Post image for Chicago Theater Review: END DAYS (Windy City Playhouse)

HEALING BY THE NUMBERS It cost over a million dollars to launch the Windy City Playhouse, a beautiful new 149-seat theater on Chicago’s Northwest Side (3014 W. Irving Park Road). Designed by Chicago theater architect John Morris, it opened March 23, the first new Equity house of the century, graced with an art-rich lobby and […]

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Post image for Chicago Theater Review: TWO TRAINS RUNNING (Goodman Theatre)

THEATER’S TALKING CURE AT WORK AND PLAY The first theater to perform all ten dramas of the late August Wilson’s 20th century chronicle, Goodman Theatre just staked a new claim to a lasting legacy. 22 years after its 1993 local premiere, Two Trains Running returns, a time capsule that entangles today. As much a warning as a matter of […]

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Post image for Chicago Opera Review: DON QUICHOTTE AUF DER HOCHZEIT DES COMACHO (Haymarket Opera)

HAYMARKET TRIUMPHS WITH TELEMANN RARITY Closing out their fourth season with Georg Philipp Telemann’s Don Quichotte auf der Hochzeit des Camacho (Don Quixote at the Wedding of Camacho), Haymarket Opera Company beautifully rescues another early opera from obscurity. The composer’s final operatic composition, written in 1761, Don Quichotte’s single act runs slightly longer than an […]

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Post image for Chicago Theater Review: THE FULL MONTY (Kokandy Productions at Theater Wit)

STRIPPING DOWN TO BASICS Charged with unforced sympathy and unpolemical solidarity for plucky underdogs, The Full Monty, like the Fox movie that inspired this musical make-over, fits the pattern of consolation shows triggered by recent recessions: Heavy on grand gestures that “cock a snoot” at hard times and bad bosses, this sweet-tempered protest play joins other […]

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Post image for Off-Off-Broadway Theater Review: JUDGMENT ON A GRAY BEACH, YOUR PROCESS HAS BEGUN (La MaMa & Dramma International Theatre Ensemble)

JUDGMENT ON A GRAY BEACH PROCESS Elia K. Schneider stages an engaging spectacle with her Judgment on a Gray Beach, Your Process Has Begun, a dialogue-free experimental piece that imagines the “dream that might have preceded Joseph K’s awakening at the beginning of (Franz Kafka’s) The Trial.” The show is difficult to describe: There is […]

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Post image for Chicago Music Preview: MAX RAABE & PALAST ORCHESTER: A NIGHT IN BERLIN (Symphony Center)

HEAVEN, YOU’LL BE IN HEAVEN The public’s fondness for songs has an extensive and nearly unbroken history, and one of the acmes of this history took place in America from the 1910s into the 1950s. During this time, songsmiths created ditties that were so well constructed in melody, so sympathetic and amenable in word construction, […]

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Post image for Chicago Dance Review: HUBBARD STREET DANCE CHICAGO’S SPRING SERIES (Harris Theater)

LITERAL LEVITY On display through this weekend at Millennium Park’s Harris Theater for Music and Dance, the Spring Series from Hubbard Street Dance Chicago consists of five offerings that blend the intimate with the frenetic. They’re both supercharged and subtle, sometimes at the same time. Three pieces are repertory favorites by Jiří Kylián and Alejandro Cerrudo, one a […]

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Post image for Chicago Theater Review: FIRST WIVES CLUB (Pre-Broadway World Premiere at the Oriental Theatre)

ANOTHER SCHOOL FOR WIVES It’s a huge reversal. For generations the sole route for a successful show was from Broadway to Hollywood–from musical to movie. For young theatergoers today that must seem a wrong-way turn: The smart transformation is screen to stage, the foregone familiarity of cinema blazing a trail for theater’s intimacy and third […]

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Post image for Chicago Theater Review: JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR (Theo Ubique)

BETRAYED BY THE KISS OF BROADWAY In the small confines of the No Exit Café in Rogers Park, one might have expected a more intimate, low-key version of Jesus Christ Superstar, especially considering that the production is billed as acoustic and unplugged. While the singers aren’t mic’d, the four-piece rock/funk band is definitely amped and […]

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Post image for Chicago Music Preview: CHARLES DUTOIT / YO-YO MA (Chicago Symphony Orchestra)

CELLO À LA FRANÇAISE! For the second of two concert programs featuring the work of French composers, the celebrated Swiss conductor Charles Dutoit joins forces with the world-renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma. The highlight of the concert is Édouard Lalo’s Cello Concerto in D-minor. Written in 1876, the piece begins with a dramatic Lento that slowly […]

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