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HollywoodChicago.com Theater Reviews & Interviews

Theater Review: A Star Blazes in ‘Marilyn Monroe, Whoever You Are’

CHICAGO – The many sides of the mega film legend Marilyn Monroe was like a prism in an ever-changing kaleidoscope. Yet somehow actor and playwright Amber Hargroder was able to capture Monroe’s essence in a one woman show.

Theater Review: Passionate ‘Hit the Wall’ Feels Like Revolution

Hit the Wall

CHICAGO – There are few civil rights events shrouded in mystery like the Stonewall Inn Riots – a June night in 1969 in New York City, when gay liberation was born. Witnesses and participants in the riots have grown exponentially over the years (“I was there.”) and the who, what and how the riots began have also been in dispute as time goes by. All of that perspective is realized in Ike Holter’s incendiary stage play “Hit the Wall,” presented by the Chicago Commercial Collective at the Greenhouse Theater in Chicago.

Theater Review: Dark Souls Congregate in UrbanTheater Company’s ‘Devil Land’

UrbanTheaterChicago logo

CHICAGO – Insanity is often a shared phenomenon. One family member can drive another family member over the brink, an incident can break collective spirits and indulgence in religion can alter perspectives. All the bleak darkness of these mental incapacities are on display in the Midwest Premiere of the UrbanTheater Company stage production of “Devil Land.”

Theater Review: Mary-Arrchie Theatre Serves ‘Crime and Punishment’

CHICAGO – The epic Russian novel by Fyodor Dostoyevsky, “Crime and Punishment,” gets a condensing by Mary-Arrchie Theatre Company, as the morality in the book is rendered into a palatable 95 minute stage version, directed by theatre founder and Artistic Director Richard Cotovsky.

Theatre Review: Marriott’s Too-Clean ‘Cabaret’ Conservatively Mutes Much-Needed Vulgarity

CHICAGO – It’s “Cabaret” for god’s sake. It’s not “Bambi”. You’re supposed to need to leave the kids at home watching their own Disney flick. You don’t go to McDonald’s to eat healthy just like you don’t go to “Cabaret” for good clean fun.

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.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • We're Gonna Be Okay

    CHICAGO – The 1960s were a time of historical social transition. The movements – civil rights, feminist, gay rights – all had roots in that tumultuous decade. The Chicago premiere of Basil Kreimendahl’s “We’re Gonna Be Okay” echoes all of those movements in its characters, and collides them against the October 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis. The show has a Thursday-Sunday run at the American Theater Company through March 4th, 2018. Click here for more details, including ticket information.

  • Remember Me, Rita Moreno

    CHICAGO – Academy Award winner (in 1962!) Rita Moreno is in the midst of a big media comeback. The 86 year-old actress, who famously portrayed Anita in that Oscar-winning role in “West Side Story,” is in her second season of the “One Day at a Time” reboot on Netflix, and is featured in the indie film “Remember Me,” available now for download and Video On Demand.

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