Theater Reviews

Review: “End of the Rainbow”

Review: “End of the Rainbow”

RECOMMENDED Where: Porchlight Music Theatre at Stage 773, 1225 W. Belomont Ave. When: through Dec. 9 Tickets: $45-$51 Phone: 773-327-5252 By ANNE SPISELMAN Theater Critic Whatever you may think of Peter Quilter’s “End of the Rainbow,” there’s no question that Angela Ingersoll gives a stunning performance as Judy Garland. She bears a striking resemblance to(…)

Review: “The Magic Play”

Review: “The Magic Play”

RECOMMENDED Where: Goodman Theatre, Owen Theatre, 170 N. Dearborn St. When: through Nov. 20 Tickets: $10-$40 Phone: 312-443-3800 By ANNE SPISELMAN Theater Critic “The Magic Play” would be better with more magic and less melodrama. Andrew Hinderaker’s hybrid, which is enjoying a well-staged world premiere in Goodman’s Owen Theatre, tries to combine a show put(…)

Review: “The Last Wife”

Review: “The Last Wife”

RECOMMENDED Where: TimeLine Theatre Company, 615 W. Wellington Ave. When: through Dec. 18 Tickets: $38-$51 Phone: 773-281-8463 By ANNE SPISELMAN Theater Critic How much can we know about how people really thought and felt almost 500 years ago? That’s one question that crossed my mind as I was watching the U.S. premiere of “The Last(…)

Review: “A Life Extra Ordinary”

Review: “A Life Extra Ordinary”

RECOMMENDED Where: The Gift Theatre, 4802 N. Milwaukee Ave. When: through Nov. 20 Tickets: $35 Phone: 773-283-7071 By ANNE SPISELMAN Theater Critic The world premiere of Melissa Ross’ “A Life Extra Ordinary” at The Gift Theatre starts off with a promising premise and an engaging protagonist, but this too-long would-be mystery-memory play loses its way(…)

Review: “Red Velvet”

Review: “Red Velvet”

SOMEWHAT RECOMMENDED Where: Raven Theatre, 6157 N. Clark St. When: through Nov. 27 Tickets: $38-$46 Phone: 773-338-2177 By ANNE SPISELMAN Theater Critic Raven Theatre is kicking off a season dedicated to “breaking the rules” with the Chicago premiere of Lolita Chakrabarti’s “Red Velvet,” which had a well-received 2012 London debut starring Adrian Lester, the playwright’s(…)

Review: “Visiting Edna”

Review: “Visiting Edna”

RECOMMENDED Where: Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Downstairs Theatre, 1650 N. Halsted St. When: through Nov. 6 Tickets: $20-$89 Phone: 312-335-1650 By ANNE SPISELMAN Theater Critic I feel about the world premiere of David Rabe’s “Visiting Edna” at Steppenwolf Theatre much the way I did about the world premiere of his “Good for Otto” last year at(…)

Review: “Pirandello’s Henry IV”

Review: “Pirandello’s Henry IV”

RECOMMENDED Where: Remy Bumppo Theatre Company, Greenhouse Theater Center, 2257 N. Lincoln Ave. When: through Nov. 13 Tickets: $42.50-$57.50 Phone: 773-404-7336 By ANNE SPISELMAN Theater Critic In his program notes for “Pirandello’s Henry IV” at Remy Bumppo Theatre Company, director Nick Sandys points out that it not only is the Midwest premiere of Tom Stoppard’s(…)

Review: “Life Sucks”

Review: “Life Sucks”

RECOMMENDED Where: Lookingglass Theatre Company, Water Tower Water Works, 821 N. Michigan Ave. When: through Nov. 6 Tickets: $35-$80 Phone: 312-337-0665 By ANNE SPISELMAN Theater Critic The best productions of Chekhov’s plays put me in mind of Henry David Thoreau’s famous assertion; “The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.” The repressed characters talk(…)

Review: “Hand to God”

Review: “Hand to God”

RECOMMENDED Where: Victory Gardens Biograph Theater, 2433 N. Lincoln Ave. When: through Oct. 30 Tickets: $15-$60 Phone: 773-871-3000 By ANNE SPISELMAN Theater Critic The main reason to see Robert Askins’ “Hand to God” at Victory Gardens Theater is Alex Weisman’s remarkable performance. He plays Jason, a confused adolescent in Cypress, Texas, who is grieving the(…)

Review” “Julius Caesar”

Review” “Julius Caesar”

RECOMMENDED Where: Writers Theatre Nichols Theatre, 325 Tudor Court, Glencoe When: through Oct. 16 Tickets: $35-$80 Phone: 847-242-6000 By ANNE SPISELMAN Theater Critic Modernizing Shakespeare long has been a popular pastime, but with the production of “Julius Caesar” opening its 25th anniversary season, Writers Theatre has gone a couple of steps further. Co-adapters and directors(…)

Review: “The City of Conversation”

Review: “The City of Conversation”

RECOMMENDED Where: Northlight Theatre, North Shore Center for the Performing Arts, 9501 Skokie Blvd., Skokie When: through Oct. 23 Tickets: $30-$81 Phone: 847-673-6300 By ANNE SPISELMAN Theater Critic The political becomes highly personal in Northlight Theatre’s timely Midwest premiere of Anthony Giardina’s “The City of Conversation,” a lively if schematic drama that chronicles the demise(…)

Review: “Man in the Ring”

Review: “Man in the Ring”

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED Where: Court Theatre, 5535 S. Ellis Ave. When: through Oct. 16 Tickets: $45-$65 By ANNE SPISELMAN Theater Critic I’ve seen lots of good productions at Court Theatre over the years, and the world premiere of Michael Cristofer’s “Man in the Ring” is right up there with the best. Cristopher, a prolific writer and(…)