Theater Reviews

Review: “Henry VIII”

RECOMMENDED Where: Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Courtyard Theater, Navy Pier When: through June 16 Tickets: $58-$78 Phone: 312-595-5600 By ANNE SPISELMAN Theater Critic Seeing “Henry VIII” at Chicago Shakespeare Theater may be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. According to the press release, this is the first professional Chicago production in the 400 years since the play made its(…)

Review: “The Misanthrope”

RECOMMENDED Where: Court Theatre, 5535 S. Ellis Ave. When: through June 9 Tickets: $45-$65 Phone: 773-753-4472 By ANNE SPISELMAN Theater Critic We’re conditioned to believe that classic comedies should have happy endings, but Moliere’s “The Misanthrope” doesn’t fit the mold. At least not on the surface. Rather than interpreting the play to suit our expectations,(…)

Review: “Head of Passes”

RECOMMENDED Where: Steppenwolf Downstairs Theatre, 1650 N. Halsted St. When: through June 9 Tickets: $20-$78 Phone: 312-335-1650 Tarrell Alvin McCraney’s “Head of Passes,” which is enjoying a well-acted world premiere at Steppenwolf Theatre Company, explores the power of faith and prayer. Or the pitfalls, depending on the religious convictions, or lack thereof, viewers bring to(…)

Review: Stella & Lou

SOMEWHAT RECOMMENDED Where: Northlight Theatre, North Shore Center for the Performing Arts, 9501 Skokie Blvd., Skokie When: through June 9 Tickets: $25-$72 Phone: 847-673-6300 Northlight Theatre had a winner with Bruce Graham’s “The Outgoing Tide,” directed by Artistic Director BJ Jones and starring Steppenwolf Theatre’s John Mahoney, so it’s no surprise the theater would try(…)

Review: “The Pianist of Willesden Lane”

RECOMMENDED Where: The Royal George Theatre, 1641 N. Halsted St. When: through May 25 Tickets: $45-$49 Phone: 312-988-9000 Hershey Felder has carved out a niche and gained a loyal local following with his dramatized musical biographies of famous composers ranging from Beethoven to Bernstein. Now he’s taking his passion for music and its power to(…)

Review: “Still Alice”

RECOMMENDED Where: Lookingglass Theatre Company, Water Tower Water Works, 821 N. Michigan Ave. When: through May 19 Tickets: $36-$70 Phone: 312-337-0665 By ANNE SPISELMAN Theater Critic If you think a play about a woman with early onset Alzheimer’s disease is going to be sad and depressing, you’d be right. But Lookingglass Theatre Company’s “Still Alice”(…)

Review: “The Birthday Party”

RECOMMENDED Where: Steppenwolf Upstairs Theatre, 1650 N. Halsted St. When: through April 28 Tickets: $20-$78 Phone: 312-335-1650 By ANNE SPISELMAN Theater Critic The first — and best — production of Harold Pinter’s “The Birthday Party” I ever saw was at Court Theatre in 1978, in what was then the New Theatre in Mandel Hall. It(…)

Review “Concerning Strange Devices from the Distant West”

RECOMMENDED Where: TimeLine Theater Company, 615 W. Wellington Ave. When: through April 14 Tickets: $32-$42 Phone: 773-281-8463 ext. 6 The exoticism and eroticism of the Far East as seen through the lens of the West, and the boorish misbehavior of Westerners who have no real understanding of the East are two tropes at the center(…)