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 ...

Review “The Crucible” (Steppenwolf Theatre): Uncomfortably Reflects a Modern Day Insensibility

Steppenwolf Theatre for Young Adults presents THE CRUCIBLE. Playwright Arthur Miller's ode to the 1692 Salem witch trials has eery hints to contemporary issues. Although Miller debuted his play in 1953, loud whispers to 2017 madness are present. The story boils down to using religion to justify killing non-christians. In this case, it's a group of ...

Review “A View from the Bridge”: One Man’s Obsession!

Monday, October 2, 2017 Permalink

Goodman Theatre presents A VIEW FROM THE BRIDGE. Playwright Arthur Miller sets his love triangles on the 1950s Brooklyn docks. Eddie (played by the outstanding Ian Bedford) is overly-protective of his niece Catherine (played by Catherine Combs). When she starts dating Rodolpho (played by Daniel Abeles), Eddie is livid. His wife Beatrice (played by Andrus Nichols) ...

Review “The Taming of the Shrew” (Chicago Shakespeare Theater): WINNER!

Chicago Shakespeare Theater presents THE TAMING OF THE SHREW. Finally, a SHREW that is shrewd! Director Barbara Gaines has ingeniously placed Shakespeare's chauvinistic comedy into a female-defining moment in American history. Gaines creates a play within a play. It's 1919. A Chicago women's club is in final rehearsal for The Taming of the Shrew.  Inside and ...