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Latest Chicago Plays, Theatre Reviews, stage shows, Opera, Theater Tickets, music critiques, theatre articles, art beat

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Burning Bluebeard (2014) (Comments Off)

December 18, 2014 • Category: CURRENT SHOWS, Jacob Davis, MUST SEE, REVIEWS BY, Theatre Reviews

How does theatre tastefully memorialize its losses? That question haunted author Jay Torrence when he was writing Burning Bluebeard, which is about the December 30, 1903 fire at the Iroquois Theatre on Randolph Street in Chicago in which over 600 people died. It’s an amazing story, but The Ruffians and The Neo-Futurists are clown troupes. However, since the fire occurred during a performance of a pantomime, a humorous fairy tale for children, it’s a better fit than it first appears. Burning Bluebeard is now in its third annual run, and it’s a sad, frightening, and yet often delightful piece.

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The Clean House (Comments Off)

Her 2004 play, The Clean House, now produced by Remy Bumppo, is an excellent example of both her thematic interest and her playful, though not uproariously funny, imaginative style. It’s a work that resists logical analysis, instead making rhetorical gestures and sometimes heavy-handed emotional appeals. Audience members should go into it with patience to get the most out of it.


Anna Bolena (Comments Off)

Not produced at the Lyric Opera since 1985 when Joan Sutherland soared in Anna Bolena, this new production reaches the heights of the bel canto style (beautiful singing) with matching register and tonal quality of the voice to the emotional content of the words. Led by the powerful and stylistic soprano Sondra Radvanovsky as Ann and the smooth mezzo-soprano from Jamie Barton as Anna’s rival for the affections of King Henry, this melodic production of Donizetti’s Tudor-inspired 1830 opera is a major triumph for the Lyric!


Porgy and Bess at the Lyric Opera of Chicago (Comments Off)

It was one of those very special nights that can only in happen live, onstage. Over three thousand five hundred people gather to witness an ambitious and thoroughly beautiful production of Gershwin’s masterpiece, the American Folk Opera Porgy And Bess. For me, it was one of the most enjoyable nights I’ve ever spent in the theatre, just like the production of this wonder piece I saw in 2008. The Lyric Opera of Chicago’s second production of Porgy And Bess ranks among the finest opera I’ve seen to date!It is sheer perfection!


Panic On Cloud 9 - (Comments Off)

From the opening skit with the cast of misfits riding on a Greyhound bus to the barber shop routine to the Russian girl blachelorette party to the little girl slumber party, this revue has each of the six comics grinding out laughs at a manic pace. The physical gestures and timing of these talented performers makes a night out at Second City a fun event. Written and performed by the cast allows each to contribute and set up their special contribution to the seamless evening of comedy.


A Christmas Carol (Goodman)-2014 (Comments Off)

Unlike most reviewers, I’m new to Chicago and had never seen the Goodman’s A Christmas Carol before. Therefore, I can’t say how this production is different from the previous thirty-six years. But I can say it’s well-crafted in every regard, and sincerely tells Charles Dickens’s story as though it were only just written and not a yearly tradition.


It’s A Wonderful Life: 2014 Live at the Greenhouse Theatre (Comments Off)

 Based on the Frank Capra film and based on the short story“The Greatest Gift” by Philip Van Doren Stern Directed by Marty Higginbotham Produced by American Blues Theater At the Greenhouse Theatre It’s A Wonderful Life’s nostalgia still potent after 12 seasons as a radio play The folks at the American Blues Theater have been […]

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