By Betsy Wolfe With Broadway shows consisting mainly of revivals or productions based on movies and television, the world premiere of Quest Theatre Ensemble’s family musical Tomato Queen brings a welcome and fresh story to the stage. In fact, Quest has a history of introducing new material since being founded in 2002 by Jason Bowen,
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 A strong premiere production of millennial musical Next Thing You Know puts the new, city-based Refuge Theatre Project squarely in play for Chicagoland musical theatre patrons’ attention and affection. Refuge, founded this year by Ross Egan, Morgan Glynn Briggs, Michael Evans and Casey Shipman, takes on the mission of utilizing “the appeal
By Barry Reszel Do not ask your children to strive for extraordinary lives. Such striving may seem admirable, but it is the way of foolishness. Help them instead to find the wonder and the marvel of an ordinary life. Show them the joy of tasting tomatoes, apples and pears. Show them how to cry when
By Scott Metzger With a title like Sondheim on Sondheim, there is the risk Porchlight’s Chicago Premiere of the show will be filled with pompous self-adulation of the man Mandy Patinkin calls “The Shakespeare of Musical Theatre.” Indeed, the Porchlight deification of Stephen Sondheim begins as patrons walk past a shrine bearing a large smiling
By Barry Reszel With reports of shows waiting in queue (including the amazing Amazing Grace that previewed in Chicago last fall) for one of 40 New York venues with the 500 seats needed to earn its productions “Broadway” distinction, it’s hard to understand how First Date ever made it to the top of the list.