These are Chicago Critics Must See shows. If you are only going to see one show let us recommend one of these great pieces of true Art!

MUST SEEREVIEWSTheatre ReviewsTom Williams

The Tin Woman

The Tin Woman is a work inspired by a true story, it’s a heartwarming comedy that is a smartly crafted blend of family drama, humor and hope. Joy (Erin Noel Grennan – the playwright’s sister) has had a heart transplant and during her recovery she is questioning her second chance in life. She is depressed because she can’t come to grips with why she was given another chance to live.

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MUST SEEREVIEWSTheatre ReviewsTom Williams

Something Rotten! 2017 National Tour

This set-up is more than simply a dazzling Broadway musical and a buddy comedy. It is a hhilarious spoof on classical theatre, Shakespeare, and is an amazing tribute to the history of Broaday musicals. Smart humor with puns, double-entendres and raw sexual references fuel the adventures of the lovable Bottom brothers played with empathy and truthful bu Rob McClure as Nick Bottom and the funny, sweet Nigel Bottom played with sincerety by Josh Grisetti. These brothers strive to mount a new work – a musical – to survive in the London of Shakespeare.

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The God of Isaac 2017

It is 1978 and the American Nazi Party is trying to march in Skokie, IL, a Chicago suburb with a large Jewish population including many Holocaust survivors. Issac meets Jewish Defense League and several untra-conservative Jewish leaders who remind him of his roots. Issac also starts to research his Jewish roots. The writer in him makes him do aggresive reasearch. This causes trouble in his marriage to Shelley, his shikes (non-Jewish) wife., played by Annabel Steven.

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MUST SEETheatre ReviewsTom Williams

The Nance

Besides being an authentic burlesque show with period perfect songs and raunchy humor, The Nance has a love story with NYC newcomer Ned (the winning Royen Kent) as the romantic lover of Chauncey. Anchored with several engeritic burlesque songs, dances and cornball humor, we experience the unique stage craft of the burlesque/vaudeville players who entertained a generation in the 20th century. Also woven into the show is the pursecution of gay men by the NYC cops at the behest of Republican, Mayor Fiorello H. LaGuardia. We witness how careful gays had to be when meeting others as well as how indirect the sexy shows had to be so as not to be closed by the mayor’s office.

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The Gin Game

Scrofano and Reeger — married thespians — are outstanding in their roles
and received a standing ovation. They follow in the footsteps of another
married pair of actors: Hume Cronin and Jessica Tandy whose Broadway
production, directed by Mike Nichols, deservedly won a Pulitzer Prize for
Drama in 1978 and was nominated for four Tony Awards. Others cast as the
sparring pair have included Charles Durning and Julie Harris; E.G.
Marshall and Maureen Stapleton, Dick Van Dyke and Mary Tyler Moore, and
James Earl Jones and Cecily Tyson.

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MUST SEEREVIEWSTheatre ReviewsTom Williams

The Bridges of Madison County

The Bridges of Madison County is the story of a Italian war bride, Francesca, who is saved from raveged Italy by an americal GI who marries her and takes he back to his farm in rural Iowa. Francesca and Bud (Bart Shatto) in 1965 have been married for 18 years and they have two children, Michael (Tanner Hake) and Carolyn (Brooke MacDougal) now teenagers. Bud is a good man despite being a bore-he is a typical farmer bent on raising his crops and providing for his family. Francesca loves him but she urns for more exciment in her life.

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MUST SEEREVIEWSTheatre ReviewsTom Williams

Ah, Wilderness! at the Goodman Theatre

We meet the Miller family – four children, the mother and father with an aunt and an uncle all surviving living together in an upper middle class Connecticut house. It is the 4th of July, 1906 in a time of pure innocence in America. The patriarch, Nat Miller (the commanding Randall Newsome) is a kind heart and understanding father while Essie (a winning Ora Jones) is the controlling old-fashion mother always looking out for her children. Sid Davis (Larry Bates) is Essie’s drunken brother who loves Lily Miller (the chaeming Kate Fry) Nat’s sister who refuses to marry Sid as long as he drinks.

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Johnny Johnson

Kurt Weill’s score has odes to his German operetta roots with a flavor of American motiffs such as marches, anthems and military themes. He even has a ‘Cowboy song’! We hear sweet ballads, cute toe-tapping melodies, darkly moody underscoring with mocking military drum rolls and military excess. Weill’s score is a masterpiece of anti-war agri-prop.

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