Erin Creighton and John Sessler in Street Tempo Theatre’s “Little Shop of Horrors.” Photo credit: Linda Gartz You think you’ve seen Little Shop, right? You’ve probably even been involved in a production or two at some point. I know I have — I was the left arm of the giant plant puppet in Alpena High… Read More Street Tempo’s ‘Little Shop of Horrors’ is filled with killer surprises
Can you believe it? Phantom is a quarter of a century old. It’s the longest running show on Broadway, has generated roughly 4,678,980 katillion dollars, and your beer guzzling brother-in-law can probably hum out a few bars of “Music of the Night.” Or not. But still. It’s a phenomenon. A phantomnomenom. Nom nom nom. Secrets!… Read More Eight things I learned watching ‘The Phantom of the Opera’ 25th anniversary concert
Jerry O’Boyle, Craig Spidle and Rebecca Finnegan in Porchlight’s “A Catered Affair.” Photo credit: Brandon Dahlquist In its essence, Harvey Fierstein and John Bucchino’s A Catered Affair is a simple, slice-of-life family drama that happens to be accompanied by a delicate score. So it doesn’t surprise me that it didn’t find success when the show opened on Broadway… Read More Porchlight’s admirable ‘A Catered Affair’ is a study in subtlety
The Hollywood Reporter broke the news that director Rob Marshall is reteaming with Disney for a film adaptation of Into the Woods, the classic Broadway musical written by Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine that explores what happens after “happily ever after.” And the twittersphere has been blowing up with casting ideas. After all, for my… Read More Hollywood heads ‘Into the Woods.’ Again.
Bryan Fenkart and Felicia Boswell star in the national tour of “Memphis.” Photo credit: Paul Kolnik. Due to the holiday weekend, I sadly couldn’t make press opening of the national tour of Memphis, so I asked a guest reviewer to cover the show on my behalf. Like me, this person is a musical fanatic, so… Read More Guest review: National tour of ‘Memphis’
Terri White (center) leads the cast of “Follies” in “Who’s That Woman?” (Photo credit: Joan Marcus) From the moment you enter the cavernous Marquis Theatre, the stage is set. Grey drop cloths envelope the interior. Ghostly wind and nail hammering echo through the auditorium, and if you listen closely, you can make out the soft… Read More NYC diary: ‘Follies’ on Broadway
The cast of Circle Theatre’s “Urinetown.” (photo credit: Bob Knuth) Have you ever had to pee so badly you could nearly taste it? I remember one time I was at an Ann Hampton Callaway concert at Mayne Stage up in Rogers Park. I drank a few beers at dinner before the show, and had one during… Read More Get the Scotchgard: Circle Theatre’s side-splitting ‘Urinetown’ may challenge your bladder muscles
More than a decade ago, I saw my first Chicago storefront-produced musical. It was the swinging Burt Bacharach tuner Promises, Promises, produced by a little theatre group called Porchlight Music Theatre. Porchlight has been on my radar since then, and while their shows over the years have been usually well-produced, they’ve often seemed a little,… Read More Porchlight’s stellar ‘Putting it Together’
Happy fall, kittens! As you can see from my “CTA Tracker” (as Beyoncé would say, “to the left, to the left”), this Chicago Theatre Addict is going to be quite busy very soon. On top of this, nominations for 2010-2011 Equity Jeff Awards were announced, and there are a lot of them. And I’ve some… Read More Equity Jeff Award nominations: huzzah, harrumph and huh?
Kevin Buswell stares down Kirk Jackson and Mara Stewart in Ludicrous Theatre’s “Rocky Horror Show.” “Don’t dream it; be it,” sings Ludicrous Theatre’s energetic cast in tight harmony. This lyric, which closes out cult musical Rocky Horror Show, could easily be the mantra for this hardworking storefront theatre company. Someone had a dream to do… Read More Ludicrous Theatre offers a close-quarters ‘Rocky Horror Show’
Looking to have a fancy downtown Chicago experience at a splashy musical or star-studded play in the next few months? Check out my latest blog post on Chicago Like a Local covering Broadway in Chicago’s upcoming show lineup. Highlights include the kickoff of the North American tour of Love, Loss, and What I Wore starring SNL alum Nora Dunn, the incomparable Carrie… Read More Chicago Like a Local: ‘Addams Family,’ ‘Memphis’ and more in store for Broadway in Chicago
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
“We Go Together” — the cast of American Theater Company’s “The Original Grease” Who knew Danny Zuko hung out at gay-friendly Foster Beach? I always suspected he was hiding something behind that “machismo” exterior. I kid — but I couldn’t help but smirk listening to “Foster Beach,” the opening tune that predates karaoke favorite “Summer Nights” in… Read More With more than a few f-bombs, American Theater Company takes ‘Grease’ back to its original, working class roots
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
Lawrence Clayton (Jean Valjean) “Brings Him Home” in the new national tour of “Les Misérables.” “Les Misérables without the turntable? How is that possible?” It surprised me the number of times I heard this question when I told people about this tour over the past few days. The thunderous original production, which opened in London… Read More New 25th anniversary tour of ‘Les Misérables’ is revolutionary