Theater Reviews

“The Qualms”

“The Qualms”

RECOMMENDED Where: Steppenwolf Theatre Company Downstairs Theatre, 1650 N. Halsted St. When: through August 31 Tickets: $20-$86 Phone: 312-335-1650 By ANNE SPISELMAN Theater Critic Bruce Norris won a Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award for “Clybourne Park,” but the Steppenwolf Theatre world premiere of “The Qualms,” his latest, isn’t very satisfying as a play. Four couples(…)

Review: “Brigadoon”

RECOMMENDED Where: Goodman Theatre, Albert Theatre, 170 N. Dearborn St. When: through August 17 Tickets: $25-$97 Phone: 312-443-3800 By ANNE SPISELMAN Theater Critic When I was an adolescent, Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe’s “Brigadoon” was one of my favorite musicals. I can’t remember exactly why. Maybe it was because the idea of an 18th(…)

Review: “Othello”

RECOMMENDED Where: The Gift Theatre, 4802 N. Milwaukee Ave. When: through August 24 Tickets: $20-$35 Phone: 773-285-7071 By ANNE SPISELMAN Theater Critic Othello” at The Gift Theatre represents a few firsts: the first time the 13-year-old company has presented a play by Shakespeare, the first time director Jonathan Berry has tackled the Bard, and my(…)

Review: “This Is Our Youth”

RECOMMENDED Where: Steppenwolf Upstairs Theatre, 1650 N. Halsted St. When: through July 27 Tickets: $20-482 Phone: 312-335-1650 By ANNE SPISELMAN Theater Critic I’ve been working on thinking of Kenneth Lonergan’s “This Is Our Youth” as Chekhov for the slacker generation. This isn’t as farfetched as it may seem. Like Chekhov, Lonergan exposes the existential angst(…)

Review: “The Dance of Death”

RECOMMENDED Where: Writers Theatre, Books on Vernon, 664 Vernon Ave., Glencoe When: through Aug. 3 Tickets: $35-$70 Phone: 847-242-6000 The three characters in August Strindberg’s 1900 “The Dance of Death” are nasty pieces of work—and that’s putting it mildly. Factor in the new version by Irish playwright Conor McPherson, Henry Wishcamper’s direction, a trio of(…)


RECOMMENDED Where: TimeLine Theatre Company, 615 W. Wellington Ave. When: through July 27 Tickets: $35-$48 Phone: 773-281-8463 By ANNE SPISELMAN Theater Critic Watching the Chicago premiere of “Juno” at TimeLine Theatre Company, it isn’t hard to figure out why composer-lyricist Marc Blitzstein and writer Joseph Stein’s musical based on Sean O’Casey’s 1924 play “Juno and(…)

“Death and the Maiden”

SOMEWHAT RECOMMENDED Where: Victory Gardens Theater, 2433 N. Lincoln Ave. When: through July 20 Tickets: $40 and up Phone: 773-871-3000 By ANNE SPISELMAN Theater Critic What would you do if you were abducted, raped and tortured, suffered 15 years of mental anguish as a result of the trauma, then overheard the man you were convinced(…)

Review: “The Last Ship”

RECOMMENDED Where: Bank of America Theatre, 18 W. Monroe St. When: through July 13 Tickets: $33-$100 Phone: 800-775-2000 By ANNE SPISELMAN Theater Critic The pre-Broadway world premiere of “The Last Ship” has moored at the Bank of America Theatre briefly before chugging off to New York in the fall, and although the musical’s engines aren’t(…)