Theater Reviews

Review: “South Pacific”

Review: “South Pacific”

RECOMMENDED Where: Light Opera Works at Cahn Auditorium, 600 Emerson St., Evanston When: through Aug. 30 Tickets: $34-$94 Phone: 847-920-5360 By ANNE SPISELMAN Theater Critic Don’t go to “South Pacific” at Cahn Auditorium expecting any big surprises. Light Opera Works’ approach to musicals is very traditional, and this revival of the Richard Rodgers (music) and(…)

Review: “The Boy from Oz”

Review: “The Boy from Oz”

RECOMMENDED Where: Pride Films & Plays at Stage 773, 1225 W. Belmont Ave. When: through Aug. 30 Tickets: $25-$45 Phone: 773-327-5252 Before Hugh Jackman won the 2004 “Best Actor in a Musical” Tony Award for his star turn in “The Boy from Oz,” Peter Allen was barely on my radar. I knew that the Australian performer(…)

Review: “Grand Concourse”

Review: “Grand Concourse”

RECOMMENDED Where: Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Downstairs Theatre, 1650 N. Halsted St. When: through Aug. 30 Tickets: $20-$89 Phone: 312-335-1650 By ANNE SPISELMAN Theater Critic Almost every episode of the Italian television series “Don Matteo” ends with the crime-solving priest telling the usually remorseful culprit he’s just caught that God forgives and loves him unconditionally. Shelley,(…)

Review: “Moby Dick”

Review: “Moby Dick”

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED Where: Lookingglass Theatre Company, Water Tower Water Works, 821 N. Michigan Ave. When: through August 28 Tickets: $40-$80 Phone: 312-337-0665 By ANNE SPISELMAN Theater Critic Anytime Lookingglass Theatre Company teams up with The Actors Gymnasium, the results are bound to be special. But their tenth collaboration, the world premiere of “Moby Dick,” is(…)

Review: “Feast”

Review: “Feast”

RECOMMENDED Where: Goodman Theatre Owen Theatre, 170 N. Dearborn St. When: through Aug. 16 Tickets: $10-$25 Phone: 312-443-3800 By ANNE SPISELMAN Theater Critic In a worthy collaboration that serves everyone well, Goodman Theatre has teamed up with the Albany Park Theater Project (APTP), a multi-ethnic youth ensemble based in the North Side neighborhood, to bring(…)

Review: “Beaches”

Review: “Beaches”

SOMEWHAT RECOMMENDED Where: Drury Lane Theatre, 100 Drury Lane, Oakbrook Terrace When: through Aug. 16 Tickets: $45-$60 Phone: 630-530-0111 “Beaches,” which is having its “pre-Broadway” Chicago premiere at Drury Lane Theatre, is a quintessential opposites-attract, female-bonding musical. That’s both its appeal and its Achilles heel. Based on the novel by Iris Rainer Dart that also(…)

“The Diary of Anne Frank”

“The Diary of Anne Frank”

RECOMMENDED Where: Writers Theatre, Books of Vernon, 664 Vernon Ave., Glencoe When: through Aug. 16 Tickets: $35-$70 Phone: 847-242-6000 By ANNE SPISELMAN Theater Critic While Writers Theatre is building an ultramodern new home, the ambitious Glencoe company is also showing off how much it has been able to accomplish in its tiny original space at(…)

Review: “All Our Tragic”

Review: “All Our Tragic”

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED Where: Den Theatre, 1329 N. Milwaukee Ave. When: through Aug. 16 Tickets: $125, available at the-hypocrites.com The Hypocrites’ “All Our Tragic” should be required viewing for anyone interested in theater. After seeing the world premiere of artistic director Sean Graney’s mash-up of all 32 surviving Greek tragedies by Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides last(…)

Review: “Kinky Boots”

RECOMMENDED Where: Cadillac Palace Theatre, 151 W. Randolph St. When: through July 26 Tickets: $25-$108 Phone: 800-775-2000 By ANNE SPISELMAN Theater Critic When I reviewed the pre-Broadway premiere of “Kinky Boots” at the Bank of America Theatre in 2012, I praised the concept, the music and lyrics by pop idol Cyndi Lauper, David Rockwell’s scenic(…)

Review: “Inana”

Review: “Inana”

SOMEWHAT RECOMMENDED Where: TimeLine Theatre Company, 615 W. Wellington Ave. When: through July 26 Tickets: $39-$52 Phone: 773-281-8463 By Anne Spiselman Theater Critic Just read the papers or watch the news, and it seems like irreplaceable antiquities are being destroyed every day. The precious remains of human history and culture are blown up by invaders,(…)

Review: “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike”

Review: “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike”

RECOMMENDED Where: Goodman Theater, 170 N. Dearborn St, When: through Aug. 2 Tickets: $27-$79 Phone: 312-443-3800 By ANNE SPISELMAN Theater Critic You don’t have to be a Chekhov aficionado to enjoy Goodman Theatre’s Chicago premiere of Christopher Durang’s 2013 Tony Award-winning “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike,” but it helps. Durang mixes, matches, and mashes(…)

Review: “Doubt: A Parable”

RECOMMENDED Where: Writers Theatre at Glencoe Union Church, 263 Park Ave. When: through July 19 Tickets: $35-$75 Phone: 773-975-8150 What’s a moral person to do when she becomes absolutely convinced that a great evil is being perpetrated even though she has no concrete proof and the powers that be make it impossible to rectify the(…)

Review: “The Birds”

Review: “The Birds”

SOMEWHAT RECOMMENDED Where: Griffin Theatre Company at Theater Wit, 1229 W. Belmont Ave. When: through July 19 Tickets: $35 Phone: 773-975-8150 By ANNE SPISELMAN Theater Critic Strangers stuck in claustrophobic surroundings with little chance of escape: It is a perfect scenario for a psychological thriller. Add the imminent apocalypse courtesy of terrifying creatures right outside,(…)

Review: “Goldfish”

Review: “Goldfish”

RECOMMENDED Where: Route 66 Theatre Company at the Greenhouse Theater Center, 2257 N. Lincoln Ave. When: through July 12 Tickets: $39-$43 Phone: 773-404-7336 By ANNE SPISELMAN Theater Critic I went to see Route 66 Theatre Company’s local premiere of John Kolvenbach’s “Goldfish” mostly because two of the top actors working in Chicago, Francis Guinan and(…)

Review: “The Who & the What”

RECOMMENDED Where: Victory Gardens Theater, 2433 N. Lincoln Ave. When: through July 12 Tickets: $15-$60 Phone: 773-871-3000 By ANNE SPISELMAN Theater Critic Generational and cultural differences between a father and his two daughters drive “The Who & the What” by Ayad Akhtar, whose Pulitzer Prize-winning “Disgraced” got its start at American Theatre Company, went on(…)

Review: “On Your Feet”

RECOMMENDED Where: Oriental Theatre, 24 W. Randolph St. When: through July 5 Tickets: $33-$100 Phone: 800-773-2000 By ANNE SPISELMAN Theater Critic If you’re a fan of Gloria and Emilio Estefan and the Miami Sound Machine, the pre-Broadway world premiere of “On Your Feet” is likely to … well, bring you to your feet, as it(…)