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HollywoodChicago.com Theater Reviews & Interviews

Raven Theatre’s ‘Laughter on the 23rd Floor’ Serves Justice to Neil Simon Masterpiece

Laughter on the 23rd Floor at the Raven Theatre in Chicago
HollywoodChicago.com Comedy/Tragedy Rating: 3.5/5.0
Rating: 3.5/5.0

CHICAGO – Part slapstick and part Henny Youngman-style one-liner schtick, “Laughter on the 23rd Floor” is a classic American comedy that still rings funny no matter how many times you’ve seen it.

New Millennium Theatre’s ‘Villains’ Scores Originality With Anti-Hero Plotline

New Millennium Theatre's Chicago production of Villains (3)
HollywoodChicago.com Comedy/Tragedy Rating: 3.0/5.0
Rating: 3.0/5.0

CHICAGO – In an unrevealed abandoned warehouse in the seedy underbelly of Chicago’s north side that is the Uptown neighborhood, a group of super villains met last Saturday night to plot and scheme their next attack against law-abiding society.

‘Avenue Q’ Bases Musical Self on ‘Cheap Laugh is Better Than No Laugh’ Adage

Avenue Q in Chicago
HollywoodChicago.com Comedy/Tragedy Rating: 2.5/5.0
Rating: 2.5/5.0

CHICAGO – In the tradition of recent Broadway productions where touristy and crowd-pleasing scenery reigns over any type of theater substance, along comes the 2004 Tony Award-winning best musical “Avenue Q,” which is now in a touring version at the Cadillac Palace Theatre in Chicago.

‘The Mark of Zorro’ Nails Swordsman, Markedly Complicates Cast, Botches Dialect

The Mark of Zorro at the Lifeline Theatre in Chicago
HollywoodChicago.com Comedy/Tragedy Rating: 2.5/5.0
Rating: 2.5/5.0

CHICAGO – Sometimes less, of course, is more. Live theater often knows that better than anyone. That’s exactly the shrill reminder Chicago’s Lifeline Theatre needed in Katie McLean’s adaptation of the beloved Zorro book by Johnston McCulley.

Chicago’s ‘Shout! The Mod Musical’ an Infectiously Groovilicious, Estrogen-Only Stew

Shout! The Mod Musical

CHICAGO – Meg Ryan, eat your heart out. Since “When Harry Met Sally,” the salacious Danielle Plisz as Green Girl in “Shout! The Mod Musical” takes Ryan’s infamous restaurant eruption to a whole new level on stage.

Chicago’s Political Machine Runs Relatively Swimmingly in Strawdog Theatre’s ‘Old Town’

Old Town at the Strawdog Theatre

CHICAGO – As a testament to its set design, it wasn’t immediately clear if certain structures were naturally part of the Strawdog Theatre space or if they were fabricated specifically for the “Old Town” production.

Pie Maker, Loony Boy Steal Rightful Spotlight From Sweeney Todd in Chicago Musical

The musical Sweeney Todd: The Demon Baber of Fleet Street

CHICAGO – While Johnny Depp’s portrayal of the demon barber of Fleet Street in the 2007 film iteration sells you on his fiendish ways, actor and singer David Hess in the musical bobbles more in purgatory rather than living hysterically in hell.

Neil LaBute’s ‘In a Dark Dark House’ Unearths Long-Buried Skeletons in Three-Person Play

darkdarkhouse.jpg

CHICAGO – It’s not in calm seas but within torrential rains when we lay bare our true colors. Lauded playwright Neil LaBute was fixated on testing these human limits and exploring our different styles of conflict resolution when he minted the three-person play “In a Dark Dark House”.

Chicago’s ‘Brontë’ Masterfully Resurrects Three of Planet’s Most Examined Scribes of All Time

Susan Shunk (as Charlotte Brontё), Carrie A. Coon (as Emily Brontё) and Patrick Clear (as Patrick Brontё) in "Brontё"

CHICAGO – Three of the planet’s most examined scribes of all time – a trio of Victorian spinsters, in fact, who are credited with some of the most passionate literature ever written – are resurrected in the meticulous Chicago production of “Brontë” from illustrious playwright Polly Teale.

Top Chicago Theater Picks For March 27, 2008: ‘Driving Miss Daisy,’ ‘Dead Man’s Cell Phone,’ ‘Bronte’

Driving Miss Daisy at the Mayslake Peabody Estate

CHICAGOFree or half-price Chicago theater and comedy tickets. No catch. Just click the link, take just a moment to make a free Goldstar account (or log into your existing Goldstar account) and you’re on your way.

‘Ceres’ a High-Octane Probe Into Chicago’s Slippery Investment Banker Slope

Ceres at the Prop Thtr by The Factory Theater troupe

CHICAGO – Tucked surreptitiously at the way-way-way-off-Loop location of the Prop Thtr – Chicago’s oldest-surviving non-equity theater in the area – the signature that is “Ceres” is its high-octane energy. The cast act in harmony much in the same way as the “X-Men” character Juggernaut: once their momentum is synthesized, it can’t be stopped.

Ray Bradbury’s ‘The Martian Chronicles’ Inventively Come to Life in Chicago Church Theater

The Martian Chronicles

CHICAGO – There was opportunity aplenty for director Kristina Schramm to miss this mark and leave theatergoers with acidic resentment. Tasked with the tall order of bringing to life Ray Bradbury’s classic anthology “The Martian Chronicles,” though, she wasn’t bested by the oddity of the undertaking.

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  • 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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