Theater Reviews

Review “Othello: The Remix”

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED Where: Upstairs at Chicago Shakespeare, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Navy Pier When: through June 15 Tickets: $20-$35 Phone: 312-595-5600 By Anne Spiselman Theater Critic Even if you find the idea of hip-hop Shakespeare bizarre, you have to hand it to the Chicago-bred Q Brothers — known as GQ and JQ — for the audacity(…)

Goodman Theatre’s sixth Latino Theatre Festival

Goodman Theatre’s sixth Latino Theatre Festival kicked off March 23 to March 31 with the world premiere of “Pedro Paramo,” an exciting collaboration between the fest’s curator Henry Godinez, Chicago actors and musicians (from Sones de Mexico) and Cuba’s Teatro Buendia, which last appeared at the fest in 2010. Inspired by Juan Rulfo’s 1955 magical(…)

Review “Measure for Measure”

RECOMMENDED Where: Goodman Theatre, Albert Theatre 170 N Dearborn St. When: through April 14 Tickets: $25-$86 Phone: 312-443-3800 By ANNE SPISELMAN Theater Critic Director Robert Falls’ production of “Measure for Measure” at Goodman Theatre is likely to create as much controversy as his 2006 “King Lear.” His decision to set the play amid the decay(…)

Review “Proof”

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED Where: Court Theatre, 5535 S. Ellis Ave. When: through April 14 Tickets: $45-$65 Phone: 773-753-4472 By ANNE SPISELMAN Theater Critic Court Theatre’s artistic director Charles Newell loves pushing the envelope. There’s no better proof than his production of “Proof,” David Auburn’s 2001 Pulitzer Prize- and Tony Award-winning play about a 25 year old(…)

Review “Priscilla Queen of the Desert”

SOMEWHAT RECOMMENDED Where: Auditorium Theatre, 50 E. Congress Parkway When: through March 30 Tickets: $28-$85 Phone: 800-775-2000 Everybody loves a show about drag queens that reaffirms family values. It makes them feel safe and promises a sequined spectacle replete with double entendres and sarcasm. “Priscilla Queen of the Desert” delivers. Based on the 1994 film,(…)

Review “An American Story for Actor and Orchestra”

RECOMMENDED Where: Royal George Theatre, 1641 N. Halsted St. When: through April 14 Tickets: $60-$65 Phone: 312-988-9000 By ANNE SPISELMAN Theater Critic Hershey Felder has carved out a niche crafting portraits of famous dead composers, and Chicago audiences have enjoyed his individualistic interpretations of George Gershwin, Frederic Chopin, Ludwig van Beethoven, and Leonard Bernstein in(…)

Review “Julius Caesar”

Review “Julius Caesar”

SOMEWHAT RECOMMENDED Where: Chicago Shakespeare Theater Couryard Theater, Navy Pier When: through March 24 Tickets: $58-$78 Phone: 312-595-5600 By ANNE SPISELMAN Theater Critic Julius Caesar” never has been one of my favorite Shakespeare plays, and Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s latest production, from British director Jonathan Munby, does nothing to change that. My basic problem with the(…)

Review “Sweet Charity”

RECOMMENDED Where: Writers’ Theatre, 325 Tudor Court, Glencoe When: through March 31 Tickets: $35-$75 Phone: 847-242-6000 Writers’ Theatre in Glencoe has been developing a fine track record for scaling back musicals for its intimate space, but “Sweet Charity” presents challenges that Director Michael Halberstam and his talented ensemble don’t quite overcome. Unlike, say, last season’s(…)

Review “Teddy Ferrara”

VERY SLIGHTLY RECOMMENDED Where: Goodman Theatre Owen Theatre, 170 N. Dearborn St. When: through March 3 Tickets: $14-$45, students $10 Phone: 312-443-3800 The world premiere of Christopher Shinn‘s “Teddy Ferrara” in Goodman Theatre’s Owen Theatre raises some thought-provoking issues, but the poorly focused two-hour-and-40-minute play needs serious pruning. And despite some strong acting, the shortcomings(…)

Review “columbinus”

RECOMMENDED Where: American Theater Company, 1909 W. Byron St. When: through March 10 Tickets: $38-$43 Phone: 773-409-4125 By ANNE SPISELMAN Theater Critic American Theater Company’s world premiere of the revised version of “columbinus” is a powerful documentary-style performance piece and a call to step up efforts to stop the horrible violence plaguing our schools and(…)

Review “Disconnect”

SLIGHTLY RECOMMENDED Where: Victory Gardens Theater, 2433 N. Lincoln Ave. When: through Feb. 24 Tickets: $20-$50 Phone: 773-871-3000 With a story line suited to a television sitcom and dialogue worthy of a Second City skit, Anapama Chandrasekhar’s “Disconnect” isn’t the ideal vehicle for heavy observations about consumerism and cultural differences or for the rather tragic,(…)

Review “The Whipping Man”

RECOMMENDED Where: Northlight Theatre, North Shore Center for the Performing Arts, 9501 Skokie Blvd., Skokie When: through Feb. 24 Tickets: $25-$72 Phone: 847-673-6300 By ANNE SPISELMAN Theater Critic The Whipping Man” at Northlight Theatre tackles such an intriguing and unfamiliar subject that it’s relatively easy to forgive a few shortcomings. Ignoring the old injunction to(…)

Review “The Aliens”

SLIGHTLY RECOMMENDED Where: A Red Orchid Theatre, 1531 N. Wells St. When: through March 3 Tickets: $25-$30 Phone: 312-943-8722 If you think of Annie Baker’s “The Aliens” as a trio of interconnected character studies, the two-hour-long Chicago premiere at A Red Orchid Theatre may be tolerable. But if you’re expecting a play with anything resembling(…)

Review “Other Desert Cities”

RECOMMENDED Where: Goodman Theatre Albert Theatre, 170 N. Dearborn St. When: through Feb. 17 Tickets: $25-$86 Phone: 312-443-3800 By ANNE SPISELMAN Theater Critic Family secrets are at the core of “Other Desert Cities,” but what drives Jon Robin Baitz’s old-fashioned well-made play are the political and personal conflicts among the characters and a potent moral(…)

Review “A Grand Night for Singing”

RECOMMENDED Where: Mercury Theater, 3745 N. Southport Ave. When: through March 10 Tickets: $25-$59 Phone: 773-325-1700 The Mercury Theater is kicking off its first subscription season of musicals with “A Grand Night for Singing,” the Rodgers and Hammerstein revue that made its Broadway debut in 1993. Directed and choreographed by Kevin Bellie, this is a(…)

Review “Skylight”

RECOMMENDED Where: Court Theatre, 5535 S. Ellis Ave. When: through Feb. 10 Tickets: $45-$65 Phone: 773-753-4472 By ANNE SPISELMAN Theater Critic The last scene of David Hare’s “Skylight” at Court Theatre is so touchingly funny, sweet and sad that it would be worth waiting for even if the tumultuous two hour-plus encounter between ex-lovers beforehand(…)