All stories by Irene Hsiao on BroadwayStars

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

The Winter's Tale of our discontent by Irene Hsiao

But at least "Exit, pursued by a bear" finally makes sense. Now still being the winter of our discontent, it feels unwarranted for the Goodman Theatre to run its…

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Mary Shelley's Frankenstein is a bombastic retelling of the original monster novel by Irene Hsiao

This is the fourth adaptation this year, if you're still keeping track. "It was on a dreary night in November," intones teenage Mary Shelley, thrusting a candela…

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Thursday, May 16, 2019

The Pygmalion Effect takes the classic makeover myth to the ballroom by Irene Hsiao

Eifman Ballet views the transformation through the lens of dance. Eifman Ballet returns to the Auditorium May 17-19 for the North American premiere of artistic d…

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Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Cuckoo, Cuckoo: A Review of The Secret of the Biological Clock at Eclectic Full Contact Theatre by Irene Hsiao

Of the several potentially fruitful directions for a play about a generic grown-up teen detective to take, this world premiere is not one of them.

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Wednesday, May 1, 2019

One 4 the Road mixes history, humanity, and Malört by Irene Hsiao

The new play by Leonard House takes viewers inside a south side bar in 1972. It's 1972 and Haskins' bar has been a fixture on the south side of Chicago for 30 ye…

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Monday, April 29, 2019

Nothing Either Good or Bad: A Review of Hamlet at Chicago Shakespeare Theater by Irene Hsiao

Directed by Barbara Gaines, CST's production meets but does not exceed expectations.

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Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Heaven Made Her Such a Man: A Review of Othello at Babes with Blades Theatre Company by Irene Hsiao

This production's all-female cast succeeds in focusing a play often seen through the lens of race quite pointedly upon gender.

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Thursday, April 18, 2019

Nureyev tells the epic story of the dancer’s extraordinary life and tumultuous times by Irene Hsiao

“He was Mick Jagger before Mick Jagger.” He moved with a feral grace, with a heat that blazes through the grain of the film that remains, with a virtuosity t…

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Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Porchlight's A Chorus Line is one singular sensation by Irene Hsiao

The cast brings the group of dance hopefuls to life. On a bare stage, a sea of spandex roils, shining with that 1970s luster. A director calls out counts and ste…

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Thursday, April 11, 2019

Admissions is a searing indictment of the white liberal elite by Irene Hsiao

Race is just a trading card. Joshua Harmon's 2018 Admissions opens in an administrative office at Hillcrest, an elite prep school in New Hampshire, where two blo…

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Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Anastasia recreates the animated feature with fewer animals and more Bolsheviks by Irene Hsiao

It's as pretty as a pastry. Fox gave Disney a run for its money when it released the 1997 animated feature film Anastasia, about an amnesiac orphan who might be …

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Thursday, March 28, 2019

Links Hall celebrates 40 years of being whatever the Chicago dance community needs it to be by Irene Hsiao

It’s been a rehearsal room, a performance venue, a puppetry workshop, and a space for experiments of all kinds. Links Hall was originally Link's Hall, named f…

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Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Them/Us/All: A Review of Self-Accusation at Theatre Y by Irene Hsiao

Beyond the window, the show is happening.

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Friday, March 22, 2019

Blood and Tears: A Review of Sweat at Goodman Theatre by Irene Hsiao

The first woman in history to win two Pulitzer Prizes for Drama, Lynn Nottage's latest play arrives direct from Broadway but its spirit can be found in countless barstools and beer steins ar…

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Thursday, March 21, 2019

2 Unfortunate 2 Travel follows a white boy—played by six women—around the world by Irene Hsiao

It's escapism you can feel good about. In Thomas Nashe's novel The Unfortunate Traveller, the young servant-soldier Jack Wilton swashbuckles his way through the …

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Friday, March 8, 2019

Father, Sister, Son: A Review of Doubt: A Parable at The Gift Theatre by Irene Hsiao

Casting the audience into the role of congregants, this production of John Patrick Shanley's Pulitzer Prize-winning play is more canny than most about what it let's us see.

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Thursday, March 7, 2019

I Wanna Fucking Tear You Apart feels like a sitcom about extended adolescence by Irene Hsiao

Go Team FatGay! If the 30s are the new 20s, and the 20s are but an extended adolescence, then we may never have to grow up at all if we live long enough. Sam and…

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Monday, March 4, 2019

Fundamental Sound: A Review of Ariodante at Lyric Opera of Chicago by Irene Hsiao

Nearly three hundred years since its premiere, Handel's opera of desire and power gains insight and urgency in this modern staging.

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Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Too Much, Too Late: A Review of Act(s) of God at Lookingglass Theatre Company by Irene Hsiao

Actor Kareem Bandealy's first foray as a playwright finds him laying the groundwork for an absurdist family comedy only to squander the work with an overcooked metatheatrical twist.

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Monday, February 18, 2019

Diamond in the Rough: A Review of La Traviata at Lyric Opera of Chicago by Irene Hsiao

Nothing that sparkles can last in Verdi's tragedy of goodness against the world.

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Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Child’s Play: A Review of Us/Them at Chicago Shakespeare Theater by Irene Hsiao

This WorldStage Production at Chicago Shakespeare Theater renders trauma, memory and youth in its own exquisite language.

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Rapturous Plastics: A Review of L’Aprés-midi d’un foehn Version 1 at Compagnie Non Nova by Irene Hsiao

Part of the International Puppet Festival, this "one person" show from Compagnie Non Nova disturbs as much as it delights.

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Monday, January 14, 2019

As American As Pie and Whiskey: A Review of Between Riverside and Crazy at Redtwist Theatre by Irene Hsiao

Stephen Adly Guirgis' Pulitzer Prize-winning play is as heartbreaking and hilarious as ever.

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Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Leaking Light: A Review of The Dark at the Top of the Stairs at Eclipse Theatre Company by Irene Hsiao

Closing out their William Inge season, this production from Eclipse Theatre Company walks the line between realism and melodrama with ease.

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Monday, November 26, 2018

Trivia and Meaning: A Review of Arcadia at Promethean Theatre Ensemble by Irene Hsiao

Promethean Theatre Ensemble's production of Tom Stoppard's ode to balancing reason and ardor is as welcome as ever.

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Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Grim Brothers: A Review of The Lonesome West at AstonRep Theatre Company by Irene Hsiao

AstonRep Theatre Company's production of this Martin McDonagh play is as lovely a thing as can be mustered from the playwright's relentlessly bleak vision of humanity.

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Tuesday, October 9, 2018

A Revolution Without Dancing: A Review of Rock ‘N’ Roll at The Artistic Home by Irene Hsiao

If “DDR” brings to mind not "Dance Dance Revolution" but “Deutsche Demokratische Republik", The Artistic Home's production of this Tom Stoppard play is probably for you.

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Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Dust to Dust: A Review of Indecent at Victory Gardens Theater by Irene Hsiao

The Chicago premiere of Paula Vogel's Tony Award-nominated play is an impressionistic journey through the history of a controversy.

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Wednesday, September 26, 2018

War and Love: A Review of Arms and the Man at City Lit Theater by Irene Hsiao

City Lit's production of this early work by George Bernard Shaw remains brilliantly funny in our time of appalling displays of vanity and greed.

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Sunday, August 26, 2018

East to West: A Review of Vietgone at Writers Theatre by Irene Hsiao

At Writers Theatre, playwright Qui Nguyen weaves a story that is uniquely Asian and indivisibly American.

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Tuesday, July 24, 2018

A Review of Bus Stop at Eclipse Theatre Company by Irene Hsiao

Eclipse Theatre Company’s William Inge season continues with this 1955 play about getting lost in order to get found.

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