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A Flood Of Protest: Hydrospectacle in Oracle Theatre's Waiting for Lefty

Waiting for Lefty ChicagoIt's not as if Chicago audiences had never seen stage precipitation before. Steppenwolf's rain machine received almost as much press as its actors throughout the 1990s, and just last year, The Hypocrites' Fall of the House of Usher featured the title mansion springing leaks like a shotgun shack in Florida.

What distinguishes the spectacle in.... Read More


Swashbuckler Noir: A Three Musketeers for Adults

Three Musketeers Lifeline TheatreThe playbill assures us that this is The Three Musketeers, but the trio of military lifers and the young civilian seeking to join their ranks are not the familiar Anglo-Norman cavaliers of Hollywood romps and candy-bar logos. Granting that even in the 17th century, it was possible to find Frenchmen with faces revealing African or Asian ancestors,.... Read More


Staring Into The Glass: Mary-Arrchie Theatre's Glass Menagerie

The Glass MenagerieWhether you've seen The Glass Menagerie a hundred times before or only in the textbook, you are unprepared for the spectacle that greets you in this production. First you notice the glass—a dazzling array of bottles, decanters, urns, flasks and goblets, stacked on the stairs, lined up against the walls, assembled in delicately-balanced towers—in short, everywhere you.... Read More


My Kingdom For A Harley! Biker-themed Richard III at The Den

Richard III at The DenThe concept is irresistible! The royal court in Shakespeare's Richard III envisioned as a roadhouse where rival motorcycle gangs (distinguished by the white and red roses displayed on their riding gear) wrestle for power—none more ruthlessly than the scheming Richard of Gloucester, himself. This analogy is not as bizarre as it may seem: wherever you have veterans.... Read More


2013 Non-Equity Jeff Awards Recipients

Jeff Awards in ChicagoA stage tale of troubled families, a true-life story musical about gay servicemen in World War II and a rousing rock'n'roll revue took home top honors Monday, June 3, at Park West during the 40th Annual Non-Equity Jeff Awards ceremony recognizing excellence in non-union Chicago theatre.

Circle Theatre in Oak Park and Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre in.... Read More


Eric and Andy Live From The Jeff Awards

Live From The Jeff AwardsEric Roach and Anderson Lawfer, interviewers for TheatreInChicago, will be holding a "Red Carpet" style event from the Park West Theater at the 40th annual Joseph Jefferson Awards on June 3rd, 2013 that will be streamed live and can be seen right here at

The production will be handled by Brad Little and Ben Fuchsen from Oracle Theatre.... Read More


Million Dollar Quartet Becomes Longest Running Musical in Chicago's History

Million Dollar Quartet ChicagoMillion Dollar Quartet announced that Saturday, May 25, 2013 marks the official date at which it becomes the longest-running musical production in Chicago's history. With 1,949 performances and 5 smash years in Chicago, the Tony Award-winning rock 'n' roll musical has surpassed both Wicked and Pumpboys and Dinettes, setting a new.... Read More


Who Was That Lady? The Statue's Secret in Creditors

Creditors Remy Bumppo TheatreThe Remy Bumppo Theatre Company proved itself adept at smashing crockery in 2011 with their production of Edward Albee's The Goat, Or Who Is Sylvia. Two years later, statuary once again plays a role in David Greig's adaptation of August Strindberg's psychological thriller, Creditors—specifically, a faceless nude odalisque made in the image of the sculptor's wife, the.... Read More


In The Belly Of The Whale: Full-Body Makeover in Samuel D. Hunter's The Whale

The Whale Victory Gardens TheaterWhen we first see Charlie, he gives his weight as somewhere between 500 and 600 lbs. If this were merely a few extra pounds, a few extra layers of clothing—some of them quilted or waffle-textured, perhaps—would be the solution. For localized corpulence (think Falstaff or Fezziwig), a leotard lined with foam rubber would do the trick. In Samuel.... Read More


2013 Non-Equity Jeff Award Nominations Announced

Jeff AwardsThe Jeff Awards Committee announced 120 nominations in 25 categories of Non-Equity Jeff Awards for productions that opened between April 1, 2012, and March 31, 2013. The Non-Equity Awards honor excellence in Chicago theatres not under a union contract. Jeff judges attended opening nights of 146 productions offered by 65 Non-Equity producing organizations. The judges recommended 54 of.... Read More


Revising The Gospels: Finding Faith in The Book of Mormon

Book Of Mormon ChicagoNo one can deny the success of The Book of Mormon—the runaway hit musical by Trey Parker and Matt Stone, that is. The irony is that it isn't really about the gospel according to the Church of Latter-Day Saints. To understand why, it is necessary to look at the evolution of religious sects in general.

.... Read More


Rock-And-Roll Will Never Die: Smokey Joe's Cafe Appeal Crosses Generations

Smokey Joe's Cafe Royal George Theatre ChicagoThere are some who declare that Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller wrote the Rock-and-Roll songbook—or the first few chapters, at least—but nobody guessed that an evening of top-40 songs dating from the mid-20th century would prove so popular that Theo Ubique would be turning away customers after a run of nearly three months. Granted, the award-winning company has.... Read More


Skin Deep: Tattoos in TimeLine's Concerning Strange Devices From the Distant West

Concerning Strange Devices From the Distant WestHe is a Japanese ricksha driver, his body tattooed in blue and green and purple, and we can't take our eyes off him. This is because the other two characters onstage—a Gilded-Age American matron and a sybaretic expatriate photographer—are likewise riveted by his exotic body decoration, their shared curiosity drawing our gaze in his direction. Since we in.... Read More


The Midas Gun: Golden Weapon in Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo

Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad ZooEven sharing the stage with flying topiary animals and the ghost of a dead tiger, it commands our attention immediately: a gold-plated Desert Eagle .44 caliber semi-automatic pistol, alleged to have belonged to Uday Hussein—Saddam's playboy son—and looted by American troops during the invasion on the dictator's palace. The distinctive firearm is then passed from one owner to.... Read More


Broadway in Chicago Announces Fall Season

Broadway In Chicago 2013 SeasonBroadway In Chicago has announced the upcoming 2013 fall season line-up. Broadway In Chicago's 2013 fall season will include BUDDY, FLASHDANCE, TO MASTER THE ART, EVITA, ONCE and ELF. The 2013 fall off-season specials include Emerald City Theatre's production of THE CAT IN THE HAT, WE WILL ROCK YOU and the return of Broadway's biggest blockbuster, WICKED.Read More


Wicked Flying Back to Chicago

Wicked ChicagoBroadway In Chicago has announced WICKED, Broadway's biggest blockbuster, will return to Chicago in celebration of its 10th anniversary on Broadway and play the Oriental Theatre (24 West Randolph) for a limited eight-week engagement, Oct. 30 to Dec. 21, 2013.

With music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz (Godspell, Pippin, Academy Award-winner for Pocahontas and.... Read More


Look, Ma! No Wires: Dennis Watkins' Mysterious Flight to The Magic Parlour

The Magic Parlour"Teleportation" is the name given to slight-of-hand tricks involving an object disappearing, then re-appearing somewhere else. Actors can also find themselves working in two productions running concurrently, hurrying from curtain call at one theater to sign-in at another. The distance may span a few blocks or hundreds of miles, as it did for Philip E. Johnson in 2005,.... Read More


The Motherf**ker with the Hat and Other You-Can't-Say-That Plays

The Motherf**ker with the Hat ChicagoIt started in 2001 with Bailiwick Repertory's production of Mark Ravenhill's Shopping And F**king, a brutal look at youths forced by poverty to commit distasteful deeds, its name derived from publishing trade jargon for a popular fiction genre featuring rich people behaving badly. David Zak, former Bailiwick artistic director, reminisces about displaying the uncensored title on the company's.... Read More


No-Passing Zone: Parking the Taxi for Hellcab

Hellcab at Profiles TheatreWhen Will Kern's Hellcab Does Christmas first opened in 1992, technical director Robert G. Smith had to remove the street doors of the Hull House at Broadway and Belmont in order to squeeze the front half of a Yellow Cab into the multi-purpose facility. Profiles Theatre's twentieth anniversary revival of the long-running hit, now titled simply Hellcab,.... Read More


Play List 2012: Top Shows Of The Year

Best Plays in 2012Theatre In Chicago presents its annual list of the top-rated plays that were produced in the Chicago area for 2012. The list was compiled objectively from critics' reviews, based on the Highly Recommended to Not Recommended scale.

There are 20 shows on the list, produced by 14 different theatre companies. There were five repeats: Chicago Shakespeare Theater shows.... Read More


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