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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 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


Simmering In The Pie With Sweeney Todd: Theo Ubique Stages Immersive Production of Sondheim Classic

Sweeney Todd in ChicagoStephen Sondheim's Sweeney Todd changed the face of the American musical when it premiered in 1979, its libretto proposing a plot premised on Victorian mass murder and cannibalism, recounted in a narrative employing nearly continuous music and minimal dialogue—a structure not unlike that of opera. The No Exit café's 1920s-vintage architecture made for acoustical difficulties even when.... Read More


A Galaxy Of Our Own: Otherworld Theatre Seeks a Home Amid Lakeview's Historic Cemeteries

Otherworld Theatre ChicagoOuter space, we are told, is a place of impenetrable darkness, gloom alleviated by distantly-scattered oases of dazzling light. The storefront at 3914 North Clark Street that once supplied flowers for neighboring cemeteries, but since 1987 has housed Live Bait, Teatro Luna and Public House theaters, occupies a likewise shadowy border, flanked on one side by the raucous.... Read More


Ibsen Times Three: Traitor, An Enemy of the People and Pillars of the Community

Pillars Of The CommunityThe protagonists of Henrik Ibsen can be divided into individuals seeking personal happiness despite the disapproval of their society, and those seeking to change the society itself. Of the latter, An Enemy of the People and the play often considered to be its prototype, Pillars of the Community, have exercised the greatest appeal for audiences of.... Read More


Art Endured: How Chicago Theater Triumphed in 2017

BLKS SteppenwolfRemember January last year? Not since the so-called "Death of Irony" in 2001 were so many gloomy prognostications uttered regarding the extinction of theater as a unifying experience—its goal, to encourage individuals in putting aside their differences and acknowledging the human values we all share.

We endured, however. Healing strategies were implemented. Let's look.... Read More


The Humans In Chicago

The Humans in ChicagoThe Humans is set for Chicago's Cadillac Palace Theatre for a limited two-week engagement Jan. 30 - Feb. 11, 2018. The Humans premiered in Chicago at American Theater Company in 2014 under the direction of the late PJ Paparelli. The Broadway production, directed by Joe Mantello, won the Tony Award for Best Play in 2016.
.... Read More


Holiday Messages Of Rebirth: Re-imaginings of Yuletide Classics Debut in Chicago Area Theaters

Scrooge and the Ghostly SpiritsAs the annual disputes over the species of animals gathered at the manger in nativity scenes attest, any story no longer protected by copyright can become fair game for adaptation, parody or flat-out rewrite. However this irksome this legal snare may be for the creators of literary classics, it now locates both Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol and.... Read More


Theatre In Chicago's 2017 Holiday Show Round-Up

Christmas Shows IN ChicagoLooking for an enriching and entertaining way to spend the holiday season? This year, celebrate the yuletide at the theatre. With dozens of holiday plays opening this holiday season there's plenty to see in Chicago's eclectic theater scene. Chicago theaters are presenting everything from the traditional holiday shows to transvestite reindeer to a site specific show taking place.... Read More


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