Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Review: Million Dollar Quartet (Paramount Theatre) by Catey Sullivan

Million Dollar Quartet is irresistible. Set in 1956 during the only recording session when Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins were all in the same room, the juke-bo…

Linked From Chicago Theater Beat at 09:04PM
Saturday, October 14, 2017

Review: The Heavens Are Hung in Black (Shattered Globe Theatre) by Duane Barnes

Heavens is a powerful play, wonderfully cast, brilliantly directed, beautifully played by an outstanding ensemble of talented actors. It centers around a pivotal period of the Civil War in 1…

Linked From Chicago Theater Beat at 06:18PM
Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Review: The Legend of Georgia McBride (Northlight Theatre) by Catey Sullivan

For most of Northlight Theatre's The Legend of Georgia McBride, audiences are treated to a whacky, audience-pleasing comedy. The plot goes for guffaws by showing the whacky plight of a stra…

Linked From Chicago Theater Beat at 06:06PM
Sunday, October 1, 2017

Review: The Rembrandt (Steppenwolf Theatre) by Catey Sullivan

It doesn’t matter if you don’t know Rembrandt from Renoir, Manet from Monet. In its exploration of why art moves us – and moves us to take extraordinary measures to preserve it through…

Linked From Chicago Theater Beat at 07:36PM
Friday, September 29, 2017

Review: Five Guys Named Moe (Court Theatre) by Catey Sullivan

Court Theatre's Five Guys Named Moe looks and sounds terrific. Set designer Courtney O’Neill has ingeniously turned the stage into the inside of a old time radio, and sound designer Victor…

Linked From Chicago Theater Beat at 10:18PM
Thursday, September 28, 2017

Review: Alias Grace (Rivendell Theatre) by Catey Sullivan

Despite some shortcomings, world-premiere Alias Grace is well worth seeing. The story of Grace Mark is powerful both as history and as a commentary on history. Rivendell Theatre hasn’t cap…

Linked From Chicago Theater Beat at 07:48PM
Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Rev‪iew: Bullets Over Broadway (NightBlue Performing Arts) by Catey Sullivan

Under Kevin Bellie’s direction, Bullets Over Broadway does have moments of charm. But between these bright spots, the acting aesthetic is cartoons on hyperdrive – loud and garish enough …

Linked From Chicago Theater Beat at 07:24PM
Sunday, September 24, 2017

Review: A View from the Bridge (Goodman Theatre) by Catey Sullivan

There’s a pall of suffocating dread woven through director Ivo Van Hove’s galvanizing take on Arthur Miller’s 1955 classic A View From the Bridge. Set in the 1950s, the story about imm…

Linked From Chicago Theater Beat at 07:24PM
Friday, September 22, 2017

Review: Honeymoon in Vegas (Marriott Theatre) by John Olson

You sorta have to love the rare musical like Marriott Theatre's Honeymoon in Vegas that sets a world we know to music. Sure, it’s based on a 25-year-old film comedy, but the targets of thi…

Linked From Chicago Theater Beat at 07:48PM
Thursday, September 21, 2017

Review: Rock of Ages (Drury Lane Theatre) by Catey Sullivan

Rock of Ages just might be the most shamelessly pandering musical since, oh, the late 1980s. It revels in boobie and poop jokes and stratospherically over-the-top characters. And it’s that…

Linked From Chicago Theater Beat at 07:06PM

Review: The Toad Knew (Compagnie du Hanneton) by Catey Sullivan

The story of The Toad Knew – if there is one – is left to the audience to create within their own minds. The performers – a quintet starring creator James Thierrée – are a group of …

Linked From Chicago Theater Beat at 04:36PM
Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Review: Muthaland (16th Street Theater) by Catey Sullivan

An engaging performer, Minita Gandhi plays over a dozen characters in what initially feels like a fairly predictable story of generational and cultural differences. But roughly two-thirds of…

Linked From Chicago Theater Beat at 05:12PM
Monday, September 18, 2017

Review: Trevor the Musical (Writers Theatre) by John Olson

In expanding the story of the short film to a full length (two-hour, including intermission) stage musical, writer Dan Collins and composer Julianne Wick Davis have kept the warmly comic ton…

Linked From Chicago Theater Beat at 06:12PM
Sunday, September 17, 2017

Review: Deirdre of the Sorrows (City Lit Theater) by Lauren Whalen

Forbidden love, war and deception are all present in the story of playwright John Millington Synge's Deiredre of the Sorrows (which hasn't been professionally produced in Chicago in a centur…

Linked From Chicago Theater Beat at 01:06AM
Saturday, September 16, 2017

Review: Bonnie & Clyde (Kokandy Productions) by Lauren Whalen

Known for their innovative, quality work, Kokandy Productions knocks Bonnie & Clyde out of the park, as director Spencer Neiman and team overcome some of the source material’s flaws w…

Linked From Chicago Theater Beat at 09:42PM
Friday, September 15, 2017

Review: One Thousand Words (Theater Faction) by John Olson

Theater Faction's One Thousand Words is a musical drama that began life under the title Maybe, Someday at Louisiana State University in 2014, where the young writers Michael Braud and Curran…

Linked From Chicago Theater Beat at 11:04PM

Review: Ubu II–Electric Boog-Ubu, or Free Ubu (The Plagiarists) by Johanna Dalton

For Gregory Peters adaptation from the 1896 French play by Alfred Jarry, a satirical exploration of power, greed and evil practices, The Plagiarists bring King Ubu to America, where power, g…

Linked From Chicago Theater Beat at 01:36AM
Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Review: Shockheaded Peter (Black Button Eyes Productions) by Patrick O'Brien

Armed with a ton of greasepaint and rouge, and rolls upon rolls of crimson ribbon, Black Button Eyes’ production of Shockheaded Peter at the Athenaeum is a marvelous homespun outing, and n…

Linked From Chicago Theater Beat at 10:48PM
Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Review: The CiviliTy of Albert Cashier (Permoveo Productions) by Lauren Whalen

The CiviliTy of Albert Cashier has the bones of a solid production: a sad but compelling true story, dynamic lead performers and a beautiful score. However, it still feels like a work-in-pro…

Linked From Chicago Theater Beat at 06:18PM
Saturday, September 2, 2017

Review: Cicada Summer (Rough House Theater) by Lauren Whalen

Rough House Theater Company specializes in physical theater and puppetry, and their world premiere of Cicada Summer seamlessly fuses both with a sweet coming-of-age tale involving thirteen-y…

Linked From Chicago Theater Beat at 08:18PM
Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Review: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Gynecological Oncology Unit at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center of New York City (Route 66 Thea by Lauren Whalen

Route 66 Theatre's A Funny Thing Happened... has an excellent cast that almost (but not quite) make up for the script’s flaws. One wishes playwright Halley Feiffer had a better critique pa…

Linked From Chicago Theater Beat at 08:06PM

Review: Barbecue (Strawdog Theatre) by Lauren Whalen

Although there are excellent performances throughout, Barbecue still, overall, feels false - and not in a deep, thought-provoking way. One can sense Playwright Robert O’Hara’s desperatio…

Linked From Chicago Theater Beat at 02:18AM
Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Review: The Audience (TimeLine Theatre) by Lauren Whalen

The Audience is a must-see for fans of the British monarchy, the Windsor family and strong women in leadership roles. The production's acting is overall excellent, with TimeLine and Chicago …

Linked From Chicago Theater Beat at 03:42PM
Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Review: Gypsy (Music Theater Works) by John Olson

Always a demanding musical to produce, this Gypsy is a huge production by any standards. Rudy Hogenmiller, Clayton Cross and Roger Bingaman lead an accomplished cast of 31 performers (that i…

Linked From Chicago Theater Beat at 01:06AM
Monday, August 21, 2017

Review: The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity (Red Theater) by Lauren Whalen

Playwright Kristoffer Diaz takes a hard behind-the-scenes look at the complex world of wrestling: the ruthless producers, the arrogant *champions*, and the workhorses who genuinely love the …

Linked From Chicago Theater Beat at 03:36PM
Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Review: Machinal (Greenhouse Theater Center) by Lauren Whalen

Nearly 90 years after it first premiered, Machinal’s fast-paced and ruthless exploration of what it means to be a woman trapped in a patriarchal society still rings true. Greenhouse Theate…

Linked From Chicago Theater Beat at 12:18AM
Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Review: Hair (Mercury Theater Chicago) by Lauren Whalen

Controversial to the point of dangerous in the late 1960s, Hair is still edgy, with nudity, simulated drug use and profanity galore. Mercury Theater Chicago’s production is explosive and t…

Linked From Chicago Theater Beat at 06:06PM
Monday, August 14, 2017

Review: At the Table (Broken Nose Theatre) by Lauren Whalen

Michael Perlman’s play At The Table focuses on a group of college friends who reunite as adults and find that much has changed, and much remains, unfortunately, the same. In Broken Nose Th…

Linked From Chicago Theater Beat at 06:33PM
Friday, August 11, 2017

Review: Little Fish (Kokandy Productions) by Catey Sullivan

The cast of Kokandy Productions' Little Fish, by Michael John LaChuisa, is capable enough, and they make beautiful music together. The show sinks, nonetheless, because it’s both predictabl…

Linked From Chicago Theater Beat at 12:54AM
Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Review: A Puppet Playdate with Grandma D (Pride Arts Center) by Lauren Whalen

Pride Arts Center’s newest children’s show is a rainbow take on the traditional story hour, aiming for younger audiences with its messages of love and recognition. Incorporating puppets,…

Linked From Chicago Theater Beat at 06:48PM
Monday, August 7, 2017

Review: Romeo and Juliet (Chicago Shakespeare, 2017) by Lauren Whalen

Chicago Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, presented throughout the city at various parks free of charge, is both delightful and tragic in its portrayal of young love and rash decisions, Mart…

Linked From Chicago Theater Beat at 08:04PM