Monday, October 22, 2018

The devastating, must-see 'Private Peaceful' asks, What is a coward? by Chris Jones

During World War I, many British soldiers, which is to say many young men of 16 or 17 years old, were court martialed and then shot, proverbially at dawn, by a firing squad made up of combat…

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Sunday, October 21, 2018

'The Ferryman' on Broadway is Jez Butterworth's epic story about a family in Troubles-era Northern Ireland by Chris Jones

Jez Butterworth’s “The Ferryman,” which opened with a howling roar of cacophonous humanity on Sunday night on Broadway, packs more juicy and prophetic Anglo-Irish storytelling into a f…

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Saturday, October 20, 2018

Gad Elmaleh at the Vic: He's the 'French Seinfeld' and he's making strides in America by Zach Freeman

With many comedians embracing increasingly restrictive cell phone policies in recent years, it was a bit refreshing Friday night at The Vic to see French-Moroccan superstar Gad Elmaleh settl…

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Friday, October 19, 2018

Remy Bumppo's grim 'Frankenstein' a journey from monster to man and back again by Kerry Reid

If you stitched together a butoh performance and a zombie film, you’d come close to capturing the look and feel of the opening minutes of Remy Bumppo’s “Frankenstein.” Greg Matthew A…

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In 'Masque Macabre,' chilling Poe stories play out in a transformed warehouse — with you playing along by Chris Jones

Aged out of haunted houses, prefer cocktails to punch, like puzzles and intimate conversation and yet still craving a seasonal scare? “Masque Macabre” is here to serve your lingering dat…

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At the Dance Center, Tere O’Connor’s ‘Long Run’ asks what it means to be present by Lauren Warnecke

Choreographer Tere O’Connor splits his time between New York and Champaign, where he is a professor in the dance department at the University of Illinois. As the occasional U. of I. alum h…

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Thursday, October 18, 2018

'Lifespan of a Fact' on Broadway: Daniel Radcliffe stars in a play that debates: Are there versions of truth? by Chris Jones

“Truth isn’t truth,” Rudy Giuliani famously spluttered on “Meet the Press” last summer, trumping even presidential adviser Kellyanne Conway’s much-derided coinage of the phrase …

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After 36 years, audiences remain sold on 'Little Shop of Horrors' by Peter Marks

Thirty-six years after its birth, the musical spoof "Little Shop of Horrors" still resides in a special chamber of the heart of its mega-successful composer. "Like few things in my life," Al…

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Fredric Stone, longtime Chicago actor and teacher, dies at age 70 by Chris Jones

The Chicago actor Fredric Stone spelled his first name in such a way as to confound careless critics and curse copy editors. “I used to tease him about that,” said Chuck Stransky, a frie…

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Chicago theater openings Oct. 19-25

Saturday “The American Revolution”: Presented by Theater Unspeakable, seven actors share a small stage and re-create the entire fight from Lexington to Yorktown, using only their bodies …

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15 recommended Chicago shows to see now

"A Shayna Maidel" ✭✭✭✭ Barbara Lebow's 1980s play "A Shayna Maidel" is a much richer work than I ever realized, especially in director Vanessa Stalling's exquisitely acted production…

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Goodman adds 'St. Nicholas' — with a 'Downton Abbey' star — to 2018-19 season by Kt Hawbaker

On Thursday, Goodman Theatre announced the addition of “St. Nicholas” to its 2018-19 season. Directed by Simon Evans, the revival will star Brendan Coyle, who earned an Emmy nomination a…

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10 questions with queer icon Amanda Lepore as she hits Chicago in head-to-toe leopard print by Kt Hawbaker

In Milan, she was dubbed “La Silicona.” In New York, she gets paid to enter a room — lips first. In Chicago, Amanda Lepore landed at the airport in head-to-toe leopard print, right on …

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'Swan Lake' is a new Joffrey treasure — Christopher Wheeldon's changed ending and all by Lauren Warnecke

When you consider that just a few months ago dancers of the Joffrey Ballet were standing at the lip of the Auditorium Theatre’s stage in their underwear as part of Alexander Ekman’s “M…

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Wednesday, October 17, 2018

With E. Faye Butler in charge, this stunning Chicago 'Gypsy' sure did come up Rose's by Chris Jones

If you doubt that the ferocious passion of one gifted performer for one iconic role can propel an entire young cast to raise its game to the rafters, then you have not seen E. Faye Butler at…

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Steppenwolf for Young Adults casts 'We Are Proud to Present a Presentation…' by Kt Hawbaker

On Wednesday, Steppenwolf for Young Adults announced full casting for its upcoming production of "We Are Proud to Present a Presentation About the Herero of Namibia, Formerly Known as South …

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Midsommer Flight announces cast for fourth annual 'Twelfth Night' by Kt Hawbaker

On Wednesday, Midsommer Flight announced casting for its upcoming production of “Twelfth Night,” its annual “pay-what-you-can” holiday production. Ian Damont Martin, artistic associa…

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'Hello Dolly': Who would dare rain on Betty Buckley's new parade? by Chris Jones

When the national tour of Jerry Zaks’ hit Broadway revival of “Hello, Dolly!” arrives in Chicago next week, Betty Buckley will play the starring role of Dolly Gallagher Levi, the match…

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Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Elizabeth Stenholt to play Dorothy in Paramount's 'The Wizard of Oz' by Kt Hawbaker

On Tuesday, Aurora’s Paramont Theatre announced casting for its production of “The Wizard of Oz.” Elizabeth Stenholt will play Dorothy, while Kyle Adams stars as Scarecrow/Hunk; Carl D…

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Can love and music still change the world? Stoppard's 'Rock ’N’ Roll' gets another spin at Artistic Home by Kerry Reid

What’s more dangerous than a heretic? A pagan. At least, that’s the view propounded by Jan, the young Czech sorta-dissident in Tom Stoppard’s 2006 “Rock ’N’ Roll.” First seen l…

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‘Swan Lake’ is the ballet everyone knows and loves — the Joffrey is bringing it back by Lauren Warnecke

Every great city with a great ballet company deserves a great “Swan Lake,” and until recently, Chicago didn’t really have a full-scale production to call our own. Sure, the pre-profess…

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Monday, October 15, 2018

American Players Theatre announces 2019 summer season by Kt Hawbaker

On Monday, American Players Theatre announced its 40th summer season, which will run June 8 to October 6, 2019. It will be followed by a ninth show playing late October through November. Two…

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At Mercury Theater’s Venus, a cabaret-style ‘Pippin’ in search of its heart by Chris Jones

With “Avenue Q” going gangbusters on his main stage, L. Walter Stearns of the Mercury Theater is stuffing a full-blown, surround-sound “Pippin” inside his spiffy new cabaret-and-cock…

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Sunday, October 14, 2018

Fun night out? No. The cast tries, but 'WaistWatchers the Musical' is truly terrible. by Chris Jones

As 50 percent of the Weather Girls, Martha Wash is a platinum-selling recording artist responsible not only for the iconic disco anthem “It’s Raining Men” but also for many of the pote…

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Friday, October 12, 2018

Red Theater announces rotating cast for 'An Oak Tree' by Kt Hawbaker

On Friday, Red Theater Chicago announced the cast for “An Oak Tree” by Tim Crouch. Directed by Jeremy Aluma and starring Gage Wallace, a different, second actor will join the cast during…

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Theo Ubique casts 'The Full Monty,' the first show in its new home by Kt Hawbaker

On Friday, Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre announced the cast for “The Full Monty,” the first show in its new theater on Howard St. Founding artistic director Fred Anzevino will be stage dir…

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Set on the Kansas frontier, 'Flyin' West' has its juicy melodrama and serious story, both by Chris Jones

I first saw Pearl Cleage’s “Flyin’ West,” a potboiler of a show set in an all-black frontier town in 1898, in Montgomery, Ala. It was 1998 and Cleage — a prolific novelist as well …

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Christmas tree lighting and other Chicago holiday events announced for 2018 by Doug George

Given it’s in the 30s outside, all the sudden, is it not too soon to talk about the holidays? The city on Friday announced a schedule of holiday events for Millennium Park and the surround…

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Asherie Dance's 'Odeon' has upbeat street dance, Latin dance — but the scene of violence didn't work for me by Lauren Warnecke

If break dancing and bossa nova had a baby, it might look something like the style of Ephrat Asherie Dance, which performs its evening-length Chicago debut titled “Odeon” through Saturda…

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Thursday, October 11, 2018

Sideshow casts season opener "HeLa" by Kt Hawbaker

On Thursday, Sideshow Theatre Company, in partnership with the Greenhouse Theater Center, announced casting for the world premiere of J. Nicole Brooks’ “ HeLa,” directed by artistic di…

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The strike at Lyric Opera: Should arts organizations be more like airlines? by Chris Jones

The U.S. airline industry — essentially an oligarchy — has come to love the word “discipline.” Abandoning its past practice of adding competitive routes and bigger planes on a whim, …

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