Posted inTheater Review

Hothouse Shakespeare

Midsommer Flight’s production of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night is back at the Lincoln Park Conservatory, this time with an immersive “choose-your-own-path” twist. It’s an exciting concept that could use some workshopping given the uniqueness of the greenhouse space and the inherent challenges already present in performing Shakespeare in a way that’s relatable and easy to follow […]

Posted inTheater Review

Knuffle kerfuffle

Mo Willems’s 2004 picture book, Knuffle Bunny, spawned a series of spin-offs, including this musical by Willems and Michael Silversher, which marks the inaugural production of Young People’s Theatre of Chicago under founder Randy White’s direction. Trixie (Aissa Guerra), a toddler who hasn’t quite learned to talk in recognizable English (but sure knows how to […]

Posted inTheater Review

Joan-sing for the holidays

Hell in a Handbag Productions’ campy spoof of A Christmas Carol replaces miserly moneylender Ebenezer Scrooge with hard-hearted Hollywood icon Joan Crawford, played by author (and Hell in a Handbag artistic director) David Cerda. In Cerda’s reworking of Charles Dickens’s behavior-modification fable, Joan—a tyrannical, tough-as-nails diva who abuses everyone around her, including her loyal personal […]

Posted inTheater Review

Cindy Lou Who is all grown up

Christopher Pazdernik directs Matthew Lombardo’s 2017 grown-ups-only update of Dr. Seuss’s yuletide classic, How the Grinch Stole Christmas. On the outskirts of Whoville, in a modest but homey trailer, a very adult Cindy Lou Who recounts her meet-cute with the Grinch and the resulting fallout. Who’s Holiday! Through 12/26: see website for full schedule, Theater […]

Posted inArts & Culture

A Kate Bush catharsis

For music fans starved of live performances over the first year of the pandemic, the return to in-person shows earlier this year was a blessing, a small sense of normalcy amid a still-steady battle with the coronavirus. Despite the many additional challenges thrown up by playing through a pandemic, fans and musicians alike have eagerly […]

Posted inTheater Review

Too much of a good thing

Inspired by the real-life onstage/offstage marital drama of the husband-and-wife acting team, Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne, this Tony Award-winning 1948 musical features an engaging book by Sam and Bella Spewack and a score packed with iconic Cole Porter earworms—among them “Why Can’t You Behave,” “Always True to You (In My Fashion),” and “Too Darn […]

Posted inPerforming Arts Feature

Remembering Matt Rieger: ‘a good egg for the ages’

Editor’s Note: Matt Rieger, managing director and ensemble member of the Curious Theatre Branch, died on October 27 at 50, following a recent cancer diagnosis. Rieger’s death led to an outpouring of tributes on social media, reminding many of how instrumental he had been in many roles onstage and off over his years as a […]

Posted inArts & Culture

The scene report from space

Elaborate hologram displays. A satellite planet. A mysterious deity. On the surface, Lane Milburn’s rollicking sci-fi graphic novel Lure doesn’t have much to do with Chicago. But Milburn drew inspiration from his old neighborhood, his punk band, his friends, and his near-decade living in the city. Lure takes place on an alternate earth, orbited by […]