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Never Say Die: The Playboy of the Western World's Indestructible Lawrence Garner

Lawrence Garner - Playboy of The Western WorldStorefront-circuit regulars will likely recognize Lawrence Garner—by sight, if not by name. Over the last twenty years, he's appeared as a wide array of characters, ranging from a windy British officer in the David Cromer-directed production of Translations, to a surly Arab in The Time of Your Life, to a vaguely-pedophile scientist in Frankenstein in Love, as well.... Read More


The Sunday Painter's Secret: Art on the Stage of Joe Egg

A Day in the Death of Joe EggThe suffering of families with children crippled by disease are commonplace themes nowadays, but in 1967, Peter Nichols' A Day In The Death of Joe Egg shocked audiences with its brutally unsentimental account of an English couple whose severely disabled 10-year-old daughter's almost nonexistent brain activity renders her barely more vital than the household pets and plants..... Read More


Those Merry Dogs Of Windsor: Canine Cameos Steal the Show at Chicago Shakespeare

The Merry Wives of WindsorEarly in Shakespeare's Merry Wives of Windsor, a group of country gentleman discuss a dog belonging to one of them. The modest Mister Page calls the hound "a cur", but the obsequious Justice Shallow declares the creature to be "good and fair." From this casual exchange arose director Barbara Gaines' vision of a London suburb inhabited by.... Read More


Another Night With Charles Dickens: Ringing In A New Year with The Chimes

ChimesIt would be easy for us to think that the inspiration for The Chimes was the Henry Wadsworth Longfellow poem/hymn "I Heard the Bells On Christmas Day." In fact, it was forty years earlier that Charles Dickens visited Italy and, hearing the cathedral bells of Genoa peal on New Year's Day, immediately decided to make them the.... Read More


Behind The Wheel Again: Hellcab's First Driver Returns for 21st Anniversary Production

Hellcab at Profiles TheatreWe usually think of taxicab drivers as young men, but a quick survey of Chicago's fleets also reveals a number of gray-haired drivers determined to "wear out, not rust out" their retirement years. Author Will Kern never specified the age of the nameless pilot helming the lone vehicle in Hellcab—originally titled Hellcab Does Christmas at its premiere.... Read More


Bigger, Brighter, Louder: Chicago Theatre History Anthology Makes A Great Gift

Bigger, Brighter, Louder by Chris Jones Bigger, Brighter, Louder: 150 Years of Chicago Theater As Seen By Chicago Tribune Critics (University of Chicago Press) was published in October to positive reviews. The 376-page hardcover chronicle of Chicago's theatrical history (also available on Amazon Kindle), by chief Tribune theatre critic Chris Jones, would make a great holiday gift idea for the theatre lover or.... Read More


What Dickens Didn't Tell Us: Jacob Marley's Christmas Carol

Jacob Marley's Christmas CarolMarley's death may have been necessary to launch Charles Dickens' venerable parable of atonement and redemption on that fatal eve, but in 1991, Tom Mula—then in his first of seven seasons playing the role of Scrooge for the Goodman Theatre's annual holiday Christmas Carol—heard a child protest "Marley got a raw deal!" The result, three years later, was.... Read More


Acting Disabled: Learning Wheelchair for The Normal Heart

Normal Heart Timeline TheatreThey don't require licenses to operate, but contrary to popular belief, you can't just plop someone down into a wheelchair or an assisted-mobility scooter and expect them to go happily about their business, any more than you'd turn an untrained driver loose in traffic. This is especially true in situations when back-tracking is not feasible—in the midst of.... Read More


Theatre In Chicago's 2013 Holiday Show Round-Up

Holiday Plays In ChicagoWelcome to Theatre In Chicago's 2013 Holiday Show Round-Up, the most comprehensive (of course) list of all of this year's seasonal-themed plays and musicals performing all over Chicagoland. As ever, there is a vast and diverse array of offerings from which to choose, from the time-honored traditional (A Christmas Carol at the Goodman Theatre and elsewhere) to.... Read More


Sisterhood Is Powerful: Twenty Years of Late Nite Catechism

Late Nit Catechism ChicagoAn advertisement once proclaimed "You don't have to be Jewish to love Lender's bagels"—nor, apparently, do you have to be Catholic to attend Late Nite Catechism, authored by Vicki Quade and Maripat Donovan, premiering in 1993 and running continuously to the present day. With a scenario premised on a class offering adults instruction in the tenets of.... Read More


Jeff Awards Announces 2013 Equity Awards Recipients

Jeff AwardsAt the gala 45th Annual Equity Jeff Awards held at Drury Lane Oakbrook on Monday, November 4, Steppenwolf Theatre Company's "Good People" received the award for Production-Play in a large tier theatre.  Principal Actress Mariann Mayberry was also honored for her role in this David Lindsey-Abaire play, which considers the dangerous consequences of holding on to the past.... Read More


Theatre In New York Launched: A New Site Covering Broadway and Off-Broadway Shows

Theatre In New YorkTheatre In New York, a new source for everything happening on stage in New York from Broadway to Off-Off-Broadway, has been launched. Theatre In New York will join its sister sites Theatre In Chicago, Theatre In DC, Theatre In Boston, Theatre In LA, Theatre In Minneapolis, Theatre In San Francisco, Theatre In Seattle, and Theatre Atlanta in.... Read More


Snakes In Tutus: Live Serpents Are Featured in Joffrey Ballet's La Bayadere

Joffrey Ballet's La BayadereLa Bayadère: The Temple Dancer recounts the story of a humble girl who falls for a celebrity hero, but he's betrothed to a Rajah's daughter—you can guess the rest. What distinguishes Maurius Pepita's rarely-performed ballet from its 19th-century brethren is not only its exotic South Asian setting, but its heroine's untimely death arriving at the hand—or teeth,.... Read More


Pulling The Strings: Musical Instruments in Hank Williams: Lost Highway

Hank Williams Lost HighwayThe array of glossy stringed instruments festooning the upstage wall could be a honky-tonk vision of the pearly gates! Actually, it's the backdrop for Hank Williams: Lost Highway, Randal Myler and Mark Harelik's biodrama of the man who introduced the melded harmonies and twanging vocals of the southern-white blues we now know as "country" music to audiences.... Read More


Broadway In Chicago Announces 2014 Spring Season

Broadway In Chicago 2014 Spring SeasonBroadway In Chicago announced the upcoming 2014 spring season line-up.  Supporting Broadway In Chicago's commitment to Chicagoans seeing shows first, the season features four premieres.  Coming to Chicago first is the World Premiere Pre-Broadway production of THE LAST SHIP, the U.S. Tour Premiere of MOTOWN THE MUSICAL and the North American Premiere of HEARTBEAT OF HOME, as well.... Read More


The Nuts and Bolts Of The Future: Looking Back on R.U.R. (Rossum's Universal Robots)

R.U.R. Rossum's Universal RobotsThey're all over the headlines today, these robots, even making the cover of Time magazine. To be sure, the automated semi-mobile support staff of today-discounting the old-school androids used in photographs accompanying the aforementioned headlines-bear little similarity to their Hollywood predecessors: Robby in Forbidden Planet, Gort in The Day the Earth Stood Still, R2-D2 and C-3PO in Star.... Read More


Jeff Awards 2013 Equity Nominations Announced

Jeff Awards 2013 Equity NominationsFive world premiere plays and three new adaptations seen first by Chicago audiences received Jeff nominations by the Jeff Awards Committee and are among the 166 nominations in 36 categories announced for Chicago Equity theatrical productions opened between August 1, 2012 and July 31, 2013.

Luis Alfaro's "Mojada," a reimagining of Euripides' Medea transported to Chicago's Pilsen.... Read More


Enchanted Wisteria: Flowering Garden in Enchanted April

Enchanted April - Idle Muse TheatreThe magic words in Patrick Barber's adaptation of Elizabeth Von Arnim's Enchanted April are "sunshine and wisteria"— the romantic prospect thereof spurring four Englishwomen to flee the gloom of their native Hampstead in 1922 for an Italian holiday that will forever change their lives. Wisteria is no domesticated back-yard bloom, however, but sturdy-trunked garden foliage demanding very.... Read More


Bad Cops Finish First: Danny Goldring Plays All Sides of the Law

Danny GoldringIf you're a fan of cops-and-robbers shows, you've probably seen Danny Goldring, whose recruiting-poster appearance has earned him a resume replete with flatfoot-in-patrol-cars and gumshoe-in-precinct-room roles not unlike the one he currently occupies as Detective Vince Getz in Keith Huff's spoof of hard-boiled noir, Big Lake Big City, at Lookingglass Theatre.

"For some reason,.... Read More


Dancing With Pythons: Creating Kaa in The Jungle Book

The Jungle Book Goodman TheatreThere are the parade lions at Chinese New Year celebrations, of course, and the wind-sock whales in outdoor productions of Moby Dick. Just recently, audiences had an opportunity to pet wood-and-fabric foxes in The Iron Stag King and gawk at an LED-studded dragon in She Kills Monsters. On a grander scale, Chicago has seen horses and even elephants.... Read More


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