All stories by Irene Hsiao on BroadwayStars

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Bangarra Dance Theatre brings its distinctive language to Chicago by Irene Hsiao

Based in Australia, the company fuses contemporary dance with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander traditions. Bangarra Dance Theatre of Australia makes its Chi…

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Monday, November 18, 2019

Riven and Vivid: A Review of Oedipus Rex at Court Theatre by Irene Hsiao

A contemporary and timeless vision from the premiere source for classical Greek theater.

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Tuesday, November 12, 2019

The music entices, but the story is corny in Sombras Tango Cabaret by Irene Hsiao

Tango 21 Dance Theater's cabaret show lacks narrative sophistication. Originating on the streets of Argentina, filtered through European high society, blending A…

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Rink Life takes us on a circular journey through collaboration by Irene Hsiao

Lucky Plush's new ensemble piece uses the roller rink as a metaphor for community. Ah, the roller rink—a community center where everyone keeps moving in circle…

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Monday, November 11, 2019

An Enduring Holiday Tradition: A Review of The Steadfast Tin Soldier at Lookingglass Theatre Company by Irene Hsiao

Directed by Mary Zimmerman, this ardent and wide-eyed holiday show returns, albeit with at least one noteworthy blind spot.

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Wednesday, November 6, 2019

This, That, and the Third breaks down code-switching by Irene Hsiao

Rena Butler explores otherness and adaptation to new spaces in her contribution to Hubbard Street's Forge Forward program. This week, Hubbard Street Dance Chicag…

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Monday, November 4, 2019

Crime After Crime: A Review of Dead Man Walking at Lyric Opera of Chicago by Irene Hsiao

The characters in Jake Heggie's 2000 opera acquire charisma through the unhappiness of their situations and the obsessions that drive them.

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Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Alexandra Bachzetsis takes stock of exchange in Chasing a Ghost by Irene Hsiao

The choreographer's duets about changing partners takes over the Art Institute's Trading Room. On the northeasternmost edge of the Art Institute of Chicago, wher…

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Monday, October 28, 2019

Sign of the Times: A Review of You Are Happy at Red Theater Chicago by Irene Hsiao

Both spoken and signed, this production plays its source material twice, spotlighting the disturbing ventriloquism of romantic relationships.

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Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Marginalia centers on two women and their "ferocious, rambunctious way of being" by Irene Hsiao

Khecari's new duet debuts at Links Hall. Two women begin with motion that is rapid and unrelenting, fearlessly yielding to momentum, whirring limbs about the axi…

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Tuesday, October 22, 2019
Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Richard III walks into a karaoke bar . . . by Irene Hsiao

Shakespeare's villain goes flat in Eclectic Full Contact's production. Shakespeare's Richard III is the embodiment of a man with a chip on his shoulder, a hunchb…

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Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Evolutionary movement: Visceral Dance Chicago looks at the past and the future by Irene Hsiao

The company's fall series at the Athenaeum celebrates past work by artistic director Nick Pupillo and introduces a new piece by Spanish choreographer Monica Cervantes. …

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Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Wilfredo Rivera explores his journey from Honduras to Chicago in American Catracho by Irene Hsiao

At 20, Cerqua Rivera Dance Theatre celebrates immigrant, Native, and African American identity in two programs of new work. Cerqua Rivera Dance Theatre, founded …

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Monday, September 23, 2019

Holding Court: A Review of King Hedley II at Court Theatre by Irene Hsiao

Court Theatre continues to strengthen its reputation as the premiere destination for August Wilson work with this latest production.

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Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Hong Kong artist Samson Young considers cars, houses, and a better tomorrow by Irene Hsiao

His first solo U.S. museum show explores optimism as characterized by the 1933 Chicago World's Fair. "Little one, I have dreams to sell," begins one of a parcel …

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Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Ayesha Jaco's Black Samurai celebrates her father's contributions to a vibrant community by Irene Hsiao

Gregory Jaco's Tornado School of Martial Arts comes alive in a new dance performance developed through the Rebuild Foundation. "To this school . . . we bring our…

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Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Doing Fine focuses on the small moments and movements by Irene Hsiao

A spinal injury led Joanna Furnans to an autobiographical solo dance exploring the minute. Minute movement. Mundane moments.…

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Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Black Ballerina explores the pre-Misty Copeland world by Irene Hsiao

Fleetwood-Jourdain Theatre’s world premiere shows the struggles of Black women in classical dance. Ballet dancers applauded last October when Freed of London b…

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Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Dystopian horror hides in the creepy undergrowth of Pomona by Irene Hsiao

Alistair McDowall’s thriller at Steep plants seeds of money, violence, sex, death . . . and Dungeons and Dragons. A woman's search for her missing sister becom…

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Wednesday, July 17, 2019

The Recommendation balances hilarious excess and grim realism by Irene Hsiao

Windy City Playhouse’s latest immersive ambulatory production offers a penetrating analysis of class privilege. Two college guys, unlike in privilege, in Provi…

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Strange Heart Beating muddies the waters by Irene Hsiao

Cloudgate Theatre’s production is too precious and preposterous. Atmosphere is everything in Cloudgate Theatre artistic director Kristin Idaszak's new Strange …

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Monday, July 8, 2019

Fathers and Daughters: A Review of King Lear at Redtwist Theatre by Irene Hsiao

This production of Shakespeare's patriarchal anxiety dream finds truth in jest.

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Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Hubbard Street Dance Chicago’s Summer Series has seen the future by Irene Hsiao

It is sleek, sharp, and cool. Hubbard Street Dance Chicago's Summer Series performed at the Harris Theater June 6 through 9 was a sleek and futuristic vision: t…

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Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Four Places hovers brilliantly between public pleasantries and private dysfunction by Irene Hsiao

Adult children confront the past and future lives of their aging parents over lunch. It's their weekly lunch date. They're sitting in the restaurant where she an…

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Monday, June 3, 2019

The Quiet Hours speaks volumes by Irene Hsiao

Choreographer Emma Draves and three dancers bring an elegant simplicity to their Dovetail Studios performance. The audience sits along two walls in Studio 1 at …

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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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All that Chat

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