As a first-time viewer of Pump Boys & Dinettes, a nearly 40-year-old musical that showcases the depth and breadth of Black acting, musicianship, and choreography, I was surprised (though I shouldn’t have been) to learn that Porchlight Music Theatre’s racially diverse casting was the exception, not the norm. Under the direction of Black Ensemble Theater […]
Author Archives: Marissa Oberlander
Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog hams it up for a good cause
As the lights come up on this three-act show (full disclosure, my first live theater since COVID-19), Dr. Horrible’s maniacal laugh brings to life the demented claustrophobia we’ve all been feeling for the last year and a half. Played by a charmingly pathetic Kevin Webb, Dr. Horrible is the worst kind of Internet troll—a lonely […]
The Saints are marching in to fall performances
Tearing Lady Gaga’s ticket. Seeing a tenor dropped in Tosca. Grooving to Mavis Staples from the rafters. These are the magical moments that happen with live performance. They are also just another Tuesday night for The Saints, the quiet backbone of Chicago theater that’s never stopped working, lockdown be damned. The Saints is the only […]
Cuddling with Popcorn the chicken
A poultry version of the human-animal connection brings mindfulness and joy
Mlima’s Tale traces the illegal ivory trade
The tragedy of a single elephant’s death has universal implications in Griffin’s production.
A new adaptation brings contemporary verve to A Doll’s House
Two standout performances anchor Raven’s production of the Ibsen classic.
The Adult in the Room doesn’t do full justice to Nancy Pelosi
Orlagh Cassidy centers this one-woman show, but the script needs more depth.
Filament Theatre’s Forts! builds adventures, agency, and awareness
Kids and families are in charge at this Portage Park theater
Bunny’s Book Club illustrates the love of a good story
Lifeline Theatre KidSeries brings children and animals together for a family-friendly yarn.
Bette: Xmas at the Continental Baths features hot pipes, but tepid banter
Hell in a Handbag’s Midler revue is middling.
Six degrees of Abby McEnany
How a network of local creatives brought a queer, authentically Chicago story to Showtime.
Rutherford and Son is Succession without the sex, drugs, and rock ’n’ roll
Githa Sowerby’s long-neglected drama has a strong cast at TimeLine, but drags at times.
Laura and the Sea examines our working relationships
A coworker’s suicide leads to soul-searching in Kate Tarker’s darkly comic meditation.
The Other Cinderella turns Black Ensemble Theater into a magic kingdom
Forty-three years after its first production, Jackie Taylor’s African American adaptation still enchants and empowers.
Who Killed Joan Crawford? mixes camp and mystery
Delicious acerbic drag performances spice up this whodunit.