Review: GOOD NIGHT, OSCAR at Goodman Theatre 

Review: GOOD NIGHT, OSCAR at Goodman Theatre 

Doug Wright’s GOOD NIGHT, OSCAR, now in its world premiere production at Goodman Theatre, is an engaging play that brings the story of one infamous night in the life of Oscar Levant to the stage. As the drug-addicted and depressed Oscar, Sean Hayes (perhaps best known for his role on WILL AND GRACE) gives a magnetic performance that reflects the man’s immense capacity for humor and his musical genius but also his deep insecurities. While Wright’s script doesn’t necessarily wade into new waters in terms of set up and the unfolding of the play’s events, Hayes’s central performance is a magnificent character study. Hayes is every bit as compelling a stage performer as one might expect, and GOOD NIGHT, OSCAR affords him the opportunity to showcase his formidable talents in some familiar and surprising ways. 

Continue reading “Review: GOOD NIGHT, OSCAR at Goodman Theatre “
<strong>Review: WHITE at Definition Theatre Company</strong>

Review: WHITE at Definition Theatre Company

WHITE is a sharp and genuinely funny critique of the modern art world, the subjectivity of contemporary art, and the question of who should be represented and who has access to the upper echelons of said art world. 

Continue reading Review: WHITE at Definition Theatre Company
Review: KING JAMES at Steppenwolf Theatre Company

Review: KING JAMES at Steppenwolf Theatre Company

KING JAMES is a platonic male love story — and Rajiv Joseph’s world premiere play at Steppenwolf is one slam dunk of a bromance. 

Continue reading “Review: KING JAMES at Steppenwolf Theatre Company”
HADESTOWN National Tour Presented by Broadway In Chicago

HADESTOWN National Tour Presented by Broadway In Chicago

HADESTOWN takes audiences on a wild and original ride into Hades’s underworld. With music, lyrics, and book by Anaïs Mitchell, HADESTOWN combines the Greek myths of the ill-fated lovers Orpheus and Eurydice, along with that of Hades and Persephone, lord of the underworld and his beloved wife who spends half of each year on earth and half underground — thus causing the seasons. Mitchell’s score and lyrics likewise draw on a variety of musical influences, incorporating New Orleans style jazz, folk, and pop Broadway sounds. The more jazz influenced numbers form the heart of HADESTOWN; they’re the most distinctive, inventive, and lively. 

Continue reading “HADESTOWN National Tour Presented by Broadway In Chicago”
Review: COME FROM AWAY National Tour Presented by Broadway In Chicago

Review: COME FROM AWAY National Tour Presented by Broadway In Chicago

The current national tour of Irene Sankoff and David Hein’s COME FROM AWAY features an ensemble of twelve actors that bring the musical to blazing life; every emotional moment feels raw and real. Based upon the true story of the 7,000 diverted passengers who land in the small town of Gander, Newfoundland on 9/11, the musical calls upon the ensemble to embody both Gander’s residents and the stranded passengers. 

Continue reading “Review: COME FROM AWAY National Tour Presented by Broadway In Chicago”
Review: THE NOTEBOOKS OF LEONARDO DA VINCI at Goodman Theatre

Review: THE NOTEBOOKS OF LEONARDO DA VINCI at Goodman Theatre

Rarely do I see theater that feels truly unique, but Mary Zimmerman’s THE NOTEBOOKS OF LEONARDO DA VINCI at Goodman Theater is indeed unlike any other piece of theater. Zimmerman first mounted this production at the Goodman for the first time 29 years ago and now it returns — along with cast member Christopher Donahue, who appeared in that 1993 staging. 

Continue reading “Review: THE NOTEBOOKS OF LEONARDO DA VINCI at Goodman Theatre”
Review: TEATRO ZINZANNI’s WISHES & DREAMS Presented by Broadway in Chicago

Review: TEATRO ZINZANNI’s WISHES & DREAMS Presented by Broadway in Chicago

TEATRO ZINZANNI has a new show at the Spiegeltent ZaZou in the Loop, and it’s the best edition of this circus cabaret dinner theater yet.

Continue reading “Review: TEATRO ZINZANNI’s WISHES & DREAMS Presented by Broadway in Chicago”
Review: BLUES IN THE NIGHT at Porchlight Music Theatre

Review: BLUES IN THE NIGHT at Porchlight Music Theatre

BLUES IN THE NIGHT is a quintessential Porchlight production that will have audiences feeling the opposite of the blues. 

Continue reading “Review: BLUES IN THE NIGHT at Porchlight Music Theatre”
Review: QUEEN OF THE NIGHT at Victory Gardens Theater

Review: QUEEN OF THE NIGHT at Victory Gardens Theater

Victory Gardens Artistic Director Ken-Matt Martin ushers in a new age for the company with a play that trods familiar territory. travis tate’s QUEEN OF THE NIGHT introduces a father and son duo who find themselves at a crossroads on a camping trip. tate’s script contains several references to incidents in Stephen (André Teamer) and Ty’s (Terry Guest) past, but the conversation often steers around topics rather than right into them. It’s evident that Stephen has struggled with his son’s identity as a Black, queer man in the past, and it’s also evident that Stephen had a falling out with Ty’s older brother, Marshall (who remains unseen). While tate’s dialogue isn’t really grounded in realism, the realism comes through in the sense that the characters talk around their issues and never arrive at the root of their familial tension. 

Continue reading “Review: QUEEN OF THE NIGHT at Victory Gardens Theater”
Review: WOMEN OF SOUL at Mercury Theater Chicago

Review: WOMEN OF SOUL at Mercury Theater Chicago

Mercury Theater’s WOMEN OF SOUL is a love letter to some of the most iconic female vocalists of the 20th and 21st centuries, both old-school and new-school. Writer and director Daryl D. Brooks’s musical revue incorporates a wide range of icons featuring an ensemble of nine (eight women and one man). Brooks’s book honors the true nature of the revue — WOMEN OF SOUL does not have a plot. Rather, ensemble members take turns introducing the show’s powerhouses with a few biographical facts before one of their counterparts tears into a solo number or medley of greatest hits. 

Continue reading “Review: WOMEN OF SOUL at Mercury Theater Chicago”