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

Review: The Scottsboro Boys (Porchlight Music Theatre) by Catey Sullivan

In Kander and Ebb's "The Scottsboro Boys," powerfully presented by Porchlight Music Theatre, the juxtaposition of the antic shenanigans and the tragic story they’re telling creates the sen…

Linked From Chicago Theater Beat at 07:32PM
Thursday, March 9, 2017

Review: The Snare (Jackalope Theatre) by David Gethmann

                    The Snare Written by Samantha Beach at Broadway Armory Park, 5917 N. Broadway (m…

Linked From Chicago Theater Beat at 06:06PM
Friday, March 3, 2017

Review: A Wonder in My Soul (Victory Gardens Theater) by Catey Sullivan

There’s an important, provocative and entertaining story buried within Marcus Gardley’s A Wonder in My Soul. The world premiere drama is filled with joy, strength and fascinating charact…

Linked From Chicago Theater Beat at 12:32AM
Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Review: The Book of Joseph (Chicago Shakespeare Theater) by Lauren Whalen

This world premiere play, based on one family's Holocaust story – equal parts frustrating, satisfying and full of unanswered questions – has compelling, inspiring roots and is beautifull…

Linked From Chicago Theater Beat at 06:06PM
Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Review: Deep in the Heart of Tuna (New American Folk Theatre) by Lauren Whalen

Deep in the Heart of Tuna is the newest script in the series of short plays chronicling the wacky exploits in Tuna, the third-smallest town in Texas Though well-directed by Derek Van Barham…

Linked From Chicago Theater Beat at 11:32PM
Monday, February 27, 2017

Review: The Wolf at the End of the Block (Teatro Vista) by Catey Sullivan

Teatro Vista's world premiere by Ike Holter's never comes out and identifies just who the real wolf is, and that is to the play’scredit. It could be any of us. And that’s what helps make…

Linked From Chicago Theater Beat at 12:03AM
Sunday, February 26, 2017

Review: Carmen (Lyric Opera of Chicago, 2017) by John Olson

For Lyric Opera's 2017 production of Geoges Bizet's Carmen, they have successfully adapted it to 1930s Spain. And to amp up the entertainment value, Lyric Opera has brought in Broadway showm…

Linked From Chicago Theater Beat at 02:04AM
Saturday, February 25, 2017

Review: Game Changers (Joffrey Ballet of Chicago) by Lauren Whalen

Game Changers is classic Joffrey - strong and stylish dancers flawlessly executing envelope-pushing choreography. The program is thoughtfully put together, with nods to ballet’s roots and …

Linked From Chicago Theater Beat at 03:03PM
Friday, February 24, 2017

Review: The Illusionists – Live from Broadway (Broadway in Chicago by Catey Sullivan

The Illusionists is terrific escapist entertainment. Each of the magicians showcased have their own gimmick, look and shtick. Over the course of two hours or so, they provide a range of illu…

Linked From Chicago Theater Beat at 12:24AM
Thursday, February 23, 2017

Review: The Nether (A Red Orchid Theatre) by Catey Sullivan

Director Karen Kessler has shaped a vividly realized world with Jennifer Haley's haunting, futuristic thriller The Nether. The production is at once an escape from the real, and a vivid comm…

Linked From Chicago Theater Beat at 03:36PM
Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Review: Captain Blood (First Folio Theatre) by Catey Sullivan

Swarthy pirates, saucy wenches and ridiculously coiffed villains - all-in-all there’s much to applaud in Captain Blood. David Rice’s adaptation of Rafael Sabatini’s 1922 adventure nove…

Linked From Chicago Theater Beat at 12:48AM
Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Review: Bootycandy (Windy City Playhouse) by Catey Sullivan

At times funny, at others disturbing and increasingly intriguing the deeper you get into the two-hour production, Windy City Playhouse's Bootycandy sneaks up on you, drawing you into the cha…

Linked From Chicago Theater Beat at 08:24PM
Thursday, February 16, 2017

Review: The Assembled Parties (Raven Theatre) by Lauren Whalen

Richard Greenberg's The Assembled Parties thoroughly captures family life in all its funny tragedy, and has a stunning lead performance by Loretta Rezos in her Raven Theatre debut. Like the…

Linked From Chicago Theater Beat at 08:06PM
Sunday, February 12, 2017

Review: The History Boys (Eclectic Full Contact Theatre) by Lauren Whalen

The History Boys by Alan Bennett is epic, funny, tragic and more than a little dark. Bennett’s script is specific in themes and casting, and very, very difficult to present effectively. E…

Linked From Chicago Theater Beat at 07:06PM
Thursday, February 9, 2017

Review: Gloria (Goodman Theatre) by John Olson

Playwright Branden Jacobs-Jenkins makes his points clearly and viciously in this sharply-observed satire of contemporary life, his primary target being millennials in the workplace. His dial…

Linked From Chicago Theater Beat at 07:06PM
Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Review: Wit (The Hypocrites) by Lauren Whalen

Director and Chicago favorite Marti Lyons has assembled a beautiful, low-key yet epic, production of Margaret Edson’s Pulitzer Prize winner about an academic with cancer and the last two h…

Linked From Chicago Theater Beat at 02:03PM
Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Review: Blues for an Alabama Sky (Court Theatre) by Catey Sullivan

Pearle Cleage's Blues for an Alabama Sky offers pretty much everything you could want in a drama - thrilling story, unforgettable character and mesmerizing dialogue. The emotional spectrum i…

Linked From Chicago Theater Beat at 09:18PM

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