All stories by Irene Hsiao on BroadwayStars

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Torchy Brown lights way for Litany by Irene Hsiao

Jenn Freeman (aka Po'Chop) probes femininity, gender, rage, and history in a five-part dance film. Small-town girl finds adventure, fame, and love in the big cit…

SOURCE: at 12:30PM
Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Pop-up performances and protests break the pandemic chains by Irene Hsiao

In an industry decimated by distancing, dancers discover steps forward. When theaters closed their doors for COVID-19 in March, it looked like curtains for perf…

SOURCE: at 12:00PM
Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Manual Cinema celebrates a decade of innovative work by Irene Hsiao

The company offers an online 'retrospectacular' of four previous shows. “The cradle rocks above an abyss, and common sense tells us that our existence is but a…

SOURCE: at 10:00AM
Friday, July 3, 2020

This is us by Irene Hsiao

Chicago’s 21c Museum Hotel reopens with “This We Believe.” A stone's throw from the kitsch and luxe of the Magnificent Mile, in a north-facing window on O…

SOURCE: at 11:50AM
Thursday, July 2, 2020

Moving to the music at home with SummerDance by Irene Hsiao

Social distancing can't stop the beat for this beloved Chicago festival. Summer in the city usually means sultry nights of outdoor picnics, plays and concerts ga…

SOURCE: at 01:30PM
Monday, May 18, 2020

Hubbard Street evolves with a 'new paradigm' by Irene Hsiao

Space, perspective, and introversion feature thematically in new online dance pieces. On March 12, the dancers of Hubbard Street Dance Chicago were onstage prepa…

SOURCE: at 06:30PM
Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Chicago Dance History Project archives the current moment by Irene Hsiao

Dancing Under Quarantine honors resilience and creativity. Founded five years ago and recipient of a 2019 Ruth Page Award, the Chicago Dance History Project has …

SOURCE: at 06:45PM
Thursday, April 23, 2020

When the lively arts go virtual by Irene Hsiao

Two Reader critics talk about digital dance and theater—and other COVID-19 challenges. On April 8, several organizations came together for a "Chicago Performin…

SOURCE: at 04:15PM
Thursday, April 2, 2020

Dancing alone together by Irene Hsiao

Dancers figure out how to create in isolation. Dances are made in time and space, a minute or an hour in a dancer’s life never to be seen again. Dances do not …

SOURCE: at 08:25PM
Monday, March 30, 2020

Lou Conte Dance Studio closes after 46 years by Irene Hsiao

Hubbard Street's management blames COVID-19, but Conte and others raise questions. A studio, in its essence, is nothing more than an empty room.…

SOURCE: at 09:35AM
Tuesday, March 17, 2020

The Two Character Play gets the context it deserves. by Irene Hsiao

Tennessee Williams's oft-revised story delivers to arresting effect with Theatre L'Acadie. "Having the necessary arrogance to assume that a failed production of …

SOURCE: at 07:00PM
Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Martin McDonagh's The Pillowman is Gorey-meets-Kafka by Irene Hsiao

Gift Theatre brings a dark fable to life. Once upon a time, in a room that looked like a fifth-grade classroom after a firebombing followed by an era of mildew, …

SOURCE: at 07:15PM
Thursday, February 27, 2020

March forward, spring ahead by Irene Hsiao

Ten performance picks to blow you away this month Theater (Kerry Reid) What the Constitution Means to Me Heidi Schreck's Tony-nominated play, in which the playwr…

SOURCE: at 03:50PM
Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Trinity Irish Dance Company plays at the intersection of American Traffic by Irene Hsiao

A new work at the Auditorium combines Irish and African American dance traditions. In the 19th century, amid social unrest, crime, and infectious disease in the …

SOURCE: at 04:10PM
Tuesday, February 18, 2020

The Times Are Racing has urgency, but lacks vision by Irene Hsiao

Electric performances heat up a Joffrey program that could use more coherence. Antarctica has hit a record high temperature. Sixty thousand known cases of the ne…

SOURCE: at 12:30PM
Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Leaping into live performance for February by Irene Hsiao

Our critics suggest ten ways to fill out that slightly longer calendar this month. Theater (Kerry Reid) Sophisticated Ladies…

SOURCE: at 05:30PM
Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Bridging the spiritual and political divide in I Hunger for You by Irene Hsiao

Kimberly Bartosik/daela make their Chicago debut. In 2017, when choreographer and former Merce Cunningham dancer Kimberly Bartosik began working on I Hunger for …

SOURCE: at 05:00PM
Monday, January 27, 2020

Caught Up: A Review of The Mousetrap at Court Theatre by Irene Hsiao

The characters in Sean Graney's production of Agatha Christie's delicious whodunit slowly come undone like so much hard candy.

SOURCE: at 02:00PM
Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Light in Winter celebrates Unity Temple in music and movement by Irene Hsiao

Frank Lloyd Wright's recently restored “good-time place” provides a divine backdrop for Winifred Haun and Dancers. No entrance greets the eye at the intersec…

SOURCE: at 05:30PM
Monday, January 20, 2020

The Art of Loss: A Review of Thirst at Strawdog Theatre Company by Irene Hsiao

Playwright C.A. Johnson's world of civil war, bombs, looting, gangs and starvation is hardly fictional. It is practically here.

SOURCE: at 02:00PM
Friday, December 20, 2019

Girls in a dance troupe glimpse the pain of the adult world in Dance Nation by Irene Hsiao

Clare Barron's drama delivers flagrantly graceless dancing, but heartstopping truths. The curtain never rises on Clare Barron's ferocious, Pulitzer-finalist play…

SOURCE: at 08:00PM

This list goes to 11: our critics share their best bets for chilly nights by Irene Hsiao

Break the hibernation habit with some hot choices onstage. THEATER PICKS (KERRY REID) Whisper House…

SOURCE: at 05:30PM
Tuesday, December 17, 2019

No one is alone by Irene Hsiao

The best moments in dance this year focused on the power of community. In the mad scene in Akram Khan's Giselle for the English National Ballet at the Harris The…

SOURCE: at 07:15PM

Sara Schumann uses her dance and law background to keep Madison Ballet on pointe by Irene Hsiao

The longtime Chicago dancer and labor lawyer turns Nutcracker revenues into new initiatives. For most, the holidays mean food, family, festivities, and fits of r…

SOURCE: at 05:00PM
Monday, December 16, 2019

Light Headed: A Review of The Light in the Piazza at Lyric Opera of Chicago by Irene Hsiao

By the end of this melodious but ultimately vapid production you too might feel as if you've been kicked in the head.

SOURCE: at 11:00AM
Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Bangarra Dance Theatre brings its distinctive language to Chicago by Irene Hsiao

Based in Australia, the company fuses contemporary dance with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander traditions. Bangarra Dance Theatre of Australia makes its Chi…

SOURCE: at 05:53PM
Monday, November 18, 2019

Riven and Vivid: A Review of Oedipus Rex at Court Theatre by Irene Hsiao

A contemporary and timeless vision from the premiere source for classical Greek theater.

SOURCE: at 02:00PM
Tuesday, November 12, 2019

The music entices, but the story is corny in Sombras Tango Cabaret by Irene Hsiao

Tango 21 Dance Theater's cabaret show lacks narrative sophistication. Originating on the streets of Argentina, filtered through European high society, blending A…

SOURCE: at 06:05PM

Rink Life takes us on a circular journey through collaboration by Irene Hsiao

Lucky Plush's new ensemble piece uses the roller rink as a metaphor for community. Ah, the roller rink—a community center where everyone keeps moving in circle…

SOURCE: at 04:45PM
Monday, November 11, 2019

An Enduring Holiday Tradition: A Review of The Steadfast Tin Soldier at Lookingglass Theatre Company by Irene Hsiao

Directed by Mary Zimmerman, this ardent and wide-eyed holiday show returns, albeit with at least one noteworthy blind spot.

SOURCE: at 09:00AM
Wednesday, November 6, 2019

This, That, and the Third breaks down code-switching by Irene Hsiao

Rena Butler explores otherness and adaptation to new spaces in her contribution to Hubbard Street's Forge Forward program. This week, Hubbard Street Dance Chicag…

SOURCE: at 07:00AM

All that Chat

May 30, 2023: Grey House - Lyceum Theatre
Jun 26, 2023: Just For Us - Hudson Theatre
Jul 24, 2023: The Cottage - Hayes Theater
Nov 16, 2023: Spamalot - St. James Theatre
Dec 18, 2023: Appropriate - Hayes Theater
Mar 07, 2024: Doubt - Todd Haimes Theatre
Apr 14, 2024: Lempicka - Longacre Theatre
Apr 17, 2024: The Wiz - Marquis Theatre
Apr 18, 2024: Suffs - Music Box Theatre
Apr 25, 2024: Mother Play - Hayes Theater
Jun 10, 2024: The Drama Desk Awards