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  Performance Spotlight

How The Other Half Dresses: City and Country Fashions in The Winter's Tale

The Winter's Tale at Goodman Theatre in ChicagoShakespeare might not have been the first author to prescribe pastoral retreats as therapy for jaded mortals in need of moral realignment, but western literature in the centuries following has been virtually unanimous in its endorsement of vacations as the universal remedy.

The expansion of England's empire through offshore exploration during the Elizabethan age whetted.... Read More

 

Born to Run: Traveling Forward and Backward in Time with Steven Dietz

Bloomsday at Remy BumppoThe dialogue between the young and the old, between the ages of opportunity and those of experience, between "Where am I going?" and "How did I end up here?" are conversations beguiling writers from the beginning of time. Two overlapping productions in this spring's festival of plays by Steven Dietz feature the prolific playwright speaking in both voices.Read More

 

Hamilton: The Exhibition set for Chicago Premiere

Hamilton The Exhibition in ChicagoHAMILTON: THE EXHIBITION - a 360-degree, immersive exhibit that will travel to select U.S. cities -- will premiere in Chicago on April 27 for a limited engagement. It will be on display in a specially-constructed free-standing, all-weather structure the size of a football field on Northerly Island in Chicago, where HAMILTON has played a sold-out run since 2016.Read More

 

Not Just For Halloween: David Parr's Dark Magic Comes to Otherworld Theatre

Dark Magic with David Parr"Beneath the surface of stage magic, lurking beneath the displays of dexterity and skill, there is always an eerie, disquieting undercurrent, hinting at forces in the world beyond our understanding and control." says David Parr, "If you look at posters from the golden age of magic, when the great magicians were at the height of their celebrity, what.... Read More

 

A Play For The Green Season: Factory Theater Premieres May the Road Rise Up

May The Road Rise UpWe aren't surprised in December to see a surge of plays featuring decorated evergreens and be-ribboned packages, nor do we wonder at carved pumpkins and grinning skeletons making their appearance in October. The pleasures of celebration are universal, and so festivals once associated with specific communities frequently achieve a measure of appeal beyond their original boundaries.
.... Read More

 

Theater Adds A Guest Room: Windy City Playhouse's Long-Running Southern Gothic Moves to South Loop

Southern Gothic in ChicagoRegional theaters typically schedule productions for four to six-week stints. Sometimes, however, a show continues to draw paying crowds well beyond its predetermined stay. Windy City Playhouse opened its world premiere production of Southern Gothic in February of 2018. Eleven months later, the popularity of this world premiere comedy evidences no sign of diminishing.

In order to vacate.... Read More

 

After The Protest: What We Learned in 2018

The Scientific MethodAfter two decades of outrage, our fingers are weary with pointing and feet sore from recoiling at shadows, bringing us to finally ask whether we can't all just get along. An international play competition recently challenged authors to reach beyond "romanticizing revolt" and instead, offer suggestions for peaceful solutions in the struggle between prejudice and principles.
.... Read More

 

Play List 2018: Top Shows Of The Year

Top Chicago Plays of 2018Theatre In Chicago presents its list of the top-rated plays that were produced in the Chicago area for 2018. The list was compiled objectively from critics' reviews, based on the Highly Recommended to Not Recommended scale.

The list only includes those shows that opened in 2018 (so that is why Hamilton is not on the list.... Read More

 

Theatre In Chicago's 2018 Holiday Show Round-Up

Christmas Shows In ChicagoA popular holiday tradition for many folks in Chicagoland is attending a Christmas play. This year has more options than ever for theatre-goers, with an impressive variety of classic holiday plays as well as a few out-of-the-ordinary experiences for people who may treasure the unique over the tried-and-true. When it comes to seasonal theatre in Chicago, there is.... Read More

 

How To Make A Monster: Designing Frankenstein's Outcast Offspring

Frankenstein at Remy BumppoEven Chicago's most sophisticated playgoers were shocked to behold the nameless protagonist in Remy Bumppo Theatre's production of Frankenstein. Audiences anticipating a marginally-mobile titan like that in the 1931 James Whale film, were instead confronted by a grotesque humanoid (called only "the Creature" in Mary Shelley's groundbreaking 1818 novel) whose likeness invoked tabloid aliens, Expressionist paintings and.... Read More

 

Bring On The Bow-Wows: Legally Blonde and Nell Gwynn Showcase Man's (and Woman's) Best Friend

Nell Gwynn - Chicago Shakespeare TheaterIt is an irrefutable axiom in the theater that children and animals are, by default, the highlight of any show in which they make an appearance. Just recently, a speckled hen received no less than three mentions in the Tribune's review of Mendoza, and a police dog seen briefly in one scene of Bruce Norris' Downstate at Steppenwolf.... Read More

 

Frankenstein Times Three: Mary Shelley's classic horror tale plays on North and South stages

Frankenstein in ChicagoNobody had actually planned a festival to honor the 200th anniversary of Mary Shelley's Greatest Hit, so it came as surprise to everyone when no less than four new-or-nearly-new adaptations of Frankenstein (subtitled by its author The Modern Prometheus) were announced for Chicago's 2018-19 Season, all as dissimilar as our vision of the creature at the center of.... Read More

 

No Butterflies Allowed: Vietgone Looks at War in Southeast Asia from the Other Side

Vietgone at Writers TheatreAs much as we wish it weren't so, the initial face of upward mobility is usually that of the "good servant"—patient, humble and ever-willing to sacrifice themselves in support of their masters' values. Qui Nguyen (pronounced "Nyen") has forged his career on social commentary expressed in Marvel comic myth and Hollywood-style martial combat, however, and apprises us at.... Read More

 

Announcing The New AuditionHQ Forum for Actors

AuditionHQ ForumTheatreInChicago.com is rolling out a new tool for actors to help them get more information on auditions in Chicago. With our new AuditionHQ Forum, now in beta release, actors and theatre companies can register and go to the forum to update and receive information on the status of current auditions and callbacks as well as ask questions.... Read More

 

Every Kind Of Body: Fly Honey Show Welcomes Revelers of All Sizes and Stripes

The Fly Honey Show ChicagoA table at the entrance displays earplugs alongside dainty leather harnesses. A swarm of gender-fluid greeters garbed—barely—in shiny fabrics and tattoos leave off dancing in the aisles to guide us to our seats in the Den's Heath Mainstage, decorated for the occasion in spray-lighting and wall-to-wall music. Spectators of all ages, ethnicities and sartorial proclivities promenade the lobby,.... Read More

 

Two Planks And A Passion: the Return and Revival of Shakespeare's Motley Crew

Midsummer Mayhem at Winnemac ParkThe legend of Shakespeare's Motley Crew began like an MGM movie-a group of artists met in a class on "Acting Shakespeare" at the Newberry Library in 1991 and promptly declared, "Hey, this is fun! Let's put on a show!" The resemblance stopped there, however. No fathers in possession of surplus lumber for scenery, mothers to sew costumes or.... Read More

 

Rocking On (And On And On): American Blues Theater's Buddy Holly Settles Into Stage 773 for the Summer

Buddy-The Buddy Holly Story ChicagoLong-running shows are rarely premeditated. Famous Door's legendary Hellcab was originally scheduled for five weeks in 1991, but instead ran continuously for just under ten years. Black Ensemble's 2002 season showcasing the great divas required two years to complete. More recently, Million Dollar Quartet had barely closed the curtain on its opening night in the Goodman's Owen before.... Read More

 

What's In A Name: Sagittarius Ponderosa Explores Questions of Identity

Sagittarius PonderosaThe story of the prodigal's return can be found in every age and every community the world over. The specifics of the crisis arising from adjustments engendered thereby may vary according to time and place—death, divorce, injury, religious conversion, marriage outside the tribe—but MJ Kaufman's Sagittarius Ponderosa may be the first play of the 21st century to.... Read More

 

Just Like Jean Genet Always Wanted: Gender-fluid Casting in The Maids

The Maids at Artistic Home in ChicagoDisguise is a recurring motif in the plays of 20th-century French author Jean Genet—indeed, the premise for his 1956 shocker, The Balcony, proposed a brothel trafficking exclusively in costumed fantasies of authority figures such as magistrates, archbishops and generals. The Maids, by contrast, opens on a servant meekly submitting to the verbal abuse of her vain mistress.... Read More

 

Alakazam! The Amazing Reappearance Of Magicians In Chicago

Mark Toland Mind ReaderThe predominant discussion of "close-up" magic in recent years has been a lament for its decline. To be sure, aficionados seeking exhibitions of bamboozle-based spectacle not involving gambling for money might stumble across one—on rare occasions, in obscure locations (an exception being Chicago's sumptuous Palmer House Hilton, where Dennis Watkins has regaled guests with in-house magic since 2010)..... Read More

 

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