All stories by Chris Jones on BroadwayStars

Monday, April 1, 2019

'A Number' at Writers Theatre: Remember when cloning was our biggest fear? by Chris Jones

A problem with writing dystopian dramas, be they in the theater or on TV, is that the sources of societal anxiety change fast. That is not to say that we get any less anxious overall, merely…

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 03:00PM
Sunday, March 31, 2019

'What the Constitution Means to Me' on Broadway is the best kind of political show, because first it's personal by Chris Jones

Most Broadway shows stick with playbills. Heidi Schreck hands out take-home copies of the Constitution of the United States of America. Or, as her 15-year-old self puts it in her mostly one-…

Linked From New York Daily News at 09:00PM
Friday, March 29, 2019

'Yen' at Raven Theatre: No cliches, just trapped up close in a filthy room with feral teenagers by Chris Jones

In Anna Jordan’s “Yen,” a British drama first seen at Manchester’s awesome Royal Exchange Theatre in 2015 and enough to give nightmares to anyone who lives with young teenagers, two …

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 08:00AM
Thursday, March 28, 2019

'Anastasia' in Chicago: This is a princess musical with surprising appeal, especially for moms and daughters by Chris Jones

When I first saw the family-oriented musical "Anastasia" on Broadway in 2017, I thought to myself that the show would have to suffer its share of mockery. Replete with a tortured villain cha…

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 01:30PM

Goodman and Lookingglass Theatres announce upcoming seasons — including a pre-Broadway 'Outsiders' by Chris Jones

Two prominent Chicago theaters have announced their 2019-20 seasons. Lookingglass Theatre will stage a timely new play about the former Chicago mayor Jane Byrne, while the Goodman Theatre's …

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 01:00PM
Wednesday, March 27, 2019

All behold Hudson Yards. Are you scared, Broadway? The rest of New York and cities everywhere? You should be by Chris Jones

You catch the 7 Line train from New York’s Times Square — a chaotic urban carnival of commerce, musicals, plays, comedy and gawking, technology laying atop the grime of urban history, it…

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 03:15PM
Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Spring theater coming your way, Chicago! Especially for fans of the Cubs, drums, 'Jersey Boys' and The Ramones by Chris Jones

Back from spring break? Still got a week of rest ahead? Either way, the sun is shining as I write (not that it’s warm or anything) and Chicago theaters are planting bulbs. Let’s take a l…

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 04:10PM
Monday, March 25, 2019

'For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide' is Ntozake Shange's glorious poem, linked with the classics at Court Theatre by Chris Jones

The ladies in yellow, purple, blue, green, brown, orange, red, women of color all, step out on the stage of the Court Theatre into what feels like an agora, a place of assembly, of confessio…

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 03:30PM
Sunday, March 24, 2019

'Landladies' at Northlight Theatre: A young single mom needs a cheap apartment — but there's a hole in this story by Chris Jones

Christine, the central character in the world premiere Northlight Theatre play “Landladies,” badly needs an apartment. She has a minimum-wage job at a taco joint, a young daughter, a tro…

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 01:30PM

Renee Fleming to star in revered 'Light in the Piazza' in Chicago by Chris Jones

A new production of the much-admired Adam Guettel musical “The Light in the Piazza” is coming to Chicago’s Lyric Opera House, 20 N. Wacker Drive, next winter, starring the famed opera …

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 12:00PM
Thursday, March 21, 2019

'Ain't Too Proud' on Broadway: Great songs but this 'life and times of the Temptations' tells us little by Chris Jones

“Ain’t Too Proud,” the frustrating biographical Broadway musical about Motown’s hit-machine the Temptations, takes its title from a 1966 record, “Ain’t Too Proud to Beg.” But i…

Linked From New York Daily News at 10:00PM

Trump versus 'Saturday Night Live': Actually, the president has a point by Chris Jones

Despite twice hosting "Saturday Night Live" — appearances in 2004 and 2015 that surely were helpful to his rise — the President of the United States is no longer a fan of the late-night …

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 08:00AM
Wednesday, March 20, 2019

'Things I Know to be True' at Milwaukee Rep: As the story of a Midwestern family, it's one of the best new plays of the year by Chris Jones

She tells her mom she's leaving her husband. And her kids. And the boring Midwest. Being older and wiser about life, this Midwest mother immediately senses that her grown-but-troubled daught…

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 12:30PM
Tuesday, March 19, 2019

A critic's dilemma at 'Doubt': A distinguished actor must read from her script by Chris Jones

A working Chicago actor at the age of 95, Mike Nussbaum gets a lot of deserved attention. He’s not slowing down, either. America’s oldest professional actor is slated to appear as the gr…

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 06:00PM

'Sweat' at Goodman Theatre: Lynn Nottage's Pulitzer winner set in a factory town is now in Chicago — and better than Broadway's by Chris Jones

Can a play be sympathetic to the plight of the displaced white, working-class workers of America while also holding that same group fully accountable for its defensiveness, myopia and well-d…

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 03:30PM
Monday, March 18, 2019

'Hands on a Hardbody' by Refuge Theater has a fine cast but feels lost. Imagine if you staged this at a real Chicago car lot. by Chris Jones

“Hands on a Hardbody” opened on Broadway in a crush of shows in the spring of 2013. I remember thinking (a) that the show would never get the attention it needed to survive (b), that it …

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 03:30PM

Broadway in Chicago's upcoming season: 'Oslo,' 'Once On This Island' and a Donna Summer musical by Chris Jones

The Loop theater presenter Broadway in Chicago announced its upcoming subscription season Monday. New shows headed to Chicago include the national tours of "Once On This Island," the disco-e…

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 12:30PM
Friday, March 15, 2019

'A Bronx Tale' at the Nederlander Theatre is Chazz Palminteri’s comfortable, old-school kind of musical. Just don't step in anyone's way. by Chris Jones

Chatting with a friend in another row Wednesday night, I inadvertently blocked the aisle of the James M. Nederlander Theatre, briefly impeding a heavyset man heading to his seat for “A Bro…

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 01:00PM
Thursday, March 14, 2019

'Kiss Me Kate' on Broadway goes for the feelings, and Kelli O'Hara is a pleasure as Kate by Chris Jones

Scott Ellis, whose body of work reveals him to be a softie, knows better than any other Broadway director how to key into the inner emotional lives of theater people. And he’s also keenly …

Linked From New York Daily News at 10:00PM

Conductor Riccardo Muti is with the striking CSO musicians. But is he not a manager? by Chris Jones

“I’m with the musicians,” said Riccardo Muti on Tuesday, delighting the striking musicians of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, for whom he was offering unequivocal support. Wait a minut…

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 08:00AM
Wednesday, March 13, 2019

'The Choir of Man' is just the thing for a warm-spirited night on the town by Chris Jones

Got a bachelorette party in your near future? Planning a girls’ (or boys’) night out? Looking for a full-throated, multi-generational, warm-spirited night on the town? “The Choir of Me…

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 03:10PM
Tuesday, March 12, 2019

This steamy, lovely 'Bridges of Madison County' at Theo Ubique belongs to its lead actress by Chris Jones

I kept thinking Monday night that it is mere happenstance — likely combined with some clear-eyed life choices — that you can find Kelli Harrington, a name unknown to most Chicagoans, per…

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 05:10PM

Chazz Palminteri talks 'Bronx Tale' and the only reason not to like it by Chris Jones

Calogero Lorenzo Palminteri — a son of the outer boroughs of New York City, otherwise known as Chazz and now 66 years old — visited Chicago recently to talk about his life, times, and …

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 11:45AM

Britney Spears Broadway musical will open in Chicago, replacing Michael Jackson tryout by Chris Jones

Exit Michael Jackson. Enter Britney Spears. Moving rapidly, Broadway in Chicago has filled the spot vacated by the cancellation of the pre-Broadway tryout of “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get E…

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 10:50AM
Monday, March 11, 2019

A musical about the Cubs — 'Miracle' — readies for its opening day in Chicago by Chris Jones

Coming this spring, hard on the heels of opening day at Wrigley Field: A new Chicago-born stage musical, officially encouraged and approved by the Chicago Cubs and produced by a former state…

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 07:00AM
Sunday, March 10, 2019

'Be More Chill' on Broadway: We're all terrified of the computers coming for our kids' brains by Chris Jones

The new high school musical “Be More Chill” needed to take it own advice: Chill out, kids. And fear not your own truth! If all of its overplayed, insecure, overwrought, dial-in-the-red-z…

Linked From New York Daily News at 09:00PM
Friday, March 8, 2019

'Two Pints' at Chicago Shakes: From two fellas talking, you sure can learn a lot about life by Chris Jones

What do working-class Irishmen in the final throes of middle age talk about in the pub? You know, with a good pal. The kind with whom you can let down your guard. If your answer to that ques…

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 12:40PM
Thursday, March 7, 2019

'Dutch Masters' by Jackalope Theatre: Short, tense thriller packs a lot into that meeting on the subway by Chris Jones

It’s 1992. A young white man named Steve meets a young African-American man named Eric on an empty D subway train in New York City. The white man is going home to his mother in Riverdale; …

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 02:50PM

As the Chicago debut nears, pieces of 'Hamilton: The Exhibition' are built in Atlanta and the roof rises on Northerly Island by Chris Jones

Inside a nondescript building not far from the Atlanta airport, David Korins, the set designer of “Hamilton,” the creative director of “Hamilton: The Exhibition” and a man just finis…

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 12:00PM
Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Margaret Trudeau, mother of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, will do a show in Chicago by Chris Jones

Margaret Trudeau — the mother of one Prime Minister of Canada and the former wife of another — will perform over Mother’s Day weekend. But not in Canada. In Chicago. In the UP Comedy C…

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 08:00AM
Tuesday, March 5, 2019

'Frozen' the Disney musical is coming to Chicago in 2020 by Chris Jones

Picking an aptly frigid day for their official announcement, Disney Theatricals said Tuesday that the Broadway musical “Frozen” is coming to Chicago. The first national tour of the music…

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 11:00AM

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