All stories by Amanda Finn on BroadwayStars

Wednesday, May 1, 2024

Middleton of the road by Amanda Finn

Self-indulgent. A blunt word, yet little else feels appropriate for a show that ran three hours and eight minutes—from late start to the end of curtain call—when it is said to be two hou…

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Wednesday, March 6, 2024

A tail of friendship by Amanda Finn

“Sludge and slurry!” Badger (John Drea) frequently exclaims to giggles and muted repeat-backs from the littlest of audience members. Utterly enchanted, the children in this audience seem…

SOURCE: at 12:00PM

Twihard embraces the cringe by Amanda Finn

Thirteen-year-old Amanda, not quite a Twihard herself but an avid reader who loved Twilight, would have died over Otherworld Theatre’s Twihard musical parody. Thirty-one-year-old Amanda th…

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Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Don’t Show Your Hand: A Review of “Topdog/Underdog” at Invictus Theatre by Amanda Finn

"It is one of my all-time favorite plays, and Invictus Theatre’s production is a brilliant example of how to handle this intense two-hander."

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Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Music Is a Time Machine: A Review of “The Band’s Visit” at Writers Theatre by Amanda Finn

“Band’s Visit” takes so many of the traditional musical theater-type songs and mashes them together into an enchanting story about what it means to be a person in the world with other …

SOURCE: at 08:00AM
Tuesday, February 13, 2024

La P*nche India struggles to find the right tone by Amanda Finn

When we meet Gigi (Iris García) she is having a crisis of personality. Staring horrified in front of her bedroom mirror, the blonde wealthy woman is suddenly a dark-haired Indigenous woman.…

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Wednesday, February 7, 2024

The price of safety by Amanda Finn

Sitting in near silence in an apartment, curtains drawn, television above a whisper, and fans oscillating to feign static sound. That is how we meet Taroon (Owais Ahmed). Alone in a Kabul re…

SOURCE: at 04:00PM
Monday, November 27, 2023

What Would Chekhov Think? A Review of “Stupid Fucking Bird” at Bluebird Arts by Amanda Finn

This is Aaron Posner’s very loose adaptation of Chekov’s “The Seagull.”

SOURCE: at 08:00AM
Tuesday, November 21, 2023

Truth, Lies, and Everything Else: A Review of “The Lifespan of a Fact” at TimeLine Theatre Company by Amanda Finn

Based on the true story of a battle between essayist John D’Agata and fact checker Jim Fingal, “Lifespan” bemoans the realities of journalism that few in the general public truly under…

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Wednesday, November 15, 2023

A Killer Production: A Review of “Assassins” at Theo Ubique by Amanda Finn

A carnival of famous American assassins who got their day in history or missed their mark, Stephen Sondheim uses them as thematic devices. Are they misunderstood outsiders? Misguided patriot…

SOURCE: at 08:00AM
Thursday, August 10, 2023

Goodman grows a delightful family show by Amanda Finn

Settled in the grass at Moore Park in the Austin neighborhood, a baby clad in a vegetable-patterned onesie coos to the music, while a toddler wriggles, wiggly worms in hand, to the aptly nam…

SOURCE: at 12:11PM
Wednesday, July 26, 2023

Disney delight by Amanda Finn

The stages at Chicago Shakespeare Theater are accustomed to classic tales of daring sword fights, magic spells, and a prince in disguise—just the kinds of stories that Belle loves to read.…

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Tuesday, May 23, 2023

Where We Find Ourselves Now: A Review of “What the Constitution Means to Me” at TimeLine Theatre Company by Amanda Finn

Heidi Schreck’s play showcases our narrator regaling us with her complicated love story. This romance between an American teen circa the 1980s and the United States Constitution circa the …

SOURCE: at 08:00AM
Tuesday, April 18, 2023

When Everything Is Burning: A Review of “Is God Is” at A Red Orchid Theatre by Amanda Finn

No one does thriller or horror like A Red Orchid Theatre, truly.

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Monday, April 17, 2023

What goes around comes back around by Amanda Finn

A simple lit rooftop, church steeple, or body-as-a-temple metaphor greets you as you enter the theater. Two bright lines meet in the middle, seemingly pointing upwards towards something grea…

SOURCE: at 06:06PM
Thursday, March 30, 2023

A perfect nightmare by Amanda Finn

Like the people in the allegorical Tower of Babel, the citizens of Jacqueline Goldfinger’s futuristic Babel are seeking oneness. The kind of oneness that mankind has never reasonably come …

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Thursday, March 23, 2023

Woven tales by Amanda Finn

Hajja Souad’s story, eight decades of life lived, is woven into a narrative of resilience, hope, and the changing tides in Palestine during her long lifetime. Brought to life in the U.S. p…

SOURCE: at 09:41AM
Wednesday, March 22, 2023

We Are All the People We’ve Loved: A Review of Layalina at Goodman Theatre by Amanda Finn

We are reminded, subtly, that we too are made up of the stuff of those who have loved us. Whether we like it or not there are characteristics and tendencies we each carry within ourselves ta…

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Thursday, March 16, 2023

A Glimpse at How We Cope: A Review of Avenue Q at Music Theater Works by Amanda Finn

Music Theater Works’ production of “Avenue Q” is delightful.

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Wednesday, March 15, 2023

Baby blues by Amanda Finn

When I read Molly Smith Metzler’s now award-winning Cry It Out in 2018, I knew it was something special. I am still not a parent myself nor (at that point) were any of my closest friends. …

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Tuesday, February 21, 2023

Reinvigorating A Moment: A Review of Boulevard of Bold Dreams at TimeLine Theatre Company by Amanda Finn

“Gone with the Wind”'s Hattie McDaniel’s artistry and life were complicated, much like history. That’s why TimeLine’s production suits them so well. We get to imagine what things w…

SOURCE: at 08:00AM
Wednesday, February 15, 2023

Trial in the Delta revisits the murder of Emmett Till by Amanda Finn

A murder trial transcript that went missing, not to be found until 2004—decades after the murder of Emmett Till. The Black Chicago teen whose unfathomable death in 1955 sparked the Civil R…

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Thursday, February 2, 2023

An Examination of Trauma: A Review of Wuthering Heights at Chicago Shakespeare Theater by Amanda Finn

This is an inventive and gorgeous retelling of Emily Brontë’s “Wuthering Heights.”

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Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Art Reflecting Life: A Review of Andy Warhol in Iran at Northlight Theatre by Amanda Finn

Brent Askari places Warhol just ahead of the revolution in Iran (then Tehran) in the 1970s to get Polaroids of the Shah’s wife for a portrait commission.

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Friday, January 27, 2023

What’s In a Name? A Review of The Great Khan at Redtwist Theatre by Amanda Finn

Michael Gene Sullivan’s new play is a lively reminder that those who came before are not just names to memorize in grade school. Their legacies, infamous or not, follow us in ways seen and…

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Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Are We Still Naive? A Review of Cabaret at Porchlight Music Theatre by Amanda Finn

You will be dazzled by the shimmering costumes a la Bill Morey, the incredible talent of the ensemble and enamored by Angela Weber Miller’s multifaceted set.

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Tuesday, January 3, 2023

Chicago Theater Is Home: An Interview with Marissa Lynn Ford About Her Plans for the League of Chicago Theatres by Amanda Finn

Now the new executive director of the League of Chicago Theatres, Ford’s love of the theater shines on in a unique way.

SOURCE: at 08:00AM
Monday, December 19, 2022

A Shadow of Ourselves: A Review of Manual Cinema’s Christmas Carol by Amanda Finn

Manual Cinema’s amalgamation of puppetry, mixed between shadow and light, is the perfect homage to this beloved Victorian ghost story.

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Thursday, December 15, 2022

Saving Hanukkah by Amanda Finn

During the holiday season there are traditions all over the world. I hope that Strawdog’s Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins maintains its place as a Chicago seasonal perennial. Now in its f…

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Friday, December 2, 2022

No Humbugs: A Review of A Christmas Carol at Goodman Theatre by Amanda Finn

Equal parts imaginative holiday magic, Dickensian gothic style, and honest-to-goodness humanity.

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Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Monologuing: Title Ten at Artemisia Theatre by Amanda Finn

Int. messy Chicago apartment, unseasonably hot end of November.  Being a theater critic can be so isolating when you don’t fit the story being told. Most of the time, I […] The post Mon…

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