Theatre In Chicago      
Your Source For What's On Stage In Chicago 

   Quick Search
Search by date:

  First Wives Club at Nederlander Theatre

First Wives Club

Nederlander Theatre
24 W. Randolph Chicago

Five-time Emmy Award nominee Linda Bloodworth Thomason (“Designing Women”) makes her theatrical debut as book writer and Simon Phillips will direct the musical. Based on the hit Paramount Pictures Film, FIRST WIVES CLUB, still the ultimate story of female empowerment, and will feature songs – both new original music and classics – by Motown legends Holland-Dozier-Holland, who are responsible for such hits as "Reach Out…I'll Be There," "Stop in the Name of Love," "I Can't Help Myself (Sugar Pie Honey Bunch)," and “My World Is Empty Without You.”

Thru - Mar 29, 2015

Price: $45-$166

Show Type: Comedy

Running Time: 2hrs, 30mins; one intermission

Buy Premium Tickets

Nederlander Theatre Seating Chart

Suggested Nearby Restaurant

  First Wives Club Reviews
  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Chicago Tribune - Somewhat Recommended

"...Still, all of the women get their big numbers, and all are among the show's strengths. And there are a couple of stretches of comedy wherein the women talk about their aging bodies, about sex after 40, about female friendship, when you actually get a sense of what this show might be. But as rendered for the stage here, "First Wives" is a straight-up, caper-driven revenge. You never invest in the caper and there is no satirical bite; that is not what the show wants to be."
Read Full Review

Chris Jones

Chicago Sun Times - Somewhat Recommended

"...But in the end the whole show seems like a futile exercise in glitz, glibness and farce that has been plumped up with a great deal of faux sisterhood, and injected with a gaggle of pathetic men, as well as the predictable Broadway tropes of a gay hairdresser and an out-and-proud lesbian daughter, plus a somewhat happy ending. It's a sad commentary that the funniest moment in the show comes when Sherrill's character (who has had lip augmentation) confesses she can only eat soup in the privacy of her own kitchen. Yes, that's the level here."
Read Full Review

Hedy Weiss

Chicago Reader - Somewhat Recommended

"...The schlocky book, written by TV sitcom vet Linda Bloodworth Thomason, supplies a steady stream of quips and zingers, but the characterization is shallow even by the current standards of Broadway, where the producers aim to take the show next. The first wives are all avenging furies, their replacements are all tramps, and the men-except for one cartoonish gay guy-are all selfish horndogs. Legendary Motown hit makers Brian Holland, Lamont Dozier, and Eddie Holland contribute a mix of old songs, which don't add anything, and new ones, which are interchangeable."
Read Full Review

Zac Thompson

Time Out Chicago - Somewhat Recommended

"...But the stage adaptation needs something equivalent to that iconic moment of the trio’s intimate, celebratory camaraderie. As of now, Bloodworth Thomason, Holland-Dozier-Holland and director Simon Phillips just sort of throw up their hands at the prospect of a proper ending, hopping from a hard-to-swallow reconciliation between Brenda and her husband to an incongruent song-and-dance finale and hoping we won’t notice. Cusack, Prince and Sherrill deserve a sturdier clubhouse than this."
Read Full Review

Kris Vire

Chicago On the Aisle - Somewhat Recommended

"...The film was the pitch-perfect evocation of the giddy early years of women's lib. The musical is a work in progress that, if troubled, nevertheless has several heady things going for it - a dynamite threesome of leading ladies every bit worthy of the roles they inherited, a Motown-inspired musical score that mixes Holland/Dozier/Holland oldies with their rousing new numbers, and the memory of the original movie, which is beloved by an entire population of a certain Broadway-going age."

Nancy Malitz

Stage and Cinema - Recommended

"...Almost arguing that the film was merriment enough, the songs slow down more than advance the action. The best moments remain what they’d be out of context–Prince’s anguished “My Heart Wants to Try One More Time” and Sherrill’s power ballad “Old Me New Me.” Happily judging from the Oriental Theatre opening night, it may not matter to female audiences if the musical exploits its subject or characters: Some stereotypes–like treacherous ex-grooms and grasping understudies–keep resurfacing to fuel new fires. The worry of becoming a future first wife is strong enough to draw a constant quorum. There’s no appetite for a Second Wives Club."
Read Full Review

Lawrence Bommer

Splash Magazine - Somewhat Recommended

"...Since women and gay men are the most avid theatregoers on Broadway this production feels like it's more concerned with making a profit off of this key demographic group than it is with providing us with an uplifting story that we can honestly connect with. No amount of money can replace genuine sincerity. Unlike the movie this stage version lacks a heart. That's one problem that is going to be almost impossible to fix. It's also one of the main reasons why this show won't be coming to New York anytime soon."
Read Full Review

Justin LeClaire

ChicagoCritic - Somewhat Recommended

"...So, prospective audiences must ask themselves whether First Wives Club’s ticket price is worth a lot of laughs in the first act and a few in the second, because it has little else to recommend it. I saw a steady stream of people leaving during Act II, which is unusual. Of course, the point of a pre-Broadway showing is to work out problems, but First Wives Club needs to figure out why it’s even a musical, other than to justify higher ticket prices. The mishmash of ballads on love over forty, a friend’s suicide, and rich old lady solidarity clashes with the slapstick, one-liners, and wacky disguises."
Read Full Review

Jacob Davis

Chicago Stage Standard - Somewhat Recommended

"...If you’re only interested in seeing some great performances and seeing a pre-Broadway premiere then certainly go to the Oriental theatre and catch this show while it’s here. However if you’re looking to see the next great Broadway hit maybe you should wait for the other ones headed our way. Perhaps Gotta Dance or Beaches will be the next big success that launches here in Chicago."

Rand Ringgenberg

Around The Town Chicago - Recommended

"...“First Wives Club, the Musical” has been in town for awhile, and we had heard some snippets from those we knew who attended. Saying this, I was not prepared for what I saw this evening. A much better show than I anticipated! Yes, they told the story that was told in the film version, with some slight differences.Yes, it still takes us into the lives of these three women, and their other friend Cynthia (Michelle Duffy). All three, Annie (Carmen Cusack), Brenda (Faith Prince) and Elise (Chicago actress, Christine Sherrill) are in doomed marriages and work together to change their lives thru their “First Wives Club”. I told you, it is the same basic story."
Read Full Review

Alan Bresloff

Chicago Theatre Review - Somewhat Recommended

"...So anticipated, yet so disappointing, this new Broadway-bound musical will need some quick plastic surgery from a good script doctor and a new direction, if it expects to make it with New York’s critical crowds. Right now the show feels tired and worn out, when it should be showing some real life. Maybe the musical needs to scrap some of its faithfulness to the film and create some new exploits for these women. Perhaps if more of Holland-Dozier-Holland’s Motown hits were added it would make this show sizzle. The cast is greater than the the material they have to work with but, given a jolt of theatrical Botox and surge of musical Viagra, this story, which already has a built-in fan base, could be the next big thing on Broadway."
Read Full Review

Colin Douglas

Huffington Post - Somewhat Recommended

"...However, as adapted by Linda Bloodworth-Thomason, you spend most of the first act watching these actresses suffer through their emotionally abusive relationships caused by philandering husbands (among them, Broadway stalwart Greg Edelman, who does the best he can with a thankless part). And just when you think the second act will finally result in the payoff we so sorely need, it's sidelined by a cat fight between the woman, lazily constructed comedic caricatures (including a vaguely offensive "gay best friend" trope) and a slap-dashed finale."
Read Full Review

Robert Bullen

Chicagoland Theater Reviews - Somewhat Recommended

"...The musical was irreversibly crippled when the show’s brain trust decided to make the “First Wives Club” a broad comedy, leaving the emotional content primarily to the series of arias. There is always a danger in allowing such stories to lapse into soap opera or sentimentality, but the premise still cries out for a human , and humane, exploration of three women in crisis that many audiences members would recognize first or second hand. After all, the show does begin with suicide, starting the narrative off on a somber note. But its downhill into cartoonish comedy thereafter, and the touchy feely end of the show looks and sounds tacked on."

Dan Zeff

The Fourth Walsh - Somewhat Recommended

"...FIRST WIVES CLUB the Musical is a fun evening out. At the opening, I saw plenty of gaggles of gals dressed in their best he-can-eat-his-heart-out outfit. The heels, champagne and laughter looked to be every bit a celebration of women. The ultimate ladies’ night!"
Read Full Review

Katy Walsh

  First Wives Club Photo Gallery

Twitter Follow Us On Twitter