Theater Reviews

Review: “The Apple Family Plays: That Hopey Changey Thing and Sorry”

RECOMMENDED Where: TimeLine Theatre Company, 615 W. Wellington Ave. When: through April 19 Tickets: $39-$52 Phone: 773-281-8463 By ANNE SPISELMAN Theater Critic When playwright Richard Nelson began “The Apple Family Plays,” he thought they might end up being “disposable” because they were so tied to a specific time and place that they were likely to(…)

Review: “The Good Book”

RECOMMENDED Where: Court Theatre, 5535 S. Ellis Ave. When: through April 19 Tickets: $45-$65 Phone: 773-753-4472 By ANNE SPISELMAN Theater Critic When I interviewed playwrights Denis O’Hare and Lisa Peterson about “The Good Book,” they explained that they weren’t interested in Bible stories or theology but rather in how the Bible came to be from(…)

Review: “Balm in Gilead”

Review: “Balm in Gilead”

RECOMMENDED Where: Griffin Theatre Company at The Den Theatre, 1329-1333 N. Milwaukee Ave. When: through April 19 Tickets: $35 Phone: 866-811-4111 By ANNE SPISELMAN Theater Critic Anyone who’s been around Chicago theater long enough remembers Steppenwolf Theatre Company’s 1980 production of “Balm in Gilead” as one of the greatest shows ever. Director John Malkovich turned Landford Wilson’s(…)

Review: “Outside Mullingar”

RECOMMENDED Where: Northlight Theatre, North Shore Center for the Performing Arts, 9501 Skokie Blvd., Skokie When: through April 19 Tickets: $25-$78 Phone: 847-673-6300 By ANNE SPISELMAN Theater Critic John Patrick Shanley’s “Outside Mullingar” is set from 2008 to 2013 and premiered on Broadway last year, but the old-fashioned romantic comedy could have been written half-a-century(…)

Review: “Two Trains Running”

Review: “Two Trains Running”

RECOMMENDED Where: Goodman Theatre Albert Theatre, 170 N. Dearborn St. When: through April 19 Tickets: $27-$80 Phone: 312-443-3800 By ANNE SPISELMAN Theater Critic When I reviewed Goodman Theatre’s 1993 production of August Wilson’s “Two Trains Running,” I said it was a show you’d be very glad you saw but a little reluctant to recommend wholeheartedly to(…)

Review: “The Other Place”

Review: “The Other Place”

RECOMMENDED Where: Profiles Theatre Main Stage, 4139 N. Broadway When: through April 5 Tickets: $35-$40 Phone: 773-549-1815 By ANNE SPISELMAN Theater Critic When we first see Julianna Smithton in the Chicago premiere of “The Other Place” at Profiles Theatre, she’s a stunning 52-year-old blond in a sexy little black suit and spiked heels. A neurologist-turned-pharmaceutical(…)

Review: “First Wives Club: The Musical”

SLIGHTLY RECOMMENDED Where: Oriental Theatre, 24 W. Randolph St. When: through March 29 Tickets: $33-$100 Phone: 800-773-2000 By ANNE SPISELMAN Theater Critic If a few great oldies, an emotional-button-pushing plot, and some solid performances were enough to guarantee success on the Great White Way, the pre-Broadway world premiere of “First Wives Club: The Musical” at(…)

Review: “Dunsinane”

Review: “Dunsinane”

RECOMMENDED Where: Chicago Shakespeare Theater Courtyard Theater, Navy Pier When: through March 22 Tickets: $58-$78 Phone: 312-595-5600 By ANNE SPISELMAN Theater Critic One country invades another with the good intention of bringing peace, only to have the conflict spin out of control, leading to the destruction of whole villages, the murder of soldiers and civilians, and(…)