All stories by Kerry Reid on BroadwayStars

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Summer theater 2019: Our top 25 shows to see by Kerry Reid

As always, it takes long enough to get here — and summer in Chicago can be gone before we know it. But that doesn’t mean you can’t make time for great theater, which never takes time o…

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Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Court Theatre’s adaptation of The Adventures of Augie March joyfully embraces every moment by Kerry Reid

The men may kick and scream, but it’s the women who lead. Whether Augie March turns out to be the hero of his own play, or whether that station is held by the …

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'Bloomsday' by Remy Bumppo is about a love, and a James Joyce story, worth a trip back in time by Kerry Reid

Molly Bloom has come unstuck in time. All right, not the real Molly Bloom. She’s fictional, after all. But in Steven Dietz’s 2015 time-travel romance, “Bloomsday,” James Joyce’s he…

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Thursday, May 16, 2019

The Undeniable Sound of Right Now enables an aging rockist with dying dreams by Kerry Reid

The nostalgic tones don't resonate quite as fully with the modern music scene as they could. In his 2004 New York Times essay "The Rap Against Rockism," Kelefa S…

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Wednesday, May 15, 2019

'Mushroom Cure' at the Greenhouse: Laughs and pain in solo show about trying to treat his OCD with psychedelics by Kerry Reid

Obsessive-compulsive disorder and comedy aren’t strangers to each other, as fans of Tony Shalhoub’s “Monk” can attest. But comedian and solo performer Adam Strauss’s detective work…

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Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Nostalgia and no surprises in 'Miracle on South Division Street' by Buffalo Theatre Ensemble by Kerry Reid

In the early years of this century, Tom Dudzick’s meat-and-potatoes (or should that be “kielbasa-and-cabbage?”) nostalgic comedy “Over the Tavern,” about a Polish-Catholic working-…

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Wednesday, May 1, 2019

In Language Rooms, an Egyptian American interrogator struggles to prove his loyalty to the U.S.A. by Kerry Reid

“Unless your being innocent is as interesting to them as being guilty, you will not be believed.” Egyptian American playwright Yussef El Guindi is mostly kno…

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Friday, April 19, 2019

'Footloose' at the Marriott keeps it light — it's about the kids and their music by Kerry Reid

Small towns afraid of dancing and alternative lifestyles (such as … enjoying dancing, I guess) have provided a fair amount of fodder for musicals. “The Prom,” the sweet-and-snarky musi…

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Tuesday, April 16, 2019

'Hannah and Martin' at Shattered Globe asks, why would a Jewish theorist defend a former Nazi, her former lover? by Kerry Reid

Kate Fodor set the stakes high in her first play, 2003’s “Hannah and Martin,” which debuted at TimeLine Theatre (and enjoyed a reprise with them the following season). By putting the t…

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Wednesday, April 10, 2019

There are worse 90s nostalgia trips than Cruel Intentions by Kerry Reid

The cast elevates the production beyond karaoke night. Fans of both the 1999 film riff on Pierre Choderlos de Laclos's 1782 novel Les Liaisons dangereuses and of…

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Monday, April 8, 2019

'Hopelessly Devoted' at Piven an unflinching look at picking up the pieces of life by Kerry Reid

Many years ago, I had the privilege of watching theater artist and activist Rhodessa Jones work with incarcerated women through her Medea Project in San Francisco. The women’s stories, whi…

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Thursday, April 4, 2019

Sideshow Theatre goes into the heart of The Ridiculous Darkness by Kerry Reid

The horror! The horror! Wolfram Lotz's fractured take on Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness (and its famous cinematic version, Apocalypse Now) started out as a ra…

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Monday, April 1, 2019

'The Firestorm' at First Folio: What do you do when your husband, a white politician, turns out to have a racist scandal in his past? by Kerry Reid

A white — and putatively liberal — politician with a rising profile finds his career threatened when a story about a racist act he committed in college comes to light. No, it’s not the…

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Friday, March 29, 2019

Poseidon! is still shipshape by Kerry Reid

A stellar cast keeps the parody musical cruising. The dramatic footage from the Norwegian cruise ship stranded in rough waters this past weekend was cool, but yo…

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Thursday, March 28, 2019

The Adventures of Augie March, Six, and Queen of the Mist bring defiance and derring-do to Chicago stages by Kerry Reid

Kerry Reid’s top picks for spring theater Three new shows this season celebrate defiance and derring-do, from the poetic grit of Saul Bellow to the feminist s…

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Monday, March 25, 2019

'Good Enough' at 16th Street: How to be a 'good' person? It comes from our everyday decisions by Kerry Reid

In Season 3 of NBC’s afterlife comedy, “The Good Place,” the quartet of humans who’ve dubbed themselves “The Soul Squad” find out (spoiler alert!) that getting into heaven has be…

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Wednesday, March 20, 2019

A Bronx Tale covers up moral quandaries with feel-good doo-wop by Kerry Reid

But the performances in this touring production are fresh and assured. This 2016 musical based on Chazz Palminteri's 1989 solo show (which itself became a Robert…

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Monday, March 18, 2019

'Detour Guide' at Silk Road: His Egyptian roots, he found, were very different from Hollywood's version of Egypt by Kerry Reid

The terrorist murders at the mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand cast an understandable pall Friday night at the opening of Silk Road Rising’s latest offering. But Karim Nagi’s spirited…

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Monday, March 11, 2019

'Mahalia Jackson: Moving Through the Light': Just the music of the Queen of Gospel at Black Ensemble Theater by Kerry Reid

Longtime patrons of Black Ensemble Theater are probably familiar with the post-curtain speech sometimes heard there. “Going to Black Ensemble is just like going to church — because there…

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Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Steppenwolf for Young Adults tries to stage the story of a forgotten genocide in 'We are Proud to Present a Presentation ...' by Kerry Reid

The first genocide of the 20th century — the German extermination of the Herero people in what is now Namibia — remains largely ignored and untaught, at least in America. Playwright Jack…

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Monday, February 25, 2019

'The Man Who Was Thursday' at Lifeline: There's an anarchist plot, a Scotland Yard plant and a deeper satirical message that never gets in the way by Kerry Reid

Chaos is dull. That which goes right is poetry,” declares Gabriel Syme, the protagonist in G.K. Chesterton’s 1908 metaphysical/satirical novel, “The Man Who Was Thursday.” But in Bil…

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Wednesday, February 13, 2019

'The Total Bent' at Haven: Story of father-son musicians with civil rights echoes is the best storefront show of winter by Kerry Reid

As sleet and snow slashed the air outside on Tuesday night, a theatrical fire blazed onstage at the Den Theatre. In “The Total Bent,” the polymath known as Stew, perhaps best known for h…

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Tuesday, February 12, 2019

'How I Learned to Drive' at Raven Theatre: A young woman's memories of sexual abuse, coerced behind the wheel by Kerry Reid

Midway through Paula Vogel’s “How I Learned to Drive,” a man gives fishing lessons to an unseen child. He describes the pompano as “a very shy, mercurial fish,” and advises that ca…

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Friday, February 8, 2019

'On Clover Road' at American Blues: A mom looking for her daughter ends up in a strange motel room by Kerry Reid

The grungy motel in the middle of nowhere is as much a trope for American psychological thrillers as the gloomy country manse in English murder mysteries. From “Psycho” to “Bug,” it…

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Monday, January 28, 2019

'All Childish Things' at First Folio like 'The Italian Job' of geek culture by Kerry Reid

Joseph Zettelmaier has become something of a playwright in residence for suburban First Folio. In addition to a trilogy of plays that skillfully reimagined classic horror stories about Frank…

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Thursday, January 24, 2019

'Million Dollar Quartet' at the Marriott: This jukebox favorite sounds great in the round by Kerry Reid

The cure for the wintertime blues is apparently “Million Dollar Quartet.” Two theaters in the Chicago area — Marriott Theatre in Lincolnshire and Theatre at the Center in Munster, Ind.…

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Tuesday, January 22, 2019

'Evil Dead the Musical' at Pride Arts Center is a parody in the spirit of the original — is that always a good thing? by Kerry Reid

Long before “Scream” sent up the teen slasher genre, there was the “Evil Dead” trilogy. Director Sam Raimi’s low-budget homage/spoof series blended H.P. Lovecraft’s mythos about …

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Monday, January 7, 2019

Pegasus 32nd Young Playwrights Fest: Themes of identity connect the 3 plays by this year's new writers by Kerry Reid

On the heels of a wave of diverse younger women joining the ranks of the 116th Congress, Pegasus Theatre Chicago’s 32nd Young Playwrights Festival feels right at home with the zeitgeist. T…

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Wednesday, December 19, 2018

How Chicago theater was all about our current moment in 2018 — in 5 shows by Kerry Reid

Issues of identity and immigration, borders and belonging, took on harsh and frightening dimensions in the headlines this year. So in looking over the shows that made the biggest impression …

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Tuesday, December 18, 2018

'The Old Woman Broods' at Trap Door: There's a lot to this Polish play, just don't expect a story by Kerry Reid

I’ve seen more than 30 shows at Trap Door Theatre over the past 16 years. Yet their current offering, Tadeusz Rozewicz’s “The Old Woman Broods,” may be the Trap Dooriest of them all …

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Tuesday, December 4, 2018

French Revolution play 'The Revolutionists' has both powerful moments and groan-worthy lines by Kerry Reid

The opening moments of Strawdog Theatre’s “The Revolutionists” feel like they might be perfectly at home at Trap Door. Four women, garbed in deconstructed variants of 18th century garb…

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