Posted inTheater Review

Disney delight

The stages at Chicago Shakespeare Theater are accustomed to classic tales of daring sword fights, magic spells, and a prince in disguise—just the kinds of stories that Belle loves to read. Although Navy Pier is far from Belle’s French provincial town, CST’s production of the Disney favorite Beauty and the Beast roars to life nonetheless. […]

Posted inTheater Review

Silly swan song

Barbara Gaines started her tenure as artistic director for Chicago Shakespeare Theater (then called Chicago Shakespeare Workshop) in 1986 by staging Henry V on the rooftop of the Red Lion Pub. She’s closing it out with a production of The Comedy of Errors that contains a sly homage to that debut in the form of […]

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Dead romantics

Every time I hear someone describe Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights as a “romance,” I die a little inside. It’s a portrait of dysfunction, abuse, codependency, and revenge. Which, sure, I guess is romantic in its own way, but c’mon: Heathcliff and Catherine are the Sid and Nancy of the moors. (Maybe too many people got […]

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You say you want a revolution?

When it comes to bold and audacious stagings of Measure for Measure (for my money, the most unpleasant of Shakespeare’s “problem plays”), it’s hard to top Robert Falls’s dark take-no-prisoners 2013 production at the Goodman, which reimagined Vienna as Times Square, circa the late 1970s. (Think David Simon’s The Deuce on HBO.) But Henry Godinez’s […]

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As teardrops fall

If you’re a fan of The Notebook—either the romantically waterlogged, sugary-sentimental 2004 movie or the Nicholas Sparks novel that prompted it—you’ll probably be swept away by the musical, directed by Michael Greif and Schele Williams and getting a pre-Broadway run at Chicago Shakespeare.  The love story between rich girl Allie and working-class Noah spans decades, […]

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Out of this world fun

Last year, Chicago Shakespeare offered We Are Out There, a digital sneak peek of Joe Kinosian and Kellen Blair’s goofy musical adaptation of the 1953 Universal Pictures sci-fi film, It Came From Outer Space, which was itself based on an original story by Ray Bradbury. Now it’s finally onstage at Chicago Shakes’s cozy upstairs studio […]

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He’s just not that into you

Its title and structure clearly classify William Shakespeare’s All’s Well That Ends Well as a comedy. By definition, tragedies end in death, comedies with weddings. Nobody dies during All’s Well, but the climactic wedding in the final act hardly ends with the happy couple basking in the rosy romantic glow of a strongly implied happily […]

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Tudor lessons

After starting life at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 2017, then getting its North American premiere at Chicago Shakespeare in 2019 before heading off to Broadway, Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss’s sassy rock musical (directed by Moss and Jamie Armitage) about the most famous sextet of spouses in history is back for a three-month run […]

Posted inArts & Culture

Remembering Jan Karski

In this fraught time of political divisions and worldwide calamities, in the face of seemingly impossible odds, how can we find the courage and conviction to stand up for what is right? From November 3-14 at the Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Emmy Award-winning and Academy Award-nominated actor David Strathairn (Good Night, and Good Luck, Nomadland, Lincoln) […]