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

   Quick Search
Search by date:

  The Scottsboro Boys at Stage 773

The Scottsboro Boys

Stage 773
1225 W Belmont Ave Chicago

The thrilling, final collaboration by the creators of Cabaret and Chicago, The Scottsboro Boys has been hailed as one of the most visionary and controversial musicals to grace the stages of Broadway and London. Nominated for 12 Tony Awards, and presented in the style of the notorious "minstrel show", this true-life story of nine African American teenagers accused and put on trial in Memphis for a crime they did not commit is one America's most notorious episodes of injustice; inaugurating a wave of social changes leading up to the modern Civil Rights Movement.

Thru - Mar 12, 2017

Price: $45 - $51

Show Type: Musical

Box Office: 773-327-5252

Running Time: 1hr, 50mins; no intermission

Stage 773 Seating Charts

Nearby Restaurants

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

Chicago Tribune - Somewhat Recommended

"...The trick to the show lies in its embrace of aesthetic contrast - the way the racist routines of minstrelsy (run here by the aptly caustic Larry Yando) are structured to force a laugh out of you and then make that laugh curdle inside your guilty throat. For that to work, the show needs sharp and jarring transitions - sudden shifts in style and mood - instead of the broader theatrical wash that prevails here in a production where nothing really seems to change."
Read Full Review

Chris Jones

Chicago Sun Times - Highly Recommended

"...The bristling Kander and Ebb score (with a biting and at times poetic book by David Thompson), is a stunner, with everything from a jaunty cakewalk and mock minstrel-style numbers and fervent ballads to a powerful chain gang chant set to the rhythmic thrashing of wooden poles."
Read Full Review

Hedy Weiss

Chicago Reader - Highly Recommended

"...Porchlight Music Theatre's Chicago premiere features a superb ensemble under the direction of Samuel G. Roberson Jr., with period-style choreography by Florence Walker-Harris and Breon Arzell and first-rate musical direction by Doug Peck."
Read Full Review

Albert Williams

Windy City Times - Somewhat Recommended

"...This dark chapter in our nation's history would appear an unlikely premise for musical comedy, but hitmakers John Kander and Fred Ebb, having earlier in their career successfully depicted the Nazi Invasion and prohibition-era Gangland Corruption as razzle-dazzle extravaganzas, decided the time was ripe in 2006 for an account of racial atrocities framed in the conventions of an old-time blackface Minstrel Show."
Read Full Review

Mary Shen Barnidge

Stage and Cinema - Highly Recommended

"...Detonating nightly at Stage 773, The Scottsboro Boys poses an agonizing "love-hate" dilemmas for a modern audience. It's the most challenging kind of musical-deliberate misdirection that adopts the supposedly carefree euphoria of a 19th century minstrel show to plumb the pain beneath the pageant. Of course, injustice is no cake walk-but a guiltier pleasure cannot be imagined or a snazzier show highly recommended. Like the lost lads it chronicles, this crackling winner must be seen before being judged. Tough love deserves no less."
Read Full Review

Lawrence Bommer

Splash Magazine - Recommended

"...The Scottsboro Boys” unfolds the drama by using the controversial styling of a slapstick comedic “Minstrel Show” as the story’s main narrative device. It’s not easy to sit through, both in subject matter and in tone (and because it runs nearly 2 hours long without an intermission). Should one applaud after witnessing the ensemble break into a joyous tap-dance number about death from electrocution? How about after listening to a gorgeously-sung ballad featuring racist stereotypes? Don’t get me wrong – this is not nearly as offensive or bad as it sounds. It’s just uneasy to watch such racial caricatures on display, no matter the intent."
Read Full Review

Justin LeClaire

ChicagoCritic - Highly Recommended

"...The Scottsboro Boys – The Musical works as fine story telling; as a fine song and dance piece and as fine tribute to the strength of the human spirit as exhibited by the nine brave boys. This show is a masterpiece. It is the finest musical I’ve ever seen by Porchlight! Don’t miss it."
Read Full Review

Tom Williams

Around The Town Chicago - Highly Recommended

"...This is a true story about nine African- American teenagers accused of Rape and put on trial, several times for a crime that they did not commit. The time was early in the 20th century, the place was Memphis and the air was filled with great tension as the women were white and thus this even was the start of what became the modern civil rights movement. This brilliant musical, one that is very “Kander & Ebb”, reminding us of their earlier shows, is set up as a minstrel show, which in itself starts the “black and white” theme."
Read Full Review

Alan Bresloff

NewCity Chicago - Recommended

"...In 2013, the Alabama Parole board issued pardons for the three Scottsboro boys who had not already been pardoned or had their convictions overturned. The last of the nine died in 1989, nearly twenty-five years prior. The impact of "The Scottsboro Boys" lands like a heavy thud against the locked doors of oppression, in a place where the sun has still yet to shine on so many dreams."
Read Full Review

Kevin Greene

Chicago Theatre Review - Highly Recommended

"...This show treads carefully on sensitive historical events that, even today, may possibly reopen some wounds. It’s not a happy musical, which Kander and Ebb’s score sometimes belies, but it tells an important story about a sad travesty of justice. Every aspect of this polished, heartfelt production is spot-on and deserving of audiences who strongly oppose the backward steps that this country currently seems to be taking. We need to be ever reminded of who we are as Americans and where we’re headed in the future."
Read Full Review

Colin Douglas

The Fourth Walsh - Highly Recommended

"...The huge cast goes from startled to scared to resigned over the years and decades. It's hard to watch and harder to imagine what the real Scottsboro boys endured because of two women lying. The sad tale finds uplifting moments especially in the musical numbers, choreographed by Florence Walker-Harris and musical direction by Doug Peck. This harmonious crew sounds more like a choir than inmates. Special nod out to Goode for adding a youthful Michael Jackson-stylings to songs. Always a musical powerhouse, Jones leads the soulful unrest. His solo "Nothin'" has an echoing ache not easily forgotten."
Read Full Review

Katy Walsh

Chicagoland Musical Theatre - Highly Recommended

"...It's a haunting, true tale of the prejudicial South of the 1930s, told via a more modern, fictional minstrel troupe run by the White boss (masterfully portrayed by Larry Yando). Porchlight's typically helpful program points out live minstrel shows and blackface portrayals largely disappeared in the 1920s. So this convention is anachronistic in it's own right, but it brilliantly illustrates the tension between the all-Black company members and their "master." This, along with a silent, omniscient, female character (Cynthia Clarey) observing the storytelling, affords The Scottsboro Boys tragedy its moniker as a heroic contribution to the Civil Rights movement."
Read Full Review

Barry Reszel

Third Coast Review - Somewhat Recommended

"...Overall, Porchlight's The Scottsboro Boys delivers less than its intriguing concept promises. Its relevance in 2017 is undeniable; however, relevance alone isn't enough, especially in a city with upwards of 50 performances playing weekly. With bolder choices, this historical musical by a talented songwriting duo could be just as impacting as its premise pledges."
Read Full Review

Brent Eickhoff

Picture This Post - Recommended

"...The telling of the Scottsboro tale is framed by the mysterious woman's thoughts and as a minstrel show. The minstrel show is a white man directing these black men and telling them how to act. This works well because, much like the white jurors serving on these trials who controlled the fate of the boys, the one white man seemingly controls the boys as his "minstrels." We, the audience, see just how corrupt the system is."
Read Full Review

Alexis Bugajski

  The Scottsboro Boys Photo Gallery

   This show has been Jeff Recommended*

*The designation of "Jeff Recommended" is given to a production when at least ONE ELEMENT of the show was deemed outstanding by the Joseph Jefferson Awards Committee.

Twitter Follow Us On Twitter