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  For The Boys at Marriott Theatre In Lincolnshire

For The Boys

Marriott Theatre In Lincolnshire
10 Marriott Drive Lincolnshire

It was 1942. The world was at war and Eddie Sparks was on top. Nobody could out-sing, out-step, or out-charm Eddie, America's premier entertainer...until Dixie Leonard came along. Together they entertained American troops in times of war and peace. For over 30 years, three wars, and hundreds of shows...they did it all "For the Boys."

Thru - Oct 16, 2011

Wednesdays: 1:00pm & 8:00pm
Thursdays: 8:00pm
Fridays: 8:00pm
Saturdays: 4:30pm & 8:00pm
Sundays: 1:00pm & 5:00pm



Price: $40-$48

Show Type: Musical

Running Time: 2hrs, 35mins; one intermission

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Marriott Theatre In Lincolnshire Seating Chart


  For The Boys Reviews
  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Chicago Tribune - Somewhat Recommended

"...Right now, the show fails to sufficiently explore the central question: why Sparks and Leonard want, need, to be with each other and their military audiences. And, more significantly, it also doesn't yet show us the two central characters coming to realize the magnitude of their military assignments, especially when compared with the pettiness of showbiz back home. That's what "For the Boys" has to do if it is to make it to Broadway and, more importantly, be worthy of the people of the USO and those they entertained."
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Chris Jones


Chicago Sun Times - Recommended

"...A story of substance and relevance, particularly as Americans continue to die in Iraq and Afghanistan, the show is infused with period songs (though not nearly enough really great ones), as well as archival photographs and film footage that keep the timeline moving. But all too often Thielenís script has a paint-by-numbers feel. And the scenes in this episodic story tend to unfold in a shorthand style more efficient than gripping. In addition, because many of the songs are novelty numbers, the score often fails to enhance the deep emotions."
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Hedy Weiss


Chicago Reader - Highly Recommended

"...A similar appreciation for old-style entertainment runs deep in Aaron Thielen's new musical about Eddie and Dixie's relationship from World War II through Vietnam. Based on the 1991 movie starring James Caan and Bette Midler, For the Boys turns mawkish by the time we reach Korea. But Michele Ragusa and Timothy Gulan are wicked fun as the larger-than-life leads, director Marc Robin finds witty ways to enliven cornball jokes and standard tunes, and the ensemble is musically superb."
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Dan Jakes


Windy City Times - Somewhat Recommended

"...Marriott's For the Boys is technically polished and professionally produced, but it really doesn't answer the question of why it needed to be transformed from a film flop into a splashy stage musical. Also, it's also ironic that the audience only sees showbiz types stressing their importance to the troops without the soldiers themselves saying how the USO performers had an impact on them."
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Centerstage - Somewhat Recommended

"...The Marriottís admirable history of fostering and producing original musicals for its audiences results in this latest offering by Artistic Director Aaron Thielen. Itís his adaptation of the popular 1991 film that starred Bette Midler and James Caan as fictional Big Band song-and-dance USO comics Dixie Leonard and Eddie Sparks, loosely based on the careers of Martha Raye and Bob Hope. The resulting production is a mixed bag."

Colin Douglas


Time Out Chicago - Somewhat Recommended

"...Marc Robin directs and choreographs a modest production, forgoing spectacle to create intimacy with the characters. The use of projections works well to establish settings, although montages of historic images with the actorsí faces poorly Photoshopped in distract from the talent on stage. Despite an impressive creative team and cast, Thielen and Robin havenít quite made a compelling theatrical case for For the Boys"
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Oliver Sava


ChicagoCritic - Highly Recommended

"...For the Boys is purposely NOT a rehashing of the 1991 film rather it is an refreshing look at the motivation and quirkiness of the 40/50′s entertainers as well as a tribute to the sacrifices of our troops during war. This is a well crafted piece that works as much as a musical (with a strong book) as it does as a drama with songs. Once we journey over 30 years with Dixie and Eddie, we become nostalgic as they did for the old days as they reunite for an award ceremony. We appreciate their story and weíre glad they took us along. Aaron Thielen and Marc Robin have mounted a fresh take on a tuneful era."
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Tom Williams


Chicago Stage Standard - Recommended

"...This is not only a refreshing alternative to all the "Music Man's," "Guys and Dolls," "Fiddlers," and "42nd Streets," but it is also far less of a big dance extravaganza. Given the intimacy of its subject matter, it is equally surprising that the Marriott has handed the property to the dynamic Director and Choreographer Marc Robin, who had far fewer opportunities to showcase his signature dance flair. Even with little to no exposure to its cinematic source, you can clearly see that "For the Boys" was created as a showcase for its two stars. No one does brassy and raunchy comedy like Bette Midler, the reigning heir to Mae West."

Joe Stead


Let's Play at ChicagoNow - Recommended

"...Under the direction of Marc Robin, scenes transition with historical projections. Projection designer Sage Marie Carter has made visual montages of each decade from the 1940ís to 1980ís. Cast members have been photo-shopped in to authentic pictures of the time period. It adds a little kitsch to the fascinating slide show. Even though Iím totally engrossed in this imagery, itís like reading a book and watching television at the same time. Iím enjoying both but I feel like Iím missing a stronger connection to either. Some of the projections are lengthy to allow for some dazzling costume appearances. Unfortunately, it leads to a sluggish pace. (Take a lesson from my sister, a lot of wardrobe changes arenít necessary to show support to the troops.) Still, FOR THE BOYS is for the people! War is hell-of-a good time with the right show!"
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Katy Walsh


Around The Town Chicago - Highly Recommended

"...Marriott Theatre in Lincolnshire is known for bringing us the highest quality in Musical Theater and over the years have brought back old favorites as well as some original works. They have taken another step in bringing us a Play with music based on the hit movie ďFor The BoysĒ that starred Bette Middler and James Caan; a story that is somewhat based on the life of one of Americaís great entertainers/humanitarians, Martha Raye., a comic who did many USO shows for the troops during wars we were involved in and one who never feared being where the action was."
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Alan Bresloff


Chicago Theater Beat - Recommended

"...There are second-act problems: The action moves so fast that the sometimes gratuitous friction between Dixie and Eddie is inferred when it should be set up in order to make us want it resolved. Also because of the smaller cast, this production lacks the big dance numbers that Marriott Theatre has spoiled us into an addiction. (A few Lindy hops and jitter bugs plus an Andrews Sisters recreation and thatís it.) Still this IS a Marriott show, folks, so nothing goes wrong for long, not when itís ďfor the boys.Ē"

Lawrence Bommer


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