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HollywoodChicago.com Theater Reviews & Interviews

Theater Review: Chicago Lyric Opera’s Energetic ‘Romeo and Juliet’

CHICAGO – The familiar story of the “star crossed lovers” by William Shakespeare, “Romeo and Juliet,” has been given as many interpretations over the years as there are stars in the sky. The Lyric Opera of Chicago presents the operatic French version, with a bright and venerate staging.

Interview: Richard Cotovsky on Abbie Hoffman Fest, Directing & Final Days of Mary-Arrchie

Richard Cotovsky Abbie Hoffman

CHICAGO – In founding and being an artistic director of a theater company for over 30 years, Richard Cotovsky of Mary-Arrchie Co. has a few stories to tell. In Part Two of an interview with the “Godfather of Chicago Storefront Theater” Cotovsky talks about the annual Abbie Hoffman Died for our Sins Festival, and the various acts of producing memorable stage productions.

Theater Review: Mary-Arrchie Co. Goes Out Passionately With ‘American Buffalo’

American Buffalo

CHICAGO – The legacy of the classic Chicago storefront theater has been celebrated at the Mary-Arrchie Theater Company for over 30 years, so for their final piece of stage craft they’re going out with a proper and gritty production bang, “American Buffalo,” by David Mamet.

Interview: Kevin Hanna on The Artist’s Lab Staging of ‘The Cowboy and The Showgirl Cycle’

Cowboy and The Showgirl, The

CHICAGO – Chicago is a hotbed for new stage talent, and the growth of that creativity is generated in new theater works. The Artist’s Lab at Stage 773 is one such developmental program, and director Kevin Hanna is currently in residence to create a new three part musical production called “The Cowboy and the The Showgirl Cycle.” The first part will have its premiere at Stage 773 on February 11th, 2016 (details below).

Interview: Richard Cotovsky on ‘American Buffalo’ as Last Production

CHICAGO – The final curtain is coming for the theatre company known as “Mary-Arrchie.” The Northside Chicago Angel Island playhouse is opening its final production, “American Buffalo” by David Mamet, on January 28, 2016. It also features the company’s founder, Richard Cotovsky, the “Godfather of Storefront Theater.”

Theater Review: ‘Beautiful: The Carole King Musical’ is a Lifetime of Song-Filled Brilliance

CHICAGO – Carole King, from modest roots and beginnings, went on to become the most successful female songwriter of the last forty years of the 20th Century. So this “natural woman” was perfect for a musical overview of her life and great songs, in “Beautiful: The Carole King Musical.”

Theatre Review: David Arquette’s ‘Sherlock Holmes’ Cheapens Drama With Campy, Unfunny Comedy

CHICAGO – Different isn’t bad and might be great, but you’d better have an irrefutable reason to change what was never broken. Campy being the only word to accurately convey this alternate-reality version of Sherlock Holmes with an original script, writer Greg Kramer and director Andrew Shaver try too hard to be different without ever figuring out why.

Theater Review: We’ll Always Have Paris in ‘The Merry Widow’

CHICAGO – Standing up at the Lyric Opera house in Chicago is unusual before a show. But in this case, it was the night after a tragedy, and the operetta “The Merry Widow” – set in Paris, France, in 1905 – was about to unfold. The orchestra struck up La Marseillaise, a reminder that we’ll always have Paris.

Theater Review: Nothing Without a Company’s ‘Punk Punk’ Rocks

Punk Punk

CHICAGO – For theater that is audaciously in-the-now and generates a sparkle of life, there are few better storefront (garage, gothic gathering place) groups than “Nothing Without a Company.” Their latest, eclectic kick-in-the-head production is the intensely diverting and weirdly fun “Punk Punk.”

Theater Review: ‘Assassination Theater’ Digs Too Many Rabbit Holes

Assassination Theater

CHICAGO – There are two dates in modern American History that ring in the heads of certain generations. Of course, there is September 11th, 2001, but the granddaddy of that date is November 22nd, 1963. That is when an American president, John F. Kennedy, was shot point blank in the head and killed on the street of an American city. The official proclamation from the government is that a lone assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald, fired those shots. In a new Chicago play, “Assassination Theater,” subtitled “Chicago’s Role in the Crime of the Century,” the jury is still decidedly out.

Theater Review: Revival of ‘Pippin’ Still Has Magic to Do

CHICAGO – It is the simple, timeless stories that work best when they are mounted again on Broadway, and the musical “Pippin” stays true to that assertion. Taking the concepts and the songs from a play that debuted in 1972, and featuring one of those original cast members in a key role, the National Touring revival of “Pippin” is being performed in Chicago at the Cadillac Theatre until August 9th, 2015.

Red-Carpet Video Interviews: Gloria Estefan’s Broadway Musical ‘On Your Feet!’

CHICAGO – HollywoodChicago.com presents our video coverage of the pre-Broadway premiere of the new musical “On Your Feet!” from Gloria Estefan and Emilio Estefan on June 17, 2015 at the Oriental Theatre in Chicago.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Transformers 5 front

    CHICAGO – Knock me over with a feather kids, but I enjoyed “Transformers: The Last Knight.” Maybe it was in comparison to the others or maybe director Michael Bay has beaten me into submission, but this one had the right story elements and casting to make it work, with exceptions of course. It’s goofiness is its charm, and it was released on Blu-Ray/DVD on September 26th, 2017 (Digital HD already available).

  • Wonder Woman

    CHICAGO – There are few films in 2017 that are as historically important as they are cinematically well-crafted. Of those, there is only one I saw three times in theaters. That honor comes in the form of the revolutionary “Wonder Woman,” which not only shows huge promise for the future of DC Comics films but for comic book-based films as a whole.

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