A revelatory, brilliantly acted revival of August Wilson’s play is currently on stage at Court Theatre, under the direction of Ron OJ Parson.
Stories by Hedy Weiss
The blight, as well as the occasional bursts of beauty that define life in inner-city high schools is all too familiar. But rarely has it been captured with such a sense of wit, grace, exasperation and tragicomic insight.
Not only does director Calvin MacLean have deep Chicago roots, so do a number of the major players in this grand-scale production.
One thing you realize from the very start of “Nightmares and Nightcaps: The Stories of John Collier” is that its narrator – a dissipated, devilishly twisted writer – is not going to sugarcoat things.
Nothing more concisely captures the impressive scope of the work done on Chicago-area stages than this annual list of nominations.
Qui Nguyen’s play, now receiving its Chicago premiere at Writers Theatre, is a second generation, rap-era kid’s flashy, sexually charged version of a story about the pain and rage that come with being a refugee, and the difficult process of assimilation.
As always, the annual benefit concert served up a rich smorgasbord of styles Saturday. It also offered a subtle suggestion of Chicago’s dance history.
As difficult as it may be to believe, the summer of 2018 is winding down. One significant marker: the Grant Park Music Festival will give the final performances of its 84th season on Saturday.
The Chicago-based artist has an uncanny ability to capture the texture of surfaces in a way that is as precise as a photograph, yet at the same time, magically abstract.
Broken souls grasp for meaning and connection in Samuel D. Hunter’s intense play that unfolds in a dreary church basement in the small town of Idaho Falls, Idaho.
A roundup of recent concerts from the Ravinia Festival
As visitors to the Ravinia Festival well know, the picnics on the grass staged there tend to be legendary feasts. But it is the musical feasts that are the real food for thought.
In her deftly crafted new show, “Rick Stone the Blues Man,” writer/director Jackie Taylor has devised a wonderfully engaging way to explore the full spectrum of blues classics.
In spinning the tale of Knute Rockne and his prize athlete, the creators of this terrific show have tapped into much grander themes than the nature of intensely competitive college football.
A little more than a year after he suffered “a mild heart attack” midway through his opening night performance in “Pamplona,” Stacy Keach is in top form.
Too often this Elvis Presley-focused prequel to “Million Dollar Quartet” homes in on material that might have been cut from that earlier show. But on the plus side, it infuses the story with much that was omitted from “Quartet.”
The real question at the heart of this 95-minute, music-infused marathon of a farce – which features two actors playing 13 characters and frequently sharing time at a piano – is whether the performers themselves will make it out alive.
In the feverish intensity of its emotions alone, this Tennessee Williams revival directed by Marcia Milgrom Dodge is grand opera from start to finish.
In ‘The Csardas Princess,’ Cabaret Singer Embroiled In Love, Marriage and Social Chaos, Operetta-StyleHedy Weiss | Jul 10, 2018
What is most impressive about this romantic comedy, the first work to be produced in Folks Operetta’s “Reclaimed Voices” series, is the exceptional beauty of the voices in the show’s large cast, and the performers’ comic swagger.
Director Diane Paulus taps into the pain and high comedy of the story, but Chicago’s Cadillac Palace Theatre is far too big a venue for this essentially intimate show.
The elaborately produced 75-minute show has all the energy and magic necessary to keep young audiences engaged. At the same time, the adult aspects of the story emerge with particular force and clarity.
While both “Support Group for Men” and “The Roommate” rely on predictable clichés, each serves as a prime example of how absolutely first-rate actors invariably bring total devotion to mediocre scripts.
Mercury Theater’s ‘Avenue Q’ Revival Taps Into Irresistibly Funny Truthiness of Life’s DisappointmentsHedy Weiss | Jul 2, 2018
The surprising thing about “Avenue Q” is just how wise, witty, open-minded and openly devoid of by-the-book political correctness it manages to be.
The most winning aspect of this flashy new musical at the Oriental Theatre is how three different actresses with powerful voices so deftly capture Cher at various stages of her life.
Just as many Italian Renaissance paintings of the crucifixion possess a breathtaking beauty that defies the brutality of the event, this music continually captures a vivid sense of transcendence.
In promoting his first work of fiction, “The President is Missing,” former President Bill Clinton on Thursday in Chicago demonstrated that he remains a super-smart, silky-tongued talker with both a healthy ego and an easily self-deprecating sense of humor.