Friday, February 24, 2017

New block of 'Hamilton' tickets on sale Tuesday by Morgan Greene

Time to break out those Hamiltons. The next block of "Hamilton" tickets goes on sale next week. Sixteen more weeks of performances at the PrivateBank Theatre, through Jan. 7, 2018, will go o…

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Thursday, February 23, 2017

Review: In 'Sunday in the Park With George,' Jake Gyllenhaal never looks up from the canvas by Chris Jones

In Ang Lee's unforgettable movie "Brokeback Mountain," a young actor named Jake Gyllenhaal played a cowboy who falls in love with another cowboy not out of any desire the men could define, b…

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Let streaming movies be a warning for Lyric Opera - or an opportunity by Chris Jones

If the predictions of much political speechifying hold true, the words Amazon, Netflix, Google and Facebook won't be heard anywhere near as often as the name of President Donald Trump at the…

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These two plays reach Chicagoans who don't go to the theater by Chris Jones

Most playwrights reach the point in their career when they want to write something that people actually are going to want to come and see. By "people," I don't mean the theater insiders so i…

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Wednesday, February 22, 2017

A packed 'Hamilton' matinee — all Chicago Public School students and their teachers by Morgan Greene

It was no surprise Wednesday that the PrivateBank Theatre had yet another sold-out crowd for "Hamilton," Lin-Manuel Miranda's hip-hop homage to our nation's Founding Fathers. What was differ…

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'Uncle Vanya': Why not a little vodka with that boring life? by Chris Jones

Annie Baker's terrific translation of "Uncle Vanya" begins like this. Marina, an old nurse who does not move much, pours a cup of tea. "You should eat something," she says to Mikhail Lvovich…

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New 'Trevor' musical, Sam Shepard in Writers' next season by Morgan Greene

Writers Theatre in Glencoe announced the company’s 2017-18 six-show season Wednesday, including classic revivals, a Chicago premiere from Lydia Diamond and the previously announced pre-Br…

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'Guess Who's Coming to Dinner' in Court Theatre's 63rd season by Morgan Greene

Court Theatre announced its 63rd season Wednesday, featuring a five-show lineup of family dramas, a musical tribute and looks into the lives of Emily Dickinson and Supreme Court Justice A…

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Review: Fast feet in 'My Brother's Keeper,' but story can't keep up by Kerry Reid

When you're basing a show around the Nicholas Brothers, who created what Fred Astaire called the greatest dance sequence ever filmed — well, brother, those are some big tap shoes to fill. …

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Joffrey Ballet announces 2017-18 season by Morgan Greene

The Joffrey Ballet has announced its 2017-18 season, including a world premiere by Joffrey ballet master Nicolas Blanc and Alexander Ekman's "Midsummer Night’s Dream." Beginning the compa…

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Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Graham, Morisseau in Northlight Theatre's 43rd season by Morgan Greene

Northlight Theatre announced its 43rd season Tuesday, featuring a slate of five productions by playwrights familiar to the North Shore company's audience. The world premiere of Bruce Graha…

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'Monster' the story of a teen filmmaker caught up in a crime by Chris Jones

Before he died in 2014, the fine young-adult novelist Walter Dean Myers wrote an opinion piece in the New York Times; the essay was a reaction to a University of Wisconsin study that found t…

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Cast set for Porchlight's 'Marry Me a Little' by Morgan Greene

Casting is complete for "Marry Me a Little," Porchlight Music Theatre's final mainstage production in its 2016-17 season, the company announced Tuesday. Featuring a collection of Stephen So…

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'Bog of Cats': A spurned daughter comes back in angry Irish take on 'Medea' by Kerry Reid

The narrative terrain in Irish playwright Marina Carr's work bursts with ghosts. But we're far away from, say, Conor McPherson's "The Weir," where a newly arrived transplant from Dublin find…

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Monday, February 20, 2017

'Unseen': Play about conflict photographer can miss the bigger picture by Kerry Reid

If one seeks a personalized metaphor for the tortured morality of being a Western superpower, look no further than conflict photographers. They run around war zones — many of those places …

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Sunday, February 19, 2017

Review: 'A Wonder in My Soul' is a warm tribute to South Side beauty shops by Chris Jones

Gwendolyn Brooks. Carol Moseley Braun. Mavis Staples. Michelle Obama. All, we are told, have been gussied up at the oldest black-owned beauty shop in Chicago, the life's work of two women fr…

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Kathy Griffin spins seamlessly and hilariously between Trump, the Kardashians by Zach Freeman

A little under a month ago, a controversial tweet about Donald Trump’s 10-year-old son, Barron, got “Saturday Night Live” writer (and former Chicagoan) Katie Rich suspended from the sh…

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Friday, February 17, 2017

Chicago Improv Fest back for 20th year by Morgan Greene

The Chicago Improv Festival will enter its 20th year of laughter this spring, it was announced Friday. Slated for March 27 to April 2 at the Athenaeum Theatre, 2936 N. Southport Ave., and St…

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Super troupers! This 'Mamma Mia' has the look and the fun by Chris Jones

"Mamma Mia!," the much-loved and now ubiquitous ABBA musical, is one of the few West End and Broadway shows that you could say work better in the round. That's the takeaway, at least, from d…

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During a tough time for circuses, the Wallendas get back on the wire by Chris Jones

Circus people in America have not had not enjoyed these past four months. The bad news began in November when the Big Apple Circus, a beloved and mission-centered American circus known for i…

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Thursday, February 16, 2017

'Game Changers' doesn't change the game, just plays it well by Lauren Warnecke

The Joffrey Ballet's first program of 2017 is called "Game Changers," highlighting three of ballet's most in-vogue choreographers: Christopher Wheeldon, Wayne McGregor and Justin Peck. Each …

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Review: Love a little lost in this tangled Shakespeare rom-com by Chris Jones

What is the hardest of all the plays by William Shakespeare to produce today? You'd probably wager the deep-thought tragic masterpieces, or the problematic dramas like "Othello," "The Mercha…

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Robert Falls will direct Stacy Keach in world-premiere Hemingway play by Morgan Greene

Ten years after their collaboration on "King Lear," Robert Falls and celebrated film actor Stacy Keach will reunite for the world premiere play "Pamplona," the Goodman Theatre announced Thur…

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New Tracy Letts politics play will debut at Steppenwolf, go to Broadway by Chris Jones

The Steppenwolf Theatre Company will have the world premiere next fall of a new play by Tracy Letts, which will then move to Broadway. The new, ensemble-driven play "The Minutes" was penned …

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Gender on stage or, what do 'Breakdown' and 'Men are from Mars' have in common? by Kerry Reid

The women's marches held in protest of Donald Trump's inauguration last month threw already-fraught issues of gender discrimination into high profile. Away from the pink hats, three plays on…

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This week's critics' picks

"A Disappearing Number" ✭✭✭ "When the world is mad," wrote the British scholar G.H. Hardy, "a mathematician may find in mathematics an incomparable anodyne." That famous quotation — …

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Wednesday, February 15, 2017

All-Chicago cast for 'Spamilton' by Morgan Greene

Still can't get tickets to "Hamilton" in Chicago? Prepare to join in the roast of Lin-Manuel Miranda's smash-hit musical with an all-Chicago cast at the Royal George Theatre. "Spamilton," t…

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In 'Bootycandy,' a playwright's memories have the power to shock by Chris Jones

At one point in "Bootycandy," the scathingly funny and wildly eclectic satire by Robert O'Hara about growing up gay and black in the Buckeye State — or somewhere like that — we are taken…

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Review: Men are from Mars and these jokes are from the '90s by Kerry Reid

Many years ago, John Gray — author of the help-yourself-in-relationships guide "Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus" — appeared on Bill Maher's old "Politically Incorrect" program. F…

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In 'Gloria' and 'SWM,' New York shows came here to grow by Chris Jones

"Gloria" and "Straight White Men" represent something new and interesting in the ever-morphing theatrical interchange between Chicago and New York — two productions that originated at off-…

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Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Miguel Cervantes and Samantha Marie Ware talk 'Hamilton' by Morgan Greene

"Hamilton" stars Miguel Cervantes and Samantha Marie Ware sipped some wine and spilled some secrets Sunday on what it's like to be in the Chicago production of the hit show.  Cervantes, wh…

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