Review “Hellcab” (Agency Theatre Collective): Reality-based Christmas Angst

The Agency Theater Collective announces the Chicago holiday classic HELLCAB. Playwright Will Kern penned a memoir to his Chicago cab driving days. Kern gives us a day-in-the-life-of a cab driver on Christmas Eve. He features a series of snippets from a myriad characters. He has couples going to church, going into labor, and going down on ...

Review “Significant Other” (About Face Theatre): Light and Frothy Rom-Com

About Face Theatre and Theater Wit present the Midwest Premiere of SIGNIFICANT OTHER Playwright Joshua Harmon's story is familiar. Four college friends struggle with relationship replacement. Their tight bond softens as each meets her 'significant other.' Promises and priorities shift to make way for love. The characters are the typical rom-com, gal-pal, chick-flick stereotypes. There is the ...

Review “Captain Steve’s Caring Kingdom” (The Factory Theater): Not My Fave

Monday, November 6, 2017 Permalink

The Factory Theater presents the first production of its 25th anniversary season, the world premiere of Captain Steve’s Caring Kingdom. Before the show begins, the lobby and theatre have snippets from 70s children's shows like H.R. Puffinstuff. The video clips create a nostalgic vibe anchored in television fantasy. Weaved throughout the montage are bits from Playwright Mike Ooi's Captain Steve's ...

Review “School of Rock-The Musical” (Broadway in Chicago): Unexpected Depth and Breadth!

Saturday, November 4, 2017 Permalink

Broadway in Chicago presents SCHOOL OF ROCK – THE MUSICAL for a limited three-week engagement. I'm a huge fan of Jack Black and his antics as the focal point of the 2003 film School of Rock. So, I was cautiously optimistic about a show duplicating that fun sans Black. SCHOOL OF ROCK- THE MUSICAL is unexpectedly great. Julian ...

Review “Dream Freaks Fall From Space” (The Second City): Freaking Hilarious!

Tuesday, October 31, 2017 Permalink

© Todd Rosenberg 2017 The Second City presents its 106th Mainstage revue, DREAM FREAKS FALL FROM SPACE. Although the clunky title may not roll off the tongue like a signature Second City pun, these dream freaks fall nicely together in this space. This is one solid ensemble. Under the skillful direction of Ryan Bernier, Kelsey Kinney, Ryan ...

EXTENDED Thru Dec 31st “Billy Elliot the Musical” (Porchlight Music Theatre): Personal Closeness During a Theatrical Spectacle!

Porchlight Music Theatre presents BILLY ELLIOT THE MUSICAL. Porchlight Music Theatre kicks off its 2017/2018 season in its new Gold Coast home at the Ruth Page Center for Arts. The venue has undergone a major transformation. Although the seating feels cozy, the stage is massive. The 30+ crew of ballerinas, police officers and coal miners easily ...

Review “Bewildered” (Hell in a Handbag): Frothy, Bawdy, Carefree Flashback!

Hell in a Handbag presents BEWILDERED. Fans of the beloved 60s TV show "Bewitched" get a treat this Halloween season. The creative team of Ron Weaver (book, lyrics, music) and Aaron Benham (music, lyrics) revisit the mixed marriage of a witch and a mortal. This time the tale is narrated from the perspective of the noisy ...

Review “Tangles and Plaques” (Neo-Futurists): I remember I loved this show!

Wednesday, October 18, 2017 Permalink

The Neo-Futurists present TANGLES & PLAQUES. Neo-Futurists often take something hard to swallow and wrap it in candy coating. They give serious messages a whimsical makeover. Creator and performer Kirsten Riiber does just that in her new show. Artist by night and activity director at a nursing home by day, Riiber combines her passions in a ...

Review “The Invisible Hand” (Steep Theatre): Puts us in the room and lets the walls close in!

Monday, October 16, 2017 Permalink

Steep Theatre presents THE INVISIBLE HAND. An American banker kidnapped in Pakistan might be reported on CNN. It, at least, would likely be an article under international happenings in a newspaper. Details about the captivity, personal negotiations for survival, the pain, the panic, the tedium would be glossed over for the short factual blurb. The real ...

Review “Evening at The Talk House” (A Red Orchid Theatre): When theatre goes dark… forever!

Thursday, October 12, 2017 Permalink

A Red Orchid presents the Chicago premiere of EVENING AT THE TALK HOUSE. In typical A Red Orchid fashion, their current offering is thought-provoking, wacky entertainment. Playwright Wallace Shawn has penned an apocalyptic tale. The twist is his future could be a mere ten years away. Wallace carves out a reality where theatre is no longer ...