By Patrick O’Brien The last ten minutes of Black Button Eyes’s musical Mary Rose are stellar: eerily blank choreography, sepulchral lighting, and searing music and drama as a girl who hasn’t grown up clashes with a man who can’t relieve himself of his past. Hot stuff, which means the authors now have an idea as to how
The musical theatre reviews featured here are written by reviewers, not critics. These impressions and opinions are from individuals passionate about musical theatre and represent, in most cases, one observation of one performance. The primary purpose in publishing reviews is to help patrons decide whether a production is a good use of their time and entertainment budget. Our reviewers are also encouraged to creatively shine a light on particularly good work done onstage and backstage, understanding that successful productions happen because of the work of many. Finally, ChicagolandMusicalTheatre's reviewers are asked to walk into a show expecting enjoyable entertainment—because that's the mindset of patrons who buy tickets to professional theatre.
By Barry Reszel In response to numerous comments overheard during intermission and while exiting Broadway in Chicago’s press opening of Director Daniel Fish’s gritty, honest, Tony Award-winning revival of Richard Rodgers’ (music) and Oscar Hammerstein II’s (book and lyrics) OKLAHOMA!, let’s first establish what this production is not. If you, like this reviewer, have lyrics
By Barry Reszel In the midst of a season where everyone is doing their level best to feel the feels, Music Theater Works gives Chicagoland audiences a boy in emotional turmoil, figuring out his talents along with his identity with the backdrop of a downtrodden mining town on strike. In the prelude to Billy Elliot’s
By Quinn Rigg We’ll cut to the chase: Sondheim, Pretty Woman is not. This shouldn’t be that much of a demerit. There is room for fun and frivolity in the American musical theatre. However, though this touring production is packed with stupendously talented performers and exuberant choreography, and elevated by all manners of glitter and
By Barry Reszel This reviewer has a grown-up Christmas wish for the talented cast of the infectious 8-Track: The Sounds of the ’70s, now playing Evanston’s Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre: May you be treated to at least one partying audience during your run that cumulatively forgets it’s watching a stage show, gets up and does