Hedy Weiss: Theater Reviews

Chicago Sun-Times theater and dance critic Hedy Weiss joins us to discuss three plays on the stage right now. We’ll hear about Enron, Gypsy, and American Idiot on Chicago Tonight at 7:00 pm. Read more about the plays below.

Enron at Timeline Theatre
With the Greek bailouts dominating the business news cycle, and Bernie Madoff’s scheming the most recent investor fraud, the story of Enron’s meteoric rise and collapse in 2001 has fallen out of the public eye. Enron, coming to the Timeline Theatre after runs in London and Broadway, tells the behind-the-scenes story of the energy company and its accounting tricks with a mix of puppetry, video, and over-the-top characters. The story focuses on the relatively realistic CEO Ken Lay, COO Jeffrey Skilling, and other Enron executives, but also includes some abstract takes on side characters, including the Lehman Brothers as a set of conjoined twins. Tickets are $32-$42, and the play runs through April 15.

Gypsy at Drury Lane Theatre
One of Broadway’s most successful and revived productions, Gypsy is based on the memoirs of striptease artist Gypsy Rose Lee. Lee’s mother, Rose, pushes her two daughters into show business, in part to live out her own dreams of stardom. The show has some of Stephen Sondheim’s most memorable songs, including “Everything’s Coming Up Roses” and “Together, Wherever We Go.” Tickets are $30-$40, and the play runs through March 25.

American Idiot at Oriental Theatre
Punk rock band Green Day’s 2004 album American Idiot was always conceived as a rock opera, but the dream didn’t come true until its 2010 Broadway run. Written by Green Day guitarist Billie Joe Armstrong and Spring Awakening’s Michael Mayer, the show follows Johnny and his friend Tunny as they move from suburbia to the big city, and as Tunny joins the army and returns a broken hero. The show features hit songs “Boulevard of Broken Dreams,” “Wake Me Up When September Ends,” “American Idiot,” and others. Tickets are $38-$102, and the play runs through February 19.