All stories by Rick Kogan on BroadwayStars

Friday, April 29, 2022

Author, disability activist and actor Susan Nussbaum dies, after a career of pushing boundaries by Rick Kogan

In person, on stage or on the page, Susan Nussbaum was a delight, a ferociously talented actor, writer and passionate disability rights activist.

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 02:30PM
Thursday, October 21, 2021

Former Redmoon Theater leader Jim Lasko has a new project: Guild Row, a coworking campus in Avondale with artful aspirations by Rick Kogan

The campus contains a teaching kitchen and a wood shop, a live fire cooking station, a member’s lounge with a cafe and bar, co-working spaces, a small library and event spaces.

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 08:00AM
Monday, September 14, 2020

Column: Comedy finds ways to persevere in Chicago for fall 2020. What else can we do but laugh? by Rick Kogan

It's tough to laugh right now, and it's essential to laugh right now. But how and at what? Zanies in Chicago takes steps to reopen, and I'm reminded of advice from Mort Sahl, Lenny Bruce and…

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 07:00AM
Monday, October 29, 2018

Zanies doesn’t fall far from the tree: The son of comedy pros is making his own laughs by Rick Kogan

Bert Haas has arguable heard more jokes than anyone on this planet. Since 1980, with only a reluctant interlude of a few years when he unsatisfactorily tested other careers, he has worked at…

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 12:50PM
Monday, June 4, 2018

'Ask Rick': A new 'White City' musical and some old Studs Terkel laughs, 8 of your questions in all by Rick Kogan

Once more unto the breach we go, with the fourth installment of “Ask Rick,” the experiment intended as a way for readers to ask me questions that they might have about the place we all c…

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 02:00PM
Thursday, September 28, 2017

Quite a backstage story in Jackie Mason's daughter starring as her mom in 'Love Affair' by Rick Kogan

Ginger Reiter lost power in her house when Hurricane Irma visited her in Florida a couple of weeks ago, but that was nothing compared to what happened four decades ago when that human hurric…

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 12:05PM
Friday, August 25, 2017

Take an early look at Theater on the Lake, a new waterfront sensation by Rick Kogan

There are 29 miles of Chicago lakefront, a strand of sand and concrete and grass and trees that hug the shore so stylishly that seen from afar it appears to be some abstract necklace. Not lo…

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 10:55AM
Wednesday, July 19, 2017

'Pushcart Tony' tells the all-too-forgotten Chicago story of Anton Cermak by Rick Kogan

Rahm Emanuel needed a desk. His predecessor, Richard M. Daley, took his desk with him when he left office after his 22-year tenure, and the new mayor's fifth-floor office at City Hall was de…

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 08:00AM
Friday, July 14, 2017

'Orchid Show' is back: We've missed you but never forgotten, Milly by Rick Kogan

While Brigid Murphy was talking with typical enthusiasm about the many people with whom she has shared a stage over the decades — the fire eaters, singers, dancers, rope-twirlers, storytel…

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 09:45AM
Thursday, April 27, 2017

Joe Mantegna - life has been lucky for him, and us by association by Rick Kogan

The first time I saw Joe Mantegna in the flesh he was in the flesh, naked as a newborn baby on stage at the Shubert Theatre in a 1969 production of "Hair." It was his first professional acti…

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 04:26PM
Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Jonathan Pitts moves on from Improv Fest, in part because of advice from Del Close by Rick Kogan

The first years of his life spent in the company of an ice-skating chimpanzee named Spanky, Jonathan Pitts has spent the last two decades of his 57 years in the company of a vast array of ta…

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 11:11AM
Tuesday, March 7, 2017

'Nevermind, It's Nothing': What happens when slam poets write plays? by Rick Kogan

And so, sitting with 15 or so other people on Saturday afternoon in a small theater inside the Stage 773 complex at 1225 W. Belmont Ave., there was a great deal of laughter during the show t…

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 09:25AM
Friday, March 3, 2017

Auditorium Theatre's new CEO says that grand venue is her kind of place by Rick Kogan

Tania Castroverde Moskalenko has yet to find a favorite seat in the Auditorium Theatre. "I am still trying them all out," she said, smiling as she stood in the majestic theater, which was ro…

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 02:18PM
Monday, January 30, 2017

Jackie Chan's kung fu troupe will have more room to fly for '11 Warriors' at Auditorium by Rick Kogan

Saturday was the first night of the two-week celebration of the Chinese New Year. It is, by that country's calendar, year 4,715 (Year of the Rooster), and all that 11 young men from Beijing …

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 04:05PM
Thursday, January 26, 2017

Irvine 'Trainspotting' Welsh lives in Chicago and has a new project: a rock opera by Rick Kogan

Irvine Welsh, the prolific Scottish author, became famous and successful in 1993 with the publication of his first novel, a rough-and-tumble tale of a group of heroin addicts and thieves in …

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 01:47PM
Thursday, January 12, 2017

'Blizzard '67': Imagine the snow begins to fall and doesn't stop by Rick Kogan

It came out of nowhere, really: a few seemingly harmless snowflakes drifting down in the early Thursday morning hours of Jan. 26, 1967. Few noticed. Few worried. This was Chicago in winter, …

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 06:43PM
Thursday, September 15, 2016

Jeremy McCarter's best-seller more than stands beside 'Hamilton' by Rick Kogan

Jeremy McCarter moved here from Brooklyn three years ago with his wife and their baby girl. His wife, a journalist, had taken a new job, and her parents lived close enough to Chicago for the…

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 02:19PM
Monday, August 29, 2016

Visiting Old Town with Jim Post - and a few happy ghosts along for the ride by Rick Kogan

It is impossible for people of a certain age to walk down Wells Street in the vicinity of North Avenue and not be transported to a bygone time. This sort of thing can happen in a lot of diff…

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 02:52PM
Friday, January 29, 2016

The original 'Grease' was born in Chicago, wild, funny and new in 1971 by Rick Kogan

Michael Jordan was not born here. Neither was Oprah Winfrey, political corruption, Mike Ditka, Al Capone, potholes, Carl Sandburg or many other people and things we often claim as our own. …

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 12:22PM

The original 'Grease' was born in Chicago, wild, funny and new in 1971 by Rick Kogan

Michael Jordan was not born here. Neither was Oprah Winfrey, political corruption, Mike Ditka, Al Capone, potholes, Carl Sandburg or many other people and things we often claim as our own. B…

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 10:58AM
Thursday, July 23, 2015

Beverly Arts Center profiting from new sense of excitement by Rick Kogan

The taverns that line the stretch of Western Avenue that slices through the charming and historically significant neighborhood of Beverly on the Far South Side are lively and essential place…

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 11:39AM
Monday, July 20, 2015

In appreciation of 'Bleacher Bums' Custer, Fire by Rick Kogan

There was, of course, the inevitable sorrow that came with the news of the deaths of Roberta Custer (June 8) and Richard Fire (July 8). But then - Isn't the mind a remarkable thing? - came m…

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 05:52PM
Friday, July 10, 2015

Star of 'Where's the beef?' ad could be subject of new musical by Rick Kogan

Inside the sumptuous and stylish living room of a downtown apartment with a spectacular view east to the lake, two people sit on a bench in front of a shimmering black grand piano.

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 10:55AM
Thursday, July 9, 2015

Does 'Where is the beef?' star have the stuff musicals are made of? by Rick Kogan

Inside the sumptuous and stylish living room of a downtown apartment with a spectacular view east to the lake, two people sit on a bench in front of a shimmering black grand piano.

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 06:07PM
Monday, May 4, 2015

Happy birthday to Mort Sahl, a comic without parallel by Rick Kogan

The greatest living comic in the world is Mort Sahl.

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 12:53PM
Friday, March 6, 2015

New school is a total joke: Zanies offers comedy classes by Rick Kogan

Sitting in the darkness that is the inside of Zanies comedy club no matter the time of day or the glare of the sun on Wells Street outside, it is impossible not to be thrown back into the pa…

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 12:00PM
Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Shakespeare Project of Chicago marks its 20th year by Rick Kogan

The current production of William Shakespeare's "King Lear," playing through Nov. 9 at the handsome and justifiably renowned Chicago Shakespeare Theater on Navy Pier, stars Larry Yando as th…

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 06:08PM
Friday, September 26, 2014

Great Chicago Fire comes to the river by Rick Kogan

In the beginning was the notebook, and the notebook was filled with dreams, and those dreams, against all sorts of odds and in the face of red tape, carping, money-hunting and alterations, w…

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 12:28PM
Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Charles Troy wades deep into Broadway's history by Rick Kogan

Most of us, for reasons having to do with lack of talent, physical gifts or luck, must at some time give up our youthful dreams. And so we realized long ago that we would not be playing quar…

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 12:00PM
Saturday, August 17, 2013

Petersen remains true to roots in Chicago theater by Rick Kogan

My colleague Chris Jones broke the news late in February, writing: "Famous for his work on 'CSI: Crime Scene Investigation,' (William) Petersen is generally a big box-office draw in Chicago,…

SOURCE: Chicago Tribune Subscription at 01:00AM

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