All stories by Chris Jones on BroadwayStars

Thursday, May 16, 2019

'Hamilton' sets its closing date in Chicago by Chris Jones

The Chicago production of "Hamilton" will close Jan. 5, 2020, the Broadway producer Jeffrey Seller said in an interview with the Tribune Wednesday evening. The date of closing is not a surpr…

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 10:30AM

Laurie Metcalf talks about playing Hillary on Broadway, and Steppenwolf: 'It had to keep growing or end' by Chris Jones

Laurie Metcalf was known to Chicago theater lovers for years before she became a Broadway mainstay. The Steppenwolf ensemble member — also known for her work on the TV sitcoms "Roseanne" a…

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 08:40AM
Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Big theater week alert! 'Six' at Chicago Shakes is just one of a dozen openings by Chris Jones

In the days leading up to Memorial Day, Chicago traditionally has more theater openings than at any other time of the year. And 2019 is bringing an especially bumper crop of marquee spring a…

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 06:00AM
Tuesday, May 14, 2019

'The Winter’s Tale': Nope, there's no forgiveness for poor King Leontes at the Goodman by Chris Jones

Like “The Tempest” and “Cymbeline,” William Shakespeare’s “The Winter’s Tale” traditionally has been seen as a romantic play about forgiveness, penance and reconciliation. It…

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 03:25PM
Monday, May 13, 2019

'Killing Game' at A Red Orchid: Death (and Michael Shannon) arrive fast and furious by Chris Jones

Death! Cannibalism! Fire! Michael Shannon on film! All of the above are on offer in A Red Orchid Theatre’s cacophonous new production of “Killing Game” (“Jeux de Massacre”), a show…

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 03:25PM
Sunday, May 12, 2019

With son Justin Trudeau in the Second City audience, Margaret Trudeau opens up about her past by Chris Jones

On an extraordinary night at Second City in Chicago, a fearless, vulnerable and determinedly transparent Margaret Trudeau took the stage to talk of affairs and mistakes, family and failures,…

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 12:40PM
Friday, May 10, 2019

Northlight Theatre has new plan to move to Evanston, building its own theater by Chris Jones

In a pivot away from developers and controversial Evanston high-rises, Northlight Theatre says it has made a fresh plan for a new home. Northlight said Friday that it has signed an option ag…

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 06:00AM
Thursday, May 9, 2019

Definition Theatre's 'EthiopianAmerica' really captures immigrant, teenage lives as they are lived by Chris Jones

The children of immigrants long have written plays and novels about what it’s like to be a first-generation American, trying to build a life in a new country under the watchful eyes of for…

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 07:20PM

'Chicago' is back in Chicago, yet again, starring Eddie George — and it's strikingly good by Chris Jones

Most Broadway tours are like those old mimeograph machines: the more times they’re toured, duplicated and recast, the more the quality fades. So why is “Chicago the Musical” different?…

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 03:15PM

Margaret Trudeau of Canada has been tested by fame, and life — now she's ready to talk about it at Second City by Chris Jones

In 2015, Justin Trudeau was elected prime minister of Canada. In his Montreal victory speech, delivered in both French and English, he said, “Sunny ways, my friends. Sunny ways!” Histori…

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 06:00AM
Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Definition Theatre gets $1.6 million for new home on the South Side by Chris Jones

In an extraordinary development likely to transform the fortunes of a bold but small Chicago company, Definition Theatre is to receive $1.6 million in direct funding from the City of Chicago…

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 01:00PM
Monday, May 6, 2019

'The Undeniable Sound of Right Now' at Raven Theatre: A landlord walks into a Chicago rock club — you know this song by Chris Jones

For fans of Chicago’s legendary indie music scene, Hank’s Bar will feel like a fusion of The Hideout, Lounge Ax, Martyrs, the Double Door, and any number of other mission-based small mus…

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Headed from Aurora to Broadway? Hey, 'August Rush,' what's your hurry? by Chris Jones

To call “August Rush,” the new musical at the Paramount Theatre in Aurora, a pre-Broadway tryout is a major overstatement. What is up on that historic stage at present is more akin to a …

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 04:00PM

How does Eddie George go from football to starring in 'Chicago'? 'He gets an acting coach for 12 years.' by Chris Jones

In 1995, his senior year at Ohio State, Eddie George rushed for a school-record 1,927 yards and scored 25 touchdowns, gaining an average of 148 yards per game. Against Notre Dame that season…

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 09:00AM
Sunday, May 5, 2019

Lyric Opera has a great, traditional 'West Side Story' that believes in the original by Chris Jones

The current, vociferous debate over classic Broadway musicals is not unlike that over the Constitution of the United States. On the one hand, you have those who argue that the Constitution s…

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 03:00PM
Friday, May 3, 2019

'Matilda the Musical' at the Drury Lane is mostly a letdown by Chris Jones

"Matilda," the proto-feminist story of a gifted little girl with nasty parents, is perhaps the best family musical of this young century. Prescient for 2010, it managed both to be a thrillin…

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 12:30PM
Thursday, May 2, 2019

'Too Heavy for Your Pocket' at TimeLine: It's the acting that elevates this new play set during the civil rights era by Chris Jones

If you’ve not heard of Jireh Breon Holder or his play “Too Heavy for Your Pocket,” you might well think that the new drama at the TimeLine Theatre is a long-lost play from the so-calle…

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 04:00PM

Exiting Rahm Emanuel talks arts in Chicago: What he's most proud of — and a few regrets by Chris Jones

Some three weeks before leaving office, Rahm Emanuel, the 55th Mayor of Chicago, sat for an interview in his office at City Hall about the arts in Chicago. This is an edited transcript of ou…

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 06:00AM
Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Boy meets fox in 'First Love is the Revolution' at Steep Theatre by Chris Jones

Heard of “Venus in Fur”? That’s nothing compared to “First Love is the Revolution,” a play about a torrid and intensely emotional love affair between a 14-year-old boy and a young …

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 04:30PM

'August Rush' is a new Broadway-bound musical — first at the Paramount in Aurora by Chris Jones

For hopeful new Broadway musicals, Chicago has become the most famous tryout town in America. But Aurora? Come Friday, it gets a piece of the action that has been going almost entirely to ei…

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 06:00AM
Tuesday, April 30, 2019

'The Children' at Steppenwolf is about the end of the world, more or less — but in Chicago it's a bit chilly by Chris Jones

If — strike that, when — the Earth suffers some sort of horrific ecological disaster of our own making, humanity probably won't disintegrate into dust overnight. More likely, some of us …

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 02:30PM

'Tootsie' and 'Hadestown' top 2019 Tony Awards nominations — plus Laurie Metcalf for 'Hillary' by Chris Jones

As Broadway looks for a safe landing between changing times and the traditional makeup of its audience, this year's Tony Award nominations, announced Tuesday morning, reflected fevered compe…

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Cirque du Soleil announces 'R.U.N.' in Las Vegas — its first new show there in years by Chris Jones

After six years of a Cirque drought in the desert, the Cirque du Soleil is to bring a new attraction to the Luxor Hotel in Las Vegas later this year. Instead of the acrobats and trapeze arti…

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 03:00AM
Friday, April 26, 2019

In front of a hushed MCA audience, Kim Foxx lets Hamlet beat a murder rap by Chris Jones

Forget Jussie Smollett. Kim Foxx, the State’s Attorney for Cook County, let Hamlet walk on Thursday night. In a murder trial held before the federal judge Joan Lefkow, the relentless Chica…

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 02:35PM

At Chicago Shakespeare Theater, this 'Hamlet' is like a guy you know, and you feel his grief by Chris Jones

For an eleventh-hour replacement, Maurice Jones is a darn fine Hamlet. Jones, a Broadway actor, was only cast in the theater's most iconic role in March, following the withdrawal of Raul …

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 06:00AM
Thursday, April 25, 2019

'Beetlejuice' on Broadway is a sleazy mess that's not for families — or anyone else by Chris Jones

The Beetlejuice is rancid. And be sure not to bring the kids for a drink. "Beetlejuice" — officially "Beetlejuice the Musical, the Musical, the Musical" — is one of those what-were-they-…

Linked From New York Daily News at 09:10PM

Debating Michael Jackson, the new 'Don't Stop' musical and the 'complexity defense' by Chris Jones

Incredibly, the dangerously titled Michael Jackson musical, “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough,” is moving forward in New York. Its creators are using what I’ll call the complexity de…

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 06:00AM
Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Do shots, then do 'Macbeth,' what could go wrong? 'Drunk Shakespeare' is coming to Chicago's Loop by Chris Jones

A new 120-seat theater is coming to the Loop. On Wabash Avenue, right by the Halal Guys and a Taco Bell Cantina, just across the street from the Elephant & Castle pub, will sit The Lion …

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 03:10PM
Monday, April 22, 2019

Raven Theatre, 'Requiem' and 'Tilkum' at the top of the 2019 Non-Equity Jeff Award nominations by Chris Jones

In its first full season under artistic director Cody Estle, Raven Theatre scored the most nominations in the 2019 Non-Equity Jeff Awards, with the all-volunteer committee of Chicago theater…

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 11:00AM
Thursday, April 18, 2019

'Hillary and Clinton' on Broadway revists politics' most painful paradox, with the help of Laurie Metcalf and John Lithgow by Chris Jones

“Can I touch you?” John Lithgow’s Bill asks Laurie Metcalf’s Hillary. If looks could kill, the audience for playwright Lucas Hnath’s “Hillary and Clinton” at Broadway’s Golde…

Linked From New York Daily News at 09:30PM

'Cambodian Rock Band' at Victory Gardens: You're watching a breakout moment for a playwright — plus songs by Dengue Fever by Chris Jones

The most fun you can ever have as a critic is watching a talented scribe take a great leap — in both thematic ambition and theatrical accomplishment. “Cambodian Rock Band,” already the…

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 02:00PM

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