All stories by Chris Jones on BroadwayStars

Sunday, February 17, 2019

'Friends! The Musical Parody' will be there for you, taking your money by Chris Jones

Never mind Ross, Rachel, Joey, Phoebe, Chandler and Monica for a second. Forget The Ophthalmologist, The Ugly Naked Guy, The One With the Monkey, The Ones Where Everyone Got Paid One Million…

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 02:45PM
Thursday, February 14, 2019

Jake Gyllenhaal and Tom Sturridge headline a deadly depressing double-act by Chris Jones

Did you know you die three times? According to Abe — the deep-thinking character played by Jake Gyllenhaal, no less, in the depressing double bill at the Public Theater — you actually co…

Linked From New York Daily News at 10:00PM

'Dear Evan Hansen' opens in Chicago, the new hit musical about teenagers, their angst and their parents by Chris Jones

“Dear Evan Hansen” is one of those rare Broadway musicals to seep into the consciousness of its target demographic — the first national tour opened at the newly renamed Nederlander The…

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 02:10PM

Michael Jackson musical cancels Chicago tryout by Chris Jones

“Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough,” the new Broadway musical about the life and work of Michael Jackson, has canceled its Chicago tryout, slated for this fall. A New York spokesman for…

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 01:40PM
Wednesday, February 13, 2019

How stars can learn from Sidney Poitier at the Oscars in these dire days of the acceptance speech by Chris Jones

So excruciating were the acceptance speeches at Sunday night’s Grammy Awards that Trevor Noah compared them to irritating people who wait in line at Chipotle, “get to the front and go, …

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 01:45PM

Albert Finney broke in the stage for the first play in Steppenwolf's current home — how very fitting by Chris Jones

In 1991, the Steppenwolf Theatre Company opened its $8.28 million theater at 1650 N. Halsted St., finally jettisoning its old digs in a converted dairy barn. It picked the American premiere …

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 08:00AM
Tuesday, February 12, 2019

'The Producers' at the Paramount: 'Springtime for Hitler'? Do they dare? Oh, they do by Chris Jones

Mel Brooks was ecstatic. Anne Bancroft danced on a nearby table. Matthew Broderick chuckled. Even Nathan Lane cracked a smile. “The Producers” was a hit. In fact, the spin-off musical fr…

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 03:40PM

Harris Theater's next season includes a Beethoven marathon, Bangarra Dance of Australia, Tanztheater Wuppertal by Chris Jones

With major new funding from the property developer Sterling Bay, the Harris Theater plans a diverse and ambitious 2019-20 season, including visits from Bangarra Dance Theatre of Australia an…

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 12:15PM
Monday, February 11, 2019

'A Doll’s House, Part 2' at Steppenwolf: A wife and mother has returned after 15 years. It's awkward. by Chris Jones

A bad marriage — I hear — can feel like a trap. Slamming the door on a lousy union can be cathartic. Even if you have no idea what awaits you on the other side. But here’s something to…

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 03:00PM
Sunday, February 10, 2019

$1 million goes to 2019 Year of Chicago Theatre by Chris Jones

City of Chicago is to officially announce Monday that $1 million has been secured in new funding to support the 2019 Year of Chicago Theatre initiative that officially begins this week, in t…

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 01:45PM

In 'Pipeline' at Victory Gardens, a teacher and mother is terrified for her son by Chris Jones

Mother with teenagers — a demographic famous for ignoring its own fragility — invariably worry about them. But African-American mothers, innumerable data points confirm, have particular …

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 12:30PM
Thursday, February 7, 2019

In 'The Father,' Remy Bumppo explores the agonies of dementia by Chris Jones

Now in its Chicago premiere from the Remy Bumppo Theatre Company, Florian Zeller’s “The Father” is a play about dementia, that late-in-life affliction that can take down a giant person…

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 04:55PM
Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Behind hit plays 'Photograph 51' and 'The Wolves,' there's director Vanessa Stalling by Chris Jones

When the next big artistic job opens up in Chicago theater, I’ve got a name for the recruiters: Vanessa Stalling. In show after show, Stalling keeps making the case that her directing work…

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 08:00AM
Tuesday, February 5, 2019

'Girl in the Red Corner' by Broken Nose Theatre: Fists fly, and a woman finds herself in the ring by Chris Jones

When the name of your theater company is Broken Nose Theatre, the temptation must arise to live up to your own billing. If not broken noses, bruised cheeks, tired calves and a whopping heada…

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 12:20PM
Monday, February 4, 2019

'Nina Simone: Four Women' at Northlight Theatre is the singer in the '60s, in church bombing aftermath by Chris Jones

Nina Simone seemed happy in the 1980s, singing in Ronnie Scott’s swinging London jazz club, a resident European star in front an adoring audience, wowing with the incomparable diversity of…

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 12:00PM
Thursday, January 31, 2019

Porchlight's 'Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder' is as funny as Broadway, just less murderous by Chris Jones

If they gave out awards for acting with your eyeballs, Matt Crowle would have no competition whatsoever. He can throw ’em back into his head, cross ’em nine ways to Sunday and, in a part…

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 04:00PM

'Howard Schultz Don't?' That's not what we do in America, or the Chicago arts by Chris Jones

“Howard Schultz — more bitter than his coffee,” tweeted the TV screenwriter Warren Leight on Wednesday, part of a torrent of social-media abuse, much of it from Hollywood, aimed at the…

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 08:00AM
Wednesday, January 30, 2019

In Milwaukee, a staging of Ayad Akhtar's edgy, powerful 'Junk' for the rest of us by Chris Jones

To watch Ayad Akhtar’s “Junk,” an exciting, ambitious play about the glorification of hostile takeovers and the human costs of leveraged buyouts, in its 2017 Broadway premiere at New Y…

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 02:50PM
Tuesday, January 29, 2019

'On Clover Road' a new thriller by Steven Dietz, who calls Chicago 'my New York' by Chris Jones

You can make a killing in the theater, but not a living, goes the theatrical cliche. The playwright Steven Dietz, whose work never has been seen on Broadway, has achieved precisely the rever…

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 03:25PM

'How to Catch Creation' at Goodman Theatre poses a lovely question — but doesn't yet have all the answers by Chris Jones

The ambition inherent in Christina Anderson’s heady, poetic and ambitious new play at the Goodman Theatre is right there in its title: “How to Catch Creation.” That’s quite a challen…

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 02:30PM

'Hamilton: The Exhibition' tickets in Chicago will go on sale Feb. 15 by Chris Jones

Tickets are to go on sale at 10 a.m. Feb. 15 to “Hamilton: The Exhibition,” the latest high-profile project involving Lin-Manuel Miranda and the creative team behind the hit Broadway mus…

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 01:00AM
Monday, January 28, 2019

'Photograph 51' at Court Theatre delves into DNA's forgotten scientist, Rosalind Franklin by Chris Jones

In the worlds of science, journalism, tech, business and politics, hypothesizing is a whole lot sexier than offering proof. Come to think of it — and Anna Ziegler’s terrific new play at …

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 03:30PM
Sunday, January 27, 2019

'Small Jokes About Monsters' at 16th Street Theater: Brothers joke about past abuse, and aren't jokes better than pain? by Chris Jones

Life teaches us that the funniest people we know often have been through the most personal trauma. You can see that with professional comedians, of course, and it can lead them into trouble.…

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 02:00PM
Friday, January 25, 2019

'Red Rex' at Steep Theatre: Ike Holter's new play takes aim squarely at Chicago theater by Chris Jones

Over the years, Chicago’s famous storefront-theater community occasionally has turned the lens upon itself. But in every such case that I recall, these shows have romanticized the struggle…

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 01:00PM
Thursday, January 24, 2019

At Chicago Shakes, 'Us/Them' is a school massacre's devastation; puppet show from France is unexpected lightness by Chris Jones

In 2004, a group of terrorists demanding independence for Chechnya descended upon School Number One in Beslan, Russia, taking more than 1,100 people hostage. By the time the so-called Beslan…

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 03:50PM

Lost treasures of the Uptown Theatre have been hiding safely in Barrington Hills for decades. Take a look. by Chris Jones

Hidden away in boxes and barns — or merely hanging in sumptuous plain sight — the gorgeous chandeliers and fixtures of the Uptown Theatre have been vacationing these past few years in Ba…

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 09:48AM
Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Griffin Theatre scratches plans to relocate to former police station by Chris Jones

Griffin Theatre is no longer planning to move into a former Chicago police station at 1940 W. Foster Ave., said Ald. Pat O'Connor (40th) Wednesday in a note to neighborhood residents. Griffi…

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 05:30PM

Michael Shannon and Audra McDonald in a Broadway revival of 'Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune' by Chris Jones

The longtime Chicago actor Michael Shannon will star alongside Audra McDonald in a Broadway revival of Terrence McNally's famous two-hander, "Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune," it was…

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 05:15PM

Michael Jackson musical to hit Chicago before moving to Broadway by Chris Jones

A major new musical about Michael Jackson — set on the cusp of the iconic but controversial singer’s “Dangerous World Tour” and dealing more fully with his complex legacy than previo…

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 11:00AM

Goodbye Oriental, hello James M. Nederlander Theatre by Chris Jones

Broadway luminaries will gather at 24 W. Randolph St. in Chicago on Feb. 8 to celebrate the renaming of a theater, currently known as the Oriental, after one of their own — James M. Nederl…

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 09:00AM
Sunday, January 20, 2019

A real backstage and real laughs in 'Noises Off' at the Windy City Playhouse by Chris Jones

Now 37 years old, Michael Frayn’s “Noises Off” is not only one of the funniest English-language farces of the 20th century but far and away the best comedy ever written about the peril…

Linked From Chicago Tribune Subscription at 03:00PM

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