Sunday, December 16, 2018

'A Midsummer Night's Dream' with T.R. Knight is a dreamscape — though short on feeling by Chris Jones

Despite the gentle, bucolic, fair-weather reverie implied by the famous title, director Joe Dowling’s truly eye-popping new production of William Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s D…

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Deeply Rooted Dance Theater: New 'Parallel Lives' and others are added to older works like 'Heaven' by Lauren Warnecke

Since Deeply Rooted Dance Theater kicked off its “Generations” program in 2013, the company has been consciously digging into its archives, pairing new works with old ones to create prog…

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Friday, December 14, 2018

The Practical Theatre returns with 'Theatre on the Air' this December by Kt Hawbaker

The Practical Theatre will return to the Chicagoland area with a two-night classic radio show featuring comedy, live music and handmade sound effects. The comedy troupe was founded in the 19…

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Gary Sinise to make a Steppenwolf stop on new book tour by Kt Hawbaker

On Friday, Steppenwolf announced that co-founder Gary Sinise will make a stop at the theater to promote his new book, “Grateful American: A Journey from Self to Service.” Sinise will be …

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Thursday, December 13, 2018

Marriott Theatre announces cast for 'Million Dollar Quartet' by Kt Hawbaker

On Thursday, Marriott Theatre announced casting for “Million Dollar Quartet,” directed by James Moye, with music direction by Ryan T. Nelson. The musical revue stars Christopher J. Essex…

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14 recommended Chicago shows to see now

"A Shayna Maidel" ✭✭✭✭ Barbara Lebow's 1980s play "A Shayna Maidel" is a much richer work than I ever realized, especially in director Vanessa Stalling's exquisitely acted production…

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City Lit sets cast for 'Fuente Ovejuna' by Kt Hawbaker

On Thursday, City Lit Theater artistic director Terry McCabe announced the cast for “Fuente Ovejuna,” a classic Spanish drama published 400 years ago by Lope de Vega. McCabe will direct …

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Raven Theatre casts 'How I Learned to Drive' by Kt Hawbaker

On Thursday, Raven Theatre announced casting for its production of Paula Vogel’s “How I Learned to Drive.” Under the direction of artistic director Cody Estle, the show will feature Je…

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Comedy is big on New Year's Eve: 9 comics in the city and suburbs by Zach Freeman

There’s never a bad time for a good laugh and the right comedian can help you close out 2018 in happy tears. Great stand-up comedy is a nightly occurrence across Chicago, and this New Year…

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Wednesday, December 12, 2018

10 best shows in Chicago theater in 2018, from ‘Downstate’ on down by Chris Jones

Wither forgiveness in a year of constant American division? That question was at the core of many of the best Chicago shows of 2018 as this theater-loving city explored questions of guilt, p…

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'The Full Monty' doesn't yet fit in Theo Ubique's new home by Chris Jones

Drive down Howard Street — the border boulevard betwixt Chicago and Evanston — and you may be surprised to see the exterior of a modestly scaled but beautifully clad theater, the all-new…

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Best of Broadway 2018: The terrifying 'Three Tall Women' leads top 10 by Chris Jones

Mortality was on the Broadway menu this year — most all of the best works of the calendar year shed light on the pain of the human condition, especially once we’re past the first blush o…

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Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Randall Arney returns to Steppenwolf's 'True West', this time as director by Kt Hawbaker

On Wednesday, Steppenwolf Theatre Company announced that longtime ensemble member Randall Arney will direct its upcoming revival of Sam Shepard’s “True West,” the production that first…

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You don't know Isaac Gomez, but you will after his 'La Ruta' a tragic tale of life on the border by Chris Jones

Who is Isaac Gomez? If you live outside of the world of nonprofit theater, you may not know. As recently as 2013, Gomez was an undergraduate student at the University of Texas at Austin. He …

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30th annual Rhinofest lineup announced by Kt Hawbaker

On Tuesday, Curious Theatre Branch and Prop Thtr announced the 30th annual Rhinoceros Festival. The lineup will include six weeks of new plays, dance, devised works, variety shows, comedy, l…

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Paramount names cast for 2019 revival of "The Producers" by Kt Hawbaker

On Tuesday, the Paramount Theatre announced casting for its revival of Mel Brooks’ “The Producers.” Helmed by artistic director Jim Corti, music direction will be led by Tom Vendafredd…

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Best in Chicago Dance in 2018: Bold moves, Baryshnikov and old moves made new by Lauren Warnecke

This year, Chicago’s dance stages were filled with bold, ambitious programming, stunning revivals and work which responded to the present by reflecting on the past. It goes without saying …

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Monday, December 10, 2018

Gitta Jacobs dies at 85 — known for her support of Chicago theaters, few knew of her childhood flight from Nazi Austria by Chris Jones

Gitta Jacobs, whom her son Clay Jacobs said died peacefully in her Gold Coast home Friday at the age of 85, probably served as a director of more small Chicago theaters than any other single…

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Well worth seeing 'Santaland Diaries' before department store elves are gone forever by Chris Jones

During the peak holiday weeks, the Goodman Theatre likes to have an irreverent seasonal attraction on the smaller of its two stages — something to attract a young adult audience less inter…

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It's the dancing that saves 'Tidings of Tap' at the North Shore Center for the Arts by Lauren Warnecke

Returning to the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts Sunday, Chicago Tap Theatre (CTT) once again delighted Skokie’s dance audiences with the company’s annual holiday special, “…

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'Les Mis' to hit Chicago in 2019 for one tour more by Kt Hawbaker

On Monday, Broadway in Chicago announced the return of Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg’s Tony Award-winning musical “Les Miserables” — direct from a two-and-a-half year ru…

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Chicago theater openings Dec. 14-20

Friday “Fantastic Mr. Fox”: From Roald Dahl’s classic book, Mr. Fox knows he must be clever to save his family from spiteful farmers, but he winds up saving the entire forest and becom…

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Friday, December 7, 2018

'Algorithm Nation or, The Static Quo' is a strange letdown on the Second City mainstage by Chris Jones

“Algorithm Nation or, The Static Quo” is the first opening on the legendary mainstage of Second City since the fantastic “Dream Freaks Fall from Space" debuted on that legendary platfo…

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Thursday, December 6, 2018

Desperate to see anything? Let us suggest 'The Play That Goes Wrong' by Chris Jones

At the top of “The Play That Goes Wrong,” the touring comedy from London and Broadway now making its debut in Chicago, an apology is issued from the stage. There has been a ticket mix-up…

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It's not a poetry reading or a typical dance, and 'What Remains' wasn't made for Chicago — but it feels like it was by Lauren Warnecke

The MCA Warehouse is off the beaten path, in a nondescript industrial area of the city that, unlike the now-swanky West Loop, is still rather industrial. Watching a performance on the second…

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About Face Theatre casts Peter Parnell's 'Dada Woof Papa Hot' by Kt Hawbaker

On Thursday, About Face Theatre announced casting for its Chicago premiere of “Dada Woof Papa Hot,” written by Peter Parnell and directed by Jeff Award-nominated AFT artistic associate K…

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Wednesday, December 5, 2018

'Act(s) of God' from Lookingglass sets its cast by Kt Hawbaker

On Wednesday, Lookingglass Theatre Company set casting for the world premiere of “Act(s) of God” written by ensemble member Kareem Bandealy and directed by ensemble member Heidi Stillman…

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The Goodman casts world premiere of 'How to Catch Creation' by Kt Hawbaker

On Wednesday, the Goodman Theatre announced its cast for the world premiere of “How to Catch Creation” by Christina Anderson. The show will be directed by Niegel Smith, who most recently…

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Porchlight announces cast for 'A Gentleman's Guide to Love & Murder' by Kt Hawbaker

On Wednesday, Porchlight Music Theatre’s announced its cast for “A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder,” its staging of Broadway’s 2014 Tony Award-winner for Best Musical. With musi…

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Lili-Anne Brown to direct cast of Haven's 'The Total Bent' by Kt Hawbaker

On Wednesday, Haven Theatre, in association with About Face Theatre, announced casting for its Midwest premiere of “The Total Bent,” featuring text by Stew and music and lyrics by Stew a…

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Uptown Theatre has already become a magnet for live music and buzz — just hear REO Speedwagon's reaction by Chris Jones

The door to the Uptown Theatre swung open. Dan Rather laughed. And the faces of REO Speedwagon all lit up like Christmas trees. The juxtaposition of personalities — the famed anchorman was…

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