All stories by Catey Sullivan on BroadwayStars

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Diamond Lil & the Pansy Craze resurrects a famous Chicago nightclub by Catey Sullivan

A jukebox musical provides a stirring history lesson about gay life in the 1930s. Long before the Viagra Triangle took root in the Gold Coast, 909 Rush Street wa…

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Peacebook Festival turns four by Catey Sullivan

Collaboraction's annual anthology of short plays about peace, love, and understanding kicks off its season on the south side. Eviction and art. As a grade-school…

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Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Take a Gander at Come From Away by Catey Sullivan

A touring musical about the town that hosted the world after 9/11 brings the love. From the iconic image of the lone "falling man" to the gut-punch visual of wal…

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Wednesday, July 31, 2019

You Can’t Fake the Funk is super freaky fun by Catey Sullivan

Black Ensemble Theater’s celebration of the history of funk dazzles with defiant joy. Now onstage at Black Ensemble Theater: a hard-charging, gotta-dance, groo…

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Wednesday, July 17, 2019

The second coming of True West by Catey Sullivan

Jon Michael Hill and Namir Smallwood breathe fire into Steppenwolf’s revival. If you've been banging around the Chicago theatrosphere longer than 25 seconds, y…

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Wolf Play leads the pack by Catey Sullivan

An adoptee seeks comfort and safety in lupine identity in Hansol Jung's latest. Never doubt the emotional layers possible from an expertly crafted, exquisitely m…

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Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Get up and Go-Go to Kokandy’s Head Over Heels by Catey Sullivan

A binary-busting love story weds a 16th-century romance and the music of the Go-Go’s. When the Go-Go's debuted the irresistibly catchy titular song in 1984, MT…

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The Music Man offers a musical conundrum at the Goodman by Catey Sullivan

Mary Zimmerman’s production sings, though the gender politics creak. You can say this for director Mary Zimmerman's staging of Meredith Willson's multiple Tony…

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Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Hedwig and the Angry Inch, up close and personal at Theo Ubique by Catey Sullivan

In the title role, Will Lidke is a nova of charisma. It hasn't always been blindingly obvious that Hedwig and the Angry Inch is a riff on Plato's "Symposium." Bu…

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Thursday, June 20, 2019

With First Read 2019, the Syndicate hoped to transcend boundaries by Catey Sullivan

The theater company presented readings of three new one-acts by trans playwrights. You don't have to look further than this year's Tony Awards to see why we nee…

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Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Maybe a Big Mouth Billy Bass would liven up The River by Catey Sullivan

But all we've got is a murky early effort from Tony winner Jez Butterworth. Playwright Jez Butterworth won the 2019 Best Play Tony Award for The Ferryman, but it…

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Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Queen of the Mist somehow manages to make the story of the woman who went over Niagara Falls in a barrel “tedious, monotonous, repetitive, and not f by Catey Sullivan

Firebrand’s production can’t rise over the limits of the script. Michael John LaChiusa's musical Queen of the Mist contains a second-act song that critiques …

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Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Four Chords and a Gun reduces the Ramones from punks to adolescent brats by Catey Sullivan

Hey! Ho! Don't go! John Ross Bowie's 90-minute drama purports to be about the creation of the Ramones' album End of the Century, but it's actually about a quarte…

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Wednesday, May 8, 2019

The Children vividly imagines the worst-case scenario after an environmental disaster. by Catey Sullivan

Playwright Lucy Kirkwood's devastated world is nightmarishly familiar. It's comforting to regard the premise of Lucy Kirkwood's eco-thriller with a smug sense of…

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Thursday, April 25, 2019

Grinning From Fear to Fear at Second City E.T.C. doesn’t get funny till hour two by Catey Sullivan

Until then, it relies too heavily on stale old jokes. Second City e.t.c.'s 43rd revue begins with the cast paddling through the audience in a faux water ballet. …

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Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Cambodian Rock Band blends tragedy and joy into one of the best plays of the year by Catey Sullivan

It’s a reminder that while art can be silenced, it can never be extinguished. Near the end of the first act of Lauren Yee's Cambodian Rock Band, the cast deliv…

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Thursday, April 11, 2019

House Theatre creates a Pinocchio for our time by Catey Sullivan

And not just because the main character's nose grows when he tells a lie. With their adaptation of Carlo Collodi's Pinocchio, Joseph Steakley and Ben Lobpries ha…

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Thursday, March 28, 2019

Jackalope and Raven Theatres take audiences on a trip back to 1992 by Catey Sullivan

Dutch Masters and The Undeniable Sound of Right Now ask how much has really changed in politics and music. Jackalope and Raven Theatres are firing up the waybac…

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How Lily Be made the local storytelling scene look more like Chicago by Catey Sullivan

“Am I the only Latinx sharing stories right now? Where are the rest of us?” After the rush of winning the 2013 Moth GrandSlam storytelling competition faded…

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Julie Ganey's attempts to reconcile with her Trump-supporter father aren't Good Enough by Catey Sullivan

She ignores that some people don't have the luxury of civility. About midway through Julie Ganey's one-woman show, the author-star describes trying to make her T…

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Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Two Pints pays tribute to human resilience and the power of Guinness by Catey Sullivan

This Abbey Theatre import is unexpectedly wonderful. So, two Irish actors walk into a bar. As does the entire audience.…

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Saturday, November 4, 2017

Review: Fun Home (Victory Gardens Theater) by Catey Sullivan

In Victory Gardens' triumphant "Fun Home", Director Gary Griffin’s ensemble will break your heart with their ability to embody the characters in Alison Bechdel’s story, especially Rob Li…

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Saturday, October 21, 2017

Review: The Taming of the Shrew (Chicago Shakespeare, 2017) by Catey Sullivan

Chicago Shakespeare's Taming of the Shrew is a fine production of a play that doesn’t deserve the resources lavished on it. For all the prodigious talent on stage, Shrew remains an endorse…

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Friday, October 20, 2017

Review: Punk (The New Colony) by Catey Sullivan

Between the distracting set design, the plot holes and the ultimately ineffective performances by the rest of the cast, The New Colony's world-premiere Punk is a weak endeavor. (review by Ca…

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Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Review: Million Dollar Quartet (Paramount Theatre) by Catey Sullivan

Million Dollar Quartet is irresistible. Set in 1956 during the only recording session when Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins were all in the same room, the juke-bo…

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Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Review: The Legend of Georgia McBride (Northlight Theatre) by Catey Sullivan

For most of Northlight Theatre's The Legend of Georgia McBride, audiences are treated to a whacky, audience-pleasing comedy. The plot goes for guffaws by showing the whacky plight of a stra…

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Sunday, October 1, 2017

Review: The Rembrandt (Steppenwolf Theatre) by Catey Sullivan

It doesn’t matter if you don’t know Rembrandt from Renoir, Manet from Monet. In its exploration of why art moves us – and moves us to take extraordinary measures to preserve it through…

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Friday, September 29, 2017

Review: Five Guys Named Moe (Court Theatre) by Catey Sullivan

Court Theatre's Five Guys Named Moe looks and sounds terrific. Set designer Courtney O’Neill has ingeniously turned the stage into the inside of a old time radio, and sound designer Victor…

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Thursday, September 28, 2017

Review: Alias Grace (Rivendell Theatre) by Catey Sullivan

Despite some shortcomings, world-premiere Alias Grace is well worth seeing. The story of Grace Mark is powerful both as history and as a commentary on history. Rivendell Theatre hasn’t cap…

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Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Rev‪iew: Bullets Over Broadway (NightBlue Performing Arts) by Catey Sullivan

Under Kevin Bellie’s direction, Bullets Over Broadway does have moments of charm. But between these bright spots, the acting aesthetic is cartoons on hyperdrive – loud and garish enough …

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Sunday, September 24, 2017

Review: A View from the Bridge (Goodman Theatre) by Catey Sullivan

There’s a pall of suffocating dread woven through director Ivo Van Hove’s galvanizing take on Arthur Miller’s 1955 classic A View From the Bridge. Set in the 1950s, the story about imm…

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