This knockout revival could easily be airlifted onto a New York stage without a single alteration. Come and see it if you can.
The winter theater season is upon us, with a blizzard of good shows to see. Chicago theater critic Hedy Weiss gives her take on “Roe,” “Top Girls,” “The Mousetrap,” “Juliet” and “Verboten.”
The all-female cast of Caryl Churchill’s play made a statement from the very start, and now, the eight bravura actresses in the current cast turn in a collection of blistering performances that suggest the intentional irony of using the word “girls” (rather than “women”) in the title.
The show is full of exuberant dancing and performances by strong actor-singers, but the crucial intimacy of its storytelling too often gets lost in the carnival atmosphere that has been generated to give this 90-minute gem a Broadway gloss.
At once haunting, sad and beautiful, Andras Visky’s “Juliet” – now in production by Theatre Y – is a work of both real life and pure poetry.
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 stylishly macabre, morally challenging show by Duncan Sheik (of “Spring Awakening” fame) and Kyle Jarrow is now receiving its Chicago premiere by Black Button Eyes Productions.
If you were to consider the dominant feelings expressed by the adolescent girls in these two shows, the obvious conclusion would be that for all the talk, the feminist movement of the past five decades has failed to reach a whole generation or two of girls.
Talk about ending the year with a bang. Just a few weeks before the Chicago Symphony Orchestra is to embark on a whirlwind tour of Europe, the orchestra, under the direction of guest conductor Edo de Waart, is performing an altogether thrilling program.
Based on Studs Terkel’s 1974 best-selling book of oral history, this musical is now in a wonderfully realized, sweat-and-dreams production at Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre, where six actors portray the many and varied attitudes about work.
Two questions invariably come to mind when I see Deeply Rooted Dance Theater: Why is this company not more famous? And why isn’t it championed as Chicago’s counterpart of the Alvin Ailey Dance Theater?
Created for Broadway, “The Light in the Piazza” is a profoundly intimate work and belongs in a space that can fully embrace that intimacy. The Lyric Opera House, where it is now being presented, is not such a place.
A fervent believer in the unique power of live theater, I have become quite a convert to broadcasts of live performances after seeing two superb National Theatre Live productions this past weekend.
It would be all but impossible to survey the many great, good and sometimes disappointing productions of the past 12 months. But three recent shows suggest the great variety of work produced in Chicago – and the immense amount of talent here.
This highly original reimagining of the classic holiday tale is a monumental production both in its storytelling and its design, yet it manages to beautifully interweave its grand scale elements with human scale emotions.
In “The Three Queens,” the trilogy of semi-staged excerpts about the lives of Anne Boleyn, Mary Stuart and Queen Elizabeth I now in a brief run at Lyric Opera, soprano Sondra Radvanovsky captures their essence to sublime vocal and dramatic effect.