Chicago Theater Reviews
 


BWW Review: OUTSIDE MULLINGAR at Buffalo Theatre Ensemble BWW Review: OUTSIDE MULLINGAR at Buffalo Theatre Ensemble
by Emily McClanathan - May 07, 2018

Playwright John Patrick Shanley's OUTSIDE MULLINGAR fits neatly into the tradition of his Irish-American heritage; through unpretentious characters and witty dialogue, he spins a tale that explores universal themes of loneliness, longing, home, and family. Steve Scott directs this production by the ... (more...)
BWW Review: JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR at Lyric Opera Of Chicago BWW Review: JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR at Lyric Opera Of Chicago
by Emily McClanathan - April 30, 2018

If you've ever wanted to rock out in a historic opera house, look no further than JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR at Lyric Opera of Chicago. In a bold departure from the American classics typically staged during the spring 'Broadway at Lyric' series, Lyric presents the North American premiere of Regent's Par... (more...)
BWW Review: MEMPHIS at Porchlight Music Theatre BWW Review: MEMPHIS at Porchlight Music Theatre
by Rachel Weinberg - April 30, 2018

Hockadoo! Porchlight Music Theatre's MEMPHIS bursts onto the stage with joy and earnest energy. Under the direction of Daryl Brooks, this musical sheds light on timely historical issues while milking the show's sweetest, most exuberant moments for all they're worth.... (more...)
BWW Review: THE MADRES at Teatro Vista BWW Review: THE MADRES at Teatro Vista
by Rachel Weinberg - April 28, 2018

Stephanie Allison Walker's play highlights a moment in Argentina's history, her portrait of the silencing of voices, the torture of loved ones, and the women who rose up against injustice finds complete alignment with the present moment.... (more...)
BWW Review: THE CAKE at Rivendell Theatre Ensemble BWW Review: THE CAKE at Rivendell Theatre Ensemble
by Patrick Rybarczyk - April 23, 2018

The best desserts are made with delicious layers that include some surprising flavors. They make you want another piece and to know how they were made. That's how it is with Bekah Brunstetter's THE CAKE now running at Rivendell Theatre. Each scene of this wonderful work is filled with bites that are... (more...)
BWW Review: OKLAHOMA! at Marriott Theatre BWW Review: OKLAHOMA! at Marriott Theatre
by Emily McClanathan - April 22, 2018

The Marriott Theatre marks the 75th anniversary of OKLAHOMA! with a production that celebrates the best of Rodgers and Hammerstein - delightful dance numbers, impressive vocals and eminently hummable tunes - while offering a fresh take on a beloved classic.... (more...)
BWW Review: THE DOPPELGÄNGER (AN INTERNATIONAL FARCE) at Steppenwolf Theatre BWW Review: THE DOPPELGÄNGER (AN INTERNATIONAL FARCE) at Steppenwolf Theatre
by Emily McClanathan - April 20, 2018

In Steppenwolf Theatre's world premiere of THE DOPPELGÄNGER (AN INTERNATIONAL FARCE), playwright Matthew-Lee Erlbach employs all the tricks of the genre - crashing furniture, ridiculous situations and rapid-fire wordplay - to shine a light on political corruption and socio-economic injustice.... (more...)
BWW Review: SOUTH PACIFIC at Drury Lane Theatre BWW Review: SOUTH PACIFIC at Drury Lane Theatre
by Emily McClanathan - April 17, 2018

Boasting an all-star cast, beautiful design, and a beloved score, Drury Lane Theatre's SOUTH PACIFIC provides a truly enchanting evening of theatre - both entertaining and thought-provoking as it addresses sobering themes such as racism and bigotry.... (more...)
BWW Review: THE SOUND OF MUSIC at Cadillac Palace Theatre BWW Review: THE SOUND OF MUSIC at Cadillac Palace Theatre
by Emily McClanathan - April 14, 2018

From the opening strains of the nuns' harmonies in Nonnberg Abbey, the national touring production of THE SOUND OF MUSIC delivers the beloved story of family, romance, and courage with a charming style all its own.... (more...)
BWW Review: LETTIE at Victory Gardens Theater BWW Review: LETTIE at Victory Gardens Theater
by Rachel Weinberg - April 14, 2018

Boo Killebrew's world premiere play LETTIE is profoundly heartbreaking and brilliantly conceived. Under the direction of Artistic Director Chay Yew, the production devastatingly unfolds the narrative of the titular working class ex-convict Lettie. Both Killebrew's masterful, raw writing and Yew's su... (more...)
Review: 9 TO 5 THE MUSICAL at Firebrand Theatre Review: 9 TO 5 THE MUSICAL at Firebrand Theatre
by Rachel Weinberg - April 13, 2018

Firebrand Theatre's production of 9 TO 5 THE MUSICAL makes a good deal of sense for the company to stage, especially as it's the first show directed by Artistic Director Harmony France. This outsized, comical musical focuses on three women navigating office politics in 1979 as they plot revenge agai... (more...)
BWW Review: MARY'S WEDDING at First Folio Theatre BWW Review: MARY'S WEDDING at First Folio Theatre
by Emily McClanathan - April 09, 2018

MARY'S WEDDING is not a typical war play. In this two-hander love story set during the First World War, the action is framed as a recurring dream and offers all the possibilities of a dream world: non-linear timelines, sudden shifts in setting, and the opportunity for characters to relive events not... (more...)
BWW Review: SMART PEOPLE at Writers Theatre BWW Review: SMART PEOPLE at Writers Theatre
by Emily McClanathan - March 30, 2018

Delivering a triple threat of relevant writing, thoughtful direction, and a strong ensemble cast, SMART PEOPLE is well worth a trip to Writers Theatre's stylish new facility on Chicago's North Shore.... (more...)
BWW Review: AN ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE at Goodman Theatre BWW Review: AN ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE at Goodman Theatre
by Emily McClanathan - March 21, 2018

With his use of phrases such as 'fake facts' and 'drain the swamp', Goodman Theatre Artistic Director Robert Falls overtly speaks to the current political climate in his new adaptation of Henrik Ibsen's AN ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE. The audience's audible reactions to particularly searing lines prove that... (more...)
BWW Review: PLANTATION! at Lookingglass Theatre Company BWW Review: PLANTATION! at Lookingglass Theatre Company
by Rachel Weinberg - March 06, 2018

Under the taut direction of David Schwimmer, Kevin Douglas's new comedy PLANTATION! succeeds in making audiences both laugh out loud and cringe. In PLANTATION!, Douglas explores one wealthy white woman's attempt to make reparations for the benefits her family reaped from slavery. Douglas does so by ... (more...)
BWW Review: SIX CORNERS at American Blues Theater BWW Review: SIX CORNERS at American Blues Theater
by Patrick Rybarczyk - February 25, 2018

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BWW Review: THE WOLVES at Goodman Theatre Scores Big BWW Review: THE WOLVES at Goodman Theatre Scores Big
by Rachel Weinberg - February 22, 2018

With her Pulitzer Prize finalist THE WOLVES, young playwright Sarah DeLappe has beautifully, movingly, and realistically captured the tenuousness that comes with being a teenage girl navigating the thorny terrain of high school. DeLappe has captured so precisely the agony and nuances of high school ... (more...)
BWW Review: YOU GOT OLDER at Steppenwolf Theatre Company BWW Review: YOU GOT OLDER at Steppenwolf Theatre Company
by Patrick Rybarczyk - February 10, 2018

When it rains it pours! This saying applies to our lives when things are either going for or against us. For Mae, the central character in Clare Barron's YOU GOT OLDER now in its Chicago premiere at Steppenwolf Theatre Company, life changes have poured on her. And these changes are certainly not for... (more...)
BWW Review: MERRILY WE ROLL ALONG at Porchlight Music Theatre BWW Review: MERRILY WE ROLL ALONG at Porchlight Music Theatre
by Rachel Weinberg - February 05, 2018

While MERRILY WE ROLL ALONG is quite a dark show, it's undeniably one of my favorite Sondheim musicals-and Porchlight's production does well to demonstrate why this is the case.... (more...)
BWW Review: THE HUMANS at Cadillac Palace Theatre BWW Review: THE HUMANS at Cadillac Palace Theatre
by Patrick Rybarczyk - February 05, 2018

As I left the theatre on opening night of Stephen Karem's Tony Award-winning play, THE HUMANS, I heard a patron say, 'Wow, that reminded me of my own family holidays.'... (more...)
BWW Review: ALL MY SONS at Court Theatre BWW Review: ALL MY SONS at Court Theatre
by Rachel Weinberg - January 23, 2018

Court Theatre Artistic Director Charles Newell lends a deft hand to this stunning, newly searing production of Arthur Miller's ALL MY SONS. Though Miller's classic play takes place in 1946, the all-star ensemble makes the plight of the crumbling Keller family feel raw and altogether present.... (more...)
BWW Review: THE ANTELOPE PARTY at Theater Wit BWW Review: THE ANTELOPE PARTY at Theater Wit
by Rachel Weinberg - January 21, 2018

Eric John Meyer's world premiere play THE ANTELOPE PARTY opens on a meeting in an apartment setting notable for its vast and bright collection of MY LITTLE PONY memorabilia (kudos to set designer Joe Schermoly and properties designer Jesse Gaffney for this delightful visual). In this moment, we meet... (more...)
BWW Review: BLKS at Steppenwolf Theatre Company BWW Review: BLKS at Steppenwolf Theatre Company
by Rachel Weinberg - December 22, 2017

Aziza Barnes's BLKS is often funny, often vulgar, and sometimes heartbreaking. Now in a world premiere staging at Steppenwolf, BLKS chronicles 24 hours in the lives of three young black women in their early 20s living in New York City. Barnes's playwriting is achingly real and naturalistic, while al... (more...)
BWW Review: WICKED at Oriental Theatre BWW Review: WICKED at Oriental Theatre
by Patrick Rybarczyk - December 11, 2017

It doesn't matter how many times you watch Elphaba, the Wicked Witch of the West, fly to rafters at the end of Defying Gravity. You still get the chills during this classic moment in the musical, WICKED. It strikes a chord with you and has you cheering for 'the green girl.' You know, the villain fro... (more...)
BWW Review: BEAUTIFUL THE CAROLE KING MUSICAL is  Some Kind of Wonderful BWW Review: BEAUTIFUL THE CAROLE KING MUSICAL is Some Kind of Wonderful
by Rachel Weinberg - December 09, 2017

BEAUTIFUL THE CAROLE KING MUSICAL, one of the most well-constructed and delightful jukebox musicals I've ever seen, has arrived back in Chicago just in time for the holiday season. This empowering musical about singer-songwriter Carole King has enough emotional impact to make your heart burst. This ... (more...)