All stories by Amanda Finn on BroadwayStars

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…

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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 …

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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.

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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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Tuesday, November 22, 2022

Get Sparklejollytwinklejingley: A Review of Elf the Musical at Drury Lane by Amanda Finn

The show is everything you’d imagine for a staged version of Buddy the Elf’s coming-of-age story. You can practically taste the gooey gumdrop goodness from any seat in the house, even if…

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Thursday, November 17, 2022

A death in the family by Amanda Finn

Death is an often unwelcome teacher. It descends into our lives suddenly, without warning, or takes its sweet time. No matter when it finds us, Grief is right behind Death, […] The post A …

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Wednesday, November 2, 2022

Then There Was Music: A Review of Measure for Measure at Chicago Shakespeare Theater by Amanda Finn

“Measure” is one of those bizarre Shakespearean plays that resides in the space between comedy and tragedy—something that few of the Bard’s works do. Yet you will find yourself mesme…

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Thursday, October 13, 2022

Rich family fare by Amanda Finn

As someone whose older sisters are over a dozen years her senior, Sancocho (presented by Visión Latino Theatre Company as part of the fifth Destinos: Chicago International Latino Theater Fe…

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We Didn’t Start the Fire: A Review of Botticelli in the Fire at First Floor Theater by Amanda Finn

This play is super-duper-ultra queer. And I’m here for it.

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Tuesday, October 11, 2022

A Eulogy for Eugene: A Review Of 1919 At Steppenwolf Theatre Company by Amanda Finn

Eve L. Ewing’s 2019 collection of poems deep dives into the archives of the 1919 Chicago Race Riots—the most noted moment of the country’s Red Summer.

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Monday, September 26, 2022

Leave the Doors Open: A Review of Enough to Let the Light In at Teatro Vista by Amanda Finn

This psychological thriller lends itself wholeheartedly to the macabre.

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Thursday, September 22, 2022

Crowded house by Amanda Finn

Chicago doesn’t have much in the way of immersive theater experiences like Sleep No More in NYC. So when Windy City Playhouse debuted Leslie Liautaud’s Southern Gothic in 2018 it […] T…

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Slings and arrows by Amanda Finn

Never before has my Catholic upbringing been helpful in seeing theater. And yet, my mind couldn’t help but wander back to catechism class during Refracted Theatre Company’s inaugural pro…

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Thursday, July 7, 2022

A New Path Forward? Exploring the State of Chicago Theater by Amanda Finn

Many of our city’s theatrical leaders agree that Chicago is at the forefront of defining the future of the American theater.

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