Love is pain: Gruesome Playground Injuries
  • Tyler Core
  • Love is pain: Gruesome Playground Injuries

The shows we’ve reviewed this week run the gamut from wholesome goodness to rather more wicked affairs.

The angel on your shoulder will likely tell you to see Crowns, which rings with gospel glory. Based on a coffee-table book about African-American church ladies and their all-but-sacred go-to-meeting hats, Regina Taylor’s musical first played Goodman Theatre in 2004; it returns now with new material. Reader critic Zac Thompson says great singing and incredible headwear make up for the fact that most of the characters are interchangeable.

Julie Ganey is on the side of the angels, too. Her 60-minute autobiographical monologue, Love Thy Neighbor . . . Till it Hurts, asks why oh why we can’t all just get along. And then there’s Beauty and the Beast at the Chicago Shakespeare Theater. Jack Helbig praises it as a pitch-perfect, family-friendly pleasure—at least, for those families who like high-gloss Disney musicals.

The devil on your other shoulder will more likely point you in the direction of the Windy City Burlesque Festival. Expect tassels to twirl, eyebrows to rise, and wardrobes to strategically malfunction in this weekend-long event at Stage 773.