Theater Reviews

Review: “Road Show”

RECOMMENDED Where: Upstairs at Chicago Shakespeare, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Navy Pier When: through May 4 Tickets: $48-$68 Phone: 312-595-5600 By ANNE SPISELMAN Theater Critic Stephen Sondheim and John Weidman’s “Road Show” is moving in the right direction. The musical that started as “Wise Guys” (1999), then premiered at the Goodman Theatre as “Bounce” (2003) and(…)

Review: “Passion”

RECOMMENDED Where: Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre at No Exit Cafe, 6970 N. Glenwood Ave. When: through April 27 Tickets: $34-$39, dinner $25 extra Phone: 800-595-4849 By ANNE SPISELMAN Theater Critic   Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine’s 1994 “Passion” is devilishly difficult, so kudos go to Theo Ubique and director Fred Anzevino for giving it a(…)

Review: “Chapatti”

RECOMMENDED Where: Northlight Theatre, North Shore Center for the Performing Arts, 9501 Skokie Blvd., Skokie When: through April 19 Tickets: $25-$75 Phone: 847-673-6300 By ANNE SPISELMAN Theater Critic   “Chapatti” could easily be performed by two actors with almost nothing in the way of sets, lighting, costumes or music. Christian O’Reilly’s tale of two lonely(…)

Review: “Venus in Fur”

RECOMMENDED Where: Goodman Theatre Albert Theatre, 170 N. Dearborn St. When: through April 13 Tickets: $25-$86 Phone: 312-443-3800 By ANNE SPISELMAN Theater Critic   David Ives’ 2010 “Venus in Fur” is good not-so-clean fun. Using the 1869 novella “Venus in Furs” by Leopold von Sacher-Masoch (for whom “masochism” is named) as a take-off point, Ives has created(…)

Review: “Water by the Spoonful”

RECOMMENDED WITH RESERVATIONS   Where: Court Theatre, 5535 S. Ellis Ave. When: through April 6 Tickets: $45-$65 Phone: 773-753-4472   By ANNE SPISELMAN Theater Critic In the program notes for Court Theatre’s Chicago premiere of Ouiara Alegria Hudes’ “Water by the Spoonful,” director Henry Godinez says that plays get their message across most potently when(…)

Review “Dessa Rose”

Review “Dessa Rose”

RECOMMENDED Where: Bailiwick Chicago at Victory Gardens Richard Christiansen Theater, 2433 N. Lincoln Ave. When: through April 5 Tickets: $40 Phone: 773-871-3000 By ANNE SPISELMAN Theater Critic “Dessa Rose,” the 2005 musical by Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty (“Ragtime,” “Once on This Island,” “Seussical!”), is appealing and annoying, and Bailiwick Chicago’s heartfelt production at Victory(…)

Review: “The How and the Why”

RECOMMENDED Where: Timeline Theatre Company, 615 W. Wellington Ave. When: through April 6 Tickets: $35-$48 Phone: 773-281-8463 By ANNE SPISELMAN Theater Critic Sarah Treem’s “The How and the Why” is a combination of the captivating and the contrived. On the one hand, the writer, whose credits include HBO’s “In Treatment” and Netflix’s “House of Cards,”(…)

“Hedda Gabler”

RECOMMENDED Where: Writers Theatre, 325 Tudor Court, Glencoe When: through April 6 Tickets: $35-$70 Phone: 847-242-6000 By ANNE SPISELMAN Theater Critic If you’re used to seeing “Hedda Gabler” with a Victorian aesthetic, reliance on subtext, and plenty of suppressed emotion, the production at Writers Theatre will come as something of a shocker. Sharply directed by(…)