Skip to main content Skip to footer site map
Review: A CHORUS LINE at Drury Lane Theatre Oakbrook Terrace, IL

Review: A CHORUS LINE at Drury Lane Theatre Oakbrook Terrace, IL

Production runs through March 19

"God I hope I get it".....

A Chorus Line, Michael Bennett's iconic love letter to performers on the line anywhere, opened last night at Drury Lane Theatre in Oakbrook Terrace. How do I write about this show which holds a special place in my heart? During the late '70s and '80s, I saw ACL 13 times at the Auditorium, Shubert and Blackstone theaters. I was lucky to see Bebe Neuwirth, Robert LuPone and Tony Teague in lead roles. Director Jane Lanier has preserved Michael's vision from 1975 including original choreography by Michael Bennett and Bob Avian and book by James Kirkwood and Nicholas Dante. Jane, I (and countless others) cannot thank you enough. There were a few updates which were subtle and worked perfectly. The costumes designed by Sarah Cubbage and Heather C. Jackson were done with nuance from Theoni V. Aldredge's original Broadway design. Andrew Boyce's recreation of the mirrors was breathtaking. Lighting has been a special part of ACL and Julie Mack's design was awe inspiring. Christopher Sargent conducting the orchestra brought to life once again Marvin Hamlisch's toe tapping, humming and singing along score and Edward Kleban's lyrics.

This phenomenal ensemble of actors gives their all. This is also their story. It's about doing what you love including sacrifice. Putting yourself out there - the good, the bad and the painful as Paul's (Martin Ortiz Tapia) heartbreaking monologue shows. The audience erupted many times to show their support and appreciation of the voices and dancing - including Cassie's (Sara Andreas in her Drury Lane debut) epic homage to being a dancer. Director Zach (Ryan Watkinson making his Drury Lane debut) has just emphatically told her she is too good to be on the line even though she has told him she needs the job. Not only true in the world of dance. As Diana (Drury Lane debut for Yesy Garcia) sings in What I Did For Love "the gift was ours to borrow" with no regret which leads to one of the greatest finales in all of theater. It is there in all its original glory. The circle with linked arms; Paul leading the triangle of dancers downstage with the lights and mirrors behind them; popping the hats and kicking in line at the conclusion. I realized that as I have grown older this show becomes more emotional. This production at Drury Lane needs to be seen. You will feel it. You will understand. I am including a cautionary note - children under 16 should probably not be in attendance. Adult content. That being said, I met the parents of one of the performers in the show. This is his first professional Chicago show. He's just starting. Living his dream and it's beginning with this line. Michael Bennett would be proud.

Three Brothers Theatre Debuts New ALICE IN WONDERLAND Adaptation From Michael Dalberg Photo
Adapted from the classic Lewis Carroll novel, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, or Off With Their Heads and On Again by Michael Dalberg promises to honor the original text while reinterpreting and reexamining the iconic characters for a new fairytale for adults.

The Art Institute Of Chicago Presents Gio Swaby: Fresh Up Photo
The Art Institute has announced Gio Swaby: Fresh Up, an exhibition that explores the intersections of Blackness and womanhood from the textile-based, multidisciplinary artist Gio Swaby.

Otherworld Theatre To Perform STARSHIP EDSEL At C2E2 Comic Convention Photo
Chicago-based Otherworld Theatre, North America's premier sci-fi and genre production company, will perform two shows as part of the official programming of this year's C2E2 comic convention, March 31 - April 2, 2023.

Chicago Opening Announced For The Smashed Comedy DRUNK DEBATES Photo
From the creators of the hit comedy Drunk Shakespeare now comes... Drunk Debates! Professional debaters take on the greatest topics of all time... with alcohol! The show is set to open on April 15th and run until May 28th at Chicago's The Lion Theatre at the heart of The Chicago Loop (182 Wabash Avenue).

From This Author - Tina St. Angelo Wetzel

I live in Naperville IL, a Chicago suburb. Theater and the arts is a passion.  I have been to almost every theater venue in Chicago and the regional theaters including Drury Lane Oakbrook, Mar... (read more about this author)

Review: TINA- THE TINA TURNER MUSICAL at James M. Nederlander TheatreReview: TINA- THE TINA TURNER MUSICAL at James M. Nederlander Theatre
March 16, 2023

What did our critic think of TINA: THE TINA TURNER MUSICAL at James M. Nederlander Theatre?

Review: CARMEN at Lyric Opera Of ChicagoReview: CARMEN at Lyric Opera Of Chicago
March 12, 2023

What did our critic think of CARMEN at Lyric Opera Of Chicago?

Review: ANNIE at Cadillac PalaceReview: ANNIE at Cadillac Palace
March 9, 2023

What did our critic think of ANNIE at Cadillac Palace? The new national tour of Annie is the current offering at Chicago's Cadillac Palace. Hard to believe Annie has been entertaining audiences since it opened on Broadway in 1977. The book was written by Thomas Meehan with lyrics by Charles Strouse and lyrics by Martin Charnin. Director Jenn Thompson's recreation is very similar to the original production and why not? She was the original Pepper in the Broadway run starring Andrea McArdle. Ms. Thompson's history with Annie is very apparent in this production. I had forgotten the emotional aspect of this story. The talented ensemble of young actors portraying the orphans is an absolute joy to watch. Their energy is infectious. This production is the national tour debut for each of these young actors. This is also Ellie Rose Pulsifer's (Annie) national tour debut. She fits the role perfectly. Especially touching was her interaction with Daddy Warbucks (Christopher Swan giving a very in depth portrayal) and his assistant Grace Farrell (Julia Nicole Hunter breathtaking). Then there is Miss Hannigan (Stefanie Londino's commanding portrayal spot on), her conman brother Rooster and his girlfriend Lily St. Regis (wonderful singing, dancing and comedy by Nick Bernardi and Krista Curry) round out the villains in Annie's life. The story is about Annie trying to find her parents who left her at the orphanage as a baby. Daddy Warbucks enlists the help of President Franklin Roosevelt (Mark Woodward in his national tour debut) to find her parents. Annie runs away where she immediately befriends a dog named Sandy. She also has soup with inhabitants of a Hooverville under the 59th Street Bridge. This wonderful ensemble of adults also portray Oliver Warbucks' employees, other citizens of NYC and the cabinet of FDR. Quick costume changes are also involved!

Review: YOU'RE A GOOD MAN CHARLIE BROWN at Marriott TheatreReview: YOU'RE A GOOD MAN CHARLIE BROWN at Marriott Theatre
February 26, 2023

What did our critic think of YOU'RE A GOOD MAN CHARLIE BROWN at Marriott Theatre, Lincolnshire IL?

Review: INTO THE WOODS at Paramount TheatreReview: INTO THE WOODS at Paramount Theatre
February 12, 2023

What did our critic think of INTO THE WOODS at Paramount Theatre?