Theater Reviews

“An Inspector Calls”

RECOMMENDED Where: Remy Bumppo at the Greenhouse Theater Center, 2257 N. Lincoln Ave. When: though Jan. 12 Tickets: $37.50-$52.50 Phone: 773-404-7336 By ANNE SPISELMAN Theater Critic You wouldn’t immediately think of “An Inspector Calls” as a holiday show, but J. B. Priestley’s 1945 play is akin to Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” — without the(…)

Review: “Appropriate”

RECOMMENDED Where: Victory Gardens Theater, 2433 N. Lincoln Ave. When: through Dec. 8 Tickets: $20-$60 Phone: 773-871-3000 Everyone behaves inappropriately in Branden Jacobs-Jenkins “Appropriate” at Victory Gardens Theater, and they also attempt to appropriate evidence of a horrific history for their own ends. The playwright, too, could be accused of appropriation: He’s a young African(…)

Review: “Compulsion”

SLIGHTLY RECOMMENDED Where: Next Theatre Company, Noyse Cultural Arts Center, 927 Noyes St., Evanston When: Through Nov. 17 Tickets: $30-$40 Phone: 847-475-1875 ext. 2 By ANNE SPISELMAN Theater Critic Some people are so aggressive, so adversarial and so driven to be their own worst enemy that it’s hard to have much sympathy for them. Such(…)

Review: “Cyrano de Bergerac”

RECOMMENDED Where: Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Navy Pier When: through Nov. 10 Tickets: $48-$78 Phone: 312-595-5600 By ANNE SPISELMAN Theater Critic If what you remember most about Edmond Rostand’s Cyrano de Bergerac is the tragic Cyrano-Roxane-Christian love triangle, the current production at Chicago Shakespeare Theater will come as a surprise.  Using a translation/adaptation by Anthony Burgess,(…)

Review: “Northanger Abbey”

RECOMMENDED Where: Remy Bumppo at the Greenhouse Theater Center, Upstairs Mainstage, 2257 N. Lincoln Ave. When: through Nov. 10 Tickets: $37.50-52.50 Phone: 773-404-7336 If you’re looking for light-hearted entertainment with a literary bent, Remy Bumppo’s lively production of “Northanger Abbey” is a good bet. Adapted by Brit Tim Luscombe and directed by Joanie Schultz, Jane(…)

Review: “The North China Lover”

RECOMMENDED Where: Lookingglass Theatre Company, Water Tower Water Works, 821 N. Michigan Ave. When: through Nov. 10 Tickets: $36-$70 Phone: 312-337-0665  Might as well admit it: I don’t really “get” Marguerite Duras. Maybe that’s why I can appreciate the care and complexity of Lookingglass Theatre Company’s world premiere stage version of “The North China Lover,” but(…)

Review: “The Wheel”

SOMEWHAT RECOMMENDED Where: Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Downstairs Theatre, 1650 N. Halsted St. When: through Nov. 10 Tickets: $20-$82 Phone: 1-312-335-1650 By ANNE SPISELMAN Theater Critic If you go to Steppenwolf Theatre’s American premiere of “The Wheel” just to see Joan Allen on stage there for the first time in more than two decades, you won’t(…)

Review: “Smokefall”

RECOMMENDED Where: Goodman Theatre, Owen Theatre, 170 N. Dearborn St. When: through Nov. 3 Tickets: $10-$40 Phone: 312-443-3800 By ANNE SPISELMAN Theater Critic Is life worth living and what makes it so? Those are the metaphysical questions at the core of Noah Haidle’s imaginative, engaging and often very funny “Smokefall” in the Goodman Theatre’s Owen(…)