All stories by Tristan Bruns on BroadwayStars

Monday, September 25, 2023

The Price of Freedom: A Review of “Blues for an Alabama Sky” at Remy Bumppo by Tristan Bruns

“Blues for an Alabama Sky” is about supporting a women’s right to the same freedom of choice as the other half of humanity, with all the joy, hardships and pitfalls that come with it. 

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Wednesday, September 20, 2023

Snap, You’re Caught! A Review of “The Mousetrap” at Citadel Theatre by Tristan Bruns

Agatha Christie's “The Mousetrap,” now on stage at Citadel Theatre, locks you in with knife-wielding maniacs, blood-curdling screams, zippy dialogue and brain-tingling riddles.

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Tuesday, September 19, 2023

Follow the Recipe: A Review of “Baked! The Musical” at Theo Ubique by Tristan Bruns

Combine equal parts family drama and youthful enthusiasm with a dash of stoner comedy and you get “Baked! The Musical,” delivered piping hot at Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre.

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Thursday, September 14, 2023

Pinch of Soul, Dash of Fun: A Review of “Taste of Soul” at Black Ensemble Theater by Tristan Bruns

“Taste of Soul” has a little something for everyone. For those who grew up with soul food and music, it’s a delightful trip down memory lane.

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Wednesday, September 13, 2023

A Goofy Comedy with a Lot of Heart: A Review of “Mic Father Like Son” by Subtext Theater Company by Tristan Bruns

“Mic Father Like Son” is full of charm, wit and shtick, an appealing performance for those in the mood for a goofy comedy with a lot of heart.

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Tuesday, September 12, 2023

It’ll Grow On You: A Review of “Little Shop of Horrors” at Paramount Theatre by Tristan Bruns

Paramount Theatre’s “Little Shop of Horrors” has it all—fantastic singing, fleshed out characters, hit songs and a hyper-detailed set. If you’re in the mood for the macabre, this i…

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Friday, September 8, 2023

A Cult Classic: Kokandy Productions Brings Back the Storefront Musical with “American Psycho” by Tristan Bruns

For twelve years, Kokandy Productions has been presenting high-quality musicals designed for wide appeal and shallow pockets. Known for producing Chicago premieres of cult-status film proper…

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Thursday, September 7, 2023

Excelsior!: A Review of “The Innocence of Seduction” at City Lit by Tristan Bruns

“The Innocence of Seduction,” the third in a comic book-themed trilogy written and directed by Max Pracht, begins just before the implementation of the Comics Code.

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Tuesday, September 5, 2023

The Original “Dance Mom”: A Review of “Gypsy” at Marriott Theatre by Tristan Bruns

The television show “Dance Moms” has gained wide popularity for featuring overbearing mothers obsessed with their child’s (re: their) dreams of grandeur and stardom, but none of these …

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Thursday, August 17, 2023

A Brilliant Reflection of Truth: A Review of “The Light” at Fleetwood-Jourdain Theatre by Tristan Bruns

“The Light” by Loy A. Webb is a seventy-minute one act play about a young Black couple who struggle with a revelation from the past that threatens to break up their budding relationship.

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Tuesday, August 15, 2023

A Goosestepping Good Time: A Review of “The Producers” at Music Theater Works by Tristan Bruns

I agree with real-life director L. Walter Stearns’ note in the program, that “This show has a little something to offend everyone.” The goal is not to offend for the sake of offending,…

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Tuesday, July 25, 2023

Every Rose Has Its Thorn: A Review of “Rock of Ages” at Mercury Theater by Tristan Bruns

If you’re in the mood for a raunchy rock concert but want to get to bed at a decent time, then check out “Rock of Ages.”

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Tuesday, July 18, 2023

Deus Ex Musical: A Review of “Xanadu” at Metropolis Performing Arts by Tristan Bruns

Metropolis Performing Arts breathes new life into their production of “Xanadu,” directed by Kevin Wiczer, with choreography by Kristine Burdi and musical direction by Kenny McMullen.

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Tuesday, July 11, 2023

Rated “Argh” for Intense Fun! A Review of “The SpongeBob Musical” by Kokandy Productions by Tristan Bruns

In an underwater seascape of jewel tone colors and sparkling glass coral reefs, the residents of Bikini Bottom go about their day as usual—a school of sardines flitter around in pink 1960�…

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Thursday, July 6, 2023

“Oh Boy!” A Review of “The Buddy Holly Story” at Marriott Theatre by Tristan Bruns

“The Buddy Holly Story” is a heart-warming story wrapped around a rock concert that slips smoothly from song to song and compels the audience to tap their feet, clap their hands and sing…

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Monday, June 26, 2023

Youth Ages, But Ignorance Lasts Forever: A Review of “Passing Strange” at Theo Ubique by Tristan Bruns

The story centers on the teen-to-young adult journey of a man called Youth, an aspiring musician who journeys from the U.S. to Europe in search of identity, stewarded by a fourth-wall breaki…

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Tuesday, June 20, 2023

Can’t Get it Out of My Head: A Review of “Personality—The Lloyd Price Musical” at the Studebaker Theater by Tristan Bruns

“Personality” is based on the life of famed singer, Lloyd Price, one of those names that you may not have heard of, but with whose music you are no doubt familiar.

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Tuesday, June 13, 2023

First Murder, Then Tea: A Review of “Lucy and Charlie’s Honeymoon” at Lookingglass Theatre by Tristan Bruns

The story of two first generation, Asian-American renegades on a spree of crime and passion through the backroads of the Midwest.

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Friday, June 2, 2023

Free Reign for the Imagination: A Review of “Bowie in Warsaw” at Trapdoor Theatre by Tristan Bruns

The narrative unfolds like viewing a picture up close and slowly stepping backwards to get the big picture. Through a series of short vignettes unfold the lives of townsfolk living in a Poli…

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Thursday, June 1, 2023

Where Do We Go From Here? A Review of “Tango” at Pride Arts by Tristan Bruns

“Tango” addresses the social stigmatization toward gay people in the context of modern-day Singapore.

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Wednesday, May 24, 2023

An Oedipus Not Complex: A Review of “The Gospel at Colonus” at Court Theatre by Tristan Bruns

Court Theatre continues their series of plays by Sophocles about the last days of Oedipus reimagined as a Pentecostal church service. There is lots of singing, with each cast member displayi…

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Thursday, May 18, 2023

The Fear of Change: A Review of “The October Storm” at Raven Theatre by Tristan Bruns

The Raven Theatre is transformed into the basement apartment of a three-flat in the 1960s on the South Side of Chicago, where a Black grandmother works tirelessly to protect her home and gra…

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Tuesday, May 16, 2023

A Modern Muslim Love Story: A Review of “Hatefuck” at First Floor Theater by Tristan Bruns

A show that portrays “real” Muslim characters who spend half the show in their undergarments, twisting and contorting in all manner of sexual positions, and the other half having deep co…

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Monday, May 15, 2023

We’re On Our Way! A Review of “Ernest Shackleton Loves Me” by Porchlight Music Theatre by Tristan Bruns

What does an early twentieth-century Arctic explorer and a modern-day single mother/struggling musician have in common? Almost nothing! And yet they make for the most charming companions in …

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Monday, April 17, 2023

No, Thank U! A Review of “Jagged Little Pill” at the Nederlander Theatre by Tristan Bruns

The show centers around waspy, middle-class suburbanites, The Healy family, each of whom are suffering from a different existential crisis.

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Friday, April 7, 2023

Communism Can Be Funny: A Review of “Dying For It” at The Artistic Home by Tristan Bruns

Adapted from the 1928 satire “The Suicide” by Russian playwright Nikolai Erdman, “Dying For It” tells the story of patriotic proletariats trying to find meaning in an egalitarian, ne…

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Thursday, April 6, 2023

Moving Backwards: A Review of “A Town Called Progress” by Promethean Theatre Ensemble by Tristan Bruns

“A Town Called Progress,” a new comedy written by Trina Kakacek and directed by Anna C. Bahow, explores a hypothetical scenario in which communism, feminism and utopianism are given an h…

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Wednesday, April 5, 2023

Dream Come True: A Review of “A Bump On The Leg” by Subtext Theater Company by Tristan Bruns

Jim Mallon spent years at Harrigan’s on Halsted drinking copious pints of Guinness while pursuing a dream, to have his life’s story documented in some significant way. Mallon’s dream i…

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Tuesday, April 4, 2023

Behold, The Chosen Homosexual: A Review of Hell in a Handbag Productions’ “I Promised Myself To Live Faster” by Tristan Bruns

What do you get when you smash together old Flash Gordon serials with intergalactic alien orgies and hidden emotional trauma? While the premise is simple, the execution is luscious and extra…

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Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Bad Faith and Bad Blood: A Review of “How Blood Go” by Congo Square Theatre by Tristan Bruns

The history of medical experimentation on Black Americans is historically one of the most diabolical acts committed. This history of inhuman treatment is explored in “How Blood Go.”

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Friday, March 24, 2023

A Good Time for Capitalists and Comrades Alike: A Review of “The Neo Futurists Sell Out” at The Neo-Futurist Theater by Tristan Bruns

The Neo-Futurists transform the theater into a corporate board room, with Windows98-style PowerPoint presentations, frantic focus groups and an overall eerie ambience. Four corporate shills …

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