All stories by Mary Wisniewski on BroadwayStars

Thursday, July 11, 2024

Southern Gothic: A Review of “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil” at the Goodman Theatre by Mary Wisniewski

“Midnight” is a sparkling, engaging night at the theater, and will make you want to book a weekend in Savannah. It’s worth seeing, especially for Ghee.

SOURCE: www.newcitystage.com at 08:00AM
Friday, June 14, 2024

Stokely: The Unfinished Revolution Tells the Story of Stokely Carmichael by Mary Wisniewski

The new play by Nambi E. Kelley is currently running at Chicago's Court Theatre.

SOURCE: Playbill at 05:24PM
Tuesday, June 11, 2024

Cotton Candy Pop Concert: A Review of “Six: The Musical” at Nederlander Theatre by Mary Wisniewski

It felt like the end of an after-school special—we all learned something tonight. I’m glad this show is bringing young people into the theaters. And I hope they come back to see somethin…

SOURCE: www.newcitystage.com at 08:00AM
Friday, June 7, 2024

Varieties of Romance: A Review of “A Little Night Music” at Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre by Mary Wisniewski

“A Little Night Music” celebrates mature love—the kind that happens after you’ve been around for a while; less fireworks, more bemusement.

SOURCE: www.newcitystage.com at 08:00AM
Friday, May 24, 2024

A Hard Punch: A Review of “Native Son” at Lifeline Theatre by Mary Wisniewski

Lifeline Theatre’s new production of “Native Son” is brutal, powerful and relentless. Like a big, stiff drink, it hits you right in the gut, and you leave the theater reeling.

SOURCE: www.newcitystage.com at 08:00AM
Wednesday, May 8, 2024

A Song Factory: A Review of “Beautiful: The Carole King Musical” at Paramount Theatre by Mary Wisniewski

With the abundantly talented Tiffany Topol as Carole King, backed by a great cast, the new production of “Beautiful” at Aurora’s Paramount Theatre is irresistible.

SOURCE: www.newcitystage.com at 08:00AM
Wednesday, May 1, 2024

Jason Alexander Is Returning to Stage Acting, This Time in Chicago by Mary Wisniewski

In Judgement Day at Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Alexander plays a corrupt lawyer who may be looking for forgiveness.

SOURCE: Playbill at 05:18PM
Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Belle Époque: A Review of “Nana” at Trap Door Theatre by Mary Wisniewski

This show is alive. For the two hours spent in the tiny Bucktown theater, you can imagine you have stepped into a Toulouse-Lautrec painting—drinking absinthe and watching the can-can.

SOURCE: www.newcitystage.com at 08:00AM
Friday, April 12, 2024

A Mission in the Theater: An Interview with Harry Lennix by Mary Wisniewski

Lennix, known for his work on television’s “The Blacklist” and “Dollhouse” and movies like “The Five Heartbeats” and “Ray,” is a busy man around Chicago these days. He’s …

SOURCE: www.newcitystage.com at 08:00AM
Thursday, April 11, 2024

Abridged Absurdity: A Review of “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead” at Court Theatre by Mary Wisniewski

Too much of Tom Stoppard’s absurdist, existential tragicomedy about two minor Shakespearean characters has been trimmed from this production, which is too bad, because the play is brillian…

SOURCE: www.newcitystage.com at 08:00AM
Thursday, March 28, 2024

The Family Tree: A Review of “Purpose” at Steppenwolf Theatre by Mary Wisniewski

This is a moving, beautifully written and honest play that discusses generational conflict—between old ideas of “purpose” and spirituality and new ones, between the need for truth and …

SOURCE: www.newcitystage.com at 08:00AM
Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Monticello’s Façade: A Review of “The Reclamation of Madison Hemings” at American Blues Theater by Mary Wisniewski

This play sees the contradictions at the heart of this country—the tragic infrastructure under its noble façade. Monticello won’t look the same when you think of all the people who were…

SOURCE: www.newcitystage.com at 08:00AM
Tuesday, February 13, 2024

Spectacle and Gore: A Review of “Richard III” at Chicago Shakespeare Theater by Mary Wisniewski

You don’t come to “Richard III” for history—you come for spectacle and gore, and Chicago Shakespeare delivers.

SOURCE: www.newcitystage.com at 08:00AM
Monday, February 12, 2024

Grace and Power: A Review of “Notes from the Field” at TimeLine Theatre by Mary Wisniewski

In presenting the words of real people talking about America’s troubled education and criminal justice system in her 2015 play “Notes from the Field,” writer and actress Anna Deavere S…

SOURCE: www.newcitystage.com at 08:00AM
Monday, February 5, 2024

Medium Cold: A Review of “Highway Patrol” at Goodman Theatre by Mary Wisniewski

The social media world is a "cool" place (in Marshall McLuhan's term)—you have to fill in the details. The story might work better in a cooler medium, like television.

SOURCE: www.newcitystage.com at 08:00AM
Tuesday, January 30, 2024

Soulful and Devastating: A Review of “Champion” at Lyric Opera by Mary Wisniewski

In its Chicago premiere, “Champion” has strong vocal performances, exuberant dancing and a creative, multi-level set by Allen Moyer, which uses projected images of real newspaper headlin…

SOURCE: www.newcitystage.com at 08:00AM
Wednesday, January 24, 2024

Unanswered Questions: A Review of “In Quietness” at A Red Orchid Theatre by Mary Wisniewski

The actors are telling a story that never finds its way, and leaves too many unanswered questions.

SOURCE: www.newcitystage.com at 08:00AM
Tuesday, January 23, 2024

Feels Like Heaven: A Review of “Anything Goes” at Porchlight Music Theatre by Mary Wisniewski

It’s January in Chicago, and we must somehow survive it. You could go to Miami, but not everyone has the time. So here’s a closer source of heat—a dynamite production of “Anything Go…

SOURCE: www.newcitystage.com at 08:00AM
Thursday, January 18, 2024

Coming of Age: Sufjan Stevens’ “Illinois” Album is Brought to Life at Chicago Shakespeare Theater by Mary Wisniewski

Both the poetry and the genre-defying nature of “Illinoise” made it a favorite of Tony Award-winning choreographer Justin Peck. Peck worked with longtime friend and collaborator Stevens …

SOURCE: www.newcitystage.com at 08:00AM
Thursday, December 7, 2023

Friendship and Whales: A Review of “Islander” at Chicago Shakespeare Theater by Mary Wisniewski

It’s a sweet story, beautifully performed, about a friendship between two teenage girls. One of them is a mermaid or selkie who takes care of whales.

SOURCE: www.newcitystage.com at 08:00AM
Thursday, November 30, 2023

A Joyous Mainstay: A Review of “A Christmas Carol” at the Goodman Theatre by Mary Wisniewski

This story has remained popular for 180 years because Scrooge is all of us, hurt by the world, trying hard to be tougher than we really are. Sometimes, we need to lower our defenses and reme…

SOURCE: www.newcitystage.com at 08:00AM
Thursday, November 16, 2023

Something Special: A Review of “The Lion in Winter” at Court Theatre by Mary Wisniewski

The moment Rebecca Spence steps on the Court Theatre stage as Eleanor of Aquitaine, the atmosphere changes. Here’s something special.

SOURCE: www.newcitystage.com at 08:00AM
Tuesday, November 7, 2023

Everything’s Gonna Be Alright: A Review of “Twelfth Night” at Chicago Shakespeare Theater by Mary Wisniewski

This new production of “Twelfth Night,” directed by first-generation Jamaican American director Tyrone Phillips with a mostly Black cast and reggae music, captures the spirit, the langua…

SOURCE: www.newcitystage.com at 08:00AM
Thursday, November 2, 2023

Fairytale Terror: A Review of “The Night of the Hunter” at City Lit by Mary Wisniewski

The monster in “The Night of the Hunter” is not a vampire, or a werewolf, or any kind of supernatural, European fiend. He is a true American type and scarier than any Halloween monster, …

SOURCE: www.newcitystage.com at 08:00AM
Tuesday, October 24, 2023

Monster Mash: A Review of “Young Frankenstein” at Mercury Theater by Mary Wisniewski

The talented cast sells every song and bawdy joke for all they’re worth, and you’ll have a good, silly time.

SOURCE: www.newcitystage.com at 08:00AM
Friday, September 29, 2023

An Odd Dream: A Review of “The Pragmatists” at Trap Door Theatre by Mary Wisniewski

Trap Door opens its thirtieth season with an early play by one of the twentieth century’s kings of strange—Polish surrealist writer, artist, photographer and drug-adventurer Stanislaw I.…

SOURCE: www.newcitystage.com at 08:00AM
Wednesday, September 27, 2023

This Could Be Anywhere: A Review of “The Consul” at Third Eye Theatre Ensemble by Mary Wisniewski

This could be anywhere and any time in the modern era, with people being turned into numbers, and their stories into “cases.”

SOURCE: www.newcitystage.com at 08:00AM
Friday, September 22, 2023

Let’s Get Weird: A Review of “Revolution” at A Red Orchid Theatre by Mary Wisniewski

There’s a danger of being caught in the folds of time—you need friends, celebration and human contact to pull you free. So grab a friend and go see “Revolution”—it’s time to get …

SOURCE: www.newcitystage.com at 08:00AM
Thursday, September 21, 2023

The Dinner Party: A Review of “Welcome to Matteson!” at Congo Square Theatre by Mary Wisniewski

A dinner party is a great device for theatrical conflict. There’s nothing like too much wine and miscommunication to draw all the poisons out of the mud.

SOURCE: www.newcitystage.com at 08:00AM
Wednesday, September 6, 2023

A Safe Space: How Martyna Majok Channeled Her Immigrant Struggle Into Playwriting Success by Mary Wisniewski

Majok is back in Chicago, getting ready for a production of her 2020 play “Sanctuary City,” at Steppenwolf Theatre, where it will run from September 14 through November 18. Majok says sh…

SOURCE: www.newcitystage.com at 08:00AM
Monday, August 7, 2023

A Saccharine Set: A Review of “Next to Normal” at Paramount Theatre by Mary Wisniewski

“Next to Normal,” with music by Tom Kitt and book and lyrics by Brian Yorkey, is not up to the challenge and complexity of its subject.

SOURCE: www.newcitystage.com at 08:00AM

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