Sunday, February 10, 2019

Review: Evil Dead the Musical (Black Button Eyes Productions) by Lauren Emily Whalen

Evil Dead the Musical is spooky silliness at its finest, a must-see for those who like singing, dancing and plenty of stabbing. Highly Recommended! (review by Lauren Emily Whalen)

Linked From Chicago Theater Beat at 06:18PM
Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Review: La Ruta (Steppenwolf Theatre) by Lauren Emily Whalen

Isaac Gomez’s full-length play La Ruta has its stunning world premiere at Steppenwolf Theatre Company. Directed by ensemble member Sandra Marquez and featuring a powerhouse female ensemble…

Linked From Chicago Theater Beat at 06:32PM
Sunday, December 30, 2018

Review: Into the Woods (Music Theater Works) by John Olson

Music Theater Works’ two-weekend, eight-performance run is one of those rare opportunities to see this Sondheim musical performed by a cast that can deliver the goods on both Sondheim’s …

Linked From Chicago Theater Beat at 12:04AM
Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Review: The Winter Wolf (Otherworld Theatre) by Lauren Emily Whalen

Otherworld Theatre is a relatively new Chicago company, focusing on science fiction and fantasy-focused storytelling. The Winter Wolf is their holiday world premiere, an intimate female-driv…

Linked From Chicago Theater Beat at 04:04PM
Friday, December 21, 2018

Review: Fantastic Mr. Fox (Emerald City Theatre) by Lauren Emily Whalen

What began as a simple Roald Dahl book is now, in the hands of adaptor David Wood and director Jacqueline Stone, a 75-minute, two-act Fantastic Mr. Fox that’s too bright, too screechy and …

Linked From Chicago Theater Beat at 09:24PM
Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Review: Yippee Ki-Yay Merry Christmas! A Die Hard Musical Parody (Yippee Productions) by Lauren Emily Whalen

With the annual holiday ritual of this Die Hard musical parody, writing team Michael Shepherd Joran, Alex Garday and Stephanie McCullough make the show a grab bag of 80’s references, some …

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

Review: The Nutcracker (Joffrey Ballet, 2018) by Lauren Emily Whalen

This Nutcracker, now in its third year with Joffrey Ballet, remains the same in terms of dreamy scenery, candy-colored costumes, Tchaikovsky’s iconic score and the warm glow of love. Two y…

Linked From Chicago Theater Beat at 06:54PM
Friday, November 30, 2018

Review: Familiar (Steppenwolf Theatre) by Lauren Emily Whalen

Danai Gurira's Familiar is all about ritual: the Zimbabwean pre-marriage exchange between the groom and the bride’s family, the TV football game that leaves them cheering, the traditional …

Linked From Chicago Theater Beat at 03:24PM
Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Review: Peter Pan (Bros Do Prose) by Lauren Emily Whalen

Very few children’s shows are truly enjoyable for everyone, but Bros do Prose’s 2-person Peter Pan is a notable exception. This sunny, warm-hearted adaptation is proof that when it comes…

Linked From Chicago Theater Beat at 07:54PM
Sunday, November 25, 2018

Review: HeLa (Sideshow Theatre and Greenhouse Productions) by Lauren Emily Whalen

The world premiere HeLa intertwines Henrietta Lacks’ story with that of a young black girl who loves science and a lonely black woman stranded among the stars. Playwright J. Nicole Brooks…

Linked From Chicago Theater Beat at 08:32PM

Review: Ghosts (Redtwist Theatre) by Lauren Emily Whalen

Henrik Ibsen’s Ghosts has been controversial from day one. The play was first staged in Chicago in 1882, thanks to a Danish company on tour, and drew criticism and shock for many decades a…

Linked From Chicago Theater Beat at 01:54PM
Friday, November 23, 2018

Review: The Steadfast Tin Soldier (Lookingglass Theatre) by Lauren Emily Whalen

Everything in The Steadfast Tin Soldier is memorable, thanks to director/creator Mary Zimmerman’s collaborative but uncompromising vision. As the lights came up, more than a few sniffles e…

Linked From Chicago Theater Beat at 11:12PM

Review: The Woman in Black (Royal George Theatre) by Lauren Emily Whalen

This gothic ghost story in which a young lawyer dodges and confronts the eerie resident of a dilapidated coastal mansion, was adapted into a 2012 film starring Daniel Radcliffe. Stephen Mall…

Linked From Chicago Theater Beat at 07:54PM
Thursday, November 22, 2018

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

Rightlynd is part of Ike Holter’s Chicago cycle, the story of a newly-minted alderman who’s in over her head from day one. The story is predictable but solid, the characters compelling, …

Linked From Chicago Theater Beat at 10:04PM
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