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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Theatre at the Center casts 'Miracle on 34th Street: the Musical' by Kt Hawbaker

On Thursday, Theatre at the Center announced castomg for its production of “Miracle On 34th Street: the Musical.” Director Linda Fortunato has cast Roger Mueller as Kris Kringle, Stella …

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Chicago theater openings for Oct. 12-18

Friday “Masque Macabre”: In this immersive theater piece, the handlers of a "bad boy" entrepreneur give him one last big bash before his past catches up to him. Through Oct. 31 at Strawd…

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Raul Esparza to star in 'Hamlet' at Chicago Shakespeare Theater by Kt Hawbaker

On Thursday, Chicago Shakespeare Theater announced that four time Tony Award-nominee and “Law and Order: SVU” alum Raul Esparza will lead William Shakespeare’s “Hamlet,” under the …

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Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Scene stealers on stage this fall: Dogs big and small — and an understudy chicken by Chris Jones

Chicago’s fall theater season opened in a flurry of activity in recent days. Before I talk you through what I think you should see, let me start by saying this has been a golden fall for c…

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Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Marriott Theatre announces casting for 'Holiday Inn' by Kt Hawbaker

On Tuesday, the Marriott Theatre announced casting for its upcoming production of Irving Berlin’s wintertime musical, “Holiday Inn.” Tony Award-nominee Denis Jones will direct and chor…

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In Lynn Nottage's warm 'Crumbs From the Table of Joy,' a 1950s New York family fights loneliness, doubt by Kerry Reid

Lynn Nottage may be one of the most humane playwrights in our contemporary canon. Her plays give breathing space for her characters to find their voices, no matter how constricted their own …

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2018 Jeffs to give special awards to four Chicago theaters still 'thriving' after 50 years by Kt Hawbaker

On Tuesday, the Jeff Awards announced that it will mark its 50th anniversary with special awards for four different theaters that are still “thriving” after half a century. This quartet …

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Monday, October 8, 2018

Nelson A. Rodriguez resigns as artistic director of Pride Films and Plays by Kt Hawbaker

Nelson A. Rodriguez has resigned as artistic director of Pride Films and Plays, Rodriguez confirmed to the Tribune on Monday. “The Board of Pride Films and Plays has accepted the resignati…

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The House Theatre casts its annual production of 'The Nutcracker' by Kt Hawbaker

The House Theatre of Chicago has announced casting for its annual “ballet-free” production of “The Nutcracker.” The 2018 ensemble features many returning faces including Ben Hertel a…

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'The Price is Right Live' to hit Chicago Theatre in February by Kt Hawbaker

Come on down — “The Price Is Right Live” will stop at The Chicago Theatre on Sunday, February 17, 2019 for two shows at 3:00PM and 7:00PM. “The Price Is Right Live” is an interacti…

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Sunday, October 7, 2018

In 'Witch,' a wronged woman gets an offer from a handsome devil by Chris Jones

The Faustian myth — wherein some ambitious dude sells his soul to the devil to score some instant gratification — is one of literature’s most popular themes. There’s Christopher Marl…

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Friday, October 5, 2018

'Oxy, Ohio' tells a mother-daughter story of opioid addiction in Dayton — but could be anywhere by Kerry Reid

In June 2017, an article by Mark Gokavi in the Dayton Daily News mentioned that one man in the Ohio city had been revived via Narcan by police 20 times after overdosing on opioids. An office…

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Peer into a 'Zurich' hotel room and watch the guests despair by Chris Jones

Ah, Switzerland. Home of chocolate, cleanliness, secret bank accounts, beautiful scenery, lonely wanderers, studied neutrality and a carefully veiled past. What might it be like to stare int…

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What would Christopher think of Steppenwolf's 'The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time'? by Chris Jones

“The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time” is an atypical project for the Steppenwolf for Young Adults program, which for years has produced either original, socially conscious …

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