By Jori Waldron “Etta James, Etta James, Etta James!” is the mantra going around the Black Ensemble Theater. Its original production, At Last: A Tribute to Etta James, written and directed by the founder of the theater, Jackie Taylor, celebrates the complex person behind James’ many famous songs. Five Ettas, in fact, interact and perform
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 Colin Douglas Kurt Weill was a talented, young early 20th century German composer known primarily for his theatrical collaborations with Bertolt Brecht. Together they gave the world, among other works, their most famous musical play, the Threepenny Opera. Other works written during the early 1930’s were The Happy End and The Rise and Fall
By Barry Reszel When the State of Colorado amends its laws to make marijuana use mandatory, Evil Dead, the Musical may finally find a venue with an appropriately appreciative audience. Until then, musical theatre patrons are urged to shun this show in much the same way five college students ought to avoid a spring break
By Barry Reszel An all-star cast of Chicagoland musical theatre talent, channeling the strength of a beloved colleague whose life was tragically taken in an auto accident two weeks before, triumphantly opened their production of Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown to cheers and tears, Sept. 21. The regional premiere of this 2010
By Barry Reszel The current production at Aurora’s Paramount Theatre is the human equivalent of catnip for aficionados of musical theatre. Andrew Lloyd Webber‘s timeless Cats, directed by Shawn Stengel, is a family-friendly delight to the senses that literally soars to new heights on Paramount’s gigantic, vertical stage. First kudos go to Kevin Depinet, whose