Among the shows that have marked the return of live theater in Chicago are three very different music-driven works variously set in the final three decades of the 20th century. Seen during present day upheaval, as well as through the lens of their original conception, the result is an intriguing double vision.
It was just before opening night that “American Mariachi” had to close its doors. Now, nearly 18 months later, the cast has returned to the stage. We go behind the scenes of this new musical play set in 1970s Chicago.
The play by Adam Rapp will be streamed live through May 16
Adam Rapp’s “The Sound Inside” depicts the brief but harrowing relationship between Bella (Mary Beth Fisher), a lonely, middle-aged Yale professor and author who teaches a course in creative writing, and her intense, gifted, profoundly alienated freshman student, Christopher (John Drea).
The multitalented actor, pianist (and yes, composer in his own right) brings the eighth installment in his renowned “Great Composers Series” to Chicago in June and simultaneously makes his Goodman Theatre debut.
The overall pacing of this bear of a show can sometimes feel a bit off. At the same time, there is such a sense of jubilation about this production that its imperfections are easy to overlook.
“The Music Man” marches into the Goodman Theatre. Tony Award-winning director Mary Zimmerman gives us details on the big parade.
“Twilight Bowl” is a telling depiction of a crucial transitional period in the lives of a cross-section of young women who are at once lost and found in the American heartland.
It takes an actor of formidable technique to bring this two-act, two-hour monologue to vivid, active, almost cinematic life. From the moment Brendan Coyle emerges from the shadows, the spell is cast.
As it happens, there are two “ladies” in Dael Orlandersmith’s play, “Lady in Denmark,” now in its world premiere at the Goodman Theatre. But only one is fully seen or heard on stage.
If ever you had any doubt about the healing and transformative powers of art, “We’re Only Alive for a Short Amount of Time,” David Cale’s hypnotically beautiful one-man show, will set you straight.
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.
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.
Suzan-Lori Parks’ fascinating three-hour trilogy, now on stage at the Goodman Theatre, probes the meaning of freedom, and all the complexity and ambivalence that word can carry with it.
If ever there were a way to remind audiences of what it would really take to “make America great again,” the Goodman Theatre’s revival of “Having Our Say” could easily qualify as the show to get the job done.
Corrupt and greedy politicians, a poorly educated citizenry skeptical of science and “facts,” and short-term thinking about the impact of pollution on health were all issues in 1882 when the play debuted and still resonate today.
Talk about timing: The Chicago premiere of Sarah DeLappe’s tour de force mix of verbal and physical athletics and teen angst comes as the U.S. women’s ice hockey team wins the 2018 Olympic gold medal.