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HollywoodChicago.com Theater Reviews & Interviews

Theatre Review: ‘The Phantom of the Opera’ Returns With Ingénue Julia Udine, Enigmatic Cooper Grodin

The Phantom of the Opera at the Cadillac Palace

CHICAGO – The Phantom in one word? An enigma. But he’s so much more. He’s lonely, desperately in love, a musical genius, misunderstood, vengeful, afraid and angry at a world that was so cruel to him. His shining beacon out of the darkness is his music – and falling for Christine. But The Phantom has to try to force her to feel the same way. He doesn’t want your pity. He just wants to be musical, loved and understood.

Theater Review: Lookingglass Brings to Life Beloved Book ‘The Little Prince’

CHICAGO – I’m not sure if Gene Roddenberry ever read Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s 1943 French novella, but even before “Star Trek” first aired in 1966, kids everywhere since 1943 recall one of the first space explorers to voyage where no boy has gone before: “The Little Prince”.

Theater Review: Holiday Cheer Runneth Over in ‘We 3 Lizas’

We 3 Lizas

CHICAGO – What is the remedy for the holiday blues? How about a dose of “Liza with a ‘Z’!” The sparkling and funny “We Three Lizas” is back for the holiday season from About Face Theatre of Chicago, just in time for the lights and tinsel. Danielle Plisz, Mark David Kaplan and Bethany Thomas play the three title Liza Minellis, with a deft direction by Scott Ferguson.

Theater Review: Bard & Fool’s ‘Adult Entertainment’ is Superb Hilarity

Adult Entertainment

CHICAGO – Regarding the civilizing effect of literary art, could it even affect a group of porn actors? “Adult Entertainment,” a hilarious comedy/drama written by the essential Elaine May, answers that question in its Chicago debut by the Bard & Fool Theater Group, at The Apollo Theater Studio space on Lincoln Avenue.

Theater Review: Reality is Analyzed in Passionate New Play ‘Loom’

Loom

CHICAGO – Storefront theater is the lifeblood of new works in Chicago, and it is often where a performance of true fire can be found. The new play “Loom,” presented by the theater group “Nothing Without a Company,” is a prime case-in-point, advancing a passionate new voice for the stage.

Theater Review: Mary-Arrchie Theatre’s ‘Superior Donuts’ is Authentic Chicago

CHICAGO – The characters of “Superior Donuts” – as brilliantly interpreted by the cast in this production at the Mary-Arrchie Theatre – feel as though they’ve stepped from a Chicago neighborhood and began to perform their lives in the theater.

Blu-ray Review: Stunning Production of ‘The Phantom of the Opera at the Royal Albert Hall’

The Phantom of the Opera

CHICAGO – We’re going to give you a number of HD choices in the next 36 hours for your Valentine’s Day sweetie. Some will be obvious (“Love Story,” “The Lady and the Tramp,” “The Twilight Saga, Breaking Dawn — Part 1”) and others will be less so. One that might fall in the latter category but would make for a lovely Hallmark holiday evening is the stunning Blu-ray release of the 25th anniversary show of “The Phantom of the Opera” at Royal Albert Hall. With incredible production values and amazing performances, this Blu-ray is a perfect gift for fans of the longest-running Broadway show of all time.

Theater Review: Evocative ‘For the Boys’ Must Blend Disconnected Song With Rich Story

CHICAGO – Musical theater takes on the burden or blessing of twice the challenge as songless theater. To earn widespread acclaim and timeless durability, a show will seamlessly balance song and story in perfect harmony. The two living, breathing creatures must symbiotically advance each other. If one’s stronger, one suffocates the other and both die.

Theater News: Smash-Hit ‘The Book of Mormon’ Coming to Chicago in 2012

The Book of Mormon

CHICAGO – The biggest and most talked about musical to hit Broadway in years will have a mission in Chicago come December 2012. “The Book of Mormon,” winner of 9 Tony Awards this year including Best Musical, will be coming to the Bank of America Theater in downtown Chicago for at least a 12 week run.

Theater Review: Drury Lane’s ‘Sweeney Todd’ Deals Deftly With Demonic Passenger

CHICAGO – In Chicago’s continuing trend of borrowing from Broadway high-accolade actors rather than drawing upon the profusion of genius in our own backyard, at least now-Broadway star and New York local Gregg Edelman is a Chicago native. And the TV voice of the peanut M&M.

Theater Review: Real Chicago in Timeline Theatre’s ‘The Front Page’

The Front Page, Timeline Theatre

CHICAGO – The popular image of the newspaper reporter screaming into the phone with a hot scoop most likely began with the popular and oft-produced stageplay, “The Front Page.” Timeline Theatre of Chicago presents an essential restaging of the classic with superior attention to period detail.

Theater Feature: Casts of ‘Hair,’ ‘Million Dollar Quartet’ Benefit Marriage Equality

Be-In for Marriage Equality

CHICAGO – The casts of two current theater spectaculars in Chicago lent their talents to benefit Marriage Equality in the United States. The “Be-In for Marriage Equality” took place on March 14, 2011, and featured performers from the road show Broadway version of “Hair” and the current cast of “Million Dollar Quartet.”

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • Positively Present: An Uplifting Cabaret

    CHICAGO – When faced with adversity, the best way around it is to somehow break into song. That is the feeling behind the Brown Paper Box Co.’s “Positively Present: An Uplifting Cabaret,” running April 7th and 8th at Mary’s Attic in Chicago’s Andersonville neighborhood. The event features company member Kristi Szczepanek as host, and presents song stylings by other company members, including Anna Schutz, plus some special guests. For details and ticket information, click here.

  • Kid Thing, The

    CHICAGO – Like the awesome Engine Who Could, the mighty Nothing Without a Company stage crafters have constructed another triumph at their new home in Berger Mansion on Chicago’s north side. “The Kid Thing” – written by Sarah Gubbins – is a terse, convincing and emotional play about fear, identity and breeding, and it is performed by its cast of five with utter authenticity. The show has a Thursday-Sunday run at the Berger North Mansion through April 15th, 2017. Click here for more details, including ticket information.

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