Friday, October 20, 2017

New adaptation can feel uncertain, but this is still 'Dracula' for Halloween by Chris Jones

No “Dracula,” no “True Blood.” But Bram Stoker’s uber-vampire yarn still is centered on a creepy, fanged stalker who likes nothing more than to recruit an exposed female neck. How …

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Playoff tickets at 'face value'? The Cubs have learned from 'Hamilton' by Chris Jones

“The thrill is gone?” read the headline on a Tribune story about playoff tickets at Wrigley Field going for “under face value.” True. Thanks to the Chicago Cubs’ poor performance i…

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Thursday, October 19, 2017

Chicago Review: Broadway touring "Les Miz" Riveting stage story of redemption runs through Oct. 29! by Philip Potempi

The comic foils of the story are scheming innkeeper Thenardier and his wife played so perfectly here by J. ANTHONY CRANE and ALLISON GUINN!

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19 shows to see now

"Amarillo" ✭✭✭ "What are you staring at?" asks a woman from the stage in “Amarillo,” a reflective, 70-minute production from Mexico City’s distinguished Teatro Linea de Sombra. …

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Loop Alliance will study the economic impact of the arts by Chris Jones

The Chicago Loop Alliance has commissioned what it describes as Chicago's "first-ever study calculating the estimated economic impact of all arts and culture institutions" located in the Loo…

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Joffrey Ballet sets aside its modern lines and embraces 'Giselle' by Lauren Warnecke

It’s a classic, but not classical. “Giselle” premiered in Paris in 1841, created for the ballerina Carlotta Grisi by choreographers Jean Coralli and Jules Perrot and set to a magnifice…

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Young Chicago actors don't let 'Trevor' or 'Billy Elliot' down by Chris Jones

The creative team behind “Trevor” — the new musical about a lovable young teen with a tough road but a passion for Diana Ross — was gathered in the Times Square offices of U Rock The…

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Wednesday, October 18, 2017

'Amarillo' is about risk, inequality and the costs of those border crossings by Chris Jones

“What are you staring at?” asks a woman from the stage in “Amarillo,” a reflective, experiential production from Mexico City’s distinguished, 24-year-old theater company Teatro Lin…

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Theatre at the Center announces 'Wonderful Life' cast by Morgan Greene

Munster’s Theatre at the Center has announced the cast of “A Wonderful Life: The Musical,” based on the 1946 Frank Capra film. David Sajewich and Allison Sill will star as George and M…

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Theater openings Oct. 20-26

Saturday "Don’t Look Back/Must Look Back”: Audiences travel through various Uptown locations in this journey inspired by the neighborhood’s residents who fled their home countries. Thr…

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Tuesday, October 17, 2017

World premiere 'Two Mile Hollow' takes on the white-family plays by Kerry Reid

A troubled family gathers one last time at their ancestral home after the death of the patriarch. Over the course of the play, drinks are guzzled, grievances are aired and revelations are re…

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Paramount announces 'Elf' cast by Morgan Greene

Paramount Theatre has announced the cast of “Elf,” the holiday musical based on the hit 2003 Will Ferrell movie about an oversized elf on a Christmas quest. Kyle Adams will star as Buddy…

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Chicago Review: Again to the barricades! A gorgeous touring LES MIZ from a standout cast thru' Oct 29th! by Chris Jones

Top Broadway talent who are all excellent! Tara Rubin casts this show and she knows what she is doing. Chicago run mostly sold out. 3 1/2 Stars last time. FOUR (4) **** NOW!

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They’ve been building up to this: Elevate is a citywide festival of dance by Lauren Warnecke

This weekend, Chicago dance artists and venues are opening their doors and inviting the public to stages all over the city to witness excerpts, works-in-progress and studio processes from ou…

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'Hamilton' star praises Chicago support as daughter struggles with epilepsy by Tracy Swartz

Miguel Cervantes, star of Chicago's production of "Hamilton," tearfully opens up about his young daughter’s epilepsy on Wednesday’s episode of “Rachael Ray.” Adelaide was diagnosed w…

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Monday, October 16, 2017

Porchlight's Chicago cast of 'Billy Elliot' surely will win you over by Chris Jones

The Porchlight Music Theatre production of “Billy Elliot,” through which I sat Sunday night with misty eyes, is to a great extent what I always hoped this piece would become in Chicago: …

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Strawdog announces cast of Ibsen's 'Pillars of the Community' by Morgan Greene

Strawdog Theatre Company announced the cast for its upcoming production of Henrik Ibsen’s “Pillars of the Community” Monday. The production will feature Nicole Bloomsmith, Kamille Dawk…

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Steppenwolf to host public memorial for Mariann Mayberry by Morgan Greene

A public memorial celebrating Mariann Mayberry will be held next month at Steppenwolf Theatre Company, it was announced Monday. The memorial for the ensemble member of 24 years will take pl…

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Video: 'Changing My Major' from 'Fun Home' by Morgan Greene

This week's Showcase features a song from the Chicago premiere of Jeanine Tesori and Lisa Kron's Tony-winning musical "Fun Home," based on Alison Bechdel's graphic memoir, now playing at Vic…

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'Hard Times' at Lookingglass a chance to escape to the circus by Chris Jones

“People must be amused, squire, somehow,” observes Mr. Sleary in Charles Dickens’ “Hard Times.” “They can’t be always a-working, nor yet they can’t be always a-learning.” E…

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Theo Ubique to produce 'Sweeney Todd' this spring by Morgan Greene

Meat pies will be served on stage and off this spring at the No Exit Cafe, where Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre will present an environmental staging of “Sweeney Todd” set in a pie shop. Th…

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Steve Scott to receive special Jeff Award by Morgan Greene

Steve Scott will receive a special Jeff Award at the Equity ceremony in November, the Jeff Awards committee announced Monday. Scott, a longtime artistic associate of Goodman Theatre, will be…

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Sunday, October 15, 2017

Again to the barricades! A gorgeous touring 'Les Miserables' from a standout cast by Chris Jones

Across the years, like a low-rent Javert, I've felt the need to protect Chicago audiences from even a moment in a "Les Miserables" that dared to be less than emotionally devastating. Friday …

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Comic couple Cameron Esposito and Rhea Butcher laugh and bicker together at the Vic by Zach Freeman

In December 2015, comedian and Chicago-area native Cameron Esposito recorded her first comedy special (“Marriage Material”) at Chicago’s Thalia Hall just two days before marrying fello…

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Saturday, October 14, 2017

Luke Burbank's 'Live Wire' comes to Chicago by Morgan Greene

Luke Burbank, a frequent panelist on NPR's "Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me!,” will bring a live taping of his radio show "Live Wire” to Chicago. Guests for the Chicago stop include Cards Aga…

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'Performing Home' at Links Hall: What does Chicago mean to you? by Lauren Warnecke

In Eric Barry’s now infamous “Goodbye Chicago” manifesto published in the Huffington Post, the aspiring comic aired all of Chicago’s dirty laundry — laying out the idiosyncrasies o…

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He'll say otherwise, but Jim Gaffigan at the Chicago Theatre is always in control by Zach Freeman

Waiting for the opening applause to die down after he’s taken the stage for the first of two shows on Friday night at the Chicago Theatre, comedian Jim Gaffigan — currently making the ro…

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Friday, October 13, 2017

Did Chicago theater company co-founder win Friday's 'Jeopardy'? by Tracy Swartz

Warning: Spoilers ahead Brown Paper Box Co. co-founder Michelle Kritselis has some play money, thanks to a second-place finish on Friday’s episode of “Jeopardy.” Kritselis, a managing …

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Smart, uneven 'Invisible Hand' is about the greed that controls us all by Chris Jones

The title of Ayad Akhtar’s 2014 play, “The Invisible Hand,” now in its Chicago premiere at the Steep Theatre, pays homage to Adam Smith. The great economist coined the metaphor in the …

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Meaning in Reggie Wilson's 'Citizen' is slowly and pointedly revealed by Lauren Warnecke

“We are what we repeatedly do,” said writer Will Durant, describing Aristotle’s observations on the effects of practice. We now understand this as the principle of specificity. If you …

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Economist Richard Thaler is a Nobel winner we arty types can love by Chris Jones

Richard Thaler, the University of Chicago economist from the Booth School of Business who won the Nobel Prize on Monday, is an economist we cultural pontificates can love. Why? Simple. His w…

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