All stories by Irene Hsiao on BroadwayStars

Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Unruly corpses by Irene Hsiao

Antigonick, Anne Carson’s 2012 translation of Sophokles’s Antigone, is both heavy and light, with terse language hand-lettered in black and red caps, interleaved with illustrations by Bi…

SOURCE: at 01:16PM
Tuesday, March 12, 2024

Power and passion by Irene Hsiao

The overture begins with soft and almost wistful strings creating an atmosphere of tentative beauty, like a mist entering as the sun rises—a subtle, dark, and pensive beginning to an opera…

SOURCE: at 05:03PM
Wednesday, February 21, 2024

A box of treasures by Irene Hsiao

The view is sumptuous even before the curtain rises on Mary Zimmerman’s The Matchbox Magic Flute: chandeliers dripping with gems, stars on a painted firmament, a cascade of crimson velvet,…

SOURCE: at 03:08PM
Tuesday, February 6, 2024

Illinoise misses the possibilities in Sufjan Stevens’s songs by Irene Hsiao

Illinois. Land of Lincoln. The Prairie State. The Inland Empire State. Home to Illinoisans, Illinoisians, and Illinoians. Algonquin for “tribe of superior men.” State bird: the cardinal.…

SOURCE: at 04:46PM
Thursday, February 1, 2024

The best things we saw at the 6th Chicago International Puppet Theater Festival by Kimzyn Campbell, Irene Hsiao and Kerry Reid

The 6th Chicago International Puppet Theater Festival swept through Chicago as vigorously as the cold front that accompanied much of it, and puppets dominated venues all around Chicago for t…

SOURCE: at 02:34PM
Tuesday, August 1, 2023

Clue: A Walking Mystery misses local color by Irene Hsiao

July 27, 4:58 PM, in the sweltering afternoon of a hothouse week, my friend Jeff and I arrived at a kiosk between a shuttered Starbucks and a Cash4Gold stand on the pedway level of Block 37.…

SOURCE: at 05:08PM
Thursday, June 8, 2023

Asian American renegades by Irene Hsiao

When you hear “Charlie Chan,” do you think of a Honolulu police detective with a penchant for fortune cookie proverbs in pidgin English, who was made into an American icon in six novels …

SOURCE: at 11:54AM
Wednesday, March 15, 2023

The three faces of Joan by Irene Hsiao

Joan of Arc: history or apocrypha, saint or schizophrenic, myth or martyr? We’re all mad here, suggests Trap Door Theatre’s vivacious U.S. premiere production of Matei Vişniec’s Joan …

SOURCE: at 01:57PM
Tuesday, February 21, 2023

A universe of privation by Irene Hsiao

No wings close the expanse of earth that widens the Court Theatre stage to a landscape in Caryl Churchill’s Fen, directed by Vanessa Stalling, with scenic design by Collette Pollard. The t…

SOURCE: at 04:37PM
Thursday, February 2, 2023

Toxic claustrophobia by Irene Hsiao

Jasmine Sharma’s Radial Gradient, directed in its world premiere at Shattered Globe Theatre by Grace Dolezal-Ng, is the story of two students and their bid to enter a sorority at their uni…

SOURCE: at 09:39AM
Thursday, December 15, 2022

Mourning and celebrating in the same breath by Irene Hsiao

Him (Jennifer Lim) coughs on the smoke of the incense she lights as she bows to a temporary altar in her kitchen in Carrollton, Texas. Ma (Wai Ching Ho) is propped up on a hospital bed, wher…

SOURCE: at 03:38PM
Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Practical holiday magic by Irene Hsiao

Uncle Joe was dead, to begin with. There is no doubt whatsoever about that. The cardboard boxes littered the floor, filled with Joe’s tools, Joe’s college textbooks, Joe’s albums and […

SOURCE: at 05:06PM
Wednesday, November 9, 2022

When is a pipe not a pipe? by Irene Hsiao

René Magritte’s 1929 painting La Trahison des images is best known for the text it contains: painted in a curlicue script beneath the curved image of a pipe are the […] The post When is…

SOURCE: at 10:58AM
Wednesday, October 12, 2022

Pecking themselves to death by Irene Hsiao

Albert Chen (Christopher Thomas Pow) is sitting on a park bench eating what appears to be a burrito or a hot pocket when a hunched old man, dressed in an […] The post Pecking themselves to…

SOURCE: at 04:04PM
Friday, September 30, 2022

Refraction opens Hubbard Street’s 45th season by Irene Hsiao

Now celebrating its 45th anniversary, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago presents Refraction, a mixed bill of contemporary works consisting of the world premiere of Chicago choreographer Randy Dun…

SOURCE: at 12:35PM
Thursday, September 22, 2022

High-rise havoc by Irene Hsiao

On the rooftop of a high-rise, one of many in the forest of silhouettes that comprises our city’s skyline, a professor (Dan Hanrahan) and an automotive engineer (Juanjo López) have […] …

SOURCE: at 11:49AM
Friday, September 16, 2022

Some best bets for the fall harvest of performance by Kerry Reid, Irene Hsiao and Deanna Isaacs

It’s impossible to summarize everything that’s happening onstage this season. (It’s also hard to tell you exactly what COVID-19 precautions are required at venues now; we suggest check…

SOURCE: at 02:09PM
Thursday, September 15, 2022

Tools for new movement by Irene Hsiao

On September 24, Toolbox @ Twenty opens at the Hyde Park Art Center (HPAC) to celebrate the Seldoms’ 20th anniversary with an exhibition and performances in a large-scale experiment in [�…

SOURCE: at 03:08PM
Thursday, September 8, 2022

Revolutionary abstractions by Irene Hsiao

“Not that it matters, but most of what follows is true,” reads the supertitle projected over a stage sparsely set with stools. Enter a small conference of artists tasked with […] The p…

SOURCE: at 03:58PM
Tuesday, September 6, 2022

Seeking a friend for the end of the world by Irene Hsiao

The stage is dark and lightly clouded with fog—in the distance, a dense heap of jumbled objects signals the end of systems and uses. Booms Day brings us into the […] The post Seeking a f…

SOURCE: at 03:28PM
Thursday, August 25, 2022

‘Black dance is American dance’ by Irene Hsiao

On August 27 in Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park, the eight companies representing the Chicago Black Dance Legacy Project—Ayodele Drum and Dance, Chicago Multi-Cultural Dance Center, D…

SOURCE: at 10:47AM
Wednesday, August 24, 2022

The play about the baby by Irene Hsiao

In March 2020, Theatre L’Acadie opened a production of Tennessee Williams’s The Two Character Play the same week the city locked down for the COVID-19 pandemic: sibling actors, mad and […

SOURCE: at 11:51AM
Friday, July 22, 2022

The Blasian March comes to Chicago by Irene Hsiao

On plantations in the 1800s, plantation owners used diversity as a means of division. “We lay great stress on the necessity of having our labor mixed. By employing different nationalities,…

SOURCE: at 12:05PM
Wednesday, July 13, 2022

Dimming of the day by Irene Hsiao

“When people die, they move from the first person to the third person. They also move from the present tense to the past tense.” These words are spoken by Christine (Kendra Thulin), who …

SOURCE: at 10:48AM
Thursday, June 30, 2022

Native tongues by Irene Hsiao

The grounds are defined by meandering turns of grass and dirt, a rainfall of lightbulbs, a shining blue curve that sometimes picks up projections and reflections of what might be ghosts or c…

SOURCE: at 09:39AM
Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Hot weather, hot shows by Kerry Reid, Irene Hsiao and Deanna Isaacs

Summer is officially here, in case the sweat and lightning bugs weren’t enough of a clue. In addition to the shows and artists we profiled in our summer arts preview issue this week, we’…

SOURCE: at 04:01PM
Friday, June 10, 2022

‘Huge, very loud, and with a lot of glitter’ by Irene Hsiao

For the first time since a pandemic hiatus, The Fly Honey Show is live for three days only of sparkle, sweat, and shimmy. Begun in 2010 with about 30 performers in the living room of the DIY…

SOURCE: at 12:01PM
Wednesday, June 8, 2022

Just skating by by Irene Hsiao

The year is 1994, and rock star Jacqueline Miller (Diana DeGarmo) is zigzagging the country on a tour. Her dishonest manager has absconded with her earnings, her deadbeat saxophonist boyfrie…

SOURCE: at 12:08PM
Monday, June 6, 2022

Romance languages by Irene Hsiao

Two years into this pestilence, the misery of war, the disappointment of mankind day after day weighing down desperate minds, with a future certain of nothing but social and planetary destru…

SOURCE: at 02:18PM
Tuesday, May 31, 2022

Reshaping the landscape on the southeast side by Irene Hsiao

A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held on May 21 at 89th and Commercial on the southeast side. It celebrated the opening of Commercial Ave Alfresco, a joint initiative organized by the group Sou…

SOURCE: at 11:55AM
Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Light drives the story in TAKE by Irene Hsiao

On an industrial strip of Rockwell just off Elston, beyond a white door with numbers painted in red, past a makeshift bar, through a dark curtain lies a white brick room filled with smoke. T…

SOURCE: at 03:41PM

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