A high-stakes ‘Road Show’ still struggles to find its way

Andrew Rothenberg, McKinley Carter, Michael Aaron Lindner and Anne Gunn in ChiShakes’ “Road Show.” Photo by Liz Lauren “Art isn’t easy,” sings the frustrated artist George in Stephen Sondheim’s Pulitzer prize-winning Sunday in the Park with George. While a completely different show in both tone and substance, Stephen Sondheim and John Weidman’s Road Show puts… Read More A high-stakes ‘Road Show’ still struggles to find its way

HuffPo Review: CST’s Sleepy ‘Cyrano’ Lacks Passion

High hopes surrounded Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s Cyrano de Bergerac, the 1897 play by Edmond Rostand translated for the stage by Anthony Burgess. This is Harry Groener’s return to CST following his triumphant, award-winning turn in The Madness of George III in 2011. In that production, directed by Penny Metropulos, he created a character so grandly realized, it remains one… Read More HuffPo Review: CST’s Sleepy ‘Cyrano’ Lacks Passion

Chicago Shakes to stage ‘Road Show’ and ‘Gypsy’ (cue the requisite dream-casting)

Time Out Chicago announces that Chicago Shakespeare Theater will produce that American musical comedy classic, Gypsy, along with Stephen Sondheim’s Road Show, a show that got one of its many starts at Chicago’s Goodman Theatre under the name Bounce. Both shows will be directed by Gary Griffin, who’s had back-to-back success with Sondheim at Shakes… Read More Chicago Shakes to stage ‘Road Show’ and ‘Gypsy’ (cue the requisite dream-casting)

A modern and timeless ‘Julius Caesar’ at Chicago Shakes

As you enter Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s Court Theater to see English director Jonathan Munby’s take on Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, you know you’re in for something electric, bold and in-your-face. A crowd of Caesar supporters rally on the stage and in the aisles, selling Caesar swag. Country music blares as the cast breaks into an impromptu… Read More A modern and timeless ‘Julius Caesar’ at Chicago Shakes

Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s stirring ‘Sunday in the Park with George’

Ok — let’s get to the point(alism): Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s Sunday in the Park with George is nothing short of a triumph. Sunday, which, in act one, is loosely based on the life of 19th century painter Georges Seurat, and in act two, a fictionalized examination of the legacy his work has left behind, fills… Read More Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s stirring ‘Sunday in the Park with George’

2012 Equity Jeff nominations: A Chicago Theatre Addict’s reactions

So, I woke up from a restless sleep early this morning, checked my phone and noticed that the 2012 Equity Jeff Awards had been announced. And my first impression was: wow. No Nathan Lane. Yes, the Jeff committee overlooked Lane’s unconventional but widely praised performance as Hickey the hardware salesman in Goodman’s The Iceman Cometh,… Read More 2012 Equity Jeff nominations: A Chicago Theatre Addict’s reactions

Chicago Like a Local: ‘Beauty and the Beast’ at Chicago Shakespeare Theater is a Belle of a Good Time

The cast of ChiShakes’ “Beauty and the Beast.” It’s clear, based on yesterday’s sold-out performance of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, that Chicago Shakespeare Theatre has a hit. From the moment Belle (the charming Emily Rohm) comes strolling down the aisle singing that well-known passage (“Little town, it’s a quiet village…”), kids of all ages… Read More Chicago Like a Local: ‘Beauty and the Beast’ at Chicago Shakespeare Theater is a Belle of a Good Time

Huffington Post: ‘Being Shakespeare’ at Broadway Playhouse

Simon Callow’s one-man show, Being Shakespeare, took the U.K. by storm and is now making a short stop at Chicago’s Broadway Playhouse, courtesy of Chicago Shakespeare Theatre’s World’s Stage Series. The multi-talented Callow is a deeply compelling performer, who clearly revels in the Bard of Avon’s prose and poems. At various points Callow, who’s 62,… Read More Huffington Post: ‘Being Shakespeare’ at Broadway Playhouse

Chicago Shakes’ superb ‘Elizabeth Rex’ explores the transformative power of theatre

Ned Lowenscroft (Steven Sutcliffe) spars with Queen Elizabeth (Diane D’Aquila) in Chicago Shakes’ “Elizabeth Rex.” Photo by Liz Lauren Queen Elizabeth is in a rare quandary. The Earl of Essex, her former lover, has betrayed her country, leaving her no choice but to mark him for execution. And it’s the eve of his death. Naturally,… Read More Chicago Shakes’ superb ‘Elizabeth Rex’ explores the transformative power of theatre

Sondheim gets his Shakes on, the most overrated play of 2011 and more …

Get ready for some random theatre-y thoughts: Sondheim gets his ChiShakes on: After receiving the Chicago Tribune Literary Prize for lifetime achievement on Sunday morning, the man himself visited Sunday’s matinée of Follies at Chicago Shakespeare Theater (along with playwright David Henry Hwang and the great Sir Peter Hall). He then went backstage following the… Read More Sondheim gets his Shakes on, the most overrated play of 2011 and more …

A brutal and bold ‘Follies’ at Chicago Shakes

Susan Moniz as Sally Durant Plummer in Chicago Shakespeare Theatre’s “Follies” Something magical’s happening on Navy Pier, and it’s not the weekly fireworks spectacle, though there are enough explosive moments to drive any fan of honest-to-God good musical theatre to near hysterics. It’s Gary Griffin’s astounding production of Follies, packed with so many showstopping moments,… Read More A brutal and bold ‘Follies’ at Chicago Shakes

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