Patrick O'Brien

Patrick O'Brien


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BWW Review: By Any Name, ANNIE KING is a Sweet New Musical ThrillerBWW Review: By Any Name, ANNIE KING is a Sweet New Musical Thriller
Posted: May. 2, 2017


BWW Review: By Any Name, ANNIE KING is a Sweet New Musical ThrillerBWW Review: By Any Name, ANNIE KING is a Sweet New Musical Thriller
May 2, 2017

An appealing cast. Bluegrass. A campfire. Nothing could possibly go wrong in this new musical thriller.

BWW Review: Paramount's MAMMA MIA! Happily Goes Again, Not ResistedBWW Review: Paramount's MAMMA MIA! Happily Goes Again, Not Resisted
September 19, 2016

The unquestioned immortality of Mamma Mia! took a hit last year when its Broadway run came to an end after playing fourteen years, two theatres and 5,773 performances. Now comes the question of its unavoidability. Somehow, I've managed to - okay, maybe not avoid it, which implies snobbishness on my part - but Mamma Mia! has just never been on my radar. It'll be around forever - or at least as long as Boomer nostalgia sells - so that leaves plenty of time to catch up on other things, my thought process went. But now begins what will presumably turn into a licensing blitz, and Aurora's Paramount Theatre leads the bell-bottomed charge into Chicagoland. So here we go again for the first time, I guess.

BWW Review: Come TOMORROW MORNING, Kokandy Modestly Approaches Love and MarriageBWW Review: Come TOMORROW MORNING, Kokandy Modestly Approaches Love and Marriage
July 14, 2016

A daring company takes it easy this summer, which may just be OK.

BWW Review: Lifeline's Blossoming NORTHANGER ABBEY is an Early Summer CharmerBWW Review: Lifeline's Blossoming NORTHANGER ABBEY is an Early Summer Charmer
June 15, 2016

Lifeline gives new musical life to Austen obscurity.

BWW Review: Sweating Bullets at BULLETS OVER BROADWAY to Little EffectBWW Review: Sweating Bullets at BULLETS OVER BROADWAY to Little Effect
April 27, 2016

Woody Allen's film is promising source material for a musical. This is what we got.

BWW Review: Refuge Theatre's HIGH FIDELITY Spins a Scruffily, Beautifully Universal StoryBWW Review: Refuge Theatre's HIGH FIDELITY Spins a Scruffily, Beautifully Universal Story
February 8, 2016

Don't change a thing, HIGH FIDELITY; you make the list.

BWW Review: MURDER Afoot with Mercury's Charming SHERLOCK HOLMESBWW Review: MURDER Afoot with Mercury's Charming SHERLOCK HOLMES
February 1, 2016

By jove, Mercury Theater cracks the case in adapting a Sherlock Holmes musical!

BWW Review: Mercury's CHRISTMAS SCHOONER is Readily, Wonderfully ShipshapeBWW Review: Mercury's CHRISTMAS SCHOONER is Readily, Wonderfully Shipshape
December 3, 2015

Like its blessed branch, take it and pass it on.

BWW Review: Lyric's WOZZECK Stirs the Brain in Cracking ProductionBWW Review: Lyric's WOZZECK Stirs the Brain in Cracking Production
November 12, 2015

Alban Berg's opera Wozzeck is not the first to swirl with immortal themes like power play, lust, betrayal, and death (far, far from it), but thanks to the circumstances of its composition - further emphasized by Sir David McVicar's new production at the Lyric Opera - it is prominent in its search to question the meaning of it all. So, whether or not philosophizing about the inherent nature of man gets you up and out in the morning, a visit to the Civic Opera House would very much be in order for a beguiling production that, while leaving one starved for melody, makes for cracking drama and discussion.

BWW Review: World Premiere OCTOBER SKY Gets Off the GroundBWW Review: World Premiere OCTOBER SKY Gets Off the Ground
August 30, 2015

Based on the 1999 Universal film, this new musical flies, and will surely fly again soon.

BWW Reviews: 2nd Annual Chicago Musical Theatre Festival Kicks OffBWW Reviews: 2nd Annual Chicago Musical Theatre Festival Kicks Off
July 2, 2015

Underscore Theatre's Musical Theatre Festival is back with a bumper crop of new and original musicals. What's chaff and what's wheat? Read on!