Announcing The Great ‘Follies’ Smack-down of 2011

Top: Ron Raines and Bernadette Peters (and their ghostly counterparts) in the Broadway production of “Follies.” (Photo © Joan Marcus) Bottom: Susan Moniz and Robert Petkoff in Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s “Follies.” (Photo: Peter Bosy) The challenge: To see two productions of Follies within four days of each other and determine which production is the winner.… Read More Announcing The Great ‘Follies’ Smack-down of 2011

First look: ‘Sweeney Todd’ at Drury Lane Oakbrook

Swing your razors high, kittens! Drury Lane Oakbrook Terrace has released Sweeney Todd production photos. The much-anticipated production, which is currently in previews with press opening tomorrow night, stars Gregg Edelman and Liz McCartney. And Judging from these photos, it looks like director Rachel Rockwell is more than delivering the musical’s grand guignol — emphasising… Read More First look: ‘Sweeney Todd’ at Drury Lane Oakbrook

Sondheim gets his rant on in response to revamped ‘Porgy and Bess’

When musical theatre icon (and recent Chicago Tribune Literary Prize honoree) Stephen Sondheim gets raged up, he knows exactly what to do: fire out a feisty letter to The New York Times. Such is the case with his reaction to a recent New York Times article previewing the upcoming revival of The Gershwins’ Porgy and… Read More Sondheim gets his rant on in response to revamped ‘Porgy and Bess’

Chicago Shakes’ Follies casting (partly) announced — where are the Chicago actors?

After much speculation, Chi Shakes has released partial casting news for one of my all-time favorite musicals, and probably the most highly anticipated production (for me) this year: Follies, at Chicago Shakes, directed by Gary Griffin. Here’s what’s been announced so far for Follies casting (via Chris Jones), which begins performances Oct. 4: Hollis Resnik… Read More Chicago Shakes’ Follies casting (partly) announced — where are the Chicago actors?

Some thoughts after watching Sondheim’s ‘Company’ in the movie theatre

A few friends and I drove up and over to icky Rosemont yesterday to see the filmed NYPhil concert of Company starring Neil Patrick Harris, Stephen Colbert, Patti LuPone, Martha Plimpton and more. Here are a few of my thoughts: Neil Patrick Harris was very fine in the book scenes. He’s a charmer and, yet,… Read More Some thoughts after watching Sondheim’s ‘Company’ in the movie theatre

Attend the tale, bitches: Drury Lane announces ‘Sweeney’ casting, and I’m excited

The recent casting announcement of Drury Lane‘s Sweeney Todd only heightened my excitement of this upcoming production (running August 11 – October 9). First, we get Gregg Edelman, a four-time Tony Award nominated actor with Chicago roots. Some of my friends think he might be a little too tame for the monomaniacal barber based on his past… Read More Attend the tale, bitches: Drury Lane announces ‘Sweeney’ casting, and I’m excited

‘Follies’ comes to Chicago Shakespeare Theatre: my thoughts

Chris Jones reports that Gary Griffin will direct Stephen Sondheim’s Follies to kick off the 2011-12 season at Chicago Shakespeare Theater. This is Big News for me. Some thoughts before I head out the door … I had two immediate reaction to this news: excitement and disappointment. Let’s get the disappointment out of the way… Read More ‘Follies’ comes to Chicago Shakespeare Theatre: my thoughts

My (somewhat grumpy) thoughts on ‘Sondheim! The Birthday Concert’

Note: I had a glass (or three) of wine last night and watched the “Sondheim! The Birthday Concert” dvd from start to finish, allowing myself one documented thought per performance. A word of warning: I guess I was a touch grumpy. And it might help to have seen the DVD to know what I’m referring… Read More My (somewhat grumpy) thoughts on ‘Sondheim! The Birthday Concert’

‘Follies’ concert at the Humanities Festival

Oh, Follies. That Sondheim masterpiece featuring a killer score and troubled book. And last night, a one-night only concert of this work took place at the surprisingly handsome auditorium of the Francis W. Parker School to support The Humanities Festival. This concert, sponsored by Greta Wiley Flory in memory of her late husband Bill, a… Read More ‘Follies’ concert at the Humanities Festival

My dream production: ‘Follies’ in the lobby of Chicago’s Uptown Theatre

A boy can dream, can’t he? I’ve been mulling this thing in my high-foreheaded skull for years — though I’m sure I’m not the first person who’s thought of it, since any Sondheim freak dreams of seeing a perfect production of Follies, and the mysterious Uptown Theatre is one of those spaces that’s captured the… Read More My dream production: ‘Follies’ in the lobby of Chicago’s Uptown Theatre