Theater Reviews

Review “It’s a Wonderful Life: The Radio Play”

RECOMMENDED Where: American Theater Company, 1909 W. Byron St. When: through Dec. 30 Tickets: $35-$40 Phone: 773-409-4125 There are three main reasons to catch American Theater Company’s “It’s a Wonderful Life: The Radio Play,” which is competing for your attention, as it has in years past, with American Blues Theatre’s delightful radio adaptation of the(…)

Review “The Nutcracker”

SOMEWHAT RECOMMENDED Where: The House Theatre of Chicago at Chopin Theatre, 1543 W. Division St. When: through Dec. 30 Tickets: $25-$35 Phone: 773-769-3832 Anyone who is familiar with The House Theatre of Chicago won’t be surprised to learn that the iconoclastic company’s version of “The Nutcracker” is nothing like the ballet. Based on E.T.A. Hoffmann‘s(…)

Review “A Christmas Carol”

RECOMMENDED Where: Goodman Theatre, 170 N. Dearnborn St. When: through Dec. 29 Tickets: $25-$82 Phone: 312-443-3800 By ANNE SPISELMAN Theater Critic In honor of the 35th anniversary of Goodman Theatre’s “A Christmas Carol,” I looked up my Hyde Park Herald review of the first production in 1978. Boy, was I a grinch (or is that(…)

Review “Jeff Garlin: ‘Closer Than I Appear’”

RECOMMENDED Where: Steppenwolf Upstairs Theatre, 1650 N. Halsted St. When: through Dec. 16 Tickets: $25 Phone: 312-335-1650 By ANNE SPISELMAN Theater Critic Reviewing a Jeff Garlin show is almost an exercise in futility, because it changes every night. The Second City alum, co-star of HBO’s “Curb Your Enthusiasm” and frequent voice-over artist (in Pixar films)(…)

Review “Failure: A Love Story”

SOMEWHAT RECOMMENDED Where: Victory Gardens Richard Christiansen Theater, 2433 N. Lincoln Ave., upstairs When: through Dec. 30 Tickets: $35-$50 Phone: 773-871-3000 ANNE SPISELMAN Theater Critic If Victory Gardens Theater were presenting “Failure: A Love Story” as a work-in-progress to supplement its regular reason, I’d be perfectly comfortable with the decision. Staged by director Seth Bockley(…)

Review “The Odd Couple”

SOMEWHAT RECOMMENDED Where: Northlight Theatre, North Shore Center for the Performing Arts, 9501 Skokie Blvd., Skokie When: through Dec. 16 Tickets: $25-$74 Phone: 847-673-6300 What do you do when you plan a whole production around a pair of stars and one of them has to pull out shortly before the opening? That was the panic-inducing(…)

Review “Wasteland”

RECOMMENDED Where: TimeLine Theatre Company, 615 W. Wellington Ave. When: through Dec. 30 Tickets: $32-$42 Phone: 773-281-8463 ext. 6 By ANNE SPISELMAN Theater Critic Prisoners of war from different backgrounds bonding in times of duress is an old theatrical theme, but playwright-actor-director-teacher Susan Felder gives it an interesting new spin in “Wasteland.” And the world(…)

Review “QED”

RECOMMENDED Where: theatre4humanity at Collaboraction Theatre, 1579 N. Milwaukee Ave., 3rd floor When: through Dec. 9 Tickets: $18-$25 Phone: 866-212-4077 One of the coolest things about “QED,” theatre4humanity’s collaboration with Collaboraction Theatre on Peter Parnell’s play about world-famous theoretical physicist Richard Feynman (1918-1988), is the in-the-square scenic design. Courtney O’Neill has transformed a bare room(…)