‘Dreamgirls’ at Porchlight Music Theatre

I almost skipped Dreamgirls at Porchlight. I’ve seen and enjoyed the movie, I saw a very decent (if emotionally neutral) touring production 6 years ago, I’ve watched Jennifer Holliday’s landmark performance of the titular first act closer in gay bars and YouTubes galore. I mean, I’ve *seen* Dreamgirls. Or so I thought. Following the first act of… Read More ‘Dreamgirls’ at Porchlight Music Theatre

‘Beautiful – The Carole King Musical’ at the Oriental Theatre

Abby Mueller stars in “Beautiful – The Carole King Musical” Jukebox musicals. Such a phrase makes those who love musical theatre shudder with a wave of disgust, as it exemplifies the devolution of the art form. Where the best musicals use carefully crafted music to advance the story and heighten the emotional moments, jukebox musicals… Read More ‘Beautiful – The Carole King Musical’ at the Oriental Theatre

A Buoyant ‘Merry Widow’ at Lyric Opera of Chicago

Renee Fleming and Thomas Hampson star in Franz Lehar’s “The Merry Widow” Ooh-la-la! As John Oliver mentioned in response to the recent attacks on France’s capital, Paris will endure – largely due to its rich culture and passionate people. And the delightful comic operetta by Hungarian composer Franz Lehár, The Merry Widow, celebrates the very… Read More A Buoyant ‘Merry Widow’ at Lyric Opera of Chicago

‘Dirty Dancing: The Classic Story Onstage’ can’t be blamed for false advertising

Christopher Tierney and Gillian Abbott get their dirty on  I’m supposed to write a review about the stage version of Dirty Dancing, currently playing at the Cadillac Palace Theatre through August 30. However, I’m pretty sure that anything I say about this production won’t really add much value to your ticket buying decisions because a)… Read More ‘Dirty Dancing: The Classic Story Onstage’ can’t be blamed for false advertising

Porchlight’s ‘Sondheim on Sondheim’ Explores the Art of Making Art

The cast of Porchlight Music Theatre’s “Putting it Together” In the new musical revue, Sondheim on Sondheim, the chorus opens the second act with a self-deprecating number about how Stephen Sondheim is a “God.” Though the purpose of this second act opener is tongue-in-cheek (Sondheim himself wrote it), I’d argue that most people in the… Read More Porchlight’s ‘Sondheim on Sondheim’ Explores the Art of Making Art

Black Ties, Boleyns and News Boys: Three Shows in Four days

The challenge was simple: Three wildly different shows in four days. My 68-year-old mother joined me and provided her input. Here’s the recap: Living the History — 125 Years of the Auditorium Theatre Chicago’s historic landmark performance venue, the Auditorium Theatre, received a classy and compact 125th birthday celebration on Dec. 9. Following an introduction… Read More Black Ties, Boleyns and News Boys: Three Shows in Four days