Theatre In Chicago      
Your Source For What's On Stage In Chicago 

   Quick Search
Search by date:

  Performance Spotlight

Pachydermal Puppetry: Creating the Hindu Elephant God in A Perfect Ganesh

A Perfect GaneshThe reason behind Terrence McNally's A Perfect Ganesh being so rarely performed is not its now-outdated fantasy of India, but that its story's narrator and facilitator is the Hindu deity Ganesha, remover of obstacles and, thus, patron of lovers and travelers. Why should so benevolent a spiritual icon present problems? Ganesha, you see, boasts a human body.... Read More


Angry Birds: Skyward Battle Cries in Conor McPherson's The Birds

The BirdsThe "bunker play" literary genre proposes a microcosmic society characters confined in restrictive quarters under duress arising from an outside threat. In Conor McPherson's The Birds (adapted from the short story by Daphne DuMaurier), what precipitates his three refugees securing shelter in an abandoned house on the New England coast are a series of concerted attacks by.... Read More


Gateway Theater: Windy City Playhouse Welcomes First-Time Audiences

Windy City PlayhouseIt's probably the most glamorous storefront theater in Chicago, its fašade recalling a Sinatra-era Hollywood lounge. Buildings of this vintage are nowadays most often found in the suburbs, refurbished with an eye to providing weary grandparents with nostalgic memories.

That's exactly what the Windy City Playhouse is not, though. Its quarters in what was.... Read More


The Saints Go Marching On: Indispensable Theater Volunteers Continue Their Mission

The SaintsThey are most often seen at the theaters, performing front-of-the-house chores—checking coats, dispensing refreshments, passing out playbills, tearing tickets and guiding patrons to their seats. They are usually dressed in smart black-and-white ("full penguin" jackets at the Symphony Center, business casual khakis and henleys at Theater Wit, by request of its owner, Jeremy Wechsler). The majority of them.... Read More


Back-Porch Picnic On Fire Island: Cooking With Terrence McNally in Lips Together, Teeth Apart

Lips Together, Teeth ApartTerrence McNally's Lips Together, Teeth Apart is located in and around a luxury beach house in the swankiest part of New York's Fire Island, occupied on a Fourth of July weekend by two couples sunk in their respective funks despite the revelry surrounding them. The Eclipse Theatre Company's production occupies a third-floor studio with a stage measuring.... Read More


TLC In The CCTV Room: Red Handed Otter's Night Shift

Red Handed OtterPatrons of A Red Orchid's off-the-street theater are accustomed to scenery unfolding like pop-up puzzles on a shallow stage featuring only a little over a hundred square feet of walk-around floor space. Even so, the scenic design for Ethan Lipton's Red Handed Otter, set in a basement security center for an unnamed property (most likely a mall),.... Read More


Head To Foot: Baubles, Bling and Big Hair in Marie Antoinette

Marie Antoinette at Steppenwolf TheatreElton John, step aside! Liberace, eat your heart out! You, too, Cher! France's last royal highness and her posse in David Adjmi's Marie Antoinette take fashionable excess to new heights—literally, with yard-high hair-dos, eight inch-high heels and dazzling mirrors on every surface.

"The goal was to create an atmosphere of extravagant luxury,".... Read More


The Birds And The Beasts Were There: Animal Puppets in The Hammer Trinity

The Hammer TrinityIn The Hammer Trinity, Chris Mathews and Nathan Allen's Tolkeinesque three-part fantasy epic, there are two scenes where the entire audience rises in unison to cheer the action transpiring on stage. The villain getting his comeuppance is one, of course, but before that climactic victory, there is the moment where July of the Seven Foxes summons forth the.... Read More


Springtime On The Frontier: Prairie Landscaping in Lifeline's One Came Home

One Came HomeYou'd never guess to look at the Baraboo/Dells region nowadays, but central Wisconsin was once a seemingly endless expanse of rocky glacial terrain teeming with wildlife and dotted with remote farming settlements barely hinting at the nearby state capitol. This is the setting of Amy Timberlake's One Came Home, a saga of feisty Georgie Burkhardt's search for.... Read More


Star-Crossed In South Asia: Nice Indian Boy's Bollywood Connection

A Nice Indian BoyDespite having been written over four hundred years ago, Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet is still invoked by star-crossed young romantics confronted with family opposition. The myth underscoring the courtship of the interracial same-sex sweethearts in Madhuri Shekar's A Nice Indian Boy, currently playing under the auspices of the Rasaka Theatre Company, has a shorter history, but resonates.... Read More


Mix-Master At Work: Tending Bar in Accidentally, Like a Martyr

Accidentally Like a MartyrThe frontier traditions shaping our nation's culture declare a saloon to be more than simply a liquor dispensary, instead ranking alongside the town church as a community social center, serving as ballroom, hotel, dining hall and funeral parlor as needed. Its elevated status may account for the number of American plays set in barrooms, from The Iceman Cometh.... Read More


Sicilian Southern On The Gulf Coast: Dialect Instruction in The Rose Tattoo

The Rose Tattoo Shattered Globe TheaterThe upper coastline of the Mexican Gulf forming the southern boundaries of five states—Texas, Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi and Florida—comprises a diversity of languages, having been at various times a port-of-entry for French, Spanish, German, Irish and Scottish settlers. The verbal landscape surrounding the Italian colony lending Tennessee Williams his setting for The Rose Tattoo encompasses the native.... Read More


Cratchit's Christmas Dinner: Grocery Shopping in the Goodman Theatre's Christmas Carol

A Christmas Carol at Goodman TheatreNobody talks about food more than a hungry author, so who can blame Charles Dickens for incorporating so many descriptions of sumptuous meals into his novels? A Christmas Carol revels in Fezziwig's holiday feast for his employees, in the meager-but-sufficient repast of the Cratchits and the bounty of rich comestibles enthroning the Ghost of Christmas Present.
.... Read More


A Long Hellcab Ride: Richard Cotovsky Takes the Wheel Again After Twenty Years

Hellcab at Profiles TheatreOn the list of Chicago's longest-running holiday shows, Hellcab (originally titled Hellcab Does Christmas) falls fifteen years behind the Goodman's Christmas Carol, but a few years ahead of The Christmas Schooner. What distinguishes Hellcab from its seasonal compatriots, however, is its setting. Instead of Victorian London, or a turn-of-the-century Michigan logging community, Will Kern's play looks at.... Read More


Ring Dem Bells: Swinging Hammers in Il Trovatore's Anvil Chorus

Il Trovatore Lyric OperaPeople who profess to know nothing of grand opera recognize the "Anvil Chorus" from Verdi's Il Trovatore immediately—if only the Marx Brothers and Bugs Bunny versions. This rousing ensemble number (properly called "Vedi! Le Fosche Notturne"), set in a Romani encampment, features two eight-measure passages where the orchestra mimics the ring of the blacksmiths' hammers as they.... Read More


Irish Cats Have Nine Lives: Feline Cameo in AstonRep Lieutenant of Inishmore

The Lieutenant of InishmoreThe words "dead cat" will likely inspire amusement in all but the most devout aelurophiles, but in The Lieutenant of Inishmore, the untimely demise of two felines launches a chain of events that will end in their bereaved owners enacting terrible vengeance on the murderers of innocent creatures. More difficult than the quantities of simulated gore, gunfire.... Read More


Congressional Expectations: Baby On Board in Both Your Houses

Both Your HousesMaxwell Anderson, writing in 1931, probably never anticipated married women, let alone expectant mothers, holding down executive positions in Washington DC, but when Linda Gillum—cast as Greta "Bus" Nillson, the savvy secretary who helps the idealistic crusader of Both Your Houses battle his weasely colleagues—announced that she would be visibly pregnant on opening night, the creative staff.... Read More


Fight Like A Fish: Swimming Against the Current in The Clean House

Brutus from The Clean House"Life is a joke, so why not die laughing?" is the moral of The Clean House, as well as the rallying cry of the newlywed cancer-stricken Ana—whose recently-acquired family encompasses her doctor/husband, his ex-wife, his former sister-in-law, and their housekeeper. Her rejection of the depression associated with lingering disease is symbolized by her pet fish ("a fighting.... Read More


An Eye For An Eye: The Wounded Hero of Jane Eyre

Jane Eyre Lifeline TheatreThe Romantic sensibility reflected in Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre mandates that the title character's final step toward conquering her horrific early childhood memories is the rescue of her chosen consort from his demons, the latter manifested, literally, upon his physical being. Edward Rochester, we are told, refused to flee the fiery destruction of his unhappy home until.... Read More


Second-Hand Smoke: Acting Tobacco Consumption in Cole Theatre's Ecstasy

Ecstasy - Cole TheatreAudiences are usually willing to suspend disbelief for whiskey decanters filled with tea or beer bottles containing diluted coca-cola, but the working-class youths in Ecstasy, Mike Leigh's time-capsule portrait of England in 1979, also consume copious quantities of tobacco, a substance nowadays inspiring such alarm—despite its legal status and widespread popularity in the United States—that special care.... Read More


Page 6

  45 6 78