Review “Beautiful The Carole King Musical” (Broadway in Chicago): STILL Beautiful!

Thursday, December 7, 2017 Permalink

Broadway in Chicago and Producers Paul Blake and Sony/ATV Publishing present a limited eight-week engagement of BEAUTIFUL -THE CAROLE KING MUSICAL. I love this show. When I saw it two years ago( My 2015 Review ), I was blown away by the depth of Carole King's impact on music. Aside from her own Grammy Award-winning albums, King was ...

Review “Pine”: Pretty Damn Clever!

Sunday, December 3, 2017 Permalink

The U.S.A. premiere of PINE is at Uncommon Ground Edgewater for a limited holiday engagement. After seeing PINE at the Hampstead Theatre in London in January 2016, Director Arianna Soloway was inspired to bring it to Chicago. Soloway cleverly presents the play outdoors in a Christmas tree lot at Uncommon Ground Edgewater. The makeshift theatre has ...

Review “The Minutes” (Steppenwolf Theatre): Our Worst Political Nightmare

Thursday, November 30, 2017 Permalink

Steppenwolf Theatre presents the World Premiere of THE MINUTES. My world turned upside-down with last year's election. Every day since then has introduced political buffoonery that has me in a constant state of duress. I walk around dazed to the ongoing daily attacks on truth and decency. Award-winning Playwright Tracy Letts illustrates my 2017 nightmare. He ...

Review “Lizzie” (Firebrand Theatre): Killer Rock Opera Slays!

Tuesday, November 28, 2017 Permalink

Firebrand Theatre presents its inaugural production, the Chicago Premiere of LIZZIE. Artistic Director and Founder Harmony France debuts her new theatre company with a killer rock opera. The creative team of Steven Cheslik-deMeyer (concept, music, lyrics), Alan Stevens Hewitt (music, additional lyrics) and Tim Maner (concept, book, additional music) tell the story of the brutal Borden ...

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 ...