Chicago Theater Reviews
 


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...)
BWW Review: A CHRISTMAS CAROL at The Goodman Theatre BWW Review: A CHRISTMAS CAROL at The Goodman Theatre
by Patrick Rybarczyk - November 30, 2017

With its mixture of darkness and light, Charles Dickens' A CHRISTMAS CAROL is a long-standing holiday tradition that takes audiences on a journey of misery, revelation, and redemption. Now in its 40th year on stage at The Goodman Theatre, this tale stands the test of time, with some fresh updates th... (more...)
BWW Review: IRVING BERLIN'S WHITE CHRISTMAS - THE MUSICAL at The Cadillac Palace Theatre BWW Review: IRVING BERLIN'S WHITE CHRISTMAS - THE MUSICAL at The Cadillac Palace Theatre
by Patrick Rybarczyk - November 24, 2017

Every year, a group of my friends and I go to The Music Box Theatre here in Chicago for our annual viewing of White Christmas. It's a perfect way to ring in the holidays with a mix of sentimentality and tradition.... (more...)
BWW Review: THE MINUTES at Steppenwolf Theatre Company BWW Review: THE MINUTES at Steppenwolf Theatre Company
by Rachel Weinberg - November 22, 2017

Tracy Letts's world premiere THE MINUTES, now making its debut at Steppenwolf Theatre Company, unfolds in an unsuspecting manner. Both because the play has a smart structure that shifts over the course of the 100-minute runtime and also because the content left me contemplative for days after seeing... (more...)
BWW Review: About Face Theatre and Theater Wit's Chicago Premiere of SIGNIFICANT OTHER BWW Review: About Face Theatre and Theater Wit's Chicago Premiere of SIGNIFICANT OTHER
by Rachel Weinberg - November 13, 2017

On the page, Harmon so beautifully expresses the nuances of shifting friendships and the fear of being left behind by those one holds dear, and he also nails so completely the complex neuroses that come with dating, loneliness, and being lost in one's own head. Director Keira Fromm and an outstandin... (more...)
BWW Review: BILLY ELLIOT THE MUSICAL at Porchlight Music Theatre BWW Review: BILLY ELLIOT THE MUSICAL at Porchlight Music Theatre
by Rachel Weinberg - November 01, 2017

Under the direction of frequent company collaborator Brenda Didier, BILLY ELLIOT THE MUSICAL electrifies the mainstage at the Ruth Page Performing Arts Center, Porchlight's new home. Based on the eponymous film about an adolescent boy from a working class British mining town who aspires to be a ball... (more...)
BWW Review: THE INVISIBLE HAND at Steep Theatre Company BWW Review: THE INVISIBLE HAND at Steep Theatre Company
by Rachel Weinberg - October 09, 2017

Under the deft direction of Audrey Francis, Steep Theatre Company treats audiences to an intimate, intense Chicago premiere of Ayad Akhtar's THE INVISIBLE HAND.... (more...)
BWW Review: THE CALLBACK at Muse Art BWW Review: THE CALLBACK at Muse Art
by William Geheren - September 28, 2017

THE CALLBACK is an engaging evening of entertainment that's suitable for all ages. The shows plot involves several actors getting called back for a second or third time to tryout for a play without a script. In other words, they had no idea exactly what it was they were being called back for.... (more...)
BWW Review: HAIR at Mercury Theater Chicago BWW Review: HAIR at Mercury Theater Chicago
by Rachel Weinberg - August 06, 2017

Mercury Theater's revival of the iconic rock musical HAIR infuses some peace, love, and sunshine into this Chicago summer. While Gerome Ragni and James Rado's lyrics still resonant today, this production stays firmly rooted in the late 1960s. Brenda Didier's direction, Robert Kuhn's costumes, and Je... (more...)
BWW Review: AN AMERICAN IN PARIS National Tour at the Oriental Theatre BWW Review: AN AMERICAN IN PARIS National Tour at the Oriental Theatre
by Rachel Weinberg - July 29, 2017

Christopher Wheeldon's visually stunning production of AN AMERICAN IN PARIS has come dancing into Broadway In Chicago's Oriental Theatre. Wheeldon's complex and extensive choreography is the most striking and entertaining element of this new musical, based upon the classic Gene Kelly film and with a... (more...)
BWW Review: HOW TO BE A ROCK CRITIC Rocks Steppenwolf BWW Review: HOW TO BE A ROCK CRITIC Rocks Steppenwolf
by Rachel Weinberg - July 11, 2017

"This music is magical. My writing is stilted." So proclaims Erik Jensen as famed rock critic Lester Bangs in HOW TO BE A ROCK CRITIC, now playing as part of Steppenwolf's Lookout Series. This thought has likely crossed the mind of all art critics out there (certainly it has crossed mine), and it em... (more...)
BWW Review: HIR at Steppenwolf Theatre Company BWW Review: HIR at Steppenwolf Theatre Company
by Rachel Weinberg - July 10, 2017

Taylor Mac's HIR, now in its Chicago premiere at Steppenwolf under the direction of Hallie Gordon, proves itself to be a complete whirlwind from the beginning. Collette Pollard's strikingly realistic living room/kitchen set is in a tornado-like state when the curtain comes up at the top of the play,... (more...)
BWW Review: MCC'S Moon Over Buffalo Brings Out the Laughs and Comedy to McHenry BWW Review: MCC'S Moon Over Buffalo Brings Out the Laughs and Comedy to McHenry
by Kevin Pollack - June 22, 2017

In the McHenry County area, there's always such great theatre going on, and that's what I got when I went to see McHenry County College's hilarious production of Ken Ludwig's Moon Over Buffalo directed by the wonderful Regina Belt-Daniels.... (more...)
BWW Review: MOBY DICK at Lookingglass Theatre Company BWW Review: MOBY DICK at Lookingglass Theatre Company
by Rachel Weinberg - June 22, 2017

Following a successful 2015 run, that great white whale MOBY DICK has returned to Lookingglass in a highly physical, inventive, and visually compelling production that's fully in keeping with the company's aesthetic. David Catlin's adaptation of Herman Meville's sprawling novel surrounds audiences i... (more...)
BWW Review: THE KING AND I at Broadway In Chicago BWW Review: THE KING AND I at Broadway In Chicago
by Rachel Weinberg - June 18, 2017

Bartlett Sher's 2015 Tony Award winning revival of THE KING AND I has sailed into Broadway In Chicago's Oriental Theatre in a triumphant touring production.... (more...)
BWW Review: RUMORS at Woodstock Opera House BWW Review: RUMORS at Woodstock Opera House
by Kate Curtin - June 17, 2017

Picture it, an anniversary party with your dear friends, all dressed up with your spouse, and everything is not quite right. Town Square Players of Woodstock offers us a chance to escape our realities and join Neil Simon on the wildly hilarious ride known as 'Rumors'... (more...)
BWW Review: PASS OVER at Steppenwolf BWW Review: PASS OVER at Steppenwolf
by Rachel Weinberg - June 14, 2017

Both beautiful and necessarily brutal, Antoinette Nwandu's PASS OVER is a play that's entirely essential to this moment.... (more...)
BWW Review: NATIVE GARDENS at Victory Gardens Theater BWW Review: NATIVE GARDENS at Victory Gardens Theater
by Rachel Weinberg - June 12, 2017

The world premiere of Karen Zacarias's NATIVE GARDENS at Victory Gardens Theater provides ample humor and wit-even if the playwright's neighborly metaphor sometimes feels too on the nose.... (more...)
BWW Review: RAGTIME at Griffin Theatre Company BWW Review: RAGTIME at Griffin Theatre Company
by Rachel Weinberg - June 06, 2017

Just as Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens's 1999 musical RAGTIME traverses numerous locales on the East Coast and spans the years from 1906-1914, so too does director Scott Weinstein's dynamic staging make full use of The Den Theatre's Heath Mainstage. In Griffin Theatre Company's production, Weinste... (more...)
BWW Review: PARADE at Writers Theatre BWW Review: PARADE at Writers Theatre
by Rachel Weinberg - June 03, 2017

PARADE is now in a blistering and beautifully minimalist production from director Gary Griffin. Though it is based off the real-life 1913 trial of Jewish pencil factory worker Leo Frank and was written by Jason Robert Brown and Alfred Uhry in 1998, this musical feels entirely of this moment. Set in ... (more...)
BWW Review: The Queen of Broadway, Audra McDonald Returns to Chicago at Steppenwolf Theatre BWW Review: The Queen of Broadway, Audra McDonald Returns to Chicago at Steppenwolf Theatre
by Katherine Damisch - May 23, 2017

Audra McDonald, the reigning Queen of Broadway, is a woman who needs no introduction in the theatre community. This is probably why the seats at the Steppenwolf Theatre were packed Monday evening with audience members who clung silently to her every word, laughed heartily at every joke, and exploded... (more...)
BWW Review: Young Stars Brighten LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE BWW Review: Young Stars Brighten LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE
by Misha Davenport - May 17, 2017

BWW Review: Young Stars Brighten LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE... (more...)
BWW Review: By Any Name, ANNIE KING is a Sweet New Musical Thriller BWW Review: By Any Name, ANNIE KING is a Sweet New Musical Thriller
by Patrick O'Brien - May 02, 2017

An appealing cast. Bluegrass. A campfire. Nothing could possibly go wrong in this new musical thriller.... (more...)
BWW Review: Porchlight's MARRY ME A LITTLE is a Rhapsodic Love Letter to Sondheim's Song Catalog BWW Review: Porchlight's MARRY ME A LITTLE is a Rhapsodic Love Letter to Sondheim's Song Catalog
by Rachel Weinberg - April 26, 2017

True blue fans of Stephen Sondheim (this reviewer included) will be drooling over Porchlight's latest offering MARRY ME A LITTLE. This two-hander revue showcases a number of Sondheim's finest trunk songs-early renditions of numbers that were cut from such musicals as FOLLIES, INTO THE WOODS and MERR... (more...)