All stories by Chris Jones on BroadwayStars

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

ComedySportz has been an online winner with its improv shows — and vows to stay ‘digital first’ by Chris Jones

Even after the pandemic has passed and Chicago comedy theaters are back to doing live shows, the popular ComedySportz chain wants to keeps its successful e-shows running.

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 08:00AM
Thursday, January 14, 2021

Review: Scott Silven’s ‘Journey’ via Chicago Shakes creates the illusion we’re all connected — believe that one if you want by Chris Jones

This new show, livestreamed from Scotland, is on the cutting edge of translating old-school magic into our new online worlds. Worlds where ostensibly we're all connected.

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 02:25PM

Column: A modest proposal for our democracy: Change those election night ‘magic walls’ on CNN and FOX by Chris Jones

Part of the reason some voters got the wrong sense of who was winning and losing on Election Night may have been in the way TV networks reported votes as if they were sports results.

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 08:00AM
Tuesday, January 12, 2021

This year’s Pegasus Young Playwrights Festival offers a window into the thoughts of Chicago teenagers by Chris Jones

Don't miss ”A Lady’s Facade,” “Containment” and “These Glass Lives” as the winners of Pegasus Theatre's 34th annual Young Playwrights Festival.

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 04:03PM
Monday, January 11, 2021

For ‘Journey’ via Chicago Shakes, mentalist Scott Silven devises livestream show from his Scotland home by Chris Jones

The Scottish illusionist has a new kind of livestreamed show, and has figured out how to project an audience on the walls of his childhood home.

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 04:02PM
Thursday, January 7, 2021

Column: Year 2021 was supposed to Chapter 1 of a hopeful story. Alas, the virus can’t read. by Chris Jones

In the final days of 2020, the COVID-19 virus revealed the same disrespect for the calendar as it had previously shown for national boundaries, political affiliations and state lines.

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 07:00AM
Tuesday, January 5, 2021

‘Lazarus,’ the musical, made no sense. Then David Bowie died. Now you can see for yourself. by Chris Jones

Only a few people got to see "Lazarus," the musical that was Bowie's last artistic creation. Now a video of the London production will stream on the fifth anniversary of his death.

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 04:10PM
Tuesday, December 22, 2020

For actress E. Faye Butler, the show must go on, even on the back of a truck by Chris Jones

Actress E. Faye Butler is our Chicagoan of the Year for Theater

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Friday, December 18, 2020

Review: Steppenwolf Theatre’s ‘Wally World’ takes on life on a retail treadmill by Chris Jones

The second entry in the Steppenwolf Theatre Company’s virtual season, “Wally World” by Isaac Gomez is an audio play set in a big-box store in the bordertown of El Paso, Texas.

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Thursday, December 17, 2020

Joffrey Ballet gets $3 million in new funding from Abbott Labs by Chris Jones

Joffrey Ballet gets $3 million in new funding from Abbott Labs

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Column: How Chadwick Boseman took on an August Wilson monologue in ‘Ma Rainey,’ and embraced his own mortality by Chris Jones

August Wilson's monologues hold a singular place in American theater, as evidenced by the late Chadwick Boseman's devastating performance in the Netflix film of "Ma Rainey's Black Bottom" an…

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Artistic Director of Remy Bumppo Theatre Company plots an exit by Chris Jones

The artistic director of a Chicago theater company plans to move on.

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Wednesday, December 16, 2020

‘Moulin Rouge! The Musical’ now will begin its North American tour in Chicago. But you’ll have to wait. by Chris Jones

The first national tour of “Moulin Rouge! The Musical!,” the hit Broadway show based on the 2001 Baz Luhrmann movie, now will begin its North American tour in Chicago. That's the good ne…

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Column: How Ann Reinking choreographed not just ‘Chicago,’ but captured the essence of the city itself by Chris Jones

Ann Reinking, critic Chris Jones argues, choreographed the very soul of the City of Chicago.

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Friday, December 11, 2020

Chicago’s Dean Richards returns to work after a bout with COVID-19: ‘This virus is sneaky.’ by Chris Jones

Media personality Dean Richards, 66, said his illness was not serious. He plans to broadcast his Sunday morning WGN radio show from home.

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 02:15PM
Thursday, December 10, 2020

Column: What was Chicago theater and dance in 2020? It was darkness and frustration, creativity and hope. The ghost lights remain lit. by Chris Jones

The year started with a flurry of promising shows, with a suburban "Grease," Steppenwolf's "Bug" and the Goodman's "Graveyard Shift" among the standouts. Then the pandemic came and everythin…

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 06:30AM
Wednesday, December 9, 2020

Recommended holiday shows for 2020: Our top 10 critics picks this year from Chicago theater by Chris Jones

It’s a virtual "Chris Jones recommends" ... Here are some seasonal Chicago attractions to support your local theater artists.

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Friday, December 4, 2020

Manual Cinema forges a ‘Christmas Carol’ for a pandemic year of families forced apart by Chris Jones

Manual Cinema has forged a live, puppet version of 'Christmas Carol,' toned to the traumas of a lonely pandemic Christmas. It begins with Lysol and Zoom.

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 01:51PM
Thursday, December 3, 2020

Column: Recovery is coming in 2021. Will artists be off their games? Or will there be a rush of new talent and ideas? by Chris Jones

We all hope to see performers and shows back on stages in the coming year, be they in Chicago or on Broadway. But what happens when artists have all that time away from live audiences?

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 06:30AM
Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Review: Goodman’s ‘A Christmas Carol’ is an audio play this year, a familiar story to warm your family’s season by Chris Jones

The Goodman Theatre's seasonal tradition is available for free this December as an audio play. Comforting, entertaining and well worth a listen.

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Actor Harry Lennix plans to build ‘the Black version of Lincoln Center’ on Chicago’s South Side by Chris Jones

An old brick warehouse on S. Cottage Grove will house both the Congo Square Theatre Company and the new African American Museum of Performing Arts.

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 12:47PM
Monday, November 30, 2020

Column: College football this fall is a cruel joke and a staggering failure on the part of America’s universities by Chris Jones

The University of Michigan football team announced Monday that it would pause all of its “in person activity" because of likely positive tests for coronavirus on the team. As the pandemic …

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 02:54PM
Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Column: Michael Riedel’s latest book ‘Singular Sensation’ is about Broadway in the ’90s — the decade when the Great White Way took on a life by Chris Jones

In his previous book “Razzle Dazzle,” the writer Michael Riedel claims 1980s Broadway saved New York City. In his new sequel, '90s Broadway comes into its own. Shows like "Rent" and "Ang…

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Second City hires Jon Carr as new executive producer by Chris Jones

Second City said Wednesday that it has hired a new executive producer: Jon Carr, a writer and artistic director with roots in Atlanta improv and theater.

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Tuesday, November 24, 2020

In memory of Congo Square’s Samuel Roberson, a major new annual gift for Chicago playwrights of color by Chris Jones

The first of what will be an annual fellowship totaling $27,500 will go to the Chicago playwright Kristiana Rae Colón and, aptly enough, Congo Square.

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Sunday, November 22, 2020

Review: American Blues Theater’s ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ is the don’t-miss show this lonely holiday season by Chris Jones

American Blues is presenting its long-running, old time radio-style show via Zoom this year, performed live each night for the audience from the actors' homes.

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 01:00PM
Thursday, November 19, 2020

Review: In Porchlight’s ‘New Faces Sing Broadway,’ 10 talented newcomers have the gorgeous, empty Studebaker as a stage by Chris Jones

Porchlight Music Theatre found young performers you haven't seen before and the historic Studebaker Theater as a venue, then added hits ("Les Miz," "Phantom") and forgotten songs from Broadw…

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Column: In an extraordinary letter, Chicago’s Newberry Library delves into its own past support of racially restrictive covenants by Chris Jones

When Chicago's Newberry Library opened a 2016 exhibition entitled “Civil War to Civil Rights: African American Chicago in the Newberry Collection,” the artifacts on display included a sa…

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Wednesday, November 18, 2020

The same holiday show will stream in Chicago, Kansas and Montana — a pandemic-era lesson from Trader Joe’s? by Chris Jones

A streaming video of “Eleanor’s Merry Christmas Wish — The Musical" is being repackaged and offered to theater audiences all over the country. And it's not the only one. Is this a new …

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 06:30AM
Monday, November 16, 2020

Steppenwolf’s ‘The Minutes’ suffers an epic Broadway postponement by Chris Jones

When Broadway closed down due to the pandemic, Tracy Letts' play “The Minutes” was on the cusp of its opening night.

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 10:29AM
Sunday, November 15, 2020

Review: ‘What is Left, Burns’ from Steppenwolf is a short, gripping video play about a professor and his former lover by Chris Jones

Set during the pandemic, when some people have been tempted to look up old flames, James Ijames' play stars K. Todd Freeman and Jon Michael Hill and clocks in at just 20 minutes.

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 03:19PM

All that Chat

2019-2020 BROADWAY SEASON
Oct 06: Slave Play
Feb 01: The Minutes