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
Thursday, August 3, 2017

Review: The Food Show (The Neo-Futurists) by Lauren Whalen

The Neo-Fururists' The Food Show is an original work centered around the culture of food: why we eat it, how we eat it, who we eat it with, and includes music and dance, and a hands-on, inte…

Linked From Chicago Theater Beat at 09:42PM

Review: The Food Show (The Neo-Futurists) by Scotty Zacher

                   The Food Show  Created by Dan Kerr-Hobert, Caitlin Stainken Metropolitan Brewing,…

Linked From Chicago Theater Beat at 08:33PM
Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Review: In the Wake (The Comrades) by Lauren Whalen

It’s difficult to see anything redeeming about In The Wake, as the script is so flawed and the main character is so screechy. Director Alex Mallory does her absolute best to keep things mo…

Linked From Chicago Theater Beat at 10:42AM
Sunday, July 30, 2017

Review: Luzia (Cirque du Soleil) by Catey Sullivan

There is so much impossible beauty in Cirque du Soleil’s Luzia, that watching it almost hurts. Act for act, Luzia: A Waking Dream of Mexico - written and directed by Daniele Finzi Pasca wi…

Linked From Chicago Theater Beat at 02:32AM
Saturday, July 29, 2017

Review: Fight City (Factory Theater) by Johanna Dalton

Factory Theater's *Fight City* lives up to its name and is an innovative and fiercely energetic production that gets high marks for staging, choreography, and fight design. Established nearl…

Linked From Chicago Theater Beat at 01:54PM
Friday, July 28, 2017

Review: An American in Paris (Broadway in Chicago) by Catey Sullivan

In all, Broadway in Chicago's An American in Paris is joyous, fascinating and moving. It is also an incredible showcase of just how much beauty an ensemble of extraordinary dancers are capab…

Linked From Chicago Theater Beat at 11:18PM
Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Review: They’re Playing Our Song (Brown Paper Box Co.) by Lauren Whalen

How you feel about They’re Playing Our Song will depend on how you feel about Neil Simon and the 1970s. Simon wrote the 1970s-set script, Marvin Hamlisch the music. Luckily, Brown Paper Bo…

Linked From Chicago Theater Beat at 05:36PM

Review: Madagascar–A Musical Adventure (Chicago Shakespeare Theater) by Lauren Whalen

Thanks to excellent direction and choreography from one of Chicago’s best, Rachel Rockwell, as well as stunning production values and a great cast, this flashy production at Navy Pier will…

Linked From Chicago Theater Beat at 12:48AM
Monday, July 24, 2017

Review: Triassic Parq (Circle Theatre) by Lauren Whalen

In a nutshell, the musical Triassic Parq is *Jurassic Park* from the perspective of the dinosaurs who eventually escape their quarters and turn a dream theme park into a disaster. What ensu…

Linked From Chicago Theater Beat at 09:42PM

Review: "BLACK!" (Athenaeum Theatre) by Duane Barnes

Michael Washington Brown opens his evening with a question to the audience - Why am I now African-American when for so many years, I’ve been Black? From there, listening in rapt attention…

Linked From Chicago Theater Beat at 06:33PM
Thursday, July 20, 2017

Review: Lela & Co. (Steep Theatre) by Lauren Whalen

Steep Theatre's Lela & Co. is a difficult but vital watch. The title character presents her life story through the eyes of the men in her life as compared with what she actually experie…

Linked From Chicago Theater Beat at 07:54PM

Review: Megastasis (Eclipse Theatre) by Lauren Whalen

Eclipse Theatre's mission of *one playwright one season* allows the audience to delve into a specific playwright's body of work. With the world premiere of Megastasis, playwright Kia Corthro…

Linked From Chicago Theater Beat at 12:36AM
Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Review: Hir (Steppenwolf Theatre) by Catey Sullivan

Playwright Taylor Mac has created a kitchen sink family drama whose disarray is actually anxiety-inducing. There’s chaos and trouble and pain layered into the heaps of old laundry and bowl…

Linked From Chicago Theater Beat at 06:54PM
Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Review: Jacques Brel’s Lonesome Losers of the Night (Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre, 2017) by Lauren Whalen

Step into a lonely Amsterdam bar in 1959. What will you find? If you are the team behind Jacques Brel’s Lonesome Losers of the Night, the answer is: an openhearted bartender, two winsome s…

Linked From Chicago Theater Beat at 10:36PM
Monday, July 17, 2017

Review: Beauty’s Daughter (American Blues Theater) by Catey Sullivan

With Beauty’s Daughter, Playwright Dael Orlandersmith returns to the broken beauty of Harlem, where she came of age. Directed by Ron OJ Parson, and starring the indelible Wandachristine, t…

Linked From Chicago Theater Beat at 09:06PM
Saturday, July 15, 2017

Review: Something Rotten! (Broadway in Chicago) by Catey Sullivan

As national tours go, Something Rotten! is something splendid - a mindess but gleeful hoot-and-a-half. If you aren’t laughing five minutes in, you seriously need to lighten up. Highly Rec…

Linked From Chicago Theater Beat at 08:48PM
Thursday, July 13, 2017

Review: The Bridges of Madison County (Marriott Theatre) by Lauren Whalen

The Bridges of Madison County is well worth the jaunt outside of Chicago. The story is simple, the direction stellar, the music hauntingly beautiful and the actors stunning. Bridges is an in…

Linked From Chicago Theater Beat at 07:04PM
Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Review: The School for Lies (The Artistic Home) by Catey Sullivan

Moliere penned The School for Lies more than 350 years ago, but in David Ives’ insouciant, gleefully anachronistic reboot, the satire still glitters and cuts like fine-cut diamonds. The rh…

Linked From Chicago Theater Beat at 07:42PM

Review: How to Be a Rock Critic (Steppenwolf Theatre) by Catey Sullivan

Rock critic Lester Bangs didn’t live long – he died at 33 after overdosing on cough syrup – but his short career chronicling the gods of rock and roll had lasting impact. In the one-ma…

Linked From Chicago Theater Beat at 05:36PM
Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Review: Hamlet (Midsommer Flight) by Lauren Whalen

Now in its sixth season of presenting free Shakespeare in Chicago parks, Midsommer Flight both keeps Hamlet simple and dives into the complexities of mental illness, violence and the consequ…

Linked From Chicago Theater Beat at 01:18AM
Sunday, July 9, 2017

Review: The Nance (Pride Films and Plays) by Lauren Whalen

Douglas Carter Beane’s The Nance, a play exploring the gay-stereotypes used in 1930's New York vaudeville, premiered on Broadway in 2013 starring Nathan Lane – an actor who himself has p…

Linked From Chicago Theater Beat at 08:36PM
Saturday, July 8, 2017

Review: Ragtime (Griffin Theatre) by Duane Barnes

Ragtime comprises an era, a jumble of hopes and dreams, energetic music, disasters, collisions , and a story of love, hope and tragedy. Its host, Griffin Theatre, is an ensemble of talented …

Linked From Chicago Theater Beat at 11:54PM
Thursday, July 6, 2017

Review: The Gin Game (Drury Lane Theatre) by Catey Sullivan

The plot of D. L. Coburn’s 100-minute, two-person drama sounds so simple you wonder how it could possibly be a compelling drama: Two people play half a dozen hands of gin. Yet within this …

Linked From Chicago Theater Beat at 07:48PM
Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Review: Changes – A Science Fiction Tap Opera to the Music of David Bowie (Chicago Tap Theatre) by Lauren Whalen

Chicago Tap Theatre first staged Changes, its sci-fi tap tribute to David Bowie, 11 years ago in the company’s infancy, and re-staged it 5 years later. Despite *Changes* being their most r…

Linked From Chicago Theater Beat at 03:32PM
Monday, July 3, 2017

Review: Ah, Wilderness! (Goodman Theatre) by Catey Sullivan

Enter the world of most Eugene O’Neill plays and you’ll find yourself in a world of hurt. The exception that proves the rule is Ah, Wilderness!, O’Neill’s sole romantic comedy. Set o…

Linked From Chicago Theater Beat at 08:32PM