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

Regional 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

The Scientific Method
After The Protest: What We Learned in 2018

After 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

Top Chicago Plays of 2018
Play List 2018: Top Shows Of The Year

Theatre 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

Christmas Shows In Chicago
Theatre In Chicago's 2018 Holiday Show Round-Up

A 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

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

Even 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

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

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

Nobody 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

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

As 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

AuditionHQ Forum
Announcing The New AuditionHQ Forum for Actors

TheatreInChicago.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

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

A 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

Midsummer Mayhem at Winnemac Park
Two Planks And A Passion: the Return and Revival of Shakespeare's Motley Crew

The 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

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

Long-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

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

The 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

The Maids at Artistic Home in Chicago
Just Like Jean Genet Always Wanted: Gender-fluid Casting in The Maids

Disguise 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

Mark Toland Mind Reader
Alakazam! The Amazing Reappearance Of Magicians In Chicago

The 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

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

Stephen 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

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

Outer 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

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

The 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

BLKS Steppenwolf
Art Endured: How Chicago Theater Triumphed in 2017

Remember 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 Chicago

The 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