Theater Reviews

Review: “The Mousetrap”

RECOMMENDED Where: Northlight Theatre, North Shore Center for the Performing Arts, 9501 Skokie Blvd., Skokie When: through Dec. 14 Tickets: $25-$78 Phone: 847-673-6300 By ANNE SPISELMAN Theater Critic Who doesn’t like a good whodunit for the holidays? That thought and Artistic Director BJ Jones’ realization that Northlight Theatre has never staged a “genuine mystery” in(…)

Review: “The Testament of Mary”

RECOMMENDED Where: Victory Gardens Theater, 2433 N. Lincoln Ave. When: through Dec. 14 Tickets: $20-$60 Phone: 773-871-3000 By ANNE SPISELMAN Theater Critic It’s not easy being an icon. Consider, for example, Mary, the mother of Jesus, immortalized forever in paintings and sculptures: Receiving the angel of the annunciation, holding her infant or crucified son, being(…)

Review: “Iphigenia in Aulis”

Review: “Iphigenia in Aulis”

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED Where: Court Theatre, 5535 S. Ellis Ave. When: through Dec. 7 Tickets: $45-$65 Phone: 773-753-4472 By ANNE SPISELMAN Theater Critic Court Theatre’s production of Euripides’ “Iphigenia in Aulis” achieves a remarkable balance of realism and ritual to bring a play that’s more than 2000 years old vividly to life in a way that(…)

Review: “The Night Alive”

Review: “The Night Alive”

RECOMMENDED Where: Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Downstairs Theatre, 1650 N. Halsted St. When: through Nov. 16 Tickets: $20-$82 Phone: 312-335-1650 By ANNE SPISELMAN Theater Critic Playwright Conor McPherson is a master at creating ordinary men who’ve screwed up their lives. Usually suffering from grief and loss, they’re nearing the end of their resources when a twist(…)

Review: “King Lear”

Review: “King Lear”

RECOMMENDED Where: Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Navy Pier When: through Nov. 9 Tickets: $48-$78 Phone: 312-595-5600 By ANNE SPISELMAN Theater Critic None of the productions of “King Lear” I’ve seen have provided a viscerally convincing reason for the title monarch’s misguided decision to divide his kingdom among his three daughters while he’s still alive. Until now.(…)

Review: “Both Your Houses”

RECOMMENDED Where: Remy Bumppo Theatre Company at Greenhouse Theater Center, 2257 N. Lincoln Ave. When: through Nov. 9 Tickets: $42.50-$57.50 Phone: 733-404-7336 By ANNE SPISELMAN Theater Critic An idealistic young congressman from a Western state comes to Washington, D.C., to help pass a bill he believes in only to find that his fellow legislators have(…)

Review: “Amazing Grace”

SLIGHTLY RECOMMENDED Where: Bank of America Theatre, When: through Nov. 2 Tickets: $33-$100 Phone: 800-775-2000 By ANNE SPISELMAN Theater Critic The treatment of a minor character epitomizes one of the many problems with the slickly staged and well-sung pre-Broadway world premiere of “Amazing Grace,” the musical by Christopher Smith (music, lyrics, book) and Arthur Giron(…)

Review: “Smokefall”

Review: “Smokefall”

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED Where: Goodman Theatre, Albert Theatre, 170 N. Dearborn St. When: through Oct. 26 Tickets: $25-$81 Phone: 312-443-3800 By ANNE SPISELMAN Theater Critic Plenty of contemporary plays are thought-provoking, but Noah Haidle’s “Smokefall” is that rare work that actually makes you feel the love, loss and mystery of life that are the subjects of(…)