Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Past is still important, says dancer Misty Copeland ahead of ABT's Harris Theater debut by Lauren Warnecke

While growing up in the northwest suburbs, I have vivid memories of my parents bringing me downtown to the Auditorium Theatre to watch American Ballet Theatre. For a young student of ballet,…

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August Wilson, David Auburn, Manual Cinema in Court's 2018-19 season by Morgan Greene

Court Theatre will stage two world premieres, from Manual Cinema and David Auburn, in its 64th season, as well as plays from August Wilson, Anna Ziegler and Ntozake Shange, the Hyde Park com…

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Goodman announces 'Enemy of the People' cast by Morgan Greene

Philip Earl Johnson and Scott Jaeck will lead Robert Falls’ new adaptation of Henrik Ibsen’s “An Enemy of the People,” Goodman Theatre announced Tuesday. Johnson will play Thomas Sto…

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Sunday, February 18, 2018

Katt Williams at Wintrust Arena: '11:11' is a blend of funny new stuff and funny recycled stuff by Zach Freeman

It’s 11 o’clock on a Saturday night inside the Wintrust Arena — the stadium and event center that opened in the fall next to McCormick Place and is the home court for the DePaul Blue D…

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Friday, February 16, 2018

'Breach' is an earlier — and more predictable — play by 'Pass Over' writer Nwandu by Chris Jones

The American playwright Antoinette Nwandu made such extraordinary progress between "Breach," which is the kind of predictably self-questioning play most writers get out of their systems in s…

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'Phantom' sequel 'Love Never Dies': Only Andrew Lloyd Webber would try to pull this off by Chris Jones

Most shows save their full-throated power ballads for late in the night. But at “Love Never Dies,” the sequel to Andrew Lloyd Webber’s mega-smash “The Phantom of Opera,” the lush s…

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'Indecent,' Ike Holter premiere in Victory Gardens' 2018-19 season by Morgan Greene

Victory Gardens Theater will stage the Chicago premiere of Paula Vogel’s Tony Award-nominated drama “Indecent” as part of its 44th season, along with two more Chicago premieres and two…

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Thursday, February 15, 2018

'Chicago P.D.' filming is insensitive? You're missing the point by Chris Jones

The NBC police drama “Chicago P.D.” was “slammed,” the Tribune reported in a Wednesday headline, for filming too close to the Thompson Center in Chicago’s Loop, where Chicago polic…

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Hell in a Handbag sets 2018 season by Morgan Greene

The Golden Girls will make their return in Hell in a Handbag’s 2018 season, along with a revival of “L’Imitation of Life” and a Charles Ludlam play, the campy Andersonville company a…

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'Moon for the Misbegotten,' a play about a landlord and tenant farmer's daughter, is missing that desperate sense of need by Chris Jones

“There is no present or future,” says the character James Tyrone in “A Moon for the Misbegotten,” “only the past happening over and over again — now. You can’t get away from it…

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Steppenwolf adds new ensemble members by Morgan Greene

Celeste M. Cooper and Cliff Chamberlain are joining Steppenwolf Theatre Company’s storied ensemble, artistic director Anna D. Shapiro announced Thursday. Both Chicago-based actors have bee…

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Artists from Postmodern Jukebox, Tune-Yards in Lyric's 'Jesus Christ Superstar' by Morgan Greene

There will be no opera singers in the Lyric’s production of “Jesus Christ Superstar.” Broadway performers and artists from the bands Postmodern Jukebox, Tune-Yards and Diane Coffee wil…

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Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Video: 'You, You' from Pride's 'Yank!' by Morgan Greene

William Dwyer sings a sentimental song from “Yank! A World War II Love Story” in the latest Theater Loop Showcase video. In “Yank,” now playing at the Pride Arts Center, Dwyer plays …

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Just up the interstate, Milwaukee Rep makes a play for Chicago audiences by Chris Jones

Remember those old commercials for Milwaukee’s General Mitchell International Airport? “Forty-five minutes from the Lake Forest Oasis” was the tagline, trying to tempt residents of Chi…

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Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Harry Connick Jr. will star in ‘Sting’ musical by Chris Jones

"The Sting," the musical, has found its Henry Gondorff. Harry Connick Jr. will play the role made famous by Paul Newman. The crooner will star in the upcoming musical version of the Chicago-…

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'Bunny Bunny' has a great Gilda Radner, and reminds us why we loved her by Chris Jones

From the moment he first met her behind a potted plant in 1975, Alan Zweibel loved Gilda Radner. Despite the unwieldy and inaccurate subtitle, “A Sort of Love Story,” the play “Bunny B…

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Jo Cattell named 2018 Michael Maggio fellow by Morgan Greene

Jo Cattell is the latest early-career Chicago-based director to be named a recipient of the annual Michael Maggio Fellowship, Goodman Theatre announced Tuesday. As the 2017-18 fellow, Cattel…

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'The Wolves': For a play about soccer, the Goodman needs actors with game by Morgan Greene

On a chilly January morning, a team takes the turf field at the CIBC Fire Pitch facility in Chicago. The group of women, wearing a mix of cleats and sneakers, practice high knees under the w…

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Steppenwolf announces spring 2018 LookOut lineup by Morgan Greene

The Yard, a Chicago youth ensemble, will bring its production of Stephen Karam and PJ Paparelli’s “columbinus” to Steppenwolf’s LookOut Series this spring, it was announced Tuesday. …

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What did I just see? Sarah Squirm tops a long, strange, funny night at Empty Bottle by Zach Freeman

Walking out the side door of the Empty Bottle onto Western Avenue at 12:30 in the morning, I looked past a group of smokers huddled around a sign decidedly not at the corner instructing them…

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Theater openings Feb. 16-22

Friday “4:48 Psychosis”: Saltbox Theatre Collective stages Sarah Kane’s descent into the mind of a woman on the brink. Through March 11 at Stage 773, 1225 W. Belmont Ave.; 773-327-5252…

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Monday, February 12, 2018

Video: 'Old Friends' from Porchlight's 'Merrily' by Morgan Greene

This week’s Showcase features a chummy tune from the 1981 Stephen Sondheim musical “Merrily We Roll Along.” In the video, Neala Barron, Jim DeSelm and Matt Crowle, who star in the Porc…

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Chicago Shakes announces 'Macbeth' cast by Morgan Greene

Ian Merrill Peakes and Chaon Cross will star in Teller and Aaron Posner’s music and magic-infused “Macbeth,” Chicago Shakespeare Theater announced Monday. Joining Peakes as Macbeth and…

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Stunning 'Cabaret' moves its opening night audience to silence by Chris Jones

Kelly Felthous, who plays Sally Bowles in the Paramount Theatre production of "Cabaret" did not get a lick of applause Saturday at the end of the show's famous title number, despite this bei…

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Joffrey Ballet announces 2018-19 season by Morgan Greene

The Joffrey Ballet’s 2018-19 season will include the world premiere of Yuri Possokhov’s “Anna Karenina,” presented as part of a first-time collaboration between the Joffrey and the A…

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Sunday, February 11, 2018

Chicago Opera Theater's 'Elizabeth Cree' is a bloody good show by John Von Rhein

If the plethora of activity in Chicago alone is any indication, the field is experiencing a veritable golden age of new American chamber operas. This season is bringing the local premieres, …

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Friday, February 9, 2018

18 shows to see now

"All My Sons" ✭✭✭✭ In an extraordinarily intense and emotional production of "All My Sons," now at Court Theatre, director Charles Newell approaches Arthur Miller's great American pl…

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In rare performance, choreographer Doug Varone takes to stage along with his dancers at Columbia by Lauren Warnecke

Heavy snow couldn’t keep dance fans away from the Dance Center of Columbia College for opening night of New York-based Doug Varone and Dancers. Braving the weather was wholly worth it, if …

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Caring for Dad but dreaming of fantasy cowboys in 'You Got Older' at Steppenwolf by Chris Jones

“You Got Older,” a play by Clare Barron about losing someone you love to cancer, was slated to open at the Steppenwolf Theatre last Monday, on the evening that news came of the death of …

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Thursday, February 8, 2018

What Hedy Weiss did for the Sun-Times, and this city by Chris Jones

When Claudia Cassidy, this newspaper’s chief arts critic for the mid-section of the 20th century, and arguably the most powerful female employee of the paper’s Colonel McCormick era, die…

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Joffrey’s intense, anything-but-safe ‘Modern Masters’ shows how American ballet got here by Lauren Warnecke

This season, it seems as though there is no challenge the Joffrey Ballet can’t meet. Last fall, “Orphee et Eurydice” marked the company’s first collaboration with the Lyric Opera. St…

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