By Colin Douglas Upon entering the new, first floor black box theatre at the Den, just off their beautiful, recently-opened bar-and-coffee house lobby, the audience might think they’ve accidentally wandered into a Montessori School, instead of a production of Gilbert and Sullivan’s classic operetta, HMS Pinafore. Michael Smallwood’s creative playhouse, which this is in every
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 “Smashing Pumpkins” front man Billy Corgan‘s entry in a quintet of 15-minute(ish) musicals headlines The Music Theatre Company’s 48-Hour Musicals: ENCORE!, through Dec. 14 in Highland Park. The world premiere of Corgan’s Pretty Persephone, presented last of the five, is a strange, techno-infused romp through the Eleusinian Mysteries and the myth of
By Colin Douglas Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm would be surprised at this new, updated, pop/rock musical version of one of their best-known folktales, Hansel and Gretel, presented at the Broadway Playhouse. Artistic Director Ernie Nolan has collaborated with Grammy-nominated children’s composer/lyricist Justin Roberts to bring this classic tale into the 21st century. Filled with 14
By Colin Douglas Traditions, those legends, customs and beliefs handed down from generation to generation, provide the foundation for The Christmas Schooner, a beautifully written historical musical that has itself become a Mercury Theater and Chicago holiday tradition. The show particularly focuses on Christmas traditions cherished by German immigrants living in the Midwest during the
By Christina Lynn Reszel Heartfelt and full of love, Mary Poppins at Aurora’s Paramount Theatre is a wonderful way to begin or continue the holiday season. From the moment the orchestra begins its overture, a warm feeling fills the stomachs of the audience members. It is clear something wonderful is about to happen… And it