All stories by Catey Sullivan on BroadwayStars

Monday, May 25, 2020

Victory Gardens playwrights ensemble resigns by Catey Sullivan

Restructuring at the top causes an exodus—again. Friday’s resignation of seven playwrights from Chicago’s Tony-winning, 46-year-old Victory Gardens Theater…

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Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Uprising Theater shifts focus from Palestine to PPE by Catey Sullivan

The company's interest in the marginalized led them to Mask-er-Aid. Since founding Uprising Theater Company in 2014, Iymen Chehade and Maren Rosenberg have worke…

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Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Nora Dunn on our first and worst presidents by Catey Sullivan

Her show at Steppenwolf is off for now, but the 'difficult' SNL vet still has plenty to say. Two weeks ago, Saturday Night Live alum and west-side native Nora Du…

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Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Kill Move Paradise imagines an afterlife for victims of police killings by Catey Sullivan

James Ijames puts the audience on trial in this TimeLine production. Of all the inescapable truths that James Ijames bombards his audience with in Kill Move Para…

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Tuesday, February 4, 2020

The Chicago Musical Theatre Festival makes the numbers work by Catey Sullivan

Underscore Theatre Company survives in a challenging landscape for new-works festivals. New musicals are inherently fragile. Festivals devoted to them, exponenti…

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Sophisticated Ladies means all the things at Porchlight by Catey Sullivan

The Duke Ellington revue is pure fire and joy. I'm no fan of imperatives, but on occasion one simply must make an exception. To wit: Stop reading this.…

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Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Roe is a history lesson and a warning by Catey Sullivan

Lisa Loomer's docudrama examines the landmark abortion rights case. In 1984, my roommate drove across two states so she could get a legal abortion. It took a wee…

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Verböten has some sharp songs, but the book sags by Catey Sullivan

Jason Narducy and Brett Neveu's portrait of a 1983 teen punk band needs more edge. The opening tune Jason Narducy penned for his autobiographically inspired musi…

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Thursday, January 23, 2020

Pure Lies gives us magic with a touch of malarkey by Catey Sullivan

Trent James lights up Wednesdays at the Chicago Magic Lounge. The intersection of comedy and magic has ballooned since the art form's vaudevillian heyday. Case i…

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Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Her Honor Jane Byrne remembers when the mayor moved to Cabrini by Catey Sullivan

Lookingglass produces the first in J. Nicole Brooks's planned quartet of Chicago plays. Playwright-actor-director J. Nicole Brooks wasn't yet in kindergarten whe…

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Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Death Tax can't overcome implausible plot points by Catey Sullivan

Lucas Hnath's drama feels overheated but undercooked at Redtwist. Toward the back end of Lucas Hnath's 90-minute series of overheated monologues, Todd, a nursing…

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Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Cold Town/Hotline can't overcome its preposterous premise by Catey Sullivan

Eli Newell's self-directed holiday play at Raven asks us to suspend too much disbelief. If there's a workable drama within the rambling, under-rehearsed confines…

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Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Another Medea tells us he's depraved on account he's deprived by Catey Sullivan

A contemporary gender-flipped take on the Greek tragedy blames everyone else. In Aaron Mark's one-man, 90-minute Another Medea, Marcus—a gay, cis male contempo…

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Eleanor's Very Merry Christmas Wish moves Denise McGowan Tracy from Petterino's to the North Pole by Catey Sullivan

The longtime cabaret producer turns her own children's book about a lonely rag doll into a new holiday musical. Some artists hone their craft at college or conse…

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Tuesday, November 26, 2019

The Simon & Garfunkel Story is more about the songs than the stories by Catey Sullivan

The biography is prosaic, but this touring bio musical captures the dark harmonies of the folk-rock superstars. Even when it's as jubilant as the pots-and-pans p…

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Tuesday, November 19, 2019

The Wickhams: Christmas at Pemberley cashes in on Jane Austen by Catey Sullivan

Sugarplums, sparkle, and a stellar cast can't quite overcome a treacly script. In commercializing Jane Austen's enduring appeal, playwrights Margot Melcon and La…

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The Niceties raises the stakes for academic debate by Catey Sullivan

Generational and racial divides light the fuse at Writers Theatre. In 2015, Yale University was rocked by student activists demanding change within an organizati…

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Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Keely and Du confuses torture porn with social commentary by Catey Sullivan

Jane Martin's story of a pregnant rape victim kidnapped by antichoice extremists wallows in both-sidesism. For decades, there has been speculation as to the iden…

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Staff Pick: Best off-Loop theater by Catey Sullivan

Trap Door Theatre It's not uncommon for newbies to leave Trap Door wondering what just hit them.…

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Staff Pick: Best dance company by Catey Sullivan

Muntu Dance Theatre Muntu's ambitions are vast, both in terms of space and time. Helmed by executive director Sekou Tepaka Lunda Conde, the 47-year-old South Sho…

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Staff Pick: Best dance company by Catey Sullivan

Red Clay Dance Unlike musicians, dancers never put their instruments down. That's especially true of Red Clay Dance, where the intersection of art and activism f…

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Staff Pick: Best off-Loop theater by Catey Sullivan

Court Theatre Under artistic director Charles Newell, Court Theatre is all over the place in the best possible way.…

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The Suffrage Plays swaddles social commentary in satire by Catey Sullivan

Three one-acts from the fight for women's franchise provide a cutting history lesson with Artemisia. If nothing else, this trio of one-acts that explore the uphi…

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Wednesday, October 30, 2019

The Tru show by Catey Sullivan

A new musical about mental illness provided its creators a chance to confront their own struggles. Mental illness as woman: It's a trope that keeps on giving. Fr…

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Wednesday, October 23, 2019

A couple finds themselves in a creepy cabin in the woods in Grey House by Catey Sullivan

Levi Holloway's horror show for A Red Orchid Theatre gives a feminist makeover to a familiar genre. Onstage or -screen, the tropes of horror (teens in peril, dem…

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Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Comfortable Shoes stands and delivers by Catey Sullivan

Ida Cuttler's solo show for the Neo-Futurists considers the stories women tell to save their lives. Toward the end of her rambunctious and profound one-woman sho…

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Language of Angels fails to take flight by Catey Sullivan

Three Crows tries to breathe life into a play bogged down in stereotypes. Think The Dukes of Hazzard meets Night of the Living Dead, but more reliant on stereoty…

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Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Strolling down Sunset Boulevard with Hollis Resnik by Catey Sullivan

The star of Porchight's revival talks about surviving the postingenue years. Since arriving in Chicago in 1980, Ohio native Hollis Resnik has embodied a pantheon…

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Wednesday, October 2, 2019

The Raveling is a theatrical spinning wheel by Catey Sullivan

Walkabout Theater's ensemble-created show suffers from too many unresolved threads. Imagine watching a class of preschoolers hopped up on cupcakes, acting out th…

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Wednesday, September 25, 2019

The King's Speech on stage doesn't improve upon the film. by Catey Sullivan

Chicago Shakespeare's production is pretty and witty, but lacks dramatic tension. The rise of Albert, Duke of York, from stammering puddle of self-doubt to globa…

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Wednesday, September 18, 2019

A Chinese American basketball player is lost in Tiananmen Square in The Great Leap by Catey Sullivan

Thirty years later, Lauren Yee's play depicts the events during the failed Chinese uprising with sympathy and surprising humor. In June, the Washington Post publ…

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All that Chat

Oct 06: Slave Play
Feb 01: The Minutes
TBA: Blue