Tuesday, December 8, 2015

‘Beautiful – The Carole King Musical’ at the Oriental Theatre by Bob Bullen

Abby Mueller stars in “Beautiful – The Carole King Musical” Jukebox musicals. Such a phrase makes those who love musical theatre shudder with a wave of disgust, as it exemp…

Linked From Chicago Theatre Addict at 09:22PM
Monday, December 7, 2015

A Buoyant ‘Merry Widow’ at Lyric Opera of Chicago by Bob Bullen

Renee Fleming and Thomas Hampson star in Franz Lehar’s “The Merry Widow” Ooh-la-la! As John Oliver mentioned in response to the recent attacks on France’s capital, Pa…

Linked From Chicago Theatre Addict at 08:00AM
Tuesday, September 22, 2015

‘Side Show’ at Porchlight Music Theatre by Bob Bullen

Colleen Fee, Brit-Marie Sivertsen and Evan Tyrone Martin in Porchlight’s “Side Show” A lucky handful of commercially-produced shows become flat-out hits that run for decade…

Linked From Chicago Theatre Addict at 12:34AM
Sunday, August 23, 2015

‘Dirty Dancing: The Classic Story Onstage’ can’t be blamed for false advertising by Bob Bullen

Christopher Tierney and Gillian Abbott get their dirty on  I’m supposed to write a review about the stage version of Dirty Dancing, currently playing at the Cadillac Palace Theatre th…

Linked From Chicago Theatre Addict at 05:30AM
Wednesday, August 12, 2015

‘The Boy From Oz’ at Stage 773 by Bob Bullen

Chris Logan and Michelle Lauto as Peter Allen and Liza Minnelli in Pride Films and Plays’ “The Boy From Oz” In an age of reality TV and viral videos, star-making stage turn…

Linked From Chicago Theatre Addict at 05:15PM
Monday, May 25, 2015

‘A Steady Rain’ at Chicago Dramatists: the record-breaking cop drama returns to its Chicago roots in full force by Bob Bullen

Peter DeFaria and Randy Steinmeyer in “A Steady Rain.” Officer Denny’s the hot-headed one. When stabbed in the leg with a sharpened broom handle while on duty, he pours rub…

Linked From Chicago Theatre Addict at 05:58PM
Friday, May 1, 2015

A satisfying ‘Sense and Sensibility’ at Chicago Shakes by Bob Bullen

Editor’s note: I had to bow out of reviewing this production due to a massive sinus infection, but the lovely book nerd Jamie Prahl, who is a huge fan of Jane Austen’s, stepped i…

Linked From Chicago Theatre Addict at 07:38AM

A funny and fine “Forum” at Porchlight by Bob Bullen

They say tragedy is easy, yet comedy is hard. And in watching Porchlight’s delightful production of the hit 1962 musical comedy, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, I took …

Linked From Chicago Theatre Addict at 07:19AM
Wednesday, April 15, 2015

First Wives Club Musical Feels Like a First Draft by Bob Bullen

Faith Prince. Those two words served as the motivation for me to visit this pre-Broadway tryout of The First Wives Club: The Musical. I consider Prince among the very best musical comedy sta…

Linked From Chicago Theatre Addict at 01:29PM

A Transcendent ‘Carousel’ at Lyric Opera by Bob Bullen

Unlike Guys and Dolls, Fiddler or The Music Man, Carousel isn’t a show that can simply rest on the strengths of its material. While a good number of classic musicals can lean on their …

Linked From Chicago Theatre Addict at 01:28PM
Friday, February 13, 2015

Porchlight’s ‘Sondheim on Sondheim’ Explores the Art of Making Art by Bob Bullen

The cast of Porchlight Music Theatre’s “Putting it Together” In the new musical revue, Sondheim on Sondheim, the chorus opens the second act with a self-deprecating number …

Linked From Chicago Theatre Addict at 03:22PM
Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Black Ties, Boleyns and News Boys: Three Shows in Four days by Bob Bullen

The challenge was simple: Three wildly different shows in four days. My 68-year-old mother joined me and provided her input. Here’s the recap: Living the History — 125 Years of t…

Linked From Chicago Theatre Addict at 01:29AM
Thursday, November 20, 2014

The Sun Does Come Out in This Delightful ‘Annie’ Tour by Bob Bullen

Kids and animals onstage in a daffy and heartwarming musical comedy? Depending on whom you talk to, this could either be a horror show or a holiday delight. Typically, I lean toward the latt…

Linked From Chicago Theatre Addict at 12:27PM
Monday, October 20, 2014

A Satiating ‘Sweeney’ at Porchlight by Bob Bullen

Rebecca Finnegan and David Girolmo in Porchlight’s “Sweeney Todd” Sweeney and I go way back. It was the first musical where I found myself blown away by not just the music,…

Linked From Chicago Theatre Addict at 01:23PM
Monday, June 9, 2014

Bailiwick Chicago’s ‘Carrie’ Hits the Heart But Not the Horror by Bob Bullen

There are essentially two reactions I get when telling people I’m going to see Carrie: The Musical: - Reaction 1: People who know the musical’s sacred lore as one of the biggest …

Linked From Chicago Theatre Addict at 07:44PM
Thursday, May 22, 2014

An energetic but emotionally empty ‘Motown the Musical’ by Bob Bullen

Twice a day, on the way to and from work, I pass the Oriental Theatre, where the national tour of Motown the Musical is running through August 9. Of all the shows that have played at the Ori…

Linked From Chicago Theatre Addict at 04:35PM
Thursday, May 8, 2014

It’s still a tasty good time at ’5 Lesbians Eating a Quiche’ by Bob Bullen

Rachel Farmer, Megan Johns and Thea Lux in The New Colony’s “5 Lesbians Eating a Quiche” Long live the egg! I remember when I first encountered The New Colony’s wacky…

Linked From Chicago Theatre Addict at 09:43AM
Sunday, May 4, 2014

A Rollicking ‘How to Succeed’ at Porchlight by Bob Bullen

Tyler Ravelson, Matthias Austin and John Keating in Porchlight’s ‘How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying’ When the hit musical comedy How to Succeed in Business W…

Linked From Chicago Theatre Addict at 11:45PM
Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Six reasons to see Lyric Opera’s ‘The Sound of Music’ by Bob Bullen

Jenn Gambatese leads a lesson in song in Lyric of Opera Chicago’s “The Sound of Music” Opera purists have nothing on me. As much as I imagine opera buffs recoil at the ment…

Linked From Chicago Theatre Addict at 11:46AM
Monday, April 28, 2014

Interview with ‘Buyer & Cellar’ Star, Michael Urie by Bob Bullen

Michael Urie in ‘Buyer and Cellar’ Actor Michael Urie is best known for his work as colorful and meddling assistant Marc St. James in the long running ABC series, Ugly Betty. His…

Linked From Chicago Theatre Addict at 04:01PM
Thursday, April 3, 2014

Making Chemistry: A Chat with the Stars of Goodman’s ‘Venus in Fur’ by Bob Bullen

In Goodman Theatre’s intense production of David Ives’ hit play, Venus in Fur, palpable onstage chemistry is critical (read my review here). It’s what elevates this two-per…

Linked From Chicago Theatre Addict at 12:37PM
Monday, March 24, 2014

A high-stakes ‘Road Show’ still struggles to find its way by Bob Bullen

Andrew Rothenberg, McKinley Carter, Michael Aaron Lindner and Anne Gunn in ChiShakes’ “Road Show.” Photo by Liz Lauren “Art isn’t easy,” sings the frustra…

Linked From Chicago Theatre Addict at 05:07PM
Thursday, March 20, 2014

Goodman’s Venus in Fur: A Power Play with a Twist by Bob Bullen

Amanda Drinkall and Rufus Collins in Goodman’s “Venus in Fur” Where to start with David Ives’ twisting, tantalizing and tawdry dark comedy? This is the kind of work t…

Linked From Chicago Theatre Addict at 11:56AM
Saturday, February 15, 2014

ChiShakes’ ‘Gypsy’: This Rose isn’t quite ready for her turn by Bob Bullen

This has been a month of revisiting beloved musicals. First it was Porchlight’s Ain’t Misbehavin’, which offered a smoldering take on the beloved Fats Waller revue. I follo…

Linked From Chicago Theatre Addict at 03:51PM
Thursday, February 13, 2014

A revelatory ‘Into the Woods’ at The Hypocrites by Bob Bullen

Into the Woods is one of those shows that feels like a comfortable, old friend. I basically grew up on a well-worn VHS of the original Broadway production, which felt like a work so tailor-m…

Linked From Chicago Theatre Addict at 10:23AM
Friday, February 7, 2014

Porchlight’s ‘Ain’t Misbehavin” Delivers Smoldering Sass by Bob Bullen

The joint is certainly jumpin’ at Stage 773. Porchlight’s rollicking production of the “Fats” Waller revue, Ain’t Misbehavin’, playing through March 9, is…

Linked From Chicago Theatre Addict at 03:03PM
Sunday, February 2, 2014

A tale of two snow witches: House Theatre’s ‘Rose and the Rime’ and Filament’s ‘The Snow Queen’ by Bob Bullen

“The Snow Queen” I grew up in northern Michigan, so I have a healthy affinity for that white flakey stuff. Not so much the polar vortex, but when it’s hovering above 15 deg…

Linked From Chicago Theatre Addict at 10:21AM
Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Refreshed ‘Phantom’ Still Dazzles by Bob Bullen

Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera holds a special place in my heart. Hal Prince’s original blockbuster production, which I saw no less than four times in Toronto bac…

Linked From Chicago Theatre Addict at 09:46PM
Sunday, January 12, 2014

Kokandy’s ‘Sweet Smell’ is a Success by Bob Bullen

Brian Rooney revels in the powerplay while David Schlumpf looks on in Kokandy’s “Sweet Smell of Success” Certain cast recordings never leave your playlist. I mean, thatR…

Linked From Chicago Theatre Addict at 10:52PM

‘Ghost the Musical’ National Tour: Nothing But Smoke and Mirrors by Bob Bullen

I’m a fan of Ghost the Musical. Or, well, I was. At some point early into the first act of this first national tour, I turned to my friend and said, “I’m so sorry.” S…

Linked From Chicago Theatre Addict at 09:08PM
Thursday, December 12, 2013

A Solid Cast Fails to Solve Remy Bumppo’s ‘An Inspector Calls’ by Bob Bullen

If there’s any mystery in Remy Bumppo’s An Inspector Calls, it’s how this play is considered a classic of the mid-20th century English theatre. J. B. Priestley’s dram…

Linked From Chicago Theatre Addict at 04:01PM

All that Chat

Oct 06: Slave Play
Feb 01: The Minutes
TBA: Blue