Saturday, February 16, 2019

'Hamilton' panic over mistaken reports of gunfire injures three in San Francisco by Erin Nyren

Three people were injured after mistaken reports of an active shooter at a San Francisco production of "Hamilton" caused attendees to flee the theater. CNN reported that a woman experienced…

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Friday, February 15, 2019

Girl power message comes in more loud than clear with Ananya at the Dance Center by Lauren Warnecke

Sometimes, a dance can be greater than the sum of its parts. I came away from “Shyamali: Sprouting Words” – through Saturday at the Dance Center by Minneapolis-based Ananya Dance Theat…

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Steppenwolf adds longtime stage manager Malcolm Ewen to ensemble by Kt Hawbaker

On Friday, Steppenwolf announced the addition of longtime stage manager Malcolm Ewen into its ensemble. He is the first stage manager in Steppenwolf’s history to do so. Ewen has worked at …

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Thursday, February 14, 2019

'Dear Evan Hansen' opens in Chicago, the new hit musical about teenagers, their angst and their parents by Chris Jones

“Dear Evan Hansen” is one of those rare Broadway musicals to seep into the consciousness of its target demographic — the first national tour opened at the newly renamed Nederlander The…

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Michael Jackson musical cancels Chicago tryout by Chris Jones

“Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough,” the new Broadway musical about the life and work of Michael Jackson, has canceled its Chicago tryout, slated for this fall. A New York spokesman for…

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With ‘Anna Karenina,’ Joffrey unveils a modern classic at the Auditorium by Lauren Warnecke

As the overture to composer Ilya Demutsky’s glorious score swelled under the baton of Maestro Scott Speck on Wednesday, haze filled the house of the Auditorium Theatre and billowed across …

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Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Rick Bayless' Family Foundation awards 2019 'Stepping Stone' grants to three Chicago theaters by Kt Hawbaker

On Wednesday, the Bayless Family foundation announced the winners of its 2019 “Stepping Stone” grants, along with the funding of theater programming in Millennium Park. The grants — $1…

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'The Total Bent' at Haven: Story of father-son musicians with civil rights echoes is the best storefront show of winter by Kerry Reid

As sleet and snow slashed the air outside on Tuesday night, a theatrical fire blazed onstage at the Den Theatre. In “The Total Bent,” the polymath known as Stew, perhaps best known for h…

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How stars can learn from Sidney Poitier at the Oscars in these dire days of the acceptance speech by Chris Jones

So excruciating were the acceptance speeches at Sunday night’s Grammy Awards that Trevor Noah compared them to irritating people who wait in line at Chipotle, “get to the front and go, …

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'Hamilton: the Exhibition' delays opening to April 27 on Northerly Island by Kt Hawbaker

The world premiere of "Hamilton: the Exhibition," scheduled to debut in Chicago on Northerly Island this spring, has announced a new opening, with its first public admissions now set for Apr…

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Albert Finney broke in the stage for the first play in Steppenwolf's current home — how very fitting by Chris Jones

In 1991, the Steppenwolf Theatre Company opened its $8.28 million theater at 1650 N. Halsted St., finally jettisoning its old digs in a converted dairy barn. It picked the American premiere …

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Tuesday, February 12, 2019

'The Producers' at the Paramount: 'Springtime for Hitler'? Do they dare? Oh, they do by Chris Jones

Mel Brooks was ecstatic. Anne Bancroft danced on a nearby table. Matthew Broderick chuckled. Even Nathan Lane cracked a smile. “The Producers” was a hit. In fact, the spin-off musical fr…

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'How I Learned to Drive' at Raven Theatre: A young woman's memories of sexual abuse, coerced behind the wheel by Kerry Reid

Midway through Paula Vogel’s “How I Learned to Drive,” a man gives fishing lessons to an unseen child. He describes the pompano as “a very shy, mercurial fish,” and advises that ca…

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Harris Theater's next season includes a Beethoven marathon, Bangarra Dance of Australia, Tanztheater Wuppertal by Chris Jones

With major new funding from the property developer Sterling Bay, the Harris Theater plans a diverse and ambitious 2019-20 season, including visits from Bangarra Dance Theatre of Australia an…

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Monday, February 11, 2019

'A Doll’s House, Part 2' at Steppenwolf: A wife and mother has returned after 15 years. It's awkward. by Chris Jones

A bad marriage — I hear — can feel like a trap. Slamming the door on a lousy union can be cathartic. Even if you have no idea what awaits you on the other side. But here’s something to…

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Sunday, February 10, 2019

$1 million goes to 2019 Year of Chicago Theatre by Chris Jones

City of Chicago is to officially announce Monday that $1 million has been secured in new funding to support the 2019 Year of Chicago Theatre initiative that officially begins this week, in t…

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In 'Pipeline' at Victory Gardens, a teacher and mother is terrified for her son by Chris Jones

Mother with teenagers — a demographic famous for ignoring its own fragility — invariably worry about them. But African-American mothers, innumerable data points confirm, have particular …

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Friday, February 8, 2019

'Wicked' movie musical to fly into theaters Christmas 2021

The winds have changed again for the long-awaited movie version of the hit musical "Wicked." Universal Pictures says Friday that the film will land in theaters on Dec. 22, 2021. It had origi…

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Northeastern U and Black Ensemble Theater talk racism on stage: 'Shadow of Justice' is this weekend by Darcel Rockett

Public figures and celebrities say they “don’t see color” or they “don’t see race.” But race is something that Northeastern Illinois University is bringing to the forefront with …

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'On Clover Road' at American Blues: A mom looking for her daughter ends up in a strange motel room by Kerry Reid

The grungy motel in the middle of nowhere is as much a trope for American psychological thrillers as the gloomy country manse in English murder mysteries. From “Psycho” to “Bug,” it…

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Thursday, February 7, 2019

In 'The Father,' Remy Bumppo explores the agonies of dementia by Chris Jones

Now in its Chicago premiere from the Remy Bumppo Theatre Company, Florian Zeller’s “The Father” is a play about dementia, that late-in-life affliction that can take down a giant person…

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Booked it! Chicago casting announcements for Feb. 7 by Kt Hawbaker

Perhaps the biggest casting news of the week lies in the images of the Oriental being physically recast as the Nederlander — a perfect metaphor for the state and direction of Chicago theat…

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12 recommended Chicago shows to see right now

"Blue Man Group" ✭✭✭ 1/2 "Blue Man Group" has been playing at Briar Street since 1997, a remarkable run of 20-plus years. The Blue Men still chomp marshmallows, bang drums and paint up…

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Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Behind hit plays 'Photograph 51' and 'The Wolves,' there's director Vanessa Stalling by Chris Jones

When the next big artistic job opens up in Chicago theater, I’ve got a name for the recruiters: Vanessa Stalling. In show after show, Stalling keeps making the case that her directing work…

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Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Dame Libby Komaiko, fearless founder of Ensemble Espanol in Chicago, dies at 69 by Lauren Warnecke

Dame Libby Komaiko, the founding artistic director of Ensemble Espanol Spanish Dance Theater, died Saturday at Chicago’s Illinois Masonic Hospital of pneumonia, according to Ensemble Espan…

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'Girl in the Red Corner' by Broken Nose Theatre: Fists fly, and a woman finds herself in the ring by Chris Jones

When the name of your theater company is Broken Nose Theatre, the temptation must arise to live up to your own billing. If not broken noses, bruised cheeks, tired calves and a whopping heada…

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Joffrey Ballet announces 2019-20 season, with return of 'Don Quixote' and Chicago premiere of 'Jane Eyre' by Doug George

The Joffrey Ballet announced its 2019-20 season Tuesday, with the Chicago premieres of Cathy Marston’s “Jane Eyre” and a work by Justin Peck, as well as the returns of “Don Quixote…

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Monday, February 4, 2019

Milwaukee Rep announces 2019-20 season, including 'West Side Story' and 'Hedwig' by Kt Hawbaker

On Monday, the Milwaukee Repertory Theater announced its 2019-20 season, marking Mark Clements’ 10th anniversary as artistic director. Kicking things off in the Stackner Cabaret will be …

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Historians irked by musical 'Hamilton' escalate their duel by Mark Kennedy

Ever since the historical musical "Hamilton" began its march to near-universal infatuation, one group has noticeably withheld its applause — historians. Many academics argue the portrait o…

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Chicago theater openings for Feb. 8-14

Friday “Bonnie and Clyde: The Musical”: At the height of the Great Depression, Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow went from two small-town nobodies in West Texas to America's most renowned f…

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'Nina Simone: Four Women' at Northlight Theatre is the singer in the '60s, in church bombing aftermath by Chris Jones

Nina Simone seemed happy in the 1980s, singing in Ronnie Scott’s swinging London jazz club, a resident European star in front an adoring audience, wowing with the incomparable diversity of…

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