Theater Reviews

Review: “Satchmo at the Waldorf”

RECOMMENDED Where: Court Theatre, 5535 S. Ellis Ave. When: through Feb. 14 Tickets: $45-$65 Phone: 773-753-4472 By ANNE SPISELMAN Theater Critic “I am here is the cause of happiness” was a favorite saying of the late, great jazz trumpeter, singer, and composer Louis Armstrong, but the man who emerges in the Midwest premiere of Terry(…)

Review: “No Wake”

Review: “No Wake”

RECOMMENDED Where: Route 66 Theatre Company at The Greenhouse Theater Center, 2257 N. Lincoln Ave. When: through Feb. 7 Tickets: $35 Phone: 773-404-7336 By ANNE SPISELMAN Theater Critic William Donnelly’s “No Wake” tackles an excruciatingly painful subject in an unexpected way, and the 80-minute play’s strengths also are in some ways its weaknesses. Route 66(…)

Review: “Marjorie Prime”

Review: “Marjorie Prime”

RECOMMENDED Where: Writers Theatre at Books on Vernon, 664 Vernon Ave., Glencoe When: through Mar. 13, 2016 Tickets: $35-$70 Phone: 847-242-6000 By ANNE SPISELMAN Theater Critic Jordan Harrison’s “Marjorie Prime,”a 2015 Pulitzer Prize finalist, starts out as a deceptively genial comedy about aging and memory loss but ends up as a disturbing, depressing commentary on(…)

Review: “Domesticated”

Review: “Domesticated”

RECOMMENDED Where: Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Downstairs Theatre, 1650 N. Halsted St. When: through Feb. 7 Tickets: $20-$89 Phone: 312-335-1650 By ANNE SPISELMAN Theater Critic Few playwrights are better at dissecting the dynamics of humans behaving badly than Bruce Norris (“Clybourne Park,” “The Pain and the Itch,” etc.), and in the Chicago premiere of “Domesticated” at(…)

Louis Armstrong Festival brings together local organizations to honor jazz legends

By ANNE SPISELMAN Theater Critic Louis Armstrong is coming back to Chicago’s South Side. Court Theatre is teaming up with other local arts organizations for the multidisciplinary Louis Armstrong Festival honoring the legendary jazz trumpeter, singer, and composer who first moved here from New Orleans as a young man in 1922 to join Joe “King”(…)

Review:  “Treasure Island”

Review: “Treasure Island”

RECOMMENDED Where: Lookingglass Theatre Company, Water Tower Water Works, 821 N. Michigan Ave. When: through Jan. 31, 2016 Tickets: $5-$85 Phone: 312-337-0665 By ANNE SPISELMAN Theater Critic The “Pirates of the Caribbean” film franchise has nothing on “Treasure Island,” Robert Louis Stevenson’s iconic story of “buccaneers and buried gold” originally serialized in a children’s magazine(…)

Review: “Gotta Dance”

Review: “Gotta Dance”

RECOMMENDED Where: Bank of America Theatre, 18 W. Monroe St. When: through Jan. 17, 2016 Tickets: $38-$105 Phone: 800-775-2000 By ANNE SPISELMAN Theater Critic If you’re looking for a feel-good musical that shines a spotlight on talented veteran performers, boasts a high-profile creative team, and underscores the message that you’re only as old as you(…)

Louis Armstrong Festival brings together local organizations to honor jazz legend

by Anne Spiselman Louis Armstrong is coming back to Chicago’s South Side. Court Theatre is teaming up with other local arts organizations for the multidisciplinary Louis Armstrong Festival honoring the legendary jazz trumpeter, singer, and composer who first moved here from New Orleans as a young man in 1922 to join Joe “King” Oliver’s Creole(…)

Review: “The Lion King”

Review: “The Lion King”

RECOMMENDED Where: Cadillac Palace Theatre, 151 W. Randolph St. When: through Jan. 17, 2016 Tickets: $35-$180 Phone: 800-775-2000 By ANNE SPISELMAN Theater Critic Hard to believe “The Lion King” has been around for eighteen years. It may not feature the electronic wizardry of more recent shows (thank goodness), but the touring version that bowed in(…)

Review: “Baritones  Unbound”

Review: “Baritones Unbound”

RECOMMENDED Where: Royal George Theatre, 1641 N. Halsted St. When: through Jan. 3, 2016 Tickets: $60 Phone: 312-988-9000 By ANNE SPISELMAN Theater Critic Baritones don’t get no respect—or at least not enough, which is a shame, because they are the uncommon voice of the common man. That’s the premise driving “Baritones Unbound,” a musical trek(…)

Review: “Fallen Angels”

Review: “Fallen Angels”

RECOMMENDED Where: Remy Bumppo Theater Company, 2257 N. Lincoln Ave. When: through Jan. 10 Tickets: $42.50 – $52.50 Phone: 773-404-7336 By ANNE SPISELMAN Theater Critic Noël Coward’s “Fallen Angels” comes across as a witty farce-satirizing holdover Victorian sexual mores, but it’s really something more. First produced in 1925, when the author was in his mid-twenties,(…)

“The Heir Apparent” and “A Q Brothers’ Christmas Carol”

“The Heir Apparent” and “A Q Brothers’ Christmas Carol”

RECOMMENDED “The Heir Apparent” Where: Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Courtyard Theater, Navy Pier When: through Jan. 17, 2016 Tickets: $48-$88 Phone: 312-595-5600 “A Q Brothers’ Christmas Carol” Where: Upstairs at Chicago Shakespeare, Navy Pier When: through Jan. 3, 2016 Tickets:$30-$48 Phone: 312-595-5600 By ANNE SPISELMAN Theater Critic The two plays at Chicago Shakespeare Theater this holiday(…)