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Jeff Awards 2014 Non-Equity Recipients

Jeff Awards in Chicago"The Mother," a stage tale of class warfare, and "Passion," a musical of love and obsession, took home top honors for Oracle Productions and Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre respectively Monday, June 2, at Park West during the 41st Annual Non-Equity Jeff Awards ceremony recognizing excellence in non-union Chicago theatre. Oracle, with five awards, and Theo Ubique, with four.... Read More


Harry, England and Saint George: Re-creating the Battle of Agincourt in Henry V

Henry V Chicago ShakespeareFor a play whose plot centers on one of English history's most decisive military campaigns in one of its longest wars, Shakespeare's Henry V is curiously short on violence, being more concerned with lessons in how to fight a war—and by extension, how to govern a country.

Oh, but who cares about the political.... Read More


Chasing The Night At Mister Cinders: Public House Theatre Brings Back Bouncers

Bouncers at Public House TheatreOn its surface, John Godber's Bouncers is simple enough—four doormen at the Mister Cinders dance club describe a typical Saturday night on the job—in doing so, they mimic the personalities of customers, staff members, and other auxiliary personnel. They also comment irreverently on the dead-end life that drives young working-class Brits to squander money and self-esteem in.... Read More


Back To The Future: Steampunk Invades Promethean's Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are DeadNowadays we expect brain exercise from Tom Stoppard, but theatergoers in attendance at the 1967 premiere of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead were unprepared for three acts of Hamlet's school chums parsing ontological philosophy, with occasional forays into existential pragmatism—all proposing (so the author claimed) to look at Shakespeare's tragedy, not from the perspective of its powerful.... Read More


Coulda Been A Contender: the Mystique of Irish Boxing in Lay Me Down Softly

Lay Me Down SoftlySwordplay and shootouts, karate chops and full-cast tavern brawls, all are capable of dazzling audiences while in progress, but two men facing off, eye-to-eye, in a roped-off arena, is a picture that resonates with spectators long after the activity ceases and the show is finished. Skeptics seeking proof of the indelible impression engendered by pugilistic pageantry should note.... Read More


Jeff Awards Announce 2014 Non-Equity Nominations

Jeff AwardsThe Jeff Awards Committee today announced 128 nominations in 24 categories of Non-Equity Jeff Awards for productions that opened between April 1, 2013, and March 31, 2014. The Non-Equity Awards honor excellence in Chicago theatres not under a union contract. Jeff judges attended opening nights of 147 productions offered by 65 Non-Equity producing organizations. The judges recommended 66.... Read More


The Book Of Mormon Returns To Chicago

Book Of Mormon ChicagoFollowing its record-breaking 43-week engagement in the 2013-2014 season, THE BOOK OF MORMON will return to Chicago's Bank of America Theatre in 2015 for a strictly limited engagement from February 24, 2015 - May 17, 2015.    

THE BOOK OF MORMON features book, music and lyrics by Trey Parker, Robert Lopez and Matt Stone. Parker.... Read More


Hell On Wheels: Rolling Through the Underworld in Ghost Bike

Ghost BikeGhost Bike recounts the story of Ora and Eddie, two kids who found freedom and friendship exploring the big Windy City on their bicycles-but when Eddie is killed by an errant motorist, the inconsolable Ora is not content to erect him a sidewalk memorial like that in the play's title. Instead, she invades the Realm of the.... Read More


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


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