Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Calling all dance experimenters, improvisors, LGBTQ artists and those unafraid to fail — Poonie’s Cabaret is back by Lauren Warnecke

In the summer of 2002, I remember improvising with my Columbia College classmates at Links Hall. We were dressed in black jazz pants and white T-shirts — in hindsight, white T-shirts in Ju…

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 06:00AM
Monday, June 17, 2019

'Elizabeth Rex' at Oak Park Festival Theatre is a worthy 'distraction' for Shakespeare fans by Kerry Reid

The play’s the thing wherein to catch the conscience of the queen in Timothy Findley’s 2001 drama “Elizabeth Rex,” now in an al fresco staging with Oak Park Festival Theatre. Fitting…

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 04:15PM

In powerful 'If I Forget' at Victory Gardens, a family fights over Jewish identity by Chris Jones

In its best moments, Steven Levenson’s “If I Forget” is like a Jewish “August: Osage County,” a relatable familial potboiler that simmers with religious, generational, marital and …

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 03:20PM

Babes With Blades announces 22nd anniversary season by Hannah Herrera Greenspan

Babes With Blades announced its 22nd anniversary season, titled “Take Control. Take Action. Make History,” reflecting women taking ownership of their environments and the ways in which t…

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 11:30AM

Hannah Gadsby at the Chicago Theatre: Different from 'Nanette' but she still likes to 'rummage' with your head by Zach Freeman

“Alright, come on,” comedian Hannah Gadsby said to the uproarious applause that greeted her when she walked abruptly out onto the stage of the Chicago Theatre Sunday night, eschewing an …

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 10:55AM

Chicago theater openings for June 21-27 by Hannah Herrera Greenspan

Sunday “Ada and the Engine”: During the start of the Industrial Revolution, Ada sees the unlimited potential in Charles Babbage’s invention of the first mechanical computer. This play …

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 10:50AM
Saturday, June 15, 2019

'Internal Geometry' by Natya Dance Theatre is hardly radical but has women telling the story by Lauren Warnecke

Perhaps I’ll start at the end. In the post-performance Q&A for “The Internal Geometry,” a world premiere by Natya Dance Theatre at Links Hall, artistic director Hema Rajagopalan sp…

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 12:15PM
Friday, June 14, 2019

AstonRep Theatre Company announces 2019-20 season by Hannah Herrera Greenspan

On Thursday, AshtonRep announced its production lineup presented at its new artistic home, The Edge Theater in Edgewater. The season opener will be “Equus” by Peter Shaffer (Sept. 27-Oct…

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 11:30AM

A Red Orchid announces 2019-20 season by Hannah Herrera Greenspan

A Red Orchid announced its 2019-20 lineup including two Chicago premieres and one world premiere. The 27th season begins with the world premiere of Levi Holloway’s “Grey House” (Oct. 1…

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 10:00AM
Thursday, June 13, 2019

Theo Ubique announces 2019-20 season by Hannah Herrera Greenspan

On Wednesday, Theo Ubique announced its 2019-20 season lineup for the company’s second year in new artistic home. Things kick off with the fall production of Michael John LaChiusa’s “H…

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 01:00PM

Chicago theater openings for June 14-20

FRIDAY “If I Forget”: Before Sept. 11, three siblings clash when reunited to celebrate their father’s 75th birthday. Will they negotiate how much of their past, family secrets, and lon…

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 06:00AM
Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Terrence McNally's lifetime award speech at the Tonys was ignored — but it was the most important of the night by Chris Jones

“Lifetime achievement,” said the writer Terrence McNally at the Tony Awards last weekend. “Not a moment too soon.” That dry opening joke by the 80-year-old author of such dramatic ma…

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 02:25PM
Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Den Theatre in Wicker Park is packed with hits — what's their secret? by Chris Jones

The Den Theatre — the hip, multi-stage venue on Milwaukee Avenue in Wicker Park — has been one of the great success stories of the last decade in Chicago theater. For the past generation…

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 04:00PM

Interrobang Theatre Project announces 10th anniversary season by Hannah Herrera Greenspan

On Tuesday, Interrobang Theatre Project announced its production lineup for its 10th season, titled “No Man’s Land,” exploring the fear and anxiety that accompany journeys into the unk…

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 03:00PM

Firebrand's 'Queen of the Mist' tells the painful true story of the woman who survived Niagara Falls by Chris Jones

Barbara E. Robertson has graced pretty much every major theater in Chicago: Goodman, Steppenwolf, you name ‘em. She played for a while in “Wicked,” too. But her performance in Firebran…

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 01:30PM

'Four Places' at Den Theatre: As their parents age, old secrets break their silences by Kerry Reid

Forget the fiery passions and howling heartbreaks of youth. If you want to stare into the real abyss of human rage, loss and despair, try figuring out how to take care of the people who rais…

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 10:50AM
Sunday, June 9, 2019

'Hadestown' and 'Ferryman' are the winners of 2019 Tony Awards by Chris Jones

"Hadestown," a stylized, bluesy, steampunk-influenced Anais Mitchell musical based on the "Orpheus and Eurydice" myth and set partly in the underworld, beat out its more traditional rival "T…

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 11:30PM

Chicago Tap’s ambitious ‘Saving the World’ is a sassy step into politics by Lauren Warnecke

If Chicago Tap Theatre (CTT) is known for one thing outside the dance world, it’s probably their Pride-themed extravaganzas. Tap dancing, beloved LGBT arts organizations like the Chicago G…

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 11:00AM
Friday, June 7, 2019

Writers Theatre announces casting for 2019-20 season by Hannah Herrera Greenspan

On Thursday, Writers Theatre announced casting for its previously introduced 2019-2020 season, which includes Stephen Sondheim’s and James Lapine’s “Into the Woods,” Henrik Ibsen’s…

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 02:40PM

Tony Awards host James Corden hopes audience will find 'joy' by John Carucci and Mark Kennedy

TV talk show host James Corden steps back into the role of Tony Award host Sunday, not planning anything too political and not worried about any online snark. "I hope people will find joy in…

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 01:10PM
Thursday, June 6, 2019

'Hamlet' by the Back Room Shakespeare Project is not your mother's Shakespeare by Nicole Blackwood

Most theatergoers have a mental image of what Shakespeare looks, sounds and feels like: puffy shorts, British dialect, almost falling asleep in a hundred-dollar balcony seat. There’s not m…

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 11:45AM

'Emma' at Lifeline Theatre: Jane Austen's matchmaking story is played for warmth and laughs by Kerry Reid

Back before Tinder and OKCupid, making a suitable match — for single men in possession of a good fortune and the single women depending upon finding them — was a fraught proposition. One…

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 06:00AM

Chicago theater openings for June 7-13 by Doug George

FRIDAY "Sweet Texas Reckoning": Kate comes home to Texas with her African American wife. Artemisia Theatre at the Den Theatre, 1333 N. Milwaukee Ave.; www. artemisiatheatre.org SATURDAY "Get…

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 06:00AM
Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Pritzker bill dangles millions for Illinois arts spending — who will be the winners? by Chris Jones

A million dollars for the new TimeLine Theatre in Chicago’s Uptown neighborhood; $2 million for the South Side Community Arts Center; $850,000 for the Puerto Rican Arts Alliance; $927,500 …

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 02:03PM

'Life on Paper' by Jackalope Theatre builds a very human story from the numbers by Chris Jones

Kenneth Lin — a writer for "House of Cards" among other TV shows — has written a really lovely little play, all about people who have risen in life on the back of their affinity for numb…

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 12:20PM

Will the musical 'Six' go from Navy Pier to Broadway? by Chris Jones

Chicago Shakespeare Theater has never moved a show to Broadway. Might that change with “Six,” its big hit this summer? If the theater keeps its head on its shoulders. (I’m here all wee…

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 06:00AM
Tuesday, June 4, 2019

A fun party, but 'Ms. Blakk for President' at Steppenwolf needs a dose of Chicago truth by Chris Jones

Walk into “Ms. Blakk for President,” the new Steppenwolf Theatre show from Tarell Alvin McCraney and Tina Landau about the remarkable political odyssey of Terence Smith, one of the found…

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 02:30PM

'The Killer' is a fine absurdist introduction to those curious about Trap Door Theatre by Kerry Reid

On Monday, Trap Door Theatre received a special citation at the Non-Equity Jeff Awards, recognizing the company’s “endeavors in opening a magical door to an evocative and surreal world o…

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 01:00PM

Strawdog Theatre's 'Take Me' has music by Jon Langford and a story of alien conspiracy theories by Chris Jones

Given the state of the world, who wouldn’t want to be abducted? I mean, it would at least be nice to keep that option in one’s back pocket: When our streets fill with water and our plane…

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 12:00PM
Monday, June 3, 2019

Theo Ubique, Artistic Home and Raven are top winners at the Non-Equity Jeff Awards by Chris Jones

The Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre, a recent transplant to Evanston and a longtime favorite of the Joseph Jefferson Awards Committee, shared top honors at the 2019 Non-Equity Jeffs with The Art…

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 11:00PM

Griffin Theatre's 'For Services Rendered' is like 'Downton Abbey,' about the wrenching change of the Great War by Chris Jones

A political soothsayer and savant, the English playwright and novelist W. Somerset Maugham despised the hypocrisy of war. And as early as 1933, from his home in southern France, Maugham coul…

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 03:25PM

All that Chat

2019-2020 BROADWAY SEASON
Oct 06: Slave Play
Feb 01: The Minutes
TBA: Blue