some fine moments, Adam Veness' vineyard set is impressive, and newcomer Molly Hernandez’ powerful soprano and radiant stage presence is a huge new talent who s…

Linked From Chicago Theater Beat at 07:31PM

Review: Queen (Victory Gardens Theater) by Catey Sullivan

Madhuri Shekar's Queen a is fascinating, provacative world premiere about the science and research surrounding bee ecology. The dialogue is witty and insightful that delves both the sense a…

Linked From Chicago Theater Beat at 02:02AM
Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Review: Marry Me a Little (Porchlight Music Theatre) by Catey Sullivan

In Porchlight Music Theatre's 70-minutes two-hander romance of Stephen Sondheim out-takes, Austin Cook and Bethany Thomas deliver sonic wonders and emotional depth. The songs of Marry Me a L…

Linked From Chicago Theater Beat at 02:54AM
Monday, April 24, 2017

Review: Linda Vista (Steppenwolf Theatre) by Catey Sullivan

Playwright Tracy Letts certainly knows how to deliver dialogue that’s balanced on a razor-wire between edgy and Neil Simon. With Linda Vista, he’s does this deftly, scoring numerous audi…

Linked From Chicago Theater Beat at 01:48AM
Sunday, April 23, 2017

Review: The Mystery of Love and Sex (Writers Theatre) by Catey Sullivan

Director Marti Lyons deploys a deft hand with Bathsheba Doran's The Mystery of Love and Sex. She keeps the pacing taut and elegantly navigates the thin line between humor and pathos. What sh…

Linked From Chicago Theater Beat at 10:42PM

Review: King of the Yees (Goodman Theatre) by Scotty Zacher

In making her persona the star of her world premiere drama King of the Yees, playwright Lauren Yee has created a meta-format to explore her relationship with her father. This genre-melding i…

Linked From Chicago Theater Beat at 04:06AM

Review: Odysseo by Cavalia by Catey Sullivan

Make no mistake - Odysseo is breathtaking from start to finish. Starring 65 horses and 48 human aerialists, acrobats and riders, the tech-heavy production is a staggeringly beautiful and imp…

Linked From Chicago Theater Beat at 03:02AM
Saturday, April 15, 2017

Review: Born Yesterday (Remy Bumppo Theatre) by Catey Sullivan

After a rather uneventful first act, Born Yesterday picks up the steam of a runaway downhill freight train in the second act, powering through to a finale that feels downright prophetic. Pla…

Linked From Chicago Theater Beat at 08:36PM
Friday, April 14, 2017

Review: The Wiz (Kokandy Productions) by Catey Sullivan

Kokandy director Lili-Anne Brown takes a literal stance on The Wiz, billing it as an urbanization of L. Frank Baum’s beloved tale, setting it in the amongst the graffiti-strewn Kansas Home…

Linked From Chicago Theater Beat at 08:24PM
Sunday, April 9, 2017

Review: Beyond Caring (Lookingglass Theatre) by Catey Sullivan

It’s been over a century since the publishing of Upton Sinclair's The Jungle, the seminal, muckraking expose of working conditions in Chicago’s stockyards. Alexander Zeldin’s Beyond C…

Linked From Chicago Theater Beat at 10:24PM

Review: In to America (Griffin Theatre) by Lauren Whalen

In To America is a stark, complex and emotional reminder of what truly makes America great, with stories ranging from heartbreaking to funny and everything in between: scrappy street urchins…

Linked From Chicago Theater Beat at 10:24PM
Saturday, April 8, 2017

Review: Destiny of Desire (Goodman Theatre) by Catey Sullivan

With Goodman Theatre's Destiny of Desire, playwright Karen Zacarias might have invented a new theatrical genre. The unabashedly histrionic production is part Greek tragedy, part frantic sex …

Linked From Chicago Theater Beat at 09:06PM
Sunday, April 2, 2017

Review: The Source (Route 66 Theatre) by Lauren Whalen

Over the course of 85 minutes, I was totally immersed in the action - when the characters jumped, I jumped. I gasped when a knock on the door signaled a turning point in their collective fat…

Linked From Chicago Theater Beat at 02:02AM
Saturday, April 1, 2017

Review: The Hard Problem (Court Theatre) by Catey Sullivan

Court Theatre's The Hard Problem, by Tom Stoppard, is sleek, smart and beguiling. Director Charles Newell’s sharp and luminous cast keeps you engaged both intellectually and emotionally, e…

Linked From Chicago Theater Beat at 08:31PM
Sunday, March 26, 2017

Review: truth and reconciliation (Sideshow Theatre) by Lauren Whalen

Sideshow Theatre's truth and reconciliation isn’t perfect, but it is incredibly ambitious. On the whole it succeeds, exploring the nuance and humanity behind conflicts small and large. Wit…

Linked From Chicago Theater Beat at 10:36PM
Thursday, March 23, 2017

Review: Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater (Auditorium Theatre, 2017) by Lauren Whalen

Always teeming with enthusiastic and grateful fans, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater is a belated Christmas gift to Chicago. Dancers who defy gravity, choreographers who make thoughtful an…

Linked From Chicago Theater Beat at 11:32PM

Review: Henry V (Babes With Blades Theatre) by Lauren Whalen

Shakespeare’s Henry V is one of the more beloved history plays, and Babes With Blades seeks to give the script a modern twist with an all-female cast and realistic stage violence, as Direc…

Linked From Chicago Theater Beat at 01:36PM
Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Review: Circus 1903 (Broadway in Chicago) by Catey Sullivan

The real stars of Circus 1903 are not humans. The show’s signature is its life-sized puppet elephants, created by designer Melvyn Millar. But while the elephants are wonderful, Circus 1903…

Linked From Chicago Theater Beat at 08:06PM
Monday, March 20, 2017

Review: Straight White Men (Steppenwolf Theatre) by Catey Sullivan

At 90 minutes, Steppenwolf's Straight White Men, written and directed by Young Jean Lee, zips by at the pace of an expertly timed sitcom, but plumbs depths worthy of a dissertation. By expos…

Linked From Chicago Theater Beat at 01:06AM
Sunday, March 19, 2017

Review: Phantom Pain (Organic Theater Company) by Lauren Whalen

Chicago playwright Barbara Lhota's world premiere Phantom Pain could have been a nuanced portrayal of friendship, race and privilege, but instead is unfortunately a thin one-dimensional ploy…

Linked From Chicago Theater Beat at 05:03PM

Review: Gentle (TUTA Theatre) by Lauren Whalen

Gentle doesn’t appear to have much of a point, nor does it dig especially deep into its antihero’s psyche. Thankfully, the material is elevated through stellar production values and firs…

Linked From Chicago Theater Beat at 04:03PM

Review: Urinetown (BoHo Theatre) by Catey Sullivan

Boho Theatre’s budget may be small compared to the well-oiled musical theater machines found elsewhere in Chicago, but make no mistake, their production of Urinetown packs a mighty punch. …

Linked From Chicago Theater Beat at 02:54PM
Friday, March 17, 2017

Review: Love’s Labor’s Lost (Chicago Shakespeare, 2017) by Catey Sullivan

Director Marti Maraden does as well as anyone could with Love’s Labor’s Lost, a production that looks gorgeous on stage, but the script itself is lacking. If nothing else, the productio…

Linked From Chicago Theater Beat at 08:54PM
Thursday, March 16, 2017

Review: Sweeney Todd (Paramount Theatre) by Catey Sullivan

It’s clear from Sweeney Todd's opening number that Director Jim Corti understands both the scope of the show, and how to make it work within the soaring spaces of the Paramount. Several ba…

Linked From Chicago Theater Beat at 02:36AM
Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Review: Squeeze My Cans (Greenhouse Theater) by Lauren Whalen

Despite trying to hard at times, Writer-Performer Cathy Schenkelberg is charismatic and winning, and the audience roots for her the entire fast-paced 80 minutes. Squeeze My Cans offers a rar…

Linked From Chicago Theater Beat at 01:18AM
Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Review: Consumed (Chicago Danztheatre Ensemble) by Lauren Whalen

"... the cast is phenomenal: a well-oiled machine who work together beautifully while also standing out in their own right...they are gorgeous to watch. Chicago Danztheatre Ensemble’s main…

Linked From Chicago Theater Beat at 07:42PM

Review: Hedwig and the Angry Inch (Broadway in Chicago) by Catey Sullivan

For the national tour of John Cameron Mitchell's Hedway and the Angry Inch, the production has been gussied up and deeply commercialized. That it still works in terms of both potent storytel…

Linked From Chicago Theater Beat at 12:24AM
Monday, March 13, 2017

Review: Uncle Vanya (Goodman Theatre) by John Olson

Anton Chekhov's timeless Uncle Vanya questions how to be kind, loyal and useful to others while being true to oneself is the deeper theme inherent in the play. With ticket prices of $20 to …

Linked From Chicago Theater Beat at 12:24AM
Sunday, March 12, 2017

Review: Venus in Fur (Circle Theatre) by Lauren Whalen

Circle Theatre’s provocative and stunning Venus in Fur and its themes of domination, submission and performance are still with me in the days after the premiere. What could have been disas…

Linked From Chicago Theater Beat at 05:54PM
Saturday, March 11, 2017

Review: A Disappearing Number (TimeLine Theatre) by Catey Sullivan

Devised by the London-based Theatre de Complicite and conceived by Simon McBurney, A Disappearing Number is at once a mathematical mystery thriller, a romance, and a tragedy rooted in histor…

Linked From Chicago Theater Beat at 08:42PM
Friday, March 10, 2017

Review: Earthquakes in London (Steep Theatre) by Lauren Whalen

With a bloated running time of three hours, Mike Bartlett’s "Earthquakes in London" tries to present a gripping saga of family and natural phenomena. Instead, it’s dull, overly long and …

Linked From Chicago Theater Beat at 10:42PM

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