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Goodman's Spanish-subtitled Christmas Carol puts the "Más" in Christmas

A Christmas Carol at Goodman Theatre in ChicagoThe Goodman Theatre's El Cantico de Navidad (literally, "The Song of Christmas") was not conceived in a vacuum. Chicago's long history of welcoming foreign-born residents is evidenced in its abundance of public buildings, neighborhood shops, and street signs whose exterior displays reflect the cosmopolitan ethnicity of their locales.

"The Goodman has always been committed to.... Read More


Theatre In Chicago's 2019 Holiday Show Round-Up

Christmas Shows In ChicagoThat time of year is back, and what winter season is complete without a trip to the theater to take in some holiday plays? Whether you want to sit back and enjoy the classics that remind you of the true meaning of the season or you want to change things up and experience Christmas through a slightly more.... Read More


The Phantom Of The Royal George: Ghost Sightings and Other Halloween Highlights

Countess DraculaHardly had the backpacks and lunchboxes disappeared from the store shelves than preparations commenced for the advent of the three-day festival celebrating ghoulies and goblins, Calacas and Calaveras, hyperglycemic diets and toilet-paper lawn decor.

The earliest of the seasonal offerings opened in September, only to close by mid-October, but the historical true-crime Bloody Bathory is.... Read More


Long Dresses And Tall Hats: Fall Theater Roundup 2019

Howards EndPrepare to see an abundance of floor-length skirts and lintel-brushing headgear this autumn. No, theaters haven't adopted a formal dress code for their patrons, nor has Chicago been declared a "Game of Thrones" re-enactment site. A cursory overview of the theater offerings in the months between the major cool-weather holidays reveals a predominance of period plays, some depicting.... Read More


Automotive Technology for a Dystopian Future: Driverless Cars in Pomona

Pomona at Steep TheatreViewing Pomona's first scene, theatergoers unfamiliar with the plays of Alistair McDowall may have wondered whether the title referred to a tunnel-ride in an amusement park. What else could explain the shabby little go-cart conveying a trio of urban night-owls—an aging-hippie philosopher, his streetwise young companion and, in the back seat, a vaguely-H.P. Lovecraft octopus-faced monster—on a.... Read More


The History Of A Coin Trick: Sean Masterson Explores Century-Old Mystery in Timeless Magic

Timeless Magic - Sean MastersonAsk most people what a "magic show" looks like, and whether they cite a backyard birthday party, Las Vegas casino lounge or a neighborhood tavern, they will usually agree that a magic show is exclusively tricks and illusions.

Imagine, then, the unexpected thrill at the 2000 premiere of House Theatre of Chicago's original.... Read More


Sisters Command the Band of Brothers: Cross-Gender Casting in Henry V

Henry V at First Folio TheatreSome roles in Shakespeare—creatures from the world of Fancy, in particular—have a long record of exemption from binary restrictions on gender-linked infrastructure. Puck and Ariel, for example, despite being addressed as "he" and "him" in the text, have customarily been played by women, while Titania's fairy entourage typically boasts courtiers representing a wide spectrum of secondary sexual characteristics..... Read More


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


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