Theater Reviews

Review: “Pilgrim’s Progress”

Review: “Pilgrim’s Progress”

RECOMMENDED Where: A Red Orchid Theatre, 1531 N. Wells St. When: through Dec. 13 Tickets: $30-$35 Phone: 312-943-8722 By ANNE SPISELMAN Theater Critic Brett Neveu’s “Pilgrim’s Progress” takes its title from John Bunyan’s 17th-century The Pilgrim’s Progress, a Christian allegory about man’s spiritual journey that is considered one of the most important religious works ever written.(…)

Review: “Never the Sinner”

Review: “Never the Sinner”

RECOMMENDED Where: Victory Gardens Theater, 2433 N. Lincoln Ave. When: through Dec. 6 Tickets: $15-$60 Phone: 773-871-3000 By ANNE SPISELMAN Theater Critic It isn’t easy to write a gripping courtroom drama when everyone knows the defendants are guilty and how the trial turns out. But that’s just what John Logan did with “Never the Sinner,”(…)

Review: “Agamemnon”

Review: “Agamemnon”

RECOMMENDED Where: Court Theatre, 5535 S. Ellis Ave. When: through Dec. 6 Tickets: $45-$65 Phone: 773-753-4472 By ANNE SPISELMAN Theater Critic According to an interview with Nicholas Rudall in the program for the world premiere of his new translation of Aeschylus’ “Agamemnon” at Court Theatre, the chorus in the play, written around 458 B.C., originally(…)

Review: “Good for Otto”

Review: “Good for Otto”

RECOMMENDED Where: The Gift Theatre, 4802 N. Milwaukee Ave. When: through Nov. 22, Dec. 3-20, Jan.14-Feb. 7 Tickets: $20-$35 Phone: 773-283-7071 By ANNE SPISELMAN Theater Critic If David Rabe weren’t a renowned playwright responsible for works such as “The Basic Training of Pavlo Hummel,” “Sticks and Bones,” “Streamers,” and “Hurlyburly,” I doubt his “Good for(…)

Review: “Chapter Two”

RECOMMENDED Where: Windy City Playhouse, 3014 W. Irving Park Rd. When: through Dec. 20 Tickets: $25-$45 Phone: 773-891-8985 By ANNE SPISELMAN Theater Critic Write about what you know is the advice often given to would-be authors, and playwright Neil Simon has proven better than most how autobiography—or semi-autobiography—can be the key to success. First produced(…)

Review: “Hershey Felder as Irving Berlin”

Review: “Hershey Felder as Irving Berlin”

RECOMMENDED Where: Royal George Theatre, 1641 N. Halsted St. When: through Dec. 6 Tickets: $60 Phone: 312-988-9000 By ANNE SPISELMAN Theater Critic Hershey Felder has developed a sure-fire formula for bringing dead composers to life. Or almost. Whether it’s long-gone masters such as Beethoven and Chopin or 20th-century icons like George Gershwin and Leonard Bernstein,(…)

Review: “East of Eden”

Review: “East of Eden”

RECOMMENDED Where: Steppenwolf Theatre Company, 1650 N. Halsted St. When: through Nov. 15 Tickets: $20-$89 Phone: 312-335-1650 When Steppenwolf Theatre announced that it was kicking off its fortieth season with the world premiere of Frank Galati’s adaptation of John Steinbeck’s “East of Eden” directed by ensemble co-founder Terry Kinney, excitement ran high. Even theatergoers who(…)

Review: “Ride the Cyclone”

Review: “Ride the Cyclone”

RECOMMENDED Where: Upstairs at Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Navy Pier When: through Nov. 15 Tickets: $30-$48 Phone: 312-595-5600 By ANNE SPISELMAN Theater Critic In an interview in the program for “Ride the Cyclone,” Jacob Richmond, who co-authored the musical with Brooke Maxwell, says the inspiration was a desire to humanize the idea of a mass tragedy(…)