All stories by Catey Sullivan on BroadwayStars

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

The Raveling is a theatrical spinning wheel by Catey Sullivan

Walkabout Theater's ensemble-created show suffers from too many unresolved threads. Imagine watching a class of preschoolers hopped up on cupcakes, acting out th…

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Wednesday, September 25, 2019

The King's Speech on stage doesn't improve upon the film. by Catey Sullivan

Chicago Shakespeare's production is pretty and witty, but lacks dramatic tension. The rise of Albert, Duke of York, from stammering puddle of self-doubt to globa…

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Wednesday, September 18, 2019

A Chinese American basketball player is lost in Tiananmen Square in The Great Leap by Catey Sullivan

Thirty years later, Lauren Yee's play depicts the events during the failed Chinese uprising with sympathy and surprising humor. In June, the Washington Post publ…

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Cambridge women fight for their academic rights in Blue Stockings by Catey Sullivan

Jessica Swale's set-in-1896 drama feels depressingly contemporary in Promethean's production. Jessica Swale's 1896-set drama should come with a trigger warning. …

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Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Loy Webb's plays creates a neon sign in the darkness by Catey Sullivan

In His Shadow, an aspiring football player confronts his brother's legacy and the price of protesting. Back in 2016 when she was still practicing law in Chicago,…

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At the Wake of a Dead Drag Queen offers a history lesson on intersectional oppression—with lip synching by Catey Sullivan

Terry Guest's two-character play for Story Theatre delivers an emotional knockout. When you think of the staggering levels of violence that members of the LGBTQI…

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Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Women designers make it work onstage by Catey Sullivan

Productions this fall in Chicago suggest their numbers are growing, but women in theatrical design still struggle for jobs and recognition. Roughly 15 or so year…

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Wednesday, August 28, 2019

(Non)Fiction fails to convince us of its premise by Catey Sullivan

Jillian Leff's world premiere for Right Brain Project offers a fantasy version of the publishing world. Playwright Jillian Leff's tale of a rookie novelist whose…

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Wednesday, August 21, 2019

All Quiet on the Western Front brings diversity and relevance in Red Tape's production by Catey Sullivan

Matt Foss's adaptation of Erich Maria Remarque's World War I classic is both powerful and frustrating. Red Tape Theatre's take on Erich Maria Remarque's 1929 cla…

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Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Diamond Lil & the Pansy Craze resurrects a famous Chicago nightclub by Catey Sullivan

A jukebox musical provides a stirring history lesson about gay life in the 1930s. Long before the Viagra Triangle took root in the Gold Coast, 909 Rush Street wa…

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Peacebook Festival turns four by Catey Sullivan

Collaboraction's annual anthology of short plays about peace, love, and understanding kicks off its season on the south side. Eviction and art. As a grade-school…

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Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Take a Gander at Come From Away by Catey Sullivan

A touring musical about the town that hosted the world after 9/11 brings the love. From the iconic image of the lone "falling man" to the gut-punch visual of wal…

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Wednesday, July 31, 2019

You Can’t Fake the Funk is super freaky fun by Catey Sullivan

Black Ensemble Theater’s celebration of the history of funk dazzles with defiant joy. Now onstage at Black Ensemble Theater: a hard-charging, gotta-dance, groo…

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Wednesday, July 17, 2019

The second coming of True West by Catey Sullivan

Jon Michael Hill and Namir Smallwood breathe fire into Steppenwolf’s revival. If you've been banging around the Chicago theatrosphere longer than 25 seconds, y…

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Wolf Play leads the pack by Catey Sullivan

An adoptee seeks comfort and safety in lupine identity in Hansol Jung's latest. Never doubt the emotional layers possible from an expertly crafted, exquisitely m…

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Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Get up and Go-Go to Kokandy’s Head Over Heels by Catey Sullivan

A binary-busting love story weds a 16th-century romance and the music of the Go-Go’s. When the Go-Go's debuted the irresistibly catchy titular song in 1984, MT…

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The Music Man offers a musical conundrum at the Goodman by Catey Sullivan

Mary Zimmerman’s production sings, though the gender politics creak. You can say this for director Mary Zimmerman's staging of Meredith Willson's multiple Tony…

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Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Hedwig and the Angry Inch, up close and personal at Theo Ubique by Catey Sullivan

In the title role, Will Lidke is a nova of charisma. It hasn't always been blindingly obvious that Hedwig and the Angry Inch is a riff on Plato's "Symposium." Bu…

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Thursday, June 20, 2019

With First Read 2019, the Syndicate hoped to transcend boundaries by Catey Sullivan

The theater company presented readings of three new one-acts by trans playwrights. You don't have to look further than this year's Tony Awards to see why we nee…

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Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Maybe a Big Mouth Billy Bass would liven up The River by Catey Sullivan

But all we've got is a murky early effort from Tony winner Jez Butterworth. Playwright Jez Butterworth won the 2019 Best Play Tony Award for The Ferryman, but it…

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Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Queen of the Mist somehow manages to make the story of the woman who went over Niagara Falls in a barrel “tedious, monotonous, repetitive, and not f by Catey Sullivan

Firebrand’s production can’t rise over the limits of the script. Michael John LaChiusa's musical Queen of the Mist contains a second-act song that critiques …

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Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Four Chords and a Gun reduces the Ramones from punks to adolescent brats by Catey Sullivan

Hey! Ho! Don't go! John Ross Bowie's 90-minute drama purports to be about the creation of the Ramones' album End of the Century, but it's actually about a quarte…

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Wednesday, May 8, 2019

The Children vividly imagines the worst-case scenario after an environmental disaster. by Catey Sullivan

Playwright Lucy Kirkwood's devastated world is nightmarishly familiar. It's comforting to regard the premise of Lucy Kirkwood's eco-thriller with a smug sense of…

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Thursday, April 25, 2019

Grinning From Fear to Fear at Second City E.T.C. doesn’t get funny till hour two by Catey Sullivan

Until then, it relies too heavily on stale old jokes. Second City e.t.c.'s 43rd revue begins with the cast paddling through the audience in a faux water ballet. …

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Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Cambodian Rock Band blends tragedy and joy into one of the best plays of the year by Catey Sullivan

It’s a reminder that while art can be silenced, it can never be extinguished. Near the end of the first act of Lauren Yee's Cambodian Rock Band, the cast deliv…

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Thursday, April 11, 2019

House Theatre creates a Pinocchio for our time by Catey Sullivan

And not just because the main character's nose grows when he tells a lie. With their adaptation of Carlo Collodi's Pinocchio, Joseph Steakley and Ben Lobpries ha…

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Thursday, March 28, 2019

Jackalope and Raven Theatres take audiences on a trip back to 1992 by Catey Sullivan

Dutch Masters and The Undeniable Sound of Right Now ask how much has really changed in politics and music. Jackalope and Raven Theatres are firing up the waybac…

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How Lily Be made the local storytelling scene look more like Chicago by Catey Sullivan

“Am I the only Latinx sharing stories right now? Where are the rest of us?” After the rush of winning the 2013 Moth GrandSlam storytelling competition faded…

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Julie Ganey's attempts to reconcile with her Trump-supporter father aren't Good Enough by Catey Sullivan

She ignores that some people don't have the luxury of civility. About midway through Julie Ganey's one-woman show, the author-star describes trying to make her T…

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Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Two Pints pays tribute to human resilience and the power of Guinness by Catey Sullivan

This Abbey Theatre import is unexpectedly wonderful. So, two Irish actors walk into a bar. As does the entire audience.…

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Saturday, November 4, 2017

Review: Fun Home (Victory Gardens Theater) by Catey Sullivan

In Victory Gardens' triumphant "Fun Home", Director Gary Griffin’s ensemble will break your heart with their ability to embody the characters in Alison Bechdel’s story, especially Rob Li…

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All that Chat

Oct 06: Slave Play
Feb 01: The Minutes
TBA: Blue