Month: November 2021

Review: FROZEN National Tour Presented by Broadway In Chicago

Review: FROZEN National Tour Presented by Broadway In Chicago

Queen Elsa has arrived in Chicago to “Let It Go” — and that famous song from the original FROZEN film now serves as the act one finale for Disney’s latest musical theater magic. Elsa (Caroline Bowman, belting within an inch of her life) sings the powerhouse number as an ice castle swirls around her in Christopher Oram’s set with lighting awash in Natasha Katz’s cool-tone color scheme and projections from Finn Ross. While the moment is a delight, the most spectacular moment comes from Elsa’s quick costume change — Oram also designed the costumes, and that’s the real moment of magic here. 

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3 Sensible Takeaways from Porchlight Revisits NUNSENSE

3 Sensible Takeaways from Porchlight Revisits NUNSENSE

Dan Goggins’s 1985 absurd and laugh-out-loud funny musical comedy NUNSENSE kicked off the eighth season of Porchlight Revisits. Here are three key takeaways from my viewing of this intentionally nonsensical musical comedy.

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Review: PARADISE SQUARE Pre-Broadway Production

Review: PARADISE SQUARE Pre-Broadway Production

PARADISE SQUARE takes the theme of the proverbial American melting pot deeply to heart. The musical centers on the lower Manhattan neighborhood of Five Points  in the 1860s, where many white Irish immigrants and free Black Americans lived together. Though the show’s narrator, Paradise Square saloon owner Nelly O’Brien, tells audiences that Five Points was notorious for being a slum, she also makes clear that the neighborhood’s inhabitants enjoyed deep friendships and romantic relationships. 

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Review: SISTER ACT at Mercury Theater Chicago

Review: SISTER ACT at Mercury Theater Chicago

Mercury Theater Chicago returns with SISTER ACT — and it’s pure musical theater elation. This “Joyful, Joyful” (SISTER ACT II reference intended) production, with direction from Reneisha Jenkins and choreography by Mercury’s new Artistic Director Christopher Chase Carter, meets the goal of delighting audiences. This is musical theater that’s designed to entertain and not make audiences think too deeply, and Mercury’s production capitalizes on the show’s capacity for fun. While the material is not at all serious, the talent in this company is stacked, and the actors take their responsibility to deliver this fun seriously. 

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Review: PUMP BOYS & DINETTES at Porchlight Music Theatre

Review: PUMP BOYS & DINETTES at Porchlight Music Theatre

After the long pandemic hiatus, Porchlight Music Theatre returns to in-person productions with a feel-good staging of PUMP BOYS & DINETTES. It’s clear that Artistic Director Michael Weber knew that audiences would be craving some classic, lighthearted musical theater sentiment after such a long time away. He was wise to program director Daryl Brooks’s production of this 1983 show as a welcome back. 

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