Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Court completes casting for 'Five Guys Named Moe' by Morgan Greene

Court Theatre has announced the cast of Clarke Peters' "Five Guys Named Moe," the first production in the company's 2017-18 season. The five Moes include: Stephen Allen as Nomax, Darrian F…

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‘At the Table’ returns, but with more seats this time by Chris Jones

Just in case you have not been paying attention: Issues about who has the right to talk about what, and with whom, are pretty hot right now. Especially when speakers dare to wander beyond th…

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Lin-Manuel Miranda has celebs singing 'Hamilton' for charity by Associated Press

Lin-Manuel Miranda has Hollywood singing lyrics from his hit musical, "Hamilton," in order to raise money for a coalition of nonprofits focused on immigration. Celebrity participants in Mira…

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Gary Griffin to direct new circumcision comedy 'Knife to the Heart' by Morgan Greene

"Knife to the Heart: The Circumcision Comedy" will snip its way to Chicago next spring in a production directed by Gary Griffin, it was announced Tuesday. The new Stan Zimmerman and Christia…

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Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Growing up with the Millers in O'Neill's comedy 'Ah, Wilderness!' by Chris Jones

If there is a practicing alcoholic or addict in your family when you're a kid, you're better off when the boozer is your uncle rather than your dad or mom. If it's your drunk uncle, he can b…

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Lively wit and tangled love interests in 'London Assurance' by Kerry Reid

City Lit Theater's current staging of 1841's "London Assurance" marks the first local production of Dion Boucicault's comedy in 120 years. Felicitously, it opens just a month ahead of Defini…

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Cast set for Windy City Playhouse's 'Becky Shaw' by Morgan Greene

Casting is complete for Windy City Playhouse's production of Gina Gionfriddo's "Becky Shaw," the Irving Park company announced Tuesday. Theo Allyn will star in the title role with Michael Do…

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Monday, June 26, 2017

'Lonesome Losers': From Jacques Brel, powerful songs that prefigure the likes of Bowie by Chris Jones

The Belgian singer-songwriter known as Jacques Brel does not get nearly enough credit for his influence on the popular music of the latter half of the 20th century and beyond. I'd argue that…

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Laura Michelle Kelly sings from 'The King and I' by Morgan Greene

This week's Showcase features a song from the touring production of Bartlett Sher's 2015 Lincoln Center revival of Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II's "The King and I," now playing in…

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Festival Theatre delivers a 'Macbeth' to the fates and the night sky by Kerry Reid

"If chance will have me king, why, chance may crown me, Without my stir." In that one line, William Shakespeare lays bare the central paradox of "Macbeth" — the play and the man. Arguably …

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'La Havana Madrid' will spend summer at Goodman by Morgan Greene

Teatro Vista's "La Havana Madrid" will come to life again this summer at the Goodman Theatre, the company announced Monday.  Following runs at Steppenwolf Theatre Company's 1700 Theatre an…

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Sunday, June 25, 2017

Neglected Kurt Weill antiwar musical is given a potent Chicago premiere by Folks Operetta by John Von Rhein

"Johnny Johnson" was Kurt Weill's first work for the American theater, written for New York's Group Theatre in 1936, only three years after the German-Jewish composer managed to escape Nazi …

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Tickets on sale for 'Jimmy Buffett in Conversation with Chris Jones' by Chris Jones

Are you a pirate two hundred years too late? Got a Caribbean soul you can barely control? When you see a salt shaker, do you worry it will get lost? If you answered yes to any or all of the …

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Saturday, June 24, 2017

Trae Crowder and WellRED Comedy should be more than curiosities by Zach Freeman

"Ya'll been to the internet lately?" As drawled Friday night to a sold-out Thalia Hall audience by comedian and Facebook/YouTube sensation Trae Crowder — better known to many as "The Liber…

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Friday, June 23, 2017

Donica Lynn presents 'Today’s a Good Day - Walk With Me' by Morgan Greene

Donica Lynn, the Tribune's 2016 Chicagoan of the year in theater, will present her fifth annual benefit concert "Today’s a Good Day - Walk With Me" on Monday. Slated for 8 p.m. at The Merc…

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Howard Witt, longtime stage actor, dies at 85 by Chris Jones

A rakish, irascible, handsome, poorly behaved and thoroughly charming actor known for both his rich comedy and an oft-confounding sense of pathos, Howard Witt was the embodiment of what, in …

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Which American presidents have most loved the arts? by Chris Jones

Which American presidents have most loved the arts? The 45th would be a nonstarter, Donald J. Trump's foray into Broadway producing notwithstanding. (If you've not heard, the show was a come…

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Thursday, June 22, 2017

Some theaters say they will no longer invite Sun-Times critic Hedy Weiss to openings by Rick Kogan, Tracy Swartz

Being a critic can be a difficult business, not to mention being the one critic that some Chicago theaters say they will no longer invite to review their shows. Hedy Weiss is the longtime th…

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14 shows to see now

"Aladdin" ✭✭✭ "Aladdin," the most frenetic and cartoonish of Disney's screen-to-stage musicals, officially opened its first national tour in Chicago at the Cadillac Palace Theatre. An…

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Other Theatre announces 2017-18 season by Morgan Greene

Other Theatre, previously known as Other Theatre Company, announced its 4th season Thursday. In the fall, Kelly Howe will direct the world premiere of Martin Zimmerman’s "The Making of a M…

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Inaugural Chicago International Latino Theater Festival coming this fall by Morgan Greene

Latino theater companies from Latin America, the Caribbean and Chicago will come together to present "Destinos," the first Chicago International Latino Theater Festival, it was announced Thu…

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Wednesday, June 21, 2017

'Wilderness,' then farewell: The Goodman's Steve Scott is retiring by Chris Jones

In Chicago theater circles, the joke about Steve Scott, producer at the Goodman Theatre, is that he does whatever his boss, artistic director Robert Falls, does not want to do. That job desc…

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Tuesday, June 20, 2017

'Standup Shakespeare' with Jeff Perry, Norm Lewis and Alice Ripley added to Steppenwolf's LookOut by Morgan Greene

A Shakespearean spin-off is coming to Steppenwolf's LookOut Series this summer with ensemble member Jeff Perry and Broadway stars Norm Lewis and Alice Ripley, Steppenwolf announced Tuesday.…

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Family uprooted and an innocent man condemned in St. Louis Opera Theatre season by John Von Rhein

Contemporary operas about ordinary people crushed by powerful forces they are helpless to control mark another venturesome festival season of the Opera Theatre of St. Louis. Both "The Grapes…

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Theater openings June 26-29

Monday "Ah, Wilderness!": Young love and rebellious adventure take the Goodman's stage in this Eugene O'Neill comedy. Through July 23 at Goodman Theatre, 170 N. Dearborn St.; 312-443-3800 an…

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A Tonys nod for Oak Lawn teacher whose dedication stops at nothing - even cancer by Heidi Stevens

Erica Heilmann missed the email telling her she was being honored at the Tony Awards. Heilmann teaches theater at Thornton Fractional South High School in Lansing, and June 1 was the last da…

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It’s high time for camp, but 'Golden Girls' spoof misses the mark by Nina Metz

In these dark and chaotic times, who isn't in the mood for something ridiculous and silly? Few theater companies have as long a history with outrageous parody as Hell in a Handbag. My favori…

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Monday, June 19, 2017

Kristiana Rae Colon premiere in Sideshow's 2017-18 season by Morgan Greene

Sideshow Theatre Company announced its 2017-18 season, featuring a world premiere from Chicago playwright Kristiana Rae Colon, Monday. The season kicks off in the spring with Mia Chung's "Yo…

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Sunday, June 18, 2017

Rodgers and Hammerstein fans, get yourself to this 'King and I' by Chris Jones

The all-Equity touring version of director Bart Sher's 2015 Lincoln Center revival of Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II's "The King and I" is a magnificent, genuinely revelatory produ…

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Saturday, June 17, 2017

Ensemble Espanol’s ‘Raices’ shows flamenco’s roots and mostly moves beyond the fans and ruffles by Lauren Warnecke

Flamenco is a quintessential element of Spanish culture: the women’s long, ruffled skirts, the men’s machismo, the fans, the scarves and the ferociously fast rhythms of Spanish dancers…

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W. Kamau Bell does political humor — with an emphasis on the political by Zach Freeman

“It’s important for those of us who have a voice to speak out,” comedian, podcaster, author and CNN host W. Kamau Bell said Friday night, partway through his conversational and frequen…

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