All stories by Catey Sullivan on BroadwayStars

Tuesday, June 4, 2024

Romance and regret, Sondheim style by Catey Sullivan

The sexual round-robin that swirls through the heart of composer/lyricist Stephen Sondheim’s lilting masterpiece A Little Night Music is set in motion by regrets over paths both taken and …

SOURCE: at 02:48PM

Breaking the code by Catey Sullivan

The Enigmatist run time is officially 95 minutes, but you’ll want to get there a solid half hour early so you can crack the codes in the “puzzle garden” that greets audiences on the si…

SOURCE: at 02:30PM
Thursday, May 23, 2024

English provides lessons in identity and loss by Catey Sullivan

The galvanic power of language to create and destroy is easy to take for granted. Language defines how we think, how others perceive us, and how we engage with the world. So what happens whe…

SOURCE: at 12:04PM
Wednesday, May 15, 2024

Gods & Monsters revisits the story behind James Whale’s Frankenstein by Catey Sullivan

It’s been too long since actor/director/writer/singer/dancer/Obama media strategist Paul Oakley Stovall dedicated his prolific talents to Chicago’s theater community. A regular on stages…

SOURCE: at 12:00PM
Friday, May 10, 2024

A Barrie Cole festival lays the table for a thoughtful feast by Kerry Reid and Catey Sullivan

Editor’s Note: Since all the plays presented in Hamburgers & Disappointment are for two people, we thought it made some sense to have two critics writing about the festival. Capacity a…

SOURCE: at 09:51AM
Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Brooklyn Laundry mixes the lights and the darks by Catey Sullivan

Brooklyn Laundry is a deceptive show: It begins with a meet-cute and briefly lulls you into the sense that it will unspool as something of a rom-com. But playwright John Patrick Shanley isn�…

SOURCE: at 11:02AM
Wednesday, April 3, 2024

Jersey Boys sound even better up close by Catey Sullivan

I’ve seen Jersey Boys at least six times, which I mention not as a flex but for context. It’s a fantastic show, but over the years the various productions have blurred together and becom…

SOURCE: at 11:51AM

Trade secrets by Catey Sullivan

When Harry Milas makes a royal flush materialize from the chaos of a deck we just inarguably saw shuffled at the hands of several of his 35 audience members, it’s not magic. Instead, he ex…

SOURCE: at 11:27AM
Wednesday, March 27, 2024

Purpose adds to Steppenwolf’s collection of domestic-dysfunction classics by Catey Sullivan

Steppenwolf has long had a way with wildly dysfunctional family dramas. From Anton Chekhov’s Seagull to Sam Shepard’s True West to Tracy Letts’s August: Osage County, the off-Loop inst…

SOURCE: at 03:58PM
Wednesday, March 6, 2024

They love the 80s by Catey Sullivan

It’s totally easy to make fun of the 1980s. Shoulder pads you could poke an eye out with. Leg warmers over fishnets. The elevation of Bret Easton Ellis into a literary celebrity. But it wa…

SOURCE: at 12:20PM
Tuesday, January 23, 2024

Anything Goes is everything you need for winter by Catey Sullivan

Longtime cabaret chanteuse Meghan Murphy has always had an outsize stage persona. For years her “Big Red” shows (the name refers to both Murphy’s supermodel stature and flaming red hai…

SOURCE: at 12:48PM
Wednesday, January 10, 2024

Love, Chaos, & Dinner is back with more spectacular acts by Catey Sullivan

Teatro ZinZanni Presents: Love, Chaos, & Dinner has been a reliably entertaining fantasia of top-tier circus hijinks since it debuted here way back in the before times of 2019. (For a fe…

SOURCE: at 10:48AM
Thursday, November 9, 2023

Assassins at Theo examines the real national pastime: violence by Catey Sullivan

I couldn’t tell you how many times I’ve seen Stephen Sondheim’s appallingly timely tale of U.S. assassins (and wannabe assassins) since it premiered in 1990. I can tell you that Theo�…

SOURCE: at 10:07AM
Wednesday, October 4, 2023

Eurydice loses its way by Catey Sullivan

At first, it seems like a match made in heaven. Or rather, Mount Olympus. But marriages between goddesses and mortals are complicated, and throughout Greek myth, their unions are defined by …

SOURCE: at 11:41AM
Monday, October 2, 2023

The Lehman Trilogy is TimeLine at its finest by Catey Sullivan

Three actors play more than 50 characters over a span of some 160 years in the TimeLine Theatre/Broadway in Chicago collaboration on the epic drama The Lehman Trilogy. But it’s not dauntin…

SOURCE: at 11:34AM
Wednesday, September 6, 2023

Rose’s show by Catey Sullivan

The titular showgirl in Gypsy isn’t necessarily Gypsy Rose Lee, the reluctant vaudeville child star who—per the “musical fable” from Stephen Sondheim (lyrics), Jule Styne (score) and…

SOURCE: at 02:46PM
Friday, August 18, 2023

Enraging and engaging by Catey Sullivan

Sometimes more didactic than dramatically sound, Ella Hickson’s The Writer remains enraging and engaging as it offers a graphic crash course in the perils of playwriting while female. And,…

SOURCE: at 10:18AM
Friday, July 7, 2023

Sanctuary stories by Catey Sullivan

At the crux of writer/director Kareem Fahmy’s promising but incomplete drama is a father and a daughter, whose relationship is cruelly subject to the seemingly random structures of immigra…

SOURCE: at 10:51AM
Thursday, June 8, 2023

A provocative Pippin by Catey Sullivan

Pippin was a forerunner in the big swing of musical theater away from the happy-ever-after era that defined the genre’s “golden age.” The 1972 show by Stephen Schwartz (music) and Roge…

SOURCE: at 10:31AM
Thursday, May 4, 2023

Timely Twain by Catey Sullivan

The dramaturgy displays alone for Mercury Theater Chicago’s Big River, based on Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, taught me more about Mark Twain’s 1830s-set, biting antislavery novel than…

SOURCE: at 11:17AM
Tuesday, May 2, 2023

Lovely, dark, and deep by Catey Sullivan

The woods are leaf-free spires of light, Cinderella’s sisters are outfitted in bad 80s prom dresses, and Rapunzel’s coil of blonde hair is a rope in the national touring production of In…

SOURCE: at 01:28PM
Thursday, April 27, 2023

Damn Yankees hits it out of the park by Catey Sullivan

The devil goes down to Washington (D.C.)  in the 1955 musical Damn Yankees, and he’s rarely been more irresistible than in his current incarnation at the Marriott Lincolnshire.  Damn Yan…

SOURCE: at 02:01PM
Thursday, February 23, 2023

Summer and smoke by Catey Sullivan

Nilo Cruz’s 2003 Pulitzer Prize-winning Anna in the Tropics is a lit-fuse kind of drama, beginning with a slow but unmistakable simmer that ultimately detonates with scorching, devastating…

SOURCE: at 10:00AM
Thursday, February 9, 2023

The beautiful business of show by Catey Sullivan

First, some mathematical context: I’ve seen A Chorus Line at least 18 times since 1976, the year the first national tour rolled into Chicago. Prior to last week, I was certain the brillian…

SOURCE: at 12:00PM
Wednesday, January 18, 2023

Not so golden by Catey Sullivan

The hardest working queen in showbiz? That’d be Ginger Minj (fight me). After three stints on RuPaul’s Drag Race (season seven, All Stars 2, and All Stars 6), the breakout star and two-t…

SOURCE: at 11:49AM
Wednesday, December 21, 2022

Stuck in a snow globe by Catey Sullivan

Nearly 69 years since its birth as a smash movie, the seasonally ubiquitous White Christmas remains a good, old-fashioned holiday chestnut. It also remains an objectively odious, old holiday…

SOURCE: at 09:12AM
Tuesday, December 20, 2022

Why Charles Dickens Wrote A Christmas Carol (Hint: It Wasn't to Spread Holiday Cheer) by Catey Sullivan

The ghost story of Christmas was originally a way to bring attention to the problem of poverty.

SOURCE: Playbill at 04:06PM
Wednesday, November 23, 2022

What’s new, pussy cat? by Catey Sullivan

At 25 years old, The Lion King has been seen by more than 110 million people and played every continent but Antarctica. Between global warming and ticket demand, it’s probably […] The po…

SOURCE: at 11:09AM
Tuesday, November 15, 2022

Not a clinker by Catey Sullivan

No matter your views on Christmas and the bulging Santa’s sack of psycho/socio/political/familial drama wrapped up in the sparkle-plenty holiday, this much I know is true: If you aren’t …

SOURCE: at 05:02PM
Wednesday, October 19, 2022

A swing and a miss by Catey Sullivan

As the single most-produced contemporary playwright in the Goodman Theater’s history, Rebecca Gilman has provided audiences with some truly perceptive, unflinching depictions of life’s v…

SOURCE: at 11:55AM
Thursday, October 13, 2022

As teardrops fall by Catey Sullivan

If you’re a fan of The Notebook—either the romantically waterlogged, sugary-sentimental 2004 movie or the Nicholas Sparks novel that prompted it—you’ll probably be swept away by the …

SOURCE: at 02:58PM

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