Posted inTheater Review

Putting the pieces together in First Folio’s The Jigsaw Bride

Playwright Joseph Zettelmaier has a history of taking largely forgotten, sometimes nameless characters and putting them in the dead center of the iconic tales they support. It’s a potentially grim business, digging up backstories (and futures) for (no)bodies the world only knows as incidental to someone else’s story. But anyone passingly familiar with the commercial/critical […]

Posted inTheater Review

Less is Moor in Court Theatre’s stripped-down Othello

Othello is usually viewed as “Shakespeare’s Race Play” and somewhat rightfully so—after all, the Bard almost never wrote Black characters. In our society race overshadows everything, so much so that much discourse around Othello tends to obstinately revolve around whether or not the play is “racist”—as if an inanimate object were able to take offense […]

Posted inTheater Review

Poe finds a Pleasant Home in Oak Park

Given the choice of presenting an evening of Edgar Allan Poe’s better known stories and poetry (“The Tell-Tale Heart,” “Annabel Lee,” “The Raven”) and writing a play about the tormented alcoholic author and his obsessive pre- and post-mortem love for his first cousin/child bride Virginia, David Rice did both, weaving together dramatic readings of Poe’s […]

Posted inGhost Light

Chita Rivera lights up the stage for Porchlight

The word “icon” gets tossed around pretty liberally, with every eye-catching ensemble on the red carpet at awards shows declared an “iconic” look. But if anyone deserves that designation, it’s Chita Rivera. The 88-year-old theater legend is in town tomorrow night for Porchlight Music Theatre’s annual fundraising gala, where she’ll receive the company’s ICON Award […]

Posted inTheater Preview

Ghost trusters

It doesn’t matter where you are in Chicago. There are dead people somewhere in the ground below you. The millions of Indigenous peoples that flourished for millennia. The countless millions who trampled in next. And next. And next. All those bodies. All that energy. All those stories. Chicago is literally steeped in them. And in […]

Posted inDance

Home is where the heart is

Twenty months and one (ongoing) pandemic since their last performance at the Auditorium Theatre, their home of 20 years, the Joffrey Ballet launched its new tenure on the stage at the Lyric Opera House with a dazzlingly triumphant program of three new works by Chanel DaSilva, Nicolas Blanc, and Yoshihisa Arai and a classic by […]

Posted inTheater Review

Puppets and pandemic precautions clash in House of the Exquisite Corpse

After a long pandemic hiatus, it is once again demon puppet time at the Chopin Theatre, where Rough House Theater Company’s cabaret of ghouls returns for House of the Exquisite Corpse, a revamped, social-distanced take on its 2019 immersive play-slash-haunted-mansion Halloween special, The Silence in Harrow House. Co-artistic director Mike Oleon’s showcase spaces six puppet […]

Posted inTheater Preview

October ushers in bride of Frankenstein story at First Folio

Playwright Joseph Zettelmaier is a maker of monsters, a horror artist who retells classic tales with an emphasis on what makes these constructs human. First Folio Theatre, which has produced five of Zettelmaier’s plays in the past (including horror tales The Man-Beast, The Gravedigger, and Dr. Seward’s Dracula, along with two non-horror pieces, Salvage and […]