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HollywoodChicago.com Theater Reviews & Interviews

Blu-ray Review: Stunning Production of ‘The Phantom of the Opera at the Royal Albert Hall’

The Phantom of the Opera

CHICAGO – We’re going to give you a number of HD choices in the next 36 hours for your Valentine’s Day sweetie. Some will be obvious (“Love Story,” “The Lady and the Tramp,” “The Twilight Saga, Breaking Dawn — Part 1”) and others will be less so. One that might fall in the latter category but would make for a lovely Hallmark holiday evening is the stunning Blu-ray release of the 25th anniversary show of “The Phantom of the Opera” at Royal Albert Hall. With incredible production values and amazing performances, this Blu-ray is a perfect gift for fans of the longest-running Broadway show of all time.

Theater Review: Evocative ‘For the Boys’ Must Blend Disconnected Song With Rich Story

CHICAGO – Musical theater takes on the burden or blessing of twice the challenge as songless theater. To earn widespread acclaim and timeless durability, a show will seamlessly balance song and story in perfect harmony. The two living, breathing creatures must symbiotically advance each other. If one’s stronger, one suffocates the other and both die.

Theater News: Smash-Hit ‘The Book of Mormon’ Coming to Chicago in 2012

The Book of Mormon

CHICAGO – The biggest and most talked about musical to hit Broadway in years will have a mission in Chicago come December 2012. “The Book of Mormon,” winner of 9 Tony Awards this year including Best Musical, will be coming to the Bank of America Theater in downtown Chicago for at least a 12 week run.

Theater Review: Drury Lane’s ‘Sweeney Todd’ Deals Deftly With Demonic Passenger

CHICAGO – In Chicago’s continuing trend of borrowing from Broadway high-accolade actors rather than drawing upon the profusion of genius in our own backyard, at least now-Broadway star and New York local Gregg Edelman is a Chicago native. And the TV voice of the peanut M&M.

Theater Review: Real Chicago in Timeline Theatre’s ‘The Front Page’

The Front Page, Timeline Theatre

CHICAGO – The popular image of the newspaper reporter screaming into the phone with a hot scoop most likely began with the popular and oft-produced stageplay, “The Front Page.” Timeline Theatre of Chicago presents an essential restaging of the classic with superior attention to period detail.

Theater Feature: Casts of ‘Hair,’ ‘Million Dollar Quartet’ Benefit Marriage Equality

Be-In for Marriage Equality

CHICAGO – The casts of two current theater spectaculars in Chicago lent their talents to benefit Marriage Equality in the United States. The “Be-In for Marriage Equality” took place on March 14, 2011, and featured performers from the road show Broadway version of “Hair” and the current cast of “Million Dollar Quartet.”

Theater Review: Magnificent ‘Macbeth’ at the Chicago Shakespeare Theater

Macbeth, Chicago Shakespeare Theater

CHICAGO – One of the jewels of Chicago is right on Lake Michigan. The Chicago Shakepeare Theater within Navy Pier continues to illuminate the immortal Bard resplendently for contemporary audiences. “Macbeth,” playing through March 5th, is part of their ‘Short Shakespeare!’ series.

Theater Review: ‘Rock of Ages’ Ain’t Nothin’ But a Good Time

The cast of 'Rock of Ages'

CHICAGO – “I wanted to explore deep, thoughtful theatre,” deadpans a giddily vitriolic narrator, played here in a last minute swap-out by Mitchell Jarvis, during the eleventh hour of “Rock of Ages”. Although referring to any aspect of this rollicking, trenchantly self-aware jukebox ride in classical terms may either be mawkishly generous or downright offensive to its recalcitrant intent.

Theater Review: ‘Shrek the Musical’ Still in the Swamp

The company of 'Shrek the Musical'

CHICAGO – “Fairytales should really be updated,” muses the puckish Shrek during a final plea for the affections of a reluctant princess. It is one of those startlingly honest and quietly irreverent insights that “Shrek the Musical” is all too wary to boast, but is a welcome dagger into the cavalcade of childhood morality tales that, year after year, infiltrate the bulk of shooting star wishes and Barbie dream-houses.

Theater Review: Bailiwick Chicago Rediscovers a Buried ‘AIDA’

Bailiwick Chicago's "AIDA"

CHICAGO – When the initial production of Elton John and Tim Rice’s “Aida” made its foray to the Broadway stage, following what was surely a tempestuous artistic adolescence, the public hurrah with which it was met signaled the birth of two eminent stage relations. First, that of John’s with both Broadway and West End investors, a collaboration that has far outstretched the boundaries set forth by “The Lion King”.

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TV, DVD, BLU-RAY & THEATER REVIEWS

  • ThroatPunch

    CHICAGO – The provocative title of Nothing Without a Company’s new world premiere stage play, “ThroatPunch,” does not contain that particular fight technique. But it does have standout performances by the three person cast, as they make their way in Chicago, circa 1983, amid their emerging twentysomething punk rock attitude. The show has a Thursday-Sunday run at the Chicago Mosaic School through June 3rd, 2018. Click here for more details, including ticket information.

  • Jesus Christ Superstar, Lyric Opera

    CHICAGO – As a wee lad, I would often go into my parent’s record collection. One day, out of the blue, that brown double album with the gold embossed angels appeared, like a gift from the divine. “Jesus Christ Superstar” began as a record album “rock opera” in 1970, evolved to a Broadway show and film, and then was interpreted through a myriad of stage revivals over the years. The latest is an exciting piece of stagecraft at the Lyric Opera of Chicago. The show has a various evening/matinee run through May 20th, 2018. Click here for more details, including ticket information.

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